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the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
45 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.
46 Woe be unto thee, O Moab! the people of Chemosh perisheth: for thy sons are taken captives, and thy daughters captives.
47 ¶ Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.
27 Heb. children of noise. 28 Heb. in captivity.
rision and a dismaying to all them about
40 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab.
41 Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised, and the mighty men's hearts in Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.
42 And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the LORD.
43 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD.
44 He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that getteth up out of
24 Or, The cities.
25 Isa. 24. 17, 18.
26 Num. 21. 28.
Verse 1. "Against Mab.”—The references to former notes collected under Isa. xv. 1, together with the other notes on chaps. xv., xvi., and xvii., of the same prophet, will be found to contain much information illustrative of the extended prediction concerning Moab which the present chapter contains.
"Misgab." -This word occurs nowhere else as a proper name, and probably should be regarded as an appellative, and translated according to its signification. It means a height, a hill or rock, as a place of security, and hence a refuge. It therefore probably denotes here a place on an elevated site, strong by nature and art. Blayney renders it, "the high fortress;" but whether it denotes a distinct and celebrated fortress, or is a phrase of variation, applied to Kiriathaim itself, must remain uncertain.
2. "Madmen.”—This name of a town in Moab occurs nowhere else, and we have no information concerning it. 8. "The valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed.”—Compare the notes on Num. xxxii. 1; Deut. ii. 8 (last paragraph); and Isa. xvii. 2.
9. "The cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein."—How remarkably the existing state of the country verifies this and the other prophecies concerning Moab, may be seen in the notes referred to under verse 1. We may however here add Keith's interesting comment on this verse. "The most populous and fertile province in Europe (especially any situated in the interior of a country like Moab) is not covered so thickly with towns as Moab is plentiful in ruins, deserted and desolate though now it be. Burckhardt enumerates about fifty ruined sites within its boundaries, many of them extensive. In general they are a broken down (see verse 39) and undistinguishable mass of ruins; and many of them have not been closely inspected. But in some instances, there are the remains of temples, sepulchral monuments, the ruins of edifices constructed of very large stones, tracks of hanging gardens; entire columns lying_on the ground, three feet in diameter, and fragments of smaller columns; and many cisterns cut out of the rock...But not one of the ancient cities of Moab exists as tenanted by man." Evidence of Prophecy,' p. 159. 15th edit.
12. "Wanderers, that shall cause him to wander."-The wandere may be supposed the Bedouin Arabs, to whom, of the people, that designation is peculiarly applicable. They, as we have stated on former occasions, are almost the sole occupants of, or rather wanderers in, the land of Moab; and in that, and other countries similarly circumstanced, they cause to wander," by their exactions and spoliations, those who are tempted by, a fertile soil and every natural advantage, to sit down and cultivate an abandoned country. What Burckhardt says of the neighbouring district of the Haouran, is more widely true, and is only less true of the land of Moab, because the operation of the system has there rendered the presence of the cultivator still more rare than in the Haouran:-"The oppressions of the government on the one side, and those of the Bedouins on the other, have reduced the Fellah of the Haouran to a state little better than that of the wandering Arab. Few individuals, either among the Druses or Christians, die in the same village where they were born. Families are continually moving from one place to another." "Travels in Syria,' 299.
21. "Holon," &c.-In the list of names of towns in Moab contained in this chapter, there are several which do not elsewhere occur as such. These are Holon, Mephaath, Beth-gamul, Kerioth, of which nothing whatever is known. The two first and the last are the same as the names of towns of Judah, with which they have, through great absence of mind, been identified by some commentators, who forgat that Jordan and the Dead Sea were interposed between the lands of Moab and Judea. All the other places have been duly noticed elsewhere.
1 The judgment of the Ammonites.
heir? why then doth their king 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 of the Ammonites; and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire: then
3 Amos 1. 13. 4 Amos 1. 14.
12 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it.
13 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 thereof shall be perpetual wastes.
15 For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, and despised among men.
16 Thy terribleness 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 shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.
14 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.
5 Or, Melcom. * Chap. 48. 7. 7 Or, thy valley floweth away. 11 Heb. their sufficiency. 12 Obad. vers. 1. 13 Obad. vers. 4. 17 Job 41. 10. Chap 50. 44, 45.
17 Also Edom shall be a desolation: "every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof
13 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.
19 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?
20 Therefore 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: surely he shall make their habitations desolate with them.
21 The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the "Red sea.
22 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.
26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts. 27 And I will kindle a "fire in the wall of Or, they are turned back. 10 Obad. vers. 5. 14 Chap. 50 13. 15 Gen. 19 25. Chap. 50. 40. 16 Or, convent me in judgment. 18 Heb. weedy sea. 19 Heb. melted.
8 Obad. vers. 8.
20 Or, as on the sea.
21 Amos 1. 4.
23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad for they have heard evil tidings: they are "fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.
24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail.
25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!
Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces | dragons, and a desolation for ever: there of Ben-hadad. shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.
34 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,
35 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.
36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not
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 east.
29 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.
30 ¶ "Flee, "get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you.
31 Arise, get you up unto the "wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the LORD, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone.
37 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 consumed them:
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 25in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the LORD.
33 And Hazor shall be a dwelling for
38 And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.
39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that "I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.
25 Heb. cut off into corners, or, that have the corners of their hair polled. 2 Chap. 48. 47. Verse 6.
Verse 2. "Rabbah of the Ammonites...shall be a desolate heap."-A general notice of the Ammonites has been given under Deut. ii. ; and the details there offered may be advantageously compared with the contents of the present prophecy. We have now to notice Rabbah, which was the metropolis of the Ammonites; and as it was such even when the Hebrews conquered much territory to the east of the Jordan, before they entered the land of Canaan, it must have been very ancient. The city was besieged by Joab and taken by David, who appears to have given it with the conquered territory to the tribe of Gad. But it seems from this chapter, that when the tribes beyond Jordan were carried into captivity, the Ammonites got possession of the cities then taken from them, and also, apparently, of their more ancient possessions which the Hebrews conquered from Sihon, and which formed the subject of the memorable controversy between them and Jephthah (see Judges xi. and the note there). But for their cruelties and indecent triumph over the fallen Israelites, on this and other occasions, the Ammonites incurred the judgments denounced against them in this and other prophecies. Although Rabbah appears to have been several times wholly or partially destroyed in war, by the kings of Babylon and the Greek monarchs of Syria and Egypt, the successive conquerors, down to the Romans, appear to have rebuilt and improved the city, being sensible of the advantages of its situation, so that it very long maintained its rank as the local metropolis. It ultimately received the name of Philadelphia, from Ptolemy Philadelphus, by whom it was restored and fortified; but some of the ancient writers continued to call it by its Oriental name. Thus Polybius calls it Rabbatamana (Rabbath-ammon), and gives such an account of its siege by Antiochus as shows its great strength. He came and encamped near the hills on which the city was built. An attentive survey of the town on every side, showed him that there were only two places by which it could possibly be approached, and he there planted his warlike engines and made the necessary dispositions for an attack. This was made with such vigour that the wall fell down at these two places; but although the assaults against the town were renewed day and night with great force and fury, all the efforts of the besiegers were ineffectual, in consequence of the great number and valour of the defenders. At last one of the prisoners acquainted the besiegers of a subterraneous passage by which the town was supplied with water; and this being filled up with stone, wood, and rubbish, the city was soon obliged to surrender for want of water.—We have the rather cited this account as it seems to throw some light on the account (in 2 Sam. xii.) of the taking of the same place by David. The Roman character of some of the existing remains show that the place was improved and embellished while possessed by the Romans; but after their time, it seems to have lost its consequence, although the date of its final desolation cannot be ascertained: but in the time of Jerome it still subsisted under the name of Philadelphia. The Orientals however preserve old names with remarkable tenacity; and the ruined city of the Ammonites is still called Amman by the natives of the country. The researches of Seetzen, Burckhardt, and Buckingham, have made us fully acquainted with this site, concerning which Europe previously possessed no information. The site is in a valley, but is still very elevated. The road towards it from the north-west is an ascending one, and ultimately conducts the traveller to an elevated plain— so high, that in the extensive view which is then commanded, the snow invested summits of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon appear rather below than above the spectator, though they must certainly be higher; while, in another direction, the plains of the Haouran seem in a profound abyss. This elevated plain, like other parts in this region, presents an extent of fertile soil, equal to the best portions of Galilee and Samaria, and capable of producing sustenance for a large popu
lation-but lying entirely waste. The plan is interspersed with low hills of irregular form, and for the most part crowned with ruins. Traversing this plain, the traveller enters a broad valley, leading southward, which in half an hour brings him into another narrower valley, running east and west, and in which the ruins of Rabbah lie. They chiefly occupy an area formed by the openings of the two valleys, but extend some way eastward down the entered valley, which narrows as it extends. At the point where the valleys meet, and commanding the entrance, there is a high hill, the summit of which is occupied by a strong and most extensive fortress-almost a town in itself-and the walls of which appear to be of very remote antiquity. It is an oblong square, filled with buildings, of which as much remains as of the private houses in the lower town. It appears clear to us that this was the strong part which Joab wished David to have the honour of taking, after he had himself taken the lower town, which he calls "the city of waters." This lower town stood chiefly in the valley, between this and the other northern hills and the river, which flows much nearer to the south than the north side of the valley. The river itself is a fine clear stream full of small fish. It is called Moiet Amman, and has its source in a pond a few hundred paces from the south-west end of the town. Burckhardt was informed that it disappears underground three times before it reaches the river Zerka, to which it contributes its Waters. On each side of this stream there are remains of some of the noblest edifices in all Syria; but being mostly of Roman origin, as indicated by their style of architecture, they are not of such Scriptural interest as to require any detailed notice. The most important is a magnificent theatre, on the south side of the stream, the largest of which any trace has been found in Syria; but which the natives regard as having been the royal palace. It is still in very good condition, forming indeed an unusually perfect monument of Roman luxury. There are also remains of several temples in various stages of decay, and of other public buildings, the precise character of which has not yet been determined. They appear to be mostly of the Corinthian order, and in some instances the shafts are at least five feet in diameter. Thus, as a whole, is Rabbah, with its marked standing ruins, interspersed with prostrate shafts and capitals, and with only the foundations and stone door-posts of its dwellings remaining, “a desolate heap;" yet not so wholly extinct but that the Bedouin, who alone frequents its desolations, can stable his cattle in its temples and palaces, fulfilling the Divine prediction, that the proud Rabbah should be “a stable for camels." (Ezek. xxv. 5.)
13. “Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse."-See the note on Isaiah xxxiv. 6. Since writing that, we have had the satisfaction of finding the conjecture with which it concludes confirmed by Calmet in his note on the present text. He says that we do not know the situation of the Bozrah of Edom, unless it be the same which is sometimes mentioned as belonging to Moab. He observes that the dominion of the Edomites extended to the place where the Bostres of Arabia (that is, in the Haouran) is usually fixed; and conjectures that it was probably occupied by both Moabites and Edomites, and is therefore said sometimes to belong to the one and sometimes to the other. The Bozrah in view was certainly near the frontier which separated the children of Lot and Esau, and hence arises the probability of joint occupation. Perhaps it was a neutral town, or the authority over it fluctuated; and other circumstances may be conceived, but not ascertained, which explain the difficulty better than the supposition of a second town of note, bearing the same name and mentioned with similar circumstances. We shall therefore take the Bozrah of the Haouran to be that of the present text; and if we should be in error, it does not much matter, for if there were two places of the name, this was doubtless one of the two, and the desolation of both is, in that case, equally foretold in Jeremiah. We do however feel more assured that this Bozrah was the city of Edom, than that there was not another in the land of Moab, and concerning which we possess no information. There is an instructive passage in the apocryphal book of Maccabees, bearing on the subject. In chap. v. we are told that it was determined that Judas, then in Galilee, should go at the head of 8000 men into Gilead. Accordingly he and his brother Jonathan crossed the Jordan and travelled three days' journey in the wilderness, where they met with the "Nabathites," who came to them in a peaceable manner, and told them of all that had previously happened in Gilead, and how that some Jews were kept confined in " Bosora" and five other "cities strong and great," which were then in possession of the Greek kings of Syria. He immediately marched to Bosora, and having taken it, destroyed it with fire. All these circumstances no doubt refer to the Bozrah of Edom; and the indications clearly point to the town in the Haouran-such as its distance from the Jordan, and the passage through Gilead to arrive at it. We see also, that after the three days, he came among the Nabathites, a people incorporated with the Edomites; and the particular notice that they came in a friendly manner. seems to prove this; as the same chapter begins with a statement that Judas had avenged the ill treatment the Jews received from the Edomites. But those inhabiting this quarter, behaved well; probably because they felt there the bitterness of the Syrian yoke, and regretted to see Bozrah and their other towns in the possession of Antiochus.
Bozrah (or, as it is now spelled by different travellers, Boszra, Bosra, Bostra, Botzra), is situated in the open plain in the southern part of the district called the Haouran. Under the Romans, it was the capital of Arabia Provincia, and is now, including its ruins, the largest town of the Haouran. It is of an oval shape (Burckhardt: Buckingham says an irregular square), and the circumference around the walls is about three miles. Many parts of the thick wall, which, in olden times, gave it the reputation of great strength, still remain entire. It is certain that nothing among the ruins is of Scriptural antiquity; as indeed we have just seen that the place was destroyed by Judas Maccabæus. All the remains appear to be Roman and Mohammedan, and therefore require to be only briefly noticed. They consist of a temple situated on the side of a long street which intersected the whole town-two triumphal arches-some fine detached columns, standing, and many others scattered on the ground-a rotunda, which is supposed to have been a Greek church-an old mosque of the earliest age of Mohammedanism. In the Roman remains, the Corinthian order prevails, as usual. There is also a large castle of Saracenic origin, supposed to be of the time of the Crusades, and which still occasionally receives a garrison from Damascus to protect the harvests of the Haouran against the incursions of the Bedouins. In the eastern quarters of the town, there is a very extensive reservoir, the work of the Saracens, for watering the pilgrim caravan to Mecca. The south and south-east quarters of the site are covered with ruins of private buildings, the walls of many of which are still standing, but most of the roofs have fallen in. Burckhardt says: "Of the vineyards, for which Boszra was celebrated even in the days of Moses, and which are commemorated by the Greek medals of KOANNIA BOZTPH2, not a vestige remains. There is scarcely a tree in the neighbourhood of the town; and the twelve or fifteen families who now inhabit it cultivate nothing but wheat, barley, horse-beans, and a little dhourra. A number of fine rose-trees grow wild among the ruins of the town" The small population here mentioned had increased when Buckingham was there; but, as he says of this and other places similarly circumstanced, the population continually changes, and the sites are often wholly forsaken. A few settlers, driven from other places, come and occupy the habitable houses, which have no owners; they increase for the time in which a little quiet is allowed them; but ere long, the incursions of the Bedouins and the exactions of the governors drive them away to seek
This is a mistake; he must mean Isaiah (lxiii. 1-3): and this shows that he (a very good authority) considered this the Bozrah of Edom.