Jeremiah 48:10
Cursed be he that does the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keeps back his sword from blood.
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(10) Cursed be he . . .—To the prophet the destruction of the tyrannous haughtiness was a righteous retribution in which he saw the work of Jehovah, and he could not wish that it should be done otherwise than effectually. The thought rests on the belief in the Divine government that works through war as well as through pestilence and famine (Jeremiah 25:31; Jeremiah 46:10). (Comp. like utterances in Judges 5:23; 1Samuel 15:3; 1Samuel 15:18; 1Kings 20:42.) Even Christian nations fighting against slave-traders or pirates might legitimately echo the same prayer. It has been used, with less justification, in the religious wars of our own and other countries.

48:1-13. The Chaldeans are to destroy the Moabites. We should be thankful that we are required to seek the salvation of men's lives, and the salvation of their souls, not to shed their blood; but we shall be the more without excuse if we do this pleasant work deceitfully. The cities shall be laid in ruins, and the country shall be wasted. There will be great sorrow. There will be great hurry. If any could give wings to sinners, still they could not fly out of the reach of Divine indignation. There are many who persist in unrepented iniquity, yet long enjoy outward prosperity. They had been long corrupt and unreformed, secure and sensual in prosperity. They have no changes of their peace and prosperity, therefore their hearts and lives are unchanged, Ps 55:19.Deceitfully - Better as in the margin. 10. work of … Lord—the divinely appointed utter devastation of Moab. To represent how entirely this is God's will, a curse is pronounced on the Chaldeans, the instrument, if they do it negligently (Margin) or by halves (Jud 5:23); compare Saul's sin as to Amalek (1Sa 15:3, 9), and Ahab's as to Syria (1Ki 20:42). These words seem like the words of the prophet to the Chaldeans, inciting them to go on valiantly against the Moabites, calling it

the work of the Lord, which he would have done, and to which he had called them. There is a time to withhold our hands from shedding blood, and that is always when we have not a special authority and call from God to it; and there is a time when God will curse those that do so withhold their hands, that time is when God doth require the shedding of it. Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully,.... Which is said with respect to the Chaldeans, who were enjoined to destroy the Moabites; which is called the work of the Lord, because he had given them a commission to do it; and which was to be done by them, not by halves, or in a remiss and negligent manner, but fully and faithfully; they were not to spare them, as Saul did the Amalekites, and Ahab Benhadad. This is a general rule, which may be applied to all divine work and service; every man has work to do for God; some in a more public, others in a more private way; all should be done in uprightness and sincerity, with all faithfulness and integrity: it is done deceitfully when men play the hypocrite; and negligently when they are backward to it, lukewarm in it, and infrequent in the performance of it; which brings upon them the curse of God; and which is not a curse causeless, but a legal one; and is no other than the wrath of God in strict justice:

and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood; from shedding the blood of the Moabites, when God had given command to do it. The curse is repeated, as Kimchi observes, to confirm the matter, that it might be most assuredly expected; since it would certainly come, if the Lord's work was not done aright.

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

(h) He shows that God would punish the Chaldeans if they did not destroy the Egyptians, and that with a courage, and calls this executing of his vengeance against his enemies, his work though the Chaldeans sought another end, Isa 10:11.

10. negligently] lit. with slackness, better than mg. deceitfully.Verse 10. - Deceitfully; rather, slackly, negligently. A cry is heard from Horonaim against violence and destruction. The words שׁד ושׁב are to be taken as the cry itself; cf. Jeremiah 4:20; Jeremiah 20:8. The city of Horonaim, mentioned both here and in Isaiah 15:5 in connection with Luhith, lay on a slope, it would seem, not far from Luhith. Regarding this latter place we find it remarked in the Onomasticon: est usque hodie vicus inter Areopolim et Zoaram nomine Luitha (Λουειθά). As to ̓Ωροναείμ, the Onomasticon says no more than πόλις Μωὰβ ὲν ̔Ιερεμίᾳ (ed. Lars. p. 376). The destruction over which the outcry is made comes on Moab. By "Moab" Graf refuses to understand the country or its inhabitants, but rather the ancient capital of the country, Ar-Moab (Numbers 21:28; Isaiah 15:1), in the valley of the Arnon, which is also simply called Ar in Numbers 21:15; Deuteronomy 2:9. But, as Dietrich has already shown (S. 329ff.), the arguments adduced in support of this view are insufficient to prove the point.

(Note: The mention of Moab among names if cities in Jeremiah 48:4, and in connection with Kir-heres in Jeremiah 48:31 and Jeremiah 48:36 proves nothing; for in Jeremiah 48:4 Moab is not named among towns, and the expression in Jeremiah 48:31 and Jeremiah 48:36 is analogous to the phrase "Judah and Jerusalem." Nor can any proof be derived from the fact that Rabbath-Moab is merely called "Moab" in the Onomasticon of Eusebius, and Mb in Abulfeda, and Rabbath-Ammon, now merely "Amman;" because this mode of speaking will not admit of being applied for purposes of proof to matters pertaining to Old Testament times, since it originated only in the Christian ages,at a time, too, when Rabbath had become the capital of the country, and when Rabbath-Moab could easily be shortened by the common people into "Moab." Rabbath (of Moab), however, is not mentioned at all in the Old Testament.)

שׁבר, to break,of a nation or a city (Jeremiah 19:11; Isaiah 14:25, etc.), as it were, to ruin, - is here used of the country or kingdom. צעוריה is for צעיריה, as in Jeremiah 14:3. The little ones of Moab, that raise a cry, are neither the children (Vulgate, Dahler, Maurer), nor the small towns (Hitzig), nor the people of humble condition, but cives Moabi ad statum miserum dejecti (Kueper). The lxx have rendered εἰς Ζογόρα (i.e., צעורה), which reading is preferred by J. D. Michaelis, Ewald, Umbreit, Graf, Ngelsbach, but without sufficient reason; for neither the occurrence of Zoar in combination with Horonaim in Jeremiah 48:34, nor the parallel passage Isaiah 15:5, will prove the point. Isaiah 15:5 is not a parallel to this verse, but to Jeremiah 48:34; however, the train of thought is different from that before us here. Besides, Jeremiah writes the name of the town צער (not צוער), cf. v. 34, as in Isaiah 15:5; Deuteronomy 34:3; Genesis 13:10 (צוער occurs only in Genesis 19:22, Genesis 19:30); hence it is unlikely that צעור has been written by mistake for צוער.

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