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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
1Of Moab. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Woe unto Nebo! for it is laid waste; Kiriathaim is put to shame, it is taken: Misgab is put to shame and broken down. 2The praise of Moab is no more; in Heshbon they have devised evil against her, Come, and let us cut her off from being a nation. Thou also, O Madmen, shalt be brought to silence; the sword shall pursue thee. 3The sound of a cry from Horonaim, spoiling and great destruction! 4Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard. 5For by the ascent of Luhith with continual weeping shall they go up; for in the going down of Horonaim they have heard the distress of the cry of destruction. 6Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness. 7For, because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou also shalt be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity, his priests and his princes together. 8And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape; the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed; as the LORD hath spoken. 9Give wings unto Moab, that she may fly and get her away: and her cities shall become a desolation, without any to dwell therein. 10Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD negligently, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood. 11Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remaineth in him, and his scent is not changed. 12Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will send unto him them that pour off, and they shall pour him off; and they shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles in pieces. 13And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Beth-el their confidence.
14How say ye, We are mighty men, and valiant men for the war? 15Moab is laid waste, and they are gone up into her cities; and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts. 16The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hasteth fast. 17All ye that are round about him, bemoan him, and all ye that know his name; say, How is the strong staff broken, the beautiful rod! 18O thou daughter that dwellest in Dibon, come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab is come up against thee, he hath destroyed thy strong holds. 19O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and espy: ask him that fleeth, and her that escapeth; say, What hath been done? 20Moab is put to shame; for it is broken down: howl and cry; tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is laid waste. 21And judgement is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahzah, and upon Mephaath; 22and upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Beth-diblathaim; 23and upon Kiriathaim, and upon Beth-gamul, and upon Beth-meon; 24and upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near. 25The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the LORD. 26Make ye him drunken; for he magnified himself against the LORD: and Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. 27For was not Israel a derision unto thee? was he found among thieves? for as often as thou speakest of him, thou waggest the head. 28O ye inhabitants of Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock; and be like the dove that maketh her nest in the sides of the holes mouth. 29We have heard of the pride of Moab, that he is very proud; his loftiness, and his pride, and his arrogancy, and the haughtiness of his heart. 30I know his wrath, saith the LORD, that it is nought; his boastings have wrought nothing. 31Therefore will I howl for Moab; yea, I will cry out for all Moab: for the men of Kir-heres shall they mourn. 32With more than the weeping of Jazer will I weep for thee, O vine of Sibmah: thy branches passed over the sea, they reached even to the sea of Jazer: upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage the spoiler is fallen. 33And gladness and joy is taken away, from the fruitful field and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to cease from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; the shouting shall be no shouting. 34From the cry of Heshbon even unto Elealeh, even unto Jahaz have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even unto Horonaim, to Eglath-shelishiyah: for the waters of Nimrim also shall become desolate. 35Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab, saith the LORD, him that offereth in the high place, and him that burneth incense to his gods. 36Therefore mine heart soundeth for Moab like pipes, and mine heart soundeth like pipes for the men of Kir-heres: therefore the abundance that he hath gotten is perished. 37For every head is bald, and every beard clipped: upon all the hands are cuttings, and upon the loins sackcloth. 38On all the housetops of Moab and in the streets thereof there is lamentation every where: for I have broken Moab like a vessel wherein is no pleasure, saith the LORD. 39How is it broken down! how do they howl! how hath Moab turned the back with shame! so shall Moab become a derision and a dismaying to all that are round about him. 40For thus saith the LORD: Behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread out his wings against Moab. 41Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised, and the heart of the mighty men of Moab at that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs. 42And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the LORD. 43Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of Moab, saith the LORD. 44He that fleeth from the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that getteth up out of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for I will bring upon her, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. 45They that fled stand without strength under the shadow of Heshbon: for a fire is gone forth out of Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and hath devoured the corner of Moab, and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones. 46Woe unto thee, O Moab! the people of Chemosh is undone: for thy sons are taken away captive, and thy daughters into captivity. 47Yet will I bring again the captivity of Moab in the latter days, saith the LORD. Thus far is the judgement of Moab.