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Jeremiah - Chapter 48

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1 On Moab. Yahweh, God of Israel, says this: Wretched Nebo, for it has been ravaged, Kiriathaim has been shamed and taken, shame and distraction on the citadel,

2 the pride of Moab is no more! At Heshbon they plotted her downfall, 'Come, let us put an end to her as a nation!' And you too, inhabitants of Madmen, will be silenced, the sword will be after you.

3 A cry of agony goes up from Horonaim, 'Devastation! Dire calamity.

4 Moab has been shattered,' the agonised cries of her little ones ring out.

5 Up the slope of Luhith, weeping they go. On the road down to Horonaim is heard the shriek of disaster,

6 'Away! Flee for your lives like the wild donkey into the desert!'

7 Yes, since you relied on your deeds and your wealth, you will be captured too. Chemosh will go into exile, with all his priests and princes.

8 The despoiler will descend on every town, not one will escape; the Valley will be ravaged, the Plain be plundered as Yahweh has said.

9 Give Moab wings so that she can fly away, for her towns will be laid in ruins where no one will ever live again.

10 (Accursed be he who does Yahweh's work negligently! Accursed be he who deprives his sword of blood!)

11 From his youth Moab lived at ease, he settled on his lees, never having been decanted, never having gone into exile: and so he kept his own flavour, his aroma was unchanged.

12 And so the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall send him decanters to decant him; they will empty his pitchers and break his wine jars to bits.

13 Moab will be shamed by Chemosh then, as the House of Israel was shamed by Bethel in which they put their trust.

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14 How can you say, 'We are heroes, sturdy fighting men'?

15 Moab has been ravaged, his cities scaled, the flower of his youth goes down to the slaughter, declares the King, whose name is Yahweh Sabaoth.

16 Moab's ruin is coming soon, his downfall comes at top speed.

17 Grieve for him, all you living near him, all you who knew his name. Say, 'How shattered it is, that mighty rod, that splendid sceptre!'

18 Come down from your glory, sit on the parched ground, daughter of Dibon, for the despoiler of Moab has advanced on you, he has destroyed your strongholds.

19 Stand by the roadside, keep watch, daughter of Aroer. Question fugitive and runaway, ask, 'What has happened?'

20 'Moab has been shattered and shamed. Wail and shriek! Shout along the Arnon, Moab has been laid waste!'

21 Judgement has also come on the Plain, on Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath,

22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth-Diblathaim,

23 Kiriathaim, Beth-Gamul, Beth-Meon,

24 Kerioth, Bozrah, and all the towns of Moab, far and near.

25 Moab's horn has been cut off, his arm is broken, Yahweh declares.

26 Make him drunk! He has set himself up against Yahweh; let Moab wallow in his vomit and become a laughing-stock in his turn.

27 Was Israel not a laughing-stock to you? Was he caught red-handed with the thieves, for you to shake your head whenever you mention him?

28 Leave the towns, make the rocks your home, inhabitants of Moab. Learn from the dove that makes its nest in the walls of the gaping gorge.

29 We have heard about Moab's pride, so very proud! What arrogance! What pride! What conceit! What a haughty heart!

30 -I know all about his presumption, Yahweh declares, his empty boasting, those empty deeds of his!

31 -and so I lament for Moab, for all Moab I raise my cry and mourn for the people of Kir-Heres.

32 More than for Jazer I weep for you, vineyard of Sibmah: your shoots stretched beyond the sea, they reached all the way to Jazer. On your harvest and vintage the despoiler has descended.

33 Gladness and joy have vanished from the orchards of Moab. I have dried up the wine in the presses, the treader of grapes treads no more, the joyful shouting has ceased.

34 The cries of Heshbon and Elealeh can be heard as far as Jahaz. The shrieks resound from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-Shelishiyah, for even the Waters of Nimrim have become a wasteland.

35 And in Moab I shall make an end, Yahweh declares, of anyone offering sacrifice on the high places and anyone offering incense to his gods.

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36 That is why my heart sobs like a flute for Moab, sobs like a flute for the people of Kir-Heres, since the wealth he had acquired is lost.

37 Yes, every head is shaved, every beard cut off, gashes are on every hand, sackcloth round every waist.

38 On all the housetops of Moab and in all its squares there is nothing but lamenting, for I have broken Moab like an unwanted pot, Yahweh declares.

39 How shattered he is! Wail! Moab so shamefully in retreat! Moab has become a laughing-stock, a thing of horror to all his neighbours.

40 For Yahweh says this: (Look, like an eagle, he will hover, spreading his wings over Moab.)

41 The towns have been captured, the strongholds seized. (And the heart of Moab's warriors, that day, will be like that of a woman in labour pains.)

42 Moab will be destroyed, no longer a people, for setting itself up against Yahweh.

43 Terror, the pit and the snare for you, inhabitant of Moab, Yahweh declares.

44 And anyone who escapes from terror will fall into the pit, and anyone who climbs out of the pit will be caught in the snare. Yes, I shall bring all this on Moab when the year comes for punishing them, Yahweh declares.

45 In the shelter of Heshbon the fugitives have paused, exhausted. But fire will burst from Heshbon, a flame from the palace of Sihon, consuming the brows of Moab, the head of a turbulent brood.

46 Disaster for you, Moab! The people of Chemosh are lost! For your sons have been taken into exile and your daughters into captivity.

47 But I shall bring back Moab's captives in the final days, Yahweh declares. Thus far the judgement on Moab.

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