49 The Ammonites
What is this you are doing? Why are you living in the cities of the Jews? Aren’t there Jews enough to fill them up? Didn’t they inherit them from me? Why then have you, who worship Milcom, taken over Gad and all its cities? 2 I will punish you for this, the Lord declares, by destroying your city of Rabbah. It shall become a desolate heap, and the neighboring towns shall be burned. Then Israel shall come and take back her land from you again. She shall dispossess those who dispossessed her, says the Lord.
3 Cry out, O Heshbon, for Ai is destroyed! Weep, daughter of Rabbah! Put on garments of mourning; weep and wail, hiding in the hedges, for your god Milcom shall be exiled along with his princes and priests. 4 You are proud of your fertile valleys, but they will soon be ruined. O wicked daughter, you trusted in your wealth and thought no one could ever harm you. 5 But see, I will bring terror upon you, says the Lord, the Lord Almighty. For all your neighbors shall drive you from your land and none shall help your exiles as they flee. 6 But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, says the Lord.
7 The Lord says: Where are all your wise men of days gone by? Is there not one left in all of Teman? 8 Flee to the remotest parts of the desert, O people of Dedan;[a] for when I punish Edom, I will punish you! 9-10 Those who gather grapes leave a few for the poor, and even thieves don’t take everything, but I will strip bare the land of Esau, and there will be no place to hide. Her children, her brothers, her neighbors—all will be destroyed—and she herself will perish too. 11 (But I will preserve your fatherless children who remain, and let your widows depend upon me.)
12 The Lord says to Edom: If the innocent must suffer, how much more must you! You shall not go unpunished! You must drink this cup of judgment! 13 For I have sworn by my own name, says the Lord, that Bozrah shall become heaps of ruins, cursed and mocked; and her cities shall be eternal wastes.
14 I have heard this message from the Lord: I have sent a messenger to call the nations to form a coalition against Edom and destroy her. 15 I will make her weak among the nations and despised by all, says the Lord. 16 You have been fooled by your fame and your pride, living there in the mountains of Petra, in the clefts of the rocks. But though you live among the peaks with the eagles, I will bring you down, says the Lord.
17 The fate of Edom will be horrible; all who go by will be appalled and gasp at the sight. 18 Your cities will become as silent as Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, says the Lord. No one will live there anymore. 19 I will send against them one who will come like a lion from the wilds of Jordan stalking the sheep in the fold. Suddenly Edom shall be destroyed, and I will appoint over the Edomites the person of my choice. For who is like me, and who can call me to account? What shepherd can defy me?
20 Take note: The Lord will certainly do this to Edom and also the people of Teman—even little children will be dragged away as slaves! It will be a shocking thing to see. 21 The earth shakes with the noise of Edom’s fall; the cry of the people is heard as far away as the Red Sea. 22 The one who will come will fly as swift as a vulture and will spread his wings against Bozrah. Then the courage of the mightiest warriors will disappear like that of women in labor.
23 The cities of Hamath and Arpad are stricken with fear, for they have heard the news of their doom. Their hearts are troubled like a wild sea in a raging storm. 24 Damascus has become feeble, and all her people turn to flee. Fear, anguish, and sorrow have gripped her as they do women in labor. 25 O famous city, city of joy, how you are forsaken now! 26 Your young men lie dead in the streets; your entire army shall be destroyed in one day, says the Lord Almighty. 27 And I will start a fire at the edge of Damascus that shall burn up the palaces of Ben-hadad.
Kedar and Hazor
28 This prophecy is about Kedar[b] and the kingdoms of Hazor that are going to be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, for the Lord will send him to destroy them:
29 Their flocks and their tents will be captured, says the Lord, with all their household goods. Their camels will be taken away, and all around will be the shouts of panic, “We are surrounded and doomed!” 30 Flee for your lives, says the Lord. Go deep into the deserts, O people of Hazor, for Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has plotted against you and is preparing to destroy you.
31 “Go,” said the Lord to King Nebuchadnezzar. “Attack those wealthy Bedouin tribes living alone in the desert without a care in the world, boasting that they are self-sufficient—that they need neither walls nor gates. 32 Their camels and cattle shall all be yours, and I will scatter these heathen[c] to the winds. From all directions I will bring calamity upon them.
33 “Hazor shall be a home for wild animals of the desert. No one shall ever live there again. It shall be desolate forever.”
34 God’s message against Elam came to Jeremiah in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah:
35 The Lord says: I will destroy the army of Elam, 36 and I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds; they shall be exiled to countries throughout the world. 37 My fierce anger will bring great evil upon Elam, says the Lord, and I will cause her enemies to wipe her out. 38 And I will set my throne in Elam, says the Lord. I will destroy her king and princes. 39 But in the latter days I will bring the people back, says the Lord.
- Jeremiah 49:8 Dedan was in Northern Arabia and was a flourishing caravan city at the time of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
- Jeremiah 49:28 Kedar, an Arab tribe living in the desert east of Palestine. Hazor, not the Hazor mentioned in Joshua and Judges—a great city north of the Sea of Galilee, but rather, a group of Arab tribes.
- Jeremiah 49:32 these heathen, literally, “those who cut the corners of their hair.”