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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. The Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says:
“Woe to Nebo!
For it is laid waste.
Kiriathaim is disappointed.
It is taken.
Misgab#48:1 or, The stronghold is put to shame
and broken down.
2The praise of Moab is no more.
In Heshbon they have devised evil against her:
‘Come! Let’s cut her off from being a nation.’
You also, Madmen, will be brought to silence.
The sword will pursue you.
3The sound of a cry from Horonaim,
desolation and great destruction!
4Moab is destroyed.
Her little ones have caused a cry to be heard.
5For they will go up by the ascent of Luhith with continual weeping.
For at the descent of Horonaim they have heard the distress of the cry of destruction.
6Flee! Save your lives!
Be like the juniper bush in the wilderness.
7For, because you have trusted in your works and in your treasures,
you also will be taken.
Chemosh will go out into captivity,
his priests and his princes together.
8The destroyer will come on every city,
and no city will escape;
the valley also will perish,
and the plain will be destroyed; as the Lord has spoken.
9Give wings to Moab,
that she may fly and get herself away:
and her cities will become a desolation,
without anyone to dwell in them.
10“Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord negligently;
and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.
11“Moab has been at ease from his youth,
and he has settled on his lees,
and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel,
neither has he gone into captivity:
therefore his taste remains in him,
and his scent is not changed.
12Therefore behold, the days come,” says the Lord,
“that I will send to him those who pour off,
and they will pour him off;
and they will empty his vessels,
and break their containers in pieces.
13Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh,
as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.
14“How do you say, ‘We are mighty men,
and valiant men for the war?’
15Moab is laid waste,
and they have gone up into his cities,
and his chosen young men have gone down to the slaughter,”
says the King, whose name is the Lord of Hosts.
16“The calamity of Moab is near to come,
and his affliction hurries fast.
17All you who are around him, bemoan him,
and all you who know his name; say,
‘How the strong staff is broken,
the beautiful rod!’
18“You daughter who dwells in Dibon,
come down from your glory,
and sit in thirst;
for the destroyer of Moab has come up against you.
He has destroyed your strongholds.
19Inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way and watch.
Ask him who flees, and her who escapes;
say, ‘What has been done?’
20Moab is disappointed;
for it is broken down.
Wail and cry!
Tell it by the Arnon, that Moab is laid waste.
21Judgment has come on the plain country,
on Holon, on Jahzah, on Mephaath,
22on Dibon, on Nebo, on Beth Diblathaim,
23on Kiriathaim, on Beth Gamul, on Beth Meon,
24on Kerioth, on Bozrah,
and on all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near.
25The horn of Moab is cut off,
and his arm is broken,” says the Lord.
26“Make him drunken;
for he magnified himself against the Lord.
Moab will wallow in his vomit,
and he also will be in derision.
27For wasn’t Israel a derision to you?
Was he found among thieves?
For as often as you speak of him,
you shake your head.
28You inhabitants of Moab, leave the cities, and dwell in the rock.
Be like the dove that makes her nest over the mouth of the abyss.
29“We have heard of the pride of Moab.
He is very proud in his loftiness, his pride,
his arrogance, and the arrogance of his heart.
30I know his wrath,” says the Lord, “that it is nothing;
his boastings have done nothing.
31Therefore I will wail for Moab.
Yes, I will cry out for all Moab.
They will mourn for the men of Kir Heres.
32With more than the weeping of Jazer
I will weep for you, vine of Sibmah.
Your branches passed over the sea.
They reached even to the sea of Jazer.
The destroyer has fallen on your summer fruits
and on your vintage.
33Gladness and joy is taken away from the fruitful field
and from the land of Moab.
I have caused wine to cease from the wine presses.
No one will tread with shouting.
The shouting will be no shouting.
34From the cry of Heshbon even to Elealeh,
even to Jahaz they have uttered their voice,
from Zoar even to Horonaim, to Eglath Shelishiyah;
for the waters of Nimrim will also become desolate.
35Moreover I will cause to cease in Moab,” says the Lord,
“him who offers in the high place,
and him who burns incense to his gods.
36Therefore my heart sounds for Moab like pipes,
and my heart sounds like pipes for the men of Kir Heres.
Therefore the abundance that he has gotten has perished.
37For every head is bald,
and every beard clipped.
There are cuttings on all the hands,
and sackcloth on the waist.
38On all the housetops of Moab,
and in its streets, there is lamentation everywhere;
for I have broken Moab like a vessel in which no one delights,” says the Lord.
39“How it is broken down!
How they wail!
How Moab has turned the back with shame!
So will Moab become a derision
and a terror to all who are around him.”
40For the Lord says: “Behold, he will fly as an eagle,
and will spread out his wings against Moab.
41Kerioth is taken,
and the strongholds are seized.
The heart of the mighty men of Moab at that day
will be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.
42Moab will be destroyed from being a people,
because he has magnified himself against the Lord.
43Terror, the pit, and the snare are on you,
inhabitant of Moab,” says the Lord.
44“He who flees from the terror will fall into the pit;
and he who gets up out of the pit will be taken in the snare:
for I will bring on him, even on Moab,
the year of their visitation,” says the Lord.
45“Those who fled stand without strength under the shadow of Heshbon;
for a fire has gone out of Heshbon,
and a flame from the middle of Sihon,
and has devoured the corner of Moab,
and the crown of the head of the tumultuous ones.
46Woe to you, O Moab!
The people of Chemosh are undone;
for your sons are taken away captive,
and your daughters into captivity.
47“Yet I will reverse the captivity of Moab in the latter days,”
says the Lord.
Thus far is the judgment of Moab.