Jeremiah 48:45

45 “In the shadow of Heshbon the fugitives stand helpless, for a fire has gone out from Heshbon, a blaze from the midst of Sihon; it burns the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of the noisy boasters.

Read Jeremiah 48:45 Using Other Translations

They that fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of the force: but a fire shall come forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones.
"In the shadow of Heshbon fugitives stop without strength, for fire came out from Heshbon, flame from the house of Sihon; it has destroyed the forehead of Moab, the crown of the sons of tumult.
“The people flee as far as Heshbon but are unable to go on. For a fire comes from Heshbon, King Sihon’s ancient home, to devour the entire land with all its rebellious people.

What does Jeremiah 48:45 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Jeremiah 48:45

They that fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon, because of
the force
Heshbon was a strong city in the land of Moab, to which many of the Moabites betook themselves in this time of their calamity; thinking they should be sheltered, under the protection of it, from the fury of the Chaldean army; hither they fled, and here they stood, imagining they were safe, "because of the force"; because of the strength of the city of Heshbon, as Kimchi; or because of the force of their enemies, for fear of them, as Kimchi's father; or for want of strength, because they had no more strength to flee, and therefore stopped there, so Jarchi and Abarbinel: but the words should rather be rendered, "they that stood under the shadow of Heshbon"; thinking themselves safe, but now perceiving danger, "fled with strength" F18; or as swiftly as they could, and with all the strength they had, that they might, if possible, escape from thence: for a fire
F19 (for so it should be rendered, and not "but a fire") shall come forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon;
the same with Heshbon; so called from Sihon, an ancient king of it; the meaning is, that the Chaldeans should make themselves masters of Heshbon, this strong city, in which the Moabites trusted; and from thence should go out like a flame of fire, and spread themselves all over the country, and destroy it: what was formerly said of the Amorites, who took the land of Moab out of the hands of the king of it, and it became afterwards a proverbial expression, is here applied to the Chaldeans; see ( Numbers 21:26-28 ) ; so the Targum, by a flame of fire, understands warriors: and shall devour the corner of Moab;
the whole country, even to the borders of it. The Targum is,

``and shall slay the princes of Moab;''
so great men are sometimes called corners; see ( Zechariah 10:4 ) ( Numbers 24:17 ) ; and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones;
not of the common people that were tumultuous and riotous, but of the great ones, who swaggered and boasted, and made a noise about their strength and riches; but now should have their heads broke, and their pride and glory laid in the dust. So the Targum,
``and the nobles, the children of noise.''

FOOTNOTES:

F18 (Myon xwkm) "ex virbus (soil. suis) erunt fugientes", Schmidt.
F19 (va yk) "quia ignis", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Schmidt.
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