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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
1Against Moav thus saith Hashem Tzva'os Elohei Yisroel: Hoy (woe, doom) unto Nevo! For it is made havoc; Kiryatayim is shamed and captured; Misgav is shamed and dismayed. 2There shall be no more tehillah (praise) of Moav; in Cheshbon they have plotted ra'ah against it; come, and let us cut it off from being a nation. Also thou shalt be silenced, O Madmein; the cherev shall pursue thee. 3A voice of crying shall be from Choronayim, havoc and shever gadol (great destruction). 4Moav is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard. 5For in the Ascent of Luchit continual weeping shall go up; for in the descent of Choronayim the anguished ones have heard a cry of shever (destruction). 6Flee, save your nefesh, and be like Aroer in the midbar. 7For because thou hast trusted in thy ma'asim (works) and in thy otzarot, thou shalt also be captured; and Chemosh shall go forth into Golus with his kohanim and his sarim together. 8And the destroyer shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape: the emek (valley) also shall perish, and the plain shall be shmad (destroyed), as Hashem hath spoken. 9Give wings unto Moav, that it may flee and get away; for the towns thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein. 10Cursed be he that doeth the work of Hashem remiyyah (deceitfully), and cursed be he that keepeth back his cherev from bloodshed. 11Moav hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his wine dregs, and hath not been emptied from keli (vessel) to keli, neither hath he gone into Golus: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed. 12But, hinei, the days come, saith Hashem, that I will send unto him wine pourers, that shall pour him out, and shall empty his kelim (vessels), and smash their jars. 13And Moav shall be ashamed of Chemosh, just as Bais Yisroel was ashamed of Beit-El, their confidence. 14How say ye, We are gibborim and anshei chayil for the milchamah? 15Moav is destroyed, and gone up out of her towns, and his chosen bochurim are gone down to the slaughter, saith HaMelech Hashem Tzva'os Shmo. 16The calamity of Moav is near at hand, and his affliction hasteth fast. 17All ye that are around him, bemoan him; and all ye that know shmo, say, How is the matteh oz (strong staff) broken, and the beautiful rod! 18Thou Bat that dost inhabit Divon, come down from thy kavod, and sit on parched ground; for the plunderer of Moav shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strongholds. 19O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the derech, and watch; ask him that fleeth, and her that escapeth, and say, What has happened? 20Moav is shamed; for it is broken down: wail and cry out; tell ye it in Arnon, that Moav is destroyed, 21And mishpat is come upon the plain; upon Cholon, and upon Yahtzah, and upon Mepha'at, 22And upon Divon, and upon Nevo, and upon Beit-Divlatayim, 23And upon Kiryatayim, and upon Beit-Gamul, and upon Beit-Me'on, 24And upon Keriot, and upon Botzrah, and upon all the towns of Eretz Moav, far or near. 25The keren of Moav is cut off, and his zero'a is broken, saith Hashem. 26Make ye him drunken; for he magnified himself against Hashem; Moav also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. 27For was not Yisroel a derision unto thee? Was he found among ganavim (thieves)? For since thou spoke of him, thou dost scornful head wagging. 28O ye that dwell in Moav, leave the towns, and dwell in the rock, and be like the yonah that maketh her nest in the sides of the cave's mouth. 29We have heard the ga'on Moav, (he is exceeding proud), his highmindedness, and his conceit, and his ga'avah, and the haughtiness of his lev. 30I know his insolence, saith Hashem; but it shall not be so; his boasts have made nothing right. 31Therefore will I wail for Moav, and I will cry out for all Moav; I shall moan for the anashim of Kir- Cheres. 32O gefen (vine) of Sivmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping of Yazer; thy branches are spread over the yam, they reach even to the yam Yazer; the plunderer is fallen upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage. 33And simchah and gladness is taken from the carmel, and from Eretz Moav, and I have caused yayin to fail from the winepresses; none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall not be [joyful] shouting. 34From the cry of Cheshbon even unto Elealeh, and even unto Yahatz, have they uttered their voice, from Tzoar even unto Choronayim, as Eglat-Shlishiyah; for the mayim also of Nimrim shall be dried up. 35Moreover I will cause to cease in Moav, saith Hashem, him that offereth in the high places, and him that burneth ketoret to his elohim. 36Therefore Mine lev shall wail for Moav like flutes, and Mine lev shall wail like flutes for the anashim of Kir-Cheres; because the riches that he hath gotten are perished. 37For every rosh shall be shaved, and every zakan (beard) cut: upon all the hands shall be slashes, and upon the loins sackcloth. 38There shall be lamentation generally upon all the gagot (roofs) of Moav, and in the streets thereof; for I have broken Moav like a keli (vessel) wherein is no chefets (pleasure) saith Hashem. 39They shall wail, saying, How is it shattered! How hath Moav turned the back with shame! So shall Moav be a laughingstock and a horror to all them about him. 40For thus saith Hashem; Hinei, one shall fly like the nesher, and shall spread his wings over Moav. 41Keriot is captured, and the strongholds are taken, and the lev gibborim in Moav at that day shall be as the lev isha in her birth pangs. 42And Moav shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against Hashem. 43Pachad (fear), and the pakhat (pit), and the pach (snare), shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of Moav, saith Hashem. 44He that fleeth from the pachad (terror) shall fall into the pakhat (pit); and he that getteth up out of the pakhat shall be caught in the pach (snare); for I will bring upon it, even upon Moav, the shnat (year of) their pekuddat (visitation), saith Hashem. 45They that fled stood under the tzel (shadow) of Cheshbon without ko'ach; for an eish shall come forth out of Cheshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sichon, and shall devour the forehead of Moav, and the crown of the head of the bnei sha'on (sons of tumult). 46Oy be unto thee, O Moav! The people of Chemosh perisheth; for thy banim are taken captives, and thy banot into captivity. 47Yet will I bring again the captives of Moav in the acharit hayamim, saith Hashem. Hinei, the mishpat Moav (judgment of Moab).