Jeremiah 48 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Jeremiah 48)

Verse 2

[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.

Heshbon — Heshbon was one of the principal cities of the Moabites. Probably the enemies sat there in counsel, when they had taken it, against the other parts of the country.

Verse 3

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

Horoniam — Another city of Moab.

Verse 5

[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.

Luhith — To this city the Moabites fled for sanctuary, and flying made so great an out-cry that their enemies who pursued them heard it.

Verse 6

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

And be — Save your lives, though all ye have be lost.

Verse 7

[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.

Trusted — In thy idols.

Chemosh — Chemosh was their principal idol.

Verse 9

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

Give wings — The Moabites have need of wings like a bird to escape that ruin which is coming upon them.

Verse 11

[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.

At ease — The Moabites ever since they began to be a people, have been a quiet people.

Settled — Like a cask of wine, that has not been racked but has continued in the same state.

Not emptied — A metaphor of wine which is drawn out from vessel to vessel, when it is drawn off the lees. It is expounded by the next words.

Therefore — And this is the reason why they retain their old sins, pride, presumption, and luxury.

Verse 12

[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.

Wanderers — The Chaldeans, who wandered from their own country to conquer other people.

Break his bottles — He had before compared the Moabites, to wine settled upon the lees, here he saith, that God would send those that should not only disturb, but destroy them.

Verse 13

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

Bethel — The golden calves, which Jeroboam set up at Dan and Bethel.

Verse 16

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

Is near — Josephus tells us this destruction came upon the Moabites five years after the siege of Jerusalem.

Verse 17

[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!

Staff — A staff and a rod are as well, ensigns of power and government, as instruments to punish offenders.

Verse 18

[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.

Dibon — Dibon, Aroer, and Ataroh were built by the children of Gad. It should seem the Moabites were not come into the possession of them.

In thirst — It was a place well watered, but God threatens she should be in thirst, that is, driven into some dry, barren countries.

The spoiler — The king of Babylon.

Verse 20

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

Arnon — Arnon was the name of a river; it was the border of Moab: probably the adjacent country or city might take its name from the river.

Verse 25

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

The horn — That is the beauty and the strength of Moab.

Verse 26

[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.

Drunken — Fill him with the intoxicating wine of God's vengeance.

Verse 27

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

Was he found — Why didst thou deal by Israel as men deal by thieves, when they are brought to shame?

Verse 28

[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.

O ye — Still the prophet speaks of the Moabites, as a people whose armies were routed, and calls to them to leave their houses in cities, not promising themselves any security, either to or from their houses, or from the walls of the cities, but to get them to rocks, which are naturally fortified, and from whence (if from any place) security may be promised.

Verse 30

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

I know — He shall never execute what he thinks to do.

But — His boastings and his lies, still never effect his designs.

Verse 31

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

Kir-herez — A city of Moab.

Verse 32

[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.

Sibmah — Sibmah was famous in those days for vines.

Jazer — Jazer was it seems first taken, and carried into captivity.

Verse 36

[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.

Pipes — The prophet means such pipes as they were wont to use at funerals, and other sad occasions.

Verse 40

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

He — Nebuchadnezzar shall come swiftly, and spread himself over Moab.

Verse 43

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

Fear — A variety of dangers upon all sides.

Verse 45

[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.

Heshbon — Heshbon was it seems a place of force.

The crown — That is, the glory.

Verse 47

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

Bring again — It seems this is to be understood of a spiritual reduction of them, by calling them into the kingdom of the Messiah.