Isaiah 16

Moab's troubles

1 We must send sheep as gifts to the ruler of our land. Send them from Sela across the desert. Send them to Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

16:1The Moabite leaders are deciding what they should do.

2 Moab's women are standing at the shore of Arnon river. They want to go across. They are like birds that people have chased out of their nests.

3 The Moabites say, ‘Tell us what we should do! Help us in our troubles! Give us some shade in the middle of the day! Hide the people who are escaping! Our enemies are chasing us. Do not let them find us. 4 Let us escape from Moab and come to live among you. Our enemy wants to destroy us. Please keep us safe!’

Yes, one day, the cruel enemy will have gone. He will no longer attack the land and destroy it. 5 One of David's descendants will rule as king. He will be true and honest. He will judge people in a fair way. He will quickly bring justice among his people.

6 The people of Judah say, ‘We know how proud Moab's people are. We have heard how they boast about themselves. They think that they can do anything that they want. But all their pride is empty and useless!’

7 Because of their troubles, Moab's people weep. They are all very upset. They are sad because there are no more sweet raisins from Kir-Hareseth!

8 Yes, nothing grows in Heshbon's fields. There are no grapes on Sibmah's vines. The rulers of other nations have destroyed the vineyards. The branches of those vines reached as far as Jazer, and the desert. They even grew to go across the sea. 9 Because of that, I weep for the vines of Sibmah, as Jazer weeps. I pour out my tears all over you, Heshbon and Elealeh. Your people no longer sing because they are happy at harvest time. There is no more fruit on your trees or crops in your fields. 10 Nobody is happy in the fields. Nobody sings or shouts with joy in the vineyards. Nobody squeezes the grapes to make wine. I have caused all the happy noise to stop.

16:8The vines are a picture of Moab's strength. Other nations enjoyed the good things that they received from Moab.

11 So, I cry deep inside me for Moab. I cry like the sad music of a harp. I am very upset for Kir-Hareseth.

12 Moab's people go to their altars and temples to pray for help from their gods. But they will only become tired. Their prayers will be useless.

13 That is the message that the Lord has already spoken about Moab. 14 But now the Lord says, ‘In three years' time, all Moab's glory will have gone. Count every day of those years, as if you are working to receive money. After that, there will only be a few of Moab's people who are still alive. Now they are many and they are strong. But by then they will be few and weak.’