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Jeremiah 48 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 48

Against Moab.[a] Concerning Moab. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:

Ah, Nebo! it is ravaged;
    Kiriathaim is disgraced, captured;
Disgraced and overthrown is the stronghold:
    Moab’s glory is no more.
In Heshbon they plot evil against her:
    “Come! We will put an end to her as a nation.”
You, too, Madmen,[b] shall be silenced;
    you the sword stalks!
Listen! an outcry from Horonaim,
    “Ruin and great destruction!”
“Moab is crushed!”
    their outcry is heard in Zoar.
Up the ascent of Luhith
    they go weeping;
At the descent to Horonaim
    they hear cries of anguish:
“Flee, save your lives!
    Be like a wild donkey in the wilderness!”
Because you trusted in your works and your treasures,
    you also shall be captured.
Chemosh[c] shall go into exile,
    his priests and princes with him.
The destroyer comes upon every city,
    not a city escapes;
Ruined is the valley,
    wasted the plateau—oracle of the Lord.
Set up a tombstone for Moab;
    it will soon become a complete wasteland,
Its cities turned into ruins
    where no one dwells.
10 Cursed are they who do the Lord’s work carelessly,
    cursed those who keep their sword from shedding blood.
11 [d]Moab has been resting from its youth,
    suspended above its dregs,
Never poured from flask to flask,
    never driven into exile.
Thus it retained its flavor,
    its bouquet is not lost.

12 Be assured! The days are coming—oracle of the Lord—when I will send him wine-makers to decant the wine; they shall empty its flasks and smash its jars. 13 Chemosh shall disappoint Moab, just as the house of Israel was disappointed by Bethel, in which they trusted.

14 How can you say, “We are heroes,
    mighty warriors”?
15 The one who ravages Moab and its cities comes up,
    the best of its youth go down to slaughter—
    oracle of the King, whose name is Lord of hosts.
16 Moab’s ruin is near at hand,
    its disaster approaches swiftly.
17 Mourn, all you neighbors,
    all you who know its name!
Say: How the mighty scepter is broken,
    the glorious staff!
18 Come down from glory, sit on the parched ground,
    enthroned daughter Dibon;[e]
Moab’s destroyer has fallen upon you,
    has shattered your strongholds.
19 Stand along the road, keep watch,
    enthroned Aroer;
Ask the fleeing man, the escaping woman:
    ask them what has happened.
20 “Moab is put to shame, destroyed.”
    Wail and cry out,
Proclaim it at the Arnon:
    “Moab is destroyed!”

21 Judgment has come upon the plateau: on Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath, 22 on Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim, 23 on Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon, 24 on Kerioth and on Bozrah: on all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near.

25 The horn of Moab is cut off,
    its arm is broken—oracle of the Lord.

26 Make him drunk because he set himself over against the Lord; let Moab swim in his vomit and become a laughingstock. 27 Has Israel not been a laughingstock to you? Was he caught among thieves that you wag your heads whenever you speak of him?

28 Abandon the cities, take shelter in the crags,
    inhabitants of Moab.
Be like the dove that nests
    in the walls of a gorge.
29 We have heard of the pride of Moab,
    pride beyond bounds:
His loftiness, his pride, his scorn,
    his insolent heart.
30 I myself know his arrogance—oracle of the Lord
    liar in word, liar in deed.
31 And so I wail over Moab,
    over all Moab I cry,
    over the people of Kir-heres I moan.
32 More than for Jazer I weep for you,
    vine of Sibmah.
Your tendrils trailed down to the sea,
    as far as Jazer they stretched.
Upon your summer harvest and your vintage,
    the destroyer has fallen.
33 Joy and gladness are taken away
    from the garden land, the land of Moab.
I dry up the wine from the wine vats,
    the treader treads no more,
    the vintage shout is stilled.

34 The cry of Heshbon and Elealeh is heard as far as Jahaz; they call from Zoar to Horonaim and to Eglath-shelishiyah; even the waters of Nimrim turn into a wasteland. 35 I will leave no one in Moab—oracle of the Lord—to offer burnt offerings on the high place or to make sacrifices to their gods. 36 Hence my heart wails like a flute for Moab; my heart wails like a flute for the people of Kir-heres: the wealth they accumulated has perished. 37 Every head has been shaved bald, every beard cut off; every hand gashed, and all their loins are draped in sackcloth. 38 On all the rooftops of Moab and in all its squares there is mourning. I have shattered Moab like a pot that no one wants—oracle of the Lord. 39 How terrified they are, how they wail! How Moab turns its back in shame! Moab has become a laughingstock and a horror to all its neighbors!

40 For thus says the Lord:
Look there! Like an eagle he swoops,
    spreading his wings over Moab.
41 Cities are captured,
    strongholds seized:
On that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors
    become like the heart of a woman in labor.
42 Moab shall be wiped out, a people no more,
    because it set itself over against the Lord.
43 Terror, pit, and trap be upon you,
    enthroned Moab—oracle of the Lord.
44 Those fleeing the terror
    fall into the pit;
Those climbing out of the pit
    are caught in the trap;
Ah, yes! I will bring these things upon Moab
    in the year of their punishment—oracle of the Lord.
45 In Heshbon’s shadow the fugitives
    stop short, exhausted;
For fire blazes up from Heshbon,
    and flames up from the house of Sihon:
It consumes the forehead of Moab,
    the scalp of the noisemakers.
46 Woe to you, Moab!
    You are finished, people of Chemosh!
Your sons are taken into exile,
    your daughters into captivity.
47 Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
    in the days to come—oracle of the Lord.

Thus far the judgment on Moab.


  1. 48:1–47 Moab, located east of the Dead Sea, was one of Israel’s bitter enemies (cf., e.g., Is 15–16; Am 2:1–3). According to Flavius Josephus, Nebuchadnezzar conquered Moab and Ammon in his twenty-third year (582 B.C.), five years after the destruction of Jerusalem. This chapter is full of local place names in Moab.
  2. 48:2 Madmen: a place name, not mentioned elsewhere in the Old Testament.
  3. 48:7 Chemosh: chief god of Moab (cf. Nm 21:29).
  4. 48:11–12 Moabite wine was known for its high quality. Here the wine is a metaphor for Moab’s complacency.
  5. 48:18 Dibon, the capital of Moab at that time, is situated on a height. The prophet here offers a personification of the city, pictured as a confident ruler.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Jeremiah 48 New International Version (NIV)

A Message About Moab

48 Concerning Moab:

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:

“Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined.
    Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured;
    the stronghold[a] will be disgraced and shattered.
Moab will be praised no more;
    in Heshbon[b] people will plot her downfall:
    ‘Come, let us put an end to that nation.’
You, the people of Madmen,[c] will also be silenced;
    the sword will pursue you.
Cries of anguish arise from Horonaim,
    cries of great havoc and destruction.
Moab will be broken;
    her little ones will cry out.[d]
They go up the hill to Luhith,
    weeping bitterly as they go;
on the road down to Horonaim
    anguished cries over the destruction are heard.
Flee! Run for your lives;
    become like a bush[e] in the desert.
Since you trust in your deeds and riches,
    you too will be taken captive,
and Chemosh will go into exile,
    together with his priests and officials.
The destroyer will come against every town,
    and not a town will escape.
The valley will be ruined
    and the plateau destroyed,
    because the Lord has spoken.
Put salt on Moab,
    for she will be laid waste[f];
her towns will become desolate,
    with no one to live in them.

10 “A curse on anyone who is lax in doing the Lord’s work!
    A curse on anyone who keeps their sword from bloodshed!

11 “Moab has been at rest from youth,
    like wine left on its dregs,
not poured from one jar to another—
    she has not gone into exile.
So she tastes as she did,
    and her aroma is unchanged.
12 But days are coming,”
    declares the Lord,
“when I will send men who pour from pitchers,
    and they will pour her out;
they will empty her pitchers
    and smash her jars.
13 Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh,
    as Israel was ashamed
    when they trusted in Bethel.

14 “How can you say, ‘We are warriors,
    men valiant in battle’?
15 Moab will be destroyed and her towns invaded;
    her finest young men will go down in the slaughter,
    declares the King, whose name is the Lord Almighty.
16 “The fall of Moab is at hand;
    her calamity will come quickly.
17 Mourn for her, all who live around her,
    all who know her fame;
say, ‘How broken is the mighty scepter,
    how broken the glorious staff!’

18 “Come down from your glory
    and sit on the parched ground,
    you inhabitants of Daughter Dibon,
for the one who destroys Moab
    will come up against you
    and ruin your fortified cities.
19 Stand by the road and watch,
    you who live in Aroer.
Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping,
    ask them, ‘What has happened?’
20 Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered.
    Wail and cry out!
Announce by the Arnon
    that Moab is destroyed.
21 Judgment has come to the plateau
    to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath,
22     to Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,
23     to Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
24     to Kerioth and Bozrah
    to all the towns of Moab, far and near.
25 Moab’s horn[g] is cut off;
    her arm is broken,”
declares the Lord.

26 “Make her drunk,
    for she has defied the Lord.
Let Moab wallow in her vomit;
    let her be an object of ridicule.
27 Was not Israel the object of your ridicule?
    Was she caught among thieves,
that you shake your head in scorn
    whenever you speak of her?
28 Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks,
    you who live in Moab.
Be like a dove that makes its nest
    at the mouth of a cave.

29 “We have heard of Moab’s pride
    how great is her arrogance!—
of her insolence, her pride, her conceit
    and the haughtiness of her heart.
30 I know her insolence but it is futile,”
declares the Lord,
    “and her boasts accomplish nothing.
31 Therefore I wail over Moab,
    for all Moab I cry out,
    I moan for the people of Kir Hareseth.
32 I weep for you, as Jazer weeps,
    you vines of Sibmah.
Your branches spread as far as the sea[h];
    they reached as far as[i] Jazer.
The destroyer has fallen
    on your ripened fruit and grapes.
33 Joy and gladness are gone
    from the orchards and fields of Moab.
I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses;
    no one treads them with shouts of joy.
Although there are shouts,
    they are not shouts of joy.

34 “The sound of their cry rises
    from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz,
from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah,
    for even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
35 In Moab I will put an end
    to those who make offerings on the high places
    and burn incense to their gods,”
declares the Lord.
36 “So my heart laments for Moab like the music of a pipe;
    it laments like a pipe for the people of Kir Hareseth.
    The wealth they acquired is gone.
37 Every head is shaved
    and every beard cut off;
every hand is slashed
    and every waist is covered with sackcloth.
38 On all the roofs in Moab
    and in the public squares
there is nothing but mourning,
    for I have broken Moab
    like a jar that no one wants,”
declares the Lord.
39 “How shattered she is! How they wail!
    How Moab turns her back in shame!
Moab has become an object of ridicule,
    an object of horror to all those around her.”

40 This is what the Lord says:

“Look! An eagle is swooping down,
    spreading its wings over Moab.
41 Kerioth[j] will be captured
    and the strongholds taken.
In that day the hearts of Moab’s warriors
    will be like the heart of a woman in labor.
42 Moab will be destroyed as a nation
    because she defied the Lord.
43 Terror and pit and snare await you,
    you people of Moab,”
declares the Lord.
44 “Whoever flees from the terror
    will fall into a pit,
whoever climbs out of the pit
    will be caught in a snare;
for I will bring on Moab
    the year of her punishment,”
declares the Lord.

45 “In the shadow of Heshbon
    the fugitives stand helpless,
for a fire has gone out from Heshbon,
    a blaze from the midst of Sihon;
it burns the foreheads of Moab,
    the skulls of the noisy boasters.
46 Woe to you, Moab!
    The people of Chemosh are destroyed;
your sons are taken into exile
    and your daughters into captivity.

47 “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab
    in days to come,”
declares the Lord.

Here ends the judgment on Moab.


  1. Jeremiah 48:1 Or captured; / Misgab
  2. Jeremiah 48:2 The Hebrew for Heshbon sounds like the Hebrew for plot.
  3. Jeremiah 48:2 The name of the Moabite town Madmen sounds like the Hebrew for be silenced.
  4. Jeremiah 48:4 Hebrew; Septuagint / proclaim it to Zoar
  5. Jeremiah 48:6 Or like Aroer
  6. Jeremiah 48:9 Or Give wings to Moab, / for she will fly away
  7. Jeremiah 48:25 Horn here symbolizes strength.
  8. Jeremiah 48:32 Probably the Dead Sea
  9. Jeremiah 48:32 Two Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts as far as the Sea of
  10. Jeremiah 48:41 Or The cities
New International Version (NIV)

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