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Jeremiah 48 The Voice (VOICE)

48 This is what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies and God of Israel, has to say about Moab.

Next is Moab, a familiar enemy of Israel. Despite Jeremiah’s warning they will answer for their trust in themselves, their material wealth, and their god Chemosh.

Eternal One: Woe to the city of Nebo, for she is in ruins.
        So, too, will Kiriathaim be put to shame when she is captured.
        The proud fortress of Moab will be humbled and shattered into pieces.
    No one will praise you, Moab—that time has gone.
        Instead, in places like Heshbon, men are planning your destruction.
        “Come,” they will say, “and let us finish off that nation.”
    Indeed, the town of Madmen will be silenced,
        for war will surely find you.
    Do you hear the voice from Horonaim—
        the cries rising up from the ruins and desolation?
    Moab is broken,
        and her little ones cry in desperation.
    The defeated make their way up Luhith, crying bitterly as they go;
        as they descend to Horonaim, they hear the anguished cries of destruction.
    Run for your lives! Save yourselves!
        Live in the desert like a juniper bush, alone and forsaken.
    You depended on your own works and your own wealth,
        and now you will be humbled and taken captive.
    Your so-called god, Chemosh, will go with you into exile
        along with his priests and officials.
    The destroyer is coming to each of your towns; none of them will escape.
        The valley will be ruined;
    The plateau will be destroyed
        because I, the Eternal One, have spoken.
    Give Moab wings so she can fly away.
        Her cities will be a wasteland with no one living in them.

10 A curse on any who do not finish the work I, the Eternal One, have given you! A curse on anyone who holds back his sword and refuses to shed blood.

11     Moab has been at rest since his early days—
        like wine that is carefully left to age,
    Not poured from jar to jar,
        not going from nation to nation in exile.
    And so his flavor has remained; his aroma has not faded.

12 But all of that will change. Look, in the coming days, I, the Eternal One, declare that I will send those who will upend him, stirring him up and pouring him out until his jars have nothing left. They will empty his jars and smash the empty jugs.

13 Then Moab will be ashamed of his powerless god, Chemosh, just as the people of Israel were ashamed of Bethel when they trusted in their false gods.

14 Eternal One: How can you still boast,
        “We are mighty warriors, brave in battle?”
15     Because Moab is destroyed;
        invaders have laid waste his towns.
    His best young men have gone down to slaughter.
        So say I, the King whose name is the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.
16     The fall of Moab is at hand;
        his disaster is coming quickly.
17     Grieve for him, you neighbors of Moab,
        all who know his name.
    Say, “Look how his mighty scepter is broken,
        how the splendor of his staff is gone!”
18     You people of Dibon, come down from your glory on the hills
        and sit on the dry, dusty ground and wait,
    For the same one who destroyed Moab
        is coming against you and will tear down your strongholds as well.
19     Stand by the road and watch closely,
        you people of Aroer.
    Call out to the refugees running from Moab.
        Ask them what happened!
20     And they will answer: “Moab has been humiliated and crushed.
        Weep for him, and cry out.
    Go down to the Arnon River and
        proclaim that Moab has been destroyed.”

21 Judgment has come to the cities of the plain: to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath; 22 to Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim; 23 to Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon; 24 to Kerioth and Bozrah. To all the cities of Moab, far and near, judgment has come.

Eternal One: 25 The symbols of his strength are gone; the horn of Moab has been cut off, and his arm broken.

26 Make Moab drink deeply from this cup until he is drunk, for he has exalted himself above the Eternal. Make him drink until he wallows in his own vomit; then he will be ridiculed by all who see him. 27 Did you not ridicule Israel? Was he guilty of a crime? Was he caught among thieves? Is that why you, Moab, shake your head in contempt every time you speak of him?

28 Eternal One: Run from your towns and live in the wilderness,
        you citizens of Moab;
    Hide among the rocks
        like doves who nest among the cliffs.
29     We have all heard about the pride of Moab—
        so vain and so smug.
    We have all heard about her pride and arrogance
        and her overconfident heart.
30     I, too, know of the arrogant outbursts, but they are pointless;
        empty boasts accomplish nothing.
31     This is why I will mourn for Moab; for all her people, I will cry aloud;
        for the men of Kir-heres, I will moan.
32     You who tend the prolific vineyards in Sibmah,
        I will cry for you more than I did for Jazer.
    Your vines once spread as far as the sea, as far as the sea of Jazer.
        But now the destroyer has spoiled your summer harvest and sweet grapes.
33     The joy of the harvest is gone from Moab’s orchards and vineyards.
        For I have stopped the flow of wine; no one treads the grapes.
    The land is full of shouting, but they are not shouts of joy.

34 The anguish of their cries rises from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz, from Zoar all the way to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah; for even the waters of Nimrim will dry up.

Eternal One: 35 I will put an end to idol worship in Moab, to those who make offerings on shrines in high places and burn incense to so-called gods.

36 Like the somber sound of a flute, my heart mourns for Moab. My heart mourns for the men of Kir-heres, for everything they had is gone.

37 For every head is shaved, and every beard is cut short;
    every hand is cut, and every waist is wrapped in sackcloth.

38 Eternal One: On every rooftop in Moab and on every street corner,
        there is nothing but mourning
    Because I have smashed Moab like a jar that no one wants.

39 How broken he is! How the people wail!
    How the once-proud Moab turns away in shame!
See how Moab has become a laughingstock
    and a horror to all his neighbors.

40 Eternal One: Look in the distance: an eagle will swoop down
        and spread his wings over Moab, his prey.
41     The cities will be captured and the strongholds seized.
        On that day the heart of Moab’s warriors
    Will be like the heart of a woman in labor—helpless and vulnerable.

42 The nation of Moab will be no more
    because he dares to defy the Eternal.
43 Terror and traps and snares lie ahead, O citizens of Moab.

44 Eternal One: If you run from the terror, you will fall into a pit.
        If you climb out of the pit, you will be caught in a trap.
    There is no escape, for I will bring these disasters against Moab;
        the year of their judgment has come at last.

45     Run if you will, but in Heshbon’s shadow the refugees are helpless.
        Look! A fire rages from Heshbon; destroying flames leap from Sihon;
    They consume the northern regions of Moab
        and destroy his clamoring rebels.
46     Woe to you, O Moab! Worshipers of Chemosh are destroyed;
        your sons are sent away, your daughters taken captive.
47     But even so, in latter times the day will come
        when I will restore the fortunes of Moab.

This is the end of Jeremiah’s oracle of judgment against Moab.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Jeremiah 48 New International Version (NIV)

A Message About Moab

48 Concerning Moab:

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined.
    Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured;
    the stronghold[a] will be disgraced and shattered.
Moab will be praised no more;
    in Heshbon[b] people will plot her downfall:
    ‘Come, let us put an end to that nation.’
You, the people of Madmen,[c] will also be silenced;
    the sword will pursue you.
Cries of anguish arise from Horonaim,
    cries of great havoc and destruction.
Moab will be broken;
    her little ones will cry out.[d]
They go up the hill to Luhith,
    weeping bitterly as they go;
on the road down to Horonaim
    anguished cries over the destruction are heard.
Flee! Run for your lives;
    become like a bush[e] in the desert.
Since you trust in your deeds and riches,
    you too will be taken captive,
and Chemosh will go into exile,
    together with his priests and officials.
The destroyer will come against every town,
    and not a town will escape.
The valley will be ruined
    and the plateau destroyed,
    because the Lord has spoken.
Put salt on Moab,
    for she will be laid waste[f];
her towns will become desolate,
    with no one to live in them.

10 “A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!
    A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed!

11 “Moab has been at rest from youth,
    like wine left on its dregs,
not poured from one jar to another—
    she has not gone into exile.
So she tastes as she did,
    and her aroma is unchanged.
12 But days are coming,”
    declares the Lord,
“when I will send men who pour from pitchers,
    and they will pour her out;
they will empty her pitchers
    and smash her jars.
13 Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh,
    as Israel was ashamed
    when they trusted in Bethel.

14 “How can you say, ‘We are warriors,
    men valiant in battle’?
15 Moab will be destroyed and her towns invaded;
    her finest young men will go down in the slaughter,
    declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.
16 “The fall of Moab is at hand;
    her calamity will come quickly.
17 Mourn for her, all who live around her,
    all who know her fame;
say, ‘How broken is the mighty scepter,
    how broken the glorious staff!’

18 “Come down from your glory
    and sit on the parched ground,
    you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon,
for the one who destroys Moab
    will come up against you
    and ruin your fortified cities.
19 Stand by the road and watch,
    you who live in Aroer.
Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping,
    ask them, ‘What has happened?’
20 Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered.
    Wail and cry out!
Announce by the Arnon
    that Moab is destroyed.
21 Judgment has come to the plateau
    to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath,
22     to Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,
23     to Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
24     to Kerioth and Bozrah
    to all the towns of Moab, far and near.
25 Moab’s horn[g] is cut off;
    her arm is broken,”
declares the Lord.

26 “Make her drunk,
    for she has defied the Lord.
Let Moab wallow in her vomit;
    let her be an object of ridicule.
27 Was not Israel the object of your ridicule?
    Was she caught among thieves,
that you shake your head in scorn
    whenever you speak of her?
28 Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks,
    you who live in Moab.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
    at the mouth of a cave.

29 “We have heard of Moab’s pride
    how great is her arrogance!—
of her insolence, her pride, her conceit
    and the haughtiness of her heart.
30 I know her insolence but it is futile,”
declares the Lord,
    “and her boasts accomplish nothing.
31 Therefore I wail over Moab,
    for all Moab I cry out,
    I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth.
32 I weep for you, as Jazer weeps,
    you vines of Sibmah.
Your branches spread as far as the sea[h];
    they reached as far as[i] Jazer.
The destroyer has fallen
    on your ripened fruit and grapes.
33 Joy and gladness are gone
    from the orchards and fields of Moab.
I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses;
    no one treads them with shouts of joy.
Although there are shouts,
    they are not shouts of joy.

34 “The sound of their cry rises
    from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz,
from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah,
    for even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
35 In Moab I will put an end
    to those who make offerings on the high places
    and burn incense to their gods,”
declares the Lord.
36 “So my heart laments for Moab like the music of a pipe;
    it laments like a pipe for the people of Kir Hareseth.
    The wealth they acquired is gone.
37 Every head is shaved
    and every beard cut off;
every hand is slashed
    and every waist is covered with sackcloth.
38 On all the roofs in Moab
    and in the public squares
there is nothing but mourning,
    for I have broken Moab
    like a jar that no one wants,”
declares the Lord.
39 “How shattered she is! How they wail!
    How Moab turns her back in shame!
Moab has become an object of ridicule,
    an object of horror to all those around her.”

40 This is what the Lord says:

“Look! An eagle is swooping down,
    spreading its wings over Moab.
41 Kerioth[j] will be captured
    and the strongholds taken.
In that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors
    will be like the heart of a woman in labor.
42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation
    because she defied the Lord.
43 Terror and pit and snare await you,
    you people of Moab,”
declares the Lord.
44 “Whoever flees from the terror
    will fall into a pit,
whoever climbs out of the pit
    will be caught in a snare;
for I will bring on Moab
    the year of her punishment,”
declares the Lord.

45 “In the shadow of Heshbon
    the fugitives stand helpless,
for a fire has gone out from Heshbon,
    a blaze from the midst of Sihon;
it burns the foreheads of Moab,
    the skulls of the noisy boasters.
46 Woe to you, Moab!
    The people of Chemosh are destroyed;
your sons are taken into exile
    and your daughters into captivity.

47 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
    in days to come,”
declares the Lord.

Here ends the judgment on Moab.


  1. Jeremiah 48:1 Or captured; / Misgab
  2. Jeremiah 48:2 The Hebrew for Heshbon sounds like the Hebrew for plot.
  3. Jeremiah 48:2 The name of the Moabite town Madmen sounds like the Hebrew for be silenced.
  4. Jeremiah 48:4 Hebrew; Septuagint / proclaim it to Zoar
  5. Jeremiah 48:6 Or like Aroer
  6. Jeremiah 48:9 Or Give wings to Moab, / for she will fly away
  7. Jeremiah 48:25 Horn here symbolizes strength.
  8. Jeremiah 48:32 Probably the Dead Sea
  9. Jeremiah 48:32 Two Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts as far as the Sea of
  10. Jeremiah 48:41 Or The cities
New International Version (NIV)

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