Jeremiah 48:7
For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt 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." Jeremiah 48:7Moab will not be saved from destruction by any trust on their works or on their treasures. The lxx, Vulgate, and Syriac render מעשׂיך by fortresses, hence Ewald would read מעוניך instead; but there is no ground for the change, since the peculiar rendering alluded to has evidently originated from מעשׂה having been confounded with מעוז. Others, as Dahler, refer the word to idols; but these are always designated as מעשׂי יד. Graf translates "property," and points to 1 Samuel 25:2; Exodus 23:16; but this meaning also has really nothing to support it, for מעשׂה in these passages denotes only agriculture and its produce, and the combination of the word with אוצרות in this passage does not require such a rendering. We abide by the common meaning of "doings" or "works," not evil deeds specially (Hitzig), but "all that Moab undertakes." Neither their efforts to maintain and increase their power, nor their wealth, will avail them in any way. They shall be overcome. Moab is addressed as a country or kingdom. לכד, to seize, capture; of a land, to take, conquer. Chemosh, with his priests and princes, shall go into exile. כּמישׁ is perhaps a mere error of the copyist for כּמושׁ, Chemosh, the chief deity of the Moabites and Ammonites, worshipped as a king and the war-god of his people: see on Numbers 21:29. As in the last-named passage the Moabites are called the people of Chemosh, so here, not merely the priests, but also the princes of Moab, are called his priests and his princes. The Kethib יחד is not to be changed, although Jeremiah elsewhere always uses יחדּו, which is substituted in the Qeri; cf. Jeremiah 49:3. In confirmation of this, it is added, in Jeremiah 48:8, that all the cities of Moab, without exception, shall be laid waste, and the whole country, valley and plain, shall be brought to ruin. המּישׁור, "the level," is the table-land stretching from the Arnon to Heshbon, and north-eastwards as far as Rabbath-Ammon, and which originally belonged to the Moabites, hence called "the fields of Moab" in Numbers 21:40; but it was taken from them by the Amorites, and after the conquest of the latter was taken possession of by the Israelites (Deuteronomy 3:10; Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 13:9), but at that time had been taken back once more by the Moabites. העמק is the valley of the Jordan, commonly called הערבה, as in Joshua 13:27 and Joshua 13:19; here it is that portion of the valley towards the west which bounds the table-land. אשׁר can only be taken in a causal signification, "because," as in Jeremiah 16:13, or in a relative meaning, quod, or "as."
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