Jeremiah 48
Contemporary English Version

What the Lord Says about Moab

1 The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, told me to say to the nation of Moab:

The town of Nebo is doomed;

Kiriathaim will be captured

and disgraced,

and even its fortress

will be left in ruins.

2No one honors you, Moab.

In Heshbon, enemies make plans

to end your life.

My sword will leave only silence

in your town named “Quiet.”+

3The people of Horonaim

will cry for help,

as their town is attacked

and destroyed.

4Moab will be shattered!

Your children will sob

5and cry on their way up

to the town of Luhith;

on the road to Horonaim

they will tell of disasters.

6Run for your lives!

Head into the desert

like a wild donkey.+

7You thought you could be saved

by your power and wealth,

but you will be captured

along with your god Chemosh,

his priests, and officials.

8Not one of your towns

will escape destruction.

I have told your enemies,

“Wipe out the valley

and the flatlands of Moab.

9Spread salt on the ground

to kill the crops.+

Leave its towns in ruins,

with no one living there.

10I want you to kill the Moabites,

and if you let them escape,

I will put a curse on you.”

11Moab, you are like wine

left to settle undisturbed,

never poured from jar to jar.

And so, your nation continues

to prosper and improve.+

12But now, I will send enemies

to pour out the wine

and smash the jars!

13Then you will be ashamed,

because your god Chemosh

cannot save you,

just as Bethel+ could not help

the Israelites.

14You claim that your soldiers

are strong and brave.

15But I am the Lord,

the all-powerful King,

and I promise that enemies

will overpower your towns.

Even your best warriors

will die in the battle.

16It won't be long now—

disaster will hit Moab!

17I will order the nearby nations

to mourn for you and say,

“Isn't it sad? Moab ruled others,

but now its glorious power

has been shattered.”

18People in the town of Dibon,+

you will be honored no more,

so have a seat in the dust.

Your walls will be torn down

when the enemies attack.

19You people of Aroer,+

go wait beside the road,

and when refugees run by,

ask them, “What happened?”

20They will answer,

“Moab has been defeated!

Weep with us in shame.

Tell everyone at the Arnon River

that Moab is destroyed.”

21I will punish every town

that belongs to Moab,

but especially Holon,

Jahzah, Mephaath,

22Dibon, Nebo,

Beth-Diblathaim, 23Kiriathaim,

Beth-Gamul, Beth-Meon,

24Kerioth, and Bozrah.+

25My decision is final—

your army will be crushed,

and your power broken.

26People of Moab, you claim

to be stronger than I am.

Now I will tell other nations

to make you drunk

and to laugh while you collapse

in your own vomit.

27You made fun of my people

and treated them like criminals

caught in the act.

28Now you must leave your towns

and live like doves

in the shelter of cliffs

and canyons.

29I know about your pride,

and how you strut and boast.

30But I also know bragging

will never save you.

31So I will cry and mourn

for Moab

and its town of Kir-Heres.

32People of Sibmah,

you were like a vineyard

heavy with grapes,

and with branches reaching

north to the town of Jazer

and west to the Dead Sea.+

But you have been destroyed,

and so I will weep for you,

as the people of Jazer weep

for the vineyards.

33Harvest celebrations are gone

from the orchards and farms

of Moab.

I have silenced the shouts

of people making wine.

34Weeping from Heshbon

can be heard as far

as Elealeh and Jahaz;

cries from Zoar are heard

in Horonaim

and Eglath-Shelishiyah.

And Nimrim Creek has run dry.

35I will get rid of anyone

who burns incense

to the gods of Moab

or offers sacrifices

at their shrines.

I, the Lord, have spoken.

36In my heart I moan for Moab,

like a funeral song

played on a flute.

I mourn for the people

of the town of Kir-Heres,

because their wealth is gone.

* 37-38The people of Moab

mourn on the rooftops

and in the streets.

Men cut off their beards,

people shave their heads;

they make cuts on their hands

and wear sackcloth.+

And it's all because I, the Lord,

have shattered Moab like a jar

that no one wants.

39Moab lies broken!

Listen to its people cry

as they turn away in shame.

Other nations are horrified

at what happened,

but still they mock her.

40Moab, an enemy swoops down

like an eagle spreading its wings

over your land.

41Your cities+ and fortresses

will be captured,

and your warriors as fearful

as women giving birth.+

42You are finished as a nation,

because you dared oppose me,

the Lord.

43Terror, pits, and traps

are waiting for you.

44If you are terrified and run,

you will fall into a pit;

and if you crawl out of the pit,

you'll get caught in a trap.

The time has come

for you to be punished.

I, the Lord, have spoken.

45Near the city of Heshbon,

where Sihon once ruled,

tired refugees stand in shadows

cast by the flames

of their burning city.

Soon, the towns on other hilltops,

where those warlike people live,

will also go up in smoke.

46People of Moab, you worshiped

Chemosh, your god,

but now you are done for,

and your children are prisoners

in a foreign country.

47Yet someday, I will bring

your people back home.

I, the Lord, have spoken.


48.2 silence … Quiet: In Hebrew the name of the town was “Madmen,” which sounds like the word for “silence.”
48.6 like a wild donkey: One ancient translation; Hebrew “like (the town of) Aroer” (see verse 19).
48.9 Spread salt … crops: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
48.11 continues … improve: Or “remains as evil as ever.”
48.13 Bethel: It may refer to the Phoenician or Canaanite god of that name; or it may refer to the town where people of the northern kingdom worshiped at a local shrine (see 1 Kings 12.26-30).
48.18 Dibon: The capital city of Moab.
48.19 Aroer: A Moabite town located just north of the Arnon River.
48.24 Bozrah: Not the same Bozrah as in 49.13.
48.32 reaching north … Dead Sea: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
48.37,38 sackcloth: See the note at 4.8.
48.41 Your cities: Or “Kerioth.”
48.41 as fearful … birth: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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