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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
The Destruction of Moab
1 # Is 15.1—16.14; 25.10–12; Ezek 25.8–11; Amos 2.1–3; Zeph 2.8–11 This is what the LORD Almighty said about Moab:
“Pity the people of Nebo —
their town is destroyed!
Kiriathaim is captured,
its mighty fortress torn down,
and its people put to shame;
2the splendour of Moab is gone.
The enemy have captured Heshbon
and plot to destroy the nation of Moab.
The town of Madmen will be silenced;
armies will march against it.
3The people of Horonaim cry out,
‘Violence! Destruction!’
4“Moab has been destroyed;
listen to the children crying.
5Hear the sound of their sobs
along the road up to Luhith,
the cries of distress
on the way down to Horonaim.
6‘Quick, run for your lives!’ they say.
‘Run like a wild desert donkey!’
7“Moab, you trusted in your strength and your wealth,
but now even you will be conquered;
your god Chemosh will go into exile,
along with his princes and priests.
8Not a town will escape the destruction;
both valley and plain will be ruined.
I, the LORD, have spoken.
9Set up a tombstone for Moab;
it will soon be destroyed.
Its towns will be left in ruins,
and no one will live there again.”
10(Curse those who do not do the LORD's work with all their heart! Curse those who do not slash and kill!)
The Cities of Moab are Destroyed
11The LORD said, “Moab has always lived secure and has never been taken into exile. Moab is like wine left to settle undisturbed and never poured from jar to jar. Its flavour has never been ruined, and it tastes as good as ever.
12“So now, the time is coming when I will send people to pour Moab out like wine. They will empty its wine jars and break them in pieces. 13Then the Moabites will be disillusioned with their god Chemosh, just as the Israelites were disillusioned with Bethel, a god in whom they trusted.
14“Men of Moab, why do you claim to be heroes,
brave soldiers tested in war?
15Moab and its cities are destroyed;
its finest young men have been slaughtered.
I am the king, the LORD Almighty,
and I have spoken.
16Moab's doom approaches;
its ruin is coming soon.
17“Mourn for that nation, you that live near by,
all of you that know its fame.
Say, ‘Its powerful rule has been broken;
its glory and might are no more.’
18You that live in Dibon,
come down from your place of honour
and sit on the ground in the dust;
Moab's destroyer is here
and has left its forts in ruins.
19You that live in Aroer,
stand by the road and wait;
ask those who are running away,
find out from them what has happened.
20‘Moab has fallen,’ they will answer,
‘weep for it; it is disgraced.
Announce along the River Arnon
that Moab is destroyed!’
21“Judgement has come on the cities of the plateau: on Holon, Jahzah, Mephath, 22Dibon, Nebo, Beth Diblathaim, 23Kiriathaim, Bethgamul, Bethmeon, 24Kerioth, and Bozrah. Judgement has come on all the cities of Moab, far and near. 25Moab's might has been crushed; its power has been destroyed. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
Moab will be Humbled
26The LORD said, “Make Moab drunk, because it has rebelled against me. Moab will roll in its own vomit, and people will laugh. 27Moab, remember how you jeered at the people of Israel? You treated them as though they had been caught with a gang of robbers.
28“You people who live in Moab, leave your towns! Go and live on the cliffs! Be like the dove that makes its nest in the sides of a ravine. 29Moab is very proud! I have heard how proud, arrogant, and conceited the people are, how much they think of themselves. 30I, the LORD, know of their arrogance. Their boasts amount to nothing, and the things they do will not last. 31And so I will weep for everyone in Moab and for the people of Kir Heres. 32I will cry for the people of Sibmah, even more than for the people of Jazer. City of Sibmah, you are like a vine whose branches reach across the Dead Sea and go as far as Jazer. But now your summer fruits and your grapes have been destroyed. 33Happiness and joy have been taken away from the fertile land of Moab. I have made the wine stop flowing from the winepresses; there is no one to make the wine and shout for joy.
34“The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,#48.34 Probable text Heshbon… cry out; Hebrew unclear. and their cry can be heard as far as Jahaz; it can be heard by the people in Zoar, and it is heard as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah. Even the brook of Nimrim has dried up. 35I will stop the people of Moab from making burnt offerings at their places of worship and from offering sacrifices to their gods. I, the LORD, have spoken.
36“So my heart mourns for Moab and for the people of Kir Heres, like someone playing a funeral song on a flute, because everything they owned is gone. 37All of them have shaved their heads and cut off their beards. They have all made gashes on their hands, and everyone is wearing sackcloth. 38On all the housetops of Moab and in all its public squares there is nothing but mourning, because I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants. 39Moab has been shattered! Cry out! Moab has been disgraced. It is in ruins, and all the surrounding nations jeer at it. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
No Escape for Moab
40The LORD has promised that a nation will swoop down on Moab like an eagle with its outspread wings, 41and the towns and fortresses will be captured. On that day Moab's soldiers will be as frightened as a woman in labour. 42Moab will be destroyed and will no longer be a nation, because it rebelled against me. 43Terror, pits, and traps are waiting for the people of Moab. The LORD has spoken. 44Whoever tries to escape the terror will fall into the pits, and whoever climbs out of the pits will be caught in the traps, because the LORD has set the time for Moab's destruction. 45Helpless refugees try to find protection in Heshbon, the city that King Sihon once ruled, but it is in flames.#48.45 Heshbon, the city… flames; or the city of Heshbon, but it is in flames and the palace of King Sihon is burning. Fire has burnt up the frontiers and the mountain heights of the war-loving people of Moab. 46Pity the people of Moab! The people who worshipped Chemosh have been destroyed, and their sons and daughters have been taken away as prisoners.
47But in days to come the LORD will make Moab prosperous again. All of this is what the LORD has said will happen to Moab.