Jeremiah 48

A Message About Moab

1 Concerning Moab: This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined. Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured; the stronghold[a] will be disgraced and shattered.
2 Moab will be praised no more; in Heshbon[b] people will plot her downfall: ‘Come, let us put an end to that nation.’ You, the people of Madmen,[c] will also be silenced; the sword will pursue you.
3 Cries of anguish arise from Horonaim, cries of great havoc and destruction.
4 Moab will be broken; her little ones will cry out.[d]
5 They go up the hill to Luhith, weeping bitterly as they go; on the road down to Horonaim anguished cries over the destruction are heard.
6 Flee! Run for your lives; become like a bush[e] in the desert.
7 Since you trust in your deeds and riches, you too will be taken captive, and Chemosh will go into exile, together with his priests and officials.
8 The destroyer will come against every town, and not a town will escape. The valley will be ruined and the plateau destroyed, because the LORD has spoken.
9 Put salt on Moab, for she will be laid waste[f] ; her towns will become desolate, with no one to live in them.
10 “A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the LORD’s work! A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed!
11 “Moab has been at rest from youth, like wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another— she has not gone into exile. So she tastes as she did, and her aroma is unchanged.
12 But days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will send men who pour from pitchers, and they will pour her out; they will empty her pitchers and smash her jars.
13 Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh, as Israel was ashamed when they trusted in Bethel.
14 “How can you say, ‘We are warriors, men valiant in battle’?
15 Moab will be destroyed and her towns invaded; her finest young men will go down in the slaughter,” declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty.
16 “The fall of Moab is at hand; her calamity will come quickly.
17 Mourn for her, all who live around her, all who know her fame; say, ‘How broken is the mighty scepter, how broken the glorious staff!’
18 “Come down from your glory and sit on the parched ground, you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon, for the one who destroys Moab will come up against you and ruin your fortified cities.
19 Stand by the road and watch, you who live in Aroer. Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping, ask them, ‘What has happened?’
20 Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered. Wail and cry out! Announce by the Arnon that Moab is destroyed.
21 Judgment has come to the plateau— to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath,
22 to Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,
23 to Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
24 to Kerioth and Bozrah— to all the towns of Moab, far and near.
25 Moab’s horn[g] is cut off; her arm is broken,” declares the LORD.
26 “Make her drunk, for she has defied the LORD. Let Moab wallow in her vomit; let her be an object of ridicule.
27 Was not Israel the object of your ridicule? Was she caught among thieves, that you shake your head in scorn whenever you speak of her?
28 Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks, you who live in Moab. Be like a dove that makes its nest at the mouth of a cave.
29 “We have heard of Moab’s pride— how great is her arrogance!— of her insolence, her pride, her conceit and the haughtiness of her heart.
30 I know her insolence but it is futile,” declares the LORD, “and her boasts accomplish nothing.
31 Therefore I wail over Moab, for all Moab I cry out, I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth.
32 I weep for you, as Jazer weeps, you vines of Sibmah. Your branches spread as far as the sea[h] ; they reached as far as[i] Jazer. The destroyer has fallen on your ripened fruit and grapes.
33 Joy and gladness are gone from the orchards and fields of Moab. I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses; no one treads them with shouts of joy. Although there are shouts, they are not shouts of joy.
34 “The sound of their cry rises from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz, from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah, for even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
35 In Moab I will put an end to those who make offerings on the high places and burn incense to their gods,” declares the LORD.
36 “So my heart laments for Moab like the music of a pipe; it laments like a pipe for the people of Kir Hareseth. The wealth they acquired is gone.
37 Every head is shaved and every beard cut off; every hand is slashed and every waist is covered with sackcloth.
38 On all the roofs in Moab and in the public squares there is nothing but mourning, for I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants,” declares the LORD.
39 “How shattered she is! How they wail! How Moab turns her back in shame! Moab has become an object of ridicule, an object of horror to all those around her.”
40 This is what the LORD says: “Look! An eagle is swooping down, spreading its wings over Moab.
41 Kerioth[j] will be captured and the strongholds taken. In that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors will be like the heart of a woman in labor.
42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation because she defied the LORD.
43 Terror and pit and snare await you, you people of Moab,” declares the LORD.
44 “Whoever flees from the terror will fall into a pit, whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare; for I will bring on Moab the year of her punishment,” declares the LORD.
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.
46 Woe to you, Moab! The people of Chemosh are destroyed; your sons are taken into exile and your daughters into captivity.
47 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come,” declares the LORD. Here ends 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 106

  • 1. S Genesis 19:37; S Deuteronomy 23:6
  • 2. S Numbers 32:38
  • 3. S Numbers 32:37; S Joshua 13:19
  • 4. Isaiah 16:14
  • 5. S Numbers 21:25; S Joshua 13:26
  • 6. ver 42
  • 7. S Isaiah 15:5
  • 8. Isaiah 15:5
  • 9. ver 3
  • 10. S Genesis 19:17
  • 11. Jeremiah 17:6
  • 12. S Psalms 49:6; S Proverbs 11:28
  • 13. S Numbers 21:29
  • 14. Isaiah 46:1-2; Jeremiah 49:3
  • 15. Amos 2:3
  • 16. S Exodus 12:23; S Jeremiah 4:7
  • 17. S Joshua 13:9
  • 18. Judges 9:45
  • 19. Jeremiah 51:29
  • 20. S Jeremiah 47:6
  • 21. S 1 Samuel 15:11; 1 Kings 20:42; 2 Kings 13:15-19
  • 22. Zechariah 1:15
  • 23. Zephaniah 1:12
  • 24. Hosea 10:6
  • 25. ver 7
  • 26. S Joshua 7:2
  • 27. Psalms 33:16
  • 28. S Isaiah 9:17
  • 29. Jeremiah 51:40; Jeremiah 50:27
  • 30. S Jeremiah 46:18
  • 31. Jeremiah 51:57
  • 32. Isaiah 13:22
  • 33. 2 Kings 3:4-5
  • 34. S Psalms 110:2
  • 35. Isaiah 47:1
  • 36. S Numbers 21:30; S Joshua 13:9
  • 37. ver 8
  • 38. S Numbers 32:34; Deuteronomy 2:36
  • 39. S Isaiah 16:7
  • 40. S Numbers 21:13
  • 41. S Joshua 13:9,21
  • 42. S Joshua 15:51
  • 43. S Numbers 21:23; S Isaiah 15:4
  • 44. S Joshua 13:18
  • 45. S Numbers 21:30; S Joshua 13:9,17
  • 46. S Numbers 32:38
  • 47. S Numbers 32:37; S Joshua 13:19
  • 48. S Joshua 13:17
  • 49. Amos 2:2
  • 50. Jeremiah 49:13
  • 51. S Isaiah 15:1
  • 52. Psalms 75:10
  • 53. Psalms 10:15; Psalms 37:17; Ezekiel 30:21
  • 54. Jeremiah 25:16,27; Jeremiah 51:39
  • 55. ver 42; 1 Samuel 17:26
  • 56. S Isaiah 28:8
  • 57. ver 39
  • 58. S Jeremiah 2:26
  • 59. 2 Kings 17:3-6
  • 60. S Job 16:4; Psalms 44:14; Jeremiah 18:16
  • 61. S Deuteronomy 28:37; Micah 7:8-10; Zephaniah 2:8,10
  • 62. S Genesis 8:8; S Song of Songs 1:15; Psalms 55:6-7
  • 63. S Judges 6:2
  • 64. S Leviticus 26:19; S Job 40:12; Isaiah 16:6
  • 65. S Psalms 10:5; S Proverbs 16:18
  • 66. S Psalms 10:3
  • 67. ver 36; Isaiah 15:5-8
  • 68. S 2 Kings 3:25
  • 69. S Joshua 13:25
  • 70. S Numbers 32:3; Isaiah 16:8-9
  • 71. S Isaiah 24:7; Isaiah 16:10
  • 72. Joel 1:12; Amos 5:17
  • 73. S Numbers 21:25; S Joshua 13:26
  • 74. S Numbers 32:3
  • 75. S Numbers 21:23; S Isaiah 15:4
  • 76. S Genesis 13:10
  • 77. S Isaiah 15:5
  • 78. S Isaiah 15:6
  • 79. S Isaiah 15:2; Isaiah 16:12
  • 80. Jeremiah 11:13
  • 81. S ver 31; Isaiah 16:11
  • 82. S 2 Kings 3:25
  • 83. S Isaiah 15:7
  • 84. Isaiah 15:2; S Jeremiah 41:5; Ezekiel 27:31; Ezekiel 29:18
  • 85. S Leviticus 19:27; S 2 Samuel 10:4
  • 86. S Genesis 37:34; S Isaiah 3:24; Jeremiah 16:6; Amos 8:10
  • 87. S Isaiah 15:3
  • 88. S Jeremiah 22:28
  • 89. Jeremiah 50:23
  • 90. ver 26
  • 91. S Deuteronomy 28:49; Habakkuk 1:8
  • 92. S Isaiah 8:8
  • 93. S Isaiah 15:1
  • 94. Amos 2:16
  • 95. S Isaiah 21:3
  • 96. Psalms 83:4; S Isaiah 16:14
  • 97. ver 2
  • 98. S ver 26
  • 99. Jeremiah 49:5
  • 100. S Isaiah 24:17
  • 101. 1 Kings 19:17; S Job 20:24; Isaiah 24:18; S Jeremiah 46:5
  • 102. Jeremiah 11:23; Jeremiah 23:12
  • 103. S Nu 21:21,26-28; S Joshua 12:2
  • 104. Numbers 24:17
  • 105. S Numbers 21:29
  • 106. Psalms 14:7; Isaiah 11:11; Jeremiah 12:15; Jeremiah 49:6,39; Ezekiel 16:53; Daniel 11:41

Footnotes 10

  • [a]. Or "captured;" / "Misgab"
  • [b]. The Hebrew for "Heshbon" sounds like the Hebrew for "plot" .
  • [c]. The name of the Moabite town Madmen sounds like the Hebrew for "be silenced."
  • [d]. Hebrew; Septuagint "/ proclaim it to Zoar"
  • [e]. Or "like Aroer"
  • [f]. Or "Give wings to Moab," / "for she will fly away"
  • [g]. "Horn" here symbolizes strength.
  • [h]. Probably the Dead Sea
  • [i]. Two Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts "as far as the Sea of"
  • [j]. Or "The cities"

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

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