Isaiah 16:8
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For the fields of Heshbon have withered, the vines of Sibmah as well; The lords of the nations have trampled down its choice clusters Which reached as far as Jazer and wandered to the deserts; Its tendrils spread themselves out and passed over the sea.

King James Bible
For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah: the lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof, they are come even unto Jazer, they wandered through the wilderness: her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea.

Darby Bible Translation
For the fields of Heshbon languish, the vine of Sibmah; the lords of the nations have broken down its choice plants: they reached unto Jaazer, they wandered through the wilderness; its shoots stretched out, they went beyond the sea.

World English Bible
For the fields of Heshbon languish with the vine of Sibmah. The lords of the nations have broken down its choice branches, which reached even to Jazer, which wandered into the wilderness. Its shoots were spread abroad. They passed over the sea.

Young's Literal Translation
Because fields of Heshbon languish, The vine of Sibmah, Lords of nations did beat her choice vines, Unto Jazer they have come, They have wandered in a wilderness, Her plants have spread themselves, They have passed over a sea.

Isaiah 16:8 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For the fields of Heshbon - (See the note at Isaiah 15:4.)

Languish - They are parched up with drought. The 'fields' here evidently mean "vineyards," for so the parallelism demands. So in Deuteronomy 32:32 :

Their vine is of the vine of Sodom,

And of the fields of Gomorrah.

And the vine of Sibmah - Sibmah, or Shibmah, was a city of Reuben Numbers 32:38; Joshua 13:19. Jeremiah, in the parallel place Jeremiah 48:32 speaks of the vine of Sibmah also. He also says that the enemies of Moab had taken Sibmah, and that the vine and wine had been destroyed Jeremiah 48:33. There was no more certain mode of producing desolation in a land where grapes were extensively cultivated than to cut down the vines. The Turks constantly practice that in regard to their enemies, and the result is, that wide desolation comes upon the countries which they invade. At this time it is probable that Sibmah belonged to the Moabites. It is mentioned here as being distinguished for the luxuriant production of the grape. Seetzen still found the vine cultivated in that region. Jerome says, that between Sibmah and Heshbon there was scarcely a distance of five hundred paces, half a Roman mile.

The lords of the heathen - The princes of the pagan nations that had come to invade Moab. The words 'have broken down' (הלמוּ hâlemû) may be taken in either of two senses, either to beat, strike, or break down, as in our version; or "to be" beaten, or smitten with wine - that is, to become intoxicated - like the Greek οἰνοπλὴξ oinoplēx - "smitten with wine." The former is doubtless the sense here.

The principal plants thereof - The chose vines of it - "her sorek" (שׂרוּקיה s'erûqehā). (See the notes at Isaiah 5:2.)

They are come - That is, the vines of Sibmah had spread or extended themselves even to Jazer, indicating their great luxuriance and fertility." Jazer was a city at the foot of the mountains of Gilead which was given to Gad, and afterward to the Levites Joshua 21:39. Jerome says it was about fifteen miles from Heshbon. Seetzen found the ruins of a city called Szar, and another place called Szir, from which a small stream (Nahar Szir) flows into the Jordan (Gesenius). That the shoots of the vine of Sibmah reached unto Jazer and the desert, is a beautiful poetic expression for the extensive spread and luxuriance of the vine in that region.

They wandered - The vines "wandered" in the desert. They found no twig or tree to which they could attach themselves, and they spread around in wild luxuriancy.

Through the wilderness - The wilderness or desert of Arabia, which encompassed Moab.

Her branches are stretched out - Are extended far, or are very luxuriant.

They are gone over the sea - Called in the parallel place in Jeremiah 48:32, 'the Sea of Jazer;' probably some lake that had that name near the city of Jazer. It may "possibly" mean the Dead Sea, but that name is not elsewhere given to the Dead Sea in the Scriptures. It has been objected by some to this statement that modern travelers have not found any such place as the 'Sea of Jazer;' or any lake in the vicinity of Jazer. But we may observe -

(1) that Seetzen found a stream flowing into the Jordan near Jazer; and

(2) that it is possible that a pond or lake may have once there existed which may have been since, in the course of ages, filled with sand.


Isaiah 16:8 Parallel Commentaries

Cross References
Numbers 32:38
and Nebo and Baal-meon-- their names being changed-- and Sibmah, and they gave other names to the cities which they built.

Joshua 13:25
Their territory was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the sons of Ammon, as far as Aroer which is before Rabbah;

Isaiah 15:4
Heshbon and Elealeh also cry out, Their voice is heard all the way to Jahaz; Therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud; His soul trembles within him.

Jeremiah 48:32
"More than the weeping for Jazer I will weep for you, O vine of Sibmah! Your tendrils stretched across the sea, They reached to the sea of Jazer; Upon your summer fruits and your grape harvest The destroyer has fallen.

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Abroad Branches Broken Choice Extended Fields Heathen Heshbon Jazer Languish Nations Overcome Passed Plants Principal Reached Sea Shoots Sibmah Spread Stretched Thereof Vine Wandered Wilderness
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