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39 Oh, how shattered Moab will be!
Oh, how her people will wail!
Oh, how she will turn away[a] in shame!
Moab will become an object of ridicule,
a terrifying sight to all the nations that surround her.”
40 For the Lord says,

“Look! Like an eagle with outspread wings
a nation will swoop down on Moab.[b]
41 Her towns[c] will be captured;
her fortresses will be taken.
At that time the soldiers of Moab will be frightened
like a woman in labor.[d]

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  1. Jeremiah 48:39 tn Heb “turn her back.”
  2. Jeremiah 48:40 tn Heb “Behold! Like an eagle he will swoop and will spread his wings against Moab.” The sentence has been reordered in English to give a better logical flow, and the unidentified “he” has been identified as “a nation.” The nation is, of course, Babylon, but it is nowhere identified, so the referent has been left Conquering nations are often identified with an eagle flying swiftly to swoop down on its victims (cf. Deut 28:49). In this case the eagle is to be identified with the nation (or king) of Babylon (cf. Ezek 17:3, 12, where reference is to the removal of Jehoiachin [Jeconiah] and his replacement with Zedekiah).
  3. Jeremiah 48:41 tn Parallelism argues that the word קְרִיּוֹת (qeriyyot) be understood as the otherwise unattested feminine plural of the noun קִרְיָה (qiryah, “city”) rather than the place name Kerioth mentioned in v. 24 (cf. HALOT 1065 s.v. קִרְיָה). Both this noun and the parallel term “fortresses” are plural but are found with feminine singular verbs, being treated either as collectives or distributive plurals (cf. GKC 462-63 §145.c or 464 §145.l).
  4. Jeremiah 48:41 tn Heb “The heart of the soldiers of Moab will be like the heart of a woman in labor.”