Prophecies Against Moab
Verse 1 – Against Moab. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Woe to Nebo! For it is plundered, Kiyathaim is shamed and taken; the high stronghold is shamed and dismayed –
The Moabites were descendants from Lot through an incestuous relationship with one of his daughters (Genesis 19:30-37). They led the Israelites into idolatry (Numbers 25:1-3) and joined the band of raiders Nebuchadnezzar sent into Judah in 602 B.C. They eventually were conquered and as a nation disappeared.
Verse 2 – No more praise of Moab. In Heshbon they have devised evil against her: ‘Come, and let us cut her off as a nation.’ You also shall cut down, O Madmen! The sword shall pursue you; (Heshbon was a principal city of the Moabites.)
Verse 3 – A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim: ‘Plundering and great destruction!’
Verse 4 – “Moab is destroyed; her little ones have caused a cry to be heard;
Verse 5 – for in the Ascent of Luhith they ascend with continual weeping; for the descent of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction.
Verse 6 – “Flee, save your lives! and be like the juniper in the wilderness.
Verse 7 – For because you have trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken. And Chemosh shall go forth into captivity, his priests and his princes together.
Chemosh was the main god of the nation of Moab (Numbers 21:29), and child sacrifices was a major part in their worship (2 Kings 3:26, 27).
Verse 8 – And the plunder shall come against every city; no one shall escape. The valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the Lord has spoken.
Verse 9 – “Give wings to Moab, that she may flee and get away; for her cities shall be desolate, without any to dwell in them.
Verse 10 – Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.
Being deceitful, usually has a hidden agenda. People shouldn’t try to convince themselves that they are doing the Lord’s work when they know good and well they are not being truthful with others. God always sees the true motive behind our actions.
Verse 11 – “Moab has been at ease from his youth; he has settled on his dregs, and has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into captivity. Therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent has not changed.
Verse 12 – “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I shall send him wine-workers who will tip him over and empty his vessels and break the bottles.
The Moabites had always been a quiet people. They had never been invaded or carried off into captivity. However, Jeremiah tells them because of their complacency towards their sins and refusal to do God’s work, Moab would be totally destroyed.
Do we honestly think that as a nation, America can commit the same atrocities as this nation did with the thousands of child sacrifices, and not go unpunished? The Moabites sacrificed their children to a pagan god. They were complacent about the entire ritual. Here in America, babies are murdered in the womb for the convenience of “not having a child.” It is not a “woman’s health issue!” It’s murder plain and simple. God hasn’t changed His mind about child sacrifice which is murder.
Verse 13 – Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.
After Israel divided into northern and southern kingdoms, the northern kingdom set up golden calf-idols in Bethel and Dan to keep the people from going to Jerusalem to worship in the southern kingdom (1 Kings 12:25-29).
Verse 14 – “How can you say, ‘We are mighty and strong men of war’?
Verse 15 – Moab is plundered and gone up from her cities; her chosen young men have gone down to the slaughter,” says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
Verse 16 – “The calamity of Moab is near at hand, and his affliction comes quickly.
Verse 17 – Bemoan him , all you who are around him; and all you who know his name, say, ‘How the strong staff is broken, the beautiful rod!’ (Moab lost her independence around 580 B.C. forever.)
Verse 18 – “O daughter inhabiting Dibon, come down from your glory, and sit in thirst; for the plunder of Moab has come against you, he has destroyed your strongholds.
Verse 19 – O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way and watch; ask him who flees and her who escapes; say, ‘What has happened?’
Verse 20 – Moab is shamed, for he is broken down. Wail and cry! Tell it in Aron, that Moab is plundered.
Verse 21 – “And judgment has come on the plain country: On Holon and Jahzah and Mephaath,
Verse 22 – on Dibon and Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,
Verse 23 – on Kirjathaim and Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
Verse 24 – on Kerioth and Bozrah, on all cities of the land of Moab, far or near.
Verse 25 – The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken,” says the LORD.
The horn and arm are Old Testament metaphors fro strength and military might.
Verse 26 – “Make him drunk, for he magnified himself against the Lord. Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he shall also be in derision.
Moab had a wine-producing industry and this metaphor is used to say they have drunk from the cup of God’s wrath.
Verse 27 – For was not Israel a derision to you? Was he found among thieves? For whenever you speak of him, you shake your head in scorn.
Verse 28 – You who dwell in Moab, leave the cities and dwell in the rock, and be like the dove which makes her nest in the sides of the cave’s mouth.
Verse 29 – “We have heard the pride of Moab he is exceedingly proud. Of his loftiness and arrogance and pride, and of the haughtiness of his heart.”
Moab’s people had a spirit of pride on it. They thought because they were a quiet people, that they did nothing wrong. It is what kept them from worshiping God with a humble heart.
Verse 30 – “I know his wrath,” says the Lord, “But it is not right; his lies have made nothing right.
Verse 31 – Therefore I will wail for Moab, and I will cry out for all Moab; I will mourn for the men of Kir Heres.
Kir Heres was a stronghold city in Moab.
Verse 32 – O vine of Sibmah I will weep for you with weeping of Jazer. Your plants have gone over the sea, they reach to the sea of Jazer. The plunder has fallen on your summer fruit and your vintage.
Sibmah was famous in those days for vines. Jazar was first taken and carried into captivity.
Verse 33 – Joy and gladness are taken from the plentiful field and from the land of Moab; I have caused wine to fail from the wine-press; no one will tread with joyous shoutings – not joyous shouting!
Verse 34 – “From the cry of Heshbon to Elealeh and to Jahaz they have uttered their voice, from Zoar to Horonaim, like a three-year-old heifer; for the waters of Nimrim also shall be desolate.
Verse 35 – “Moreover,” says the Lord, “I will cause to cease in Moab the one who offers sacrifices in the high places and burns incense to his gods.
Verse 36 – Therefore My heart shall wail like flutes for Moab, and like flutes My heart shall wail for men of Kir Heres. Therefor the riches they have acquired have perished.
Try to imagine: You live in one of these cities; you have known about God, but chose to worship pagan idols in the high places; and along comes this prophet of the One True God, pronounces death and destruction on every living thing, but you chose to ignore him because your pride won’t let you surrender to His loving Kindness.
Verse 37 – “For every head shall be bald, and every beard clipped; on all the hands shall be cuts, and on the loins sackcloth –
Verse 38 – A general lamentation on all the housetops of Moab, and in the streets; for I have broken Moab like a vessel in which is no pleasure,” says the Lord.
Verse 39 – “They shall wail: ‘How she is broken down! How Moab has turned her back with shame!’ So Moab shall be a derision and a dismay to all those about her.”
They were ashamed of what was happening to them, not the sins they had committed. There is a difference. People can feel ashamed because of how others see them, but yet never realize it was their own actions that caused the hardship and shame to come upon them. That’s what Moab did.
Verse 40 – For thus says the Lord: “Behold, one shall fly like an eagle, and spread his wings over Moab.
Verse 41 – Kerioth is taken, and the strongholds are surprised; the mighty men’s hearts in Moab on that day shall be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.
Verse 42 – And Moab shall be destroyed as a people, because he has magnified himself against the Lord.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. This is why Moab was destroyed and their people were no more. Pride and a haughty spirit is what keeps people from surrendering to Christ. A haughty spirit is rebellion against the things of God.
Verse 43 – Fear and the pit and the snare shall be upon you, O inhabitant of Moab,” says the Lord.
Verse 44 – “He who flees from the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who gets out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For upon Moab, upon it I will bring the year of their punishment,” says the Lord.
Verse 45 – “Those who fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon because of exhaustion. But fire shall come out of Heshbon, a flame from the midst of Sihon, and shall devour the bow of Moab, the crown of the head of the sons of tumult.
Verse 46 – Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh perish; for your sons have been taken captive, and your daughters captive.
Verse 47 – “Yet I will bring back the captives of Moab in the latter days,” says the Lord. Thus far is the judgment of Moab.
Some of the Moabites might have returned when King Cyrus let the Jews go back to their land, but they were never again a national distinction. Perhaps the restoration spoken here, which was to take place in latter-day, may mean the conversion of these people in the existing remnants, to the faith of the Gospel.