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Moab’s Destruction

16 “Send a lamb to the ruler of the land,
    from Selah,[a] by way of the desert,
        to the mountain of the Daughter of Zion.[b]
Like fluttering birds,
    like an abandoned nest,
so are the daughters of Moab
    at the fords of the Arnon River.[c]

“Give us advice;
    reach a decision!
Cast your shadow as if night had come
    at high noon.
Shelter the fugitives,
    And don’t betray a single refugee.
Let the fugitives[d] from Moab
    settle among you;
be a shelter to them
    from the destroyer.

When the oppressor comes to an end,
    and destruction has[e] ceased,
        and the marauder[f] has[g] vanished from the land,
then a throne will be established in gracious love,
    and there will sit in faithfulness—
        in the Tent of David—
one who judges, seeks justice,
    and is swift to do what is right.”

“We’ve heard about Moab’s pride—
    so very proud he became!—[h]
his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence;
    therefore he is alone.[i]
Therefore, let Moab not[j] wail,
    let everyone wail for Moab.
Lament and grieve deeply
    for the ruined remains[k] of Kir-hareseth.
For the fields of Heshbon wither,
    as well as the vines of Sibmah.[l]
The rulers of the nations
have struck down its choicest vines,
which once reached Jazer
and pushed to the desert.
Its shoots spread out
and passed over the sea.”

Isaiah Weeps for Moab

“Therefore I weep with the tears of Jazer
    for the vines of Sibmah.
I drench you with my tears,
    O Heshbon and Elealeh—
for the shouts of joy over your summer fruit
    and your grain harvest have ended.
10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards,
    in the vineyards people will sing no songs,[m]
and[n] no cheers are raised.
    No vintner[o] treads out wine in the presses,
        because I’ve put an end to the shouting.
11 Therefore my insides[p] moan like a lyre for Moab,
    and my innermost being[q] for Kir-hareseth.
12 When Moab appears,
    when he arrives[r] upon the high place
and comes to his sanctuary to pray,
    he will not prevail.”

13 This was the message that the Lord spoke concerning Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord has spoken again: “Within three years, like the years of a contract worker,[s] Moab’s glory will be brought into contempt, in spite of all its great multitude, and its survivors will be very few and[t] of no importance.”


  1. Isaiah 16:1 So 1QIsaa; MT reads Sela; LXX reads not the rock
  2. Isaiah 16:1 I.e. Mt. Zion
  3. Isaiah 16:2 So 1QIsaa; the Heb. lacks River
  4. Isaiah 16:4 So 1QIsaa; MT reads my fugitives
  5. Isaiah 16:4 So 1QIsaa; MT reads have
  6. Isaiah 16:4 Lit. the one who tramples underfoot
  7. Isaiah 16:4 So 1QIsaa; MT reads have
  8. Isaiah 16:6 So 1QIsaa MTmss; cf. Jer 48:29; MT reads how very proud he was
  9. Isaiah 16:6 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read but his boasts mean nothing
  10. Isaiah 16:7 So 1QIsaa; the Heb. lacks not
  11. Isaiah 16:7 Or for the raisin cakes
  12. Isaiah 16:8 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX include the rest of v. 8: The rulers … vine of Sibmah in v. 9
  13. Isaiah 16:10 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads no songs are sung
  14. Isaiah 16:10 So 1QIsaa MTmss; the Heb. lacks and
  15. Isaiah 16:10 Lit. treader
  16. Isaiah 16:11 Or heart; lit. bowels
  17. Isaiah 16:11 Or my very soul
  18. Isaiah 16:12 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read tires himself
  19. Isaiah 16:14 I.e. as if carefully counted pursuant to an employment contract; cf. Isa 21:16
  20. Isaiah 16:14 So 1QIsaa LXX; the Heb. lacks and

16 Send lambs(A) as tribute(B)
    to the ruler of the land,
from Sela,(C) across the desert,
    to the mount of Daughter Zion.(D)
Like fluttering birds
    pushed from the nest,(E)
so are the women of Moab(F)
    at the fords(G) of the Arnon.(H)

“Make up your mind,” Moab says.
    “Render a decision.
Make your shadow like night—
    at high noon.
Hide the fugitives,(I)
    do not betray the refugees.
Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you;
    be their shelter(J) from the destroyer.”

The oppressor(K) will come to an end,
    and destruction will cease;(L)
    the aggressor will vanish from the land.
In love a throne(M) will be established;(N)
    in faithfulness a man will sit on it—
    one from the house[a] of David(O)
one who in judging seeks justice(P)
    and speeds the cause of righteousness.

We have heard of Moab’s(Q) pride(R)
    how great is her arrogance!—
of her conceit, her pride and her insolence;
    but her boasts are empty.
Therefore the Moabites wail,(S)
    they wail together for Moab.
Lament and grieve
    for the raisin cakes(T) of Kir Hareseth.(U)
The fields of Heshbon(V) wither,(W)
    the vines of Sibmah(X) also.
The rulers of the nations
    have trampled down the choicest vines,(Y)
which once reached Jazer(Z)
    and spread toward the desert.
Their shoots spread out(AA)
    and went as far as the sea.[b](AB)
So I weep,(AC) as Jazer weeps,
    for the vines of Sibmah.
Heshbon and Elealeh,(AD)
    I drench you with tears!(AE)
The shouts of joy(AF) over your ripened fruit
    and over your harvests(AG) have been stilled.
10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards;(AH)
    no one sings or shouts(AI) in the vineyards;
no one treads(AJ) out wine at the presses,(AK)
    for I have put an end to the shouting.
11 My heart laments for Moab(AL) like a harp,(AM)
    my inmost being(AN) for Kir Hareseth.
12 When Moab appears at her high place,(AO)
    she only wears herself out;
when she goes to her shrine(AP) to pray,
    it is to no avail.(AQ)

13 This is the word the Lord has already spoken concerning Moab. 14 But now the Lord says: “Within three years,(AR) as a servant bound by contract(AS) would count them,(AT) Moab’s splendor and all her many people will be despised,(AU) and her survivors will be very few and feeble.”(AV)


  1. Isaiah 16:5 Hebrew tent
  2. Isaiah 16:8 Probably the Dead Sea

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