Prophecy against Moab

Concerning Moab:
The Lord of heavenly forces,
the God of Israel, proclaims:
How awful for Nebo;
it lies in ruins.
Kirathaim is captured and shamed;
the fortress is disgraced,
reduced to rubble.
No one sings Moab’s praise any longer!
In Heshbon they are hatching
a plot against her:
“Come, let’s bring down the nation!”
You too, Madmen, will be silenced;
the sword will pursue you.
Listen to the cries for help from Horonaim:
“Destruction and massive devastation!”
Moab is shattered;
its young cry for help.
On the way up to Luhith,
there is uncontrollable weeping.
On the way down to Horonaim,
they hear sobs of anguish.
Run for your lives!
Be like Aroer[a] in the desert.
Because you have relied
on your own strength and treasures,
you also will be captured.
Chemosh will go into exile,
together with his priests and officials.
The destroyer will sweep through every town;
no town will escape.
The valleys will be ravaged;
the plateaus will be destroyed,
because the Lord has declared it so.
Give wings to Moab,
and it would fly away[b]
because its towns lie in ruins,
with no one left in them.
10 Cursed is the one who is halfhearted
in doing the Lord’s work.
Cursed is the one who restrains
the sword from bloodshed.
11 From early on Moab has been at ease,
like wine[c] left to settle on its sediment.
It hasn’t been poured into jars;
nor has Moab been taken into exile.
Therefore, its taste is still pleasant,
and its aroma is the same.

12 But the time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will send to him someone to spill it—to pour out his wine and to smash his jars. 13 And Moab will be put to shame on account of Chemosh, just as the people of Israel were put to shame on account of Bethel, in which they trusted.[d]

14 How can you claim,
“We’re soldiers; we’re war heroes”?
15 Moab is doomed;
its towns will surrender;[e]
its elite forces will go down in defeat,
declares the king whose name is the Lord of heavenly forces.
16 Moab’s destruction is near;
its downfall approaches rapidly.
17 Grieve for this nation,
you neighbors of Moab,
all you who know his name.
Proclaim how its mighty scepter
and magnificent staff are shattered!
18 Come down from your lofty place
and sit in the dust,[f]
you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon;[g]
because Moab’s destroyer
has arrived to level your fortresses.
19 Stand by the roads and watch,
you inhabitants of Aroer.
Ask the men who flee
and the women who run off,
“What’s happened?”
20 Moab is shamed and shocked;
weep and wail!
Tell it by the Arnon River:
Moab’s been destroyed!
21 Judgment has come to the towns of 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 is cut off;
its arm is broken,
declares the Lord.
26 Get Moab drunk,
because it has exalted itself above the Lord.
Moab will collapse in its vomit
and become the butt of every joke.
27 Wasn’t Israel the butt of your jokes?
Didn’t you shake your head
as if they were thieves
caught in the act?
28 Leave your towns, head for the cliffs,
you people of Moab.
Hide like a dove
that nests in the mouth of a cave.
29 We have heard of Moab’s pride:
arrogant, puffed up, exalted,
high and mighty, boastful!
30 I myself know about its arrogance,
declares the Lord,
the idle talk, the empty deeds.
31 But I’ll still wail for Moab;
I’ll cry out for all Moab;
I’ll[h] sob for the people of Kir-heres.
32 I’ll weep for you, vine of Sibmah,
more than I would for Jazer.
Though your branches extended to the sea
and reached the coast of Jazer,
now the destroyer has come
to harvest your grapes and summer fruits.
33 Joy and gladness have been taken
from the orchards and farms of Moab.
I have stopped making wine in the presses.
No one shouts with joy
while treading the grapes.
Though there are shouts,
they are not shouts of joy![i]
34 Screams are heard from Heshbon
to Elealeh and Jahaz;
their cries resound from Zoar
to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah.
Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
35 I’ll put an end to Moab,
declares the Lord,
for making offerings on the shrines,
and worshipping their gods.
36 Therefore, my heart wails for Moab
like a mournful[j] flute that plays the dirge;
my heart wails for the people of Kir-heres,
like a mournful flute.
Their abundance is now gone.
37 Every head is shaved,
every beard is cut off,
every hand is slashed,
and everyone wears mourning clothes.
38 On every housetop of Moab
and in all its streets,
there’s nothing but mourning.
I have shattered Moab
like a pottery vessel no one wants,
declares the Lord.
39 How it’s shattered! Go wail!
How Moab turns away!
What shame!
Moab has become the butt of every joke,
horrific to all its neighbors.
40 The Lord proclaims:
Look! One who soars like an eagle
and spreads its wings over Moab.
41 The towns will be captured;
the strongholds will be seized.
On that day, the heart of every soldier from Moab
will be like that of a woman in the throes of labor.
42 Moab will be destroyed once and for all
because it has exalted itself above the Lord.
43 Terror, traps, and trackers[k]
are upon you, people of Moab,
declares the Lord.
44 Those who flee from terror
will fall into a pit;
those who escape the pit
will be captured by the trap.
I will bring upon Moab
the year of its punishment,
declares the Lord.
45 In Heshbon tired refugees seek shelter.
But fire is raging in Heshbon,
flames from the house[l] of Sihon.
It has burned up part of Moab,
including the leader of this rebellious nation.[m]
46 How terrible for you, Moab;
the people of Chemosh have perished.
Your sons have been carried off;
your daughters have been taken captive.
47 But in the days to come
I’ll bring back Moab from captivity,
declares the Lord.
Such is the judgment on Moab.


  1. Jeremiah 48:6 Heb uncertain
  2. Jeremiah 48:9 Heb uncertain
  3. Jeremiah 48:11 Heb lacks like wine.
  4. Jeremiah 48:13 Or And Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh just as the people of Israel were ashamed of Bethel, in which they trusted.
  5. Jeremiah 48:15 Heb uncertain
  6. Jeremiah 48:18 Or thirst
  7. Jeremiah 48:18 Heb uncertain, or residing Daughter Dibon
  8. Jeremiah 48:31 Or He
  9. Jeremiah 48:33 Heb uncertain
  10. Jeremiah 48:36 Heb lacks mournful.
  11. Jeremiah 48:43 Or terror, pit, and trap
  12. Jeremiah 48:45 Heb manuscripts; MT from among
  13. Jeremiah 48:45 Heb uncertain