Passage: Isaiah 15, 16, 17 (RSV)

Isaiah 15

1An oracle concerning Moab. Because Ar is laid waste in a night Moab is undone; because Kir is laid waste in a night Moab is undone.
2The daughter of Dibon has gone up to the high places to weep; over Nebo and over Med'eba Moab wails. On every head is baldness, every beard is shorn;
3in the streets they gird on sackcloth; on the housetops and in the squares every one wails and melts in tears.
4Heshbon and Ele-a'leh cry out, their voice is heard as far as Jahaz; therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud; his soul trembles.
5My heart cries out for Moab; his fugitives flee to Zo'ar, to Eg'lath-shelish'iyah. For at the ascent of Luhith they go up weeping; on the road to Horona'im they raise a cry of destruction;
6the waters of Nimrim are a desolation; the grass is withered, the new growth fails, the verdure is no more.
7Therefore the abundance they have gained and what they have laid up they carry away over the Brook of the Willows.
8For a cry has gone round the land of Moab; the wailing reaches to Egla'im, the wailing reaches to Beer-e'lim.
9For the waters of Dibon are full of blood; yet I will bring upon Dibon even more, a lion for those of Moab who escape, for the remnant of the land.

Isaiah 16

1They have sent lambs to the ruler of the land, from Sela, by way of the desert, to the mount of the daughter of Zion.
2Like fluttering birds, like scattered nestlings, so are the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.
3"Give counsel, grant justice; make your shade like night at the height of noon; hide the outcasts, betray not the fugitive;
4let the outcasts of Moab sojourn among you; be a refuge to them from the destroyer. When the oppressor is no more, and destruction has ceased, and he who tramples under foot has vanished from the land,
5then a throne will be established in steadfast love and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness."
6We have heard of the pride of Moab, how proud he was; of his arrogance, his pride, and his insolence -- his boasts are false.
7Therefore let Moab wail, let every one wail for Moab. Mourn, utterly stricken, for the raisin-cakes of Kir-har'eseth.
8For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah; the lords of the nations have struck down its branches, which reached to Jazer and strayed to the desert; its shoots spread abroad and passed over the sea.
9Therefore I weep with the weeping of Jazer for the vine of Sibmah; I drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Ele-a'leh; for upon your fruit and your harvest the battle shout has fallen.
10And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field; and in the vineyards no songs are sung, no shouts are raised; no treader treads out wine in the presses; the vintage shout is hushed.
11Therefore my soul moans like a lyre for Moab, and my heart for Kir-he'res.
12And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself upon the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.
13This is the word which the LORD spoke concerning Moab in the past.
14But now the LORD says, "In three years, like the years of a hireling, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who survive will be very few and feeble."

Isaiah 17

1An oracle concerning Damascus. Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city, and will become a heap of ruins.
2Her cities will be deserted for ever; they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid.
3The fortress will disappear from E'phraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, says the LORD of hosts.
4And in that day the glory of Jacob will be brought low, and the fat of his flesh will grow lean.
5And it shall be as when the reaper gathers standing grain and his arm harvests the ears, and as when one gleans the ears of grain in the Valley of Reph'aim.
6Gleanings will be left in it, as when an olive tree is beaten -- two or three berries in the top of the highest bough, four or five on the branches of a fruit tree, says the LORD God of Israel.
7In that day men will regard their Maker, and their eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel;
8they will not have regard for the altars, the work of their hands, and they will not look to what their own fingers have made, either the Ashe'rim or the altars of incense.
9In that day their strong cities will be like the deserted places of the Hivites and the Amorites, which they deserted because of the children of Israel, and there will be desolation.
10For you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and set out slips of an alien god,
11though you make them grow on the day that you plant them, and make them blossom in the morning that you sow; yet the harvest will flee away in a day of grief and incurable pain.
12Ah, the thunder of many peoples, they thunder like the thundering of the sea! Ah, the roar of nations, they roar like the roaring of mighty waters!
13The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but he will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm.
14At evening time, behold, terror! Before morning, they are no more! This is the portion of those who despoil us, and the lot of those who plunder us.

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