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Jeremiah 48:1 Of Moab. Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Woe to Nebo! for it is laid waste- The city, not the mountain (Num. 32:38).

Kiriathaim is disappointed, it is taken; Misgab is put to shame and broken down- The present tenses are used because the threatened judgments are so certain. I suggest that there is a particular address to the Jews who had taken refuge in Moab, just as the previous chapter addresses the Jews who had taken refuge in Egypt (see on :18).

Jeremiah 48:2 The praise of Moab is no more; in Heshbon they have devised evil against her. Come, and let us cut her off from being a nation. You also, Madmen, shall be brought to silence: the sword shall pursue you-
"Heshbon" and "devised" are similar words, and so there is a word play here. Likewise "Madmen" and "brought to silence". The idea is that they had done this to themselves. Judgment is really self-inflicted and an extension of what the condemned did to themselves.

Jeremiah 48:3 The sound of a cry from Horonaim, desolation and great destruction!-
See on :4. In Is. 16:3, Moab had been asked to accept the exiles of Judah and thus shield them from "spoiling" (s.w. NEV "desolation"). It seems that they had spoiled the Jewish refugees and not at all shielded them from the spoiling of the northern invader, both at the time of the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions. And so their attitude to their brother [for Moab and Israel were all related to Abraham] becomes the basis for their judgment. This is a continual theme, and one that will continue to our own judgment.

Jeremiah 48:4 Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard-
Isaiah had also spoken of this crying out of Moab in their time of judgment, and it motivated him to himself cry out for them. We too will appeal to men with conviction, as Isaiah’s heart cried out for Moab like a young heifer about to be slaughtered, feeling for them in what would come upon them, and desperately appealing for their repentance. Because the Moabites would cry out and their voice would be heard, “my heart shall cry out for Moab” (Is. 15:4,5,8). As the Lord Jesus is a representative Saviour, we too must feel the judgment that is to come upon others, and in that sense cry out for them as they will cry out.

Jeremiah 48:5 For by the ascent of Luhith with continual weeping shall they go up; for at the descent of Horonaim they have heard the distress of the cry of destruction-
See on :4. The same words for "cry of destruction" are found in the description of Jerusalem's fall in Zeph. 1:10. The Jews who had fled to the mountainous crags of Moab to escape Divine judgment were going to receive exactly that judgment; leaving us a lesson, that we will not avoid judgment. We need to repent of our sins, rather than psychologically try to avert judgment coming.

Jeremiah 48:6 Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness-
As noted on :4, this is an appeal for repentance. God wanted Moab saved too. LXX has "be like a wild ass in the wilderness", which is hard to capture. Through repentance, they could avoid the capture and destruction which was otherwise inevitable.

Jeremiah 48:7 For because you have trusted in your works and in your treasures, you also shall be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity, his priests and his princes together-
Their "works" were their idols, which are repeatedly described as the works of human hands (Dt. 4:28 etc.). And this is the essence of idolatry today- a trusting in our own works. Perhaps the reference is to the valuable stones in the Chemosh idol, which was therefore going to be taken into captivity as a valuable item. But it was understood that a god of a people or town always fought for its people, and if overcome, then it as it were goes into captivity (Is. 46:1; Am. 1:15). This was the difference with Israel's God Yahweh, the God who threatened to destroy His own city and temple because of His sensitivity to His peoples' sins; the God who brought their enemies upon them.

Jeremiah 48:8 The destroyer shall come on every city, and no city shall escape; the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed; as Yahweh has spoken-
The reference is to the Jordan valley and to the tableland of Moab. The Hebrew phrase for 'none escaping' has been used by Jeremiah in describing the Babylonian judgment (Jer. 34:3; 38:18; Ez. 17:18). The Jews (see on :18) thought they could escape by running to Moab; but it is foolish to think we can play games with God.

Jeremiah 48:9 May wings be given to Moab, that she may fly and get her away: and her cities shall become a desolation, without any to dwell therein-
This may be Jeremiah's interjection, wishing that Moab would take the way out- which was through repentance and turning to Yahweh. The "wings" of the mighty cherubim were there to deliver God's people, or whoever trusted in Him.

Jeremiah 48:10 Cursed is he who does the work of Yahweh negligently; and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood-
If Babylon was negligent in judging Moab, they would be cursed.

Jeremiah 48:11 Moab has been at ease from his youth, and he has settled on his lees, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither has he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remains in him, and his scent is not changed-
The idea therefore is that by Moab going into captivity, their scent and taste would change; in other words, they would repent. The same figure is used of how the captivity of Judah was likewise to bring about their repentance (Zeph. 1:12). This was in view throughout all these judgments, that the nations around Israel would repent. We are baptized into the Name of Jesus, and bear that Name in the eyes of men. The Hebrew concept of a name meant really a renown, an understanding of the person. The Bride comments that “thy name is as ointment poured forth” (Song 1:3), likening the name to the smell of perfume. The “scent” of a nation is likewise their reputation, the message they give out (Jer. 48:11; Hos. 14:7). We are the savour of Christ (2 Cor. 2:16), we bear His Name, and therefore anyone carrying the Name is thereby a witness to Him.

Jeremiah 48:12 Therefore behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will send to him those who pour off, and they shall pour him off; and they shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles in pieces-
There was to be no possibility for Moab to return to their former taste and scent (:11); the bottles of wine themselves would be broken. Yet this was all because God wanted them to radically change.

Jeremiah 48:13 Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence-
The idol cult at Bethel was used by Judah too (Am. 5:5). Israel's repentance and restoration was to signal that of the surrounding nations like Moab (see on :11). But they sadly failed. Clearly enough, God’s ideal intention even in Old Testament times was for the Gentiles to respond to the Hope of Israel. The aim of God’s judgments upon Moab were so that they might be ashamed of their idols, and that their “flavour” might be changed to be more pleasing to Israel’s God (:11); see on :28.

Jeremiah 48:14 How do you say, We are mighty men, and valiant men for the war?-
The present tense is used; they at that time were confident in their own strength, but the Divine word of judgment was as good as fulfilled, so that :15 also uses the present tense in saying that "Moab is laid waste".

Jeremiah 48:15 Moab is laid waste, and they are gone up into his cities, and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter, says the King, whose name is Yahweh of Armies-
These titles are in contrast to Chemosh, god of Moab, which means ' the powerful / subduing one'.

Jeremiah 48:16 The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hurries fast-
This is a quotation from Dt. 32:35 about the judgments of Israel (Dt. 32:36). As suggested on :18, it is the Jews in Moab who are being addressed here.

Jeremiah 48:17 All you who are around him, bemoan him; all you who know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, the beautiful rod!-
It would be Judah who particularly lamented the breaking of the strength of Moab, because she was one of the nations Judah trusted in against the Babylonians. We note how 'knowing his name' means to have trusted and understood Moab based upon his history and characteristics; and likewise to know Yahweh's Name is far more than simply knowing the word "Yahweh".

Jeremiah 48:18 You daughter who dwells in Dibon, come down from your glory, and sit in thirst; for the destroyer of Moab has come up against you, he has destroyed your strongholds-
The daughter who dwelt in Egypt referred to the Jews who had fled there for salvation from the Babylonians; see on Jer. 46:19,24. Perhaps some had fled to Moab and been accepted there (from the time of Is. 16:4), and were confident that Babylonian judgment could never reach them. But the Babylonian destroyer of Moab would also come to them there. See on :20,22,23.

Jeremiah 48:19 Inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and watch: ask him who flees, and her who escapes; say, What has been done?-
This town was Moab's great pride; Mesha records on the “Moabite stone” that he “built (i.e. restored) the city".

Jeremiah 48:20 Moab is disappointed; for it is broken down: wail and cry; tell it by the Arnon, that Moab is laid waste-
"Disappointed" is a concept more relevant to the Jews being disappointed in their trust in Moab, just as those who lived in Egypt had been of their trust upon Egypt (Jer. 46:24). The Jews who had fled to Moab would likewise be disappointed (see on :18).

Jeremiah 48:21 Judgement has come on the plain country, on Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath-
These last two were priestly cities (Josh. 21:36,37). Israel had allowed these priestly cities to be lost to Moab, and thereby had decreased the accessibility of salvation intended for them. We can do the same in essence.

Jeremiah 48:22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth Diblathaim-
"House of two figs". The Hebrew name may have been carried over by the Moabites from its original Israelite name; or perhaps the Jews living there gave it this name. See on :18.

Jeremiah 48:23 Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul, Beth Meon-
The Moabites called the latter town Beth Baal Meon (Josh. 13:17), and it is noted like that on the Moabite stone. The absence of "Baal" could suggest that this was a town taken over by Jews who had emigrated there; see on :18.

Jeremiah 48:24 Kerioth, Bozrah, and on all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near-
Kerioth could be another name for Ar (Num. 21:28; Am. 2:2). Bozrah is likely the Bezer of Dt. 4:43; Josh. 20:8; 21:36.

Jeremiah 48:25 The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, says Yahweh-
This was the judgment to happen to Israel (Lam. 2:3; Am. 3:14). Again we see a similarity in the judgments, because it was the same Divine hand trying to also elicit repentance in Moab as well as Israel.

Jeremiah 48:26 Make him drunken; for he magnified himself against Yahweh: and Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision-
See on :42. This may be an invitation to Jeremiah to again take a cup of wine to Moab (Jer. 25:15). Moab need not have drunk this cup of judgment, had they submitted to Babylon and repented before Yahweh. As Moab derided Israel, so they would be (:27). Again we see the eternal truth- that how we treat God's people is the basis for our eternal blessing or condemnation.

Jeremiah 48:27 For wasn’t Israel a derision to you? Was he found among thieves? For as often as you speak of him, you shake your head-
Israel were indeed as caught thieves (Jer. 2:26), who were to be despised. The Lord’s Bible mind would have found some sort of encouragement from those who mocked Him. For the Lord was so clearly bearing the judgment of Israel’s sins: “All who pass along the way clap their hands at you: they hiss and wag their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem" (Lam. 2:15). And note too Jer. 48:27 (LXX 31:27): “Is Israel a laughing stock? Was she caught between thieves that you wag your head?". This was exactly the Lord’s position, between thieves, and mocked- but by Israel. These prophecies imply it was the Gentiles who would mock Israel; thus by treating the Lord as they did, they declared themselves to be no longer God’s people but Gentiles.

Jeremiah 48:28 You inhabitants of Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock; and be like the dove that makes her nest over the mouth of the abyss-
They were intended to hide themselves in the rocks in repentance and be ashamed of their idols, just as Judah were to (Jer. 48:11,13,28 cp. Is. 2:19-21). Israel were to be the light to the Gentile world around them, the righteous servant who showed light to the Gentiles; their repentance and restoration was to signal that of the surrounding nations (see on :11). But they sadly failed.

Jeremiah 48:29 We have heard of the pride of Moab. He is very proud; his loftiness, and his pride, and his arrogance, and the highness of his heart-
This is the ultimate reason for all condemnation. The pride of Moab is lamented also in Is. 25:11; Zeph. 2:8-10. This seems to be an expansion upon the prophecy of Is. 16:6.

Jeremiah 48:30 I know his wrath, says Yahweh, that it is nothing; his boastings have worked nothing-
All external bravado and appearance is seen through by God; and we should also not find it attractive. Judah had found the bravado of Moab so attractive.

Jeremiah 48:31 Therefore will I wail for Moab; yes, I will cry out for all Moab: for the men of Kir Heres shall they mourn-
Isaiah’s love for the Gentiles whom he condemned (see on Is. 16:7) inspired Jeremiah to adopt the same attitude (Jer. 48:20,31-34); he too howled for those whose howling in condemnation he prophesied (Jer. 48:31 s.w.). As Moab cried out like a three year old heifer (Jer. 48:34), so did Isaiah for them (Is. 15:5). All this was done by Isaiah and Jeremiah, knowing that Moab hated Israel (Is. 25:10) and were evidently worthy of God’s condemnation. But all the same they loved them, in the spirit of Noah witnessing to the mocking world around him. Our knowledge of this world’s future means that as we walk the streets and mix with men and women, our heart should cry out for them, no matter how they behave towards us, and there should be a deep seated desire for at least some of them to come to repentance and thereby avoid the judgments to come. Particularly is this true, surely, of the people and land of Israel. It ought to be impossible for us to walk its streets or meet its people without at least desiring to give them a leaflet or say at least something to try to help them see what lies ahead.

Jeremiah 48:32 With more than the weeping of Jazer will I weep for you, vine of Sibmah: your branches passed over the sea, they reached even to the sea of Jazer: on your summer fruits and on your vintage the destroyer is fallen-
The "I" who is lamenting is God through Jeremiah. It is hard to lament the fall of the arrogant and abusive; but all the same, we see here the lament for the loss of every human being by God and His prophet.

Jeremiah 48:33 Gladness and joy is taken away from the fruitful field and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to cease from the wine presses: none shall tread with shouting; the shouting shall be no shouting-
The Hebrew noun is used for both the joyous shout of the grape-treaders and for a battle-cry. The removal of the blessing of joy and  wine recalls the covenant blessings being withdrawn from Israel for breaking the covenant; and again we suspect that it is the Jews living in Moab who are particularly in view (see on :18).

Jeremiah 48:34 From the cry of Heshbon even to Elealeh, even to Jahaz have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even to Horonaim, to Eglath Shelishiyah: for the waters of Nimrim also shall become desolate-
This is a condensed form of Is. 15:4-6. Isaiah's prophecies about Moab hadn't come true at his time, but now they had the possibility of coming true in Jeremiah's time. The final fulfilment of every prophetic word will be in the last days.

Jeremiah 48:35 Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, says Yahweh, him who offers in the high place, and him who burns incense to his gods-
The implication could be that it was particularly the idolaters who were to be destroyed. The prophets condemn Israel for having adopted the gods of the surrounding nations, so perhaps these idol worshippers are specifically the Jews who had gone to live there; see on :18.

Jeremiah 48:36 Therefore my heart sounds for Moab like pipes, and my heart sounds like pipes for the men of Kir Heres: therefore the abundance that he has gotten is perished-
This appears to be the interjection of Jeremiah for Moab. He really believed that what he was saying was going to happen to them, and his heart bled for them. See on 31.

Jeremiah 48:37 For every head is bald, and every beard clipped: on all the hands are cuttings, and on the waist sackcloth-
This is a repeat of Is. 15:2. Such signs of mourning were forbidden to Israelites (Lev. 19:27; 21:5). But it seems that those mourning in Moab were Israelites who had taken refuge there, as they thought, from God's judgments through the Babylonians (see on :18). So the idea may be that they had become so identified with Moab that they acted as they did, and thus broke their covenant with Yahweh.

Jeremiah 48:38 On all the housetops of Moab and in its streets there is lamentation every where; for I have broken Moab like a vessel in which none delights, says Yahweh-
Housetops and streets were where idols were worshipped; earlier Jeremiah has lamented that Jerusalem's streets and roofs were full of such idolatry. Moab was no better, and would suffer the same judgment. Moab was now going to be a vessel in which nobody delighted- including the Jews who had fled there for refuge.

Jeremiah 48:39 How it is broken down! How they wail! How Moab has turned the back with shame! So shall Moab become a derision and a terror to all who are around him-
The same kind of language is used about the condemnation of Moab as is used for that of Judah. The idea is that they were intended to repent together, so that the revived kingdom of God in Israel would be populated by the repentant, surrounding nations too.

Jeremiah 48:40 For thus says Yahweh: Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread out his wings against Moab-
Just as Babylon came as an eagle against Judah, so it would against Moab (Jer. 4:13; Dt. 28:49). There was to be no avoiding Divine judgment. The wings of the cherubim were there for Israel's protection; but they had spurned them, and instead run to Moab for help (see on :18).

Jeremiah 48:41 Kerioth is taken, and the strongholds are seized, and the heart of the mighty men of Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs-
Again the metaphor has hope of a new birth out of this calamity. The Divine hope was that Moab along with Israel would repent and form a reborn people in the restored Kingdom of God in Israel.

Jeremiah 48:42 Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he has magnified himself against Yahweh-
It is the Name of Yahweh which is to be magnified because of His special love for Israel (s.w. 2 Sam. 7:26), and therefore magnifying themselves against God's people was magnifying themselves against Yahweh (Zeph. 2:10). Any magnification of self against God's people is therefore a revolt against Yahweh and all that is implicit in His Name. We can do this, by magnifying our own desires and needs above those of His collective people.

Jeremiah 48:43 Fear, the pit and the snare are upon you, inhabitant of Moab, says Yahweh-
Their relationship with Babylon would be a "snare" in that they united with them and were then destroyed by them.

Jeremiah 48:44 He who flees from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he who gets up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring on him, even on Moab, the year of their visitation, says Yahweh-
Jer. 48:44; 49:5 describe condemnation as fear being brought upon people (as Job 3:25; Prov. 1:27), and Is. 24:18 and other passages speak of the condemned fleeing from “the noise of the fear”. “The fear” is almost a way of saying ‘the judgment of God’ (Lam. 3:47). The torment of the rejected will be their fear (1 Jn. 4:18). Psychologically, we need to get in touch with our own fears now, face our fears of condemnation eye to eye, and work through them- in repenting and coming to believe firmly in God’s gracious acceptance, living in the spirit of the true love which casts out fear. I know men and women who knew God and walked with the Lord, but now say ‘it means nothing to me’. They shrug when I nervously mention to them the reality of judgment to come- and I’m not very bold at bringing the conversations around to that issue, because it is just so fearsome and of such magnitude. They tell me that they’re indifferent. But somewhere deep within them, no matter what good actors they are before the stage of our human eyes, there has to be a deep and awful fear. And it is that fear which will be revealed and which will grip them in that final day. Perhaps the greatest mental torment of the rejected will be realizing how they could have been in the Kingdom of God; they will then perceive how great was the potential which they had had in the brief years of their mortality.

Jeremiah 48:45 Those who fled stand without strength under the shadow of Heshbon; for a fire is gone forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and has devoured the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones-
This quotes from the prophecies against Moab in Num. 21:28; 24:17. The final fulfilment of all the prophetic word will be at the last day, when the Lord Jesus as the "star out of Jacob" will destroy the latter day equivalent of Moab, and any Jews who have taken refuge with her.

Jeremiah 48:46 Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh is undone; for your sons are taken away captive, and your daughters into captivity-
This is based on Num. 21:29. And yet Balaam's prophecies against Moab all have a latter day application. See on :47.

Jeremiah 48:47 Yet will I revive the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, says Yahweh. Thus far is the judgement of Moab
- They too were intended to participate in the peace to come upon the entire eretz promised to Abraham. It was God's intention to restore not just Israel, but all the peoples within the land, many of whom were in fact relatives of Abraham. The final fulfilment of these prophecies will be in the last day.