Jeremiah 48

Listen to Jeremiah 48

Judgment on Moab

1 1Concerning Moab. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Woe to 2Nebo, for it is laid waste! 3Kiriathaim is put to shame, it is taken; the fortress is put to shame 4and broken down;
2 the renown of Moab is no more. In 5Heshbon they planned disaster against her: 'Come, let us cut her off 6from being a nation!' You also, O 7Madmen, shall be brought to silence; the sword shall pursue you.
3 "A voice! A cry from 8Horonaim, 'Desolation and great destruction!'
4 Moab is destroyed; her little ones have made a cry.
5 9For at the ascent of Luhith they go up weeping;[a] for 10at the descent of Horonaim they have heard the distressed cry[b] of destruction.
6 Flee! Save yourselves! You will be like 11a juniper in the desert!
7 For, 12because you trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken; and 13Chemosh 14shall go into exile with 15his priests and his officials.
8 16The destroyer shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape; the valley shall perish, and 17the plain shall be destroyed, as the LORD has spoken.
9 "Give wings to Moab, for she would fly away; her cities shall become a desolation, with no inhabitant in them.
10 18"Cursed is he who does 19the work of the LORD with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.
11 "Moab has been at ease from his youth and has 20settled on his dregs; he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile; so his taste remains in him, and his scent is not changed.
12 "Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I shall send to him pourers who will pour him, and empty his vessels and break his[c] jars in pieces.
13 Then 21Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as 22the house of Israel was ashamed of 23Bethel, their confidence.
14 "How do you say, 'We are heroes and mighty men of war'?
15 The destroyer of 24Moab and his cities has come up, and the choicest of his young men have 25gone down to slaughter, declares 26the King, 27whose name is the LORD of hosts.
16 The calamity of Moab is near at hand, and his affliction hastens swiftly.
17 28Grieve for him, all you who are around him, and all who know his name; say, 29'How the mighty scepter is broken, the glorious staff.'
18 30"Come down from your glory, and sit on the parched ground, O inhabitant of 31Dibon! For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you; he has destroyed your strongholds.
19 32Stand by the way 33and watch, O inhabitant of 34Aroer! Ask him who flees and her who escapes; say, 'What has happened?'
20 Moab is put to shame, for it is broken; 35wail and cry! Tell it beside 36the Arnon, that 37Moab is laid waste.
21 "Judgment has come upon 38the tableland, upon Holon, and 39Jahzah, and Mephaath,
22 and 40Dibon, and 41Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim,
23 and 42Kiriathaim, and Beth-gamul, and 43Beth-meon,
24 and 44Kerioth, and 45Bozrah, and all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near.
25 46The horn of Moab is cut off, and 47his arm is broken, declares the LORD.
26 48"Make him drunk, 49because he magnified himself against the LORD, so that Moab shall 50wallow in his vomit, 51and he too shall be held in derision.
27 52Was not Israel a derision to you? 53Was he found among thieves, that whenever you spoke of him 54you wagged your head?
28 55"Leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, O inhabitants of Moab! Be 56like the dove that nests in the sides of the mouth of a gorge.
29 57We have heard of the pride of Moab-- he is very proud-- of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance, and the haughtiness of his heart.
30 I know his insolence, declares the LORD; 58his boasts are false, his deeds are false.
31 59Therefore I wail for Moab; I cry out for all Moab; for the men of 60Kir-hareseth I mourn.
32 More than for 61Jazer I weep for you, 62O vine of 63Sibmah! 64Your branches passed over the sea, reached to the Sea of 65Jazer; on your summer fruits and your grapes the destroyer has fallen.
33 66Gladness and joy have been taken away from the fruitful land of Moab; I have made the wine cease from the winepresses; no one treads them with shouts of joy; the shouting is not the shout of joy.
34 67"From the outcry at Heshbon even to Elealeh, as far as Jahaz they utter their voice, from Zoar to 68Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. For the waters of Nimrim also have become desolate.
35 And I will bring to an end in Moab, declares the LORD, him who offers sacrifice in 69the high place and makes offerings to his god.
36 Therefore my heart moans for Moab like a flute, and my heart moans like a flute for the men of 70Kir-hareseth. 71Therefore the riches they gained have perished.
37 72"For every head is shaved and every beard cut off. 73On all the hands are gashes, and 74around the waist is sackcloth.
38 On all the housetops of Moab and in the squares there is nothing but lamentation, for I have broken Moab like 75a vessel for which no one cares, declares the LORD.
39 How it is broken! How they wail! 76How Moab has turned his back in shame! So Moab 77has become a derision and a horror to all that are around him."
40 For thus says the LORD: "Behold, 78one shall fly swiftly like an eagle 79and spread his wings against Moab;
41 80the cities shall be taken and the strongholds seized. 81The heart of the warriors of Moab shall be in that day like the heart of 82a woman in her birth pains;
42 Moab shall be 83destroyed and be no longer a people, because 84he magnified himself against the LORD.
43 85Terror, pit, and snare are before you, O inhabitant of Moab! declares the LORD.
44 He who flees from the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. 86For I will bring these things upon Moab, the year of their punishment, declares the LORD.
45 "In the shadow of Heshbon fugitives stop without strength, for fire came out from Heshbon, flame from the house of Sihon; it has destroyed 87the forehead of Moab, the crown of 88the sons of tumult.
46 89Woe to you, O Moab! The people of 90Chemosh are undone, for your sons have been taken captive, and your daughters into captivity.
47 91Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, declares the LORD." Thus far is the judgment on Moab.

Jeremiah 48 Commentary

Chapter 48

Prophecies against Moab for pride and security. (1-13) For carnal confidence and contempt of God. (14-47)

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, ( Psalms 55:19 ) .

14-47. The destruction of Moab is further prophesied, to awaken them by national repentance and reformation to prevent the trouble, or by a personal repentance and reformation to prepare for it. In reading this long roll of threatenings, and mediating on the terror, it will be of more use to us to keep in view the power of God's anger and the terror of his judgments, and to have our hearts possessed with a holy awe of God and of his wrath, than to search into all the figures and expressions here used. Yet it is not perpetual destruction. The chapter ends with a promise of their return out of captivity in the latter days. Even with Moabites God will not contend for ever, nor be always wroth. The Jews refer it to the days of the Messiah; then the captives of the Gentiles, under the yoke of sin and Satan, shall be brought back by Divine grace, which shall make them free indeed.

Cross References 91

  • 1. Jeremiah 25:21; 2 Kings 24:2; See Isa. 15 - 16; Ezekiel 25:8-11; Amos 2:1-3; Zephaniah 2:8, 9
  • 2. ver. 22; Numbers 32:3
  • 3. ver. 23; Numbers 32:37; Joshua 13:19; Ezekiel 25:9
  • 4. ver. 20, 39
  • 5. ver. 34, 45; Jeremiah 49:3; Numbers 32:37; Isaiah 15:4
  • 6. [Jeremiah 31:36]
  • 7. [Isaiah 10:31]
  • 8. Isaiah 15:5; [ver. 34]
  • 9. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 10. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 11. Jeremiah 17:6
  • 12. Jeremiah 49:4
  • 13. Numbers 21:29
  • 14. [Isaiah 46:2]
  • 15. Jeremiah 49:3
  • 16. Jeremiah 6:26
  • 17. ver. 21; Josh. 13:9, 17, 21; [Deuteronomy 3:10]
  • 18. Judges 5:23; [1 Samuel 15:3, 9; 1 Kings 20:42]
  • 19. [1 Corinthians 15:58]
  • 20. Zephaniah 1:12
  • 21. [Numbers 21:29; Isaiah 16:14]
  • 22. [Hosea 10:6]
  • 23. [1 Kings 12:29]
  • 24. ver. 8, 18, 20; Isaiah 15:1
  • 25. Jeremiah 50:27
  • 26. See Jeremiah 46:18
  • 27. See Jeremiah 46:18
  • 28. [Isaiah 15:4, 5; Isaiah 16:7]
  • 29. [Isaiah 9:4; Isaiah 14:5]
  • 30. [Isaiah 47:1]
  • 31. Numbers 21:30; Isaiah 15:2
  • 32. [1 Samuel 4:13, 16; Nahum 2:1]
  • 33. [1 Samuel 4:13, 16; Nahum 2:1]
  • 34. Deuteronomy 2:36; Joshua 13:9
  • 35. [See ver. 17 above]
  • 36. Isaiah 16:2
  • 37. [See ver. 15 above]
  • 38. ver. 8; Numbers 21:23
  • 39. Joshua 13:18
  • 40. [See ver. 18 above]
  • 41. Numbers 33:46; Isaiah 15:2
  • 42. See ver. 1
  • 43. [Joshua 13:17; 1 Chronicles 5:8]
  • 44. Amos 2:2
  • 45. Jeremiah 49:13, 22; Isaiah 63:1
  • 46. [Psalms 75:10]
  • 47. [Ezekiel 30:21]
  • 48. Jeremiah 25:27; Jeremiah 51:39; Isaiah 19:14
  • 49. ver. 42
  • 50. Jeremiah 25:27; Jeremiah 51:39; Isaiah 19:14
  • 51. ver. 39
  • 52. Zephaniah 2:8; [Ezekiel 25:8]
  • 53. [Jeremiah 2:26]
  • 54. Psalms 64:8; Lamentations 2:15; Matthew 27:39
  • 55. ver. 9
  • 56. Psalms 55:6, 7; Song of Songs 2:14
  • 57. Isaiah 16:6
  • 58. [Jeremiah 50:36]
  • 59. Isaiah 15:5; Isaiah 16:7, 11
  • 60. [2 Kings 3:25]
  • 61. Numbers 21:32
  • 62. Isaiah 16:8, 9
  • 63. Joshua 13:19
  • 64. [Psalms 80:11]
  • 65. Numbers 21:32
  • 66. Isaiah 16:10
  • 67. See Isaiah 15:4-6
  • 68. ver. 3
  • 69. [Isaiah 15:2; Isaiah 16:12; Ezekiel 20:29]
  • 70. See ver. 31
  • 71. Isaiah 15:7
  • 72. Isaiah 15:2, 3
  • 73. [Jeremiah 47:5]
  • 74. Jeremiah 49:3; Lamentations 2:10; See Jeremiah 4:8
  • 75. [Jeremiah 22:28]
  • 76. [ver. 6]
  • 77. ver. 26
  • 78. Jeremiah 49:22; [Deuteronomy 28:49; Ezekiel 17:3]
  • 79. [Isaiah 8:8]
  • 80. ver. 24
  • 81. [Isaiah 13:7, 8]
  • 82. See Jeremiah 6:24
  • 83. [Isaiah 7:8]
  • 84. ver. 26
  • 85. Isaiah 24:17, 18; Lamentations 3:47
  • 86. [Jeremiah 11:23]
  • 87. Numbers 24:17
  • 88. Numbers 24:17
  • 89. See ver. 1
  • 90. ver. 13
  • 91. [Jeremiah 46:27; Jeremiah 49:39]

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Hebrew weeping goes up with weeping
  • [b]. Septuagint (compare Isaiah 15:5) heard the cry
  • [c]. Septuagint, Aquila; Hebrew their

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a prophecy of the destruction of Moab, and of the mourning that should be for it; and not only its destruction in general is predicted, but particular places are mentioned, on which it should fall, Jer 48:1-5; the causes of which were their confidence in their works and riches, their carnal ease and security, and their idolatry, they should now be ashamed of, Jer 48:6-13; and this destruction is represented both as certain and as near, notwithstanding their mighty warriors and choice young men, Jer 48:14-17; and then other cities are particularly named, that should share in the calamity, Jer 48:18-25; and all this because of their insolence to the Lord; their contempt of his people; their pride, arrogance, and haughtiness; their wrath, and their lies, Jer 48:26-30; and this destruction is further exaggerated by the lamentation of the prophet over Moab in general, and over several particular cities; and by the lamentation of the inhabitants of them, because of the spoiling of their vines, their fruits, and their riches, Jer 48:31-39; and this is confirmed by the Lord, as to the swiftness of the enemy that should destroy them; the consternation and fear that should seize them; the flight they should be put to; and the consumption and captivity of them, Jer 48:40-46; and the chapter is concluded with a promise of the return of their captivity in the latter day, Jer 48:47.

Jeremiah 48 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.