New European Version: Old Testament

Deeper commentary on this chapter

Audio talks on this chapter:


Video presentations on this chapter:


Other material relevant to this chapter:


Hear this chapter read:



About | PDFs | Mobile formats | Word formats | Other languages | Contact Us | What is the Gospel? | Support the work | Carelinks Ministries | | The Real Christ | The Real Devil | "Bible Companion" Daily Bible reading plan

CHAPTER 48 Aug. 26 
God's Message for Moab
Of Moab. Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Woe to Nebo! for it is laid waste; Kiriathaim is disappointed, it is taken; Misgab is put to shame and broken down. 2The 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. 3The sound of a cry from Horonaim, desolation and great destruction! 4Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard. 5For 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. 6Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness. 7For 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. 8The 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. 9May 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. 10Cursed is he who does the work of Yahweh negligently; and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood. 11Moab 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. 12Therefore 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. 13Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence. 14How do you say, We are mighty men, and valiant men for the war? 15Moab 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. 16The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hurries fast. 17All you who are around him, bemoan him; all you who know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, the beautiful rod! 18You 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. 19Inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and watch: ask him who flees, and her who escapes; say, What has been done? 20Moab is disappointed; for it is broken down: wail and cry; tell it by the Arnon, that Moab is laid waste. 21Judgement has come on the plain country, on Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22Dibon, Nebo, Beth Diblathaim, 23Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul, Beth Meon, 24Kerioth, Bozrah, and on all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near.
The Humbling of Moab
25The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, says Yahweh. 26Make him drunken; for he magnified himself against Yahweh: and Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. 27For wasn’t Israel a derision to you? Was he found among thieves? For as often as you speak of him, you shake your head. 28You 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. 29We 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. 30I know his wrath, says Yahweh, that it is nothing; his boastings have worked nothing. 31Therefore will I wail for Moab; yes, I will cry out for all Moab: for the men of Kir Heres shall they mourn. 32With 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. 33Gladness 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. 34From 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. 35Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, says Yahweh, him who offers in the high place, and him who burns incense to his gods. 36Therefore 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. 37For every head is bald, and every beard clipped: on all the hands are cuttings, and on the waist sackcloth. 38On 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. 39How 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. 40For thus says Yahweh: Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread out his wings against Moab. 41Kerioth 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. 42Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he has magnified himself against Yahweh. 43Fear, the pit and the snare are upon you, inhabitant of Moab, says Yahweh. 44He 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. 45Those 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. 46Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh is undone; for your sons are taken away captive, and your daughters into captivity. 47Yet will I revive the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, says Yahweh. Thus far is the judgement of  Moab.


48:6 It appears that God was even concerned saving some of Gentile Moab, who had been so aggressive to His beloved people. He gave them the same choice as He did to Judah- if they believed that Babylon really would take their land, then they should act appropriately. But just as leaders madly cling on to power, so people more than anything else want to retain their existing lifestyle and environment; we are all so conservative by nature, as Jesus recognized in His parable of Lk. 5:39. The old must continue at all costs, we think; whereas God’s word demands of us a counter-instinctive and radical change. This theme continues in :11, where we read of Moab as wine which has settled for too long. 
48:9 It really was God’s will that even Moab be obedient; or perhaps this was Jeremiah’s interjection, as he too wished that Moab would flee their land and thereby escape death at the hand of the Babylonians. There was no gloating over the fact that Israel’s historical enemy was also to suffer, just as believers shouldn’t get caught up in feelings of national aggression against another race; rather did God and Jeremiah reveal a true perception of the value of the human person, and therefore a desire that they should repent.
48:13 The intended purpose of the judgment upon Moab was so that they would quit their allegiance to Chemosh their god. In those days, a people couldn’t exist without a national god, and in any case, there is within all humans a basic desire to worship at least something. The implication seems to be that if they quit Chemosh, then they would adopt Yahweh as their national God.
48:31 Therefore will I wail for Moab- Moab was to weep for her own destruction (:20), but Jeremiah was so identified with them that he felt their future pain and desolation, and wept with them ahead of time. This was how sure Jeremiah was that these prophetic words he preached would come true. He didn’t just relay them to the world as a duty, as merely a messenger. He identified with his audience and felt for them. This is our pattern in preaching. We must ask whether we have a heart that bleeds for this world, whether we have ever wept tears for the people we preach to and for the world around us which is fast heading to destruction.
48:36 Therefore my heart sounds for Moab- The preceding verses are clearly God Himself speaking. Both His and Jeremiah’s heart [see on :31] groaned for Moab, the continual enemy of God’s people. God weeps for the arrogant, for the condemned, for His enemies (:42). We who at times fear His judgment of us should remember this; ultimately His love and desire to save is very great, and we unlike Moab have openly shown in baptism, daily prayer and the life of faith that we do indeed want to be saved.
48:47 The latter day blessing of Moab will be when Christ returns and all Israel’s angry neighbours finally humble themselves and accept the God of Israel. So many prophecies of their judgment end with this prospect in view. The destruction of the wicked is but part of God’s greater plan to bring people from all nations to Him and the eternal blessing of His Kingdom on earth.