Jeremiah 48

Within Jeremiah’s lifetime, Moab was in league with the Chaldeans against Judah during Jehoiakim’s reign ( 2 Kgs. 24:2; cf. Jer. 12); and later, in Zedekiah’s reign, discussed with other nations a possible revolt against Babylon (27:1-11).

  1. The chapter may be divided into five sections: verses 1-10, verses 21-27, verses 28-29, verses 40-47.
    What heading would you give to each of these sections to sum up its contents?
  2. What reason for the judgment is given in verse 11?
    What warning should we take for ourselves? Cf. Deut. 8:11-18; Is. 47:8-11, Amos 6:1-7; Zeph. 1:12.
    What other reasons for the judgment are set forth in this chapter?


  1. All the numerous place-names refer to Moabite territory. Some have not been identified, including ‘Madmen’ (verse 2; the LXX reads ‘Yet you i.e., Moab, shall be brought to silence’).
  2. Verses 7, 13. ‘Chemosh’: the god of Moab. ‘Trusted in Bethel’: see Amos 5:5; 7:10-13 for false worship at Bethel. Bethel means ‘house of God’, and there may be present also an allusion to false trust in the temple; see Jer. 7:1-15.
  3. Verses 11, 12. An illustration from the treatment of the juice of grapes. It is left in a vessel until a sediment called ‘dregs’ or ‘less’ had formed at the bottom; then the liquid is poured into another vessel, and so repeatedly, until the liquid is clear. Moab had experienced no such purifying process, and so retained its original unrefined character.
  4. Verse 26. ‘Make her drunk’: i.e., stagger with shock and despairing grief. Cf. 13:14 (and see Note, p. 349); 25:16.