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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Isaiah 15

 

 

Verses 1-9

1. Burden] see on Isaiah 13:1. Because.. night] RV 'For in a night.' Ar of Moab] i.e. city of Moab. The capital (Numbers 22:36; Joshua 13:16) is doubtless meant. The places referred to in the chapter are in Moabite territory. Silence] RV 'nought.' Kir] probably Kerak, a fortress on the Dead Sea.

2. He is gone, etc.] i.e. the Moabite people. Bajith] 'the house,' i.e. the temple of the Moabite deity, Chemosh. Dibon] here the Moabite Stone, with inscription by king Mesha (2 Kings 3:4), was found in 1869. Nebo] not the mountain (Deuteronomy 34:1), but a Moabite city in its vicinity, thought to be called after the deity of the same name. Baldness, etc.] in token of mourning. Heshbon, Elealeh] neighbouring hill-towns of Moab.

4. His life, etc.] RV 'his soul trembleth within him.'

5. Fugitives] RV 'her nobles.' An heifer of three years old] i.e. not broken in: implying that the place was hitherto impregnable. Places are thus sometimes compared to animals (Jeremiah 46:20; Hosea 4:16; Hosea 10:11). Most modern scholars, however, understand the words as a proper name 'to Eglath-shelishiyah '(RV). Mounting up] RV 'ascent': the prophet sees the ascent of Luhith crowded with weeping fugitives.

6. Shall be desolate] because they have been stopped at the source (2 Kings 3:19, 2 Kings 3:25). Hay.. grass] RV 'grass.. tender grass.'

7. The brook of the willows] Evidently mentioned as the boundary of the land and generally identified with the brook Zered (Numbers 21:2; Deuteronomy 2:13). The fugitives are pictured as carrying their possessions to the border for safety.

8. The cry] i.e. of destruction (Isaiah 15:5). No part of the land escapes.

9. The waters of Dimon] i.e. the Axnon. Dimon is probably a symbolical variation for Dibon, adopted because the sound of it suggests blood (dam). Lions] perhaps to be understood literally (2 Kings 17:25), or it may stand metaphorically for invading foes: Jeremiah 4:7; Jeremiah 5:6.


Verses 1-14


Moab's Calamity and the Way of Escape

This section consists of two parts: (a) Isaiah 15:1;—Isaiah 16:12, a prophecy announcing that a great disaster is about to fall upon Moab, and (b) Isaiah 16:13-14, a short appendix in which Isaiah affirms the speedy fulfilment of the foregoing prophecy. The first part is not necessarily by Isaiah, and may have been uttered earlier than his time; much of it is also quoted by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 48:1-47). Cp. Isaiah 2:2-4, where there is reason to suppose that an earlier prophecy has been used by both Isaiah and Micah. The Moabites inhabited the elevated land E. of the Dead Sea, and though a people. related by blood to Israel, the mutual relations of the two nations were hostile from the time of Saul onwards. Saul fought against them (1 Samuel 14:47), and David overcame them (2 Samuel 8:2). Ahab oppressed them and exacted tribute (2 Kings 3:4, confirmed by king Mesha of Moab in the inscription known as the Moabite Stone); but after his death the Moabites threw off the Israelite yoke (2 Kings 1:1; 2 Kings 3:5, Moabite Stone), and Jehoram's efforts to maintain his authority over them were ineffectual (2 Kings 3:6-27). The exact date of the prophecy is uncertain, but the enemy who will inflict the coming calamity upon Moab is the Assyrian king, either Sargon or Sennacherib, referred to, perhaps, in Isaiah 15:9 under the figure of a lion.

Isaiah 15:1-9. Calamity is imminent for Moab; the terror and flight of her people.

Isaiah 16:1-5. A condition of safety indicated. Let Moab acknowledge the suzerainty of Judah (Isaiah 15:1-3); Zion will shelter her fugitives (4), for to Zion the promise of the Messianic king has been given (5).

6-12. Moab's proud spirit prevents her from accepting the condition. Desolation therefore awaits her land.

13, 14. The above prophecy had been delivered at an earlier period. Isaiah affirms that it shall speedily be fulfilled.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 15:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/isaiah-15.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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