48:40 For the Lord says,
“Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings
a nation will swoop down on Moab. 1
48:41 Her towns 2 will be captured.
Her fortresses will be taken.
At that time the soldiers of Moab will be frightened
like a woman in labor. 3
1 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).
2 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).
3 tn Heb “The heart of the soldiers of Moab will be like the heart of a woman in labor.”