Isaiah 16:8

8 The fields of Heshbon wither, the vines of Sibmah also. The rulers of the nations have trampled down the choicest vines, which once reached Jazer and spread toward the desert. Their shoots spread out and went as far as the sea.a

Read Isaiah 16:8 Using Other Translations

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.
For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah; the lords of the nations have struck down its branches, which reached to Jazer and strayed to the desert; its shoots spread abroad and passed over the sea.
The farms of Heshbon are abandoned; the vineyards at Sibmah are deserted. The rulers of the nations have broken down Moab— that beautiful grapevine. Its tendrils spread north as far as the town of Jazer and trailed eastward into the wilderness. Its shoots reached so far west that they crossed over the Dead Sea.

What does Isaiah 16:8 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 16:8

For the fields of Heshbon languish
Through drought; or because of the forage of the enemy, and their treading upon them; or because there were no men left to till and manure them. Of Heshbon (See Gill on Isaiah 15:4). It seems to have been a place famous for fields and pastures, and to have been a very fruitful and well watered place; hence we read of the fish pools in Heshbon, ( Song of Solomon 7:4 ) though Aben Ezra and Kimchi think the word signifies vines, as they suppose it does in ( Deuteronomy 32:32 ) : [and] the vine of Sibmah;
called Shebam and Shibmah, in ( Numbers 32:3 Numbers 32:38 ) thought to be the Seba of Ptolemy F5; and seems to have been famous for vines and vineyards: the lords of the Heathen have broken down the principal plants
thereof;
that is, the Chaldeans and their army, and commanders and principal officers of it, dealing with them as the Turks do with vines, wherever they meet with them, destroy them; though Jarchi and Kimchi interpret all this figuratively, both here and in the above clauses, of the inhabitants of these places, the multitude of the common people, and their princes, some being killed, and others carried captive; to which sense the Targum,

``because the armies of Heshbon are spoiled, the multitude of Sebama are killed, the kings of the people have killed their rulers:''
they are come [even] unto Jazer;
meaning either the Chaldean army, or the Moabites, who had fled hither; or rather this is to be understood of the vines of Sibmah, expressing the excellency and large spread of them, which reached even to Jazer; which, as Jerom says F6, was fifteen miles from Heshbon, called Jaazer, ( Numbers 21:32 ) ( 32:35 ) ( Joshua 21:39 ) : they wandered [through] the wilderness;
the wilderness of Moab, ( Deuteronomy 2:8 ) not the lords of the Heathen, nor the Moabites, but the vines and their branches, which crept along, and winded to and fro, as men wander about: her branches are stretched out;
that is, the branches of the vine Sibmah: they are gone over the sea;
the Dead Sea, called the sea of Jazer, ( Jeremiah 48:32 ) or rather a lake near that city.
FOOTNOTES:

F5 Geograph. l. 5. c. 19.
F6 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 92. G.
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