“The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and
brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and
brought to silence;”
from father: what father?: from (her [the mother’s]) father. He was the
son incestuously begotten by Lot, see
Genesis 19:36-37, and who became the father of the Moabites, inveterate
foes of Israel.
awaking, and is particularly appropriate to a place about to be suddenly
Kir means a
wall, which is usually synonymous with invulnerability; but in the
present instance the safety is imaginary, for there is no protection from
Divine wrath provoked by rebellion.
is God’s announcement of the doom He was about to bring upon Moab, that
destruction to come, not “in the night,” but suddenly in “a” night, i.e.,
Moab’s hatred of Israel was inveterate, hence God’s decision to destroy
that nation, for concerning Israel, He Himself has said, “... he that
toucheth you toucheth the apple (pupil) of His eye,” Zech 2:8.
We are no less
loved than is Israel, for what is written concerning her in Jeremiah 31:3,
is equally true of us, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”
We are reading
only half the lesson however, if we fail to recognize that the fate which
overtook Moab foreshadows what is about to befall this present evil world in
the coming Great Tribulation.
“He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall
howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and
every beard cut off.”
house; and Dibon, the waster, the “high places” being the
hilltop shrines to which the Moabites flocked to petition their gods for
deliverance from the approaching enemy, the Assyrians, and to mourn the
destruction of two of their principal cities, Nebo meaning his prophecy;
and Medeba, meaning waters of rest (quiet), neither meaning yielding
any readily discernible message. Their shaven heads and beards were the
outward evidence of their mourning.
“In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of
their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping
coarse material worn by mourners, and by those who wished to demonstrate
repentant contrition, and it was in the streets that the business of the
city was transacted; but it was on the flat housetops that the family
customarily assembled for relaxation and fellowship.
of the enemy however, had changed all that. Business had become of minor
importance. The people’s great concern was how they might save themselves.
The complacency of normal life had given place to hysterical concern as to
how they might save their lives, “howling” here meaning to wail and weep.
As with many
of the OT scenes of sorrow and mourning, this one also foreshadows the dire
distress that will be in the fast approaching Great Tribulation; but
transcending that misery will be the hopeless horror of those who at the
instant of death find themselves in hell, many of them having lived under
the deadly delusion that they were on their way to heaven. The churches of
Christendom are filled with the deluded dupes of clergymen who preach a God
too loving to send anyone to hell. What eternal woe awaits them and their
“And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh: their voice shall be heard even unto
Jahaz: therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out; his life shall be
grievous unto him.”
meaning device: reason, seems to represent worldly wisdom; Elealeh,
God is ascending, points to the preeminence of God; Jahaz, trodden
down, declares the ultimate fate of this present evil world. For the
significance of Moab, meaning from father: what father?, see comments
on verses 1 and 2 above. The terror of the
Moabite soldiers foreshadows that of the armies that will be gathered
against the Lord in the battle of Armageddon,
19:11-21, see also
“... his life
shall be grievous unto him” is also translated his soul trembles or
shudders within him: his courage ebbs away.
“My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an
heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping
shall they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of
It is Isaiah’s
heart that cries out in pity for Moab, his sorrow being a reflection of
God’s, for it is to be remembered that judgment is God’s strange work, see
Isaiah 28:21, “For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, He shall be
wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work;
and bring to pass His act, His strange act,” it being written also, “Have
I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and
not that he should return from his ways, and live?” Ezekiel 18:23.
is the death of a believer, relative to which it is written, “Precious in
the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints,” Psalm 116:15.
Zoar means bringing low,
and speaks here of the chastisement Moab had incurred by rebellion; her
being likened to a refractory three-year-old heifer emphasizing the folly of
her recalcitrance which brought punishment instead of blessing. God intends
us to profit by the experience of others, so that we don’t repeat their
disobedience, and incur similar painful correction.
up of Luhith” meaning pertaining to the table, describes their
climbing the slope of Luhith, a mountain of uncertain location in Moab, the
word table indicating perhaps that the mountain may possibly have had
a flat top.
double cave, and has a bad implication, for a cave was a usual place
of burial, and never has a good Scriptural connotation. Here it may suggest
that death is the end result of sin, as declared in Romans 6:23 “For the
wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord.”
emphasized that they went “with weeping,” and “with a cry of destruction,”
is the further reminder that “the way of transgressors is hard,” Proverbs
“For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is withered away,
the grass faileth, there is no green thing.”
means rebellious ones: leopards; and water is one of the symbols of
the Scriptures given for our cleansing and refreshment through the Holy
Spirit, the spiritual message here is that disobedience grieves and quenches
Him, and cuts off His ministry.
Hay is grass
which has been cut and dried for use as forage. It is another symbol of the
written Word read, remembered, meditated upon, and obeyed, and thus
transmuted into our spiritual food. Rebellion ends that spiritual process.
Grass is the
growing herbage which by being cut and dried becomes hay.
Here it speaks
of the written Word as presented on the printed page, it being the
responsibility of the believer to first read it, and then seek to understand
it through the enlightenment of the ungrieved and unquenched Holy Spirit.
As a result of
Israel’s disobedience grass and all other green plants had died, the
corresponding spiritual state being the result of disobedience on the part
of believers. Scripture ceases to supply spiritual sustenance, either by
being unread, or by being bereft of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment; and
that this sorry state pervades professing Christendom is evident to all but
the spiritually blind.
“Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up,
shall they carry away to the brook of the willows.”
They would be
able to take with them only what little they could carry, the remainder
having to be left behind to become the spoil of the invaders.
Scriptural reference to willows has an unfavorable association, the present
instance being no exception. The “brook of the willows” represents the
river of death, and as the fleeing Moabites had to leave behind them the
bulk of their possessions when they crossed the river, so will every man,
when he crosses the river of death, have to leave here on earth all that the
world regards as treasure, as it is written, “For we brought nothing into
this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out,” 1 Timothy 6:7.
however, will take out of this world something he didn’t bring into
it: God’s priceless gift of eternal life, Paul’s comparison of that treasure
with what the world values above all else, is recorded in Philippians 3:7-8
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea
doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the
knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all
things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”
“For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof
unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beer-elim.”
the whole land.
double reservoir; and Beer-elim, well of the gods (i.e., mighty
ones), both places seeming to have been the chief centers of their
“For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more upon
Dimon, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the
the quieter: silence, is another spelling of Dibon which means
Gad, see Gad, which means an invader: a troop: fortune, meanings
which yield no easily discernible spiritual message.
The waters of
Dimon being full of blood implies wholesale slaughter; but that wouldn’t
exhaust God’s anger: He would cause the enemy troops to be as relentless as
lions in pursuing and killing the survivors.
It is possible
that we are meant to see in this destruction a symbolic preview of the
slaughter that will be in the coming Great Tribulation.