Attention!
Partner with StudyLight.org as God uses us to make a difference for those displaced by Russia's war on Ukraine.
Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 48

Verses 1-47

  1. MOAB MEETS THEIR MAKER! (1-5)
    1. INTRO: This chapter(Moab) & the next(Ammon) have something in common Q: What is it? (Gen.19:30-38)
      1. Brothers?(sons of Lot); Cousins?(2 sisters boys)
    2. During the Babylonian crisis, Moab & Ammon were allies w/Judah in an ill-fated attempt to defeat Neb.(Jer.27:3)
      1. 20 different places are named here. (some we are not sure of exact locations). - The list shows Gods great detail when predicting future events.
      2. In 582bc Neb. did this destruction on Moab.
    3. Moab – High tableland, on far side of the Dead Sea.
      1. Jeremiah(Judah) had ties with Moab through Lot & Who?
        1. Ruth (Elimelech & Naomi).
      2. At times they were Israel’s bitter enemy.
      3. Their chief problems: Trusting in works & treasures(7); Complacency(11); their god Chemosh(13); exalting themselves against the Lord(26); Pride, loftiness, arrogance, & haughtiness of heart(29); wrath & idle talk(30); offering sacrifices & incense to his gods(35).
      4. They thought they were safe up on their high plateau. They thought “the mighty Chemosh” would protect them!
  2. TRUSTING IN TREASURES! (6-10)
    1. ​​​​​​​(7) – We’ll see Wealth & Treasures bred complacency not character!
    2. It is said that about 200 years ago, the tomb of the great conqueror Charlemagne was opened. The sight the workmen saw was startling. There was his body in a sitting position, clothed in the most elaborate of kingly garments, with a scepter in his bony hand. On his knee lay the Holy Scriptures, with a cold, lifeless finger pointing to Mark 8:36: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and loose his own soul?"
    3. I read about an old, rich man with a cranky, miserable attitude who visited a Rabbi. The Rabbi was a simple man whose heart was right and he lived a simple life. They weren't together very long before the Rabbi got a wonderful idea on how to illustrate to the man what was wrong. He took him by the hand and he led him over to his window and he said, "Now look out the window and tell me what you see." The man stood there and said, "WellI see some men and some women and I see a few children." The Rabbi took him by the hand and led him across the room to a mirror and said, "Now look there and tell me what you see." The man frowned and said, "Well obviously I see myself." "Interesting", the Rabbi replied. "In the window there is glass, in the mirror there is glass. But the glass of the mirror is covered with a little bit of silver. And no sooner is the silver added than you cease to see others, and only yourself."
      1. Q: Did your troubles start when just a little bit of silver was added, and you stopped looking through and started looking at?
    4. An old Puritan said, “If your rich, find God in all; if your poor find all in God!”
    5. Absalom was vain about his hair, therefore was he hanged by his hair. (Talmud) –
  3. BROKEN BOTTLES! (11-15)
    1. ​​​​​​​Read – vs.39 – “How she is broken!”
      1. We will look at: Broken Bottles; Broken Staff; Broken Arm; & a Broken Vessel.
      2. “Had Moab been broken before the Lord, she would not have been broken by the Lords!” (ww)
    2. (11) - Complete Complacency!
      1. This pictures Moab self-satisfied, feeling secure, like wine aging in a jar & becoming tastier.
      2. Wine was poured gently from the storage jar to serving jars so as not to disturb the dregs(impurities which settled on the bottom, also called lees[lez]).
      3. Watch out for Complacency! – “Undisturbed might be great for Wine but not for nations, nor for Christians!
        1. “Mellow & full bodied is the wrong excellence to aspire to!”
        2. Trials are good for us! Q: What’s God stirring up in your life?
        3. Epitaph written for himself, James Albery (1838-1889) He slept beneath the moon, He basked beneath the sun; He lived a life of going-to-do, And died with nothing done.
        4. Prov. 1:32 “the complacency of fools will destroy them;”
        5. Zeph. 1:12 “"And it shall come to pass at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And punish the men Who are settled in complacency, Who say in their heart, 'The LORD will not do good, Nor will He do evil.'”
        6. “It is better to wear out than to rust out.” - George Whitefield
        7. Adversity introduces a man to himself. – Let God shake you up. He tells us to Bear Fruit NOT Ferment!
        8. God often puts us in situations that are too much for us, so that we will learn that no situation is too much for him.
      4. Now, Babylon will violently shake up & break the Moab vessels!
    3. (12) – Babylon comes in & tips them over, & breaks their jars.
    4. (13) – Chemosh – “The destoryer, subdoer, or fishgod of the Moabites.
      1. This god was introduced to Israel by who in 1 Kings 11:7?
      2. 1 Kings 11:7,8 “Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon. And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.”
      3. Not much is known of his character except what is written on the Moabite Stone (found 1868, 3’9”long x2’4”wide x1’2”thick) which indicates he was a “savage war god.”
  4. BROKEN STAFF! (16-20)
    1. ​​​​​​​(17) - “How the strong staff is broken” – They once were mighty.
    2. (18-20) – A bunch of cities named.
  5. BROKEN ARM! (21-25)
    1. ​​​​​​​(25) – Horn & Arm both symbols of strength. - Yet Moab’s arm was broken & horn cut off (strength all gone).
  6. BROKEN VESSEL! (26-47)
    1. ​​​​​​​(26) – From fermenting wine, to drunk with wine.
      1. They were drunk from the cup that God gave her.
      2. And like someone at a drunken party, she was vomiting & wallowing in it. (there’s a picture!)
      3. Spurgeon said it well regarding drunkenness, “Drunkenness is the devil’s back door to hell & everything that is hellish. For he that once gives away his brains to drink is ready to be caught by Satan for anything.”
    2. (29) – Pride keeps an individual or a nation from listening to others & from responding to God.
      1. Moab was so proud and arrogant that they could strut sitting down!
      2. Many a bee has been drowned in his own honey.
      3. The guy who is riding a high horse is heading for a fall.
    3. (31) – “I will wail, I will cry, I will morn” – Jeremiah wept over there fall. Why? Like God Jeremiah had no pleasure in the death of the wicked.”
      1. Ezek 18:32 "For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn and live!"
    4. (36) – He laments like a flutist at a funeral. (Is.15:5,6 “my heart cries for moab…”)
    5. (38) – “I have broken Moab like a vessel in which is no pleasure” – A vessel cast aside by the potter as trash, it didn’t turn out the way he wanted it to. (JFB)
    6. (40) – The Babylonians are pictured as an Eagle swooping down on its prey. (see vs.28) Moab is described a little dove hiding in a cave wondering what will happen next.
      1. A dove is no match for an eagle!
    7. (44-46) – No Escape! – Flee from the army, & you’ll fall into a pit. Climb out of the pit, & you’ll be caught in a trap. Escape the trap, & you’ll be engulfed in a fire. Escape the fire, & you’ll be captured & taken away to Babylon.”
      1. Sinners, no place to hide when God begins to judge.
    8. (47) – “Yet” – Restoration in the future.
  7. End:
    1. Pride, arrogance, & haughtiness of heart was there downfall(29).
      1. ​​​​​​​The Talmud reads - If ever a man becomes proud, let him remember that a mosquito preceded him in the divine order of creation.
    2. Let me give you the history of pride in three small chapters.
      The beginning of pride was in heaven. The continuance of pride is on earth.
      The end of pride is in hell.
      This history shows how unprofitable it is. - Richard Newton
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 48". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-48.html. 2017.