“Moab shall be trodden down
In their place,
As straw is trodden down
In a dung-pit.
Though they spread out their hands
In the midst of it,
As swimmers spread out their hands
Their pride will be laid low,
Despite the struggle of their hands.
The high fortifications of his walls
Will be brought down.
They will be laid low.
They will be cast to the ground,
Even to the dust.”
This work of Isaiah has a strange turn against the Moabites, perhaps due to the anti-Moabite feelings in the post-exilic era. The Moabites will be trampled down like straw in a dung-pit. There was no mincing of words here. Even though they might spread their hands as if swimming, their pride will be put down. Despite their struggles and highly fortified walls, they will be crushed to the ground just like dust.
“Thus Nicanor in his utter boastfulness and arrogance had determined to erect a public monument of victory over Judas and his forces. But Judas Maccabeus did not cease to trust with all confidence that he would get help from the Lord. He exhorted his troops not to fear the attack of the gentiles. Rather, they should keep in mind the former times when help had come to them from heaven. They were now to look for the victory which the All powerful would give them. Encouraging them from the law and the prophets, he reminded them also of the struggles they had won. He made them the more eager. When he had aroused their courage, he issued his orders. At the same time he pointed out the perfidy of the gentiles and their violation of oaths. He armed each of them not so much with confidence in shields and spears as with the inspiration of brave words. He cheered them all by relating a dream, a sort of vision, which was worthy of belief.”
Nicanor was so confident that he wanted to create a public monument of his victory over Judas Maccabeus that not yet happened. On the other hand, Judas Maccabeus was confident that his help would come from the Lord. He told his troops not to feat the attack of the gentiles. They should remember the former times when help came from heaven. Victory would come from the all powerful God. He encouraged them by reading from the Law and the prophets and all their struggles. The troops became more eager to fight as their courage was aroused. Judas also pointed out the lying and the violations of the gentiles. They had confidence in their shields and spears, but his troops would have confidence in the inspired words of God. He cheered them all by talking about a visionary dream.