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48
A Message About Moab
1This message is about the country of Moab. This is what the Lord All-Powerful, the God of the people of Israel, says:#48:1 This message … says See Isa. 15 for a similar message.
“It will be bad for Mount Nebo.#48:1 Mount Nebo A mountain in Moab, a country east of Israel.
Mount Nebo will be ruined.
The town of Kiriathaim will be humbled.
It will be captured.
The strong place will be humbled.
It will be shattered.
2Moab will not be praised again.
Men in Heshbon will plan Moab’s defeat.
They will say, ‘Come, let us put an end to that nation.’
Madmenah, you will also be silenced.
The sword will chase you.
3Listen to the cries from Horonaim.
They are cries of much confusion and destruction.
4Moab will be destroyed.
Her little children will cry for help.
5Moab’s people go up the path to Luhith.
They are crying bitterly as they go.
On the road down to the town of Horonaim,
cries of pain and suffering can be heard.
6Run away! Run for your lives!
Run away like a weed#48:6 weed In Hebrew this word is like the name “Aroer,” an important city in Moab. blowing through the desert.
7“You trust in the things you made and in your wealth,
so you will be captured.
The god Chemosh will be taken into captivity,
and his priests and officials will be taken with him.
8The Destroyer will come against every town.
Not one town will escape.
The valley will be ruined.
The high plain will be destroyed.
The Lord said this would happen,
so it will happen.
9Spread salt over the fields in Moab.
The country will be an empty desert.#48:9 The Hebrew text here is hard to understand.
Moab’s towns will become empty.
No one will live in them.
10Bad things will happen to those who
don’t obey the Lord and don’t use their swords to kill those people.
11“Moab has never known trouble.
Moab is like wine left to settle.
Moab has never been poured from one jar to another.
He has not been taken into captivity.
So he tastes as he did before,
and his smell has not changed.”
12This is what the Lord says:
“But I will soon send men
to pour you from your jars.#48:12 jars This probably means the cities in Moab.
Then they will empty the jars
and smash them to pieces.”
13Then the people of Moab will be ashamed of their false god, Chemosh. They will be like the people of Israel who trusted that god in Bethel#48:13 in Bethel This means the temple that King Jeroboam built in the town of Bethel (see 1 Kings 12:28-33). It is not clear if this means the people still worshiped the Lord there, but in a wrong way, or if they worshiped a false god, perhaps the Canaanite god El or Baal. but were ashamed when he did not help them.
14“You cannot say, ‘We are good soldiers.
We are brave men in battle.’
15The enemy will attack Moab.
The enemy will enter its towns and destroy them.
Its best young men will be killed in the slaughter.”
This message is from the King.
The King’s name is the Lord All-Powerful.
16“The end of Moab is near.
Moab will soon be destroyed.
17All you who live around Moab should cry for that country.
You know how famous Moab is.
So cry for it.
Say, ‘The ruler’s power is broken.
Moab’s power and glory is gone.’
18“You people living in Dibon,#48:18 Dibon A city in the country of Moab.
come down from your place of honor.
Sit on the ground in the dust,
because the Destroyer is coming.
And he will destroy your strong cities.
19“You people living in Aroer,
stand next to the road and watch.
See the man running away.
See that woman running away.
Ask them what happened.
20“Moab will be ruined and filled with shame.
Moab will cry and cry.
Announce at the Arnon River#48:20 Arnon River An important river in Moab.
that Moab is destroyed.
21People on the high plain have been punished.
Judgment has come to the towns of Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath.
22Judgment has come to the towns
of Dibon, Nebo, and Beth Diblathaim.
23Judgment has come to the towns
of Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul, and Beth Meon.
24Judgment has come to the towns
of Kerioth and Bozrah.
Judgment has come to all the towns
of Moab, far and near.
25Moab’s strength has been cut off.
Its arm has been broken.”
This is what the Lord said.
26“The people of Moab thought they were greater than the Lord.
So punish them until they act like a drunk,
falling and rolling around in his vomit.
Then people will make fun of them.
27“Moab, you made fun of Israel.
Israel was caught by a gang of thieves.
Every time you spoke about Israel,
you shook your head and acted as if you were better than Israel.
28People in Moab, leave your towns.
Go live among the rocks;
be like a dove that makes its nest
at the opening of a cave.”
29“We have heard about Moab’s pride.
He was very proud.
He thought he was important.
He was always bragging.
He was very, very proud.”
30The Lord says, “I know Moab gets angry quickly and brags about himself,
but his boasts are lies.
He cannot do what he says.
31So I cry for Moab.
I cry for everyone in Moab.
I cry for the men from Kir Hareseth.
32I cry with the people of Jazer for Jazer.
Sibmah, in the past your vines spread all the way to the sea.
They reached as far as the town of Jazer.
But the Destroyer has taken your fruit and grapes.
33Joy and happiness are gone from the large vineyards of Moab.
I stopped the flow of wine from the winepresses.
There is no singing and dancing from people walking on the grapes to make wine.
There are no shouts of joy.
34“The people of the towns of Heshbon and Elealeh are crying. Their cry is heard even as far away as the town of Jahaz. Their cry is heard from the town of Zoar, as far away as the towns of Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah. Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up. 35I will stop Moab from making burnt offerings on the high places. I will stop them from making sacrifices to their gods.” This is what the Lord said.
36“I am very sad for Moab. My heart cries like the sad sound of a flute playing a funeral song. I am sad for the people from Kir Hareseth. Their money and riches have all been taken away. 37Everyone has a shaved head. Everyone’s beard is cut off. Everyone’s hands are cut and bleeding.#48:37 Everyone … cut and bleeding The people did these things to show their sadness for people who had died. Everyone is wearing sackcloth around their waists. 38People are crying for the dead everywhere in Moab—on every housetop and in every public square. There is sadness because I have broken Moab like an empty jar.” This is what the Lord said.
39“Moab is shattered. The people are crying. Moab surrendered. Now Moab is ashamed. People make fun of Moab, but what happened fills them with fear.”
40The Lord says, “Look! An eagle is diving down from the sky.
It is spreading its wings over Moab.
41The towns of Moab will be captured.
The strong hiding places will be defeated.
At that time Moab’s soldiers will be filled with fear,
like a woman giving birth.
42The nation of Moab will be destroyed,
because they thought that they were more important than the Lord.”
43This is what the Lord says:
“People of Moab, fear, deep holes, and traps#48:43 fear, deep holes, and traps This is a wordplay in Hebrew. The Hebrew words are “Pahad, Pahat, and Pah.” wait for you.
44People will be afraid and run away,
and they will fall into the deep holes.
Anyone who climbs out of the deep holes
will be caught in the traps.
I will bring the year of punishment to Moab.”
This is what the Lord said.
45“People have run from the powerful enemy.
They ran to safety in the town of Heshbon.
But a fire started in Heshbon.
That fire started in Sihon’s town,#48:45 Sihon’s town This was Heshbon. See Num. 21:25-30.
and it is destroying the leaders of Moab.
It is destroying those proud people.
46It will be bad for you, Moab.
Chemosh’s people are being destroyed.
Your sons and daughters are being taken away
as prisoners and captives.
47Moab’s people will be taken away as captives.
But in days to come, I will bring them back.”
This message is from the Lord.
This ends the judgment on Moab.
48
1 Against Moab, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Woe upon Nebo! For it has been devastated and confounded. Kiriathaim has been seized; the strong one has been confounded and has trembled.
2 There is no longer any rejoicing in Moab over Heshbon. They have devised evil. 'Come and let us destroy it as a nation.' Then you will be utterly silenced, and the sword will pursue you.
3 A voice of clamor from Horonaim: devastation and great destruction!
4 Moab has been crushed. Announce an outcry for her little ones.
5 For, along the ascent of Luhith, the mourner will ascend with weeping. For, on the descent of Horonaim, the enemies have heard the wailing of devastation.
6 Flee, save your lives! And you shall be like a saltcedar tree in the desert.
7 For because you have had faith in your fortifications and in your storehouses, you too will be seized. And Chemosh will go into captivity: his priests and his leaders together.
8 And the despoiler will overwhelm every city, and not a single city will be saved. And the valleys will perish, and the fields will be destroyed. For the Lord has spoken.
9 Give a blossom to Moab. For it will depart when it is blossoming. And its cities will become desolate and uninhabited.
10 Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully. And cursed is he who prohibits his sword from blood.
11 Moab has been fertile from his youth, and he has rested amid his brood. And he has not been transferred from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into the transmigration. Therefore, his taste has remained with him, and his scent has not changed.
12 Because of this, behold, the days are approaching, says the Lord, when I will send to him those who will line up and knock down his bottles, and they will knock him down and empty his vessels, and they will break their bottles against one another.
13 And Moab will be confounded by Chemosh, just as the house of Israel was shamed by Bethel, in which they had faith.
14 How can you say: 'We are strong and robust men of battle?'
15 Moab has been devastated, and they have cut down her cities. And her elect young men have descended to slaughter. So says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
16 The passing away of Moab draws near and arrives. Its evil will rush forward with great speed.
17 Console him, all you who surround him and all you who know his name. Say: 'How has the strong staff become broken, the glorious staff?'
18 Descend from your glory, and sit in thirst, O habitation of the daughter of Dibon! For the destroyer of Moab has ascended to you; he has dissipated your fortifications.
19 Stand in the way, and gaze out, O habitation of Aroer! Question him who is fleeing, and say to him who has escaped: 'What has happened?'
20 Moab has been confounded, because he has been conquered. Wail and cry out! Announce it in Arnon: Moab has been devastated,
21 and judgment has arrived upon the land of the plains: upon Holon, and upon Jahzah, and upon Mephaath,
22 and upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon the house of Deblathaim,
23 and upon Kiriathaim, and upon the house of Gamul, and upon the house of Meon,
24 and upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, those far away and those nearby.
25 The horn of Moab has been cut away, and his arm has been crushed, says the Lord.
26 Inebriate him, for he has lifted himself up against the Lord. And Moab will thrust his hand into his own vomit, and also now he himself will become a derision.
27 For Israel had been a derision to them. It was as if you had discovered him among thieves. Because of your own words, then, which you have spoken against him, you will be led away captive.
28 Relinquish the cities, and live upon a rock, O inhabitants of Moab, and be like a dove nesting at the mouth of an opening at the summit.
29 We have listened to the arrogance of Moab; he is very proud: his exaltation, and arrogance, and pride, and the loftiness of his heart.
30 I myself know, says the Lord, his boasting, and that his ability is not in accord with it, nor is it in accord with what he has been striving to do.
31 For this reason, I will wail over Moab, and I will cry out to all of Moab, to the men on the brick wall who are lamenting.
32 O vineyard of Sibmah, I will weep for you, with the mourning of Jazer. Your offshoots have crossed over the sea. They have reached even to the sea of Jazer. The despoiler has rushed over your harvest and your vintage.
33 Rejoicing and exultation has been taken away from Carmel and from the land of Moab. And I have taken the wine from the winepresses. The treader of grapes will no longer sing the usual rhythmic chant.
34 From the outcry of Heshbon, even to Elealeh and Jahzah, they have uttered their voice; from Zoar, even to Horonaim, like a three year old calf. So too, the waters of Nimrim will be very bad.
35 And I will take away from Moab, says the Lord, the one who makes offerings in exalted places, and the one who sacrifices to his gods.
36 Because of this, my heart will resound for Moab, like the pipes, and my heart will make a sound like the pipes for the men on the brick wall. For he has done more than he was able, yet still they have perished.
37 For every head will be bald, and every beard will be shaved. All the hands will be bound together, and there will be haircloth on every back.
38 Over all the rooftops of Moab, and in its streets, everyone will mourn. For I have crushed Moab like a useless vessel, says the Lord.
39 How was it conquered, so that they would wail? How is it that Moab has cast down his neck and been confounded? And Moab will be a derision and an example to everyone around him."
40 Thus says the Lord: "Behold, he will fly like the eagle, and he will extend his wings to Moab.
41 Kerioth has been captured, and the fortifications have been taken. And in that day, the heart of the strong ones of Moab will be like the heart of a woman giving birth.
42 And Moab will cease to be a people. For he has been glorified against the Lord.
43 Terror and the pit and the snare will overwhelm you, O inhabitant of Moab, says the Lord.
44 Whoever flees from the terror will fall into the pit. And whoever climbs out of the pit will be seized by the snare. For I will lead over Moab the year of their visitation, says the Lord.
45 Those fleeing from the snare stood in the shadow of Heshbon. For a fire has gone forth from Heshbon, and a flame from the midst of Sihon, and it will devour the portion of Moab, and the top of the head of the sons of tumult.
46 Woe to you, O Moab! You have been ruined, O people of Chemosh! For your sons and your daughters have been taken into captivity.
47 But I will convert the captivity of Moab in the last days, says the Lord." Such are the judgments of Moab thus far.