LOWTH thinks it was delivered in the first years
of Hezekiah's reign and
fulfilled in the fourth when Shalmaneser, on his way to invade Israel,
may have seized on the strongholds of Moab. Moab probably had made
common cause with Israel and Syria in a league against Assyria. Hence
it incurred the vengeance of Assyria. Jeremiah has introduced much of
this prophecy into his
1. Because--rather, "Surely"; literally, "(I affirm) that"
night--the time best suited for a hostile incursion
Ar--meaning in Hebrew, "the city"; the metropolis of Moab, on the
south of the river Arnon.
Kir--literally, "a citadel"; not far from Ar, towards the south.
Bajith--rather, "to the temple" [MAURER];
answering to the
in a similar context.
to Dibon--Rather, as Dibon was in a plain north of the Arnon,
"Dibon (is gone up) to the high places," the usual places of sacrifice
in the East. Same town as Dimon
to weep--at the sudden calamity.
over Nebo--rather "in Nebo"; not "on account of" Nebo (compare
[MAURER]. The town Nebo was adjacent to the
mountain, not far from the northern shore of the Dead Sea. There it was
that Chemosh, the idol of Moab, was worshipped (compare
Medeba--south of Heshbon, on a hill east of Jordan.
baldness . . . beard cut off--The Orientals regarded the beard with
peculiar veneration. To cut one's beard off is the greatest mark of
sorrow and mortification (compare
3. tops of . . . houses--flat; places of resort for prayer, &c., in
weeping abundantly--"melting away in tears."
"descending to weep." Thus there is a "parallelism by alternate
construction" [LOWTH], or
chiasmus; "howl" refers to "tops of
houses." "Descending to weep" to "streets" or squares, whither they
descend from the housetops.
4. Heshbon--an Amorite city, twenty miles east of Jordan; taken by
Moab after the carrying away of Israel (compare
Elealeh--near Heshbon, in Reuben.
Jahaz--east of Jordan, in Reuben. Near it Moses defeated Sihon.
therefore--because of the sudden overthrow of their cities. Even the
armed men, instead of fighting in defense of their land, shall join in
the general cry.
life, &c.--rather, "his soul is grieved"
5. My--The prophet himself is moved with pity for Moab. Ministers,
in denouncing the wrath of God against sinners, should do it with tender
sorrow, not with exultation.
fugitives--fleeing from Moab, wander as far as to Zoar, on the
extreme boundary south of the Dead Sea. HORSLEY
translates, "her nobility," or "rulers"
heifer, &c.--that is, raising their voices "like a heifer" (compare
Jer 48:34, 36).
The expression "three years old," implies one at its full vigor
as yet not brought under the yoke; as Moab heretofore unsubdued, but
now about to be broken. So
MAURER translates, "Eglath" (in English
Version, "a heifer") Shelishijah (that is, the third,
to distinguish it from two others of the same name).
by the mounting up--up the ascent.
Luhith--a mountain in Moab.
Horonaim--a town of Moab not far from Zoar
It means "the two poles," being near caves.
cry of destruction--a cry appropriate to the destruction which visits
6. For--the cause of their flight southwards
(2Ki 3:19, 25).
"For" the northern regions and even the city Nimrim (the very name of
which means "limpid waters," in Gilead near Jordan) are without water
7. Therefore--because of the devastation of the land.
abundance--literally, "that which is over and above" the necessaries
brook of . . . willows--The fugitives flee from Nimrim, where the
waters have failed, to places better watered. Margin has "valley of
Arabians"; that is, to the valley on the boundary between them and
Arabia-Petræa; now Wady-el Arabah. "Arabia" means a "desert."
En-eglaim. Not the Agalum of EUSEBIUS,
eight miles from Areopolis towards the south; the context requires a
town on the very borders of Moab or beyond them.
Beer-elim--literally, "the well of the Princes"--(so
Beyond the east borders of Moab.
9. Dimon--same as Dibon
Its waters are the Arnon.
full of blood--The slain of Moab shall be so many.
bring more--fresh calamities, namely, the "lions" afterwards mentioned
Jer 5:6; 15:3).
VITRINGA understands Nebuchadnezzar as meant by
"the lion"; but it is plural, "lions." The "more," or in
Hebrew, "additions," he explains of the addition made to the
waters of Dimon by the streams of blood of the slain.