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44 Moab, saith the LORD. He that fleeth from the fear, shall fall
into the pit ; and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken
in the snare : for I will bring upon it, (even) upon Moab, 45 the year of their visitation, saith the Lord. They that fied
stood under the shadow of Heshbon, because of the force or fortifications of Heshbon, thinking they should be safe there : 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 ; the Chaldeans shall take it,
46 with which the country abounds. Wo be unto thee, O Moab !
the people of Chemosh perisheth : for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughters captives.
Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab, some of their shall be restored in the latter days, saith the LORD ; which may refer to the conversion of the gentiles in gospel times. Thus far [is] the judgment of Moab.
REFLECTIONS. 1. T ET us attend to that awful denunciation, v. 10. Cursed be
U he that doeth ihe work of the Lord deceitfully, and curaend be he that keepeth his sword back from blood. Though it be bloody work, yet God commanded it to be done upon those wicked people; who, to all their other crimes, added, what was peculiarly displeasing to him, rejoicing and insulting over the miseries of others, and of Israel in particular. We are not called out to such work as this: but only to such services as are reasonable and delightful. To do it deceitfully, or negligently, is not to do it to the purpose ; or to pretend to do it out of regard to God, when our only aim is to serve our own interest ; or without that life and zeal, which we ought to discover. The more excellent the work is to which we are called, the more awful will be the curse of doing it deceitfully. Let us therefore be steadfast and immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
2. See what danger there is in prosperity, v. 11. Moab, though so very wicked, enjoyed long prosperity, and that, by their abuse of it, helped to make them more so. This is too common in our day ; because men have no changes, they fear not God, think they are as good as they need to be ; or that God is not displeased with their sins. What little reason have we to be fond of prosperity, or to envy those who enjoy it! This show's us why God chooses an alflicted state for his people ; and how reasonable it is in them to acquiesce in it.
3. See how odious pride is to God. This is particularly specified as the predominant sin in Moab, v. 29. it is several times mentioned in various expressions. It is a temper very hateful to God, especially when it shows itself in taking pleasure in the poverty or calamities of others. The whole of the chapter in this connection, corfirins Solomon's observation, that pride goeih before desir#C110g and an haughty spirit brfore a full.
Contains a collection of prophecies against several of the neighbouring
i C ONCERNING the Ammonites, thus saith the Lord ;
U Hath Israel no sons ? hath he no heirs ? are they quite ex. tinct, doth not Judah still survive ? why (then) doth their king,
or, Milcom, inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities ? 2 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will
cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah, the chief city of the Ammonites; and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters, the lesser cities, shall be burned with fire : then shaļl Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, saith the LORD ; he shall
take their possessions who have taken his ; which was the case un3 der the Maccabees. Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry
ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth ; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges to hide yourselves ; for their king,
that is, Milcom, their god, shall go into captivity, [and] his 4 priests and his princes together. Wherefore gloriest thou in
the vallies, thy flowing, or fruitful valley, O backsliding daugh
ter, (perhaps so called as being descended from Lol) that trusted 5 in her treasures, (saying,] Who shall come unto me ? Behold,
I will bring a fear upon thee, saith the Lord God of hosts, from all those that be about thee; and ye shall be driven out evel'y man, right forth ; and none shall gather up him that wander
eth, afford him shelter and habitation, 6 And afterward I will bring again the captivity of the children
of Ammon, saith the LORD, 7 Concerning Edom, or Idumea, thus saith the Lord of hosts ;
(Is? wisdom no more in Teman ? is counsel perished from the
prudent ? is their wisdom vanished, for which Edom was once so 8 famous ?* Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, in caverns, in which
they should hide themsclves, O inhabitants of Dedan ; for I will
bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time [that] I will 9 visit him. If grape gatherers come unto thee, would they not
leave (some] gleaning grapes ? if thieves by night, they will 10 destroy till they have enough, they would leave something. But
I have made Esau bare, this shall be an uiter destruction, I have uncovered his secret places, where he hid his treasures, and he shall not be able to hide himself : his seed is spoiled, and his
brethren, and his neighbours, the Moabites and Ammonites, and 11 he [is] not; there is none left to say, Leave thy fatherless children,
I will preserve (them) alive : and let thy widows trust in me ; 12 though some understand this as God's word to his people. For thus
saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment (was) not to drink of the cup, have assuredly drunken ; that is, the Jews did so,
• Job's friends came from this county,
who had not deserved it so much as the Edomites ; and (art) thou
he [that] shalt altogether go unpunished ? thou shalt not go 13 unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink (of it.] "For I have
sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a
desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse ; and all the cities 14 thereof shall be perpetual wastes. I have heard a rumour from
the LORD, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, (saying,] Gather ye together, and come against her, and rise up to the
battle : God by his secret influence shall gather them together, as 15 if he had sent an ambassador among them. For, lo, I will make 16 thee small among the heathen, [and] despised among men. 'Thy
terribleness, that is, thy secure situation, hath deceived thee, (and) the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill : though thou shouldst
make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from 17 thence, saith the Lord. Also Edom shall be a desolation :
every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shail hiss at 18 all the plagues thereof. As in the overthrow of Sodom and Go
morrah, and the neighbour (cities) thereof, saith the LORD, DO
man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it. 19 Behold, he, that is, Nebuchadnezzar, shall come up like a lion
from the swelling of Jordan, against the habitation of the strong; like a lion driven from its den among the thickets, when Jordan over. flowed its banks, and thereby was rendered more fierce : but I will suddenly make him run away from her, or, run upon her : and who (is) a chosen [man, that] I may appoint over her ; or, I will give a charge to him that is a choice one (Nebuchadnezzar) against her : for who [is] like me ? and who will appoint me the time? and wbo [is] that shepherd that will stand before me?
who will afipoint a time to contend with me ? he shall be no more 20 able to do it than a shepherd to oppose an enraged lion. There.
fore hear the counsel of the LORD, that he hath taken against Edom ; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman : surely the least of the flock shall draw them out ; the least of the soldiers shall prevail against and de.
stroy them: surely he shall make their habitations desolate with 21 them. The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry
the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea ; the neighbouring 22 country was astonished. Behold, he shall come up and fly as the
eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah : and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman
in her pangs. 23 Concerning Damascus, the capital of Syria, Hamath is coni
founded, and Arpad : for they have heard evil tidings; they
are faint hearted ; [there is] sorrow on the sea ; as in a storm 24 at sea ; it cannot be quiet. Damascus is waxed feeble, (and]
turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on [her :) anguish 25 and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail. How is the
26 city of praise not left, the city of my joy !* Therefore her young
men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut 27 off in that day, saith the Lord of hosts. And I will kindle a
fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces
of Benhadad, king of Syria. 28 Concerning Kedar, and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor,
which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith
the LORD ; Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the 29 east ; that is, part of Arabia. Their tents and their flocks shall
they take away ; they shall take to themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels; and they shall cry unto
them, Fear [is] on every side ; there shall be a universal panick. 30 Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor,
saith the Lord; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath tak
en counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against 31 you. Arise, ye Chaldeans, get you up unto the wealthy nation,
that dwelleth without care, saith the LORD, which have neither
gates nor bars, (which] dwell alone ; like shepherds in tent8. 32 And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their
cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them (that are
in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all 33 sides thereof, saith the LORD. And Hazor shall be a dwelling
for dragons, [and] a desolation for ever; there shall no man abide there, nor (any) son of man dwell in it ; its inhabitants, if
not slain, shall be totally driven out of their country. 34 The word of the Lord that came toJeremiah the prophet against
Elam, the Persians, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, 35 king of Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts ; Behold, I
will break the bow of Elam, famous for its archers, the chief of 36 their might. And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from
the four quarters of heaven, t and will scatter them toward all
those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts 37 of Elam shall not come. For I will cause Elam to be dismayed
before their enemies, and before them that seek their life : and I will bring evil upon them, (even] my fierce anger, saith the
LORD ; and I will send the sword after them, till I have con38 sumed them. And I will set my throne, the throne of Nebuchad
nezzar, in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.
But it shall come to pass in the latter days, [that] I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD ; accordingly the Persians were afterwards famous under Cyrus, conquered Babylon, and became a powerful nation.
These are the words of the people, or of Jeremiah, who might have made a visit there, and been pleased with the place.
+ They shall be invaded by many enemies, the Scythians and Chaldeans in particular, at the same time, as history inforins us that they were.
1: E are taught from hence, that God observes and resents
V the injustice of men to one another ; as in the case of the Ammonites, who seized the land of the Jews, and for that rea. son were dispossessed of it again. He marks the injustice of those who defraud persons of their substance ; or even their heirs, though they know it not, and cannot right themselves. Fraud in the least instances is displeasing to him ; and he will punish them that deal deceitfully.
2. How absurd is it for those who forsake God, to glory in their possessions, like the Ammonites, v. 4. who had a fruitful country and great treasures, while they were refractory and wicked. Many thus boast of their families, their honours and wealth, and make these their confidence, while they are destitute of religion : but God will bring a fear and terror upon them, which all their abundance cannot silence.
3. The eleventh verse suggests a comfortable lesson to widows and orphans. It intimates, that though it is a blessing and comfort to heads of families to have relations and friends who will take care of their dependents, when they are dead and impoverished ; yet that God will take care of them, provide for them, and preserve them ; that is, if they serve the God of their fathers, and trust in him.
4. If God sees it good to afflict his people, what have not his ene. mies to fear ! v. 12. His design is only to correct and improve them; and if his corrections are so painful, and their cup ol affliction so bitter, how dreadful must that be which he will put into the hands of the wicked? We may learn hence, what an evil thing and bitter sin is, and how angry God is with it.
5. From the whole chapter we are taught, how vain it is to think of escaping the judgments of God. Who can oppose his designs, or resist his power, when he will punish a wicked nation? not the fortifications of Rabbah, nor the wisdom of Edom, nor the palaces of Damascus, nor the obscurity of Kedar, nor the bows of Ela He can appoint whom he will to execute his vengeance. Varie as the characters, circumstances, situations, and religions of t several countries were, God appears as their supreme Lord ar poser. We should therefore seek his favour, and trust only in in whose hand is the fate of nations.