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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.
48
Get Out While You Can!
1-10The Message on Moab from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel:
“Doom to Nebo! Leveled to the ground!
Kiriathaim demeaned and defeated,
The mighty fortress reduced to a molehill,
Moab’s glory—dust and ashes.
Conspirators plot Heshbon’s doom:
‘Come, let’s wipe Moab off the map.’
Dungface Dimon will loudly lament,
as killing follows killing.
Listen! A cry out of Horonaim:
‘Disaster—doom and more doom!’
Moab will be shattered.
Her cries will be heard clear down in Zoar.
Up the ascent of Luhith
climbers weep,
And down the descent from Horonaim,
cries of loss and devastation.
Oh, run for your lives! Get out while you can!
Survive by your wits in the wild!
You trusted in thick walls and big money, yes?
But it won’t help you now.
Your big god Chemosh will be hauled off,
his priests and managers with him.
A wrecker will wreck every city.
Not a city will survive.
The valley fields will be ruined,
the plateau pastures destroyed, just as I told you.
Cover the land of Moab with salt.
Make sure nothing ever grows here again.
Her towns will all be ghost towns.
Nobody will ever live here again.
Sloppy work in God’s name is cursed,
and cursed all halfhearted use of the sword.
11-17“Moab has always taken it easy—
lazy as a dog in the sun,
Never had to work for a living,
never faced any trouble,
Never had to grow up,
never once worked up a sweat.
But those days are a thing of the past.
I’ll put him to work at hard labor.
That will wake him up to the world of hard knocks.
That will smash his illusions.
Moab will be as ashamed of god Chemosh
as Israel was ashamed of her Bethel calf-gods,
the calf-gods she thought were so great.
For how long do you think you’ll be saying, ‘We’re tough.
We can beat anyone anywhere’?
The destruction of Moab has already begun.
Her choice young soldiers are lying dead right now.”
The King’s Decree—
his full name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
“Yes. Moab’s doom is on countdown,
disaster targeted and launched.
Weep for Moab, friends and neighbors,
all who know how famous he’s been.
Lament, ‘His mighty scepter snapped in two like a toothpick,
that magnificent royal staff!’
18-20“Come down from your high horse, pampered beauty of Dibon.
Sit in dog dung.
The destroyer of Moab will come against you.
He’ll wreck your safe, secure houses.
Stand on the roadside,
pampered women of Aroer.
Interview the refugees who are running away.
Ask them, ‘What’s happened? And why?’
Moab will be an embarrassing memory, nothing left of the place.
Wail and weep your eyes out!
Tell the bad news along the Arnon river.
Tell the world that Moab is no more.
21-24“My judgment will come to the plateau cities: on Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath; on Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim; on Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon; on Kerioth, Bozrah, and all the cities of Moab, far and near.
25“Moab’s link to power is severed.
Moab’s arm is broken.” God’s Decree.
The Sheer Nothingness of Moab
26-27“Turn Moab into a drunken sot, drunk on the wine of my wrath, a dung-faced drunk, filling the country with vomit—Moab a falling-down drunk, a joke in bad taste. Wasn’t it you, Moab, who made crude jokes over Israel? And when they were caught in bad company, didn’t you cluck and gossip and snicker?
28“Leave town! Leave! Look for a home in the cliffs,
you who grew up in Moab.
Try living like a dove
who nests high in the river gorge.
29-33“We’ve all heard of Moab’s pride,
that legendary pride,
The strutting, bullying, puffed-up pride,
the insufferable arrogance.
I know”—God’s Decree—“his rooster-crowing pride,
the inflated claims, the sheer nothingness of Moab.
But I will weep for Moab,
yes, I will mourn for the people of Moab.
I will even mourn for the people of Kir-heres.
I’ll weep for the grapevines of Sibmah
and join Jazer in her weeping—
Grapevines that once reached the Dead Sea
with tendrils as far as Jazer.
Your summer fruit and your bursting grapes
will be looted by brutal plunderers,
Lush Moab stripped
of song and laughter.
And yes, I’ll shut down the winepresses,
stop all the shouts and hurrahs of harvest.
34“Heshbon and Elealeh will cry out, and the people in Jahaz will hear the cries. They will hear them all the way from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. Even the waters of Nimrim will be dried up.
35“I will put a stop in Moab”—God’s Decree—“to all hiking to the high places to offer burnt sacrifices to the gods.
36“My heart moans for Moab, for the men of Kir-heres, like soft flute sounds carried by the wind. They’ve lost it all. They’ve got nothing.
37“Everywhere you look are signs of mourning:
heads shaved, beards cut,
Hands scratched and bleeding,
clothes ripped and torn.
38“In every house in Moab there’ll be loud lamentation, on every street in Moab, loud lamentation. As with a pottery jug that no one wants, I’ll smash Moab to bits.” God’s Decree.
39“Moab ruined!
Moab shamed and ashamed to be seen!
Moab a cruel joke!
The stark horror of Moab!”
40-42God’s verdict on Moab. Indeed!
“Look! An eagle is about to swoop down
and spread its wings over Moab.
The towns will be captured,
the fortresses taken.
Brave warriors will double up in pain, helpless to fight,
like a woman giving birth to a baby.
There’ll be nothing left of Moab, nothing at all,
because of his defiant arrogance against me.
43-44“Terror and pit and trap
are what you have facing you, Moab.” God’s Decree.
“A man running in terror
will fall into a trap.
A man climbing out of a pit
will be caught in a trap.
This is my agenda for Moab
on doomsday.” God’s Decree.
45-47“On the outskirts of Heshbon,
refugees will pull up short, worn out.
Fire will flame high from Heshbon,
a firestorm raging from the capital of Sihon’s kingdom.
It will burn off Moab’s eyebrows,
will scorch the skull of the braggarts.
That’s all for you, Moab!
You worshipers of Chemosh will be finished off!
Your sons will be trucked off to prison camps;
your daughters will be herded into exile.
But yet there’s a day that’s coming
when I’ll put things right in Moab.
“For now, that’s the judgment on Moab.”