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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.
Judgment on Moab
1Against #Is. 15:1—16:14; 25:10; Ezek. 25:8–11; Amos 2:1–3; Zeph. 2:8–11Moab.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
“Woe to #Is. 15:2Nebo!
For it is plundered,
#Num. 32:37; Jer. 48:23; Ezek. 25:9Kirjathaim is shamed and taken;
The high stronghold is shamed and dismayed—
2#Is. 16:14No more praise of Moab.
In #Is. 15:4; Jer. 49:3Heshbon they have devised evil against her:
‘Come, and let us cut her off as a nation.’
You also shall be cut down, O #Is. 10:31Madmen!
The sword shall pursue you;
3A voice of crying shall be from #Is. 15:5; Jer. 48:5, 34Horonaim:
‘Plundering and great destruction!’
4“Moab is destroyed;
Her little ones have caused a cry to be heard;
5#Is. 15:5For in the Ascent of Luhith they ascend with continual weeping;
For in the descent of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction.
6“Flee, save your lives!
And be like the #Jer. 17:6juniper in the wilderness.
7For because you have trusted in your works and your #Ps. 52:7; Is. 59:4; Jer. 9:23; (1 Tim. 6:17)treasures,
You also shall be taken.
And #Num. 21:29; Judg. 11:24; Jer. 48:13Chemosh shall go forth into captivity,
His #Jer. 49:3priests and his princes together.
8And #Jer. 6:26the plunderer shall come against every city;
No one shall escape.
The valley also shall perish,
And the plain shall be destroyed,
As the Lord has spoken.
9“Give#Ps. 55:6 wings to Moab,
That she may flee and get away;
For her cities shall be desolate,
Without any to dwell in them.
10#Judg. 5:23; 1 Sam. 15:3, 9; 1 Kin. 20:42Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully,
And cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.
11“Moab has been at ease from his youth;
He #Zeph. 1:12has settled on his dregs,
And has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
Nor has he gone into captivity.
Therefore his taste remained in him,
And his scent has not changed.
12“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“That I shall send him wine-workers
Who will tip him over
And empty his vessels
And break the bottles.
13Moab shall be ashamed of #1 Kin. 11:7Chemosh,
As the house of Israel #Hos. 10:6was ashamed of #1 Kin. 12:29; 13:32–34; Hos. 8:5, 6Bethel, their confidence.
14“How can you say, #Is. 16:6‘We are mighty
And strong men for the war’?
15Moab is plundered and gone up from her cities;
Her chosen young men have #(Is. 40:30, 31); Jer. 50:27gone down to the slaughter,” says #Jer. 46:18; 51:57; Mal. 1:14the King,
Whose name is the Lord of hosts.
16“The calamity of Moab is near at hand,
And his affliction comes quickly.
17Bemoan him, all you who are around him;
And all you who know his name,
Say, #Is. 9:4; 14:4, 5‘How the strong staff is broken,
The beautiful rod!’
18“O #Is. 47:1daughter inhabiting #Num. 21:30; Josh. 13:9, 17; Is. 15:2; Jer. 48:22Dibon,
Come down from your glory,
And sit in thirst;
For the plunderer of Moab has come against you,
He has destroyed your strongholds.
19O inhabitant of #Deut. 2:36; Josh. 12:2; Is. 17:2Aroer,
#1 Sam. 4:13, 14, 16Stand by the way and watch;
Ask him who flees
And her who escapes;
Say, ‘What has happened?’
20Moab is shamed, for he is broken down.
#Is. 16:7Wail and cry!
Tell it in #Num. 21:13Arnon, that Moab is plundered.
21“And judgment has come on the plain country:
On Holon and Jahzah and Mephaath,
22On Dibon and Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,
23On Kirjathaim and Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
24On #Jer. 48:41; Amos 2:2Kerioth and Bozrah,
On all the cities of the land of Moab,
Far or near.
25#Ps. 75:10; Zech. 1:19–21The horn of Moab is cut off,
And his #Ezek. 30:21arm is broken,” says the Lord.
26“Make#Jer. 25:15 him drunk,
Because he exalted himself against the Lord.
Moab shall wallow in his vomit,
And he shall also be in derision.
27For #Zeph. 2:8was not Israel a derision to you?
#Jer. 2:26Was he found among thieves?
For whenever you speak of him,
You shake your head in #Lam. 2:15; (Mic. 7:8–10)scorn.
28You who dwell in Moab,
Leave the cities and #Ps. 55:6, 7dwell in the rock,
And be like #Song 2:14the dove which makes her nest
In the sides of the cave’s mouth.
29“We have heard the #Is. 16:6; Zeph. 2:8, 10pride of Moab
(He is exceedingly proud),
Of his loftiness and arrogance and #Jer. 49:16pride,
And of the haughtiness of his heart.”
30“I know his wrath,” says the Lord,
“But it is not right;
#Is. 16:6; Jer. 50:36His lies have made nothing right.
31Therefore #Is. 15:5; 16:7, 11I will wail for Moab,
And I will cry out for all Moab;
I will mourn for the men of Kir Heres.
32#Is. 16:8, 9O vine of Sibmah! I will weep for you with the weeping of #Num. 21:32; Is. 16:10Jazer.
Your plants have gone over the sea,
They reach to the sea of Jazer.
The plunderer has fallen on your summer fruit and your vintage.
33#Is. 16:10; Jer. 25:10; Joel 1:12Joy and gladness are taken
From the plentiful field
And from the land of Moab;
I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses;
No one will tread with joyous shouting—
Not joyous shouting!
34“From#Is. 15:4–6 the cry of Heshbon to #Num. 32:3, 37Elealeh and to Jahaz
They have uttered their voice,
#Is. 15:5, 6From Zoar to Horonaim,
Like a three-year-old heifer;
For the waters of Nimrim also shall be desolate.
35“Moreover,” says the Lord,
“I will cause to cease in Moab
#Is. 15:2; 16:12The one who offers sacrifices in the high places
And burns incense to his gods.
36Therefore #Is. 15:5; 16:11My heart shall wail like flutes for Moab,
And like flutes My heart shall wail
For the men of Kir Heres.
Therefore #Is. 15:7the riches they have acquired have perished.
37“For #Is. 15:2, 3; Jer. 16:6; 41:5; 47:5every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped;
On all the hands shall be cuts, and #Gen. 37:34; Is. 15:3; 20:2on the loins sackcloth—
38A general lamentation
On all the #Is. 15:3housetops of Moab,
And in its streets;
For I have #Jer. 22:28broken Moab like a vessel in which is no pleasure,” says the Lord.
39“They shall wail:
‘How she is broken down!
How Moab has turned her back with shame!’
So Moab shall be a derision
And a dismay to all those about her.”
40For thus says the Lord:
“Behold, #Deut. 28:49; Jer. 49:22; Hos. 8:1; Hab. 1:8one shall fly like an eagle,
And #Is. 8:8spread his wings over Moab.
41Kerioth is taken,
And the strongholds are surprised;
#Is. 13:8; 21:3; Jer. 30:6; Mic. 4:9, 10The mighty men’s hearts in Moab on that day shall be
Like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.
42And Moab shall be destroyed #Ps. 83:4; Jer. 48:2as a people,
Because he exalted himself against the Lord.
43#Is. 24:17, 18; Lam. 3:47Fear and the pit and the snare shall be upon you,
O inhabitant of Moab,” says the Lord.
44“He who flees from the fear shall fall into the pit,
And he who gets out of the pit shall be caught in the #1 Kin. 19:17; Is. 24:18; Amos 5:19snare.
For upon Moab, upon it #Jer. 11:23I will bring
The year of their punishment,” says the Lord.
45“Those who fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon
Because of exhaustion.
But #Num. 21:28, 29a fire shall come out of Heshbon,
A flame from the midst of #Num. 21:21, 26; Ps. 135:11Sihon,
And #Num. 24:17shall devour the brow of Moab,
The crown of the head of the sons of tumult.
46#Num. 21:29Woe to you, O Moab!
The people of Chemosh perish;
For your sons have been taken captive,
And your daughters captive.
47“Yet I will bring back the captives of Moab
#Jer. 49:6, 39In the latter days,” says the Lord.
Thus far is the judgment of Moab.