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A Message About Moab

48 Here is what the Lord says about Moab.

The Lord who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says,

“How terrible it will be for the city of Nebo!
    It will be destroyed.
Kiriathaim will be captured.
    It will be put to shame.
Its fort will be broken down.
    It will be put to shame.
Moab will not be praised anymore.
    In Heshbon people will plan its fall from power.
    They will say, ‘Come. Let’s put an end to that nation.’
City of Madmen, you too will be silent.
    My sword will hunt you down.
Cries of sorrow come from Horonaim.
    The town is being completely destroyed.
Moab will be broken.
    Her little ones will cry out.
The people go up the hill to Luhith.
    They are weeping bitterly as they go.
Loud cries are heard on the road down to Horonaim.
    People cry out because the town is being destroyed.
People of Moab, run away! Run for your lives!
    Become like a lonely bush in the desert.
You trust in the things you can do.
    You trust in your riches.
    So you too will be taken away as prisoners.
Your god named Chemosh will be carried away.
    So will its priests and officials.
The one who is going to destroy you
    will come against every town.
    Not even one of them will escape.
The valley and the high plain
    will be destroyed.
    The Lord has spoken.
Sprinkle salt all over Moab.
    It will be completely destroyed.
Its towns will be a dry and empty desert.
    No one will live in them.

10 “May anyone who is lazy when they do the Lord’s work
    be under my curse!
May anyone who keeps their sword from killing
    be under my curse!

11 “Moab has been at peace and rest from its earliest days.
    It is like wine that has not been shaken up.
It has not been poured from one jar to another.
    Moab’s people have not been taken away from their land.
They are like wine that tastes as it always did.
    Its smell has not changed at all.
12 But other days are coming,” announces the Lord.
“At that time I will send people who pour wine from pitchers.
    They will pour Moab out like wine.
They will empty its pitchers.
    They will smash its jars.
13 Then Moab’s people will be ashamed of their god named Chemosh.
    They will be ashamed just as the people of Israel were
    when they trusted in their false god at Bethel.

14 “How can you say, ‘We are soldiers.
    We are men who are brave in battle’?
15 Moab will be destroyed.
    Its enemies will march into its towns.
Its finest young men will die in battle,”
    announces the King.
    His name is the Lord Who Rules Over All.
16 “The fall of Moab is near.
    Its time of trouble will come quickly.
17 All you who live around it, mourn for its people.
    Be sad, you who know how famous Moab is.
Say, ‘Its powerful ruler’s scepter is broken!
    His glorious scepter is smashed.’

18 “Come down from your glorious city, you who live in Dibon.
    Come and sit on the thirsty ground.
The one who destroys Moab
    will come up and attack you.
Your enemies will destroy your cities
    that have high walls around them.
19 Stand by the road and watch,
    you who live in Aroer.
Ask the men who are running away.
    Ask the women who are escaping.
    Ask them, ‘What has happened?’
20 Moab has been put to shame.
    It has been destroyed.
    Weep and cry out!
Tell everyone Moab has been destroyed.
    Announce it by the Arnon River.
21 The high plain has been judged.
    So have Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath.
22 Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim have been judged.
23     So have Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon.
24 Kerioth and Bozrah have also been judged.
    And so have all the towns of Moab, far and near alike.
25 Moab’s power is gone.
    Its strength is broken,”
    announces the Lord.

26 “Moab’s people think they are better than I am.
    So let their enemies make them drunk.
    Let the people get sick and throw up.
Let them roll around in the mess they have made.
    Let people laugh at them.
27 Moab, you laughed at Israel, didn’t you?
    Were Israel’s people caught among robbers?
Is that why you shake your head at them?
    Is that why you make fun of them
    every time you talk about them?
28 Leave your towns,
    you who live in Moab.
    Go and live among the rocks.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
    at the entrance of a cave.

29 “We have heard all about Moab’s pride.
    We have heard how very proud they are.
They think they are so much better than others.
    Their pride reaches deep down inside their hearts.
30 I know how rude they are.
    But it will not get them anywhere,” announces the Lord.
    “Their bragging does not accomplish anything.
31 So I weep over Moab.
    I cry for all Moab’s people.
    I groan for the people of Kir Hareseth.
32 I weep for you as Jazer weeps,
    you vines of Sibmah.
Your branches used to spread out.
    They went all the way down to the Dead Sea.
    They reached as far as the sea of Jazer.
The one who destroys your country
    has taken away your grapes and ripe fruit.
33 Joy has left your orchards.
    Gladness is gone from your fields.
I have stopped the flow of juice from your winepresses.
    No one stomps on your grapes with shouts of joy.
There are shouts.
    But they are not shouts of joy.

34 “The sound of their cry rises from Heshbon.
    It rises as far as Elealeh and Jahaz.
    It rises from Zoar.
It goes all the way to Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah.
    Even the waters at Nimrim are dried up.
35 In Moab people sacrifice offerings on the high places.
    They burn incense to their gods.
But I will put an end to those people,”
    announces the Lord.
36 “Like a flute my heart sings a song of sadness for Moab.
    It sings like a flute for the people of Kir Hareseth.
    The wealth they had acquired is gone.
37 Every head is shaved.
    Every beard is cut off.
Every hand is cut.
    And every waist is covered with the clothes of sadness.
38 Weeping is the only sound in Moab.
    It is heard on all its roofs.
    It is heard in the market.
I have broken Moab
    like a jar that no one wants,”
    announces the Lord.
39 “How broken Moab is! How the people weep!
    They turn away from others
    because they are so ashamed.
All those around them laugh at them.
    They are shocked at them.”

40 The Lord says,

“Look! Nebuchadnezzar is like an eagle diving down.
    He is spreading his wings over Moab.
41 Kerioth will be captured.
    Its forts will be taken.
At that time the hearts of Moab’s soldiers will tremble in fear.
    They will be like the heart of a woman having a baby.
42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation.
    That is because its people thought
    they were better than the Lord.
43 You people of Moab,”
    announces the Lord,
    “terror, a pit and a trap are waiting for you.
44 Anyone who runs away from the terror
    will fall into the pit.
Anyone who climbs out of the pit
    will be caught in the trap.
The time is coming
    when I will punish Moab,”
    announces the Lord.

45 “In the shadow of Heshbon
    those who are trying to escape stand helpless.
A fire has blazed out from Heshbon.
    Flames have come out from Sihon’s city.
It burns the foreheads of Moab’s people.
    It burns the skulls of those who brag loudly.
46 How terrible it will be for you, Moab!
    Those who worship Chemosh are destroyed.
Your sons are being taken to another country.
    Your daughters are taken away as prisoners.

47 “But in days to come
    I will bless Moab with great success again,”
    announces the Lord.

This ends the report about how the Lord would judge Moab.