Jeremiah 48:1-47

A message about Moab

1 The great and powerful Lord, Israel's God says,

‘I will cause the people in Nebo city to cry, because I will destroy it.

The people in Kiriathaim city will be ashamed and its enemies will get power over it.

They will break its strong buildings, and its people will be ashamed.

2 Nobody will again say good things about Moab.

In Heshbon, men will think about how they can destroy Moab.

They will say, “Let us completely destroy that nation.”

And the town called Madmen will become completely quiet.

3 You will hear sad voices from Horonaim.

Its people will be afraid. And they will cry while enemies destroy it.

4 The Lord will break the country called Moab.

The children who live there will cry.

5 They will go to Luhith. And they will cry while they walk.

They will go towards Horonaim. And they will cry while enemies destroy their cities.

6 Go! Run away to save your lives!

Live like bushes in the desert.

7 You thought that your rich things would save you.

But your enemies will take you away too.

The people and the god Chemosh will go to a foreign country

together with their priests and their officers.

8 The enemy's armies will attack every town.

They will not save one town.

They will destroy the valley and the flat country.

The Lord has spoken.

9 They will put salt on Moab's country so that nothing will grow there.

Nobody will live in their towns. They will be empty.

10 The Lord will punish any man who will not do God's work!

He will punish anyone who does not kill with his sword!

11 Moab's people have had peace since they became a nation.

They have been like wine that rests in a cupboard.

Nobody has ever taken them away to a foreign country.

So it is the same as it always was.’

12 ‘But the time will come,’ says the Lord,

‘when I will send men to it.

They will pour out Moab's people like wine. They will empty Moab like wine jars.

They will break the jars completely.

13 Then the people from Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh.

They will be like the people in Israel who worshipped the god at Bethel.

Those people became ashamed when they did that.

14 You should not say, “We are soldiers who are strong in a fight.”

15 I will destroy Moab. Enemies will get power over its towns.

They will kill the best of its young men.’

The King, the great and powerful Lord says,

16 ‘Moab will fall very soon.

Enemies will destroy it quickly.

17 The people who live round it must be sorry for it.

They all knew how great it had been.

They will say, “Moab's great kingdom is broken.

Their king is not still ruling there!”

18 You people who live round Dibon, sit on the ground.

Come from your beautiful houses and sit in the dirt.

The enemy who is destroying Moab will come to attack you.

He will break down your cities that have walls round them.

19 Stand by the road, you people who live in Aroer. And watch.

You will see men and women who are running away.

Ask them, “Why are you running away from the city?”

20 Moab is ashamed because enemies have broken it.


Tell the people by the River Arnon that enemies have destroyed Moab.

21 The Lord has judged the cities on the flat country.

He has judged Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath,

22 and Dibon, Nebo and Beth-Diblathaim.

23 Tell Kiriathaim, Beth-Gamul and Beth-Meon,

24 Kerioth and Bozrah that he has judged them.

Tell the people in all the towns in Moab, near or far away.

25 Moab does not have any power now.

Their enemies have destroyed the things that made them strong,’

says the Lord.

26 ‘Moab has not obeyed the Lord. So make it like a woman who is drunk.

She will be sick and she will sit in her own dirt.

People will point at Moab. They will not give any honour to their people.

27 You said things that were not kind about Israel.

You said that they did not have any value.

You did not find Israel's people when they were with many robbers.

So you do not have any good reason to speak like that about them.

28 You people in Moab,

leave your towns and go to live among the rocks.

Live like a bird that builds its house by a hole in the hill.

29 We have heard about the people in Moab.

They think that they are better than anyone else.

They think that other people are like dirt.

They think that nobody is good enough to speak to them.

30 I know about Moab's thoughts.

They think that Israel does not have any value.

But their thoughts do not have any value,’ says the Lord.

‘The loud words that they say will not help them.

31 So I am sad for Moab. I am crying for all their people.

I am sorry for the men in Kir-Heres.

32 I am weeping for your vines of Sibmah.

They reach as far as the sea.

Their branches reach to the sea called Jazer.

The enemy is destroying their fruit and their grapes.

33 The fruit farms and the fields of Moab are empty.

They make people sad.

They are not happy

because I have stopped them making wine.

They are not singing now and they are not happy now.

34 They are crying with a loud voice.

The noise rises from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz.

It reaches from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-Shelishiyah.

Even the River Nimrim has become dry.

35 The people in Moab worship other gods.

They offer food to them on the high places.

They burn nice smelling oils to their gods.

I will cause them to stop that,’ says the Lord.

36 ‘So I am very, very sad for the people in Moab.

I will sing a sad song.

It is a song for the men in Kir-Heres

because they have lost their valuable things.

37 All the men have cut off the hair from their heads and faces.

They have cut their hands.

And they are wearing hard material.

38 On all the roofs and in the streets,

the people are sad and they are crying.

They are sad because I have broken Moab.

I have broken it like a jar that I do not want,’

says the Lord.

39 ‘I have really broken Moab. So its people cry with loud voices.

They are ashamed and they turn away.

People look at Moab's troubles. They do not give any honour to its people.

All who live near there are afraid to look at Moab.’

40 The Lord says,

‘Look! A big bird is flying down.

Its wings are open while it flies over Moab.’

48:40This is like a picture of an attack by an enemy.

41 ‘An enemy will win the fight for Kerioth

and he will get power over its strong buildings.

Then Moab's soldiers will be afraid.

They will be afraid like a woman who is having a baby.

42 The Lord will destroy the nation of Moab

because they have not obeyed him.

43 He will catch their people and he will punish them.

And they will be very afraid,’ says the Lord.

44 ‘People who run from dangerous things will fall into holes.

They will fall into holes that their enemies have dug.

And the enemy will catch those who climb out of the holes.

That will happen because now I will punish Moab,’ says the Lord.

45 ‘Those people who tried to run away will stand near to Heshbon.

Nobody will help them.

I have been like a fire that is coming from Heshbon.

It is like a fire from the centre of Sihon.

It burns the faces of Moab's people.

And it burns the heads of the drunks who make a lot of noise.

46 It will be very bad for you, you people in Moab!

I have destroyed the people of Chemosh.

48:46Chemosh was the god of the people in Moab.

The enemy has taken your sons to a far country.

They have taken your daughters to become slaves.

47 But one day I will cause Moab to become a nation again.’

That is what the Lord says.

That is what the Lord says as the judge of Moab.