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with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Jeremiah 48

Prophecies against Moab for pride and security. (1-13) For carnal confidence and contempt of God. (14-47)

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Prophecies against Moab for pride and security

1 Against Moab thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Woe unto Nebo! for it is spoiled: Kiriathaim is confounded and taken: Misgab is confounded and dismayed.

2 There shall be no more praise of Moab: in Heshbon they have devised evil against it; come, and let us cut it off from being a nation. Also thou shalt be cut down, O Madmen; the sword shall pursue thee.

3 A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim, spoiling and great destruction.

4 Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard.

5 For in the going up of Luhith continual weeping shall go up; for in the going down of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction.

6 Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness.

7 For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together.

8 And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape: the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the LORD hath spoken.

9 Give wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away: for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein.

10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

11 Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.

12 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will send unto him wanderers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles.

13 And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel their confidence.

For carnal confidence and contempt of God

14 How say ye, We are mighty and strong men for the war?

15 Moab is spoiled, and gone up out of her cities, and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.

16 The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hasteth fast.

17 All ye that are about him, bemoan him; and all ye that know his name, say, How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod!

18 Thou daughter that dost inhabit Dibon, come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strong holds.

19 O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and espy; ask him that fleeth, and her that escapeth, and say, What is done?

20 Moab is confounded; for it is broken down: howl and cry; tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is spoiled,

21 And judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Mephaath,

22 And upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Bethdiblathaim,

23 And upon Kiriathaim, and upon Bethgamul, and upon Bethmeon,

24 And upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near.

25 The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the LORD.

26 Make ye him drunken: for he magnified himself against the LORD: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision.

27 For was not Israel a derision unto thee? was he found among thieves? for since thou spakest of him, thou skippedst for joy.

28 O ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the hole’s mouth.

29 We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.

30 I know his wrath, saith the LORD; but it shall not be so; his lies shall not so effect it.

31 Therefore will I howl for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; mine heart shall mourn for the men of Kirheres.

32 O vine of Sibmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping of Jazer: thy plants are gone over the sea, they reach even to the sea of Jazer: the spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage.

33 And joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and from the land of Moab, and I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall be no shouting.

34 From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, and even unto Jahaz, have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto Horonaim, as an heifer of three years old: for the waters also of Nimrim shall be desolate.

35 Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, saith the LORD, him that offereth in the high places, and him that burneth incense to his gods.

36 Therefore mine heart shall sound for Moab like pipes, and mine heart shall sound like pipes for the men of Kirheres: because the riches that he hath gotten are perished.

37 For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands shall be cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth.

38 There shall be lamentation generally upon all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets thereof: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the LORD.

39 They shall howl, saying, How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him.

40 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.

41 Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised, and the mighty men’s hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.

42 And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the LORD.

43 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD.

44 He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.

45 They that fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of the force: but a fire shall come forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones.

46 Woe be unto thee, O Moab! the people of Chemosh perisheth: for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughters captives.

47 Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Moab. This people broke their covenant with Sedecias, yet were punished for having entered into it, five years after the taking of Jerusalem. Jos. S. Jer. in C. xxv. 32. — The same war is described by Ezec. xxv. 8. Soph. ii. 8. Many words of Isaias (xv. and xvi. and xxiv.) are adopted, though he speaks of what happened under Ezechias. — Nabo, a town at the foot of that mountain, where Moses died. Deut. xxxiv. It might have been famous for some pretended “oracle.” Is. xv. 2. and xlvi. 1. This chief city, with the rest, shall be destroyed. W. — Cariathaim. This city, and most of the others, were repossessed by Moab after the Israelites were led into captivity. C. — City. Heb. Hammisgab, a fortress. Vat.

Ver. 2. Hesebon, at the foot of Phasga, and one of the strongest cities. — Shalt. Heb. “shall Medemena hold her peace.” C. — “Thou shalt be cut down, O madmen.” H. — It signifies “silence.” Thou silent city, thou shalt be reduced to a mournful silence or destruction.

Ver. 4. Little ones. Heb. “to Segor.” v. 34. Is. xv. 5. C. — Chal. “princes” of the second rank. Vat.

Ver. 6. Heath, or tamarick. C. xvii. 6. Heb. Haroher.

Ver. 7. Bulwarks. Heb. “works,” or possessions of corn, cattle, &c. C. — Chamos, the idol of the Moabites. Ch. — He was esteemed the king of the country, as the devil is the ape of God. The prophets often deride the imbecility of these idols. C. xliii. and xi. The chief idol of Moab shall fall, to shew the vanity of trusting in idols. W.

Ver. 8. Spoiler, or “thief,” (prædo) a title which Nabuchodonosor deserved, on account of his unjust conquests. C.

Ver. 9. Flower: an usual ceremony at funerals. A. Lapide. M. — Manibus date lilia plenis. Æn. vi. — Heb. “wings.” Prot. “signs.” Sept. (H.) “that they may know how to return.” Let Moab flee. C.

Ver. 10. Deceitfully. In the Greek, negligently. The work of God here spoken of, is the punishment of the Moabites. Ch. — Woe to those who spare those whom God orders to be destroyed, as Saul and Achab did. 1 K. xv. 8. 23. and 3 K. xx. 32. 42. The zeal of the Levites, Phinees, &c. is rewarded. Ex. xxxii. 27. Num. xx. 8.

Ver. 11. Fruitful as a vine. — Lees. The wine has not been disturbed. It was customary to keep it first in pits, (Mark xii. 1. Is. v. 1.) and afterwards in large earthen vessels. Vina bibes Tauro diffusa: “Thou shalt drink wine bottled off in the consulship of Taurus.” Hor. i. ep. 5. — If the wine was weak, the vessels were put under ground. Pliny xiv. 21. — The better sort was arranged in order, (v. 12.) in some clean apartment. Cant. ii. 4. Odys. B. 237. — Changed. He alludes to the wine. H. — Moab has enjoyed a long peace and prosperity. C.

Ver. 13. Of Bethel. That is, of their golden calves, which they worshipped in Bethel. Ch. — Chamos and the golden calves were both taken away. Osee viii. 5. C. — The ten tribes had foolishly trusted in the latter. 3 K. xii. W.

Ver. 16. Swiftly; about twenty-three years from the fourth of Joakim.

Ver. 17. His name, as particular friends. Ex. xxxiii. 12. 17. People in the East had a secret name, which they disclosed to very few, to prevent incantations. — Rod. This nation was exceedingly vain. v. 29.

Ver. 18. Thirst. Dibon was well supplied with water. Is. xv. 9.

Ver. 20. Arnon, on which river Aroer stood.

Ver. 26. Drunk with the wine of God’s wrath. — Dash. Heb. “roll in,” or “they shall clap hands over Moab, in,” &c.

Ver. 27. Thieves. C. ii. 26. C. — Prot. “was he found among thieves? for since thou speakest of him, thou skippest for joy.” H. — Chaldee agrees with the Vulg. which is clearer. C. — Sept. “hath he been found stealing from thee, since thou hast fought against him?” Grabe subjoins, “Thou shalt go into banishment. H. — As Moab was related to Israel, his derision was the more criminal, and more grievously punished. W.

Ver. 28. Place. Seek for shelter in the caverns and highest mountains. H.

Ver. 30. Able. He hath attempted too much.

Ver. 31. Brick wall. Heb. Kir-cheres, (Is. xvi. 7. C.) “the city of the sun;” (Grot.) Ar, the capital. The prophet joins in the mournful canticle, as was usual. Lu. vii. 32. C. — Those who boast of more than they have, are compared to an earthen wall. W.

Ver. 32. Jazer, or “more than for Jazer;” about six leagues to the north of Sebama, which had a rivulet communicating with the sea of Jazer.

Ver. 33. Carmel, which here denotes any fruitful vineyard or place. — The, &c. Prot. “none shall tread with shouting, their shouting shall be no shouting.” Heb. hedad, “the cry” of the people in the vintage. C.

Ver. 34. As a. Lit. “the heifer;” a title of Oronaim, which was proud and ungovernable. H. — Heb. also, “from Agelah to Salisa; the,” &c. — Bad; abandoned. Is. xv. 6. C.

Ver. 36. Pipes. Heb. chalilim, (H.) lyre or flutes. Such were used at funerals of children; (Mat. ix. 23.) trumpets sounded for men. Servius. — Could; opposing the conqueror of Asia. v. 30. 31. C. — Prot. “the riches that he hat gotten is perished.”

Ver. 37. Shaven, or “clipt,” (Prot. H.) as in mourning. — Tied. Heb. “cut.” C. xvi. 6. C. — Such signs of mourning were usual in those countries. The Romans let their hair grow. Cic. pro Sestio. W.

Ver. 39. Bowed. Sept. and Chal. “turned his back.”

Ver. 41. Carioth, probably Kir Hares, which the eagle of Babylon seized. Sept. Rom. omits v. 40. C. — Grabe supplies, Behold, &c. and here, the heart, &c. H.

Ver. 42. Cease for a time, till he regain his liberty under Cyrus. v. 47.

Ver. 43. Fear. It was customary to hand feathers near a wood, to frighten the prey into pits or nets. Is. xxiv. 17. Sanct.

Ver. 45. There…saith, &c. to the end of the chapter is supplied by Grabe. His copy subjoins, “What Jeremias prophesied against all nations. Thus,” &c. C. xxv. 15. H.

Ver. 45. Hesebon, expecting shelter. But internal broils ruined them. — There, &c. to 47, is borrowed from Num. xxi. 27. Sehon had taken Hesebon from Moab. — Part. Moses has “Ar, of Moab, and the inhabitants of the heights of Arnon.” C. — Tumult. Heb. shaon, (H.) means also pride, in which sense Balaam uses Seth. Num. xxiv. 17. C.

Ver. 47. Days. When they, Elam and the other Gentiles, shall be converted to the faith of Christ. We read of no other bringing back, (W.) though it might take place. H.