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48
The Destruction of Moab
1 # Is 15.1—16.14; 25.10–12; Ezek 25.8–11; Amos 2.1–3; Zeph 2.8–11 This is what the LORD Almighty said about Moab:
“Pity the people of Nebo —
their town is destroyed!
Kiriathaim is captured,
its mighty fortress torn down,
and its people put to shame;
2the splendour of Moab is gone.
The enemy have captured Heshbon
and plot to destroy the nation of Moab.
The town of Madmen will be silenced;
armies will march against it.
3The people of Horonaim cry out,
‘Violence! Destruction!’
4“Moab has been destroyed;
listen to the children crying.
5Hear the sound of their sobs
along the road up to Luhith,
the cries of distress
on the way down to Horonaim.
6‘Quick, run for your lives!’ they say.
‘Run like a wild desert donkey!’
7“Moab, you trusted in your strength and your wealth,
but now even you will be conquered;
your god Chemosh will go into exile,
along with his princes and priests.
8Not a town will escape the destruction;
both valley and plain will be ruined.
I, the LORD, have spoken.
9Set up a tombstone for Moab;
it will soon be destroyed.
Its towns will be left in ruins,
and no one will live there again.”
10(Curse those who do not do the LORD's work with all their heart! Curse those who do not slash and kill!)
The Cities of Moab are Destroyed
11The LORD said, “Moab has always lived secure and has never been taken into exile. Moab is like wine left to settle undisturbed and never poured from jar to jar. Its flavour has never been ruined, and it tastes as good as ever.
12“So now, the time is coming when I will send people to pour Moab out like wine. They will empty its wine jars and break them in pieces. 13Then the Moabites will be disillusioned with their god Chemosh, just as the Israelites were disillusioned with Bethel, a god in whom they trusted.
14“Men of Moab, why do you claim to be heroes,
brave soldiers tested in war?
15Moab and its cities are destroyed;
its finest young men have been slaughtered.
I am the king, the LORD Almighty,
and I have spoken.
16Moab's doom approaches;
its ruin is coming soon.
17“Mourn for that nation, you that live near by,
all of you that know its fame.
Say, ‘Its powerful rule has been broken;
its glory and might are no more.’
18You that live in Dibon,
come down from your place of honour
and sit on the ground in the dust;
Moab's destroyer is here
and has left its forts in ruins.
19You that live in Aroer,
stand by the road and wait;
ask those who are running away,
find out from them what has happened.
20‘Moab has fallen,’ they will answer,
‘weep for it; it is disgraced.
Announce along the River Arnon
that Moab is destroyed!’
21“Judgement has come on the cities of the plateau: on Holon, Jahzah, Mephath, 22Dibon, Nebo, Beth Diblathaim, 23Kiriathaim, Bethgamul, Bethmeon, 24Kerioth, and Bozrah. Judgement has come on all the cities of Moab, far and near. 25Moab's might has been crushed; its power has been destroyed. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
Moab will be Humbled
26The LORD said, “Make Moab drunk, because it has rebelled against me. Moab will roll in its own vomit, and people will laugh. 27Moab, remember how you jeered at the people of Israel? You treated them as though they had been caught with a gang of robbers.
28“You people who live in Moab, leave your towns! Go and live on the cliffs! Be like the dove that makes its nest in the sides of a ravine. 29Moab is very proud! I have heard how proud, arrogant, and conceited the people are, how much they think of themselves. 30I, the LORD, know of their arrogance. Their boasts amount to nothing, and the things they do will not last. 31And so I will weep for everyone in Moab and for the people of Kir Heres. 32I will cry for the people of Sibmah, even more than for the people of Jazer. City of Sibmah, you are like a vine whose branches reach across the Dead Sea and go as far as Jazer. But now your summer fruits and your grapes have been destroyed. 33Happiness and joy have been taken away from the fertile land of Moab. I have made the wine stop flowing from the winepresses; there is no one to make the wine and shout for joy.
34“The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,#48.34 Probable text Heshbon… cry out; Hebrew unclear. and their cry can be heard as far as Jahaz; it can be heard by the people in Zoar, and it is heard as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah. Even the brook of Nimrim has dried up. 35I will stop the people of Moab from making burnt offerings at their places of worship and from offering sacrifices to their gods. I, the LORD, have spoken.
36“So my heart mourns for Moab and for the people of Kir Heres, like someone playing a funeral song on a flute, because everything they owned is gone. 37All of them have shaved their heads and cut off their beards. They have all made gashes on their hands, and everyone is wearing sackcloth. 38On all the housetops of Moab and in all its public squares there is nothing but mourning, because I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants. 39Moab has been shattered! Cry out! Moab has been disgraced. It is in ruins, and all the surrounding nations jeer at it. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
No Escape for Moab
40The LORD has promised that a nation will swoop down on Moab like an eagle with its outspread wings, 41and the towns and fortresses will be captured. On that day Moab's soldiers will be as frightened as a woman in labour. 42Moab will be destroyed and will no longer be a nation, because it rebelled against me. 43Terror, pits, and traps are waiting for the people of Moab. The LORD has spoken. 44Whoever tries to escape the terror will fall into the pits, and whoever climbs out of the pits will be caught in the traps, because the LORD has set the time for Moab's destruction. 45Helpless refugees try to find protection in Heshbon, the city that King Sihon once ruled, but it is in flames.#48.45 Heshbon, the city… flames; or the city of Heshbon, but it is in flames and the palace of King Sihon is burning. Fire has burnt up the frontiers and the mountain heights of the war-loving people of Moab. 46Pity the people of Moab! The people who worshipped Chemosh have been destroyed, and their sons and daughters have been taken away as prisoners.
47But in days to come the LORD will make Moab prosperous again. All of this is what the LORD has said will happen to Moab.
48
A Message About Moab
1This message is about the country of Moab. This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies, the God of Israel, says:
“How terrible it will be for Nebo.
It will be ruined.
The town of Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured.
The strong city will be disgraced and shattered.
2Moab will not be praised again.
Men in the town of Heshbon plan Moab’s defeat.
They say, ‘Come, let us put an end to that nation!’
Town of Madmen, you will also be silenced.
The sword will chase you.
3Listen to the cries from the town of Horonaim.
They are cries of much confusion and destruction.
4Moab will be broken up.
Her little children will cry for help.
5Moab’s people go up the path to Luhith.
They cry loudly as they go.
On the road down to the town of Horonaim,
cries of pain and suffering can be heard.
6Run! Run for your lives!
Go like a bush being blown through the desert.
7You trust in the things you do and in your wealth.
So you also will be captured.
The god Chemosh will be taken into captivity.
And his priests and officers 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.
9Spread salt# The salt would keep crops from growing there. over the fields in Moab.
The country will be an empty desert.
Moab’s towns will become empty.
No one will live in them.
10A curse will be on anyone who doesn’t do what the Lord says.
A curse will be on anyone who keeps back his sword from killing.
11“The people of Moab have never known trouble.
They are like wine left to settle.
They have never been poured like wine from one jar to another.
They have not been taken into captivity.
So they taste as they did before.
And their smell has not changed.
12A time is coming,” says the Lord.
“And I will soon send men to pour you from your jars.
Those men will empty Moab’s jars.
And they will smash their jugs.
13The people of Israel trusted that god in Bethel.
They were ashamed when there was no help.
In the same way Moab will be ashamed of their god Chemosh.
14“You cannot say, ‘We are warriors!
We are brave men in battle!’
15The enemy will attack Moab and destroy their towns.
Their best young men will be killed!” says the King.
The King’s name is the Lord of heaven’s armies.
16“The end of Moab is near.
They will soon be destroyed.
17All you who live around Moab, cry for her.
All you who know about her, cry for her.
Say, ‘The ruler’s power is broken.
Moab’s power and glory are gone.’
18“You people living in Dibon, come down from your place of honor.
Sit on the dry ground.
This is because the destroyer of Moab is coming against you.
And he will destroy your strong, walled cities.
19You people living in Aroer,
stand next to the road and watch.
See the man running away and the woman escaping.
Ask them what happened.
20Moab will be ruined and filled with shame.
Cry, Moab, cry out!
Announce at the Arnon River
that Moab is destroyed.
21People on the high plain have been punished.
Judgment has come to these towns:
Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath;
22Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim;
23Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon;
24Kerioth and Bozrah.
Judgment has come to all the towns of Moab, far and near.
25Moab’s strength has been cut off.
Moab’s arm is broken!” says the Lord.
26“The people of Moab thought they were greater than the Lord.
So punish Moab until they act as if they are drunk.
Moab will fall and roll around in their own vomit.
People will make fun of them.
27Moab, you made fun of Israel.
Israel was caught in the middle of a gang of thieves.
You often spoke about Israel.
And you shook your head and acted as if you were better than Israel.
28People in Moab, leave your towns empty.
Go live among the rocks.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
at the entrance of a cave!
29“We have heard that the people of Moab are proud
and very conceited.
They are proud and think they are important.
They were very proud in their hearts.”
30The Lord says,
“I know Moab’s quick anger, but it is useless.
Moab’s bragging accomplishes nothing.
31So I cry sadly for Moab.
I cry out for everyone in Moab.
I moan for the men from Kir Hareseth.
32I cry with the people of Jazer
for the grapevines of Sibmah.
In the past your vines spread all the way to the sea.
They reached as far as the sea of Jazer.
But the destroyer has taken
your fruit and grapes.
33Joy and happiness are gone
from the large fields of Moab.
I have stopped the flow of wine from the winepresses.
No one walks on the grapes with shouts of joy.
There are shouts,
but not shouts of joy.
34“Their crying can be heard
from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz.
It can be heard from Zoar as far away as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah.
Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
35I will stop Moab
from making burnt offerings at the places of worship.
I will stop them from burning incense to their gods,” says the Lord.
36“My heart cries for Moab like a flute playing a funeral song.
It cries 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.
Everyone wears rough cloth around his waist.# The people did these things to show their sadness for those who had died.
38People are crying on every roof# In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship and as a place to sleep in the summer. in Moab
and in every public square.
There is nothing but sadness
because I have broken Moab
like a jar no one wants,” says the Lord.
39“Moab is shattered! The people are crying!
Moab turns away in shame!
People all around her make fun of her.
The things that happened fill them with fear.”
40This is what the Lord says:
“Look! An eagle is diving down from the sky.
It spreads its wings over Moab.
41The towns of Moab will be captured.
The strong, walled cities will be defeated.
At that time Moab’s warriors will be frightened.
They will feel pain like a woman who is having a baby.
42The nation of Moab will be destroyed.
This is because they thought they were greater than the Lord.
43Fear, deep pits and traps wait for you,
people of Moab,” says the Lord.
44“People will run from fear.
But they will fall into the pits.
Anyone who climbs out of the pits
will be caught in the traps.
I will bring the year of punishment to Moab,” says the Lord.
45“People have run from the powerful enemy.
They ran to Heshbon for safety.
But fire started in Heshbon.
A blaze broke out in Sihon’s town.
And it burns the leaders of Moab.
It destroys those proud people.
46How terrible it will be for you, Moab!
Chemosh’s people are being destroyed.
Your sons and daughters are being taken away as captives.
47“But in days to come,
I will make good things happen again to Moab,” says the Lord.
This ends the judgment on Moab.