And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh
Two other cities in the land of Moab. The first of these was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites, who took it from the Moabites, ( Numbers 21:25-30 ) it came into the hands of the Reubenites, ( Numbers 32:3 Numbers 32:37 ) and afterwards was again possessed by the Moabites, ( Jeremiah 48:2 Jeremiah 48:34 Jeremiah 48:45 ) . Josephus F20 calls it Essebon, and mentions it among the cities of Moab; it goes by the name of Esbuta in Ptolemy F21; and is called Esbus by Jerom F23, who says it was a famous city of Arabia in his time, in the mountains over against Jericho, twenty miles distant from Jordan; hence we read of the Arabian Esbonites in Pliny F24. Elealeh was another city of Moab, very near to Heshbon and frequently mentioned with it, ( Isaiah 16:9 ) ( Numbers 32:3 Numbers 32:37 ) ( Jeremiah 48:34 ) . Jerom says F25 that in his time it was a large village, a mile from Esbus, or Heshbon. By these two places are meant the inhabitants of them, as the Targum paraphrases it, who cried for and lamented the desolation that was coming, or was come upon them: their voice shall be heard [even] unto Jahaz;
sometimes called Jahazah, ( Joshua 13:18 ) ( 21:36 ) ( Jeremiah 48:21 ) it was a frontier town, at the utmost borders of the land, ( Numbers 21:23 ) ( Deuteronomy 2:32 ) hence the cry of the inhabitants of the above cities is said to reach to it, which expresses the utter destruction that should be made; see ( Jeremiah 48:34 ) this is thought to be the same place Ptolemy F26 calls Ziza. Jerom F1 calls it Jazza, as it is in the Septuagint here, and says that in his time it was shown between Medaba and Deblathai. Therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out;
not as when they go to battle, with courage and cheerfulness, as some have thought; but through fear, and as in great terror and distress; and so it signifies, that not only the weak and unarmed inhabitants, men and women, should be in the utmost confusion and consternation, but the soldiers that should fight for them, and defend them; who were accoutred, or "harnessed", as the word signifies, and were "girt" and prepared for war, as the Targum renders it; even these would be dispirited, and have no heart to fight, but lament their sad case: his life shall be grievous to everyone;
the life of every Moabite would be a burden to him; he would choose death rather than life; so great the calamity: or the life of every soldier; or "his soul shall cry out", grieve or mourn for "himself" F2; for his own unhappy case; he shall only be concerned for himself, how to save himself, or make his escape; having none for others, for whose defence he was set, and for whom he was to fight; but would have no concern for his king or country, only for himself.
F20 Antiqu. l. 13. c. 15. sect. 4.
F21 Geograph. l. 5. c. 17. P. 137.
F23 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 90. M.
F24 Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 11.
F25 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 90. M.
F26 Geograph. l. 5. c. 17. p. 137.
F1 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 92. F.
F2 (wl hery wvpn) "anima ejus vociferabit sibi", Pagninus & Montanus.