Jeremiah 48:9
Give wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away: for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein.
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(9) Give wings unto Moab . . .—“No other prayer,” the prophet seems to say, in grave, stern irony, “is left but this. Resistance is hopeless. There is nothing left but to wish for the wings of a bird that safety may be found in flight.” (Comp. Ps. Iv. 6.)

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.The valley - The lowlands on the east bank of the Jordan, and at the top of the Dead Sea.

The plain - An upland pasture; it answers very much to downs: so in Jeremiah 48:21.

9. Give wings, &c.—(Ps 55:6). Unless it get wings, it cannot escape the foe. "Wings," the Hebrew root meaning is a "flower" (Job 14:2); so the flower-like plumage of a bird. That is, the Moabites had need of wings like a bird to escape that ruin which is coming upon them. Yea, if they had wings, they should not escape, for the Lord is resolved that the cities of Moab shall be all brought to desolation, so as no inhabitants shall be left in them.

Give wings unto Moab that it may flee and get away,.... That is, give wings to the inhabitants of Moab; signifying that they were in great danger, and there was no probability of escaping it, unless they had the wings of a swift bird, or were as swift as such, and even that would not do; though perhaps their fleeing, and passing away with wings, may signify not their fleeing from danger, and their attempt to escape; but their swift and sudden destruction, compared to the swift flight of a bird; for the last clause may be rendered, "for in flying it shall fly away" (o). Some render the first clause, "give a flower to Moab", as the Vulgate Latin version; and so the word sometimes signifies, Isaiah 40:7; and the sense may be, hold up a flower to Moab, or a feather, such as is light, as the down of a thistle, as an emblem of its destruction; which shall pass away as easily and swiftly as so light a thing before the wind; but Jarchi and Kimchi interpret the word as we do, a wing. The Targum is,

"take away the crown from Moab, for going it shall go away into captivity.''

The word is used of the plate of gold on the high priest's mitre, Exodus 28:36;

for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein; which expresses the utter destruction of them.

(o) "quia volando volabit", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; "quia avolando avolabit", Schmidt; "nam avolabit", Piscator.

Give wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away: for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein.
9. wings] The sense is that nothing short of wings would enable the Moabites to escape before their enemies.

that she may fly and get her away] or as mg. for she must fly; but better (so Dr.) for she would fain fly away.

Verses 9-16. - So sudden is the blow that Moab stands in need of wings to make good his escape. Were the human instrument to delay, the curse meant for Moab would come upon himself. Is a reason demanded? It is that Moab has long been in a state of morally perilous security, and requires to be thoroughly shaken and aroused, in order that he may discover the inability of Chemosh to help his worshippers. Verse 9. - Give wings, etc. Comp. ver. 28; also Isaiah 16:2, where the fugitive Moabites are likened to "wandering birds." Jeremiah 48:9Moab is laid waste, and its inhabitants carried captive. - Jeremiah 48:9. "Give pinions to Moab, for he will flee and get away, and his cities shall become a waste, with no one dwelling in them. Jeremiah 48:10. Cursed is he that doeth the work of Jahveh negligently, and cursed is he that restraineth his sword from blood. Jeremiah 48:11. Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and lay still upon his lees; he was not poured out from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity, therefore his taste hath remained in him, and his smell hath not changed. Jeremiah 48:12. Therefore, behold, days come, saith Jahveh, when I will send to him those who pour out, and they shall pour him out; and they shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles. Jeremiah 48:13. And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence. Jeremiah 48:14. How can ye say, We are mighty, and men of valour for the war? Jeremiah 48:15. Moab is laid waste, and people ascend into his cities, and the choice of his young men go down to the slaughter, saith the King, whose name is Jahveh of hosts."

The devastation will come so suddenly, that Moab, in order to escape it, uses wings for enabling him to flee from it. The request "give" is not ironical, but a mere rhetorical employment of the idea that wings would be necessary in order to escape. ציץ, which elsewhere means a flower, here signifies wings or waving plumes, as in the Targum on Psalm 139:9, and in the Rabbinical writings. נצא, written with א for the sake of obtaining similarity of sound, stands for נצה equals נצץ, to flee.

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