Jeremiah 48: Oracle Against Moab

birds nesting cliff rocksHebrew-English Text

I. Summary

Yahweh will bring destruction, shame, and exile upon Moab and its god Chemosh.

II. Photo

Yahweh tells the Moabites to flee: “Desert the cities and dwell in the crags, O inhabitants of Moab! Be like a dove that nests In the sides of a pit” (v. 28).

III. Select Verses

7-8:  Surely, because of your trust In your wealth and in your treasures, You too shall be captured. And Chemosh shall go forth to exile, Together with his priests and attendants.The ravager shall come to every town; No town shall escape. The valley shall be devastated And the tableland laid waste — because the LORD has spoken.

13: And Moab shall be shamed because of Chemosh, as the House of Israel were shamed because of Bethel, on whom they relied.

21-24: Judgment has come upon the tableland — upon Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath;  upon Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim;  upon Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon;  upon Kerioth and Bozrah — upon all the towns of the land of Moab, far and near.

28: Desert the cities And dwell in the crags, O inhabitants of Moab! Be like a dove that nests In the sides of a pit.

36a: Therefore, My heart moans for Moab like a flute; Like a flute my heart moans For the men of Kir-heres

46:  Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh are undone, For your sons are carried off into captivity, Your daughters into exile.

47: But I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the days to come — declares the LORD. ¶ Thus far is the judgment on Moab.

IV. Outline

1a. Introduction

1b-5. Calls that Moab is laid waste

6. Call to flee

7. The god and priests of Moab will be exiled

8-9. Moab will be destroyed

10. Curse for those who don’t attack

11-12. Yahweh will smash Moab like a jar

13. Reason for shame: serving Chemosh

14-20. Moab is shamed and no longer mighty

21-24. Judgment has come upon the towns of Moab

25. Moab’s might and glory are gone

26. Moab will be shamed in its vomit

27. Moab is now the laughingstock, not Israel

28. Call to flee

29-30. Moab’s haughtiness and sin

31-34. Crying out for Moab

35. Yahweh will destroy Moab

36-38. Yahweh mourns for Moab

39-42. Destruction, wailing, and shame for Moab

43-45. Those who flee will be trapped

46. The people of Moab will be exiled

47. Yahweh will restore the fortunes of Moab


V. Comment

Jeremiah 48 is a lengthy poem/song about the destruction of Moab. Only the oracle against Babylon is longer. It is not entirely clear how the individual sections and ideas are to be separated from one another, or even if they are to be separated at all. For other oracles against Moab see Isaiah 15–16, Amos 2:1–3, Zephaniah 2:8–11, and Ezekiel 25:8–11.

VI. Works Used

(see “Commentaries” page)

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