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Monday, May 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 48

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-10

Jeremiah 48. Moab (the territory E. of the Dead Sea, from Wady Kerak in the S. to the neighbourhood of Heshbon in the N.). Many of the numerous places named in this prophecy will be found on G. A. Smith’ s map, though some of his identifications are disputable; others such as Misgah ( Jeremiah 48:1) are quite unknown. Much of this chapter is almost certainly later than Jeremiah, as it incorporates parts of Isaiah 15 f. (note mgg.) , an elegy apparently of the fifth century.

Jeremiah 48:1-10 . The spoiling of the cities of Moab, and the end of her glory (“ praise,” Jeremiah 48:2), are declared. The lamentation of the Moabites is described ( Jeremiah 48:5); they are told to flee like the wild ass (hard to capture; so with LXX, instead of “ heath” , Jeremiah 48:6). Moab’ s confidence in her strongholds (so LXX for “ treasures” ; omit “ in thy works and” ) is misplaced; Chemosh (the national god, identified with his people; cf. Isaiah 46:1 f.) is exiled. The destruction shall be general, both in the valley (where the Jordan widens out above the Dead Sea) and on the table-land ( Deuteronomy 3:10, mg.) ; Moab would need wings to escape it ( Jeremiah 48:9). The prophet incites to the slaughter with a curse.

Jeremiah 48:2 . Heshbon . . . Madmen: the Hebrew plays on these names.

Jeremiah 48:4 . her little ones: read with LXX and Isaiah 15:5, etc.; “ to Zoar”— SE. corner of the Dead Sea— (they make a cry to be heard).

Jeremiah 48:5 . Omit “ continual” , as in the parallel of mg., and “ the distress of” with LXX.

Jeremiah 48:9 . Render with Driver, “ for she would fain fly away” .

Verses 11-19

Jeremiah 48:11-19 . Moab, hitherto undisturbed, is compared with wine left standing on its sediment ( Isaiah 25:6), and retaining its flavour and scent ( i.e. being self-centred and undisciplined; cf. the “ pride” of Jeremiah 48:29). But now she is roughly handled, and the jars ( Jeremiah 48:12 mg. 2 ) broken. She “ shall be put to shame through” (the helplessness of) Chemosh (so render in Jeremiah 48:13), as Israel was through her false trust in the worship at Bethel ( Amos 5:5). In spite of her warriors, she is soon to be ravaged, and a dirge ( Jeremiah 48:17-19; in the characteristic metre of lamentation) is sung over her. Dibon is bidden to “ come down” from her lofty site, N. of the Arnon, between which and herself lies Aroer, in the way of fugitives (to the fords of the Arnon).

Jeremiah 48:17 . staff: for the figure, see Isaiah 14:5.

Verses 20-28

Jeremiah 48:20-28 . Enumeration of the cities which are to suffer ( Jeremiah 48:20-24). The strength of Moab is destroyed, and Moab is become drunken (with the cup of Yahweh, Jeremiah 25:15), an object of present derision, as Israel formerly was to Moab, when Israel was treated as a detected thief ( Jeremiah 2:26). Let the Moabites seek refuge like the dove in the inaccessible crannies of some ravine.

Jeremiah 48:20 ff. Several of these sites are unknown; Bozrah is not the Edomite city of Jeremiah 49:13.

Jeremiah 48:25 . horn: a figure of strength, drawn from the bull; cf. Psalms 75:10.

Jeremiah 48:26 . wallow: rather “ splash into” , but LXX has “ Moab has clapped his hands” , i.e. in derision of others.

Verses 29-39

Jeremiah 48:29-39 . Moab’ s pride is without foundation, doomed to a fall which the prophet laments; comparing the past glory with the far-reaching tendrils of a choice vine ( Jeremiah 48:32). There is no longer the joy of the ingathering; the shout of battle replaces that of the vintage ( Jeremiah 48:33). The beginning of Jeremiah 48:34 is corrupt and yields no sense, but the general meaning is that there shall be widespread ruin. The worship of the land is brought to an end ( Jeremiah 48:35). Hence the prophet’ s sorrow for Moab, a land filled with mourning ( Jeremiah 48:37; cf. Jeremiah 47:5).

Jeremiah 48:30 . Render (after “ Lord” ) with Driver, “ and his boastings are untruth; they do untruth” .

Jeremiah 48:32 . Omit “ more than” , and “ the sea of” , both with LXX.— spoiler: read “ battle-shout” , as in the source, Isaiah 16:9.

Jeremiah 48:33 . none shall tread with shouting: read with Isaiah 16:10, “ no treader shall tread” .

Jeremiah 48:35 . in the high place: involves a slight emendation, as is often the case with RV.

Jeremiah 48:36 . pipes: a flute-like instrument, specially used at funerals; cf. Matthew 9:23.

Jeremiah 48:37 . the loins: prefix “ all” , with LXX.

Verses 40-47

Jeremiah 40-47. The foe swoops down vulture-like ( Jeremiah 4:13) on Moab, destroyed because of pride against Yahweh. One disaster succeeds another in this time of punishment (“ visitation,” Jeremiah 11:23, Jeremiah 23:12), and there is no asylum to be found in Heshbon, for a destructive flame proceeds “ from the house of Sihon” (so read; cf. Numbers 21:26; Numbers 21:28) to destroy the temples of Moab’ s head. Moab goes into exile, but Yahweh will ultimately change her fortunes. The closing sentence ( Jeremiah 48:47) is an editorial note.

Jeremiah 48:40 f.: partly taken from Jeremiah 49:22.

Jeremiah 48:45 . Heshbon: the capital of Sihon, who captured it from Moab.— corner: i.e. of the head, Jeremiah 9:26.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 48". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/jeremiah-48.html. 1919.
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