Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
CONTINUATION OF THE
PROPHECY AS TO
1. lamb--advice of the prophet to the Moabites who had fled southwards
to Idumea, to send to the king of Judah the tribute of lambs, which they
had formerly paid to Israel, but which they had given up
(2Ki 3:4, 5).
David probably imposed this tribute before the severance of Judah and
Therefore Moab is recommended to gain the favor and protection of
Judah, by paying it to the Jewish king. Type of the need of
submitting to Messiah
from Sela to--rather, "from Petra through (literally, 'towards')
the wilderness" [MAURER].
"Sela" means "a rock," Petra in Greek;
the capital of Idumea and Arabia-Petræa; the dwellings are mostly hewn
out of the rock. The country around was a vast common ("wilderness") or
open pasturage, to which the Moabites had fled on the invasion from the
ruler of the land--namely, of Idumea, that is, the king of
Judah; Amaziah had become master of Idumea and Sela
2. cast out of . . . nest--rather, "as a brood cast out" (in
apposition with "a wandering bird," or rather, wandering birds),
namely, a brood just fledged and expelled from the nest in which they
were hatched [HORSLEY].
daughters of Moab--that is, the inhabitants of Moab. So
at the fords--trying to cross the boundary river of Moab, in order
to escape out of the land. EWALD and
MAURER make "fords" a poetical
expression for "the dwellers on Arnon," answering to the parallel
clause of the same sense, "daughters of Moab."
3-5. GESENIUS, MAURER,
&c., regard these verses as an address of the fugitive Moabites to the
Jews for protection; they translate
"Let mine outcasts of Moab dwell with thee, Judah"; the
protection will be refused by the Jews, for the pride of Moab
VITRINGA makes it an additional advice to
Moab, besides paying tribute. Give shelter to the Jewish outcasts
who take refuge in thy land
(Isa 16:3, 4);
so "mercy" will be shown thee in turn by whatever king sits on the
"throne" of "David"
Isaiah foresees that Moab will be too proud to pay the tribute, or
conciliate Judah by sheltering its outcasts
therefore judgment shall be executed. However, as Moab just before is
represented as itself an outcast in Idumea, it seems incongruous
that it should be called on to shelter Jewish outcasts. So that
it seems rather to foretell the ruined state of Moab when its people
should beg the Jews for shelter, but be refused for their pride.
make . . . shadow as . . . night . . . in . . . noonday--emblem of a
thick shelter from the glaring noonday heat
(Isa 4:6; 25:4; 32:2).
bewray . . . wandereth--Betray not the fugitive to
4. Rather, "Let the outcasts of Moab dwell with thee" (Judah)
for the extortioner, &c.--The Assyrian oppressor probably.
is at an end--By the time that Moab begs Judah for shelter, Judah
shall be in a condition to afford it, for the Assyrian oppressor
shall have been "consumed out of the land."
5. If Judah shelters the suppliant Moab, allowing him to remain in
Idumea, a blessing will redound to Judah itself and its "throne."
truth . . . judgment . . . righteousness--language so divinely framed
as to apply to "the latter days" under King Messiah, when "the Lord
shall bring again the captivity of Moab"
(Ps 72:2; 96:13; 98:9;
hasting--"prompt in executing."
6. We--Jews. We reject Moab's supplication for his pride.
not be so--rather, "not right"; shall prove vain
Jer 48:29, 30;
"It shall not be so; his lies shall not so effect it."
7. Therefore--all hope of being allowed shelter by the Jews
being cut off.
foundations--that is, "ruins"; because, when houses are pulled down,
the "foundations" alone are left
Jeremiah, in the parallel place
renders it "men," who are the moral foundations or stay of a city.
Kirhareseth--literally, "a citadel of brick."
surely they are stricken--rather, joined with "mourn"; "Ye shall
mourn utterly stricken" [MAURER and
vine of Sibmah--near Heshbon: namely, languishes.
lords of . . . heathen--The heathen princes, the Assyrians, &c.,
who invaded Moab, destroyed his vines. So Jeremiah in the parallel place
(Jer 48:32, 33).
MAURER thinks the following words require rather
the rendering, "Its (the vine of Sibmah) shoots (the wines got from
them) overpowered (by its generous flavor and potency) the lords of the
(Ge 49:11, 12, 22).
come . . . Jazer--They (the vine shoots) reached even to Jazer,
fifteen miles from Heshbon.
wandered--They overran in wild luxuriance the wilderness of Arabia,
the sea--the Dead Sea; or else some lake near Jazer now dry; in
called "the sea of Jazer"; but see on
9. I--will bewail for its desolation, though I belong to another
nation (see on
with . . . weeping of Jazer--as Jazer weeps.
shouting for . . . fallen--rather, "Upon thy
summer fruits and upon thy luxuriant vines the shouting (the
battle shout, instead of the joyous shout of the
grape-gatherers, usual at the vintage) is fallen"
Jer 25:30; 51:14).
In the parallel passage
the words substantially express the same sense. "The spoiler is
fallen upon thy summer fruits."
10. gladness--such as is felt in gathering a rich harvest. There
shall be no harvest or vintage owing to the desolation;
therefore no "gladness."
11. bowels--in Scripture the seat of yearning compassion. It means
the inward seat of emotion, the heart, &c.
sound . . . harp--as its strings vibrate when beaten with the plectrum
12. when it is seen that--rather, "When Moab shall have appeared (before his gods; compare
when he is weary (that is,
when he shall have fatigued himself with observing burdensome rites;
&c.), on the high place (compare
and shall come to his sanctuary (of the idol Chemosh on Mount
Nebo) to pray, he shall not prevail"; he shall effect nothing by his
13. since that time--rather, "respecting that time"
BARNES translates it, "formerly" in contrast to "but now"
heretofore former prophecies
have been given as to Moab, of which Isaiah has given the substance:
but now a definite and steady time also is fixed.
14. three years . . . hireling--Just as a hireling has his fixed
term of engagement, which neither he nor his master will allow to be
added to or to be taken from, so the limit within which Moab is to fall
is unalterably fixed
Fulfilled about the time when the Assyrians led Israel into captivity.
The ruins of Elealeh, Heshbon, Medeba, Dibon, &c., still exist to
confirm the inspiration of Scripture. The accurate particularity of
specification of the places three thousand years ago, confirmed by
modern research, is a strong testimony to the truth of prophecy.