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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
1Concerning Mo’av, this is what Adonai-Tzva’ot, the God of Isra’el, says:
“Woe to N’vo, for it is ravaged;
Kiryatayim disgraced and captured.
Misgav is put to shame, distressed.
2“In Mo’av, nothing is left to praise.
At Heshbon they plotted her downfall:
‘Come, we’ll cut her off as a nation.’
You too, Madmein, will be silenced;
the sword pursues behind you.
3An agonized cry from Horonayim,
ruin, terrible devastation!
4Mo’av has been shattered;
the cries of her young ones are heard,
5as they ascend the slopes of Luchit,
weeping bitterly as they climb.
On the road down to Horonayim
shrieks of destruction ring out.”
6Flee! Save your lives!
Be strong, like a tamarisk in the desert.
7Because you trust in your deeds and your wealth,
you too will be captured.
Together with his priests and princes,
K’mosh will go into exile.
8A destroyer will descend on every city,
no city will escape.
The valley too will perish,
the plain will be laid waste,
as Adonai as said.
9Give Mo’av wings,
so it can fly and get away.
Its cities will become ruins,
with no one to live in them.
10A curse on him who does the work
of Adonai carelessly!
A curse on him who withholds his sword
from blood!
11Mo’av has lived at ease from his youth;
he is [wine] settled on its dregs,
not decanted from jar to jar —
he has not gone into exile.
Therefore it retains its own [bad] taste,
its aroma remains unchanged.
12“So the days are coming,” says Adonai, “when I will send people to tilt him; they will tilt his jars, emptying them and shattering the wine-flasks to pieces. 13Mo’av will be disappointed by K’mosh then, just as the house of Isra’el was disappointed by Beit-El, a god in whom they had put their trust.
14“How can you say, ‘We are heroes,
warriors valiant in battle’?
15They are ravaging Mo’av, attacking its cities;
its best young men go down to be slaughtered,”
says the king, whose name is Adonai-Tzva’ot.
16Mo’av’s ruin is coming soon,
its disaster speeds on swiftly.
17Pity him, all of you who are near him,
all of you who know his name;
say, “How the mighty scepter is shattered,
that splendid staff!”
18Descend from your glory, and sit in thirst,
daughter living in Divon;
for Mo’av’s destroyer advances on you;
he has destroyed your strongholds.
19Stand by the road and watch,
inhabitant of ‘Aro‘er;
ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping,
“What is going on?”
20Mo’av is disgraced, indeed, destroyed.
Wail aloud! Shriek!
Proclaim it by the Arnon
that Mo’av has been laid waste.
21Judgment has come on the Plain — on Holon, Yachtzah, Mefa‘at, 22Divon, N’vo, Beit-Diblatayim, 23Kiryatayim, Beit-Gamul, Beit-M‘on, 24K’riot, Botzrah and all the cities in the land of Mo’av, far and near.
25“Mo’av’s strength is cut down,
his arm is broken,” says Adonai.
26Because Mo’av boasted against Adonai, make him so drunk that he wallows in his own vomit and becomes a laughingstock. 27After all, Isra’el was a laughingstock for you. He didn’t associate with thieves; nevertheless, whenever you spoke of him, you shook your head.
28You who live in Mo’av,
leave the cities, and live on the rocks;
be like the dove who makes her nest
in a hole in the rock at the mouth of a cave.
29We have heard of the pride of Mo’av:
so very proud he is! —
presumptuous, proud, conceited;
so haughty his heart!
30“I know what meager ground he has
for his arrogance,” says Adonai.
“His boasting has nothing behind it,
and it hasn’t accomplished a thing.”
31Therefore I wail for Mo’av;
for all Mo’av I cry;
for the people of Kir-Heres I lament.
32I will weep for you, vineyard of Sivmah,
more than I wept for Ya‘zer.
Your branches spread to the sea,
reaching as far as the sea of Ya‘zer.
On your summer fruits and on your vintage
the destroyer has fallen.
33Gladness and joy have been removed
from productive fields and the land of Mo’av.
“I have stopped the flow of wine from the vats
and the shouts of those who tread the grapes —
those shouts of joy are stilled.”
34The cries from Heshbon to El‘aleh
are heard as far away as Yachatz;
those from Tzo‘ar to Horonayim
are heard in ‘Eglat-Shlishiyah;
for even the waters of Nimrim
have become a desolate waste.
35“Moreover,” says Adonai,
“in Mo’av I will put an end
to anyone sacrificing on a high place
or offering incense to his gods.”
36This is why my heart is moaning
for Mo’av like funeral flutes,
why my heart moans for the men
of Kir-Heres like funeral flutes;
for the wealth they produced has vanished.
37Every head has been shaved bald,
every beard has been clipped short,
gashes are on every hand,
sackcloth around every waist.
38On all the housetops of Mo’av
and in its open places —
lamentation everywhere!
“For I have broken Mo’av like a pot
that nobody wants,” says Adonai.
39Wail, “How shattered is Mo’av!
How shamefully in retreat!”
Thus will Mo’av become an object
of ridicule and distress to all its neighbors.
40For here is what Adonai says:
“Look! Down he swoops like a vulture,
spreading his wings against Mo’av —
41the cities are captured, the strongholds are seized.
On that day the hearts of Mo’av’s warriors
will be like the heart of a woman in labor.
42Mo’av will be destroyed as a people,
because he boasted against Adonai.
43Terror, pit and trap are upon you,
people of Mo’av,” says Adonai.
44“Whoever flees from the terror
will fall into the pit;
and he who climbs up out of the pit
will be caught in the trap.
For I will bring on her, on Mo’av,
the year for her punishment,” says Adonai.
45“In the shadow of Heshbon
the fugitives stop, exhausted.
For fire breaks out from Heshbon,
a flame from inside Sichon,
consuming the sides and tops of the heads
of Mo’av’s noisy boasters.
46Woe to you, Mo’av!
K’mosh’s people are doomed!
For your sons have been taken captive,
and your daughters led into captivity.
47Yet I will end Mo’av’s exile
in the acharit-hayamim,” says Adonai.
This is the judgment on Mo’av.