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Jeremiah 48:11-12

Context

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. 1 

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. 2 

I, the Lord, affirm it! 3 

1 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.

2 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.

3 tn Heb “Oracle of the Lord.”



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