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Jeremiah 48 Living Bible (TLB)

48 The Moabites

This is the message of the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, against Moab:

Woe to the city of Nebo, for it shall lie in ruins. The city of Kiriathaim and its forts are overwhelmed and captured. 2-4 No one will ever brag about Moab anymore, for there is a plot against her life. In Heshbon plans have been completed to destroy her. “Come,” they say, “we will cut her off from being a nation.” In Madmen all is silent. And then the roar of battle will surge against Horonaim, for all Moab is being destroyed. Her crying will be heard as far away as Zoar. Her refugees will climb the hills of Luhith, weeping bitterly, while cries of terror rise from the city below. Flee for your lives; hide in the wilderness! For you trusted in your wealth and skill; therefore, you shall perish. Your god Chemosh, with his priests and princes, shall be taken away to distant lands!

All the villages and cities, whether they be on the plateaus or in the valleys, shall be destroyed, for the Lord has said it. Oh, for wings for Moab that she could fly away, for her cities shall be left without a living soul. 10 Cursed be those withholding their swords from your blood, refusing to do the work that God has given them!

11 From her earliest history Moab has lived there undisturbed from all invasions. She is like wine that has not been poured from flask to flask and is fragrant and smooth. But now she shall have the pouring out of exile! 12 The time is coming soon, the Lord has said, when he will send troublemakers to spill her out from jar to jar and then shatter the jars! 13 Then at last Moab shall be ashamed of her idol Chemosh, as Israel was of her calf idol at Bethel.

14 Do you remember that boast of yours: “We are heroes, mighty men of war”? 15 But now Moab is to be destroyed; her destroyer is on the way; her choicest youth are doomed to slaughter, says the King, the Lord Almighty. 16 Calamity is coming fast to Moab.

17 O friends of Moab, weep for her and cry! See how the strong, the beautiful is shattered! 18 Come down from your glory and sit in the dust, O people of Dibon, for those destroying Moab shall shatter Dibon too, and tear down all her towers. 19 Those in Aroer stand anxiously beside the road to watch, and shout to those who flee from Moab, “What has happened there?”

20 And they reply, “Moab lies in ruins; weep and wail. Tell it by the banks of the Arnon, that Moab is destroyed.”

21 All the cities of the tableland lie in ruins too, for God’s judgment has been poured out upon them all—on Holon and Jahzah and Mephaath, 22 and Dibon and Nebo and Beth-diblathaim, 23 and Kiriathaim and Beth-gamul and Beth-meon, 24 and Kerioth and Bozrah—and all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near.

25 The strength of Moab is ended—her horns are cut off; her arms are broken. 26 Let her stagger and fall like a drunkard, for she has rebelled against the Lord. Moab shall wallow in her vomit, scorned by all. 27 For you scorned Israel and robbed her and were happy at her fall.

28 O people of Moab, flee from your cities and live in the caves like doves that nest in the clefts of the rocks. 29 We have all heard of the pride of Moab, for it is very great. We know your loftiness, your arrogance, and your haughty heart. 30 I know her insolence, the Lord has said, but her boasts are false—her helplessness is great. 31 Yes, I wail for Moab, my heart is broken for the men of Kir-heres.

32 O men of Sibmah, rich in vineyards, I weep for you even more than for Jazer. For the destroyer has cut off your spreading tendrils and harvested your grapes and summer fruits. He has plucked you bare! 33 Joy and gladness are gone from fruitful Moab. The presses yield no wine; no one treads the grapes with shouts of joy. There is shouting, yes, but not the shouting of joy. 34 Instead the awful cries of terror and pain rise from all over the land—from Heshbon clear across to Elealeh and to Jahaz; from Zoar to Horonaim and to Eglath-shelishiyah. The pastures of Nimrim are deserted now.

35 For the Lord says: I have put a stop to Moab’s worshiping false gods and burning incense to idols. 36 Sadly sings my heart for Moab and Kir-heres, for all their wealth has disappeared. 37 They shave their heads and beards in anguish; they slash their hands and put on clothes of sackcloth. 38 Crying and sorrow will be in every Moabite home and on the streets; for I have smashed and shattered Moab like an old, unwanted bottle. 39 How it is broken! Hear the wails! See the shame of Moab! For she is a sign of horror and of scoffing to her neighbors now.

40 A vulture circles ominously above the land of Moab, says the Lord. 41 Her cities are fallen; her strongholds are seized. The hearts of her mightiest warriors fail with fear like women in the pains of giving birth. 42 Moab shall no longer be a nation, for she has boasted against the Lord. 43 Fear and traps and treachery shall be your lot, O Moab, says the Lord. 44 He who flees shall fall in a trap, and he who escapes from the trap shall run into a snare. I will see to it that you do not get away, for the time of your judgment has come. 45 They flee to Heshbon, unable to go farther. But a fire comes from Heshbon—Sihon’s ancestral home—and devours the land from end to end with all its rebellious people.

46 Woe to you, O Moab; the people of the god Chemosh are destroyed, and your sons and daughters are taken away as slaves. 47 But in the latter days, says the Lord, I will reestablish Moab.

(Here the prophecy concerning Moab ends.)

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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