Prophecies Against Ammon
Verse 1 – Against the Ammonites. Thus says the Lord: “Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why then does Milcom inherit Gad, and his people dwell in its cities?
The Ammonites were descendants of Lot through an incestuous relationship with one of his daughters, as were the Moabites (Genesis 19:30-38). They were condemned for stealing land from God’s people and for worshiping the idol Molech, to whom they made child sacrifices.
During the reign of the Judean King Zedekiah, the Ammonites participated with Judah in a revolt against Babylon, and continued their revolt beyond the fall of Jerusalem in 587 B.C.
Verse 2 – Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will cause to be heard an alarm of war in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it shall be a desolate mound, and her villages shall be burned with fire. Then Israel shall take possession of his inheritance,” says the Lord.
Rabbah was the capital city of the Ammonites.
Verse 3 – “Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is plundered! Cry, you daughters of Rabbah, gird yourselves with sackcloth! Lament and run to and fro by the walls; for Milcom shall go into captivity with his priests and his princes together.
The Ai here, is not the same Ai in Israel, but another town with the same name. The people will run to and fro in confusion – seeking safety and finding none.
Verse 4 – Why do you glory in the valleys, your flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? Who trusted in her treasures, saying, ‘Who will come against us?’
Verse 5 – Behold, I will bring fear upon you,” says the Lord God of hosts, “From all those who are around you; you shall be driven out, everyone headlong, and no one will gather those who wander off.
Verse 6 – But afterward I will bring back the captives of the people of Ammon,” says the Lord.
The Ammonites are supposed to have returned with the Moabites and Israelites, on permission given by Cyrus.
Prophecies Against Edom
Verse 7 – Against Edom, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Is Edom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished?
The Israelites descended from Jacob and the Edomites from his twin brother, Esau. There was constant conflict between these two nations, and Edom rejoiced when Jerusalem fell (Obadiah).
Verse 8 – Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan! For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time that I will punish him.
Dedan was a flourishing city that supported caravan travel. God was telling the inhabitants to flee to the caves or they would be destroyed.
Verse 9 – If grape-gatherers came to you, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? If thieves by night, would they not destroy until they have enough?
Verse 10 – But I have made Esau bare; I have uncovered his secret places, and shall not be able to hide himself. His descendants are plundered, his brethren and his neighbors, and he is no more.
Verse 11 – Leave your fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let your windows trust in Me.”
Verse 12 – For thus says the Lord: “Behold, those whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunk. And are you the one who will altogether go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, but you shall surely drink of it.
Israel had not escaped God’s judgment, so why should the Edomites expect to?
Verse 13 – “For I have sworn by Myself,” says the Lord, “that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse. and all its cities shall be perpetual wastes.”
Bozrah was the capital and chief city of Edom in Jerusalem’s time.
Verse 14 – I have heard a message from the Lord, and an ambassador has been sent to the nations: Gather together, come against her, and rise up to battle!
Verse 15 – “For indeed, I will make you small among nations, despised among men.
Verse 16 – Your fierceness has deceived you, the pride of your heart, O you who dwell in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill! Though you make your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord.
Edom was located in a rock fortress and they thought they were unconquerable. Today this area is known as Petra, in southern Jordan. Edom was destroyed because of her pride.
Verse 17 – “Edom also shall be an astonishment; everyone who goes by it will be astonished and will hiss at all its plagues.
Verse 18 – As in overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities,” says the Lord, “No one shall abide there, nor shall a son of man dwell in it.
From 536 a. d. onward, Petra suddenly vanishes from the pages of history: Only in the present century was its real site discovered. I believe Petra has a significant role to play in the end times. This is speculation: The Jews will escape the Battle of Armageddon and find refuge in the clefts of Petra where God will protect them. Some even speculate that this area can hold 144,000 people, the number of Israelite evangelists listed in Revelation 7 and 14. Petra though is not the name used in the Bible, Sela or Selah, is, both words mean rock.
Verse 19 – “Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the flooding of the Jordan against the habitation of the strong; but I will suddenly make him run away from her. And who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? For who is like Me? Who will arraign Me? And who is that shepherd who will withstand Me?”
The Edomites shall come up against Nebuchadnezzar, but will suddenly flee. No one can win when coming against God.
Verse 20 – Therefore hear the counsel of the Lord that He has taken against Edom, and His purposes that He has proposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out; surely He shall make their habitations desolate with them.
Verse 21 – The earth shakes at the noise of their fall; at the cry its noise is heard at the Red Sea.
Verse 22 – Behold, He shall come up and fly like the eagle, and spread His wings over Bozrah; the heart of the mighty men of Edom in that day shall be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.
Prophecies Against Damascus
Verse 23 – Against Damascus. Hamath and Arpad are shamed, for they have heard bad news. They are fainthearted; there is trouble on the sea; it cannot be quiet.
Verse 24 – Damascus has grown feeble and turns to flee, and fear has seized her. Anguish and sorrows have taken her like a woman in labor.
Verse 25 – Why is the city of praise not deserted, the city of My joy?
Verse 26 – Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day,” says the Lord of hosts.
Verse 27 – “I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad.”
Damascus was the capital of Aram, north of Israel. This city was defeated by both Assyria and Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar attacked and defeated Damascus in 605 B.C. Ben-Hadad was the common name of the king of Syria.
Prophecies Against Kedar and Hazor
Verse 28 – Against Kedar and against the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon shall strike. Thus says the Lord: “Arise, go up to Kedar, and devastate the men of the East!
Verse 29 – Their tents and their flocks they shall take away. They shall take for themselves their curtains, all their vessels and their camels; and they shall cry out to them, ‘Fear is on every side!’
Verse 30 – “Flee, get away! Dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Hazor!”says the Lord. “For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has taken counsel against you, and has convinced a plan against you.
Verse 31 – “Arise, go up to the wealthy nation that dwells securely,” says the Lord, “Which has neither gates nor bars, dwelling alone.
Verse 32 – Their camels shall be for booty, and the multitude of their cattle for plunder. I will scatter to all the winds those in the farthest corners, and I will bring calamity from all sides,” says the Lord.
Verse 33 – “Hazor shall be a dwelling for jackals, a desolation forever; no one shall reside there, nor son of man dwell in it.”
Kadar and Hazor were nomadic tribes east of Israel and south of Aram, in the desert. In 599 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar completely destroyed them.
Prophecies Against Elam
Verse 34 – The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam, in the beginning reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,
Elam lay east of Babylon and was attacked by Nebuchadnezzar in 597 B.C. Latter Elam became the nucleus of the Persian empire (Daniel 8:2) and the residence of Darius.
Verse 35 – “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the foremost of their might.
Elamites were known for their skill in archery, but the LOrd would take that away. When Elam was absorbed into the Persian Empire, landowners were required to furnish the Persian king with a bow-man.
Verse 36 – Against Elam I will bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and scatter them towards all those winds; there shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go.
Verse 37 – For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, My fierce anger,’ says the Lord; ‘And I will send the sword after them until I have consumed them.
Verse 38 – I will set My throne in Elam, and will destroy from there the king and the princes,’ say the Lord.
Verse 39 – ‘But it shall come to pass in the latter days: I will bring back the captives of Elam,’ says the Lord.”
The throne represents God’s judgment and sovereignty. God would preside over Elam’s destruction. He is King over all kings.