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A message concerning Moab (48:1-47)
Moab was one nation that tried to form an alliance with Judah against Babylon (see 27:1-3). Moab will now suffer Babylon’s anger. Jeremiah pictures the scene: the land devastated, fortresses smashed, cities destroyed, people crying out in distress, refugees fleeing from the invading armies (48:1-6).
Chemosh, Moab’s national god, cannot save the nation. Rather, it will be taken into captivity along with Moab’s civil and religious leaders. The towns of Moab will be left desolate (7-9). In destroying Moab, the Babylonians are executing God’s work of judgment. Therefore, they must carry that work out to its completion (10).
Because its people had not previously been taken into exile, Moab is likened to wine that is allowed to sit in a jar undisturbed. But now, because its people are to be taken captive to Babylon, it is likened to wine that is to be emptied out of its jar (11-12). The Moabites will lose trust in their god who has proved powerless to save them (13). The best of Moab’s soldiers will be killed in the dreadful slaughter, and there will be widespread mourning over the shattered nation (14-17).
People throughout Moab will be shocked to hear how the nation’s defences have been ruined. The proud nation will be disgraced (18-20), the mighty nation broken, as God’s judgment spreads from one Moabite city to the next (21-25).
The people of Moab once despised and mocked Israel and Judah, but now they will be despised and mocked themselves. They will drink God’s wrath till they are drunk and vomit (26-27). Once proud and arrogant, the Moabites will now be forced to flee in shame to look for refuge in the caves and dens of the mountains (28-30). Jeremiah even feels pity for them, as he sees their widespread power broken, their crops destroyed, their country ruined (31-36). The people shave their heads, cut their flesh and put on sackcloth as signs of their mourning, but it is too late. Moab is finished. It is like a broken pot that is thrown on the rubbish heap (37-39).
In a final declaration of Moab’s destruction, the prophet pictures Babylon swooping down on Moab as an eagle swoops down on its prey (40-43). No matter which way they turn, there will be no escape for those on whom God’s judgment falls (44). Moab’s chief cities will be burnt and its people taken captive (45-46; cf. Numbers 21:28-29). Yet God, in his mercy, will again preserve a remnant (47).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 48". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30