Prophecies against Moab

About Moab, this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says:

Woe to Nebo, because it is about to be destroyed;

Kiriathaim will be put to shame; it will be taken captive.

The fortress will be put to shame and dismayed!

There is no longer praise for Moab;

they plan harm against her in Heshbon:

Come, let’s cut her off from nationhood.

Also, Madmen,[a] you will be silenced;

the sword will pursue you.

A voice cries out from Horonaim,

“devastation and great disaster!”

Moab will be shattered;

her little ones will cry out.

For on the Ascent to Luhith

they will be weeping continually,[b]

and on the descent to Horonaim

will be heard cries of distress over the destruction:

Flee! Save your lives!

Be like a juniper bush[c] in the wilderness.

Because you trust in your works[d] and treasures,

you will be captured also.

Chemosh will go into exile

with his priests and officials.

The destroyer will move against every town;

not one town will escape.

The valley will perish,

and the plain will be annihilated,

as the Lord has said.

Make Moab a salt marsh,[e]

for she will run away;[f]

her towns will become a desolation,

without inhabitant.

10 The one who does

the Lord’s business deceitfully[g] is cursed,

and the one who withholds

his sword from bloodshed is cursed.

11 Moab has been left quiet since his youth,

settled like wine on its dregs.

He hasn’t been poured from one container to another

or gone into exile.

So his taste has remained the same,

and his aroma hasn’t changed.

12 Therefore look, the days are coming—

this is the Lord’s declaration—

when I will send those to him, who will pour him out.

They will empty his containers

and smash his jars.

13 Moab will be put to shame because of Chemosh,

just as the house of Israel was put to shame

because of Bethel that they trusted in.

14 How can you say, “We are warriors—

mighty men ready for battle”?

15 The destroyer of Moab and its towns

has come up,[h]

and the best of its young men

have gone down to slaughter.

This is the King’s declaration;

Yahweh of Hosts is His name.

16 Moab’s calamity is near at hand;

his disaster is rushing swiftly.

17 Mourn for him, all you surrounding nations,

everyone who knows his name.

Say: How the mighty scepter is shattered,

the glorious staff!

18 Come down from glory; sit on parched ground,

resident of the daughter of Dibon,

for the destroyer of Moab has come against you;

he has destroyed your fortresses.

19 Stand by the highway and look,

resident of Aroer!

Ask him who is fleeing or her who is escaping:

What happened?

20 Moab is put to shame, indeed dismayed.

Wail and cry out!

Declare by the Arnon

that Moab is destroyed.

21 “Judgment has come to the land of the plateau—to Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth-diblathaim, 23 Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, Beth-meon, 24 Kerioth, Bozrah, and all the towns of the land of Moab, those far and near. 25 Moab’s horn is chopped off; his arm is shattered.”

This is the Lord’s declaration.

26 “Make him drunk, because he has exalted himself against the Lord. Moab will wallow in his own vomit, and he will also become a laughingstock. 27 Wasn’t Israel a laughingstock to you? Was he ever found among thieves? For whenever you speak of him you shake your head.”

28 Abandon the towns! Live in the cliffs,

residents of Moab!

Be like a dove

that nests inside the mouth of a cave.

29 We have heard of Moab’s pride,

great pride, indeed—

his insolence, arrogance, pride,

and haughty heart.

30 I know his outburst.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

It is empty.

His boast is empty.

31 Therefore, I will wail over Moab.

I will cry out for Moab, all of it;

he will moan for the men of Kir-heres.

32 I will weep for you, vine of Sibmah,

with more than the weeping for Jazer.

Your tendrils have extended to the sea;

they have reached to the sea and to Jazer.[i]

The destroyer has fallen on your summer fruit and grape harvest.

33 Joy and celebration are taken from the fertile field

and from the land of Moab.

I have stopped the flow of wine from the winepresses;

no one will tread with shouts of joy.

The shouting is not a shout of joy.

34 “There is a cry from Heshbon to Elealeh; they raise their voices as far as Jahaz—from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah—because even the waters of Nimrim have become desolate. 35 In Moab, I will stop”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“the one who offers sacrifices on the high place and burns incense to his gods. 36 Therefore, My heart moans like flutes for Moab, and My heart moans like flutes for the people of Kir-heres. And therefore, the wealth he has gained has perished. 37 Indeed, every head is bald and every beard clipped; on every hand is a gash and sackcloth around the waist. 38 On all the rooftops of Moab and in her public squares, everyone is mourning because I have shattered Moab like a jar no one wants.” This is the Lord’s declaration. 39 “How broken it is! They wail! How Moab has turned his back! He is ashamed. Moab will become a laughingstock and a shock to all those around him.”

40 For this is what the Lord says:

He will swoop down like an eagle

and spread his wings against Moab.

41 The towns have[j] been captured,

and the strongholds seized.

In that day the heart of Moab’s warriors

will be like the heart of a woman with contractions.

42 Moab will be destroyed as a people

because he has exalted himself against the Lord.

43 Panic, pit, and trap

await you, resident of Moab.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

44 He who flees from the panic will fall in the pit,

and he who climbs from the pit

will be captured in the trap,

for I will bring against Moab

the year of their punishment.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

45 Those who flee will stand exhausted in Heshbon’s shadow

because fire has come out from Heshbon

and a flame from within Sihon.

It will devour Moab’s forehead

and the skull of the noisemakers.

46 Woe to you, Moab!

The people of Chemosh have perished

because your sons have been taken captive

and your daughters have gone into captivity.

47 Yet, I will restore the fortunes[k] of Moab in the last days.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

The judgment on Moab ends here.


  1. Jeremiah 48:2 A city in Moab
  2. Jeremiah 48:5 Lit Luhith, weeping goes up with weeping
  3. Jeremiah 48:6 Or like Aroer; Is 17:2; Jr 48:19
  4. Jeremiah 48:7 LXX reads strongholds
  5. Jeremiah 48:9 LXX reads a sign; Vg reads a flower; Syr, Tg read a crown
  6. Jeremiah 48:9 Hb obscure
  7. Jeremiah 48:10 Or negligently
  8. Jeremiah 48:15 Or Moab is destroyed; he has come up against its city
  9. Jeremiah 48:32 Some Hb mss read reached as far as Jazer
  10. Jeremiah 48:41 Or Kerioth has
  11. Jeremiah 48:47 Or will end the captivity