This chapter contains prophecies on four neighboring nations, namely Ammon (verses 1-6), Edom (verses 7-22), Damascus (verses 23-27), and Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor (verses 28-33).
Ammon was concerned along with Moab in the two incidents mentioned in the introduction to chapter 48. Antagonism between Israel and Edom was long standing, and Edom had recently taken advantage of the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BC to occupy cities in southern Judah (Obad. 10-14). Edom had also considered revolt against Babylon (27:3). Kedar was a nomadic Arabian tribe, and Hazor is probably used collectively of the region occupied by semi-nomadic Arabs (cf. 25:23, 24).
- What was Ammon’s sin against Israel? Cf. Amos 1:13; Exod. 20:17; Luke 12:15.In what was her trust placed? Cf. 48:7; Prov. 10:28; Mark 10:23, 24.
What was to be her punishment?
- Notice the vivid metaphors describing the severity of Edom’s fate, as, e.g., in verses 9, 10, 19, 20. Note, too, its comprehensiveness, from Teman and Bozrah in the north, to Dedan, south of Edom in Arabia.
Why is the judgment against Edom (Esau’s descendants) so severe? Cf. verse 16; Mal. 1:2-4; Heb. 12:16, 17.
- The sins that brought judgment upon Damascus and Kedar are not specified.
Read again 25:15-38, and note the reasons given there for judgment upon nations mentioned in this chapter.
- Verses 1, 3. ‘Molech’ was the national deity of the Ammonites. The Ammonites took advantage of the deportation of the Gadites by the Assyrians in 733-732 BC (2 Kgs. 15:29).
- Verse 3. The word ‘inhabitants’ here refers to towns and villages that looked to Rabbah as their head. In verse 4 ‘daughter’ refers to the whole people.
- Verse 8. ‘Hide in deep caves’: i.e., hidden away from observation. Cf. verse 30.
- Verses 19, 20. The picture of a lion coming up out of the jungle on the fringe of Jordan and doing what it pleases with the flock, no shepherd being able to challenge him.