Judgment on Moab
Verse 1 – Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime.
Verse 2 – But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth; Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting and trumpet sound.
Verse 3 – And I will cut off the judge from its midst, and slay all its princes with him,” says the Lord.
Judgment on Judah
Verse 4 – Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept His commandments. Their lies lead them astray, lies after which their fathers walked.
Verse 5 – But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.”
All the Gentile nations are accused of crimes against humanity, but Judah is charged with unfaithfulness to it covenant with God. The lies mentioned here are idols.
Judgment on Israel
Verse 6 – Thus says the Lord: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the poor fro a pair of sandals.
Selling a needy person for a pair of sandals probably refers to selling a debtor into slavery.
Verse 7 – They pant after the dust of the earth which is on the head of the poor, and pervert the way of the humble. A man and his father go in to the same girl, to defile My holy name.
Verse 8 – They lie down by every altar on cloths taken in pledge, and drink wine of the condemned in the house of their god.
Men had sexual relations with shrine prostitutes, even going to the point of a man and his father sharing the same woman. They did this while lying on the garments they had taken from the poor. They had altars all over the countryside and would have drinking bouts with the wine they had taken from the poor.
Verse 9 – “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorites before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was as strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath.
Verse 10 – Also it was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.
Verse 11 – I raised up some of your sons as prophets, and some of your young men as Nazirites. Is it not so, O you children of Israel?” says the Lord.
Verse 12 – “But you gave the Nazirites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets saying, ‘Do not prophesy!”
God reminds Israel of how they got the land in the first place, by His grace. The Nazirites had a great devotion towards God and took an oath not to drink alcohol.
Verse 13 – “Behold, I am weighed down by you, as a cart is weighed down that is full of sheaves.
Verse 14 – Therefore flight shall perish from the swift, the strong shall not strengthen his power, nor shall the mighty deliver himself;
Verse 15 – He shall not stand who handles the bow, the swift of foot shall not deliver himself, nor shall he who rides a horse deliver himself.
Verse 16 – The most courageous men of might shall flee naked in that day,” says the Lord.
“In that day,” refers to when the Assyrians would attack Israel, destroy Samaria, and take the people captive (722 B.C.). This defeat came only a few decades after this pronouncement.