Isaiah 16:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Like fleeing birds, like a scattered nest, so are the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.

King James Bible
For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon.

American Standard Version
For it shall be that, as wandering birds, as a scattered nest, so shall the daughters of Moab be at the fords of the Arnon.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And it shall come to pass, that as a bird fleeing away, and as young ones flying out of the nest, so shall the daughters of Moab be in the passage of Arnon.

English Revised Version
For it shall be that, as wandering birds, as a scattered nest, so shall the daughters of Moab be at the fords of Arnon.

Webster's Bible Translation
For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon.

Isaiah 16:2 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The difficult words in which the prophet expresses this sympathy we render as follows: "My heart, towards Moab it crieth out; its bolts reached to Zoar, the three-year-old heifer." The Lamed in l'Moab is the same both here and in Isaiah 16:11 as in Isaiah 14:8-9, viz., "turned toward Moab." Moab, which was masculine in Isaiah 15:4, is feminine here. We may infer from this that עד־צער בריחה is a statement which concerns Moab as a land. Now, berichim signifies the bolts in every other passage in which it occurs; and it is possible to speak of the bolts of a land with just as much propriety as in Lamentations 2:9 and Jeremiah 51:30 (cf., Jonah 2:7) of the bolts of a city. And the statement that the bolts of this land went to Zoar is also a very appropriate one, for Kir Moab and Zoar formed the southern fortified girdle of the land; and Zoar, on the south-western tongue of land which runs into the Dead Sea, was the uttermost fortress of Moab, looking over towards Judah; and in its depressed situation below the level of the sea it formed, as it were, the opposite pole of Kir Moab, the highest point in the high land itself. Hence we agree with Jerome, who adopts the rendering vectes ejus usque ad Segor, whereas all the modern translators have taken the word in the sense of fugitives. ‛Eglath sheilshiyyâh, which Rosenmller, Knobel, Drechsler, Meier, and others have taken quite unnecessarily as a proper name, is either in apposition to Zoar or to Moab. In the former case it is a distinguishing epithet. An ox of the three years, or more literally of the third year (cf., meshullesheth, Genesis 15:9), i.e., a three-year-old ox, is one that is still in all the freshness and fulness of its strength, and that has not yet been exhausted by the length of time that it has worn the yoke. The application of the term to the Moabitish nation is favoured by Jeremiah 46:20, where Egypt is called "a very fair heifer" (‛eglâh yephēh-phiyyâh), whilst Babylon is called the same in Jeremiah 50:11 (cf., Hosea 4:16; Hosea 10:11). And in the same way, according to the lxx, Vulg., Targum, and Gesenius, Moab is called juvenca tertii anni, h. e. indomita jugoque non assueta, as a nation that was still in the vigour of youth, and if it had hitherto borne the yoke, had always shaken it off again. But the application of it to Zoar is favoured (1.) by Jeremiah 48:34, where this epithet is applied to another Moabitish city; (2.) by the accentuation; and (3.) by the fact that in the other case we should expect berı̄châh (the three-year-old heifer, i.e., Moab, is a fugitive to Zoar: vid., Luzzatto). Thus Zoar, the fine, strong, and hitherto unconquered city, is now the destination of the wildest flight before the foe that is coming from the north. A blow has fallen upon Joab, that is more terrible than any that has preceded it.

In a few co-ordinate clauses the prophet now sets before us the several scenes of mourning and desolation. "for the mountain slope of Luhith they ascend with weeping; for on the road to Horonayim they lift up a cry of despair. For the waters of Nimrim are waste places from this time forth: for the grass is dried up, the vegetation wasteth away, the green is gone." The road to Luhith (according to the Onom. between Ar-Moab and Zoar, and therefore in the centre of Moabitis proper) led up a height, and the road to Horonayim (according to Jeremiah 48:5) down a slope. Weeping, they ran up to the mountain city to hide themselves there (bo, as in Psalm 24:3; in Jeremiah 48:5 it is written incorrectly בּכי). Raising loud cries of despair, they stand in front of Horonayim, which lay below, and was more exposed to the enemy. יעערוּ is softened from יערערוּ (possibly to increase the resemblance to an echo), like כּוכב from כּבכּב. The Septuagint renders it very well, κραυγὴν συντριμμοῦ ἐξαναγεροῦσιν - an unaccustomed expression of intense and ever renewed cries at the threatening danger of utter destruction, and with the hope of procuring relief and assistance (sheber, as in Isaiah 1:28; Isaiah 30:26). From the farthest south the scene would suddenly be transferred to the extreme north of the territory of Moab, if Nimrim were the Nimra (Beth-Nimra, Talm. nimrin) which was situated near to the Jordan in Gilead, and therefore farther north than any of the places previously mentioned, and the ruins of which lie a little to the south of Salt, and are still called Nimrin. But the name itself, which is derived from the vicinity of fresh water (Arab. nemir, nemı̄r, clear, pure, sound), is one of frequent occurrence; and even to the south of Moabitis proper there is a Wadi Numere, and a brook called Moyet Numere (two diminutives: "dear little stream of Nimra"), which flows through stony tracks, and which formerly watered the country (Burckhardt, Seetzen, and De Saulcy). In all probability the ruins of Numere by the side of this wady are the Nimrim referred to here, and the waters of the brook the "waters of Nimrim" (me Nimrim). The waters that flowed fresh from the spring had been filled up with rubbish by the enemy, and would now probably lie waste for ever (a similar expression to that in Isaiah 17:2). He had gone through the land scorching and burning, so that all the vegetation had vanished. On the miniature-like short sentences, see Isaiah 29:20; Isaiah 33:8-9; Isaiah 32:10; and on היה לא ("it is not in existence," or "it has become not," i.e., annihilated), vid., Ezekiel 21:32.

Isaiah 16:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

as

Isaiah 13:14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man takes up: they shall every man turn to his own people...

Proverbs 27:8 As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man that wanders from his place.

cast out of the nest. or, a nest forsaken
the fords

Numbers 21:13-15 From there they removed, and pitched on the other side of Arnon...

Deuteronomy 2:36 From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even to Gilead...

Deuteronomy 3:8,12 And we took at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites the land that was on this side Jordan...

Joshua 13:16 And their coast was from Aroer, that is on the bank of the river Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the river...

Judges 11:18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab...

Cross References
Numbers 21:13
From there they set out and camped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that extends from the border of the Amorites, for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.

Numbers 21:14
Therefore it is said in the Book of the Wars of the LORD, "Waheb in Suphah, and the valleys of the Arnon,

Numbers 21:29
Woe to you, O Moab! You are undone, O people of Chemosh! He has made his sons fugitives, and his daughters captives, to an Amorite king, Sihon.

2 Kings 3:4
Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he had to deliver to the king of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams.

Proverbs 26:2
Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.

Proverbs 27:8
Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.

Jeremiah 48:9
"Give wings to Moab, for she would fly away; her cities shall become a desolation, with no inhabitant in them.

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