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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.
Prophecies against Moab
1About Moab,#Gn 19:37; Nm 22:1; 24:17; 25:1; Dt 23:3; 34:5-6; Jdg 3:30; Ru 1:2; 2Sm 8:2; 1Kg 11:7; 2Kg 1:1; Is 15:1; Ezk 25:8-11; Am 2:1-2; Zph 2:8-9 this is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says:
Woe to Nebo,#Nm 32:3; Jr 48:22 because it is about to be destroyed;
Kiriathaim will be put to shame;#Nm 32:37; Jr 48:23; Ezk 25:9 it will be taken captive.
The fortress will be put to shame and dismayed!
2There is no longer praise for Moab;
they plan harm against her in Heshbon:#Jr 48:34,45; 49:3
Come, let’s cut her off from nationhood.
Also, Madmen, you will be silenced;
the sword will follow#Jr 29:18; Am 1:11 you.
3A voice cries out from Horonaim,#Is 15:5; Jr 48:34
“devastation and a crushing blow!” #Jr 51:54
4Moab will be shattered;
her little ones will cry out.
5For on the Ascent to Luhith
they will be weeping continually,#48:5 Lit Luhith, weeping goes up with weeping
and on the descent to Horonaim
will be heard cries of distress over the destruction:#Is 15:5
6Flee! Save your lives!#Jr 51:6,45
Be like a juniper bush#48:6 Or like Aroer; Is 17:2; Jr 48:19#Is 41:19; Jr 17:6 in the wilderness.
7Because you trust in your works and treasures,
you will be captured also.
Chemosh#Nm 1:29; Jdg 11:24; 1Kg 11:7,33; 2Kg 23:13; Jr 48:13,45-47 will go into exile
with his priests and officials.#Jr 49:3
8The destroyer#Jr 6:26; 48:15,18,32 will move against every town;
not one town will escape.
The valley will perish,
and the plain will be annihilated,#Jos 13:9,17,21
as the Lord has said.
9Make Moab a salt marsh,#48:9 LXX reads a sign; Vg reads a flower; Syr, Tg read a crown#Jdg 9:45; Jr 17:6; Ezk 47:11; Zph 2:9
for she will run away;#48:9 Hb obscure
her towns will become a desolation,
without inhabitant.#Jos 8:26; Is 5:9; 6:11; Jr 2:15; 4:29; 6:8; 33:10; 34:22; 44:2,22; 51:37; Zph 3:6
10The one who does
the Lord’s business deceitfully#48:10 Or negligently is cursed,#1Kg 20:42
and the one who withholds
his sword from bloodshed is cursed.
11Moab has been left quiet since his youth,
settled like wine on its dregs.#Ps 75:8; Zph 1:12
He hasn’t been poured from one container to another
or gone into exile.
So his taste has remained the same,
and his aroma hasn’t changed.
12Therefore look, the days are coming#Jr 7:32; 16:14; 19:6; 23:7; 49:2; 51:47,52  —
this is the Lord’s declaration —
when I will send pourers to him, who will pour him out.
They will empty his containers
and smash his jars.
13Moab will be put to shame because of Chemosh,
just as the house of Israel was put to shame
because of Bethel#1Kg 12:28-33; 13:1-5; 2Kg 10:29; 23:15; Hs 4:15; Am 3:14; 4:4; 5:5-6 that they trusted in.
14How can you say, “We are warriors —
valiant men for battle”?
15The destroyer of Moab and its towns
has come up,#48:15 Or Moab is destroyed; he has come up against its cities
and the best of its young men
have gone down to slaughter.
This is the King’s declaration;
the Lord of Armies is his name.#Jr 46:18; 51:57
16Moab’s calamity is near at hand;
his disaster is rushing swiftly.
17Mourn for him, all you surrounding nations,
everyone who knows his name.
Say, “How the mighty scepter#Ps 110:2; Ezk 19:11-12,14 is shattered,
the glorious staff!”
18Come down from glory; sit on parched ground,
resident of the daughter of Dibon,#Jos 13:8-9; Jr 46:19
for the destroyer of Moab has come against you;
he has destroyed your fortresses.
19Stand by the highway and watch,
resident of Aroer!#Dt 2:36
Ask him who is fleeing or her who is escaping,#1Sm 4:13,16
“What happened?”
20Moab is put to shame, indeed dismayed.
Wail and cry out!#Is 14:31; Jr 25:34; 47:2; Ezk 21:12
Declare by the Arnon
that Moab is destroyed.
21“Judgment has come to the land of the plateau#Jos 13:17-19  — to Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22Dibon, Nebo, Beth-diblathaim, 23Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, Beth-meon,#Jos 13:17 24Kerioth,#Jr 48:41; Am 2:2 Bozrah, and all the towns of the land of Moab, those far and near. 25Moab’s horn is chopped off;#Ps 75:10; Lm 2:3; Am 3:14 his arm is shattered.”#Jb 38:15; Ps 10:15; 37:17; Ezk 30:21-24
This is the Lord’s declaration.
26“Make him drunk, because he has exalted himself against the Lord.#Jr 48:42 Moab will wallow in his own vomit, and he will also become a laughingstock. 27Wasn’t Israel a laughingstock to you?#Gn 38:23; Jb 12:4; Ps 44:14; Jr 20:7; 48:39; Lm 2:15-17; 3:14 Was he ever found among thieves?#Jr 2:26 For whenever you speak of him you shake your head.”#2Kg 19:21; Jb 2:11; 16:4; 42:11; Ps 22:7; 64:8; 69:20; 109:25; Is 37:22; 51:19; Jr 15:5; 18:16; Lm 2:15; Nah 3:7
28Abandon the towns! Live in the cliffs,
residents of Moab!
Be like a dove
that nests inside the mouth of a cave.#Is 2:19-21
29We have heard of Moab’s pride,
great pride, indeed —
his insolence, arrogance, pride,
and haughty heart.
30I know his outburst.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
It is empty.
His boast is empty.
31Therefore, I will wail over Moab.
I will cry out for Moab, all of it;
he will moan for the men of Kir-heres.
32I will weep for you, vine of Sibmah,
with more than the weeping for Jazer.
Your tendrils have extended to the sea;
they have reached to the sea and to Jazer.#48:32 Some Hb mss read reached as far as Jazer
The destroyer has fallen on your summer fruit and grape harvest.
33Gladness and celebration are taken from the fertile field
and from the land of Moab.
I have stopped the flow of wine from the winepresses;
no one will tread with shouts of joy.
The shouting is not a shout of joy.#Is 16:7-10
34“There is a cry from Heshbon to Elealeh; they make their voices heard as far as Jahaz#Is 15:4-6  — from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah — because even the Waters of Nimrim have become desolate. 35In Moab, I will stop” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “the one who offers sacrifices on the high place and burns incense to his gods.#Jr 11:12-13; 18:15 36Therefore, my heart moans like flutes for Moab,#Is 15:5 and my heart moans like flutes for the people of Kir-heres. And therefore, the wealth he has gained has perished. 37Indeed, every head is bald and every beard is chopped short.#Is 15:2-3; Jr 47:5 On every hand is a gash#Lv 19:28; 21:5; Jr 5:7; 41:5; 47:5 and sackcloth#Jr 4:8; 6:26; 49:3 around the waist. 38On all the rooftops of Moab and in her public squares, everyone is mourning because I have shattered Moab like a jar no one wants.”#Jr 22:28 This is the Lord’s declaration. 39“How broken it is! They wail! How Moab has turned his back! He is ashamed. Moab will become a laughingstock and a shock to all those around him.”#Is 16:6-11; Zph 2:9-10
40For this is what the Lord says:
Look! He will swoop down like an eagle
and spread his wings against Moab.#Dt 28:49; Jr 49:22
41The towns have#48:41 Or Kerioth has been captured,
and the strongholds seized.
In that day the heart of Moab’s warriors
will be like the heart of a woman with contractions.#Is 13:8; Jr 49:22
42Moab will be destroyed as a people
because he has exalted himself against the Lord.#Jr 48:26
43Panic,#Jr 30:5; 49:5 pit, and trap
await you, resident of Moab.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
44He who flees from the panic will fall in the pit,
and he who climbs from the pit
will be captured in the trap,
for I will bring against Moab
the year of their punishment.#Jr 23:12
This is the Lord’s declaration.#Is 24:17-18
45Those who flee will stand exhausted in Heshbon’s shadow
because fire has come out from Heshbon
and a flame from within Sihon.
It will devour Moab’s forehead
and the skull of the noisemakers.
46Woe to you, Moab!
The people of Chemosh have perished
because your sons have been taken captive
and your daughters have gone into captivity.#Nm 21:28-29
47Yet, I will restore the fortunes#48:47 Or will end the captivity of Moab in the last days.#Jr 49:6,39
This is the Lord’s declaration.
The judgment on Moab ends here.