Jeremiah 48:7
For because you have trusted in your works and in your treasures, you shall also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) Chemosh shall go forth into captivity.—The name appears as that of the national deity of Moab in Numbers 21:29, as worshipped also by the Ammonites in Judges 11:24. Solomon introduced and Josiah abolished his worship at Jerusalem (1Kings 11:7; 2Kings 23:13). He is identified by Jerome (Comm. on Isaiah 15:2) with the Baal-peor of Numbers 25:3. The name is prominent in the Moabite Inscription as that of the national deity, who subdues the people of his rival, Jehovah. The captivity of the idol implies, of course, that of the people The “works” in which Moab is said to have trusted are represented in the LXX. and Vulgate as “fortresses,” but the word is not used in this sense elsewhere, and it is more probable that the prophet represents Moab as relying on its past achievements and deeds of prowess. The last words of the verse are an echo of Amos 1:15.

Jeremiah 48:7-10. Chemosh shall go, &c. — Chemosh was the idol of the Moabites, Numbers 21:29. The valley also shall perish and the plain — Those who live in the country, with their flocks and pastures, shall be involved in the same calamity with the inhabitants of the cities. Give wings to Moab, &c. — It is not a common speed that can deliver him from that imminent danger which threatens him. Cursed be he, &c. — God executes his judgments upon sinners by the ministry of men, and those oftentimes as great sinners as they who suffer by them. He had declared by Jeremiah his purpose of making the Chaldeans his instruments in punishing the Jews and the neighbouring countries: see Jeremiah 25:9. And it is here signified, that they would expose themselves to the divine wrath and curse if they spared Moab, and did not execute judgment upon it effectually.48:1-13. The Chaldeans are to destroy the Moabites. We should be thankful that we are required to seek the salvation of men's lives, and the salvation of their souls, not to shed their blood; but we shall be the more without excuse if we do this pleasant work deceitfully. The cities shall be laid in ruins, and the country shall be wasted. There will be great sorrow. There will be great hurry. If any could give wings to sinners, still they could not fly out of the reach of Divine indignation. There are many who persist in unrepented iniquity, yet long enjoy outward prosperity. They had been long corrupt and unreformed, secure and sensual in prosperity. They have no changes of their peace and prosperity, therefore their hearts and lives are unchanged, Ps 55:19.Works - Possibly the products of labor. The versions render fortifications.

Chemosh - As the national god of Moab Numbers 21:29, he represents the whole land; and his being led into captivity implies the total ruin of those under his protection. His name here spelled Chemish is repeated in Car-chemish, i. e., the fortress of Chemish.

7. thy works—namely, fortifications built by thy work. Moab was famous for its fortresses (Jer 48:18). The antithesis is to Jer 48:6, "Be … in the wilderness," where there are no fortified cities.

thou … also—like the rest of the surrounding peoples, Judah, &c.

Chemosh—the tutelary god of Moab (Nu 21:29; Jud 11:24; 1Ki 11:7; 2Ki 23:13). When a people were vanquished, their gods also were taken away by the victors (Jer 43:12).

Whether by works in this place he meant their riches, got by the labour of their hands, or their idols, which often are called, by way of defamation, the works of their own hands, or their fortifications, is not much considerable; a confidence in creatures, opposed to a confidence in God, is doubtless the sin here intended, whatever the ground of it was, whether their idols, or riches, or fortified places.

Chemosh was their principal idol, as appears by Numbers 21:29 Judges 11:24 1 Kings 11:7,33 2 Kings 23:13. God showeth them the vanity of this idolatry, by telling them that this idol should go into captivity, and be so far from being able to protect them, that he should not be able to protect himself or his own priests, or the princes that favoured him. For because thou hast trusted in thy works,.... The strong works and fortifications they had made about their cities, and so thought themselves safe in them; which is the sense of the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, and those that follow them. Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it of their cattle and other possessions, as the word is rendered in 1 Samuel 25:2; which they observe. It may very well be understood of their idols, the works of their hands, in which they placed their confidence; and therefore their chief God after mentioned is threatened to be taken and carried away:

and in thy treasures: their gold and silver, and other riches they had heaped together:

thou shalt be taken: some particular city seems to be meant, the city Moab, or Ar of Moab, Jeremiah 48:4; or Horonaim, Jeremiah 48:5;

and Chemosh shall go forth in captivity, with his priests and his princes together; this was the god of the Ammonites, Judges 11:24; and of the Moabites, 1 Kings 11:7; hence the Moabites are called the people of Chemosh, Numbers 21:29; which Philo the Jew (i) explains thus; that is, thy people and power are found blind, and deprived of sight; and says that Chemosh is interpreted "as groping", or feeling, which is the property of one that cannot see. "Mosh" in Hebrew signifies to grope or feel; and "caph" is a servile letter, and a note of similitude; and by another Jewish writer (k) Chemosh is called the god of the blind. Jerom (l) takes it to be the same idol with Baalpeor, thought by some the Priapus of the Heathens. Camus, the god of festivals and merriment, seems to have had his name from hence; very probably the sun was worshipped by the Moabites under this name, which may be so called from its swiftness; for the Arabic word, "camash", signifies swift and hastening (m); as the sun is to run its race. The Moabites put their trust in this their deity; and to let them see that he would be of no avail unto them, in this time of their distress, he himself should be taken away by the enemy out of his temple, for the sake of the gold or silver that was upon him, and with him the priests that attended his service; or his worshippers, as the Targum; and the princes of the nation that served him, and supported the worship of him, and defrayed the expenses of it.

(i) Allegor. l. 2. p. 104. (k) R. Iedaia Habadreshi, Bechinat Olam, c. 30. p. 184. (l) Comment in lsaiam, c. 15. 2.((m) Vid. Castell. Lex. Polyglott. col. 1749. & Gol. Lex. Arab. p. 2064.

For because thou hast trusted in thy {f} works and in thy treasures, thou also shalt be taken: and {g} Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together.

(f) That is, the idols which are the works your hands. Some read, in your possessions, for so the word may signify as in 1Sa 25:2.

(g) Both your great idol and his maintainers will be led away captives so that they will then know that it is in vain to look for help at idols, Isa 15:2.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. in thy works and in thy treasures] “works” perhaps meaning results of work, gains. This is suggested by the word “treasures” which follows. Cp. ch. Jeremiah 20:5, where, however, the Hebrew (translated “gains”) is not the same. The LXX (and so the Vulg.) rightly read but one substantive (omitting “works”), and render, from what was doubtless the original form of the Heb., strongholds. “Works” is a later insertion referring to Chemosh. So Co. For “work” in the sense of an idol cp. Deuteronomy 4:28 and elsewhere. The exile of a people was considered to involve that of their deity. For Chemosh’s captivity cp. Isaiah 46:1 f., and for the latter part of the v., Amos 1:15.

Chemosh] the object of Moab’s national worship (Numbers 21:29; 1 Kings 11:7). If the god is powerless to prevent his own captivity, what chance is there for the people?.Verse 7. - In thy works; i.e. either "in thy evil deeds" (comp. Isaiah 28:15) or "in thy idols" (frequently called "the work of men's hands," e.g. Deuteronomy 4:28, and sometimes simply "works," e.g. Isaiah 41:29; Isaiah 57:12; comp. Isaiah L 31). Chemoah. In Numbers 21:29 Moab is called "people of Chemosh," the patron-god being the king and lord of his people. In accordance with the strictly localizing theory of the nature of deity, current among primitive nations, Chemosh is said to go into captivity together with his worshippers (comp. Jeremiah 49:3; Amos 1:15). This helps us to understand the idolatry into which the Jews fell during the Exile (Isaiah 42:17); they imagined that Jehovah himself was "in captivity," and restrained from putting forth his power on behalf of his worshippers. The text reading is not Chemosh, but Chemish; the latter form does not occur elsewhere, but has been thought to illustrate the name of the Hittite city Carchemish (the Hittites or their predecessors may have been worshippers of this deity), i.e. "castle of Chemosh." Calamities to come on Moab. - Jeremiah 48:1. "Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, Woe to Nebo, for it is laid waste! Kiriathaim is come to dishonour, it is taken: the fortress is come to dishonour and broken down. Jeremiah 48:2. Moab's glory is no more. In Heshbon they have devised evil against her, [saying], Come, and let us cut her off from [being] a nation: thou also, O Madmen, art brought to silence; the sword shall go after thee. Jeremiah 48:3. A sound of crying from Horonaim, desolation and great destruction. Jeremiah 48:4. Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard. Jeremiah 48:5. For they ascend the ascent of Luhith with weeping - weeping: for on the descent of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction. Jeremiah 48:6. Flee, save your life! and be like one destitute in the wilderness. Jeremiah 48:7. For, because they trust [was] in thy works, and in thy treasures, thou also shalt be taken; and Chemosh shall go into captivity, his priests and his princes together. Jeremiah 48:8. The destroyer shall come to every city, and no city shall escape; and the valley shall perish, and the plain shall be laid waste, as Jahveh hath said."

With the exclamation "Woe!" Jeremiah transports the hearers of the word of God at once into the midst of the catastrophe which is to come on Moab; this is with the view of humbling the pride of this people, and chastening them for their sins. The woe is uttered over Nebo, but holds also of the towns named afterwards. Nebo is not the mountain of that name (Deuteronomy 32:49; Deuteronomy 34:1), but the city, which probably did not lie far from the peak in the mountain-range of Abarim, which bore the same name (Numbers 32:3, Numbers 32:38; Isaiah 15:2), although in the Onomasticon, s.v. Ναβαῦ, the situation of the mountain is given as being six Roman miles from Heshbon, towards the west, and s.v. Ναβώρ, that of the city, eight Roman miles south from Heshbon, for both accounts point to a situation in the south-west. The Arab. name nba equals is still applied to some ruins; cf. Robinson's Palestine, iii. p. 170. "Kiriathaim is taken." The site of this town, mentioned as early as Genesis 14:5, has been fixed, since the time of Burckhardt, as that of a mass of ruins called et Teim, about five miles south of Heshbon; but Dietrich, in Merx' Archiv. i. S. 337ff., has shown this is incorrect. According to Eusebius, in his Onomasticon, Kiriathaim lay ten Roman miles to the west of Medeba: this suits not merely the position of et Teim, but also the ruins of Kereyat south-west from Medeba, on the ridge of Mount Attarus, a little to the south of M'kaur (Machaerus), and of Baara in the Wady Zerka Maein, where also is the plain mentioned in Genesis 14:5, either in the plain stretching direct east from Kereyat between Wady Zerka Maein and Wady Wal, or south-east in the beautiful plain el Kura, described by Burckhardt, p. 371ff., between the Wal and the Mojeb. Nebo and Kiriathaim lay on the eastern border of the high range of mountains, and seem to be comprehended under המּשׂגּב, "the height, the high fortress," in the third clause of Jeremiah 48:1, as the representatives of the mountain country of Moab. Various expositors, certainly, take the word as a proper name designating an elevated region; Graf and Ngelsbach take it to be a name of Kir-Moab (Kir-heres, Kir-haresheth, Jeremiah 48:31, Jeremiah 48:36), the chief fortress in the country, the modern Kerek in the southern part of Moab; but no valid proof has been adduced. By "the height" Hitzig understands the highlands, which learn of the fall of these towns in the lowlands, and feel this disgrace that has come on Moab, but have not yet themselves been taken. But this view is untenable, because the towns of Nebo and Kiriathaim are not situated in the level country. Again, since הובשׁה is common to the two clauses, the distinction between נלכּדה and חתּה could hardly be pressed so far as to make the latter the opposite of the former, in the sense of being still unconquered. The meaning rather is, that through Nebo's being laid waste, and the capture of Kiriathaim, the fortress on which the Moabites trusted is no more. And to this Jeremiah 48:3 appropriately adds, "the boasting of Moab is gone," i.e., Moab has no more ground for boasting. "In Heshbon they (the enemy, or the conquerors) plot evil against Moab." Heshbon was formerly the capital of the Amorite kingdom of Sihon (Numbers 21:26; Deuteronomy 2:24, etc.), and was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 13:17); but because it lay on the boundary of the territory belonging to the tribe, it was given up to the Gadites, and set apart as a Levitical city (Joshua 21:37). It lay ten Roman miles east from the Jordan, opposite Jericho, almost intermediate between the Arnon and the Jabbok, and is still pointed out, though in ruins, under the old name Heshbn (see on Numbers 32:37). At the time of Jeremiah it was taken possession of by the Ammonites (Jeremiah 49:3), consequently it was the frontier town of the Moabite territory at that time; and being such, it is here named as the town where the enemy, coming from the north, deliberate regarding the conquest of Moab - "meditate evil," i.e., decide upon conquest and devastation. The suffix of עליה refers to Moab as a country, and hence is feminine; cf. v. 4. "We will destroy it (Moab) מגּוי, so that it shall no longer be a nation." Just as in בּחשׁבּון חשׁבוּ there is a play on the words, so is there also in the expression מדמן תּדּמּי which follows. This very circumstance forms an argument for taking Madmen as a proper name, instead of an appellative, as Venema and Hitzig have done, after the example of the lxx: "Yea, thou shalt be destroyed (and made into) a dunghill." In support of this rendering they point to 2 Kings 10:27; Ezra 6:11. But the verb דּמם, in its meaning, ill accords with מדמן in the sense of a dung-heap, and in this case there would be no foundation for a play upon the words (Graf). It is no proof of the non-existence of a place called Madmen in Moab, that it is not mentioned elsewhere; Madmena in the tribe of Benjamin (Isaiah 10:31), and Madmanna in Judah (Joshua 15:31), are also mentioned but once. These passages rather show that the name Madmen was not uncommon; and it was perhaps with reference to this name that Isaiah (Isaiah 25:10) chose the figure of the dunghill. דּמם, to be silent, means, in the Niphal, to be brought to silence, be exterminated, perish; cf. Jeremiah 49:26; Jeremiah 25:37; Jeremiah 8:14, etc. As to the form תּדּמּי instead of תּדּמּי , cf. Ewald, 140, b; Gesenius, 67, Rem. 5. The following clause refers to Madmen: "after thee shall the sword go;" cf. Jeremiah 9:15.

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