Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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JEREMIAS - Chapter 48

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Jeremias xlviii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Moab. This people broke their covenant with Sedecias, yet were punished for having entered into it, five years after the taking of Jerusalem. (Josephus) (St. Jerome, in chap. xxv. 32.) --- The same war is described by Ezechiel (xxv. 8.) and Sophonias, ii. 8. Many words of Isaias (xv., and xvi., and xxiv.) are adopted, though he speaks of what happened under Ezechias. --- Nabo, a town at the foot of that mountain, where Moses died, Deuteronomy xxxiv. It might have been famous for some pretended "oracle," Isaias xv. 2., and xlvi. 1. This chief city, with the rest, shall be destroyed. (Worthington) --- Cariathaim. This city, and most of the others, were repossessed by Moab after the Israelites were led into captivity. (Calmet) --- City. Hebrew Hammisgab, a fortress. (Vatable)

Ver. 2. Hesebon, at the foot of Phasga, and one of the strongest cities. --- Shalt. Hebrew, "shall Medemena hold her peace." (Calmet) --- "Thou shalt be cut down, O madmen." (Haydock) --- It signifies "silence." Thou silent city, thou shalt be reduced to a mournful silence or destruction.

Ver. 4. Little ones. Hebrew, "to Segor," ver. 34., and Isaias xv. 5. (Calmet) --- Chaldean, "princes" of the second rank. (Vatable)

Ver. 6. Heath, or tamarick, chap. xvii. 6. Hebrew Haroher.

Ver. 7. Bulwarks. Hebrew, "works," or possessions of corn, cattle, &c. (Calmet) --- Chamos, the idol of the Moabites. (Challoner) --- He was esteemed the king of the country, as the devil is the ape of God. The prophets often deride the imbecility of these idols, chap. xliii., and xi. The chief idol of Moab shall fall, to shew the vanity of trusting in idols. (Worthington)

Ver. 8. Spoiler, or "thief," (prædo) a title which Nabuchodonosor deserved, on account of his unjust conquests. (Calmet)

Ver. 9. Flower: an usual ceremony at funerals. (Cornelius a Lapide) (Menochius) --- Manibus date lilia plenis. (Virgil, Æneid vi.) --- Hebrew, "wings." Protestants, "signs." Septuagint, (Haydock) "that they may know how to return." Let Moab flee. (Calmet)

Ver. 10. Deceitfully. In the Greek, negligently. The work of God here spoken of, is the punishment of the Moabites. (Challoner) --- Woe to those who spare those whom God orders to be destroyed, as Saul and Achab did, 1 Kings xv. 8, 23., and 3 Kings xx. 32, 42. The zeal of the Levites, Phinees, &c., is rewarded, Exodus xxxii. 27., and Numbers xx. 8.

Ver. 11. Fruitful as a vine. --- Lees. The wine has not been disturbed. It was customary to keep it first in pits, (Mark xii. 1., and Isaias v. 1.) and afterwards in large earthen vessels. Vina bibes Tauro diffusa: "Thou shalt drink wine bottled off in the consulship of Taurus." (Horace i. ep. 5.) --- If the wine was weak, the vessels were put under ground. (Pliny, [Natural History?] xiv. 21.) --- The better sort was arranged in order, (ver. 12.) in some clean apartment, Canticle of Canticles ii. 4. (Homer, Odyssey B. 237.) --- Changed. He alludes to the wine. (Haydock) --- Moab has enjoyed a long peace and prosperity. (Calmet)

Ver. 13. Of Bethel. That is, of their golden calves, which they worshipped in Bethel. (Challoner) --- Chamos and the golden calves were both taken away, Osee viii. 5. (Calmet) --- The ten tribes had foolishly trusted in the latter, 3 Kings xii. (Worthington)

Ver. 16. Swiftly; about twenty-three years from the fourth of Joakim.

Ver. 17. His name, as particular friends, Exodus xxxiii. 12, 17. People in the East had a secret name, which they disclosed to very few, to prevent incantations. --- Rod. This nation was exceedingly vain, ver. 29.

Ver. 18. Thirst. Dibon was well supplied with water, Isaias xv. 9.

Ver. 20. Arnon, on which river Aroer stood.

Ver. 26. Drunk with the wine of God's wrath. --- Dash. Hebrew, "roll in," or "they shall clap hands over Moab, in," &c.

Ver. 27. Thieves. Chap. ii. 26. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "was he found among thieves? for since thou speakest of him, thou skippest for joy." (Haydock) --- Chaldean agrees with the Vulgate, which is clearer. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "hath he been found stealing from thee, since thou hast fought against him?" Grabe subjoins, "Thou shalt go into banishment.["] (Haydock) --- As Moab was related to Israel, his derision was the more criminal, and more grievously punished. (Worthington)

Ver. 28. Place. Seek for shelter in the caverns and highest mountains. (Haydock)

Ver. 30. Able. He hath attempted too much.

Ver. 31. Brick wall. Hebrew Kir-cheres, (Isaias xvi. 7.; Calmet) "the city of the sun;" (Grotius) Ar, the capital. The prophet joins in the mournful canticle, as was usual, Luke vii. 32. (Calmet) --- Those who boast of more than they have, are compared to an earthen wall. (Worthington)

Ver. 32. Jazer, or "more than for Jazer;" about six leagues to the north of Sebama, which had a rivulet communicating with the sea of Jazer.

Ver. 33. Carmel, which here denotes any fruitful vineyard or place. --- The, &c. Protestants, "none shall tread with shouting, their shouting shall be no shouting." Hebrew hedad, "the cry" of the people in the vintage. (Calmet)

Ver. 34. As a. Literally, "the heifer;" a title of Oronaim, which was proud and ungovernable. (Haydock) --- Hebrew also, "from Agelah to Salisa; the," &c. --- Bad; abandoned, Isaias xv. 6. (Calmet)

Ver. 36. Pipes. Hebrew chalilim, (Haydock) lyre or flutes. Such were used at funerals of children; (Matthew ix. 23.) trumpets sounded for men. (Servius) --- Could; opposing the conqueror of Asia, ver. 30, 31. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "the riches that he hath gotten is perished."

Ver. 37. Shaven, or "clipt," (Protestants; Haydock) as in mourning. --- Tied. Hebrew, "cut," chap. xvi. 6. (Calmet) --- Such signs of mourning were usual in those countries. The Romans let their hair grow. (Cicero, pro Sestio.) (Worthington)

Ver. 39. Bowed. Septuagint and Chaldean, "turned his back."

Ver. 41. Carioth, probably Kir Hares, which the eagle of Babylon seized. Roman Septuagint omits verse 40. (Calmet) --- Grabe supplies, Behold, &c., and here, the heart, &c. (Haydock)

Ver. 42. Cease for a time, till he regain his liberty under Cyrus, ver. 47.

Ver. 43. Fear. It was customary to hand feathers near a wood, to frighten the prey into pits or nets, Isaias xxiv. 17. (Sanctius)

Ver. 45. There....saith, &c., to the end of the chapter is supplied by Grabe. His copy subjoins, "What Jeremias prophesied against all nations. Thus," &c., chap. xxv. 15. (Haydock)

Ver. 45. Hesebon, expecting shelter. But internal broils ruined them. --- There, &c., to [verse] 47., is borrowed from Numbers xxi. 27.[28, 29.?] Sehon had taken Hesebon from Moab. --- Part. Moses has "Ar, of Moab, and the inhabitants of the heights of Arnon." [Numbers xxi. 28.] (Calmet) --- Tumult. Hebrew shaon, (Haydock) means also pride, in which sense Balaam uses Seth, Numbers xxiv. 17. (Calmet)

Ver. 47. Days. When they, Elam and the other Gentiles, shall be converted to the faith of Christ. We read of no other bringing back, (Worthington) though it might take place. (Haydock)

Bible Text & Cross-references:
A prophecy of the desolation of Moab, for their pride: but their captivity shall at last be released.

1 Against *Moab thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Woe to Nabo, for it is laid waste, and confounded: Cariathaim is taken: the strong city is confounded, and hath trembled.

2 There is no more rejoicing in Moab over Hesebon: they have devised evil. Come, and let us cut it off from being a nation. Therefore, shalt thou in silence hold thy peace, and the sword shall follow thee.

3 A voice of crying from Oronaim: waste and great destruction.

4 Moab is destroyed; proclaim a cry for her little ones.

5 For by the ascent of Luith shall the mourner go up with weeping; for in the descent of Oronaim, the enemies have heard a howling of destruction:

6 Flee, save your lives; and be *as heath in the wilderness.

7 For because thou hast trusted in thy bulwarks, and in thy treasures, thou also shalt be taken; and Chamos shall go into captivity, his priests, and his princes together.

8 And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape; and the valleys shall perish, and the plains shall be destroyed, for the Lord hath spoken:

9 Give a flower to Moab, for in its flower it shall go out; and the cities thereof shall be desolate, and uninhabited.

10 Cursed be he that doth the work of the Lord deceitfully; and cursed be he that withholdeth his sword from blood.

11 Moab hath been fruitful from his youth, and hath rested upon his lees; and hath not been poured out from vessel to vessel, nor hath gone into captivity: therefore his taste hath remained in him, and his scent is not changed.

12 Therefore, behold the days come, saith the Lord, and I will send him men that shall order and overturn his bottles, and they shall cast him down, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles one against another.

13 And Moab shall be ashamed of Chamos, *as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, in which they trusted.

14 *How do you say: We are valiant, and stout men in battle?

15 Moab is laid waste, and they have cast down her cities; and her choice young men are gone down to the slaughter, saith the king, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

16 The destruction of Moab is near to come: the calamity thereof shall come on exceeding swiftly.

17 Comfort him, all you that are round about him; and all you that know his name, say: How is the strong staff broken, the beautiful rod?

18 Come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst, O dwelling of the daughter of Dibon; because the spoiler of Moab is come up to thee, he hath destroyed thy bulwarks.

19 Stand in the way, and look out, O habitation of Aroer: enquire of him that fleeth, and say to him that hath escaped: What Is done?

20 Moab is confounded, because he is overthrown: howl ye, and cry, tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is wasted.

21 And judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Helon, and upon Jasa, and upon Mephaath;

22 And upon Dibon, and upon Nabo, and upon the house of Deblathaim;

23 And upon Cariathaim, and upon Bethgamul, and upon Bethmaon;

24 And upon Carioth, and upon Bosra, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near.

25 The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the Lord.

26 Make him drunk, because he lifted up himself against the Lord; and Moab shall dash his hand in his own vomit, and he also shall be in derision.

27 For Israel hath been a derision unto thee: as though thou hadst found him amongst thieves: for thy words, therefore, which thou hast spoken against him, thou shalt be led away captive.

28 Leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, you that dwell in Moab; and be ye Iike the dove, that maketh her nest in the mouth of the hole in the highest place.

29 *We have heard the pride of Moab; he is exceedingly proud; his haughtiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the loftiness of his heart.

30 I know, saith the Lord, his boasting: and that the strength thereof is not according to it, neither hath it endeavoured to do according as it was able.

31 Therefore will I lament for Moab, and I will cry out to all Moab, for the men of the brick wall that mourn.

32 O vineyard of Sabama, I will weep for thee, with the mourning of Jazer; thy branches are gone over the sea, they are come even to the sea of Jazer: the robber hath rushed in upon thy harvest, and thy vintage.

33 *Joy and gladness is taken away from Carmel, and from the land of Moab, and I have taken away the wine out of the presses: the treader of the grapes shall not sing the accustomed cheerful tune.

34 From the cry of Hesebon, even to Eleale, and to Jasa, they have uttered their voice; from Segor to Oronaim, as a heifer of three years old; the waters also of Nemrin shall be very bad.

35 And I will take away from Moab, saith the Lord, him that offereth in the high places, and that sacrificeth to his gods.

36 Therefore my heart shall sound for Moab like pipes; and my heart a sound like pipes for the men of the brick wall; because he hath done more than he could, therefore they have perished.

37 *For every head shall be bald, and every beard shall be shaven: all hands shall be tied together, and upon every back there shall be haircloth.

38 Upon all the house-tops of Moab, and in the streets thereof general mourning; because I have broken Moab as an useless vessel, saith the Lord.

39 How is it overthrown, and they have howled? How hath Moab bowed down the neck, and is confounded? And Moab shall be a derision, and an example to all round about him.

40 Thus saith the Lord: Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall stretch forth his wings to Moab.

41 Carioth is taken, and the strong holds are won: and the heart of the valiant men of Moab, in that day, shall be as the heart of a woman in labour.

42 And Moab shall cease to be a people: because he hath gloried against the Lord.

43 Fear, and the pit, and the snare come upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the Lord.

44 *He that shall flee from the fear, shall fall into the pit; and he that shall get up out of the pit, shall be taken in the snare; for I will bring upon Moab the year of their visitation, saith the Lord.

45 They that fled from the snare stood in the shadow of Hesebon, but there came a fire out of Hesebon, and a flame out of the midst of Seon, and it shall devour part of Moab, and the crown of the head of the children of tumult.

46 Woe to thee, Moab, thou hast perished, O people of Chamos; for thy sons, and thy daughters are taken captives.

47 And I will bring back the captivity of Moab in the last days, saith the Lord. Hitherto the judgments of Moab.



1: Jeremias xxvii.; Ezechiel xxv.

6: Jeremias xvii. 6.

13: 3 Kings xii. 29.

14: Isaias xvi. 6.

29: Isaias xvi. 6.

33: Isaias xvi. 10.

37: Isaias xv. 2.; Ezechiel vii. 18.

44: Isaias xxiv. 18.