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48
A Message about Moab
1This message was given concerning Moab. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says:
“What sorrow awaits the city of Nebo;
it will soon lie in ruins.
The city of Kiriathaim will be humiliated and captured;
the fortress will be humiliated and broken down.
2No one will ever brag about Moab again,
for in Heshbon there is a plot to destroy her.
‘Come,’ they say, ‘we will cut her off from being a nation.’
The town of Madmen,#48:2 Madmen sounds like the Hebrew word for “silence”; it should not be confused with the English word madmen. too, will be silenced;
the sword will follow you there.
3Listen to the cries from Horonaim,
cries of devastation and great destruction.
4All Moab is destroyed.
Her little ones will cry out.#48:4 Greek version reads Her cries are heard as far away as Zoar.
5Her refugees weep bitterly,
climbing the slope to Luhith.
They cry out in terror,
descending the slope to Horonaim.
6Flee for your lives!
Hide#48:6 Or Hide like a wild donkey; or Hide like a juniper shrub; or Be like [the town of] Aroer. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. in the wilderness!
7Because you have trusted in your wealth and skill,
you will be taken captive.
Your god Chemosh, with his priests and officials,
will be hauled off to distant lands!
8“All the towns will be destroyed,
and no one will escape—
either on the plateaus or in the valleys,
for the Lord has spoken.
9Oh, that Moab had wings
so she could fly away,#48:9 Or Put salt on Moab, / for she will be laid waste.
for her towns will be left empty,
with no one living in them.
10Cursed are those who refuse to do the Lord’s work,
who hold back their swords from shedding blood!
11“From his earliest history, Moab has lived in peace,
never going into exile.
He is like wine that has been allowed to settle.
He has not been poured from flask to flask,
and he is now fragrant and smooth.
12But the time is coming soon,” says the Lord,
“when I will send men to pour him from his jar.
They will pour him out,
then shatter the jar!
13At last Moab will be ashamed of his idol Chemosh,
as the people of Israel were ashamed of their gold calf at Bethel.#48:13 Hebrew ashamed when they trusted in Bethel.
14“You used to boast, ‘We are heroes,
mighty men of war.’
15But now Moab and his towns will be destroyed.
His most promising youth are doomed to slaughter,”
says the King, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
16“Destruction is coming fast for Moab;
calamity threatens ominously.
17You friends of Moab,
weep for him and cry!
See how the strong scepter is broken,
how the beautiful staff is shattered!
18“Come down from your glory
and sit in the dust, you people of Dibon,
for those who destroy Moab will shatter Dibon, too.
They will tear down all your towers.
19You people of Aroer,
stand beside the road and watch.
Shout to those who flee from Moab,
‘What has happened there?’
20“And the reply comes back,
‘Moab lies in ruins, disgraced;
weep and wail!
Tell it by the banks of the Arnon River:
Moab has been destroyed!’
21Judgment has been poured out on the towns of the plateau—
on Holon and Jahaz#48:21 Hebrew Jahzah, a variant spelling of Jahaz. and Mephaath,
22on Dibon and Nebo and Beth-diblathaim,
23on Kiriathaim and Beth-gamul and Beth-meon,
24on Kerioth and Bozrah—
all the towns of Moab, far and near.
25“The strength of Moab has ended.
His arm has been broken,” says the Lord.
26“Let him stagger and fall like a drunkard,
for he has rebelled against the Lord.
Moab will wallow in his own vomit,
ridiculed by all.
27Did you not ridicule the people of Israel?
Were they caught in the company of thieves
that you should despise them as you do?
28“You people of Moab,
flee from your towns and live in the caves.
Hide like doves that nest
in the clefts of the rocks.
29We have all heard of the pride of Moab,
for his pride is very great.
We know of his lofty pride,
his arrogance, and his haughty heart.
30I know about his insolence,”
says the Lord,
“but his boasts are empty—
as empty as his deeds.
31So now I wail for Moab;
yes, I will mourn for Moab.
My heart is broken for the men of Kir-hareseth.#48:31 Hebrew Kir-heres, a variant spelling of Kir-hareseth; also in 48:36.
32“You people of Sibmah, rich in vineyards,
I will weep for you even more than I did for Jazer.
Your spreading vines once reached as far as the Dead Sea,#48:32 Hebrew the sea of Jazer.
but the destroyer has stripped you bare!
He has harvested your grapes and summer fruits.
33Joy and gladness are gone from fruitful Moab.
The presses yield no wine.
No one treads the grapes with shouts of joy.
There is shouting, yes, but not of joy.
34“Instead, their awful cries of terror can be heard from Heshbon clear across to Elealeh and Jahaz; from Zoar all the way to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up now.
35“I will put an end to Moab,” says the Lord, “for the people offer sacrifices at the pagan shrines and burn incense to their false gods. 36My heart moans like a flute for Moab and Kir-hareseth, for all their wealth has disappeared. 37The people shave their heads and beards in mourning. They slash their hands and put on clothes made of burlap. 38There is crying and sorrow in every Moabite home and on every street. For I have smashed Moab like an old, unwanted jar. 39How it is shattered! Hear the wailing! See the shame of Moab! It has become an object of ridicule, an example of ruin to all its neighbors.”
40This is what the Lord says:
“Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle,
spreading his wings over Moab.
41Its cities will fall,
and its strongholds will be seized.
Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish
like a woman in labor.
42Moab will no longer be a nation,
for it has boasted against the Lord.
43“Terror and traps and snares will be your lot,
O Moab,” says the Lord.
44“Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap,
and those who escape the trap will step into a snare.
I will see to it that you do not get away,
for the time of your judgment has come,”
says the Lord.
45“The people flee as far as Heshbon
but are unable to go on.
For a fire comes from Heshbon,
King Sihon’s ancient home,
to devour the entire land
with all its rebellious people.
46“What sorrow awaits you, O people of Moab!
The people of the god Chemosh are destroyed!
Your sons and your daughters
have been taken away as captives.
47But I will restore the fortunes of Moab
in days to come.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
This is the end of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning 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.