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.

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The end of Israelite internal strife (Isa 11:12-11:16)

“Yahweh will raise a signal for the nations.

He will assemble the outcasts of Israel.

He will gather the dispersed of Judah

From the four corners of the earth.

The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart.

The hostility of Judah shall be cut off.

Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah.

Judah shall not be hostile towards Ephraim.

But they shall swoop down

On the backs of the Philistines

In the west.

Together they shall plunder

The people of the east.

They shall put forth their hand

Against Edom and Moab.

The Ammonites shall obey them.

Yahweh will utterly destroy

The tongue of the sea of Egypt.

He will wave his hand over the River,

With his scorching wind.

He will split it into seven channels.

Thus there will be a way to cross on foot.

There shall be a highway from Assyria

For the remnant that is left of his people,

As there was for Israel

When they came up

From the land of Egypt.”

Isaiah implies that there will be a glorious reunion of Judah and Ephraim, the south and north of Israel, since Yahweh, the Lord, will give a signal to all the nations. The dispersed Israelites were to return from the four corners of the earth. There would no longer be any jealousy or hostility between Judah and Ephraim, north and south. Instead, they would unite to fight against the Philistines in the west and the Edomites and Moabites on the eastern side of Israel. They would have control of the Ammonites, the traditional enemies of Israel, as outlined in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. The reference to the tongue of the sea is to the Red Sea. Of course, the River is the Euphrates River. Yahweh was going to break up these seas so that people could walk through them. He wanted a highway from Assyria to the Promise Land so that all the exiles in Assyria could return, just like the Exodus march from Egypt took place. Obviously, we are talking about the time of the Exile in the 6th and 7th centuries BCE, and how it would end.