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48
What the Lord Says about Moab
1 # Is 15.1—16.14; 25.10-12; Ez 25.8-11; Am 2.1-3; Zep 2.8-11. The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, told me to say to the nation of Moab:
The town of Nebo is doomed;
Kiriathaim will be captured
and disgraced,
and even its fortress
will be left in ruins.
2No one honors you, Moab.
In Heshbon, enemies make plans
to end your life.
My sword will leave only silence
in your town named “Quiet.”#48.2 silence … Quiet: In Hebrew the name of the town was “Madmen,” which sounds like the word for “silence.”
3The people of Horonaim
will cry for help,
as their town is attacked
and destroyed.
4Moab will be shattered!
Your children will sob
5and cry on their way up
to the town of Luhith;
on the road to Horonaim
they will tell of disasters.
6Run for your lives!
Head into the desert
like a wild donkey.#48.6 like a wild donkey: One ancient translation; Hebrew “like (the town of) Aroer” (see verse 19).
7You thought you could be saved
by your power and wealth,
but you will be captured
along with your god Chemosh,
his priests, and officials.
8Not one of your towns
will escape destruction.
I have told your enemies,
“Wipe out the valley
and the flatlands of Moab.
9Spread salt on the ground
to kill the crops.#48.9 Spread salt … crops: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Leave its towns in ruins,
with no one living there.
10I want you to kill the Moabites,
and if you let them escape,
I will put a curse on you.”
11Moab, you are like wine
left to settle undisturbed,
never poured from jar to jar.
And so, your nation continues
to prosper and improve.#48.11 continues … improve: Or “remains as evil as ever.”
12But now, I will send enemies
to pour out the wine
and smash the jars!
13Then you will be ashamed,
because your god Chemosh
cannot save you,
just as Bethel#48.13 Bethel: It may refer to the Phoenician or Canaanite god of that name; or it may refer to the town where people of the northern kingdom worshiped at a local shrine (see 1 Kings 12.26-30). could not help
the Israelites.
14You claim that your soldiers
are strong and brave.
15But I am the Lord,
the all-powerful King,
and I promise that enemies
will overpower your towns.
Even your best warriors
will die in the battle.
16It won't be long now—
disaster will hit Moab!
17I will order the nearby nations
to mourn for you and say,
“Isn't it sad? Moab ruled others,
but now its glorious power
has been shattered.”
18People in the town of Dibon,#48.18 Dibon: The capital city of Moab.
you will be honored no more,
so have a seat in the dust.
Your walls will be torn down
when the enemies attack.
19You people of Aroer,#48.19 Aroer: A Moabite town located just north of the Arnon River.
go wait beside the road,
and when refugees run by,
ask them, “What happened?”
20They will answer,
“Moab has been defeated!
Weep with us in shame.
Tell everyone at the Arnon River
that Moab is destroyed.”
21I will punish every town
that belongs to Moab,
but especially Holon,
Jahzah, Mephaath,
22Dibon, Nebo,
Beth-Diblathaim, 23Kiriathaim,
Beth-Gamul, Beth-Meon,
24Kerioth, and Bozrah.#48.24 Bozrah: Not the same Bozrah as in 49.13.
25My decision is final—
your army will be crushed,
and your power broken.
26People of Moab, you claim
to be stronger than I am.
Now I will tell other nations
to make you drunk
and to laugh while you collapse
in your own vomit.
27You made fun of my people
and treated them like criminals
caught in the act.
28Now you must leave your towns
and live like doves
in the shelter of cliffs
and canyons.
29I know about your pride,
and how you strut and boast.
30But I also know bragging
will never save you.
31So I will cry and mourn
for Moab
and its town of Kir-Heres.
32People of Sibmah,
you were like a vineyard
heavy with grapes,
and with branches reaching
north to the town of Jazer
and west to the Dead Sea.#48.32 reaching north … Dead Sea: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
But you have been destroyed,
and so I will weep for you,
as the people of Jazer weep
for the vineyards.
33Harvest celebrations are gone
from the orchards and farms
of Moab.
I have silenced the shouts
of people making wine.
34Weeping from Heshbon
can be heard as far
as Elealeh and Jahaz;
cries from Zoar are heard
in Horonaim
and Eglath-Shelishiyah.
And Nimrim Creek has run dry.
35I will get rid of anyone
who burns incense
to the gods of Moab
or offers sacrifices
at their shrines.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
36In my heart I moan for Moab,
like a funeral song
played on a flute.
I mourn for the people
of the town of Kir-Heres,
because their wealth is gone.
* 37-38The people of Moab
mourn on the rooftops
and in the streets.
Men cut off their beards,
people shave their heads;
they make cuts on their hands
and wear sackcloth.#48.37,38 sackcloth: See the note at 4.8.
And it's all because I, the Lord,
have shattered Moab like a jar
that no one wants.
39Moab lies broken!
Listen to its people cry
as they turn away in shame.
Other nations are horrified
at what happened,
but still they mock her.
40Moab, an enemy swoops down
like an eagle spreading its wings
over your land.
41Your cities#48.41 Your cities: Or “Kerioth.” and fortresses
will be captured,
and your warriors as fearful
as women giving birth.#48.41 as fearful … birth: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
42You are finished as a nation,
because you dared oppose me,
the Lord.
43Terror, pits, and traps
are waiting for you.
44If you are terrified and run,
you will fall into a pit;
and if you crawl out of the pit,
you'll get caught in a trap.
The time has come
for you to be punished.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
45Near the city of Heshbon,
where Sihon once ruled,
tired refugees stand in shadows
cast by the flames
of their burning city.
Soon, the towns on other hilltops,
where those warlike people live,
will also go up in smoke.
46People of Moab, you worshiped
Chemosh, your god,
but now you are done for,
and your children are prisoners
in a foreign country.
47Yet someday, I will bring
your people back home.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
48
1 CONCERNING MOAB: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Woe to [the city of] Nebo, for it is laid waste! Kiriathaim is put to shame and taken; Misgab [the high fortress] is put to shame, broken down, and crushed. [Isa. 15-16; 25:10-12; Ezek. 25:8-11; Amos 2:1-3; Zeph. 2:8-11.]
2 The glory of Moab is no more; in Heshbon [a border town between Reuben and Gad, east of the Jordan River] they planned evil against her, saying, Come, let us cut her off from being a nation. You also, O [town of] Madmen, shall be brought to silence; the sword shall pursue you.
3 The sound of a cry from Horonaim, [a cry of] desolation and great destruction!
4 Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard [as far as Zoar].
5 For the ascent of Luhith will be climbed [by successive bands of fugitives] with continual weeping; for on the descent of Horonaim they have heard the distress of the cry of destruction.
6 Flee! Save your lives! But they shall be like a destitute and forsaken person in the wilderness.
7 For because you have trusted in your works [your bungling idol images] and in your treasures [instead of in God], you shall also be taken. And Chemosh [your god] shall go into captivity, his priests and his princes together.
8 And the destroyer shall come upon every city; no city shall escape. The [Jordan] valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be devastated, as the Lord has said.
9 Give wings to Moab, for [by that means only] she will flee and get away; her cities will be desolate, without any to dwell in them.
10 Cursed be he who does the work of the Lord negligently [with slackness, deceitfully]; and cursed be he who keeps back his sword from blood [in executing judgment pronounced by the Lord].
11 Moab has been at ease from his youth, and he has settled on his lees [like wine] and has not been drawn off from one vessel to another, neither has he gone into exile. Therefore his taste remains in him, and his scent has not changed.
12 Therefore behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I shall send to [Moab] tilters who shall tilt him up and shall empty his vessels and break his bottles (earthenware) in pieces.
13 And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh [his god], as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence. [I Kings 12:28, 29.]
14 How can you say, We are heroes and mighty men in the war?
15 Moab has been made desolate, and his cities have gone up [in smoke and flame]; and his chosen young men have gone down to the slaughter, says the King, Whose name is the Lord of hosts.
16 The destruction of Moab is coming near, and his calamity hastens swiftly.
17 Bemoan him, all you [nations] who are around him, and all you [nations more remote] who know his name; say, How broken is the mighty scepter [of national power] and the splendid rod [of glory]!
18 Come down from your glory, you inhabitant of the Daughter of Dibon, and sit on the ground among the thirsty! For the destroyer of Moab is advancing against you; he will destroy your strongholds.
19 O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way and watch! Ask him who flees and her who escapes, What has happened?
20 Moab is put to shame, for she is broken down. Wail and cry out! Tell by [the banks of] the Arnon that Moab is laid waste (destroyed).
21 Judgment has come upon the land of the plain–upon Holon and Jahzah and Mephaath,
22 And upon Dibon and Nebo and Beth-diblathaim,
23 And upon Kiriathaim and Beth-gamul and Beth-meon,
24 And upon Kerioth and Bozrah–and all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near.
25 The horn (strength) of Moab is cut off, and his arm [of authority] is shattered, says the Lord.
26 Make him drunk, for he has magnified himself against the Lord [by resisting Reuben's occupation of the land the Lord had assigned him]. Moab also shall splash in his vomit, and he too shall be held in derision. [Num. 22:1-7.]
27 For was not Israel [an object of] derision to you? Was he found among thieves–since whenever you speak of him you wag your head [in scorn]?
28 O you inhabitants of Moab, leave the cities and dwell among the rocks, and be like the dove that makes her nest in the walls of the yawning ravine.
29 We have heard of the [giddy] pride of Moab, the extremely proud one–his loftiness, his arrogance, his conceit, and the haughtiness of his heart.
30 I know his insolent wrath, says the Lord, and the nothingness of his boastings and his deeds; they are false and have accomplished nothing.
31 Therefore I will wail over Moab, and I will cry out over the whole of Moab. Over the men of Kir-heres (Kir-hareseth) there will be sighing and mourning. [Isa. 15:1; 16:7, 11.]
32 O vines of Sibmah, I weep for you more than the weeping of Jazer [over its ruins and wasted vineyards]. Your tendrils [of influence] have gone over the sea, reaching even to Jazer. The destroyer has fallen upon your summer fruit harvest and your [season's] crop of grapes.
33 Joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful orchards and fields and from the land of Moab. And I have made the juice [of the grape] to fail from what is pressed out in the vats; no one treads [the grapes] with shouting. Their shouting is no shouting [of joy, but is a battle cry].
34 From the cry of Heshbon even to Elealeh even to Jahaz have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah [like a three-year-old heifer], for even the waters of Nimrim have become desolations.
35 Moreover, I will cause to cease in Moab, says the Lord, the one who ascends and offers in the high place and the one who burns incense to his gods.
36 Therefore My heart moans and sighs for Moab like flutes, and My heart moans and sighs like flutes for the men of Kir-heres (Kir-hareseth); therefore [the remnant of] the abundant riches they gained has perished.
37 For every head is shaven bald and every beard cut off: upon all the hands are cuts (slashes) and upon the loins is sackcloth [all to express mourning]. [Isa. 15:2, 3.]
38 On all the housetops of Moab and in its streets there is lamentation everywhere, for I have broken Moab like a vessel in which there is no pleasure, says the Lord.
39 How it is broken down! How they wail! How Moab has turned his back in shame! So Moab has become [an object of] a derision and a [horrifying] terror to all who are round about him.
40 For thus says the Lord: Behold, he [Babylon] shall fly swiftly like an eagle and shall spread out his wings against Moab. [Ezek. 17:3.]
41 Kerioth [and the cities] shall be taken and the strongholds seized; and the hearts of the mighty warriors of Moab in that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs [in childbirth].
42 And Moab shall be destroyed from being a nation, because he has magnified himself against the Lord.
43 Terror and pit and snare are before you, O inhabitant of Moab, says the Lord. [Isa. 24:7.]
44 He who flees from the terror will fall into the pit, and he who gets up out of the pit will be taken and caught in the trap or snare; for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation (their inspection and infliction of punishment), says the Lord.
45 In the shadow of Heshbon the fugitives stand powerless (stopped in their tracks, helpless and without strength), for a fire has gone forth from Heshbon, a flame from the midst of Sihon; it has destroyed the corner of Moab and the crowns of the heads of the ones in tumult [the proud Moabites].
46 Woe to you, O Moab! The people of [the god] Chemosh are undone; for your sons are taken away captive and your daughters into captivity.
47 Yet will I reverse the captivity and restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, says the Lord. Thus far is the judgment on Moab.