Passage: Jeremiah 48, 49 (RSV)

Jeremiah 48

1Concerning Moab. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Woe to Nebo, for it is laid waste! Kiriatha'im is put to shame, it is taken; the fortress is put to shame and broken down;
2the renown of Moab is no more. In Heshbon they planned evil against her: `Come, let us cut her off from being a nation!' You also, O Madmen, shall be brought to silence; the sword shall pursue you.
3"Hark! a cry from Horona'im, `Desolation and great destruction!'
4Moab is destroyed; a cry is heard as far as Zo'ar.
5For at the ascent of Luhith they go up weeping; for at the descent of Horona'im they have heard the cry of destruction.
6Flee! Save yourselves! Be like a wild ass in the desert!
7For, because you trusted in your strongholds and your treasures, you also shall be taken; and Chemosh shall go forth into exile, with his priests and his princes.
8The destroyer shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape; the valley shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the LORD has spoken.
9"Give wings to Moab, for she would fly away; her cities shall become a desolation, with no inhabitant in them.
10"Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD with slackness; and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.
11"Moab has been at ease from his youth and has settled on his lees; he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile; so his taste remains in him, and his scent is not changed.
12"Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I shall send to him tilters who will tilt him, and empty his vessels, and break his jars in pieces.
13Then Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.
14"How do you say, `We are heroes and mighty men of war'?
15The destroyer of Moab and his cities has come up, and the choicest of his young men have gone down to slaughter, says the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
16The calamity of Moab is near at hand and his affliction hastens apace.
17Bemoan him, all you who are round about him, and all who know his name; say, `How the mighty scepter is broken, the glorious staff.'
18"Come down from your glory, and sit on the parched ground, O inhabitant of Dibon! For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you; he has destroyed your strongholds.
19Stand by the way and watch, O inhabitant of Aro'er! Ask him who flees and her who escapes; say, `What has happened?'
20Moab is put to shame, for it is broken; wail and cry! Tell it by the Arnon, that Moab is laid waste.
21"Judgment has come upon the tableland, upon Holon, and Jahzah, and Meph'a-ath,
22and Dibon, and Nebo, and Beth-diblatha'im,
23and Kiriatha'im, and Beth-ga'mul, and Beth-me'on,
24and Ker'i-oth, and Bozrah, and all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near.
25The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, says the LORD.
26"Make him drunk, because he magnified himself against the LORD; so that Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he too shall be held in derision.
27Was not Israel a derision to you? Was he found among thieves, that whenever you spoke of him you wagged your head?
28"Leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, O inhabitants of Moab! Be like the dove that nests in the sides of the mouth of a gorge.
29We have heard of the pride of Moab -- he is very proud -- of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance, and the haughtiness of his heart.
30I know his insolence, says the LORD; his boasts are false, his deeds are false.
31Therefore I wail for Moab; I cry out for all Moab; for the men of Kir-he'res I mourn.
32More than for Jazer I weep for you, O vine of Sibmah! Your branches passed over the sea, reached as far as Jazer; upon your summer fruits and your vintage the destroyer has fallen.
33Gladness and joy have been taken away from the fruitful land of Moab; I have made the wine cease from the wine presses; no one treads them with shouts of joy; the shouting is not the shout of joy.
34"Heshbon and Ele-a'leh cry out; as far as Jahaz they utter their voice, from Zo'ar to Horona'im and Eg'lath-shelish'iyah. For the waters of Nimrim also have become desolate.
35And I will bring to an end in Moab, says the LORD, him who offers sacrifice in the high place and burns incense to his god.
36Therefore my heart moans for Moab like a flute, and my heart moans like a flute for the men of Kir-he'res; therefore the riches they gained have perished.
37"For every head is shaved and every beard cut off; upon all the hands are gashes, and on the loins is sackcloth.
38On all the housetops of Moab and in the squares there is nothing but lamentation; for I have broken Moab like a vessel for which no one cares, says the LORD.
39How it is broken! How they wail! How Moab has turned his back in shame! So Moab has become a derision and a horror to all that are round about him."
40For thus says the LORD: "Behold, one shall fly swiftly like an eagle, and spread his wings against Moab;
41the cities shall be taken and the strongholds seized. The heart of the warriors of Moab shall be in that day like the heart of a woman in her pangs;
42Moab shall be destroyed and be no longer a people, because he magnified himself against the LORD.
43Terror, pit, and snare are before you, O inhabitant of Moab! says the LORD.
44He who flees from the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For I will bring these things upon Moab in the year of their punishment, says the LORD.
45"In the shadow of Heshbon fugitives stop without strength; for a fire has gone forth from Heshbon, a flame from the house of Sihon; it has destroyed the forehead of Moab, the crown of the sons of tumult.
46Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh is undone; for your sons have been taken captive, and your daughters into captivity.
47Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, says the LORD." Thus far is the judgment on Moab.

Jeremiah 49

1Concerning the Ammonites. Thus says the LORD: "Has Israel no sons? Has he no heir? Why then has Milcom dispossessed Gad, and his people settled in its cities?
2Therefore, behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will cause the battle cry to be heard against Rabbah of the Ammonites; it shall become a desolate mound, and its villages shall be burned with fire; then Israel shall dispossess those who dispossessed him, says the LORD.
3"Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste! Cry, O daughters of Rabbah! Gird yourselves with sackcloth, lament, and run to and fro among the hedges! For Milcom shall go into exile, with his priests and his princes.
4Why do you boast of your valleys, O faithless daughter, who trusted in her treasures, saying, `Who will come against me?'
5Behold, I will bring terror upon you, says the Lord GOD of hosts, from all who are round about you, and you shall be driven out, every man straight before him, with none to gather the fugitives.
6But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, says the LORD."
7Concerning Edom. Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished?
8Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan! For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time when I punish him.
9If grape-gatherers came to you, would they not leave gleanings? If thieves came by night, would they not destroy only enough for themselves?
10But I have stripped Esau bare, I have uncovered his hiding places, and he is not able to conceal himself. His children are destroyed, and his brothers, and his neighbors; and he is no more.
11Leave your fatherless children, I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in me."
12For thus says the LORD: "If those who did not deserve to drink the cup must drink it, will you go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, but you must drink.
13For I have sworn by myself, says the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a horror, a taunt, a waste, and a curse; and all her cities shall be perpetual wastes."
14I have heard tidings from the LORD, and a messenger has been sent among the nations: "Gather yourselves together and come against her, and rise up for battle!"
15For behold, I will make you small among the nations, despised among men.
16The horror you inspire has deceived you, and the pride of your heart, you who live in the clefts of the rock, who hold the height of the hill. Though you make your nest as high as the eagle's, I will bring you down from there, says the LORD.
17"Edom shall become a horror; every one who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters.
18As when Sodom and Gomor'rah and their neighbor cities were overthrown, says the LORD, no man shall dwell there, no man shall sojourn in her.
19Behold, like a lion coming up from the jungle of the Jordan against a strong sheepfold, I will suddenly make them run away from her; and I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me?
20Therefore hear the plan which the LORD has made against Edom and the purposes which he has formed against the inhabitants of Teman: Even the little ones of the flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate.
21At the sound of their fall the earth shall tremble; the sound of their cry shall be heard at the Red Sea.
22Behold, one shall mount up and fly swiftly like an eagle, and spread his wings against Bozrah, and the heart of the warriors of Edom shall be in that day like the heart of a woman in her pangs."
23Concerning Damascus. "Hamath and Arpad are confounded, for they have heard evil tidings; they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea which cannot be quiet.
24Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee, and panic seized her; anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her, as of a woman in travail.
25How the famous city is forsaken, the joyful city!
26Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day, says the LORD of hosts.
27And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-ha'dad."
28Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor which Nebuchadrez'zar king of Babylon smote. Thus says the LORD: "Rise up, advance against Kedar! Destroy the people of the east!
29Their tents and their flocks shall be taken, their curtains and all their goods; their camels shall be borne away from them, and men shall cry to them: `Terror on every side!'
30Flee, wander far away, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Hazor! says the LORD. For Nebuchadrez'zar king of Babylon has made a plan against you, and formed a purpose against you.
31"Rise up, advance against a nation at ease, that dwells securely, says the LORD, that has no gates or bars, that dwells alone.
32Their camels shall become booty, their herds of cattle a spoil. I will scatter to every wind those who cut the corners of their hair, and I will bring their calamity from every side of them, says the LORD.
33Hazor shall become a haunt of jackals, an everlasting waste; no man shall dwell there, no man shall sojourn in her."
34The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedeki'ah king of Judah.
35Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might;
36and I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven; and I will scatter them to all those winds, and there shall be no nation to which those driven out of Elam shall not come.
37I will terrify Elam before their enemies, and before those who seek their life; I will bring evil upon them, my fierce anger, says the LORD. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them;
38and I will set my throne in Elam, and destroy their king and princes, says the LORD.
39"But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, says the LORD."

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