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.
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.