49:1 The Lord spoke about the Ammonites. 1
“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 2
have taken possession of the territory of Gad and live in his cities? 3
49:2 Because you did that,
I, the Lord, affirm that 4 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. 5
Its villages will be burned to the ground. 6
Then Israel will take back its land
from those who took their land from them.
I, the Lord, affirm it! 7
1 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
2 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).
3 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
4 tn Heb “oracle of the
5 tn Heb “a desolate tel.” For the explanation of what a “tel” is see the study note on 30:18.
6 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.
7 tn Heb “says the