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because it acted proudly against Yahveb. 43. Terror and pit and snare upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab! is Yahveh's oracle. 44. He that flees from the terror shall fall into the pit, and he that comes up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare. For I bring upon her, upon Moab, the year of' their visitation, is Yahveh's oracle. 45. In the shadow of Heshbon stand fugitives without strength. For fire has gone forth from Heshbon and flame from Sihon's house, and consumed the temple (of the head) of Moab and the crown (of the head) of the sons of tumult. 46. Woe to thee, Moab! the people of Chemosh is destroyed; for thy sons are carried away into prison, and thy daughters into captivity. 47. But I cause the captivity of Moab to return at the end of the days, is Yahveh's oracle. Thus far the judgment respecting Moab.

partic. fem. Hiphil of nv, intrinsically transitive; fallen into distress in the pangs of childbirth; according to others, to press forth, namely, the child, with pangs. Ver. 43 f. almost literally like Isa. xxiv. 17 f.; as to meaning, cf. also Amos v. 19. Ver. 44. The Keri D3n is the only correct reading (Isa. xxiv. 18). Ver. 45 f. With the exception of the first words taken from old Mosaic oracles, especially from Num. xxi. 27 ff., an old song of triumph, sung at the capture of Heshbon, the city of the powerful Amorite king Sihon; on it the same judgment fell through Israel (Yahveh's judgment) as fell on the Moabites, despite their god Chemosh, through Heshbon. The latter again takes place now: destruction goes forth from Heshbon ou Moab, ver. 2. The beginning is certainly obscure, since fugitives from Moab would not escape to the north (Heshbon), whence the foe is coming. We must think of the partly Moabitish inhabitants in the neighbourhood of that city; they hoped to be safe in the city from the conquerors, but remain under the shadow of the walls helpless, because thence already the foe is breaking out like a devouring fire. p3D (Num. xxi. 28, nnpD) is strange; J. D. Michaelis and Ewald read JV30, which is better; otherwise we must render it: from the territory of Sihon. Ver. 45. The end from Balaam's oracle respecting Moab, Num. xxiv. 17, with some variation. Instead of ipip read lp^; with this agrees nKB instead of T\KB (sides); cf. on ix. 25 ; pKC, easier than TW in the original passage, taken from Amos ii. 2. The Moabites are called sons of tumult, as neighbours always restless and ready to attack. Ver. 46 after Num. xxi. 29.

Exposition.

Contents of ch. xlviii. Old and new oracles respecting Moab.

In xxv. 21, Edom, Moab, Ammon follow on the Philistines; here similarly Moab, Ammon, Edom. The oracles respecting Moab come first, perhaps as the most elaborate. Jeremiah uttered them in the main about the fourth year of Jehoiakirn. Respecting the Moabites, see Isa. xvi. Already in Isaiah's days they had called forth the prophet's rebuke by their hostile pride and haughtiness. Perhaps afterwards they had suffered heavy judgments, but no improvement had ensued. 2 Kings xxiv. 2 shows that on Jehoiakim's unhappy rising against Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar availed himself of the vengeance of the Moabites, who were always ready for war against Judah. The rebuke of this nation by our prophet seems to belong substantially to this period. Afterwards under Zedekiah (Jer. xxvii. 3), Moab's attitude was more friendly than is implied in xlviii. 27. For the rest, this discourse (ch. xlviii.) was not struck off at one heat, but is rather to be called a small collection of Jeremiah's Moabitish oracles, which rested to some extent on former divine utterances respecting that nation; especially is vv. 29-38 a reproduction of Isa. xv., xvi. (cf. on Isa. xvi. 13), and the close of the chapter, ver. 45 ffi, repeats old Mosaic oracles, Num. xxi. 28, xxiv. 17. Here and there are allusions to other prophetic utterances about Moab, Amos ii. 1-3; Zeph. ii. 8-11. But the whole is also marked by turns of phrase peculiar to Jeremiah; and the mode of using and repeating old oracles corresponds to Jeremiah's peculiarities, especially in his prophecies against heathen nations. The genuineness of the section is therefore not to be questioned. Movers and Hitzig tried to mark off a series of interpolations, but without conspicuous success (see Graf).

The entire discourse is in a lyrical and indeed elegiac strain

(ver. 36), an elegy upon Moab. The prophet follows, with his seer's gaze, from place to place a foe bursting violently into the land of the Moabites, beating down all resistance with ease, and in particular forcing the strong cities and proud forts. Without doubt the "northern" foe is meant, the Chaldteans, although they and their king are nowhere named. They break from the north (Heshbon) into the land. Everything howls and mourns for the ruin of the strong places and the desolation of the whole land; everything flees southward. The reason why Moab is so visited is especially its arrogant talk against Yahveh (cf. vv. 2, 11, 27, 29 f.). Its calamity is the Lord's judgment (vv. 10, 15, 21), which goes forth against the nation and its god (ver. 13). Boastfulness is Moab's characteristic. Especially does it glory in its strong seats and accumulated treasures, because it had never suffered the deep humility of captivity which had already often fallen on Israel. It is thus like wine that had never been drawn off the lees (ver. 11 f.), and had therefore retained its peculiar taste and flavour: its heathen arrogance is unbroken; in its pride it fancies itself incomparably superior to much-tried Israel! Its punishment is a ruthless doom of extirpation. As God's honour is in question, ver. 10 warns against false mildness and leniency, as in the old song of Deborah (Judg. v. 23). There will be no escaping for those pursued by the Lord Himself (ver. 43 f). Death, plunder, captivity are the lot of the nation that had eluded retribution too long. Yet even this discourse ends, like the one respecting Egypt (xlvi. 26), with a glance at the restoration of Moab, ver. 47, which is to be viewed in connection with the final conversion of the heathen to the God of Israel (iii. 17).

As concerns the fulfilment of this threatening, with which the brief one in Ezek. xxv. 8-11 is to be compared, Josephus {Ant. x. 9. 7) relates that in the fifth year after Jerusalem's destruction, Nebuchadnezzar subdued the Ammonites and Moabites, a statement not to be questioned in the main. The conquest may have taken place on the occasion of a later campaign of Nebuchadnezzar against Egypt (see on xliii. 13), in which case certainly the chronological statement of Josephus can scarcely hold good.

IV. ORACLE RESPECTING THE AMMONITES, XLIX. 1-6.

XLIX. 1. To the sons of Ammon. Thus says Yahveh: Has then Israel no sons, or has he no heir? Wherefore does Malcam inherit Gad, and his people dwell in its cities? 2. Therefore hehold, days come, is Yahveh's oracle, that I cause tumult of war to be heard against Kabbah of the Ammonites, so that it will become a desolate hill, and her daughters shall be burnt with fire, and Israel shall be heir to his heirs, says Yahveh. 3. Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste! Cry out, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth, lament, and go to and fro in the folds. For Malcam goes into captivity, his

Chapter XLIX. 1-6.

Ver. 1. Heading as in xlviii . 1. Question of surprise such as Jeremiah is fond of.—Data, as in ver. 3, Zeph. i. 5, we are not justified in changing into Data, after LXX, as both forms may occur. The Ammonites, whose national god is so called, were first driven from their seats between Arnon and Jabbok by the Amorites; next, they were replaced by the victorious Israelites, especially Gad and Reuben. But after the deportation by Tiglath-pileser (Pul), the Ammonites, who had been driven eastward, took possession of this territory (2 Kings xv. 29; 1 Chron. v. 20). Ver. 2. Jiabbah of the Ammonites, their capital (Deut. iii. 11 and often), seated on a tributary of the Jabbok, afterwards Philadelphia; its daughters are the small towns. W, Kal, to burn, as in li. 58.—W, cf. the right of inheritance, xxxii. 8. Ver. 3. Heshbon, see on xlviii. 2.— Ai cannot be the one near Bethel, but must have been an Ammonite city north of Heshbon, although nothing else is known of it. Graf would read iyn, the city = Rabbah (?). Daughters of Eabbah, to be understood as in ver. 2. They shall wander about (as to form, see Ges. § 54. 2a; Eng. § 53) in the fences provided for the flocks around the cities, because they can no longer dwell within the fortified walls, which the enemy has priests and his princes together. 4. Why boastest thou in thy valleys, that thy valley overflows, thou perverse daughter, who trustest in thy treasures: "Who can come to me?" 5. Behold, I bring terror upon thee, is the oracle of the Lord, Yahveh of hosts, from all thy surroundings; and you shall be scattered, every one before him; and no one shall gather the fugitives. 6. But afterwards I will bring back the captivity of the sons of Ammon, is Tahveh's oracle.

burnt; cf. xlviii. 7. Ver. 4. Why boastest thou in the valleys, namely, in their luxurious fertility? 3T (cf. Ex. iii. 8, 7, and often), either substantive = overflowing, or predicate, namely, that thy valley overflows. The latter is preferable. Ver. 5. The enemies will come from all sides, so that every one has them behind him, and so every one is hunted straight forward out of the land.

Exposition.

Contents of ch. xlix. 1-6. Rebuke of the Ammonites.

Alongside the Moabites appear here (as in ix. 24, xxv. 21, xxvii. 2 ff.) the kindred Ammonites, who are similarly threatened, but in briefer terms. The oracle may belong to the same period, about the fourth year of Jehoiakim. What this nation is reproached with is its encroachment on the seats of the tribes of Israel east of the Jordan, and also fleshly trust in its beautiful, well-protected land and its accumulated riches. On the other hand, there is no trace of the wicked treacheries perpetrated against the remnant of Judah after Jerusalem's fall by the Ammonite king who professed to be Zedekiah's friend and ally (xl. 14). For their sins the Ammonites are threatened with the desolation of the land and the leading away of the inhabitants into captivity. Their god Malcara ( = Moloch) will come to shame, like Chemosh, the god of the Moabites. Is then Ammon really a "backsliding daughter" of the true God (ver. 4)? At last redemption dawns on Ammon. As to the fulfilment of the threatening, see after ch. xlviii.

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