Jeremiah 48:2
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 you shall be cut down, O Madmen; the sword shall pursue you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) There shall be no more praise of Moab.—The self-glorifying boasts of Moab (of which the Moabite Inscription discovered at Dibân in 1868 is a conspicuous instance, see Ginsburg’s Moabite Stone and Records of the Past, xi. p. 163) seem to have been almost proverbial (Jeremiah 48:29; Isaiah 16:6). Heshbon (the city is perhaps chosen on account of the similarity of sound with the word for “devise “) was on the Ammonite or northern frontier of Moab (Jeremiah 49:3), and is represented therefore as the scene of the plans and hopes of the invading Chaldæans. The site of Madmen is unknown, but the cognate form Madmenah is translated “dunghill” in Isaiah 25:10, and may have been chosen by each prophet on account of its ignominious meaning. The name appears as belonging to a town in Benjamin (Isaiah 10:31) and in Judah (Joshua 15:31). Here again there is an obvious assonance or paronomasia, the verb “thou shalt be cut down,” or better, thou shalt be brought to silence, reproducing the chief consonants of the noun. The LXX., Vulgate, and Syriac, indeed, take the words with this meaning, “In silence thou shalt be made silent,” but are probably wrong in doing so. If we take the word in somewhat of the same sense as in Isaiah, the words may point to the place being filled with the mouldering carcases of the silent dead.

Jeremiah 48:2-6. There shall be no more praise of Moab — The glory of Moab shall be contemned, as Isaiah speaks, Isaiah 16:14. Every thing for which it was famous shall be destroyed. In Heshbon they have devised evil against it — Heshbon was the capital city of the Moabites: when the Chaldeans made themselves masters of Heshbon, a place of great importance, they consulted how to carry on their conquests over the rest of the country. Thou shalt be cut down, or, brought to silence, Isaiah 15:1. O Madmen — A city in Moab. Her little ones have caused a cry to be heard — Or, sent forth a cry. Both small and great were involved in this calamity, but the word צעיר, signifies great as well as little: and the Chaldee paraphrast renders it here lords; which seems to be the sense in which it is used. For in the going up, &c. — The ascent of Luhith is in tears, and their weeping is increased, because, in the descent of Horonaim, the enemies have heard the cry of the sufferers: see Isaiah 15:5. Flee, &c., and be like the heath — Resort to the most solitary places, and continue in obscurity where no enemy can find you out.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.No more praise of Moab - literally, "The glory of Moab is no more," i. e., Moab has no more cause for boasting.

Heshbon - This town now belonged to the Ammonites Jeremiah 49:3 but was on the border. The enemy encamped there arranges the plan of his campaign against Moab.

In the original there is a play of words upon the names Heshbon and Madmen.

2. no more praise—(Isa 16:14).

in Heshbon—The foe having taken Heshbon, the chief city of Moab (Jer 48:45), in it devise evil against Moab ("it") saying, Come, &c. Heshbon was midway between the rivers Arnon and Jabbok; it was the residence of Sihon, king of the Amorites, and afterwards a Levitical city in Gad (Nu 21:26). There is a play on words in the Hebrew, "Heshbon, Hashbu." Heshbon means a place of devising or counsel. The city, heretofore called the seat of counsel, shall find other counsellors, namely, those who devise its destruction.

thou shall be cut down … Madmen—rather, by a play on words on the meaning of madmen ("silence"), Thou shalt be brought to silence, so as well to deserve thy name (Isa 15:1). Thou shalt not dare to utter a sound.

Heshbon was formerly the city of Sihon, Numbers 21:26; it became afterward one of the principal cities of the Moabites, as appeareth from Isaiah 15:4; which maketh the learned author of our English Annotations think our translation not so good; for why should they devise evil in Heshbon against Moab, unless the enemies sat there in council, when they had taken it, against the other parts of the country? But possibly the sense is, they shall no more in Heshbon magnify Moab, or Moab shall no more glory of Heshbon, for the enemies had contrived the ruin of it.

Madmen was another city in the country of Moab. Some think the same with Ptolemy’s Madiama. To that city also the prophet threateneth ruin and destruction by the sword. There shall be no more praise of Moab,.... It shall be no more commended for a rich, populous, and fruitful country, being now laid waste; though the next phrase,

in Heshbon, or "concerning Heshbon" (b), should be read in connection with this; and then the sense is, there shall be none any more in Heshbon to praise the country of Moab, what a fine and fertile country it is, since that city will be destroyed also; or there will be no more a Moabite to boast of his being an inhabitant in Heshbon, such an utter destruction will be made of it; or there will be no more boasting of Moab, or of any Moabite concerning Heshbon, what a famous, opulent, or strong city that is, since it is no more. Of this city See Gill on Isaiah 15:4;

they have devised evil against it; that is, the Chaldeans devised evil against Heshbon, to besiege it, take and destroy it: there is in the expression a beautiful allusion to the name of the city of Heshbon, which has its name from a word that signifies to devise and consult (c);

come, and let us cut it off from being a nation: this is what the Babylonians consulted together against Heshbon; and not only against that, a principal city; but against the whole country of Moab, to make such an entire desolation of it, that it should be no more a nation: that which the Moabites with others devised against the people of Israel is now devised against them; a just retaliation this; see Psalm 83:4;

also thou shalt be cut down, O Madmen; or utterly destroyed: it may be rendered, "shall become silent" (d); the voice of man shall not be heard in it, especially the voice of praise, of boasting, and rejoicing: there is in this clause also an elegant allusion to the name of the place, which comes from a root that signifies to "cut down", or "be silent" (e). This is thought by Grotius to be the Madiama of Ptolemy (f):

the sword shall pursue thee; after it has destroyed other cities, it should come in great haste and with great force to Madmen; or it should pursue after the inhabitants, of it, that should make their escape, or attempt to do so. The Targum is,

"after thee shall go out those that slay with the sword.''

(b) "nulla amplius gloriatio Moab in Chesbon", Calvin; "non ultra laus, Moab in Chesbon", Montanus; to the same purpose Vatablus. (c) a "cogitavit", "excogitavit". (d) "silebis", Montanus; so R. Judah in Ben Melech; "ad silentium redigeris"; so some in Vatablus. (e) . (f) Geograph. l. 6. c. 7.

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

(b) Thus shall the Babylonians encourage one another.

(c) Read Isa 25:10.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. in Heshbon they have devised] There is a play on the two Hebrew words thus rendered (b’Ḥeshbon ḥash’bu) which might be represented in English by in Devizes they have devised. Heshbon, one of the chief cities of Moab, lay to the N. E. of the Dead Sea, and was considered the N. boundary of Moab till Reuben, on entering Palestine, claimed the territory between it and the Arnon which enters the Dead Sea about the middle of its E. side. Of the cities assigned (Joshua 13:15 ff.) to Reuben many are here mentioned as occupied by Moab. Hence the constant hostility between Moab and Israel (Jdg 3:12 ff.; 1 Samuel 14:47, etc.).

O Madmen, shalt be brought to silence] Here again there is a play on the sound in the Hebrew which is, Madmên, tiddômmi. But perhaps we should read with the LXX and Syr. thou (i.e. Moab) shalt be utterly brought to silence.Verse 2. - There shall be no more praise of Moab; rather, Moab's glory (or, glorying) is no more (comp. ver. 29). In Heshbon they have devised evil, etc. There is a word play in the Hebrew, which may be reproduced thus: "In Plot-house they plot evil against it" (so J. F. Smith's Ewald). Against it (literally, her) means "against Moab." Heshbon was at the time an Ammonitish town (it had in days gone by been Amoritish, Numbers 21:26); see Jeremiah 49:3; but was on the border of Moab. O Madmen. There seems to be again a word play, which has been to some extent reproduced thus: "Thou shalt become still, O Still house." The name Madmen does not occur again, though an allusion to it has been fancied in Isaiah 25:10, where the Hebrew for "dunghill" is madmenah. "Thus saith Jahveh: Behold, waters shall rise up out of the north, and shall become an inundating stream, and they shall inundate the land and its fulness, cities and those who dwell in them; and men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl. Jeremiah 47:3. Because of the sound of the trampling of the hoofs of his strong horses, because of the din of his chariots, the noise of his wheels, fathers to not look back to their children from weakness of hands; Jeremiah 47:4. Because of the day that cometh to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Zidon every one remaining as a helper; for Jahveh destroyeth the Philistines, the remnant of the coast of Caphtor. Jeremiah 47:5. Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is destroyed, the rest of their plain. How long wilt thou cut thyself? Jeremiah 47:6. O sword of Jahveh, how long wilt thou not rest? Draw thyself back into thy sheath; rest, and be still. Jeremiah 47:7. How canst thou be quiet, when Jahveh hath commanded thee? Against Ashkelon and against the sea-coast, there hath He appointed it."

The address opens with a figure. The hostile army that is to devastate Philistia is represented as a stream of water, breaking forth from the north, and swelling to an overflowing winter-torrent, that inundates the country ad cities with their inhabitants. The figure is often used: cf. Jeremiah 46:7-8, where the Egyptian host is compared to the waves of the Nile; and Isaiah 8:7, where the Assyrian army is likened to the floods of the Euphrates. The simile is applied here in another way. The figure is taken from a strong spring of water, coming forth in streams out of the ground, in the north, and swelling to an overflowing winter-torrent, that pours out its floods over Philistia, laying it waste. "From the north" is used here as in Jeremiah 46:20, and points back to Jeremiah 1:13-14. "An inundating stream" is here employed as in Isaiah 30:20; "earth and its fulness, a city and those who dwell in it," as in Isaiah 8:16. In Jeremiah 47:3 follows the application of the figure. It is a martial host that overflows the land, and with its mighty noise puts the inhabitants in such terror that they think only of a hasty flight; even fathers do not turn back to save their children. שׁעטהἅπ. λεγ., Syriac se‛aṭ, incedere, gradi, hence probably the stamping of hoofs. אבּירים, strong horses, as in Jeremiah 8:16. לרכבּו, instead of the construct state, has perhaps been chosen only for the sake of introducing a variation; cf. Ewald, 290, a. הפנה, to turn the back, as in Jeremiah 46:5. "Slackness of hands," i.e., utter loss of courage through terror; cf. Jeremiah 6:24 (the form רפיון only occurs here). In Jeremiah 47:4 the deeper source of fear is mentioned; "because of the day," i.e., because the day has come to destroy all the Philistines, namely, the day of the judgment determined by the Lord; cf. Jeremiah 46:10. "In order to destroy every remnant helping Tyre and Zidon." שׂריד עזר are the Philistines, who could afford help to the Phoenicians in the struggle against the Chaldean power. This implies that the Phoenicians also shall perish without any one to help them. This indirect mention of the Phoenicians appears striking, but it is to be explained partly on the ground that Jeremiah has uttered special prophecies only against the chief enemies of Judah, and partly also perhaps from the historical relations, i.e., from the fact that the Philistines might have afforded help to the Phoenicians in the struggles against the great powers of the world. Hitzig unnecessarily seeks to take לצר וּלצידון as the object, and to expunge כּל־שׂריד עזר as a gloss. The objections which he raises against the construction are groundless, as is shown by such passages as Jeremiah 44:7; Isaiah 14:22; 1 Kings 14:10, etc. "The remaining helper" is the expression used, because the other nations that could help the Egyptians, viz., the Syrians and Phoenicians, had already succumbed to the Chaldean power. The destruction will be so great as this, because it is Jahveh who destroys the Philistines, the remnant of the coast of Caphtor. According to Amos 9:7; Deuteronomy 2:23, the Philistines came from Caphtor; hence שׁארית אי can only mean "what still remains of the people of Philistia who come from the coat of Caphtor," like "the remnant of the Philistines" in Amos 1:8. Opinions are divided as to Caphtor. The prevailing view is that of Lakemacher, that Caphtor is the name of the island of Crete; but for this there are no tenable grounds: see on Zephaniah 2:5; and Delitzsch on Genesis, S. 248, Aufl. 4. Dietrich (in Merx' Archiv. i. S. 313ff.) and Ebers (Aegypten u. die Bcher Moses, i. S. 130ff.) agree in thinking that Caphtor is the shore of the Delta, but they explain the name differently. Dietrich derives it from the Egyptian Kah-pet-Hôr (district of Hor), which he takes to be the environs of the city of Buto, and the lake called after it (the modern Burlos), not far from the Sebennytic mouth of the Nile; Ebers, following the tablet of Canopus, in which the Egyptian name Kfa (Kaf) is given as that of Phoenicia, derives the name from Kaf-t-ur, i.e., the great Kefa, as the ancient seat of the Phoenicians on the shore of the Delta must have been called. But both explanations are still very doubtful, though there is no question about the migration of the Philistines from Egypt into Canaan.

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