Flee, save your lives
These are either the words of the Moabites, their cry of destruction mentioned in the latter part of ( Jeremiah 48:5 ) ; who, seeing nothing but ruin before their eyes, advise one another to flee in all haste, and save their lives if possible, since nothing else could be saved: or else they are the words of the prophet, giving counsel to the Moabites to betake themselves to flight for the safety of their lives, these being in great danger; so Abarbinel; with whom others agree, only think they are spoken ironically; suggesting, that when they had endeavoured by flight to save their lives, it would be to no purpose; they should not escape the hands of their enemies; which seems to be the truest sense: and be like the heath in the wilderness;
which is called "erice", or "ling", which grows in waste places. Kimchi and Menachem in Jarchi interpret it of a tree that grows in dry and desert places; a low, naked, barren, fruitless shrub; signifying, that, when they were fled from their habitations, they should be as solitary and stripped of all their good things as such a bare and naked shrub in a desert. Kimchi's note is, that when they had left their cities and fled, their cities would be as the heath in the wilderness. The Targum is,
``and be ye as the tower of Aroer, "as they" who dwell in tents in the wilderness.''Jarchi observes that the tower of Aroer was built in the wilderness, and there was no inhabitant round it but those that dwelt in tents; and, the tower standing where there was no inhabitant, it looked like a waste. The Septuagint version is very foreign, "as a wild ass in the wilderness"; which is followed by the Arabic version.