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Jeremiah 48:39

39. They shall howl, saying, How is it broken down! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab be a derision and a dismaying to all them about him.

39. Quomodo contritus est? ululabunt (alii vertunt, ulularunt:) quomodo vertit cervicem Moab; pudefactus est; et fuit Moab in derisum, et in terrorem omnibus qui sunt in circuitu.


The Prophet still speaks in the person of others, and according to their feelings and not his own. He then says, that howling, they would say, through wonder, How is it that Moab has been so broken, that all had turned their backs, that Moab had become ashamed? He indirectly intimates, that though no one could then know God’s judgment, which he now foretells, yet God would by the event prove that he had said nothing but in earnest. This wonder then was expressed for this purpose, that the Jews might know, that though the calamity of Moab would fill all with astonishment, and make them cry out as respecting an extraordinary thing, “What can this mean?” yet the fulfillment of his prophecy would be certain.

This is the meaning of the words when he says, Howling, they will cry out, How has Moab been broken? and how has he turned his neck, or as they say, his back? Moab is ashamed; and then, he is made a derision, which we have observed before. He adds, a terror, though some read, “a bruising;” but more suitable is fear or terror. For the Prophet means, that Moab would be to others a derision, and that he would be to others a dread, being an example of God’s awful judgment. 2222     The literal rendering is as follows, —
   How broken! they howled; How has Moab turned the back ashamed! Thus Moab has become a derision And a terror to all around him.

   The past tense is used for the future. — Ed.
And he says that he would be a terror to all around, that is, to the whole surrounding country, as well as a laughter and a derision. It follows, —

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