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Jeremiah 48:7

7. For because thou hast trusted in thy works, and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together.

7. Propterea quod fiducia tua fuit in operibus tuis (ad verbum) et in thesauris tuis, etiam tu capieris; et egredietur Chamos in captivitatem, sacerdotes ejus et principes ejus simul.

 

Jeremiah assigns here the reason why God would take vengeance on the Moabites; but we shall hereafter see other reasons why God had been so much displeased with them. Let us then know that we are not here taught avowedly why God determined to lay waste and destroy the land of Moab; for there is here but one reason given, while there were others and greater ones, even because they had wantonly exulted over the miseries of the Jews, because they had conspired against them, because they had betrayed them, and lastly, because they had as it were carried on war with their God. But here Jeremiah briefly shews, that were there no other reasons, the Moabites deserved that God should pour forth his wrath on them even for this, because they trusted in their own works and treasures. By works some understand herds and flocks; and in this sense they are sometimes taken, and it is an exposition that may be admitted. We may however understand by “works” fortifications, especially as “treasures” are added. He then says, that the Moabites were such that it was just that God should be roused against them, because they were inebriated with false confidence in their own power, and because they had many treasures: they hence thought that they were impregnable.

The Prophet in the meantime intimates, that the Moabites greatly deceived themselves in thinking that they were safe against God’s hand, because they were strongly fortified, and because they had immense treasures laid up. Hence he says that all these things would avail nothing, for God would destroy the whole land.

Even thou, he says, shalt be taken There is no small emphasis in the particle גם, gam, even or also; for the Prophet expresses what would now take place; for the Moabites in vain trusted in their treasures and power, because God would notwithstanding destroy them, and his hand would penetrate into their fortresses. “God then shall find thee out equally the same, as though thou wert exposed to all dangers.” They who abound in warlike preparations, furnished with all kinds of defences, think themselves exempted from the common lot of men: hence he says, Even thou, equally the same with any village exposed to the will of enemies, even thou shalt be taken; and go forth shall Chemosh This was the tutelar God of the land, as it appears from the book of Judges and other places, and even from what Moses says, (Judges 11:25; 1 Kings 11:7, 33; Numbers 21:29.) As, then, the Moabites worshipped this idol, they thought themselves safe whatever evil might be at hand. The Prophet then derides this confidence. We have said before, that the ungodly in part set up their own earthly power in opposition to God, and in part imagined that they were aided by their idols. Hence the prophets exposed these two evils, as it appears also from the present passage: the Prophet had said, “Because thou trustest in thy fortresses and treasures, even thou shalt be taken;” and now he says, “Because thou thinkest Chemosh to be a sure and invincible defense, it shall be driven into exile and be kept captive.” This he said in reproach to the idol. He adds, its priests and its princes, even those princes, who seem to lie down safely under its shadow, they also shall be driven into exile.

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