Amos 2:2
But I will send a fire on Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:
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(2) Kirioth.—This properly signifies a group of towns, but here refers to a single large town in Moab, the modern Kureiât. (Comp. Jeremiah 48:24.)


Great privileges have met with mad and foolish despite. Exalted to the highest heaven of possibility, Judah has despised the “Law of the Lord,” instead of preserving, with sacred reverence, His ordinances and institutions.

Their lies.—i.e., their false deities, which they have treated as divine. “The lies after which the fathers walked deceived the children. The children canonise the errors of their fathers. Human opinion is as dogmatic as revelation” (Pusey).

2:1-8 The evil passions of the heart break out in various forms; but the Lord looks to our motives, as well as our conduct. Those that deal cruelly, shall be cruelly dealt with. Other nations were reckoned with for injuries done to men; Judah is reckoned with for dishonour done to God. Judah despised the law of the Lord; and he justly gave them up to strong delusion; nor was it any excuse for their sin, that they were the lies, the idols, after which their fathers walked. The worst abominations and most grievous oppressions have been committed by some of the professed worshippers of the Lord. Such conduct leads many to unbelief and vile idolatry.It shall devour the palaces of Kerioth - Literally, "the cities," that is, a collection of cities. It may have received a plural form upon some enlargement, as Jerusalem received a dual form, as a double city. The name is, in different forms, very common . In the plain or high downs of Moab itself, there were both Kiriathaim, "double city" and Kerloth Jeremiah 48:23-24; in Naphthali, a Kiriathaim, (1 Chronicles 6:76, (1 Chronicles 6:61 in Hebrew)) or Kartan Joshua 21:32; in Judah, the Kerioth Joshua 15:25 from where the wretched Judas has his name Iscariot; in Zebulon, Kartah Joshua 21:34 also, which reappears as the Numidian Cirta. Moab had also a Kiriath-huzoth, "city of streets" Numbers 22:39, within the Arnon . This alone was within the proper border of Moab, such as the Armorites had left it.

Kerioth and Kiriathaim were in the plain country which Israel had won from the Amorites, and its possession would imply an aggression of Moab. Jeroboam II had probably at this time brought Moab to a temporary submission (see the note at Amos 6:14); but Israel only required fealty and tribute of Moab; Moab appears even before the captivity of the 2 12 tribes, to have invaded the possessions of Israel. Kerioth was probably a new capital, beyond the Arnon, now adorned with "palaces" and enlarged, as "Paris, Prague, Cracow , "London, are composed of different towns. In Jerome's time, it had probably ceased to be .

Shall die with tumult - Jeremiah, when prophesying the destruction of Moab, designates it by this same name "sons of tumult Jeremiah 48:45. A flame shall devour the corner of Moab and the crown of the sons of tumult." And probably herein he explains the original prophecy of Balaam, "shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of tumult" Numbers 24:17. As they had done, so should it be done to them; tumults they caused, "in tumult" they should perish.

After the subdual of Moab by Nebuchadnezzar, it disappears as a nation, unless indeed Daniel in his Prophecy, "Edom and Moab and the chief of the children of Ammon shall escape out of his hand" Amos 11:41 (Antiochus Epiphanes,) means the nations themselves, and not such as should be like them. Else the intermarriage with Moabite women Ezra 9:1 is mentioned only as that with women of other pagan nations which had ceased to be. The old name, Moabitis, is still mentioned; but the Arabs had possessed themselves of it, and bore the old name. Alexander Jannaeus "subdued" we are told, "of the Arabians, the Moabites and Gileadires," and then, again, when in difficulty, made it over with its fortified places, to the king of the Arabians . Among the cities which Alexander took from the king of the Arabians , are cities throughout Moab, both in that part in which they had succeeded to Israel, and their proper territory south of the Arnon .

2. Kirioth—the chief city of Moab, called also Kir-Moab (Isa 15:1). The form is plural here, as including both the acropolis and town itself (see Jer 48:24, 41, Margin).

die with tumult—that is, amid the tumult of battle (Ho 10:14).

I will send a fire: see Amos 1:4.

Moab; some think, but I know not on what ground, that there was a city of this name, and meant here, but on better reason we conclude it to be the whole country, or by a metonymy the people, who were the posterity of Lot by his elder daughter.

It shall devour the palaces: see Amos 1:4.

Kerioth; a strong and principal city of this country; or the cities, so the word will bear, and then the threat is against all their cities.

Moab, the Moabites, all sorts and ranks of them, shall die, be destroyed, and perish utterly, with tumult; such as soldiers in fight or assaults make, when they carry all by force, bearing down all opposition, and slaying all opposers, with that rigour which in such cases is very usual.

With shouting; as conquerors shout, to the end they may dishearten the enemy, and animate their fellow soldiers.

With the sound of the trumpet: this added partly to explain, and partly to confirm, what the prophet had foretold. But I will send a fire upon Moab,.... Either on the whole country, or on some particular city so called, as in all the other prophecies; and there was a city called Moab, now Areopolis; see Gill on Jeremiah 48:4; though it may be put for the whole country, into which an enemy should be sent to destroy it, even Nebuchadnezzar:

and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth; a principal city in the land of Moab; according to Kimchi, it was the royal city, and therefore mention is made of the palaces of it, here being the palace of the king and his princes; see Jeremiah 48:24; though the word may be rendered cities, as it is by the Septuagint and Arabic versions; and so the Targum,

"and shall consume the palaces of the fortified place;''

and so may signify all the cities of Moab, and their palaces: or however may be put for them:

and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet: that is, the Moabites shall die, not in their beds, and in peace, but in war, amidst the howlings of the wounded, the shouts of soldiers, the clashing of arms, and the sound of trumpets,

But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:
2. the palaces of Kerioth] more exactly Ḳeriyyoth: named here and Jeremiah 48:41 (cf. Jeremiah 48:24) as a representative city of Moab, and hence evidently a considerable place, if not the capital of Moab. Mesha, also, in a passage of his Inscription (lines 10–13), sufficiently interesting to extract in full, speaks of it in terms implying that it was a place of importance, possessing a sanctuary of the national god (Numbers 21:29; 1 Kings 11:7), and a royal residence: “And the men of Gad had dwelt in the land of Ataroth (Numbers 32:3; Numbers 32:34) from of old; and the king of Israel built for himself Ataroth. And I fought against the city, and took it. And I slew all [the people of] the city, a gazing-stock [cf. Nahum 3:6] to Chĕmôsh, and to Moab. And I brought back [or, took captive] thence the altar-hearth of Davdoh (?), and I dragged it before Chĕmôsh in Ḳeriyyoth.” From the fact that, notwithstanding its importance, it is not mentioned in the long enumeration of Moabite cities in Isaiah 15-16, and that conversely where Ar, the capital of Moab, is named, Ḳeriyyoth is not mentioned, it has been supposed by many that Ar and Ḳeriyyoth were different names of the same place. Its situation is uncertain, though, if it was identical with Ar, it will have lain somewhere on the N. or N.E. border of Moab, in the valley of the Arnon (see Deuteronomy 2:9; Deuteronomy 2:18).

and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the horn] The nation is personified, and pictured here as dying, under the assault of its foes, as in Isaiah 25:11 it is pictured as drowning. The tumult is the confused roar, or din, of the fray (cf. Hosea 10:14; Psalm 74:23; the same word, of a distant roar of a great multitude, or of rushing waters, Isaiah 17:12-13): the shouting, as Amos 1:14, is that of the attacking foe, parallel with die shôphâr or horn, calling them on, as Jeremiah 4:19 (‘the shouting of battle’), Zephaniah 1:16, Job 39:25.

The shpôhâr was the curved horn of a cow or ram, to be carefully distinguished from the long straight metal ḥatzôtzerâh, or trumpet, with expanding mouth, represented on Jewish coins, and on the Arch of Titus (Stainer, Music of the Bible, p. 131; in use also among the Assyrians, ib. p. 132 f.). The shôphâr was principally, and in early Israel perhaps entirely, used for secular purposes, chiefly to give signals in war (Jdg 3:27; 2 Samuel 2:28; 2 Samuel 20:1, &c., and here), or to raise an alarm (see on Amos 3:6), sometimes also to announce or accompany an important public event, such as an accession (1 Kings 1:34; 1 Kings 1:39), or other joyous occasion (2 Samuel 6:15[142]; cf. Psalm 47:5): as a sacred instrument it is mentioned rarely, and mostly, if not entirely, in later writers (Psalm 81:4; Psalm 98:6; Psalm 150:3; 2 Chronicles 15:14; cf. Leviticus 23:24; Leviticus 25:9, and Joel 2:15). The ḥatzôtzerâh, on the other hand, appears rarely as a secular instrument (Hosea 5:8; 2 Kings 11:14), but often, especially in later times, in the Chronicler’s descriptions of religious ceremonies, as a sacred, instrument (2 Kings 12:13; 1 Chronicles 13:8; 1 Chronicles 15:28 [added to the earlier narrative of 2 Samuel 6:5; 2 Samuel 6:15]; 2 Chronicles 15:14; 2 Chronicles 20:28; Ezra 3:10, &c.; cf. Numbers 10:3-9). The two words are very unfortunately confused in the English version, except where they occur together, when shôphâr is rendered ‘cornet’ (e.g. Hosea 5:8; Psalm 98:6; 1 Chronicles 15:28; 2 Chronicles 15:14). Comp. Stainer, Music of the Bible, p. 127; Nowack, Heb. Arch. i. 277 f.

[142] Note that the shôphâr is here in the hands of lay Israelites.

Shôphârs as used in a modern synagogue, on New Year’s Day (Leviticus 23:24, Numbers 29:1), and at the close of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 25:9). (From Engel’s Music of the Most Ancient Nations, 1870, p. 293.)

Two silver ḥatzôtzerahs (Numbers 10:2), as figured on the Arch of Titus, in front of the Table of Shewbread. (From the Speaker’s Commentary, i. 363. Comp. Reland, De Spoliis Templi, 1716, p. 70.)Verse 2. - Kirioth; cities, and so taken as an appellative by the Septuagint translators, τῶν πόλεων αὐτῆς: but it is doubtless a proper name of one of the chief Moabite towns (Jeremiah 48:24, 41). Keil, after Burckhardt, identifies it with the decayed town of Kereyat, or Korriat; others, with Ar, or Kir, the old capital (Isaiah 15:1). The plural termination of the word,like Athenae, Thebae, etc., may denote a double city - upper and lower, or old and new. Moab shall die. The nation is personified. With tumult; caused by war (comp. Jeremiah 48:45, and the prophecy of Balaam, Numbers 24:17). Septuagint, ἐν ἀδυναμίᾳ, "in weakness." With shouting. Omitted by the Vulgate (see on Amos 1:14). Trumpet (Amos 3:6; Jeremiah 4:19). Trochon cites Virgil, 'AEneid,' 2:313, "Exoritur clamorque virum clangorque tubarum," "Rises the shout of men and trumpets' blare." With the carrying away of the golden calf the kingdom of Samaria also perishes, and desert plants will grow upon the places of idols. Hosea 10:7, Hosea 10:8. "Destroyed is Samaria; her king like a splinter on the surface of the water. And destroyed are the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel: thorn and thistle will rise up on their altars; and they will speak to the mountains, Cover us! and to the hills, Fall on us!" שׁמרון מלכּהּ is not an asyndeton, "Samaria and its king;" but Shōmerōn is to be taken absolutely, "as for Samaria," although, as a matter of fact, not only Samaria, the capital of the kingdom, but the kingdom itself, was destroyed. For malkâh does not refer to any particular king, but is used in a general sense for "the king that Samaria had," so that the destruction of the monarchy is here predicted (cf. Hosea 10:15). The idea that the words refer to one particular king, is not only at variance with the context, which contains no allusion to any one historical occurrence, but does not suit the simile: like a splinter upon the surface of the water, which is carried away by the current, and vanishes without leaving a trace behind. Qetseph is not "foam" (Chald., Symm., Rabb.), but a broken branch, a fagot or a splinter, as qetsâphâh in Joel 1:7 clearly shows. Bâmōth 'âven are the buildings connected with the image-worship at Bethel ('âven equals Bēth-'ēl, Hosea 10:5), the temple erected there (bēth bâmōth), together with the altar, possibly also including other illegal places of sacrifice there, which constituted the chief sin of the kingdom of Israel. These were to be so utterly destroyed, that thorns and thistles would grow upon the ruined altars (cf. Genesis 3:18). "The sign of extreme solitude, that there are not even the walls left, or any traces of the buildings" (Jerome). When the kingdom shall be thus broken up, together with the monarchy and the sacred places, the inhabitants, in their hopeless despair, will long for swift death and destruction. Saying to the mountains, "Cover us," etc., implies much more than hiding themselves in the holes and clefts of the rocks (Isaiah 2:19, Isaiah 2:21). It expresses the desire to be buried under the falling mountains and hills, that they may no longer have to bear the pains and terrors of the judgment. In this sense are the words transferred by Christ, in Luke 23:30, to the calamities attending the destruction of Jerusalem, and in Revelation 6:16 to the terrors of the last judgment.
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