They will be like an overflowing stream.
They will overwhelm the whole country and everything in it like a flood.
They will overwhelm the cities and their inhabitants.
People will cry out in alarm.
Everyone living in the country will cry out in pain.
47:3 Fathers will hear the hoofbeats of the enemies’ horses,
the clatter of their chariots and the rumbling of their wheels.
They will not turn back to save their children
because they will be paralyzed with fear. 4
47:4 For the time has come
to destroy all the Philistines.
The time has come to destroy all the help
For I, the Lord, will 7 destroy the Philistines,
that remnant that came from the island of Crete. 8
47:5 The people of Gaza will shave their heads in mourning.
The people of Ashkelon will be struck dumb.
How long will you gash yourselves to show your sorrow, 9
you who remain of Philistia’s power? 10
how long will it be before you stop killing? 12
Go back into your sheath!
Stay there and rest!’ 13
when I, the Lord, have 15 given it orders?
I have ordered it to attack
the people of Ashkelon and the seacoast. 16
“Sure to be judged is Nebo! Indeed, 19 it will be destroyed!
Kiriathaim 20 will suffer disgrace. It will be captured!
48:2 People will not praise Moab any more.
saying, ‘Come, let’s put an end to that nation!’
City of Madmen, you will also be destroyed. 26
A destructive army will march against you. 27
48:3 Cries of anguish will arise in Horonaim,
‘Oh, the ruin and great destruction!’
48:4 “Moab will be crushed.
Her children will cry out in distress. 28
48:5 Indeed they will climb the slopes of Luhith,
weeping continually as they go. 29
For on the road down to Horonaim
they will hear the cries of distress over the destruction. 30
48:6 They will hear, ‘Run! Save yourselves!
Even if you must be like a lonely shrub in the desert!’ 31
48:7 “Moab, you trust in the things you do and in your riches.
So you too will be conquered.
along with his priests and his officials.
48:8 The destroyer will come against every town.
Not one town will escape.
The towns in the valley will be destroyed.
The cities on the high plain will be laid waste. 34
I, the Lord, have spoken! 35
48:9 Set up a gravestone for Moab,
for it will certainly be laid in ruins! 36
Its cities will be laid waste
and become uninhabited.”
48:10 A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!
A curse on anyone who keeps from carrying out his destruction! 37
48:11 “From its earliest days Moab has lived undisturbed.
It has never been taken into exile.
Its people are like wine allowed to settle undisturbed on its dregs,
never poured out from one jar to another.
They are like wine which tastes like it always did,
whose aroma has remained unchanged. 38
48:12 But the time is coming when I will send
men against Moab who will empty it out.
They will empty the towns of their people,
then will lay those towns in ruins. 39
I, the Lord, affirm it! 40
48:13 The people of Moab will be disappointed by their god Chemosh.
They will be as disappointed as the people of Israel were
when they put their trust in the calf god at Bethel. 41
48:14 How can you men of Moab say, ‘We are heroes,
men who are mighty in battle?’
48:15 Moab will be destroyed. Its towns will be invaded.
Its finest young men will be slaughtered. 42
48:16 Moab’s destruction is at hand.
Disaster will come on it quickly.
48:17 Mourn for that nation, all you nations living around it,
all of you nations that know of its fame. 45
Mourn and say, ‘Alas, its powerful influence has been broken!
Its glory and power have been done away!’ 46
48:18 Come down from your place of honor;
For the one who will destroy Moab will attack you;
he will destroy your fortifications.
stand by the road and watch.
Question the man who is fleeing and the woman who is escaping.
Ask them, ‘What has happened?’
48:20 They will answer, ‘Moab is disgraced, for it has fallen!
Wail and cry out in mourning!
Announce along the Arnon River
that Moab has been destroyed.’
48:21 “Judgment will come on the cities on the high plain: 50 on Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath, 48:22 on Dibon, Nebo, and Beth Diblathaim, 48:23 on Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul, and Beth Meon, 48:24 on Kerioth and Bozrah. It will come on all the towns of Moab, both far and near. 48:25 Moab’s might will be crushed. Its power will be broken. 51 I, the Lord, affirm it! 52
48:26 “Moab has vaunted itself against me.
So make him drunk with the wine of my wrath 53
until he splashes 54 around in his own vomit,
until others treat him as a laughingstock.
48:27 For did not you people of Moab laugh at the people of Israel?
Did you think that they were nothing but thieves, 55
that you shook your head in contempt 56
every time you talked about them? 57
48:28 Leave your towns, you inhabitants of Moab.
Go and live in the cliffs.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
high on the sides of a ravine. 58
48:29 I have heard how proud the people of Moab are,
I know how haughty they are.
I have heard how arrogant, proud, and haughty they are,
what a high opinion they have of themselves. 59
But their pride is ill-founded.
Their boastings will prove to be false. 61
48:31 So I will weep with sorrow for Moab.
I will cry out in sadness for all of Moab.
I will moan 62 for the people of Kir Heres.
48:32 I will weep for the grapevines of Sibmah
just like the town of Jazer weeps over them. 63
Their branches once spread as far as the Dead Sea. 64
They reached as far as the town of Jazer. 65
The destroyer will ravage
her fig, date, 66 and grape crops.
48:33 Joy and gladness will disappear
from the fruitful land of Moab. 67
I will stop the flow of wine from the winepresses.
No one will stomp on the grapes there and shout for joy. 68
The shouts there will be shouts of soldiers,
not the shouts of those making wine. 69
48:34 Cries of anguish raised from Heshbon and Elealeh
will be sounded as far as Jahaz. 70
They will be sounded from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah.
For even the waters of Nimrim will be dried up.
48:35 I will put an end in Moab
to those who make offerings at her places of worship. 71
I will put an end to those who sacrifice to other gods.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 72
48:36 So my heart moans for Moab
like a flute playing a funeral song.
Yes, like a flute playing a funeral song,
my heart moans for the people of Kir Heres.
For the wealth they have gained will perish.
48:37 For all of them will shave their heads in mourning.
They will all cut off their beards to show their sorrow.
They will all make gashes in their hands.
They will all put on sackcloth. 73
48:38 On all the housetops in Moab
and in all its public squares
there will be nothing but mourning.
For I will break Moab like an unwanted jar.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 74
48:39 Oh, how shattered Moab will be!
Oh, how her people will wail!
Oh, how she will turn away 75 in shame!
Moab will become an object of ridicule,
a terrifying sight to all the nations that surround her.”
48:40 For the Lord says,
“Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings
a nation will swoop down on Moab. 76
Her fortresses will be taken.
At that time the soldiers of Moab will be frightened
like a woman in labor. 78
because she has vaunted herself against the Lord.
for the people who live in Moab. 81
I, the Lord, affirm it! 82
48:44 Anyone who flees at the sound of terror
will fall into a pit.
Anyone who climbs out of the pit
will be caught in a trap. 83
For the time is coming
when I will punish the people of Moab. 84
I, the Lord, affirm it! 85
48:45 In the shadows of the walls of Heshbon
those trying to escape will stand helpless.
For a fire will burst forth from Heshbon.
Flames will shoot out from the former territory of Sihon.
They will burn the foreheads of the people of Moab,
the skulls of those war-loving people. 86
You people who worship Chemosh will be destroyed.
Your sons will be taken away captive.
Your daughters will be carried away into exile. 88
48:47 Yet in days to come
I will reverse Moab’s ill fortune.” 89
says the Lord. 90
The judgment against Moab ends here.
“Do you think there are not any people of the nation of Israel remaining?
Do you think there are not any of them remaining to reinherit their land?
Is that why you people who worship the god Milcom 92
have taken possession of the territory of Gad and live in his cities? 93
49:2 Because you did that,
I, the Lord, affirm that 94 a time is coming
when I will make Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon,
hear the sound of the battle cry.
It will become a mound covered with ruins. 95
Its villages will be burned to the ground. 96
Then Israel will take back its land
from those who took their land from them.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 97
49:3 Wail, you people in Heshbon, because Ai in Ammon is destroyed.
Cry out in anguish, you people in the villages surrounding 98 Rabbah.
Put on sackcloth and cry out in mourning.
Run about covered with gashes. 99
For your god Milcom will go into exile
along with his priests and officials. 100
49:4 Why do you brag about your great power?
who trust in your riches and say,
‘Who would dare to attack us?’
49:5 I will bring terror on you from every side,”
says the Lord God who rules over all. 103
“You will be scattered in every direction. 104
No one will gather the fugitives back together.
49:6 Yet in days to come
I will reverse Ammon’s ill fortune.” 105
says the Lord. 106
“Is wisdom no longer to be found in Teman? 109
Can Edom’s counselors not give her any good advice? 110
Has all of their wisdom turned bad? 111
you people who live in Dedan. 113
For I will bring disaster on the descendants of Esau.
I have decided it is time for me to punish them. 114
49:9 If grape pickers came to pick your grapes,
would they not leave a few grapes behind? 115
If robbers came at night,
would they not pillage only what they needed? 116
49:10 But I will strip everything away from Esau’s descendants.
I will uncover their hiding places so they cannot hide.
Their children, relatives, and neighbors will all be destroyed.
Not one of them will be left!
49:11 Leave your orphans behind and I will keep them alive.
Your widows too can depend on me.” 117
49:12 For the Lord says, “If even those who did not deserve to drink from the cup of my wrath must drink from it, do you think you will go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, but must certainly drink from the cup of my wrath. 118 49:13 For I solemnly swear,” 119 says the Lord, “that Bozrah 120 will become a pile of ruins. It will become an object of horror and ridicule, an example to be used in curses. 121 All the towns around it will lie in ruins forever.”
A messenger has been sent among the nations to say,
‘Gather your armies and march out against her!
Prepare to do battle with her!’” 123
“I will certainly make you small among nations.
I will make you despised by all humankind.
and the arrogance of your heart have deceived you.
You may make your home in the clefts of the rocks;
you may occupy the highest places in the hills. 126
But even if you made your home where the eagles nest,
I would bring you down from there,”
says the Lord.
49:17 “Edom will become an object of horror.
All who pass by it will be filled with horror;
they will hiss out their scorn
because of all the disasters that have happened to it. 127
49:18 Edom will be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah
and the towns that were around them.
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it,”
says the Lord.
scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it. 129
So too I will chase the Edomites off their land. 130
Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose. 131
For there is no one like me, and there is no one who can call me to account. 132
49:20 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Edom,
Their little ones will be dragged off.
I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done. 137
Their cries of anguish will be heard all the way to the Gulf of Aqaba. 139
49:22 Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings,
a nation will soar up and swoop down on Bozrah.
At that time the soldiers of Edom will be as fearful
as a woman in labor.” 140
“The people of Hamath and Arpad 143 will be dismayed
because they have heard bad news.
Their courage will melt away because of worry.
Their hearts will not be able to rest. 144
49:24 The people of Damascus will lose heart and turn to flee.
Panic will grip them.
Pain and anguish will seize them
like a woman in labor.
49:26 For her young men will fall in her city squares.
All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”
says the Lord who rules over all. 148
49:27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;
it will burn up the palaces of Ben Hadad.” 149
“Army of Babylon, 152 go and attack Kedar.
Lay waste those who live in the eastern desert. 153
49:29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken away.
Their tent curtains, equipment, and camels will be carried off.
People will shout 154 to them,
‘Terror is all around you!’” 155
Take up refuge in remote places. 158
For King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has laid out plans to attack you.
He has formed his strategy on how to defeat you.” 159
a nation that lives in peace and security.
They have no gates or walls to protect them. 162
They live all alone.
49:32 Their camels will be taken as plunder.
Their vast herds will be taken as spoil.
I will scatter to the four winds
those desert peoples who cut their hair short at the temples. 163
I will bring disaster against them
from every direction,” says the Lord. 164
49:33 “Hazor will become a permanent wasteland,
a place where only jackals live. 165
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it.” 166
49:35 The Lord who rules over all said,
“I will kill all the archers of Elam,
who are the chief source of her military might. 169
49:36 I will cause enemies to blow through Elam from every direction
like the winds blowing in from the four quarters of heaven.
I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.
There will not be any nation where the refugees of Elam will not go. 170
49:37 I will make the people of Elam terrified of their enemies,
who are seeking to kill them.
I will vent my fierce anger
“I will send armies chasing after them 173
until I have completely destroyed them.
49:39 “Yet in days to come
I will reverse Elam’s ill fortune.” 177
says the Lord. 178
2 sn The precise dating of this prophecy is uncertain. Several proposals have been suggested, the most likely of which is that the prophecy was delivered in 609
3 tn Heb “Behold! Waters are rising from the north.” The metaphor of enemy armies compared to overflowing water is seen also in Isa 8:8-9 (Assyria) and 46:7-8 (Egypt). Here it refers to the foe from the north (Jer 1:14; 4:6; etc) which is specifically identified with Babylon in Jer 25. The metaphor has been turned into a simile in the translation to help the average reader identify that a figure is involved and to hint at the referent.
4 tn Heb “From the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions, from the rattling of his chariots at the rumbling of their wheels, fathers will not turn to their children from sinking of hands.” According to BDB 952 s.v. רִפָּיוֹן the “sinking of the hands” is figurative of helplessness caused by terror. A very similar figure is seen with a related expression in Isa 35:3-4. The sentence has been restructured to put the subject up front and to suggest through shorter sentences more in keeping with contemporary English style the same causal connections. The figures have been interpreted for the sake of clarity for the average reader.
8 sn All the help that remains for Tyre and Sidon and that remnant that came from the island of Crete appear to be two qualifying phrases that refer to the Philistines, the last with regard to their origin and the first with regard to the fact that they were allies that Tyre and Sidon depended on. “Crete” is literally “Caphtor” which is generally identified with the island of Crete. The Philistines had come from there (Amos 9:7) in the wave of migration from the Aegean Islands during the twelfth and eleventh century and had settled on the Philistine plain after having been repulsed from trying to enter Egypt.
10 tn Or “you who are left alive on the Philistine plain.” Or “you who remain of the Anakim.” The translation follows the suggestion of several of the modern commentaries that the word עֵמֶק (’emeq) means “strength” or “power” here (see J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 698; J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 310; and see also HALOT 803 s.v. II עֵמֶק). It is a rare homonym of the word that normally means “valley” that seems to be an inappropriate designation of the Philistine plain. Many of the modern English versions and commentaries follow the Greek version which reads here “remnant of the Anakim” (עֲנָקִים [’anaqim] instead of עִמְקָם [’imqam], a confusion of basically one letter). This emendation is followed by both BDB 771 s.v. עֵמֶק and KBL 716 s.v. עֵמֶק. The Anakim were generally associated with the southern region around Hebron but an enclave of them was known to have settled in Gaza, Gath, and Ekron, three of the Philistine cities (cf. Josh 11:22). However, the fact that this judgment is directed against the Philistines not the Anakim and that this homonym apparently appears also in Jer 49:4 makes the reading of “power” more likely here.
11 tn The words “How long will you cry out” are not in the text but some such introduction seems necessary because the rest of the speech assumes a personal subject.
12 tn Heb “before you are quiet/at rest.”
13 sn The passage is highly figurative. The sword of the
15 tn Heb “When the
16 tn Heb “Against Ashkelon and the sea coast, there he has appointed it.” For the switch to the first person see the preceding translator’s note. “There” is poetical and redundant and the idea of “attacking” is implicit in “against.”
18 sn Moab was a country east of the Dead Sea whose boundaries varied greatly over time. Basically, it was the tableland between the Arnon River about halfway up the Dead Sea and the Zered River which is roughly at the southern tip of the Dead Sea. When the Israelites entered Palestine they were forbidden to take any of the Moabite territory but they did capture the kingdom of Sihon north of the Arnon which Sihon had taken from Moab. Several of the towns mentioned in the oracles of judgment against Moab here are in this territory north of the Arnon and were assigned to Reuben and Gad. Several are mentioned on the famous Moabite Stone which details how Mesha king of Moab recovered from Israel many of these cities during the reign of Joram (852-841
19 tn Heb “Woe to Nebo for it is destroyed.” For the use of the Hebrew particle “Woe” (הוֹי, hoy) see the translator’s note on 22:13. The translation has taken this form because the phrase “Woe to” probably does not convey the proper meaning or significance to the modern reader. The verbs again are in the tense (Hebrew prophetic perfect) that views the action as if it were as good as done. The particle כִּי (ki) probably is causal but the asseverative works better in the modified translation.
21 tn Or “Misgab.” The translation here follows the majority of commentaries and English versions. Only REB sees this as a place name, “Misgab,” which is otherwise unknown. The constant use of this word to refer to a fortress, the presence of the article on the front of it, and the lack of any reference to a place of this name anywhere else argues against it being a place name. However, the fact that the verbs that accompany it are feminine while the noun for “fortress” is masculine causes some pause.
23 sn Heshbon was originally a Moabite city but was captured by Sihon king of Og and made his capital (Num 21:26-30). It was captured from Sihon and originally assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Num 32:37; Josh 13:17). Later it was made a Levitical city and was assigned to the tribe of Gad (Josh 21:39). It formed the northern limits of Moab. It was located about eighteen miles east of the northern tip of the Dead Sea.
24 sn There is a wordplay in Hebrew on the word “Heshbon” and the word “plot” (חָשְׁבוּ, khoshvu).
25 tn Heb “In Heshbon they plot evil against her [i.e., Moab].” The “they” is undefined, but it would scarcely be Moabites living in Heshbon. Hence TEV and CEV are probably correct in seeing a reference to the enemy which would imply the conquest of this city which lay on the northern border of Moab.
26 tn The meaning of this line is somewhat uncertain. The translation here follows all the modern English versions and commentaries in reading the place name “Madmen” even though the place is otherwise unknown and the Greek, Syriac, and Latin version all read this word as an emphasizing infinitive absolute of the following verb “will be destroyed,” i.e. דָּמוֹם יִדֹּמּוּ (damom yiddommu). Some see this word as a variant of the name Dimon in Isa 15:9 which in turn is a playful variant of the place name Dibon. There is once again a wordplay on the word “Madmen” and “will be destroyed”: מַדְמֵן (madmen) and יִדֹּמּוּ (yiddommu). For the meaning of the verb = “perish” or “be destroyed” see Jer 8:14; Ps 31:18.
27 tn Heb “A sword will follow after you.” The sword is again figurative of destructive forces, here the army of the Babylonians.
28 tc The reading here follows the Qere צְעִירֶיהָ (tsÿ’ireha) which is the same noun found in Jer 14:3 in the sense of “servants.” Here it refers to the young ones, i.e., the children (cf. the use of the adjective BDB 859 s.v. I צָעִיר 2 and see Gen 43:33). Many of the modern commentaries and a few of the modern English versions follow the Greek version and read “their cry is heard as far as Zoar” (reading צֹעֲרָה, tso’arah; see, for example, J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 699, n. 4, and BDB 858 s.v. צֹעַר). However, that leaves the verb with an indefinite subject (the verb is active 3rd plural not passive) not otherwise identified in the preceding context. Many of the modern English versions such as NRSV, NJPS, NIV retain the Hebrew as the present translation has done. In this case the masculine plural noun furnishes a logical subject for the verb.
29 tn Or “Indeed her fugitives will…” It is unclear what the subject of the verbs are in this verse. The verb in the first two lines “climb” (יַעֲלֶה, ya’aleh) is third masculine singular and the verb in the second two lines “will hear” (שָׁמֵעוּ, shame’u) is third common plural. The causal particles at the beginning of the two halves of the verse suggest some connection with the preceding, so the translation assumes that the children are still the subject. In this case the singular verb would be a case of the distributive singular already referred to in the translator’s note on 46:15. The parallel passage in Isa 15:5 refers to the “fugitives” (בְּרִיחֶהָ, bÿrikheha) with the same singular verb as here and that may be the implied subject here.
sn The location of Luhith and Horonaim are uncertain, though, from their connection with Zoar in Isa 15:5, they appear to be located in southern Moab. Zoar was at the southern tip of the Dead Sea.
30 tn Heb “the distresses of the cry of destruction.” Many commentaries want to leave out the word “distresses” because it is missing from the Greek version and the parallel passage in Isa 15:5. However, it is in all the Hebrew
31 tc The meaning of this line is uncertain. The translation follows one reading of the Hebrew text. The Greek version reads “Be like a wild donkey in the desert!” There are three points of debate in this line: the syntax of the verb form “be” (תִהְיֶינָה, tihyenah) and the text and meaning of the word translated “shrub” in the Hebrew text. This word only occurs with this meaning here and in Jer 17:6. A related word occurs in Ps 102:17 (102:18 HT). Elsewhere this spelling refers to the place name Aroer which was a place in Moab on the edge of the Arnon River. Most commentators do not feel that a reference to that place is appropriate here because it was not in the desert. The Greek version reads “like a wild donkey” (reading כְּעָרוֹד [kÿ’arod] in place of כַּעֲרוֹעֵר [ka’aro’er]). That would make an appropriate simile here because the wild donkey enjoys its freedom and is hard to capture. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 312) explain the simile of the “shrub” as referring to the marginal and rudimentary existence of a displaced person. That may not be as optimistic as the reference to the wild donkey but it does give an appropriate meaning. The third feminine plural has been explained as the singular noun + suffix = “yourselves” (נַפְשְׁכֶם, nafshÿkhem) used as a collective (so S. R. Driver, Jeremiah, 368, with cross reference to GKC 462-63 §145.c). J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 314, n. e-e) follows a suggestion of D. N. Freedman in seeing the form (תִהְיֶינָה, tihyenah) as a mistake for the 2nd masculine plural plus energic (תִהְיוּן, tihyun). Given the number of other textual corruptions in this passage, this is possible. The resultant meaning in either case is the same.
32 sn Chemosh was the national god of Moab (see also Numb 21:29). Child sacrifice appears to have been a part of his worship (2 Kgs 3:27). Solomon built a high place in Jerusalem for him (1 Kgs 11:7), and he appears to have been worshiped in Israel until Josiah tore that high place down (2 Kgs 23:13).
34 tn Heb “The valley will be destroyed and the tableland be laid waste.” However, in the context this surely refers to the towns and not to the valley and the tableland itself.
sn Most commentaries see a reference to the towns in the Jordan valley referred to in Josh 13:27 and the towns mentioned in Josh 13:15-17 which were on the high tableland or high plateau or plain north of the Arnon. The mention of the towns in the first half of the verse is broader than that because it would include all the towns in the southern half of Moab between the Arnon and Zered as well as those mentioned in the second half in conjunction with the valley and the high plateau north of the Arnon.
36 tn Or “Scatter salt over Moab for it will certainly be laid in ruins.” The meaning of these two lines is very uncertain. The Hebrew of these two lines presents several difficulties. It reads תְּנוּ־צִיץ לְמוֹאָב נָצֹא תֵּצֵא (tÿnu-tsits lÿmo’av natso’ tetse’). Of the five words two are extremely problematic and the meaning of the second affects also the meaning of the last word which normally means “go out.” The word צִיץ (tsits) regularly refers to a blossom or flower or the diadem on the front of Aaron’s mitre. BDB 851 s.v. II צִיץ gives a nuance “wings (coll)” based on the interpretation of Abu Walid and some medieval Jewish interpreters who related it to an Aramaic root. But BDB says that meaning is dubious and refers to the Greek which reads σημεῖα (shmeia, “sign” or “sign post”). Along with KBL 802 s.v. I צִיץ and HALOT 959 s.v. II צִיץ, BDB suggests that the Greek presupposes the word צִיּוּן (tsiyyun) which refers to a road marker (Jer 31:21) or a gravestone (2 Kgs 23:17). That is the meaning followed here. Several modern commentaries and English versions have followed a proposal by W. Moran that the word is related to a Ugaritic word meaning salt (cf., e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 320). However, HALOT 959 s.v. II צִיץ questions the validity of this on philological grounds saying that the meaning of salt does not really fit the Ugaritic either. The present translation follows the suggestions of the lexicons here and reads the word as though the Greek supported the meaning “gravestone.” The other difficulty is with the word נָצֹא (natso’), which looks like a Qal infinitive absolute of an otherwise unattested root which BDB s.v. נָצָא says is defined in Gesenius’ Thesaurus as “fly.” However, see the meaning and the construction of an infinitive absolute of one root with that of another as highly improbable. Hence, most modern lexicons either emend the forms to read נָצֹה תִּצֶּה (natsoh titseh) from the root נָצָה (natsah) meaning “to fall into ruins” (so KBL 629 s.v. נָצָה Qal, and see among others J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 700, n. 10, who notes that final א [aleph] and final ה [hey] are often confused; see the discussion and examples in GKC 216-17 §75.nn-rr). This is the option that this translation as well as a number of modern ones have taken. A second option is to see נָצֹא (natso’) as an error for יָצֹא (yatso’) and read the text in the sense of “she will certainly surrender,” a meaning that the verb יָצָא (yatsa’) has in 1 Sam 11:3; Isa 36:6. The best discussion of this option as well as a discussion on the problem of reading צִיץ (tsits) as salt is found in G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 313-14.
37 tn Heb “who withholds his sword from bloodshed.” This verse is an editorial aside (or apostrophe) addressed to the Babylonian destroyers to be diligent in carrying out the work of the
38 tn Heb “Therefore his taste remains in him and his aroma is not changed.” The metaphor is changed into a simile in an attempt to help the reader understand the figure in the context.
sn The picture is that of undisturbed complacency (cf. Zeph 1:12). Because Moab had never known the discipline of exile she had remained as she always was.
39 tn Heb “Therefore, behold the days are coming, oracle of Yahweh, when I will send against him decanters [those who pour from one vessel to another] and they will decant him [pour him out] and they will empty his vessels and break their jars in pieces.” The verse continues the metaphor from the preceding verse where Moab/the people of Moab are like wine left undisturbed in a jar, i.e., in their native land. In this verse the picture is that of the decanter emptying the wine from the vessels and then breaking the jars. The wine represents the people and the vessels the cities and towns where the people lived. The verse speaks of the exile of the people and the devastation of the land. The metaphor has been interpreted so it conveys meaning to the average reader.
40 tn Heb “Oracle of the
41 tn Heb “Moab will be ashamed because of Chemosh as the house of Israel was ashamed because of Bethel, their [source of] confidence.” The “shame” is, of course, the disappointment, disillusionment because of the lack of help from these gods in which they trusted (for this nuance of the verb see BDB 101 s.v. בּוֹשׁ Qal.2 and compare usage in Jer 2:13; Isa 20:5). Because of the parallelism, some see the reference to Bethel to be a reference to a West Semitic god worshiped by the people of Israel (see J. P. Hyatt, “Bethel [Deity],” IDB 1:390 for the arguments). However, there is no evidence in the OT that such a god was worshiped in Israel, and there is legitimate evidence that northern Israel placed its confidence in the calf god that Jeroboam set up in Bethel (cf. 1 Kgs 12:28-32; Hos 10:5; 8:5-6; Amos 7:10-17).
42 tn Heb “will go down to the slaughter.”
sn This refers to both the nearby nations and those who lived further away who had heard of Moab’s power and might only by repute.
46 tn Heb “How is the strong staff broken, the beautiful rod.” “How” introduces a lament which is here rendered by “Alas.” The staff and rod refer to the support that Moab gave to others not to the fact that she ruled over others which was never the case. According to BDB 739 s.v. עוֹז 1 the “strong staff” is figurative of political power.
47 tn Heb “sit in thirst.” The abstract “thirst” is put for the concrete, i.e., thirsty or parched ground (cf. Deut 8:19; Isa 35:7; Ps 107:33) for the concrete. There is no need to emend to “filth” (צֹאָה [tso’ah] for צָמָא [tsama’]) as is sometimes suggested.
48 tn Heb “inhabitant of Daughter Dibon.” “Daughter” is used here as often in Jeremiah for the personification of a city, a country, or its inhabitants. The word “inhabitant” is to be understood as a collective as also in v. 19.
sn Dibon was an important fortified city located on the “King’s Highway,” the main north-south road in Transjordan. It was the site at which the Moabite Stone was found in 1868 and was one of the cities mentioned on it. It was four miles north of the Arnon River and thirteen miles east of the Dead Sea. It was one of the main cities on the northern plateau and had been conquered from Sihon and allotted to the tribe of Reuben (Josh 13:17).
49 sn Aroer is probably the Aroer that was located a few miles south and west of Dibon on the edge of the Arnon River. It had earlier been the southern border of Sihon, king of Heshbon, and had been allotted to the tribe of Reuben (Josh 13:16). However, this whole territory had earlier been taken over by the Arameans (2 Kgs 10:33), later by the Assyrians, and at this time was in the hands of the Moabites.
51 tn Heb “The horn of Moab will be cut off. His arm will be broken.” “Horn” and “arm” are both symbols of strength (see BDB 902 s.v. קֶרֶן 2 [and compare usage in Lam 2:3] and BDB 284 s.v. זְרוֹעַ 2 [and compare usage in 1 Sam 2:31]). The figures have been interpreted for the sake of clarity.
52 tn Heb “Oracle of the
53 tn Heb “Make him drunk because he has magnified himself against the
54 tn The meaning of this word is uncertain. It is usually used of clapping the hands or the thigh in helpless anger or disgust. Hence J. Bright (Jeremiah [AB], 321) paraphrases “shall vomit helplessly.” HALOT 722 s.v. II סָפַק relates this to an Aramaic word and see a homonym meaning “vomit” or “spew out.” The translation is that of BDB 706 s.v. סָפַק Qal.3, “splash (fall with a splash),” from the same root that refers to slapping or clapping the thigh.
55 tn Heb “were they caught among thieves?”
57 tc The reading here presupposes the emendation of דְבָרֶיךָ (dÿvarekha, “your words”) to דַבֶּרְךָ (dabberkha, “your speaking”), suggested by BHS (cf. fn c) on the basis of one of the Greek versions (Symmachus). For the idiom cf. BDB 191 s.v. דַּי 2.c.α.
58 tn Heb “in the sides of the mouth of a pit/chasm.” The translation follows the suggestion of J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB), 321. The point of the simile is inaccessibility.
59 tn Heb “We have heard of the pride of Moab – [he is] exceedingly proud – of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his haughtiness, and the loftiness of his heart.” These words are essentially all synonyms, three of them coming from the same Hebrew root (גָּאָה, ga’ah) and one of the words being used twice (גָּאוֹן). Since the first person singular is used in the next verse, the present translation considers the “we” of this verse to refer to the plural of majesty or the plural referring to the divine council in such passages as Gen 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:8 and has translated in the singular to avoid possible confusion of who the “we” are. Most understand the reference to be to Jeremiah and his fellow Judeans.
60 tn Heb “Oracle of the
61 tn The meaning of this verse is somewhat uncertain: Heb “I know, oracle of the
62 tc The translation is based on the emendation of the Hebrew third masculine singular (יֶהְגֶּה, yehggeh) to the first singular (אֶהְגֶּה, ’ehgeh). This emendation is assumed by almost all of the modern English versions and commentaries even though the textual evidence for it is weak (only one Hebrew
63 tc Or “I will weep for the grapevines of Sibmah more than I will weep over the town of Jazer.” The translation here assumes that there has been a graphic confusion of מ (mem) with כְּ (kaf) or בְּ (bet). The parallel passage in Isa 16:9 has the preposition בְּ and the Greek version presupposes a comparative idea “as with.” Many of the modern English versions render the passage with the comparative מִן (min) as in the alternate translation, but it is unclear what the force of the comparison would be here. The verse is actually in the second person, an apostrophe or direct address to the grapevine(s) of Sibmah. However, the translation has retained the third person throughout because such sudden shifts in person are uncommon in contemporary English literature and retaining the third person is smoother. The Hebrew text reads: “From/With the weeping of Jazer I will weep for you, vine of Sibmah. Your tendrils crossed over the sea. They reached unto the sea of Jazer. Upon your summer fruit and your vintage [grape harvest] the destroyer has fallen.”
64 tn Heb “crossed over to the Sea.”
65 tn Or “reached the sea of Jazer.” The Sea is generally taken to be a reference to the Dead Sea. The translation presupposes that the word “sea” is to be omitted before “Jazer.” The word is missing from two Hebrew
sn Though there is some doubt about the precise location of these places, Sibmah is generally considered to have been located slightly north and west of Heshbon and Jazer further north toward the border of Ammon not far from the city of Amman. Most commentators see the reference here (and in the parallel in Isa 16:8) to the spread of viticulture westward and northward from the vineyards of Sibmah. G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, and T. G. Smothers (Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 318-19), however, see the reference rather to the spread of trade in wine westward beyond the coast of the Mediterranean and eastward into the desert.
66 tn Heb “her summer fruit.” See the translator’s note on 40:10 for the rendering here. According to BDB 657 s.v. נָפַל Qal.4.a, the verb means to “fall upon” or “attack” but in the context it is probably metonymical for attack and destroy.
67 tn Heb “from the garden land, even from the land of Moab.” Comparison with the parallel passage in Isa 16:10 and the translation of the Greek text here (which has only “the land of Moab”) suggest that the second phrase is appositional to the first.
68 tn Heb “no one will tread [the grapes] with shout of joy.”
69 tn Heb “shouts will not be shouts.” The text has been expanded contextually to explain that the shouts of those treading grapes in winepresses will come to an end (v. 33a-d) and be replaced by the shouts of the soldiers who trample down the vineyards (v. 32e-f). Compare 25:30 and 51:41 for the idea.
70 tn The meaning of this verse is very uncertain. The ambiguity of the syntax and the apparent elliptical nature of this text makes the meaning of this verse uncertain. The Hebrew text reads: “From the cry of Heshbon unto Elealeh unto Jahaz they utter their voice from Zoar unto Horonaim Eglath Shelishiyah.” The translation and interpretation here are based on interpreting the elliptical syntax here by the parallel passage in Isaiah 15:4-6 where cries of anguish rise from Heshbon and Elealeh which are heard all the way to Jahaz. The people flee southward arriving at Zoar and Eglath Shelishiyah where they voice the news of the destruction in the north. Hence, the present translation interprets the phrase “from the cry of Heshbon unto Elealeh” to be parallel to “Heshbon and Elealeh cry out” and take the preposition “from” with the verb “they utter their voice,” i.e., with the cry of Heshbon and Elealeh. The impersonal “they raise their voice” is then treated as a passive and made the subject of the whole verse. There is some debate about the identification of the waters of Nimrim. They may refer to the waters of the Wadi Nimrim which enters the Jordan about eight miles north of the Dead Sea or those of the Wadi en-Numeirah which flows into the southern tip of the Dead Sea from about ten miles south. Most commentators take the reference to be the latter because of association with Zoar. However, if the passage is talking about the destruction in the north which is reported in the south by the fleeing refugees, the reference is probably to the Wadi Nimrim in the north.
sn Elealeh was about two miles (3.3 km) north of Heshbon. Jahaz was about twenty miles (33 km) south of it. These three cities were in the north and Zoar, Horonaim, and Eglath Shelishiyah were apparently in the south. The verse is speaking about the news of destruction in the north spreading to the south. Comparison should be made with the parallel passage in Isa 15:4-6.
72 tn Heb “Oracle of the
73 tn Heb “upon every loin [there is] sackcloth.” The word “all” is restored here before “loin” with a number of Hebrew
sn The actions referred to here were all acts that were used to mourn the dead (cf. Isa 15:2-3).
74 tn Heb “Oracle of the
75 tn Heb “turn her back.”
76 tn Heb “Behold! Like an eagle he will swoop and will spread his wings against Moab.” The sentence has been reordered in English to give a better logical flow and the unidentified “he” has been identified as “a nation.” The nation is, of course, Babylon, but it is nowhere identified so the referent has been left ambiguous.
sn Conquering nations are often identified with a swiftly flying eagle swooping down on its victims (cf. Deut 28:49). In this case the eagle is to be identified with the nation (or king) of Babylon (cf. Ezek 17:3, 12 where reference is to the removal of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) and his replacement with Zedekiah).
77 tn Parallelism argues that the word קְרִיּוֹת (qÿriyyot) be understood as the otherwise unattested feminine plural of the noun קִרְיָה (qiryah, “city”) rather than the place name Kerioth mentioned in v. 24 (cf. HALOT 1065 s.v. קִרְיָה). Both this noun and the parallel term “fortresses” are plural but are found with feminine singular verbs, being treated either as collectives or distributive plurals (cf. GKC 462-63 §145.c or 464 §145.l).
78 tn Heb “The heart of the soldiers of Moab will be like the heart of a woman in labor.”
79 tn Heb “Moab will be destroyed from [being] a people.”
80 sn There is an extended use of assonance here and in the parallel passage in Isa 24:17. The Hebrew text reads פַּחַד וָפַחַת וָפָח (pakhad vafakhat vafakh). The assonance is intended to underscore the extensive trouble that is in store for them.
81 tn Heb “are upon you, inhabitant of Moab.” This is another example of the rapid switch in person or direct address (apostrophe) in the midst of a third person description or prediction which the present translation typically keeps in the third person for smoother English style.
82 tn Heb “Oracle of the
84 tn Heb “For I will bring upon her, even upon Moab, the year of her punishment.”
85 tn Heb “Oracle of the
86 tn Or “of those noisy boasters.” Or “They will burn up the frontiers of Moab. They will burn up the mountain heights of those war-loving people.” The meaning of this verse is not entirely certain because of the highly figurative nature of the last two lines. The Hebrew text has been translated somewhat literally here. The Hebrew text reads: “In the shadow of Heshbon those fleeing stand without strength. For a fire goes forth from Heshbon, a flame from the midst of Sihon. And it devours the forehead of Moab and the skull of the sons of noise.” The meaning of the first part is fairly clear because v. 2 has already spoken of the conquest of Heshbon and a plot formed there to conquer the rest of the nation. The fire going forth from Heshbon would hence refer here to the conflagrations of war spreading from Heshbon to the rest of the country. The reference to the “midst of Sihon” is to be understood metonymically as a reference for the ruler to what he once ruled (cf. E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 583). The last two lines must refer to more than the fugitives who stopped at Heshbon for protection because it refers to the forehead of Moab (a personification of the whole land or nation). It is unclear, however, why reference is made to the foreheads and skulls of the Moabites, other than the fact that this verse seems to be a readaptation or reuse of Num 24:17 where the verb used with them is “smite” which fits nicely in the sense of martial destruction. Translated rather literally, it appears here to refer to the destruction by the fires of war of the Moabites, the part (forehead and skulls) put for the whole. TEV sees a reference here to the “frontiers” and “mountain heights” of Moab and this would work nicely for “foreheads” which is elsewhere used of the corner or border of a land in Neh 9:22. The word “crown” or “skull” might be a picturesque metaphor for the mountain heights of a land, but the word is never used elsewhere in such a figurative way. TEV (and CEV) which follows it might be correct here but there is no way to validate it. The meaning “war-loving people” for the phrase “sons of noise” is based on the suggestion of BDB 981 s.v. שָׁאוֹן 1 which relates the phrase to the dominant use for שָׁאוֹן (sha’on) and is adopted also by TEV, CEV, and C. von Orelli, Jeremiah, 341. REB “braggarts” and NIV “noisy boasters” seem to base the nuance on the usage of שָׁאוֹן (sha’on) in Jer 46:17 where Pharaoh is referred to as an empty noise and the reference to Moab’s arrogance and boasting in 48:29.
sn This verse and the next are an apparent adaptation and reuse of a victory song in Num 21:28-29 and a prophecy in Num 24:17. That explains the reference to Sihon who was the Amorite king who captured Heshbon and proceeded from there to capture most of northern Moab (the area between Heshbon and the Arnon) which has been referred to earlier in this prophecy. This prophecy appears to speak of the destruction of Moab beginning from the same place under the picture of a destructive fire which burns up all the people. The fire is a reference to the conflagrations of war in which the enemy captures the cities and sets them on fire and burns all the people in them. What Sihon once did (Num 21:28-29) and what Balaam prophesied would happen to Moab in the future (by David? Num 24:17) are being reapplied to a new situation.
88 tn Heb “Your sons will be taken away into captivity, your daughters into exile.”
90 tn Heb “Oracle of the
91 sn Ammonites. Ammon was a small kingdom to the north and east of Moab which was in constant conflict with the Transjordanian tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh over territorial rights to the lands north and south of the Jabbok River. Ammon mainly centered on the city of Rabbah which is modern Amman. According to Judg 11:13 the Ammonites claimed the land between the Jabbok and the Arnon but this was land taken from them by Sihon and Og and land that the Israelites captured from the latter two kings. The Ammonites attempted to expand into the territory of Israel in the Transjordan in the time of Jephthah (Judg 10-11) and the time of Saul (1 Sam 11). Apparently when Tiglath Pileser carried away the Israelite tribes in Transjordan in 733
92 tc The reading here and in v. 3 follows the reading of the Greek, Syriac, and Latin versions and 1 Kgs 11:5, 33; 2 Kgs 23:13. The Hebrew reads “Malcom” both here, in v. 3, and Zeph 1:5. This god is to be identified with the god known elsewhere as Molech (cf. 1 Kgs 11:7).
93 tn Heb “Does not Israel have any sons? Does not he have any heir [or “heirs” as a collective]? Why [then] has Malcom taken possession of Gad and [why] do his [Malcom’s] people live in his [Gad’s] land?” A literal translation here will not produce any meaning without major commentary. Hence the meaning that is generally agreed on is reflected in an admittedly paraphrastic translation. The reference is to the fact that the Ammonites had taken possession of the cities that had been deserted when the Assyrians carried off the Transjordanian tribes in 733
94 tn Heb “oracle of the
96 tn Heb “Its daughters will be burned with fire.” For the use of the word “daughters” to refer to the villages surrounding a larger city see BDB 123 s.v. I בַּת 4 and compare the usage in Judg 1:27.
97 tn Heb “says the
98 tn Or “you women of Rabbah”; Heb “daughters of Rabbah.” It is difficult to tell whether the word “daughters” is used here in the same sense that it has in v. 2 (see the translator’s note there) or in the literal sense of “daughters.” The former has been preferred because the cities themselves (e.g., Heshbon) are called to wail in the earlier part of the verse and the term “daughters” has been used in the previous verse of the surrounding villages.
99 tc Or “Run back and forth inside the walls of your towns.” Or “slash yourselves with gashes.” The meaning of this line is uncertain. The Hebrew text reads “run back and forth among the walls.” The word “run back and forth” is generally taken as a Hitpolel of a verb that means to “go about” in the Qal and to “go back and forth” in the Polel (cf. BDB 1002 s.v. I שׁוּט). The noun that follows in the Hebrew means “wall, hedge” and is quite commonly modified by the noun צֹאן (tso’n, “sheep”) referring to sheepfolds (cf., e.g., Num 32:36; 1 Sam 24:3). But the phrase “run back and forth among the sheepfolds” yields little meaning here. In Ps 89:40 (89:41 HT) the word “wall” is used in parallelism with fortified cities and refers to the walls of the city. That is the sense that is assumed in one of the alternate translations with the words “of your towns” being supplied in the translation for clarification. However, that figure is a little odd in a context which speaks of mourning rites. Hence, some emend the word “walls” (גְּדֵרוֹת, gÿderot) to “gashes” (גְּדֻדוֹת, gÿdudot), a word that has occurred in a similar context in Jer 48:37. That would involve only the common confusion of ר and ד. That is the reading adopted here and fits the context nicely. NRSV appears to go one step further and read the verb as a Hitpolel from a root that is otherwise used only as a noun to mean “whip” or “scourge.” NRSV reads “slash yourselves with whips” which also makes excellent sense in the context but is not supported by any parallel use of the verb.
101 tn Or “Why do you brag about your valleys, about the fruitfulness of your valleys.” The meaning of the first two lines of this verse are uncertain primarily due to the ambiguity of the expression זָב עִמְקֵךְ (zav ’imqekh). The form זָב (zav) is either a Qal perfect or Qal participle of a verb meaning flow. It is common in the expression “a land flowing with milk and honey” and is also common to refer to the seminal discharge or discharge of blood which makes a man or woman unclean. BDB 264 s.v. זוּב Qal.2 sees it as an abbreviation of the idea of “flowing with milk and honey” and sees it as referring to the fertility of Ammon’s valley. However, there are no other examples of such an ellipsis. Several of the modern English versions and commentaries have taken the word עֵמֶק (’emeq) not as a reference to a valley but to the homonym cited in the note on 47:5 and see the reference here to the flowing away of Ammon’s strength. That interpretation is followed here. Instead of explaining the plural ending on עֲמָקִים (’amaqim) as being an enclitic ם (mem) as others who follow this interpretation (e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 325), the present translation understands the plural as a plural of amplification (cf. GKC 397-98 §124.e and compare the noun “might” in Isa 40:26).
102 tn Heb “apostate daughter.” This same term is applied to Israel in Jer 31:22 but seems inappropriate here to Ammon because she had never been loyal to the
104 tn Heb “You will be scattered each man [straight] before him.”
106 tn Heb “Oracle of the
108 sn Edom was a kingdom to the south and east of Judah. Its borders varied over time but basically Edom lay in the hundred mile strip between the Gulf of Aqaba on the south and the Zered River on the north. It straddled the Arabah leading down from the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba, having as its northern neighbors both Judah and Moab. A long history of hostility existed between Israel and Edom, making Edom one of the favorite objects of the prophets’ oracles of judgment (cf., e.g., Isa 21:11-12; 34:5-15; 63:1-6; Amos 1:11-12; Ezek 25:12-14; 35:1-15; Obad 1-16). Not much is known about Edom at this time other than the fact that they participated in the discussions regarding rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar in 594
109 sn Teman was the name of one of Esau’s descendants, the name of an Edomite clan and the name of the district where they lived (Gen 36:11, 15, 34). Like the name Bozrah, it is used poetically for all of Edom (Jer 49:20; Ezek 25:13).
110 tn Heb “Has counsel perished from men of understanding?”
111 tn The meaning of this last word is based on the definition given in KBL 668 s.v. II סָרַח Nif and HALOT 726 s.v. II סָרַח Nif, which give the nuance “to be [or become] corrupt” rather than that of BDB 710 s.v. סָרַח Niph who give the nuance “let loose (i.e., to be dismissed; to be gone)” from a verb that is elsewhere used of the overhanging of a curtains or a cliff.
112 tn Heb “make deep to dwell.” The meaning of this phrase is debated. Some take it as a reference for the Dedanites who were not native to Edom to go down from the heights of Edom and go back home (so G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 330). The majority of commentaries, however, take it as a reference to the Dedanites disassociating themselves from the Edomites and finding remote hiding places to live in (so J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 718). For the options see W. L. Holladay, Jeremiah (Hermeneia), 2:375.
113 sn Dedan. The Dedanites were an Arabian tribe who lived to the southeast of Edom. They are warned here to disassociate themselves from Edom because Edom is about to suffer disaster.
115 tn The translation of this verse is generally based on the parallels in Obad 5. There the second line has a ה interrogative in front of it. The question can still be assumed because questions can be asked in Hebrew without a formal marker (cf. GKC 473 §150.a and BDB 519 s.v. לֹא 1.a[e] and compare usage in 2 Kgs 5:26).
116 tn The tense and nuance of the verb translated “pillage” are both different than the verb in Obad 5. There the verb is the imperfect of גָּנַב (ganav, “to steal”). Here the verb is the perfect of a verb which means to “ruin” or “spoil.” The English versions and commentaries, however, almost all render the verb here in much the same way as in Obad 5. The nuance must mean they only “ruin, destroy” (by stealing) only as much as they need (Heb “their sufficiency”), and the verb is used as metonymical substitute, effect for cause. The perfect must be some kind of a future perfect; “would they not have destroyed only…” The negative question is carried over by ellipsis from the preceding lines.
117 tn Or “Their children and relatives will all be destroyed. And none of their neighbors will say, ‘Leave your orphans with me and I’ll keep them alive. Your widows can trust in me.’” This latter interpretation is based on a reading in a couple of the Greek versions (Symmachus and Lucian) and is accepted by a number of the modern commentaries, (J. Bright, J. A. Thompson, W. L. Holladay, and G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers). However, the majority of modern English versions do not follow it and lacking any other Hebrew or versional evidence it is probable that this is an interpretation to explain the mitigation of what appears as a prophecy of utter annihilation. There have been other cases in Jeremiah where a universal affirmation (either positive or negative) has been modified in the verses that follow. The verb in the second line תִּבְטָחוּ (tivtakhu) is highly unusual; it is a second masculine plural form with a feminine plural subject. The form is explained in GKC 127-28 §47.k and 160-61 §60.a, n. 1 as a pausal substitution for the normal form תִּבְטַחְנָה (tivtakhnah) and a similar form in Ezek 37:7 cited as a parallel.
118 tn The words “of my wrath” after “cup” in the first line and “from the cup of my wrath” in the last line are not in the text but are implicit in the metaphor. They have been supplied in the translation for clarity.
sn The reference here is to the cup of God’s wrath which is connected with the punishment of war at the hands of the Babylonians referred to already in Jer 25:15-29. Those who do not deserve to drink are the innocent victims of war who get swept away with the guilty. Edom was certainly not one of the innocent victims as is clear from this judgment speech and those referred to in the study note on 49:7.
120 sn Bozrah appears to have been the chief city in Edom, its capital city (see its parallelism with Edom in Isa 34:6; 63:1; Jer 49:22). The reference to “its towns” (translated here “all the towns around it”) could then be a reference to all the towns in Edom. It was located about twenty-five miles southeast of the southern end of the Dead Sea apparently in the district of Teman (see the parallelism in Amos 1:12).
122 tn The words “I said” are not in the text but it is generally agreed that the words that follow are Jeremiah’s. These words are supplied in the translation to make clear that the speaker has shifted from the
123 tn Heb “Rise up for battle.” The idea “against her” is implicit from the context and has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
124 tn The words “The
125 tn The meaning of this Hebrew word (תִּפְלֶצֶת, tifletset) is uncertain because it occurs only here. However, it is related to a verb root that refers to the shaking of the pillars (of the earth) in Job 9:6 and a noun (מִפְלֶצֶת, mifletset) that refers to “horror” or “shuddering” used in Job 21:6; Isa 21:4; Ezek 7:18; Ps 55:6. This is the nuance that is accepted by BDB, KBL, HAL and a majority of the modern English versions. The suffix is an objective genitive. The fact that the following verb is masculine singular suggests that the text here (הִשִּׁיא אֹתָךְ, hishi’ ’otakh) is in error for הִשִּׁיאָתָךְ (hishi’atakh; so G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 [WBC], 327, n. 16.a).
126 tn The Hebrew text of the first four lines reads: “Your terror [= the terror you inspire] has deceived you, [and] the arrogance of your heart, you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, who occupy the heights of the hill.” The sentence is broken up and restructured to better conform with English style.
127 sn This verse is very similar to Jer 19:8 where the same judgment is pronounced on Jerusalem. For the meaning of some of the terms here (“hiss out their scorn” and “all the disasters that have happened to it”) see the notes on that verse.
129 tn “The pasture-ground on the everflowing river” according to KBL 42 s.v. I אֵיתָן 1. The “everflowing river” refers to the Jordan.
130 tn Heb “Behold, like a lion comes up from the thicket of the Jordan into the pastureland of everflowing water so [reading כֵּן (ken) for כִּי (ki); or “indeed” (reading כִּי as an asseverative particle with J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 719, n. 6)] I will suddenly chase him [Edom] from upon it [the land].” The sentence has been restructured to better conform with contemporary English style and the significance of the simile drawn from the comparison has been spelled out for the sake of clarity. The form אַרְגִּיעָה (’argi’ah) is functioning here as an adverbial modifier in a verbal hendiadys (cf. GKC 386 §120.g).
133 tn The interrogative מִי (mi) is rendered “there is no one” in each of the last three occurrences in this verse because it is used in a rhetorical question that expects the answer “no one” or “none” and is according to BDB 566 s.v. מִי f(c) equivalent to a rhetorical negative.
134 tn The word “shepherd” (רֹעֶה, ro’eh) has been used often in the book of Jeremiah to refer metaphorically to the ruler or leader (cf. BDB 945 s.v. I רָעָה Qal.1.d(2) and compare usage, e.g., in Jer 2:8; 23:1).
135 tn Heb “Therefore listen to the plan of the
136 sn Teman here appears to be a poetic equivalent for Edom, a common figure of speech in Hebrew poetry where the part is put for the whole. “The people of Teman” is thus equivalent to all the people of Edom.
137 tn Heb “They will surely drag them off, namely the young ones of the flock. He will devastate their habitation [or their sheepfold] on account of them.” The figure of the lion among the flock of sheep appears to be carried on here where the people are referred to as a flock and their homeland is referred to as a sheepfold. It is hard, however, to carry the figure over here into the translation, so the figures have been interpreted instead. Both of these last two sentences are introduced by a formula that indicates a strong affirmative oath (i.e., they are introduced by אִם לֹא [’im lo’; cf. BDB 50 s.v. אִם 1.b(2)]). The subject of the verb “they will drag them off” is the indefinite third plural which may be taken as a passive in English (cf. GKC 460 §144.g). The subject of the last line is the
138 tn Heb “The earth will quake when at the sound of their downfall.” However, as in many other places “earth” stands here metonymically for the inhabitants or people of the earth (see E. W. Bullinger, Figures of Speech, 578-79, and compare usage in 2 Sam 15:23; Ps 66:4).
141 tn The words “The
142 sn Damascus is a city in Syria, located below the eastern slopes of the Anti-lebanon Mountains. It was the capital of the Aramean state that was in constant hostility with Israel from the time of David until its destruction by the Assyrians in 732
143 tn Heb “Hamath and Arpad.” There is no word for people in the text. The cities are being personified. However, since it is really the people who are involved and it is clearer for the modern reader, the present translation supplies the words “people of” both here and in v. 24. The verbs in vv. 23-25 are all to be interpreted as prophetic perfects, the tense of the Hebrew verb that views an action as though it were as good as done. The verbs are clearly future in vv. 26-27 which begin with a “therefore.”
sn Hamath was a city on the Orontes River about 110 miles (183 km) north of Damascus. Arpad was a city that was 95 miles (158 km) farther north from there. These two cities were in the path of the northern descent of the kings of Assyria and Babylonia and had been conquered earlier under the Assyrian kings (Isa 10:9; 36:19; 37:13). The apparent reference here is to their terror and loss of courage when they hear the news that Nebuchadnezzar’s armies are on the move toward them and Damascus. They would have been in the path of Nebuchadnezzar as he chased Necho south after the battle of Carchemish.
144 tc The meaning of this verse is very uncertain. The Hebrew text apparently reads “Hamath and Arpad are dismayed. They melt away because they have heard bad news. Anxiety is in the sea; it [the sea] cannot be quiet.” Many commentaries and English versions redivide the verse and read “like the sea” for “in the sea” (כַּיָּם [kayyam] for בַּיָּם [bayyam]) and read the feminine singular noun דְּאָגָה (dÿ’agam) as though it were the third masculine plural verb דָּאֲגוּ (da’agu): “They are troubled like the sea.” The translation follows the emendation proposed in BHS and accepted by a number of commentaries (e.g., J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 333; J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 723, n. 1). That emendation involves reading נָמֹג לִבָּם מִדְּאָגָה (namog libbam middÿ’agah) instead of נָמֹגוּ בַּיָּם דְּאָגָה (namogu bayyam dÿ’agah). The translation also involves a double reading of “heart,” for the sake of English style, once in the sense of courage (BDB 525 s.v. לֵב 10) because that is the nuance that best fits “melts” in the English idiom and once in the more general sense of hearts as the seat of fear, anxiety, worry. The double translation is a concession to English style.
145 tn Heb “city of praise.”
146 tn Heb “city of joy.”
147 tc Or “Why has that famous city not been abandoned, that city I once took delight in?” The translation follows the majority of modern commentaries in understanding לֹא (lo’, “not”) before “abandoned” as a misunderstanding of the emphatic ל (lamed; so J. A. Thompson, Jeremiah [NICOT], 723, n. 3, and J. Bright, Jeremiah [AB], 333, n. c; see also IBHS 211-12 §11.2.10i and HALOT 485-86 s.v. II לְ for the phenomenon). The particle is missing from the Vulgate. The translation also follows the versions in omitting the suffix on the word “joy” that is found in the Hebrew text (see BHS note b for a listing of the versions). This gives a better connection with the preceding and the following verse than the alternate translation.
149 sn Ben-Hadad was a common name borne by a number of the kings of Damascus, e.g., one during the time of Asa around 900
150 sn Kedar appears to refer to an Arabic tribe of nomads descended from Ishmael (Gen 25:13). They are associated here with the people who live in the eastern desert (Heb “the children of the east”; בְּנֵי־קֶדֶם, bÿne-qedem). In Isa 21:16 they are associated with the Temanites and the Dedanites, Arabic tribes in the north Arabian desert. They were sheep breeders (Isa 60:7) who lived in tents (Ps 120:5) and unwalled villages (Isa 42:11). According to Assyrian records they clashed with Assyria from the time of Shalmaneser in 850 until the time of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal in the late seventh century. According to the Babylonian Chronicles, Nebuchadnezzar defeated them in 599
152 tn The words “Army of Babylon” are not in the Hebrew text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
153 sn Heb “the children of the east.” Nothing much is known about them other than their association with the Midianites and Amalekites in their attack on Israel in the time of Gideon (Judg 6:3, 33) and the fact that God would let tribes from the eastern desert capture Moab and Ammon in the future (Ezek 25:4, 10). Midian and Amalek were consider to be located in the region in north Arabia east of Ezion Geber. That would put them in the same general locality as the region of Kedar. The parallelism here suggests that they are the same as the people of Kedar. The words here are apparently addressed to the armies of Nebuchadnezzar.
154 tn Or “Let their tents…be taken….Let their tent…be carried…. Let people shout….”
155 sn This expression is a favorite theme in the book of Jeremiah. It describes the terrors of war awaiting the people of Judah and Jerusalem (6:25), the Egyptians at Carchemish (46:5), and here the Kedarites.
156 tn Heb “Oracle of the
159 tn Heb “has counseled a counsel against you, has planned a plan against you.”
160 tn Heb “Oracle of the
161 tn The words “Army of Babylon” are not in the text but are implicit from the context. They are supplied in the translation for clarity.
162 tn Heb “no gates and no bar,” i.e., “that lives securely without gates or bars.” The phrase is used by the figure of species for genus (synecdoche) to refer to the fact that they have no defenses, i.e., no walls, gates, or bars on the gates. The figure has been interpreted in the translation for the benefit of the average reader.
164 tn Heb “Oracle of the
sn Elam was a country on the eastern side of the Tigris River in what is now southwestern Iran. Its capital city was Susa. It was destroyed in 640
169 tn Heb “I will break the bow of Elam, the chief source of their might.” The phrase does not mean that God will break literal bows or that he will destroy their weapons (synecdoche of species for genus) or their military power (so Hos 1:5). Because of the parallelism, the “bow” here stands for the archers who wield the bow, and were the strongest force (or chief contingent) in their military.
170 tn Or more simply, “I will bring enemies against Elam from every direction. / And I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds. // There won’t be any nation / where the refugees of Elam will not go.” Or more literally, “I will bring the four winds against Elam / from the four quarters of heaven. / I will scatter….” However, the winds are not to be understood literally here. God isn’t going to “blow the Elamites” out of Elam with natural forces. The winds must figuratively represent enemy forces that God will use to drive them out. Translating literally would be misleading at this point.
171 tn Heb “I will bring disaster upon them, even my fierce anger.”
172 tn Heb “Oracle of the
173 tn Heb “I will send the sword after them.”
174 tn Or “I will sit in judgment over Elam”; Heb “I will set up my throne in Elam.” Commentators are divided over whether this refers to a king sitting in judgment over his captured enemies or whether it refers to formally establishing his rule over the country. Those who argue for the former idea point to the supposed parallels in 1:15 (which the present translation understands not to refer to this but to setting up siege) and 43:8-13. The parallelism in the verse here, however, argues that it refers to the
175 tn Heb “I will destroy king and leaders from there.”
176 tn Heb “Oracle of the
178 tn Heb “Oracle of the