1 CONCERNING MOAB: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Woe to [the city of] Nebo, for it is laid waste! Kiriathaim is put to shame and taken; Misgab [the high fortress] is put to shame, broken down, and crushed. [Isa. 15-16; 25:10-12; Ezek. 25:8-11; Amos 2:1-3; Zeph. 2:8-11.]
2 The glory of Moab is no more; in Heshbon [a border town between Reuben and Gad, east of the Jordan River] they planned evil against her, saying, Come, let us cut her off from being a nation. You also, O [town of] Madmen, shall be brought to silence; the sword shall pursue you.
3 The sound of a cry from Horonaim, [a cry of] desolation and great destruction!
4 Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard [as far as Zoar].
5 For the ascent of Luhith will be climbed [by successive bands of fugitives] with continual weeping; for on the descent of Horonaim they have heard the distress of the cry of destruction.
6 Flee! Save your lives! But they shall be like a destitute and forsaken person in the wilderness.
7 For because you have trusted in your works [your bungling idol images] and in your treasures [instead of in God], you shall also be taken. And Chemosh [your god] shall go into captivity, his priests and his princes together.
8 And the destroyer shall come upon every city; no city shall escape. The [Jordan] valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be devastated, as the Lord has said.
9 Give wings to Moab, for [by that means only] she will flee and get away; her cities will be desolate, without any to dwell in them.
10 Cursed be he who does the work of the Lord negligently [with slackness, deceitfully]; and cursed be he who keeps back his sword from blood [in executing judgment pronounced by the Lord].
11 Moab has been at ease from his youth, and he has settled on his lees [like wine] and has not been drawn off from one vessel to another, neither has he gone into exile. Therefore his taste remains in him, and his scent has not changed.
12 Therefore behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I shall send to [Moab] tilters who shall tilt him up and shall empty his vessels and break his bottles (earthenware) in pieces.
13 And Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh [his god], as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence. [I Kings 12:28, 29.]
14 How can you say, We are heroes and mighty men in the war?
15 Moab has been made desolate, and his cities have gone up [in smoke and flame]; and his chosen young men have gone down to the slaughter, says the King, Whose name is the Lord of hosts.
16 The destruction of Moab is coming near, and his calamity hastens swiftly.
17 Bemoan him, all you [nations] who are around him, and all you [nations more remote] who know his name; say, How broken is the mighty scepter [of national power] and the splendid rod [of glory]!
18 Come down from your glory, you inhabitant of the Daughter of Dibon, and sit on the ground among the thirsty! For the destroyer of Moab is advancing against you; he will destroy your strongholds.
19 O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way and watch! Ask him who flees and her who escapes, What has happened?
20 Moab is put to shame, for she is broken down. Wail and cry out! Tell by [the banks of] the Arnon that Moab is laid waste (destroyed).
21 Judgment has come upon the land of the plain–upon Holon and Jahzah and Mephaath,
22 And upon Dibon and Nebo and Beth-diblathaim,
23 And upon Kiriathaim and Beth-gamul and Beth-meon,
24 And upon Kerioth and Bozrah–and all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near.
25 The horn (strength) of Moab is cut off, and his arm [of authority] is shattered, says the Lord.
26 Make him drunk, for he has magnified himself against the Lord [by resisting Reuben's occupation of the land the Lord had assigned him]. Moab also shall splash in his vomit, and he too shall be held in derision. [Num. 22:1-7.]
27 For was not Israel [an object of] derision to you? Was he found among thieves–since whenever you speak of him you wag your head [in scorn]?
28 O you inhabitants of Moab, leave the cities and dwell among the rocks, and be like the dove that makes her nest in the walls of the yawning ravine.
29 We have heard of the [giddy] pride of Moab, the extremely proud one–his loftiness, his arrogance, his conceit, and the haughtiness of his heart.
30 I know his insolent wrath, says the Lord, and the nothingness of his boastings and his deeds; they are false and have accomplished nothing.
31 Therefore I will wail over Moab, and I will cry out over the whole of Moab. Over the men of Kir-heres (Kir-hareseth) there will be sighing and mourning. [Isa. 15:1; 16:7, 11.]
32 O vines of Sibmah, I weep for you more than the weeping of Jazer [over its ruins and wasted vineyards]. Your tendrils [of influence] have gone over the sea, reaching even to Jazer. The destroyer has fallen upon your summer fruit harvest and your [season's] crop of grapes.
33 Joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful orchards and fields and from the land of Moab. And I have made the juice [of the grape] to fail from what is pressed out in the vats; no one treads [the grapes] with shouting. Their shouting is no shouting [of joy, but is a battle cry].
34 From the cry of Heshbon even to Elealeh even to Jahaz have they uttered their voice, from Zoar even to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah [like a three-year-old heifer], for even the waters of Nimrim have become desolations.
35 Moreover, I will cause to cease in Moab, says the Lord, the one who ascends and offers in the high place and the one who burns incense to his gods.
36 Therefore My heart moans and sighs for Moab like flutes, and My heart moans and sighs like flutes for the men of Kir-heres (Kir-hareseth); therefore [the remnant of] the abundant riches they gained has perished.
37 For every head is shaven bald and every beard cut off: upon all the hands are cuts (slashes) and upon the loins is sackcloth [all to express mourning]. [Isa. 15:2, 3.]
38 On all the housetops of Moab and in its streets there is lamentation everywhere, for I have broken Moab like a vessel in which there is no pleasure, says the Lord.
39 How it is broken down! How they wail! How Moab has turned his back in shame! So Moab has become [an object of] a derision and a [horrifying] terror to all who are round about him.
40 For thus says the Lord: Behold, he [Babylon] shall fly swiftly like an eagle and shall spread out his wings against Moab. [Ezek. 17:3.]
41 Kerioth [and the cities] shall be taken and the strongholds seized; and the hearts of the mighty warriors of Moab in that day shall be as the heart of a woman in her pangs [in childbirth].
42 And Moab shall be destroyed from being a nation, because he has magnified himself against the Lord.
43 Terror and pit and snare are before you, O inhabitant of Moab, says the Lord. [Isa. 24:7.]
44 He who flees from the terror will fall into the pit, and he who gets up out of the pit will be taken and caught in the trap or snare; for I will bring upon it, even upon Moab, the year of their visitation (their inspection and infliction of punishment), says the Lord.
45 In the shadow of Heshbon the fugitives stand powerless (stopped in their tracks, helpless and without strength), for a fire has gone forth from Heshbon, a flame from the midst of Sihon; it has destroyed the corner of Moab and the crowns of the heads of the ones in tumult [the proud Moabites].
46 Woe to you, O Moab! The people of [the god] Chemosh are undone; for your sons are taken away captive and your daughters into captivity.
47 Yet will I reverse the captivity and restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, says the Lord. Thus far is the judgment on Moab.