Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
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.CHAPTER 48
1. The overthrow of Moab (Jeremiah 48:1-10)
2. The humiliation of Moab (Jeremiah 48:11-19)
3. Reaping what they sowed (Jeremiah 48:20-28)
4. Destroyed on account of its pride (Jeremiah 48:29-47)
With these divisions the chapter may be studied in detail. Moab was of incestuous off spring Genesis 19:37. Israel is now exhorted to flee and save itself because Moab is to be destroyed. Moab’s national deity was Chemosh, who was also worshipped by the sister nation, the Ammonites. Chemosh was probably the same as Molech. He is now to go forth into captivity with his priests and princes. On Jeremiah 48:10 critics say: “This bloodthirsty verse is surely not Jeremiah’s.” But they forget that the whole prophecy is introduced with, “Thus saith the LORD,” and the critic’s knife, which cuts out certain verses from this chapter, mutilates the Word of God. There is no valid reason to brand this and other verses as the work of some supplementer.
The chief places of Moab are mentioned. “The horn of Moab (horn the emblem of power) is cut off and his arm is broken, saith the LORD.” And why this judgment? “For he has magnified himself against the LORD.” They were filled with pride, yea, they were exceedingly proud. The Lord speaks of it thus: “His loftiness and his arrogancy and his pride and his haughtiness of heart.” How God detests pride! In both Testaments it is marked out as the great abomination in the sight of God. Filled with pride and haughtiness, they derided Israel, God’s people; whenever Israel was mentioned “they skipped for joy” (verse 27). Of Jeremiah 48:28 and Jeremiah 48:29, critics declare that they are mostly derived from Isaiah 15:1-9; Isaiah 16:1-14. These two chapters contain a similar prophecy about Moab, but these utterances by Jeremiah are not copied from Isaiah, but are a divine repetition of the coming judgment of that people. “Woe be unto thee Moab! the people of Chemosh perisheth! for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughters captive.” This is the final word in this predicted judgment of Moab. And thus Moab was broken.
The last verse speaks of a territorial restoration of Moab, not of a restitution of that wicked generation, as some teach. We do not know where a remnant of Moab is today, to possess in millennial times their former land; nor do we know how the Lord is going to accomplish it. But we know He will fulfill His own Word and we do not need to invent some scheme of how it will be done.