Jeremiah 48:8
And the spoiler shall come on every city, and no city shall escape: the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the LORD has spoken.
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(8) The valley also shall perish . . .—The cities of “the plain” are enumerated in Jeremiah 48:21-24. They belonged to the Arabah, the sunken valley of the Jordan, the “plains of Moab” of Numbers 22:1; Deuteronomy 3:10; Deuteronomy 4:43. The “valley” here is not connected with anything that helps us to identify it, but it may have been that of the Arnon, or the words may be used generically for “every valley” and “every plain.”

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.The valley - The lowlands on the east bank of the Jordan, and at the top of the Dead Sea.

The plain - An upland pasture; it answers very much to downs: so in Jeremiah 48:21.

8. the valley … shall perish—that is, those dwelling in the valley. That is, all the parts of the country of Moab, and all the cities, as well those that stood upon hills and mountainous places, as those that stood in valleys; because or for the Lord had said it (for so the particle we translate as is bettea translated). And the spoiler shall come upon every city,.... That is, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and his army. The Targum is, the spoilers, who came against and took every city of Moab, and wasted them. Josephus (n) makes particular mention of Nebuchadnezzar subduing the Ammonites and Moabites:

and no city shall escape; the spoiler, and destruction by him:

the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the Lord hath spoken; not only the cities, and the inhabitants of them; but the inhabitants of the valleys and plains, as the Targum paraphrases it, should be destroyed; and also the corn that grew upon them, and the flocks and herds that grazed there, exactly as the Lord had foretold.

(n) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 9. sect. 7.

And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape: the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the LORD hath spoken.
8. the valley] the valley of the Jordan towards the Dead Sea.

the plain] the tableland of Moab.Verse 8. - The valley... the plain. The latter (Hebrew, mishor) is the upland region which extends from the Jordan eastward of Jericho into the Arabian desert; in Numbers 21:20 it is called the "field" (i.e. "open country") of Moab. The former means that part of the Jordan valley which borders on this upland "plain" towards the west. Calamities to come on Moab. - Jeremiah 48:1. "Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, Woe to Nebo, for it is laid waste! Kiriathaim is come to dishonour, it is taken: the fortress is come to dishonour and broken down. Jeremiah 48:2. Moab's glory is no more. In Heshbon they have devised evil against her, [saying], Come, and let us cut her off from [being] a nation: thou also, O Madmen, art brought to silence; the sword shall go after thee. Jeremiah 48:3. A sound of crying from Horonaim, desolation and great destruction. Jeremiah 48:4. Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard. Jeremiah 48:5. For they ascend the ascent of Luhith with weeping - weeping: for on the descent of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction. Jeremiah 48:6. Flee, save your life! and be like one destitute in the wilderness. Jeremiah 48:7. For, because they trust [was] in thy works, and in thy treasures, thou also shalt be taken; and Chemosh shall go into captivity, his priests and his princes together. Jeremiah 48:8. The destroyer shall come to every city, and no city shall escape; and the valley shall perish, and the plain shall be laid waste, as Jahveh hath said."

With the exclamation "Woe!" Jeremiah transports the hearers of the word of God at once into the midst of the catastrophe which is to come on Moab; this is with the view of humbling the pride of this people, and chastening them for their sins. The woe is uttered over Nebo, but holds also of the towns named afterwards. Nebo is not the mountain of that name (Deuteronomy 32:49; Deuteronomy 34:1), but the city, which probably did not lie far from the peak in the mountain-range of Abarim, which bore the same name (Numbers 32:3, Numbers 32:38; Isaiah 15:2), although in the Onomasticon, s.v. Ναβαῦ, the situation of the mountain is given as being six Roman miles from Heshbon, towards the west, and s.v. Ναβώρ, that of the city, eight Roman miles south from Heshbon, for both accounts point to a situation in the south-west. The Arab. name nba equals is still applied to some ruins; cf. Robinson's Palestine, iii. p. 170. "Kiriathaim is taken." The site of this town, mentioned as early as Genesis 14:5, has been fixed, since the time of Burckhardt, as that of a mass of ruins called et Teim, about five miles south of Heshbon; but Dietrich, in Merx' Archiv. i. S. 337ff., has shown this is incorrect. According to Eusebius, in his Onomasticon, Kiriathaim lay ten Roman miles to the west of Medeba: this suits not merely the position of et Teim, but also the ruins of Kereyat south-west from Medeba, on the ridge of Mount Attarus, a little to the south of M'kaur (Machaerus), and of Baara in the Wady Zerka Maein, where also is the plain mentioned in Genesis 14:5, either in the plain stretching direct east from Kereyat between Wady Zerka Maein and Wady Wal, or south-east in the beautiful plain el Kura, described by Burckhardt, p. 371ff., between the Wal and the Mojeb. Nebo and Kiriathaim lay on the eastern border of the high range of mountains, and seem to be comprehended under המּשׂגּב, "the height, the high fortress," in the third clause of Jeremiah 48:1, as the representatives of the mountain country of Moab. Various expositors, certainly, take the word as a proper name designating an elevated region; Graf and Ngelsbach take it to be a name of Kir-Moab (Kir-heres, Kir-haresheth, Jeremiah 48:31, Jeremiah 48:36), the chief fortress in the country, the modern Kerek in the southern part of Moab; but no valid proof has been adduced. By "the height" Hitzig understands the highlands, which learn of the fall of these towns in the lowlands, and feel this disgrace that has come on Moab, but have not yet themselves been taken. But this view is untenable, because the towns of Nebo and Kiriathaim are not situated in the level country. Again, since הובשׁה is common to the two clauses, the distinction between נלכּדה and חתּה could hardly be pressed so far as to make the latter the opposite of the former, in the sense of being still unconquered. The meaning rather is, that through Nebo's being laid waste, and the capture of Kiriathaim, the fortress on which the Moabites trusted is no more. And to this Jeremiah 48:3 appropriately adds, "the boasting of Moab is gone," i.e., Moab has no more ground for boasting. "In Heshbon they (the enemy, or the conquerors) plot evil against Moab." Heshbon was formerly the capital of the Amorite kingdom of Sihon (Numbers 21:26; Deuteronomy 2:24, etc.), and was assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Joshua 13:17); but because it lay on the boundary of the territory belonging to the tribe, it was given up to the Gadites, and set apart as a Levitical city (Joshua 21:37). It lay ten Roman miles east from the Jordan, opposite Jericho, almost intermediate between the Arnon and the Jabbok, and is still pointed out, though in ruins, under the old name Heshbn (see on Numbers 32:37). At the time of Jeremiah it was taken possession of by the Ammonites (Jeremiah 49:3), consequently it was the frontier town of the Moabite territory at that time; and being such, it is here named as the town where the enemy, coming from the north, deliberate regarding the conquest of Moab - "meditate evil," i.e., decide upon conquest and devastation. The suffix of עליה refers to Moab as a country, and hence is feminine; cf. v. 4. "We will destroy it (Moab) מגּוי, so that it shall no longer be a nation." Just as in בּחשׁבּון חשׁבוּ there is a play on the words, so is there also in the expression מדמן תּדּמּי which follows. This very circumstance forms an argument for taking Madmen as a proper name, instead of an appellative, as Venema and Hitzig have done, after the example of the lxx: "Yea, thou shalt be destroyed (and made into) a dunghill." In support of this rendering they point to 2 Kings 10:27; Ezra 6:11. But the verb דּמם, in its meaning, ill accords with מדמן in the sense of a dung-heap, and in this case there would be no foundation for a play upon the words (Graf). It is no proof of the non-existence of a place called Madmen in Moab, that it is not mentioned elsewhere; Madmena in the tribe of Benjamin (Isaiah 10:31), and Madmanna in Judah (Joshua 15:31), are also mentioned but once. These passages rather show that the name Madmen was not uncommon; and it was perhaps with reference to this name that Isaiah (Isaiah 25:10) chose the figure of the dunghill. דּמם, to be silent, means, in the Niphal, to be brought to silence, be exterminated, perish; cf. Jeremiah 49:26; Jeremiah 25:37; Jeremiah 8:14, etc. As to the form תּדּמּי instead of תּדּמּי , cf. Ewald, 140, b; Gesenius, 67, Rem. 5. The following clause refers to Madmen: "after thee shall the sword go;" cf. Jeremiah 9:15.

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