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Bible Commentaries

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

Isaiah 15

 

 

Verses 1-9

Prophecy against Moab.

v. 1. The burden, the sentence of judgment, of Moab, the nation descended from the elder daughter of Lot, occupying the country southeast of the Dead Sea. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste and brought to silence, made desolate and annihilated; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste and brought to silence! it is a call of astonishment at, and horror over, the sudden and fearful destruction of these two leading cities of the nation.

v. 2. He, rather the impersonal one, standing collectively for all the inhabitants of Moab, is gone up to Bajith, to the house of the temple, and to Dibon, a city not far from the Arnon, the high places, to weep, before the altars of the country's idols. Moab shall howl over Nebo and over Medeba, rather, "on Nebo and Medeba of Moab howling is going on"; for in these two towns in the hills toward the west they had sanctuaries. On all their heads shall be baldness and every beard cut off, mutilated, as a sign of deep mourning, Lev_21:5.

v. 3. In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth, thus exhibiting their grief openly; on the tops of their houses, which are flat in the Orient, and in their streets every one shall howl, weeping abundantly, being dissolved in tears.

v. 4. And Heshbon, a former Amorite city, but regarded as belonging to Moab, shall cry, and Elealeh, near Heshbon, within the boundaries of Reuben; their voice shall be heard even unto Jahaz, another town of this district; therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out, impelled thereto by the greatness of the horror; his life shall be grievous unto him, literally, "his soul trembles for him," the entire nation being shaken by the bitterness of the punishment. The situation is such as to fill the heart of the prophet with pity.

v. 5. My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old, literally, "whose bolts (extended) to Zoar, the three-year-old heifer," that is, the locks or fortified boundaries of Moab reached as far as Zoar, the city of Lot's refuge, on the peninsula extending into the southeastern end Of the Dead Sea; for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up, that is, the Moabite fugitives were ascending the incline of Luhith, in the southwestern part of their country, with bitter weeping; for in the way of Horonaim, on the road leading down t& this town in the valley, Jer_48:5, they shall raise up a cry of destruction, bewailing the impending fall of the city.

v. 6. For the waters of Nimrim, known for the freshness of their springs, shall be desolate, filled with earth or rubbish by the invaders; for the hay is withered away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing, the entire land being devastated, the vegetation drying up for want of care, and the crops apparently even burned up by the foes.

v. 7. Therefore, on account of the destruction of their land, the abundance they have gotten, above and beyond their needs, and that which they have laid up, by careful saving, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows, a small stream on their southern boundary, which the Moabite fugitives forded in order to find refuge with the people of Idumea.

v. 8. For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab, thus filling their entire country; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, a town near the Dead Sea, and the howling thereof unto Beer-elim, in northeastern Moabitis, that is, the cry of distress reaches from one end of the country to the other.

v. 9. For the waters of Dimon, the river Arnon, shall be full of blood; for I will bring more upon Dimon, further misfortune, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land, the reference being either to another enemy among foreign nations or to wild animals whom the Lord would send to complete the devastation of the land. He here calls out to all men: "Be not deceived, God is not mocked!"

 


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Bibliography Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Isaiah 15:4". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/isaiah-15.html. 1921-23.

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