48 This message was given concerning Moab. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says:
“What sorrow awaits the city of Nebo; it will soon lie in ruins. The city of Kiriathaim will be humiliated and captured; the fortress will be humiliated and broken down. 2 No one will ever brag about Moab again, for in Heshbon there is a plot to destroy her. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘we will cut her off from being a nation.’ The town of Madmen,[a] too, will be silenced; the sword will follow you there. 3 Listen to the cries from Horonaim, cries of devastation and great destruction. 4 All Moab is destroyed. Her little ones will cry out.[b] 5 Her refugees weep bitterly, climbing the slope to Luhith. They cry out in terror, descending the slope to Horonaim. 6 Flee for your lives! Hide[c] in the wilderness! 7 Because you have trusted in your wealth and skill, you will be taken captive. Your god Chemosh, with his priests and officials, will be hauled off to distant lands!
8 “All the towns will be destroyed, and no one will escape— either on the plateaus or in the valleys, for the Lord has spoken. 9 Oh, that Moab had wings so she could fly away,[d] for her towns will be left empty, with no one living in them. 10 Cursed are those who refuse to do the Lord’s work, who hold back their swords from shedding blood!
11 “From his earliest history, Moab has lived in peace, never going into exile. He is like wine that has been allowed to settle. He has not been poured from flask to flask, and he is now fragrant and smooth. 12 But the time is coming soon,” says the Lord, “when I will send men to pour him from his jar. They will pour him out, then shatter the jar! 13 At last Moab will be ashamed of his idol Chemosh, as the people of Israel were ashamed of their gold calf at Bethel.[e]
14 “You used to boast, ‘We are heroes, mighty men of war.’ 15 But now Moab and his towns will be destroyed. His most promising youth are doomed to slaughter,” says the King, whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 16 “Destruction is coming fast for Moab; calamity threatens ominously. 17 You friends of Moab, weep for him and cry! See how the strong scepter is broken, how the beautiful staff is shattered!
18 “Come down from your glory and sit in the dust, you people of Dibon, for those who destroy Moab will shatter Dibon, too. They will tear down all your towers. 19 You people of Aroer, stand beside the road and watch. Shout to those who flee from Moab, ‘What has happened there?’
20 “And the reply comes back, ‘Moab lies in ruins, disgraced; weep and wail! Tell it by the banks of the Arnon River: Moab has been destroyed!’ 21 Judgment has been poured out on the towns of the plateau— on Holon and Jahaz[f] and Mephaath, 22 on Dibon and Nebo and Beth-diblathaim, 23 on Kiriathaim and Beth-gamul and Beth-meon, 24 on Kerioth and Bozrah— all the towns of Moab, far and near.
25 “The strength of Moab has ended. His arm has been broken,” says the Lord. 26 “Let him stagger and fall like a drunkard, for he has rebelled against the Lord. Moab will wallow in his own vomit, ridiculed by all. 27 Did you not ridicule the people of Israel? Were they caught in the company of thieves that you should despise them as you do?
28 “You people of Moab, flee from your towns and live in the caves. Hide like doves that nest in the clefts of the rocks. 29 We have all heard of the pride of Moab, for his pride is very great. We know of his lofty pride, his arrogance, and his haughty heart. 30 I know about his insolence,” says the Lord, “but his boasts are empty— as empty as his deeds. 31 So now I wail for Moab; yes, I will mourn for Moab. My heart is broken for the men of Kir-hareseth.[g]
32 “You people of Sibmah, rich in vineyards, I will weep for you even more than I did for Jazer. Your spreading vines once reached as far as the Dead Sea,[h] but the destroyer has stripped you bare! He has harvested your grapes and summer fruits. 33 Joy and gladness are gone from fruitful Moab. The presses yield no wine. No one treads the grapes with shouts of joy. There is shouting, yes, but not of joy.
34 “Instead, their awful cries of terror can be heard from Heshbon clear across to Elealeh and Jahaz; from Zoar all the way to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up now.
35 “I will put an end to Moab,” says the Lord, “for the people offer sacrifices at the pagan shrines and burn incense to their false gods.36 My heart moans like a flute for Moab and Kir-hareseth, for all their wealth has disappeared.37 The people shave their heads and beards in mourning. They slash their hands and put on clothes made of burlap.38 There is crying and sorrow in every Moabite home and on every street. For I have smashed Moab like an old, unwanted jar.39 How it is shattered! Hear the wailing! See the shame of Moab! It has become an object of ridicule, an example of ruin to all its neighbors.”
40 This is what the Lord says:
“Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle, spreading his wings over Moab. 41 Its cities will fall, and its strongholds will be seized. Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish like a woman in labor. 42 Moab will no longer be a nation, for it has boasted against the Lord.
43 “Terror and traps and snares will be your lot, O Moab,” says the Lord. 44 “Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap, and those who escape the trap will step into a snare. I will see to it that you do not get away, for the time of your judgment has come,” says the Lord. 45 “The people flee as far as Heshbon but are unable to go on. For a fire comes from Heshbon, King Sihon’s ancient home, to devour the entire land with all its rebellious people.
46 “What sorrow awaits you, O people of Moab! The people of the god Chemosh are destroyed! Your sons and your daughters have been taken away as captives. 47 But I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
This is the end of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning Moab.
A Message about Ammon
49 This message was given concerning the Ammonites. This is what the Lord says:
“Are there no descendants of Israel to inherit the land of Gad? Why are you, who worship Molech,[i] living in its towns? 2 In the days to come,” says the Lord, “I will sound the battle cry against your city of Rabbah. It will become a desolate heap of ruins, and the neighboring towns will be burned. Then Israel will take back the land you took from her,” says the Lord.
3 “Cry out, O Heshbon, for the town of Ai is destroyed. Weep, O people of Rabbah! Put on your clothes of mourning. Weep and wail, hiding in the hedges, for your god Molech, with his priests and officials, will be hauled off to distant lands. 4 You are proud of your fertile valleys, but they will soon be ruined. You trusted in your wealth, you rebellious daughter, and thought no one could ever harm you. 5 But look! I will bring terror upon you,” says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Your neighbors will chase you from your land, and no one will help your exiles as they flee. 6 But I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites in days to come. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Messages about Edom
7 This message was given concerning Edom. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:
“Is there no wisdom in Teman? Is no one left to give wise counsel? 8 Turn and flee! Hide in deep caves, you people of Dedan! For when I bring disaster on Edom,[j] I will punish you, too! 9 Those who harvest grapes always leave a few for the poor. If thieves came at night, they would not take everything. 10 But I will strip bare the land of Edom, and there will be no place left to hide. Its children, its brothers, and its neighbors will all be destroyed, and Edom itself will be no more. 11 But I will protect the orphans who remain among you. Your widows, too, can depend on me for help.”
12 And this is what the Lord says: “If the innocent must suffer, how much more must you! You will not go unpunished! You must drink this cup of judgment!13 For I have sworn by my own name,” says the Lord, “that Bozrah will become an object of horror and a heap of ruins; it will be mocked and cursed. All its towns and villages will be desolate forever.”
14 I have heard a message from the Lord that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say, “Form a coalition against Edom, and prepare for battle!”
15 The Lord says to Edom, “I will cut you down to size among the nations. You will be despised by all. 16 You have been deceived by the fear you inspire in others and by your own pride. You live in a rock fortress and control the mountain heights. But even if you make your nest among the peaks with the eagles, I will bring you crashing down,” says the Lord.
17 “Edom will be an object of horror. All who pass by will be appalled and will gasp at the destruction they see there. 18 It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns,” says the Lord. “No one will live there; no one will inhabit it. 19 I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan, leaping on the sheep in the pasture. I will chase Edom from its land, and I will appoint the leader of my choice. For who is like me, and who can challenge me? What ruler can oppose my will?”
20 Listen to the Lord’s plans against Edom and the people of Teman. Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep, and their homes will be destroyed. 21 The earth will shake with the noise of Edom’s fall, and its cry of despair will be heard all the way to the Red Sea.[k] 22 Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle, spreading his wings over Bozrah. Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish like a woman in labor.
48:2Madmen sounds like the Hebrew word for “silence”; it should not be confused with the English word madmen.
48:4Greek version reads Her cries are heard as far away as Zoar.
48:6Or Hide like a wild donkey; or Hide like a juniper shrub; or Be like [the town of] Aroer. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
48:9Or Put salt on Moab, / for she will be laid waste.
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