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48
A message about Moab
1Concerning Moab:
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
‘Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined.
Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured;
the stronghold#48:1 Or captured; / Misgab will be disgraced and shattered.
2Moab will be praised no more;
in Heshbon#48:2 The Hebrew for Heshbon sounds like the Hebrew for plot. people will plot her downfall:
“Come, let us put an end to that nation.”
You, the people of Madmen,#48:2 The name of the Moabite town Madmen sounds like the Hebrew for be silenced. will also be silenced;
the sword will pursue you.
3Cries of anguish arise from Horonaim,
cries of great havoc and destruction.
4Moab will be broken;
her little ones will cry out.#48:4 Hebrew; Septuagint / proclaim it to Zoar
5They go up the hill to Luhith,
weeping bitterly as they go;
on the road down to Horonaim
anguished cries over the destruction are heard.
6Flee! Run for your lives;
become like a bush#48:6 Or like Aroer in the desert.
7Since you trust in your deeds and riches,
you too will be taken captive,
and Chemosh will go into exile,
together with his priests and officials.
8The destroyer will come against every town,
and not a town will escape.
The valley will be ruined
and the plateau destroyed,
because the Lord has spoken.
9Put salt on Moab,
for she will be laid waste#48:9 Or Give wings to Moab, / for she will fly away;
her towns will become desolate,
with no-one to live in them.
10‘A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!
A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed!
11‘Moab has been at rest from youth,
like wine left on its dregs,
not poured from one jar to another –
she has not gone into exile.
So she tastes as she did,
and her aroma is unchanged.
12But days are coming,’ declares the Lord,
‘when I will send men who pour from pitchers,
and they will pour her out;
they will empty her pitchers
and smash her jars.
13Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh,
as Israel was ashamed
when they trusted in Bethel.
14‘How can you say, “We are warriors,
men valiant in battle”?
15Moab will be destroyed and her towns invaded;
her finest young men will go down in the slaughter,’
declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.
16‘The fall of Moab is at hand;
her calamity will come quickly.
17Mourn for her, all who live around her,
all who know her fame;
say, “How broken is the mighty sceptre,
how broken the glorious staff!”
18‘Come down from your glory
and sit on the parched ground,
you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon,
for the one who destroys Moab
will come up against you
and ruin your fortified cities.
19Stand by the road and watch,
you who live in Aroer.
Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping,
ask them, “What has happened?”
20Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered.
Wail and cry out!
Announce by the Arnon
that Moab is destroyed.
21Judgment has come to the plateau –
to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath,
22to Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,
23to Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
24to Kerioth and Bozrah –
to all the towns of Moab, far and near.
25Moab’s horn#48:25 Horn here symbolises strength. is cut off;
her arm is broken,’
declares the Lord.
26‘Make her drunk,
for she has defied the Lord.
Let Moab wallow in her vomit;
let her be an object of ridicule.
27Was not Israel the object of your ridicule?
Was she caught among thieves,
that you shake your head in scorn
whenever you speak of her?
28Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks,
you who live in Moab.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
at the mouth of a cave.
29‘We have heard of Moab’s pride –
how great is her arrogance! –
of her insolence, her pride, her conceit
and the haughtiness of her heart.
30I know her insolence but it is futile,’ declares the Lord,
‘and her boasts accomplish nothing.
31Therefore I wail over Moab,
for all Moab I cry out,
I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth.
32I weep for you, as Jazer weeps,
you vines of Sibmah.
Your branches spread as far as the sea#48:32 Probably the Dead Sea;
they reached as far as#48:32 Two Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts as far as the Sea of Jazer.
The destroyer has fallen
on your ripened fruit and grapes.
33Joy and gladness are gone
from the orchards and fields of Moab.
I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses;
no-one treads them with shouts of joy.
Although there are shouts,
they are not shouts of joy.
34‘The sound of their cry rises
from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz,
from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah,
for even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
35In Moab I will put an end
to those who make offerings on the high places
and burn incense to their gods,’ declares the Lord.
36‘So my heart laments for Moab like the music of a pipe;
it laments like a pipe for the people of Kir Hareseth.
The wealth they acquired is gone.
37Every head is shaved
and every beard cut off;
every hand is slashed
and every waist is covered with sackcloth.
38On all the roofs in Moab
and in the public squares
there is nothing but mourning,
for I have broken Moab
like a jar that no-one wants,’ declares the Lord.
39‘How shattered she is! How they wail!
How Moab turns her back in shame!
Moab has become an object of ridicule,
an object of horror to all those around her.’
40This is what the Lord says:
‘Look! An eagle is swooping down,
spreading its wings over Moab.
41Kerioth#48:41 Or The cities will be captured
and the strongholds taken.
In that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors
will be like the heart of a woman in labour.
42Moab will be destroyed as a nation
because she defied the Lord.
43Terror and pit and snare await you,
you people of Moab,’
declares the Lord.
44‘Whoever flees from the terror
will fall into a pit,
whoever climbs out of the pit
will be caught in a snare;
for I will bring on Moab
the year of her punishment,’
declares the Lord.
45‘In the shadow of Heshbon
the fugitives stand helpless,
for a fire has gone out from Heshbon,
a blaze from the midst of Sihon;
it burns the foreheads of Moab,
the skulls of the noisy boasters.
46Woe to you, Moab!
The people of Chemosh are destroyed;
your sons are taken into exile
and your daughters into captivity.
47‘Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
in days to come,’
declares the Lord.
Here ends the judgment on Moab.
48
1 Against Moab, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Woe upon Nebo! For it has been devastated and confounded. Kiriathaim has been seized; the strong one has been confounded and has trembled.
2 There is no longer any rejoicing in Moab over Heshbon. They have devised evil. 'Come and let us destroy it as a nation.' Then you will be utterly silenced, and the sword will pursue you.
3 A voice of clamor from Horonaim: devastation and great destruction!
4 Moab has been crushed. Announce an outcry for her little ones.
5 For, along the ascent of Luhith, the mourner will ascend with weeping. For, on the descent of Horonaim, the enemies have heard the wailing of devastation.
6 Flee, save your lives! And you shall be like a saltcedar tree in the desert.
7 For because you have had faith in your fortifications and in your storehouses, you too will be seized. And Chemosh will go into captivity: his priests and his leaders together.
8 And the despoiler will overwhelm every city, and not a single city will be saved. And the valleys will perish, and the fields will be destroyed. For the Lord has spoken.
9 Give a blossom to Moab. For it will depart when it is blossoming. And its cities will become desolate and uninhabited.
10 Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully. And cursed is he who prohibits his sword from blood.
11 Moab has been fertile from his youth, and he has rested amid his brood. And he has not been transferred from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into the transmigration. Therefore, his taste has remained with him, and his scent has not changed.
12 Because of this, behold, the days are approaching, says the Lord, when I will send to him those who will line up and knock down his bottles, and they will knock him down and empty his vessels, and they will break their bottles against one another.
13 And Moab will be confounded by Chemosh, just as the house of Israel was shamed by Bethel, in which they had faith.
14 How can you say: 'We are strong and robust men of battle?'
15 Moab has been devastated, and they have cut down her cities. And her elect young men have descended to slaughter. So says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
16 The passing away of Moab draws near and arrives. Its evil will rush forward with great speed.
17 Console him, all you who surround him and all you who know his name. Say: 'How has the strong staff become broken, the glorious staff?'
18 Descend from your glory, and sit in thirst, O habitation of the daughter of Dibon! For the destroyer of Moab has ascended to you; he has dissipated your fortifications.
19 Stand in the way, and gaze out, O habitation of Aroer! Question him who is fleeing, and say to him who has escaped: 'What has happened?'
20 Moab has been confounded, because he has been conquered. Wail and cry out! Announce it in Arnon: Moab has been devastated,
21 and judgment has arrived upon the land of the plains: upon Holon, and upon Jahzah, and upon Mephaath,
22 and upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon the house of Deblathaim,
23 and upon Kiriathaim, and upon the house of Gamul, and upon the house of Meon,
24 and upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, those far away and those nearby.
25 The horn of Moab has been cut away, and his arm has been crushed, says the Lord.
26 Inebriate him, for he has lifted himself up against the Lord. And Moab will thrust his hand into his own vomit, and also now he himself will become a derision.
27 For Israel had been a derision to them. It was as if you had discovered him among thieves. Because of your own words, then, which you have spoken against him, you will be led away captive.
28 Relinquish the cities, and live upon a rock, O inhabitants of Moab, and be like a dove nesting at the mouth of an opening at the summit.
29 We have listened to the arrogance of Moab; he is very proud: his exaltation, and arrogance, and pride, and the loftiness of his heart.
30 I myself know, says the Lord, his boasting, and that his ability is not in accord with it, nor is it in accord with what he has been striving to do.
31 For this reason, I will wail over Moab, and I will cry out to all of Moab, to the men on the brick wall who are lamenting.
32 O vineyard of Sibmah, I will weep for you, with the mourning of Jazer. Your offshoots have crossed over the sea. They have reached even to the sea of Jazer. The despoiler has rushed over your harvest and your vintage.
33 Rejoicing and exultation has been taken away from Carmel and from the land of Moab. And I have taken the wine from the winepresses. The treader of grapes will no longer sing the usual rhythmic chant.
34 From the outcry of Heshbon, even to Elealeh and Jahzah, they have uttered their voice; from Zoar, even to Horonaim, like a three year old calf. So too, the waters of Nimrim will be very bad.
35 And I will take away from Moab, says the Lord, the one who makes offerings in exalted places, and the one who sacrifices to his gods.
36 Because of this, my heart will resound for Moab, like the pipes, and my heart will make a sound like the pipes for the men on the brick wall. For he has done more than he was able, yet still they have perished.
37 For every head will be bald, and every beard will be shaved. All the hands will be bound together, and there will be haircloth on every back.
38 Over all the rooftops of Moab, and in its streets, everyone will mourn. For I have crushed Moab like a useless vessel, says the Lord.
39 How was it conquered, so that they would wail? How is it that Moab has cast down his neck and been confounded? And Moab will be a derision and an example to everyone around him."
40 Thus says the Lord: "Behold, he will fly like the eagle, and he will extend his wings to Moab.
41 Kerioth has been captured, and the fortifications have been taken. And in that day, the heart of the strong ones of Moab will be like the heart of a woman giving birth.
42 And Moab will cease to be a people. For he has been glorified against the Lord.
43 Terror and the pit and the snare will overwhelm you, O inhabitant of Moab, says the Lord.
44 Whoever flees from the terror will fall into the pit. And whoever climbs out of the pit will be seized by the snare. For I will lead over Moab the year of their visitation, says the Lord.
45 Those fleeing from the snare stood in the shadow of Heshbon. For a fire has gone forth from Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and it will devour the portion of Moab, and the top of the head of the sons of tumult.
46 Woe to you, O Moab! You have been ruined, O people of Chemosh! For your sons and your daughters have been taken into captivity.
47 But I will convert the captivity of Moab in the last days, says the Lord." Such are the judgments of Moab thus far.