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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.
A Prophecy against Moab
1 This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says about Moab:
How horrible it will be for Nebo; it will be destroyed.
Kiriathaim will be put to shame; it will be captured.
Its stronghold will be put to shame and torn down.
2 People will no longer praise Moab.
The people in Heshbon will plan Moab’s destruction.
“Let’s destroy that nation!”
You will be silenced, city of Madmen.
Death will come after you.
3 People will cry out from Horonaim, “Looting and great destruction!”
4 Moab will be broken.
Its little ones will cry out.
5 People go up the pass of Luhith, crying bitterly as they go.
On the road down to Horonaim they have heard
the distressful cry of destruction.
6 “Run away! Run for your lives!
Run like a wild donkey in the desert.”
7 Since you trust the things you do and your treasures,
you will be captured.
Chemosh will go into captivity with all its priests and officials.
8 The destroyer will come to every city, and no city will escape.
The valley will be destroyed, and the plain will be laid waste
as the Lord has threatened.
9 Put salt on Moab.
It will be destroyed.
Its cities will become deserted ruins.
10 Cursed are those who neglect doing the Lord’s work.
Cursed are those who keep their swords from killing.
11 “Moab has lived securely ever since it was young.
Its people are like wine left to settle in a jar.
They aren’t poured from one jar to another.
They haven’t gone into captivity.
That is why its flavor has remained the same,
and its aroma hasn’t changed.
12 That is why the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will send people to pour Moab out of its jars
and to smash its pitchers.
13 Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh
as the nation of Israel was ashamed when it trusted Bethel.
14 “How can you say, ‘We are soldiers and warriors’?
15 The enemy will attack Moab and destroy its cities.
Its finest young men will be slaughtered,”
declares the king, whose name is the Lord of Armies.
16 “Moab’s destruction is coming near; disaster is coming quickly.
17 Mourn over it, all of its neighbors and everyone who knows its fame.
Say, ‘Look at the strong staff, the beautiful rod, that is broken!’
18 “People of Dibon, come down from your place of honor
and sit on the dry ground.
The destroyers of Moab will attack you.
They will destroy your fortresses.
19 Stand by the road in Aroer, and watch.
Ask those who are fleeing
and those who are escaping what is happening.
20 They will answer, ‘Moab is disgraced; it is defeated.
Shout loudly, and cry.
Tell the news in Arnon that Moab is destroyed.’
21 “Judgment has come to all the cities on the plain: to Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth Diblathaim, 23 Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul, Beth Meon, 24 Kerioth, Bozrah, and on all the cities of Moab, far and near.
25 “Moab’s horn is cut off, and its arm is broken,”
declares the Lord.
26 “Get the people of Moab drunk; they have spoken against the Lord.
They will wallow in their own vomit, and people will laugh at them.
27 People of Moab, didn’t you laugh at the people of Israel?
Were they caught among thieves?
Whenever you talk about them you shake your heads in contempt.
28 People of Moab, abandon your cities.
Live among the cliffs.
Be like doves that make their nests at the entrance of a cave.
29 “We have heard about the arrogance of Moab’s people.
They are very arrogant.
They are very arrogant, conceited, and boastful.
30 I know how arrogant they are,” declares the Lord,
“but it isn’t right.
They brag and don’t do what they say.
31 That is why I will weep for Moab and cry for all of Moab.
I will moan for the people of Kir Hareseth.
32 I will cry for you as Jazer cries.
I will cry for you, grapevines of Sibmah.
Your branches ⌊once⌋ spread as far as the sea,
and they reached as far as the sea of Jazer.
The destroyer will destroy your ripened fruits and your grapes.
33 Joy and gladness have disappeared from the orchards and fields of Moab.
I will stop the wine flowing from the winepresses.
No one will stomp on grapes with shouts of joy.
There will be shouts, but not shouts of joy.
34 “The cry will be heard from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz. It will be heard from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah. Even the streams of Nimrim will dry up. 35 I will stop those in Moab who come to worship sites, those who bring offerings to their gods,” declares the Lord. 36 “That is why I moan for Moab like a flute. I sound like a flute for the people of Kir Hareseth. The wealth they gained has disappeared.
37 “Every head is shaved, and every beard is cut off. There are gashes on every hand and sackcloth on every waist. 38 People in Moab will mourn on every rooftop and in every street. There will be mourning everywhere, because I will break Moab like a jar that no one wants,” declares the Lord. 39 “They will cry, ‘Look how Moab is defeated! Moab turns away in shame!’ Moab has become something ridiculed and something held in contempt by everyone around it.
40 “This is what the Lord says:
The enemy will swoop down like eagles and spread their wings over Moab.
41 The cities will be taken, and the fortified places will be captured.
On that day Moab’s soldiers will be like women in childbirth.
42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation,
because it spoke against the Lord.
43 Disasters, pits, and traps are in store for those who live in Moab,”
declares the Lord.
44 “Whoever flees from a disaster will fall into a pit.
Whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a trap.
I will bring a year of punishment to Moab,” declares the Lord.
45 “Those who flee will stand exhausted in the shadow of Heshbon.
A fire will come out of Heshbon and a flame from Sihon.
It will burn the foreheads of the people of Moab
and the skulls of those noisy people.
46 How horrible it will be for you, Moab.
You people of Chemosh will die.
Your sons will be taken away into exile,
and your daughters will be taken away into captivity.
47 But I will restore Moab in the last days,” declares the Lord.
The judgment against Moab ends here.