The burial of Gog and his troops (Ezek 39:11-39:11)

“On that day,

I will give to Gog

A place for burial

In Israel,

The Valley

Of the Travelers,

East of the sea.

It shall block

The path

Of travelers.

There,

Gog

With all his troops

Will be buried.

It will be called

The Valley of Hamon-gog.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, explained that Gog would be buried on the east side of the Jordan River in the Valley of the Travelers, which apparently was near Dibon, in Moab. This area had been part of the old Gad territory, apparently a well-traveled route. Many people would see it and have to walk around it. Gog was to be buried there with all his troops and people, so that it would become known as the Valley of Hamon-gog, that literally means Gog and his multitude.

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Judgment on the cities of Moab (Jer 48:21-48:25)

“‘Judgment has come

Upon the tableland,

Upon

Holon,

Jahzah,

Mephaath,

Dibon,

Nebo,

Beth-diblathaim,

Kiriathaim,

Beth-gamul,

Beth-meon,

Kerioth,

Bozrah,

And all the towns

Of the land

Of Moab,

Far and near.

The horn of Moab

Is cut off.

His arm is broken.’

Says Yahweh.”

Now Yahweh, via Jeremiah, issues his judgment against the Moab cities and towns. Interesting enough, the only other time two of these cities are named was in the book of Joshua, chapter 21,when they were assigned to the Levites living in the Reuben territory. Out of the four Levite towns mentioned there, two are mentioned here, Jahaz and Mephaath. In chapter 13 of Joshua, other cities were mentioned, Dibon, the capital city, Kiriathaim, and Beth-meon. Nebo was a Babylonian god, but could also be a place in Moab. Bozrah was in the southern part of Moab, while Beth-gamul was in eastern Moab. It is difficult to pin point the exact locations of Holon, Beth-diblathaim, and Kerioth. Actually this oracle proclaims that all the towns of Moab have been destroyed, since the horn of Moab and his arm have been broken and cut off. The towns are named explicitly here.

Moab is destroyed (Jer 48:18-48:20)

“Come down from glory!

Sit on the parched ground!

Enthroned daughter Dibon!

The destroyer of Moab

Has come up

Against you!

He has destroyed

Your strongholds.

Stand by the road!

Watch!

You inhabitants of Aroer!

Ask the man fleeing!

Ask the woman escaping!

Say!

‘What has happened?’

Moab is put to shame.

Moab is broken down.

Wail!

Cry!

Tell it by the Arnon,

That Moab is laid waste.”

Moab was going to come down from its glory days to the parched land. They had their Dibon River with its capital city of Dibon. However their strong fortresses were destroyed. Jeremiah wanted them to stand by the road at Aroer, on the banks of the Arnon River. There they were to ask the simple question to both the men and women who were escaping and fleeing. What was going on? What was happening? The response was simple and direct. Moab was put to shame and broken down, as it was laid waste. All they could do now by the banks of the Arnon River was to wail and cry for their lost country of Moab.

 

The aftershock of the attack on Moab (Isa 15:7-15:9)

“Therefore the abundance

They have gained,

What they have laid up,

They carry away

Over the Brook of the Willows.

A cry has gone

Around the land of Moab.

The wailing reaches to Eglaim,

The wailing reaches to Beer-elim.

The waters of Dibon

Are full of blood.

Yet I will bring upon Dibon

Even more.

There will be a lion

For those of Moab

Who escape,

For the remnant of the land.”

The Moab people took whatever they had saved up and carried it over the Brook of Willows. However, there is no indication of where this was Brook was, since Isaiah was the only biblical source to use this phrase. I am also not able to say where Eglaim and Beer-elim are, since Isaiah is also the only one who ever used the names of these 2 towns. It is clear, however, that the capital city of Dibon was full of blood. However, Isaiah warns that there will be more. A lion would go after those remaining in Moab.

The destruction of Moab (Isa 15:2-15:3)

“Because Ar is laid waste in a night,

Moab is undone.

Because Kir is laid waste in a night,

Moab is undone.

Dibon has gone up to the temple.

They have gone

To the high places to weep

Over Nebo,

Over Medeba.

Moab wails!

On every head is baldness.

Every beard is shorn.

In the streets

They bind on sackcloth.

On the housetops

Everyone wails.

In the squares

Everyone melts in tears.”

According to Isaiah, Moab was destroyed as it came undone, probably by the Assyrian army. Two towns were wiped out in one night, Ar and Kir. Ar was a town in Moab that was mentioned about 7 times in the Torah, while Kir was a town mentioned about 9 times, mostly by the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah as well as 2 Kings. This might mean that Kir was a newer town. The people of Dibon, which was the capital and major city of Moab, mentioned about 12 times in the biblical literature, went to their temple to weep. Mount Nebo in Moab was mentioned about 10 times in the biblical literature. The Medeba plateau or plains near Dibon was mentioned about 5 times in the biblical literature. The country Moab was wailing over its destruction. They cut the hair on their heads and cut off their beards. They walked around in sackcloth. Everyone was wailing and crying in the city squares.

The villages of Judah (Neh 11:25-11:30)

“As for the villages, with their fields, some of the people of Judah lived in Kiriath-arba and its villages, Dibon and its villages, Jekabzeel and its villages, Jeshua, Moladah, Beth-pelet, Hazar-shual, Beer-sheba and its villages, Ziklag, Meconah and its villages, En-rimmon, Zorah, Jarmuth, Zanoah, Adullam and their villages, Lachish and its fields, and Azekah and its villages. So they encamped from Beer-sheba to the valley of Hinnom.”

Nehemiah mentioned 17 towns outside of Jerusalem. Bethlehem is not mentioned.   Some of these towns had villages and fields, while others did not. Some were way south while others were in the western or central parts of Judah. Kiriath-arba may refer to Hebron, about 10 miles south of Jerusalem. Dibon, Jeshua, Moladah were southern towns in Judah, south of Hebron. This is the only mention of Jekabzeel and Meconah. Beth-pelet, Hazar-shual, and Beer-sheba were on the southern border with Edom. Ziklag, a place where David was, En-rimmon, and Lachish were in the southwest bordering with the old Philistine towns. Zorah is on the northwest side of Judah in old Dan territory. Jarmuth, Zanoah, Adullam, and Azekah were in central Judah.