Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Numbers 21:29

"Woe to you, O Moab! You are ruined, O people of Chemosh! He has given his sons as fugitives, And his daughters into captivity, To an Amorite king, Sihon.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Amorites;   Ar;   Heshbon;   Israel;   Moabites;   Sihon;   Song;   Thompson Chain Reference - Chemosh;   False;   Gods, False;   Idolatry;   Images;   Worship, False;   Worship, True and False;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Amorites, the;   Desert, Journey of Israel through the;   Idolatry;   Moabites;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ammonites;   Amorites;   Chemosh;   Poetry of the Hebrews;   Serpents;   Sihon;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Canaan;   Curse;   Reuben;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Chemosh;   Moabite;   Sihon;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ammon;   Amorite (the);   Ar;   Chemosh;   Jasher;   Jephthah;   Medeba;   Moab;   Moloch;   Numbers, the Book of;   Sihon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Amorites;   Book(s);   Chemosh;   Conquest of Canaan;   Dibon;   Gods, Pagan;   Heshbon;   Moab and the Moabite Stone;   Pentateuch;   Poetry;   Reba;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Chemosh;   Israel;   Jephthah;   Medeba;   Moab, Moabites;   Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Wars of the Lord, Book of the;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Chemosh ;   Heshbon ;   Moab, Moabites ;   Sihon ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Mount hor;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ar;   Chemosh;   Sihon;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Che'mosh;   Mo'ses;   Si'hon;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Chemosh;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - On to Canaan;   Moses, the Man of God;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ammon;   Amorites;   Chemosh;   Demon;   God;   Moab;   Moses;   Numbers, Book of;   Proverb;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Chemosh;   Dibon;   Moab;   Moabite Stone;   Monotheism;   Poetry;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Chemosh - The national God of the Moabites (compare the marginal references). The name probably means “Vanquisher,” or “Master.” The worship of Chemosh was introduced into Israel by Solomon 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13. It was no doubt to Chemosh that Mesha, king of Moab, offered up his son as a burnt-offering 2 Kings 3:26-27.

In the first six lines Numbers 21:27-28 the poet imagines for the Amorites a song of exultation for their victories over Moab, and for the consequent glories of Heshbon, their own capital. In the next lines Numbers 21:29 he himself joins in this strain; which now becomes one of half-real, half-ironical compassion for the Moabites, whom their idol Chemosh was unable to save. But in the last lines Numbers 21:30 a startling change takes place; the new and decisive triumph of the poet‘s own countrymen is abruptly introduced; and the boastings of the Arnorites fade utterly away. Of the towns Heshbon was the northernmost, and therefore, to the advancing Israelites, the last to be reached. Medeba, now Madeba, was four miles south of Heshbon (compare 1 Chronicles 19:7, 1 Chronicles 19:15).

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/numbers-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone,.... The whole country ruined, or likely to be so:

O people of Chemosh; which was the name of their idol, who is called the abomination of the Moabites, 1 Kings 11:7,

he hath given his sons that escaped; that is, the idol Chemosh had given his sons, the men of the country that worshipped him, who escaped the sword of the Amorites, these:

and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites; who took captive what he slew not, or would do so, Chemosh their god not being able to preserve them, but obliged to deliver them up: thus the composers of this song insult the god of the Moabites, as it was usual for conquerors so to do; see Isaiah 10:10, though some think these are the words of the Israelites, making their observations upon the above song, which ends at verse twenty eight, and scoffing at the idol of the Moabites.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/numbers-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of m Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites.

(m) Chemosh was the idol of the Moabites, (1 Kings 11:33) who was not able to defend his worshippers, who took the idol for their father.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/numbers-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

people of Chemosh — the name of the Moabite idol (1 Kings 11:7-33; 2 Kings 23:13; Jeremiah 48:46).

he — that is, their god, hath surrendered his worshippers to the victorious arms of Sihon.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/numbers-21.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites.

People of Chemosh — The worshippers of Chemosh: so the God of the Moabites was called. He, that is, their God, hath delivered up his own people to his and their enemies; nor could he secure even those that had escaped the sword, but suffered them to be carried into captivity. The words of this and the following verse seem to be not a part of that triumphant song made, by some Amoritish poet, which seems to be concluded, Numbers 21:28, but of the Israelites making their observation upon it. And here they scoff at the impotency not only of the Moabites, but of their God also, who could not save his people from the sword of Sihon and the Amorites.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/numbers-21.html. 1765.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Numbers 21:29. O people of Chemosh Here, in the poetical strain, he apostrophises the Moabites, who worshipped the God Chemosh, and are therefore called, the people of Chemosh, Judges 11:24. 1 Kings 11:7. Jeremiah 7:13. For it is at all times to be remembered, the better to understand the Scriptures, that every nation had peculiar gods, which were deemed their immediate guardians and protectors, and were accordingly worshipped by them with particular honours. Chemosh is thought by some to be another name for Baal-peor, whom the Israelites were afterwards enticed to worship in Shittim with obscene rites; see ch. xxv. Hence Milton, Par. Lost, book i. ver. 406.

Next Chemos, th' obscene dread of Moab's sons; Peor his other name, when he entic'd Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile, To do him wanton rites, which cost them woe.

Upon which place Bishop Newton observes, that St. Jerome, and several learned men, assert Chemos and Baal-peor to be only different names for the same idol, and suppose him to be the same with Priapus, or the idol of turpitude; and therefore called here th' obscene dread of Moab's sins; see 1 Kings 11:7. 2 Kings 23:13-14. Le Clerc takes Chemoth for the sun, deriving it from an Arabic word; and Dr. Hyde, in his Relig. Pers. deriving it also from an Arabic word, signifying gnats, supposes it to have been an astrological talisman, in the figure of a gnat, made to drive away those infects; but Parkhurst, much more rationally, deduces it from כמשׁ chamash, to be swift, active; and he supposes Chemos to have been an idol of the obscene or priapean kind, representative of the agency of light in the generation of men and animals. Hence, says he, the Greeks seem to have had their Κωμος, (called by the Romans Comus) the God of lascivious feasting; whence the verb κωμαζειν, and the Latin commessatio. These κωμοι, revellings, are expressly forbidden to Christians by the Apostle, Romans 13. κωμοις . Compare, Galatians 5:21. 1 Peter 4:3. Concerning Chemosh, the poet here goes on to say, He hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters into captivity, &c. i.e. Chemosh, their God, had abandoned his sons or votaries, and left them to be taken captive; thus insulting not only over the people, but over their God. The Moabites are called the sons of Chemosh, as the worshippers of the true God are styled the sons of the living God, Hosea 1:10. The prophet Jeremiah seems to have had his eye upon this passage in his 48th chap. 45th verse.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/numbers-21.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Alas, poor Moab! thou couldst not save thyself from Sihon’s sword.

People of Chemosh, i.e. the worshippers of Chemosh: so the god of the Moabites was called, 1 Kings 11:7,33 2 Kings 23:13 Jeremiah 48:46.

He, i.e. their god, hath delivered up his own people to his and their enemies; he could not defend them, but suffered many of them to be killed; nor could be secure even those that had escaped the sword, but suffered them to fall into their enemies’ hands, and by them to be carried into captivity.

Unto Sihon king of the Amorites. Now the words of this and the following verse seem to be not a part of that triumphant song or poem made, as I suppose, by some Amoritish bard or poet, which seems to be concluded, Numbers 21:28; but of the Israelites making their observation upon it. And here they scoff at the impotency not only of the Moabites, but of their god also, who could not save his people from the sword of Sihon and the Amorites.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/numbers-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

29.Chemosh was the chief god of the Moabites and of the Ammonites, akin to Milcom, Baal, and Moloch. He was both a war-god and a sun-god, being found in both these characters upon the coins of Areopolis, standing upon a column, with a sword in his right hand and a shield in his left, and with two blazing torches by his side. Children were sacrificed to him in times of great distress. 2 Kings 3:27.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/numbers-21.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Numbers 21:29. People of Chemosh — The worshippers of Chemosh; so the god of the Moabites was called. He — That is, their god, hath delivered up his own people to his and their enemies; nor could he secure even those that had escaped the sword, but suffered them to be carried into captivity. The words of this and the following verse seem to be, not a part of that triumphant song, made by some Amoritish poet, which seems to be concluded Numbers 21:28, but of the Israelites making their observation upon it. And here they scoff at the impotency, not only of the Moabites, but of their god also, who could not save his people from the sword of Sihon and the Amorites.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/numbers-21.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

CHAPTER XXI.

He. Chamos, the idol of Moab, is upbraided as too weak to defend his people. The pagans generally formed their judgments of the power of their gods, by the event; and, if that proved unfortunate, they were ever ready to consign the idols to the flames. Chamos was probably the sun. (Calmet) --- Some say he was Bacchus, whom the Greeks call Komas. (Menochius)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/numbers-21.html. 1859.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Woe to thee, Moab! thou art undone, O people of Chemosh: he hath given his sons that escaped, and his daughters, into captivity unto Sihon king of the Amorites.
Judges 11:24; 1 Kings 11:7,33; 2 Kings 23:13; Jeremiah 48:7,13,46; 1 Corinthians 8:4,5
Reciprocal: Genesis 19:37 - Moabites;  Deuteronomy 28:32 - sons

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Numbers 21:29". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/numbers-21.html.