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God Will Destroy Moab

15 (A)This is a message about Moab.

The cities of Ar and Kir are destroyed in a single night, and silence covers the land of Moab. The people of Dibon[a] climb the hill to weep at the shrine. The people of Moab wail in grief over the cities of Nebo and Medeba; they have shaved their heads and their beards in grief. The people in the streets are dressed in sackcloth; in the city squares and on the rooftops people mourn and cry. The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out, and their cry can be heard as far away as Jahaz. Even the soldiers tremble; their courage is gone. My heart cries out for Moab! The people have fled to the town of Zoar, and to Eglath Shelishiyah. Some climb the road to Luhith, weeping as they go; some escape to Horonaim, grieving loudly. Nimrim Brook is dry, the grass beside it has withered, and nothing green is left. The people go across the Valley of Willows, trying to escape with all their possessions. Everywhere at Moab's borders the sound of crying is heard. It is heard at the towns of Eglaim and Beerelim. At the town of Dibon the river is red with blood, and God has something even worse in store for the people there. Yes, there will be a bloody slaughter of everyone left in Moab.

Moab's Hopeless Situation

16 From the city of Sela in the desert the people of Moab send a lamb as a present to the one who rules in Jerusalem. They wait on the banks of the Arnon River and move aimlessly back and forth, like birds driven from their nest.

They say to the people of Judah, “Tell us what to do. Protect us like a tree that casts a cool shadow in the heat of noon, and let us rest in your shade. We are refugees; hide us where no one can find us. Let us stay in your land. Protect us from those who want to destroy us.”

(Oppression and destruction will end, and those who are devastating the country will be gone. Then one of David's descendants will be king, and he will rule the people with faithfulness and love. He will be quick to do what is right, and he will see that justice is done.)

The people of Judah say, “We have heard how proud the people of Moab are. We know that they are arrogant and conceited, but their boasts are empty.”

The people of Moab will weep because of the troubles they suffer. They will all weep when they remember the fine food they used to eat in the city of Kir Heres. They will be driven to despair. The farms near Heshbon and the vineyards of Sibmah are destroyed—those vineyards whose wine used to make the rulers of the nations drunk. At one time the vines spread as far as the city of Jazer, and eastward into the desert, and westward to the other side of the Dead Sea. Now I weep for Sibmah's vines as I weep for Jazer. My tears fall for Heshbon and Elealeh, because there is no harvest to make the people glad. 10 No one is happy now in the fertile fields. No one shouts or sings in the vineyards. No one tramples grapes to make wine; the shouts of joy are ended.[b] 11 I groan with sadness for Moab, with grief for Kir Heres. 12 The people of Moab wear themselves out going to their mountain shrines and to their temples to pray, but it will do them no good.

13 That is the message the Lord gave earlier about Moab. 14 And now the Lord says, “In exactly three years Moab's great wealth will disappear. Of its many people, only a few will survive, and they will be weak.”


  1. Isaiah 15:2 Probable text people of Dibon; Hebrew people and Dibon.
  2. Isaiah 16:10 One ancient translation the shouts of joy are ended; Hebrew I have ended the shouts of joy.

The Destruction of Moab

48 (A)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;
    the splendor 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.
The people of Horonaim cry out,
    ‘Violence! Destruction!’

“Moab has been destroyed;
    listen to the children crying.
Hear the sound of their sobs
    along the road up to Luhith,
    the cries of distress
    on the way down to Horonaim.
‘Quick, run for your lives!’ they say.
    ‘Run like a wild desert donkey!’

“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.
Not a town will escape the destruction;
    both valley and plain will be ruined.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
Set 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

11 The 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 flavor 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. 13 Then 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?
15 Moab and its cities are destroyed;
    its finest young men have been slaughtered.
I am the king, the Lord Almighty,
    and I have spoken.
16 Moab's doom approaches;
    its ruin is coming soon.

17 “Mourn for that nation, you that live nearby,
    all of you that know its fame.
Say, ‘Its powerful rule has been broken;
    its glory and might are no more.’
18 You that live in Dibon,
    come down from your place of honor
    and sit on the ground in the dust;
Moab's destroyer is here
    and has left its forts in ruins.
19 You 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 Arnon River
    that Moab is destroyed!’

21 “Judgment has come on the cities of the plateau: on Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth Diblathaim, 23 Kiriathaim, Bethgamul, Bethmeon, 24 Kerioth, and Bozrah. Judgment has come on all the cities of Moab, far and near. 25 Moab's might has been crushed; its power has been destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

Moab Will Be Humbled

26 The Lord said, “Make Moab drunk, because it has rebelled against me. Moab will roll in its own vomit, and people will laugh. 27 Moab, remember how you made fun of 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. 29 Moab is very proud! I have heard how proud, arrogant, and conceited the people are, how much they think of themselves. 30 I, the Lord, know of their arrogance. Their boasts amount to nothing, and the things they do will not last. 31 And so I will weep for everyone in Moab and for the people of Kir Heres. 32 I 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. 33 Happiness and joy have been taken away from the fertile land of Moab. I have made the wine stop flowing from the wine presses; there is no one to make the wine and shout for joy.

34 “The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,[a] 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 Nimrim Brook has dried up. 35 I 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. 37 All of them have shaved their heads and cut off their beards. They have all made gashes on their hands, and everyone is wearing sackcloth. 38 On 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. 39 Moab has been shattered! Cry out! Moab has been disgraced. It is in ruins, and all the surrounding nations make fun of it. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

No Escape for Moab

40 The Lord has promised that a nation will swoop down on Moab like an eagle with its outspread wings, 41 and the towns and fortresses will be captured. On that day Moab's soldiers will be as frightened as a woman in labor. 42 Moab will be destroyed and will no longer be a nation, because it rebelled against me. 43 Terror, pits, and traps are waiting for the people of Moab. The Lord has spoken. 44 Whoever 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. 45 Helpless refugees try to find protection in Heshbon, the city that King Sihon once ruled, but it is in flames.[b] Fire has burned up the frontiers and the mountain heights of the war-loving people of Moab. 46 Pity the people of Moab! The people who worshiped Chemosh have been destroyed, and their sons and daughters have been taken away as prisoners.

47 But in days to come the Lord will make Moab prosperous again. All of this is what the Lord has said will happen to Moab.


  1. Jeremiah 48:34 Probable text Heshbon … cry out; Hebrew unclear.
  2. Jeremiah 48:45 Heshbon, the city … flames; or the city of Heshbon, but it is in flames and the palace of King Sihon is burning.

Prophecy against Moab

(A)The Sovereign Lord said, “Because Moab[a] has said that Judah is like all the other nations, I will let the cities that defend the border of Moab be attacked, including even the finest cities—Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon, and Kiriathaim. 10 I will let the tribes of the eastern desert conquer Moab, together with Ammon, so that Moab[b] will no longer be a nation. 11 I will punish Moab, and they will know that I am the Lord.”

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  1. Ezekiel 25:8 Some ancient translations Moab; Hebrew Moab and Seir.
  2. Ezekiel 25:10 Probable text Moab; Hebrew Ammon.


(A)The Lord says, “The people of Moab have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They dishonored the bones of the king of Edom by burning them to ashes. I will send fire upon the land of Moab and burn down the fortresses of Kerioth. The people of Moab will die in the noise of battle while soldiers are shouting and trumpets are sounding. I will kill the ruler of Moab and all the leaders of the land.”

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(A)The Lord Almighty says, “I have heard the people of Moab and Ammon insulting and taunting my people, and boasting that they would seize their land. (B)As surely as I am the living Lord, the God of Israel, I swear that Moab and Ammon are going to be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah. They will become a place of salt pits and everlasting ruin, overgrown with weeds. Those of my people who survive will plunder them and take their land.”

10 That is how the people of Moab and Ammon will be punished for their pride and arrogance and for insulting the people of the Lord Almighty. 11 The Lord will terrify them. He will reduce the gods of the earth to nothing, and then every nation will worship him, each in its own land.

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