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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 48

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-10



Moab lay East of the Dead Sea - a rich, elevated plateau wherein Reuben and Gad were first granted an inheritance. The Moabites ("father’s progeny") were descendants of Lot through a drunken, incestuous relationship with his oldest daughter, (Genesis 19:37).

Many of the men of Israel were beguiled Into idolatry by the women of Moab, just before the crossing of the Jordan to possess the Land of Promise, (Numbers 25:1-3) - from which time there was an intermittent warfare between the two peoples, (Judges 3:12-30; 1 Samuel 14:47). David eventually made the Moabites tributaries to Israel, (2 Samuel 8:2; 2 Samuel 8:12).

Conquered by both Assyrla and Babylon, Moab managed to maintain her identity and regain her independence. A number of Old Testament prophecies speak of Moab as being under judgment, (Isaiah 15-16; Isaiah 25:10; Jeremiah 9:26; Jeremiah 25:21; Jeremiah 27:3; Ezekiel 25:8-11; Amos 2:1-3; Zephaniah 2:8-11).


1. Nebo was a city built by the Reubenites, (Numbers 32:3; Numbers 32:38); a woe is pronounced upon it, while spoiling, confusion and dismay describe what is foreseen for the high fortresses (Misgab) of the Moabites, (vs. 1).

2. The renown of Moab has passed: in Heshbon (13 miles East of the upper end of the Dead Sea, and the ancient capital of Sihon, king of the Amorites) a plan has been devised to cut her off from being a nation, (vs. 2a).

3. There appears to be a play on words in the latter part of verse 2 - "Madmen", in Hebrew, being somewhat associated with "daman", meaning "to be silent"; thus, Moab has been. brought to silence.

4. From one end of the country to the other there is a cup of spoiling and destruction, (vs. 3-5; Isaiah 15:5).

5. If any in Moab are to find deliverance, it must come through flight, and such isolation as is illustrated by the "heath" or "tamarisk" of the desert - stripped and desolate, (vs. 6-9, 28; comp. Jeremiah 51:6; Isaiah 16:2).

6. The sin of Moab was that of PRIDE and confidence in her wealth and great accomplishments, (vs. 7a, 29: Isaiah 59:4; comp. Jeremiah 9:23 -­24).

7. The spoiler (Babylon) will so overflow the land that none shall escape; Chemosh, the idol in whom Moab trusts, will go into captivity with his priests and princes, (vs. 7b-8; comp. Numbers 21:29; 1 Kings 11:7­-8, 33).

8. A curse is pronounced upon anyone who Is "negligent" In doing the Lord’s work, (vs. 10a; comp. 1 Samuel 15:3; 1 Samuel 15:9; 1 Kings 20:42); or who refuses to execute the judgment that He has commanded, (vs. 10b; comp. 1 Corinthians 5:5-13).

Verses 11-25


1. In this section Moab is referred to in the masculine gender; as sediment which accumulates at the bottom of the wine vat from which no wine is poured, he has become stale in his proud and haughty independence, (vs. 11; contr. Nahum 2:2).

2. Though Moab has had no trouble for many years, he will be emptied out (tilted, as a vessel) and smashed like a jar, (vs. 12); he will then be as ashamed of the impotency of Chemosh as the house of Israel had been of their two golden calves at Bethel, (vs. 13; comp. Isaiah 45:16; Hosea 8:5-6).

3. How utterly ridiculous for the Moabites to declare themselves heroic and gallant warriors! (vs. 14; comp. Isaiah 10:13-16; Psalms 33:16).

4. Jehovah, the King, and Lord of hosts, declares that the destroyer (Babylon) is come upon Moab and his cities; his chosen young men are seen as fallen in a great slaughter, (vs. 15; comp. Jeremiah 46:18; Jeremiah 50:27).

5. The calamity of Moab is near - it approaches speedily, (vs. 16).

6. Those whose security has been linked to Moab are called to mourning (comp. Jeremiah 9:17-20) because his "sceptre and staff" (symbolizing "strength and authority’s are broken, (vs. 17; comp. Isaiah 14:5).

7. Verses 18-24 describe the cry of humiliation, poverty, shame and destruction that is brought upon the populace of Moab by Babylon.

8. The horn (power, authority) of Moab is said to be sawed off -his arm broken, (vs. 25; comp. Psalms 75:10).

Verses 26-35


1. Moab Is to be made drunk (comp. Isaiah 16:10); not with wine, but by the terror of the Lord, his Antagonist, against whom he has lifted himself in pride, (vs. 26a; comp. Jeremiah 25:15-29).

2. Moab has held Israel 16 derision, as one caught among thieves; so will he now be mocked as he helplessly wallows about in his own vomit (vs. 26b-27; comp. Proverbs 26:11; Micah 7:8-10).

3. The chief cause of Moab’s downfall was his pride - his lofty, arrogant haughtiness of heart, his insolence and boasting against the Lord, (vs. 29-30; comp. Isaiah 16:6; Isaiah 25:11; Zephaniah 2:8-11).

a. So, the Christian must not boast in himself, (1 Corinthians 1:25­-30).

b. Avoiding the arrogance of pride (Mark 7:22; Romans 1:30; James 3:5), we must ever make our boast in the Lord and His redemptive work in our behalf, (Galatians 6:14).

4. His boasting silenced, a voice of weeping, howling and lamentation is raised for the whole land, (vs. 31-32; comp. Isaiah 15:5; Isaiah 16:7-11).

5. The voice of joy and gladness is no longer heard in the land -the "hurrah" of the vintagers treading the grapes in the wine presses will be silenced by the destruction of the vineyard! (vs. 33; Isaiah 16:10).

Verses 40-47


1. The Lord calls for observation: like an eagle, Nebuchadnezzar is about to swoop and spread his wings against Moab - taking Kerioth and seizing her fortresses, (vs. 40-41 a; comp. Jeremiah 49:22).

2. This will so demoralize the mighty men of Moab that they will be terrified - as the heart of a woman suddenly seized with birth-pangs, (vs. 41 b; comp. Isaiah 30:6; Micah 4:9-10).

3. Because he has magnified himself against the Lord, Moab will cease to be a nation, (vs. 42; 26; comp. Isaiah 37:23).

4. There is no escape from the terrors of divine judgment; the year of Moab’s punishment has come (vs. 43-44; comp. 1 Kings 19:17; Amos 5:19; Jeremiah 46:21).

5. The ancient prophecy of Baalam is coming to fulfillment, (vs. 45-46; comp. Numbers 21:28; Numbers 24:17).

6. Yet, even in His wrath, God is merciful toward Moab; in the latter days his fortunes will be restored, (vs. 47; comp. Jeremiah 12:14-17; Jeremiah 49:6; Jeremiah 49:39).

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 48". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-48.html. 1985.
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