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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 Message About Moab
1Here is what the Lord says about Moab. The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, "How terrible it will be for Nebo!
It will be destroyed.
Kiriathaim will be captured.
It will be put to shame.
Its fort will be broken down.
It will be put to shame.
2Moab will not be praised anymore.
In Heshbon people will plan its fall from power.
They will say, 'Come. Let's put an end to that nation.'
City of Madmen, you too will be silent because you are sad.
My sword will hunt you down.
3Listen to the cries from Horonaim.
The town is being completely destroyed.
4Moab will be broken.
Her little ones will cry out.
5The people go up the road to Luhith.
They are sobbing bitterly as they go.
Loud cries are heard on the road down to Horonaim.
People cry out because the town is being destroyed.
6People of Moab run away! Run for your lives!
Become like a lonely bush in the desert.
7You trust in the things you can do.
You trust in your riches.
So you too will be taken away as prisoners.
Your god Chemosh will be carried away.
So will its priests and officials.
8The one who is going to destroy you
will come against every town.
Not even one of them will escape.
The valley and the high flatlands
will be destroyed.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
9Sprinkle salt all over Moab.
It will be completely destroyed.
Its towns will be a dry and empty desert.
No one will live in them.
10"May a person who is lazy when he does my work
be under my curse!
May anyone who keeps his sword from killing
be under my curse!
11"Moab has been at peace and rest from its earliest days.
It is like wine that has not been shaken up.
It has not been poured from one jar to another.
Moab 's people have not been taken away from their land.
They are like wine that tastes as it always did.
Its smell has not changed at all.
12But other days are coming,"
announces the Lord.
"At that time I will send people who pour wine from jars.
They will pour Moab out like wine.
They will empty its jars.
They will smash its jugs.
13Then Moab's people will be ashamed of their god Chemosh.
They will be ashamed just as the people of Israel were
when they trusted in their god at Bethel.
14"How can you say, 'We are soldiers.
We are men who are brave in battle'?
15Moab will be destroyed.
Its enemies will march into its towns.
Her finest young men will die in battle,"
announces the King.
His name is The Lord Who Rules Over All.
16"The fall of Moab is near.
Its time of trouble will come quickly.
17All you who live around it, sob over its people.
Be sad, you who know how famous Moab is.
Say, 'Its powerful ruler's rod is broken!
His glorious staff is smashed.'
18"Come down from your glorious city, you who live in Dibon.
Come and sit on the thirsty ground.
The one who destroys your country
will come up and attack you.
Your enemies will destroy your cities
that have high walls around them.
19Stand by the road and watch,
you who live in Aroer.
Ask the men who are running away.
Ask the women who are escaping.
Ask them, 'What has happened?'
20Moab has been put to shame.
It has been destroyed.
Sob and cry out!
Tell everyone Moab has been destroyed.
Announce it by the Arnon River.
21The high flatlands have been judged.
So have Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath.
22Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim have been judged.
23So have Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon.
24Kerioth and Bozrah have also been judged.
And so have all of the towns of Moab, far and near alike.
25Moab 's power is gone.
Its strength is broken,"
announces the Lord.
26"Moab's people think they are better than I am.
So let their enemies make them drunk.
Let the people get sick and throw up.
Let them roll around in the mess they have made.
Let people laugh at them.
27Moab , you laughed at Israel, didn't you?
Were Israel's people caught among robbers?
Is that why you shake your head at them?
Is that why you make fun of them
every time you talk about them?
28Leave your towns,
you who live in Moab.
Go and live among the rocks.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
at the mouth of a cave.
29"We have heard all about Moab's pride.
We have heard how very proud they are.
They think they are so much better than others.
Their pride reaches deep down inside their hearts.
30I know how rude they are.
But it will not get them anywhere,"
announces the Lord.
"Their bragging does not accomplish anything.
31So I cry out over Moab.
I cry for all of Moab's people.
I groan for the men of Kir Hareseth.
32I sob over you as Jazer sobs,
you vines of Sibmah.
Your branches used to spread out.
They went all the way down to the Dead Sea.
They reached as far as the sea of Jazer.
The one who destroys your country
has taken away your grapes and ripe fruit.
33Joy has left your orchards.
Gladness is gone from your fields.
I have stopped the flow of juice from your winepresses.
No one stomps on your grapes with shouts of joy.
There are shouts.
But they are not shouts of joy.
34"The sound of their cry rises from Heshbon.
It rises as far as Elealeh and Jahaz.
It rises from Zoar.
It goes all the way to Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah.
Even the waters at Nimrim are dried up.
35In Moab people sacrifice offerings on the high places.
They burn incense to their gods.
But I will put an end to those people,"
announces the Lord.
36"Like a flute my heart sings a song of sadness for Moab.
It sings like a flute for the men of Kir Hareseth.
The wealth they had gotten is gone.
37Every head is shaved.
Every beard is cut off.
Every hand is cut.
And every waist is covered with black cloth.
38Sobbing is the only sound in Moab.
It is heard on all of its roofs.
It is heard in the market places.
I have broken Moab
like a jar that no one wants,"
announces the Lord.
39"How broken Moab is! How the people sob!
They turn away from others
because they are so ashamed.
All those who are around them laugh at them.
They are shocked at them."
40The Lord says, "Look! Nebuchadnezzar is like an eagle diving down.
He is spreading his wings over Moab.
41Kerioth will be captured.
Its forts will be taken.
At that time the hearts of Moab's soldiers will tremble in fear.
They will be like the heart of a woman having a baby.
42Moab will be destroyed as a nation.
That is because its people thought
they were better than I am.
43You people of Moab,"
announces the Lord,
"terror, a pit and a trap are waiting for you.
44Anyone who runs away from the terror
will fall into the pit.
Anyone who climbs out of the pit
will be caught in the trap.
The time is coming
when I will punish Moab,"
announces the Lord.
45"In the shadow of Heshbon
those who are trying to escape stand helpless.
A fire has blazed out from Heshbon.
Flames have come out from Sihon's city.
It burns the foreheads of Moab's people.
It burns the skulls of those who brag loudly.
46How terrible it will be for you, Moab!
Those who worship Chemosh are destroyed.
Your sons are being taken to another country.
Your daughters are taken away as prisoners.
47"But in days to come
I will bless Moab with great success again,"
announces the Lord. That's the report about how the Lord said he would judge Moab.