46 The Lord often told me what to say about the different nations of the world.
What the Lord Says about Egypt
2 In the fourth year that Jehoiakim[a] was king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar[b] of Babylonia defeated King Neco of Egypt[c] in a battle at the city of Carchemish near the Euphrates River. And here is what the Lord told me to say about the Egyptian army:
3 It’s time to go into battle! So grab your shields, 4 saddle your horses, and polish your spears. Put on your helmets and armor, then take your positions.
5 I can see the battle now— you are defeated and running away, never once looking back. Terror is all around. 6 You are strong and run fast, but you can’t escape. You fall in battle near the Euphrates River.
7 What nation is this, that rises like the Nile River overflowing its banks? 8 It is Egypt, rising with a roar like a raging river and saying, “I’ll flood the earth, destroying cities, and killing everyone in them.”
9 Go ahead, Egypt. Tell your chariots and cavalry to attack and fight hard. Order your troops to march out, with Ethiopians[d] and Libyans carrying shields, and the Lydians[e] armed with bows and arrows.
10 But the Lord All-Powerful will win this battle and take revenge on his enemies. His sword will eat them and drink their blood until it is full. They will be killed in the north near the Euphrates River, as a sacrifice to the Lord.
11 Egypt, no medicine can heal you, not even the soothing lotion from Gilead. 12 All nations have heard you weep; you are disgraced, and they know it. Your troops fall to the ground, stumbling over each other.
A Warning for Egypt
13-14 When King Nebuchadnezzar[f] of Babylonia was on his way to attack Egypt, the Lord sent me with a warning for every Egyptian town, but especially for Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes. He said to tell them:
Prepare to defend yourselves! Everywhere in your nation, people are dying in war. 15 I have struck down your mighty god Apis[g] and chased him away.[h] 16 Your soldiers stumble over each other and say, “Get up! The enemy will kill us, unless we can escape to our own land.”
17 Give the king of Egypt this new name, “Talks-Big-Does-Nothing.”
18 Egypt, I am the true king, the Lord All-Powerful, and as surely as I live, those enemies who attack will tower over you like Mount Tabor among the hills or Mount Carmel by the sea. 19 You will be led away captive, so pack a few things to bring with you. Your capital, Memphis, will lie empty and in ruins.
20 An enemy from the north will attack you, beautiful Egypt, like a fly biting a cow. 21 The foreign soldiers you hired will turn and run. But they are doomed, like well-fed calves being led to the butcher.
22 The enemy army will go forward like a swarm of locusts.[i] Your troops will feel helpless, like a snake in a forest 23 when men with axes start chopping down trees. It can only hiss and try to escape. 24 Your people will be disgraced and captured by the enemy from the north.
25 I am the Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel. Soon I will punish the god Amon of Thebes[j] and the other Egyptian gods, the Egyptian kings, the people of Egypt, and everyone who trusts in the Egyptian power. 26 I will hand them over to King Nebuchadnezzar and his army. But I also promise that Egypt will someday have people living here again, just as it had before. I, the Lord, have spoken.
The Lord Will Bring Israel Home
The Lord said:
27 Israel,[k] don’t be afraid. Someday I will bring you home from foreign lands. You and your descendants will live in peace and safety, with nothing to fear. 28 So don’t be afraid, even though now you deserve to be punished and have been scattered among other nations. But when I destroy them, I will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken.
What the Lord Says about the Philistines
47 Before the king of Egypt attacked the town of Gaza,[l] the Lord told me to say to the Philistines:
2 I, the Lord, tell you that your land will be flooded with an army from the north. It will destroy your towns and sweep you away, moaning and screaming. 3 When you hear the thunder of horses and chariots, your courage will vanish, and parents will abandon their own children.
4 You refugees from Crete,[m] your time has now come, and I will destroy you. None of you will be left to help the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 5 The Anakim who survive[n] in Gaza and Ashkelon will mourn for you by shaving their heads and sitting in silence. 6 You ask how long will I continue to attack you with my sword, then you tell me to put it away and leave you alone. 7 But how can my sword rest, when I have commanded it to attack Ashkelon and the seacoast?
What the Lord Says about Moab
48 The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, told me to say to the nation of Moab:
The town of Nebo is doomed; Kiriathaim will be captured and disgraced, and even its fortress will be left in ruins. 2 No one honors you, Moab. In Heshbon, enemies make plans to end your life. My sword will leave only silence in your town named “Quiet.”[o] 3 The people of Horonaim will cry for help, as their town is attacked and destroyed.
4 Moab will be shattered! Your children will sob 5 and cry on their way up to the town of Luhith; on the road to Horonaim they will tell of disasters.
6 Run for your lives! Head into the desert like a wild donkey.[p] 7 You thought you could be saved by your power and wealth, but you will be captured along with your god Chemosh, his priests, and officials. 8 Not one of your towns will escape destruction.
I have told your enemies, “Wipe out the valley and the flatlands of Moab. 9 Spread salt on the ground to kill the crops.[q] Leave its towns in ruins, with no one living there. 10 I want you to kill the Moabites, and if you let them escape, I will put a curse on you.”
11 Moab, you are like wine left to settle undisturbed, never poured from jar to jar. And so, your nation continues to prosper and improve.[r] 12 But now, I will send enemies to pour out the wine and smash the jars! 13 Then you will be ashamed, because your god Chemosh cannot save you, just as Bethel[s] could not help the Israelites.
14 You claim that your soldiers are strong and brave. 15 But I am the Lord, the all-powerful King, and I promise that enemies will overpower your towns. Even your best warriors will die in the battle. 16 It won’t be long now— disaster will hit Moab!
17 I will order the nearby nations to mourn for you and say, “Isn’t it sad? Moab ruled others, but now its glorious power has been shattered.”
18 People in the town of Dibon,[t] you will be honored no more, so have a seat in the dust. Your walls will be torn down when the enemies attack.
19 You people of Aroer,[u] go wait beside the road, and when refugees run by, ask them, “What happened?” 20 They will answer, “Moab has been defeated! Weep with us in shame. Tell everyone at the Arnon River that Moab is destroyed.”
21 I will punish every town that belongs to Moab, but especially Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth-Diblathaim, 23 Kiriathaim, Beth-Gamul, Beth-Meon, 24 Kerioth, and Bozrah.[v] 25 My decision is final— your army will be crushed, and your power broken.
26 People of Moab, you claim to be stronger than I am. Now I will tell other nations to make you drunk and to laugh while you collapse in your own vomit. 27 You made fun of my people and treated them like criminals caught in the act. 28 Now you must leave your towns and live like doves in the shelter of cliffs and canyons.
29 I know about your pride, and how you strut and boast. 30 But I also know bragging will never save you. 31 So I will cry and mourn for Moab and its town of Kir-Heres.
32 People of Sibmah, you were like a vineyard heavy with grapes, and with branches reaching north to the town of Jazer and west to the Dead Sea.[w] But you have been destroyed, and so I will weep for you, as the people of Jazer weep for the vineyards.
33 Harvest celebrations are gone from the orchards and farms of Moab. There are no happy shouts from people making wine. 34 Weeping from Heshbon can be heard as far as Elealeh and Jahaz; cries from Zoar are heard in Horonaim and Eglath-Shelishiyah. And Nimrim Creek has run dry.
35 I will get rid of anyone who burns incense to the gods of Moab or offers sacrifices at their shrines. I, the Lord, have spoken.
36 In my heart I moan for Moab, like a funeral song played on a flute. I mourn for the people of the town of Kir-Heres, because their wealth is gone.
37 The people of Moab mourn on the rooftops and in the streets. Men cut off their beards, people shave their heads; they make cuts on their hands and wear sackcloth.[x] 38 And it’s all because I, the Lord, have shattered Moab like a jar that no one wants. 39 Moab lies broken! Listen to its people cry as they turn away in shame. Other nations are horrified at what happened, but still they laugh.
40 Moab, an enemy swoops down like an eagle spreading its wings over your land. 41 Your cities[y] and fortresses will be captured, and your warriors gripped by fear.[z] 42 You are finished as a nation, because you dared oppose me, the Lord. 43 Terror, pits, and traps are waiting for you. 44 If you are terrified and run, you will fall into a pit; and if you crawl out of the pit, you’ll get caught in a trap. The time has come for you to be punished.
45 Near the city of Heshbon, where Sihon once ruled, tired refugees stand in shadows cast by the flames of their burning city. Soon, the towns on other hilltops, where those warlike people live, will also go up in smoke.
46 People of Moab, you worshiped Chemosh, your god, but now you are done for, and your children are prisoners in a foreign country. 47 Yet someday, I will bring your people back home. I, the Lord, have spoken.
47.1attacked the town of Gaza: One of the major Philistine towns; nothing is known about this attack.
47.4Crete: Hebrew “Caphtor,” another name for Crete, the original homeland of the ancestor of the Philistines.
47.5Anakim who survive: One ancient translation; Hebrew “people in the valley who survive.” The Anakim may have been a group of very large people that lived in Palestine before the Israelites (see Numbers 13.33; Deuteronomy 2.10,11,20,21; and Joshua 11.21,22).
48.2silence. . . Quiet: In Hebrew the name of the town was “Madmen,” which sounds like the word for “silence.”
48.6like a wild donkey: One ancient translation; Hebrew “like (the town of) Aroer” (see verse 19).
48.9Spread salt. . . crops: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
48.11continues. . . improve: Or “remains as evil as ever.”
48.13Bethel: It may refer to the Phoenician or Canaanite god of that name; or it may refer to the town where people of the northern kingdom worshiped at a local shrine (see 1 Kings 12.26-30).
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