Jeremiah 49:3

3 Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste! Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah! Put on sackcloth, lament, and slash yourselves with whips! For Milcom shall go into exile, with his priests and his attendants.

Jeremiah 49:3 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 49:3

Howl, O Heshbon
Which was a city of Moab, though it formerly belonged to the Amorites; see ( Jeremiah 48:2 ) ( Numbers 21:26 ) ; it was upon the border of Ammon, and near to Ai, now destroyed; and therefore is called upon to howl and lament, because its destruction also was near at hand, and might be expected; hence Kimchi gathers, that the Ammonites were destroyed before the Moabites: but some have thought that Heshbon was a double city, divided by a river, which ran through it; and that that city which was on one side of the river belonged to Moab, and that on the other side to Ammon: for Ai is spoiled;
not that which was near Jericho in the land of Canaan, but a city in the land of Ammon, thought to be the Gaia of Ptolemy; this seems to be the first city in the country of Ammon that Nebuchadnezzar would lay waste: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah;
the royal city before mentioned; (See Gill on Jeremiah 49:2); either the inhabitants of it, particularly the women, especially the younger women, who would be in the utmost distress on hearing the enemy was so near them, and what had befallen Ai; or the villages about Rabbah, as Kimchi interprets it; that is, as the Targum,

``the inhabitants of the villages of Rabbah:''
gird ye with sackcloth;
as a token of calamity and mourning for it, as was usual: lament, and run to and fro by the hedges;
which Jarchi, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, understand of the enclosures or fences of villages, like those of gardens, fields, and folds, in distinction from walls of cities, and fortified places; but rather it signifies the hedges in the fields, whither, being drove from their habitations, they would seek unto for shelter, and run about among them for safety, lamenting their unhappy case: for their king shall go into captivity;
be taken and carried captive; either their principal governor; or rather Milcom their god, since it follows: [and] his priests and his princes together;
both such as offered sacrifices to him, and attended on and supported his worship: the same is said of Chemosh, the god of the Moabites, ( Jeremiah 48:7 ) .

Jeremiah 49:3 In-Context

1 Concerning the Ammonites. Thus says the Lord: Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why then has Milcom dispossessed Gad, and his people settled in its towns?
2 Therefore, the time is surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sound the battle alarm against Rabbah of the Ammonites; it shall become a desolate mound, and its villages shall be burned with fire; then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him, says the Lord.
3 Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste! Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah! Put on sackcloth, lament, and slash yourselves with whips! For Milcom shall go into exile, with his priests and his attendants.
4 Why do you boast in your strength? Your strength is ebbing, O faithless daughter. You trusted in your treasures, saying, "Who will attack me?"
5 I am going to bring terror upon you, says the Lord God of hosts, from all your neighbors, and you will be scattered, each headlong, with no one to gather the fugitives.

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