461The LORD spoke to me about the nations, 2
beginning with Egypt. This is what he said about the army of King Neco of Egypt, which King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia defeated at Carchemish near the River Euphrates in the fourth year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah:
3“The Egyptian officers shout,
‘Get your shields ready
and march into battle!
4Harness your horses and mount them!
Fall in line and put on your helmets!
Sharpen your spears!
Put on your armour!’
5“But what do I see?” asks the LORD.
“They are turning back in terror.
Their soldiers are beaten back;
overcome with fear, they run as fast as they can
and do not look back.
6Those who run fast cannot get away;
the soldiers cannot escape.
In the north, by the Euphrates,
they stumble and fall.
7Who is this that rises like the Nile,
like a river flooding its banks?
8It is Egypt, rising like the Nile,
like a river flooding its banks.
Egypt said, ‘I will rise and cover the world;
I will destroy cities and the people who live there.
9Command the horses to go
and the chariots to roll!
Send out the soldiers:
men from Ethiopia46.9 Ethiopia: See Word List. and Libya, carrying shields,
and skilled archers from Lydia.’ ”
10This is the day of the Sovereign LORD Almighty:
today he will take revenge;
today he will punish his enemies.
His sword will eat them until it is full,
and drink their blood until it is satisfied.
Today the Almighty sacrifices his victims
in the north, by the Euphrates.
11People of Egypt, go to Gilead46.11 Gilead: See 8.22.
and look for medicine!
All your medicine has proved useless;
nothing can heal you.
12Nations have heard of your shame;
everyone has heard you cry.
One soldier trips over another,
and both of them fall to the ground.
When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia came to attack Egypt, the LORD spoke to me. He said,
14“Proclaim it in the towns of Egypt,
in Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes:
‘Get ready to defend yourselves;
all you have will be destroyed in war!
15Why has your mighty god Apis fallen?
The LORD has struck him down!’
16Your soldiers have stumbled and fallen;46.16 Probable text Your soldiers… fallen; Hebrew unclear.
each one says to the other,
‘Hurry! Let's go home to our people
and escape the enemy's sword!’
17“Give the king of Egypt a new name —
‘Noisy Braggart who Missed his Chance’.
18I, the LORD Almighty, am king.
I am the living God.
As Mount Tabor towers above the mountains
and Mount Carmel stands high above the sea,
so will be the strength of the one who attacks you.
19Get ready to be taken prisoner,
you people of Egypt!
Memphis will be made a desert,
a ruin where no one lives.
20Egypt is like a splendid cow,
attacked by a stinging fly from the north.
21Even her hired soldiers
are helpless as calves.
They did not stand and fight;
all of them turned and ran.
The day of their doom had arrived,
the time of their destruction.
22Egypt runs away, hissing like a snake,
as the enemy's army approaches.
They attack her with axes,
like men cutting down trees
23and destroying a thick forest.
Their men are too many to count;
their soldiers outnumber the locusts.
24The people of Egypt are put to shame;
they are conquered by the people of the north.
I, the LORD, have spoken.”
25The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says, “I am going to punish Amon, the god of Thebes, together with Egypt and its gods and kings. I am going to take the king of Egypt and all who put their trust in him, 26and hand them over to those who want to kill them, to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia and his army. But later on, people will live in Egypt again, as they did in times past. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
“My people, do not be afraid,
people of Israel, do not be terrified.
I will rescue you from that distant land,
from the land where you are prisoners.
You will come back home and live in peace;
you will be secure, and no one will make you afraid.
28I will come to you and save you.
I will destroy all the nations
where I have scattered you,
but I will not destroy you.
I will not let you go unpunished;
but when I punish you, I will be fair.
I, the LORD, have spoken.”
Before the king of Egypt attacked Gaza, the LORD spoke to me about Philistia. 2He said:
“Look! Waters are rising in the north
and will rush like a river in flood.
They will cover the land and everything on it,
cities and the people who live there.
People will call out for help;
everyone on earth will cry bitterly.
3They will hear the hoof beats of horses,
the clatter of chariots,
the rumble of wheels.
Parents will not turn back for their children;
their hands will hang limp at their sides.
4The time has come to destroy Philistia,
to cut off from Tyre and Sidon
all the help that remains.
I, the LORD, will destroy the Philistines,
all who came from the shores of Crete.
5Great sorrow has come to the people of Gaza,
and Ashkelon's people are silent.
How long will the rest of Philistia mourn?
6You cry out, ‘Sword of the LORD!
How long will you go on slashing?
Go back to your scabbard,
stay there and rest!’
7But how can it rest,
when I have given it work to do?
I have commanded it to attack Ashkelon
and the people who live on the coast.”
This is what the LORD Almighty said about Moab:
“Pity the people of Nebo —
their town is destroyed!
Kiriathaim is captured,
its mighty fortress torn down,
and its people put to shame;
2the splendour of Moab is gone.
The enemy have captured Heshbon
and plot to destroy the nation of Moab.
The town of Madmen will be silenced;
armies will march against it.
3The people of Horonaim cry out,
4“Moab has been destroyed;
listen to the children crying.
5Hear the sound of their sobs
along the road up to Luhith,
the cries of distress
on the way down to Horonaim.
6‘Quick, run for your lives!’ they say.
‘Run like a wild desert donkey!’
7“Moab, you trusted in your strength and your wealth,
but now even you will be conquered;
your god Chemosh will go into exile,
along with his princes and priests.
8Not a town will escape the destruction;
both valley and plain will be ruined.
I, the LORD, have spoken.
9Set up a tombstone for Moab;
it will soon be destroyed.
Its towns will be left in ruins,
and no one will live there again.”
10(Curse those who do not do the LORD's work with all their heart! Curse those who do not slash and kill!)
11The LORD said, “Moab has always lived secure and has never been taken into exile. Moab is like wine left to settle undisturbed and never poured from jar to jar. Its flavour has never been ruined, and it tastes as good as ever.
12“So now, the time is coming when I will send people to pour Moab out like wine. They will empty its wine jars and break them in pieces. 13Then the Moabites will be disillusioned with their god Chemosh, just as the Israelites were disillusioned with Bethel, a god in whom they trusted.
14“Men of Moab, why do you claim to be heroes,
brave soldiers tested in war?
15Moab and its cities are destroyed;
its finest young men have been slaughtered.
I am the king, the LORD Almighty,
and I have spoken.
16Moab's doom approaches;
its ruin is coming soon.
17“Mourn for that nation, you that live near by,
all of you that know its fame.
Say, ‘Its powerful rule has been broken;
its glory and might are no more.’
18You that live in Dibon,
come down from your place of honour
and sit on the ground in the dust;
Moab's destroyer is here
and has left its forts in ruins.
19You that live in Aroer,
stand by the road and wait;
ask those who are running away,
find out from them what has happened.
20‘Moab has fallen,’ they will answer,
‘weep for it; it is disgraced.
Announce along the River Arnon
that Moab is destroyed!’
21“Judgement has come on the cities of the plateau: on Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22Dibon, Nebo, Beth Diblathaim, 23Kiriathaim, Bethgamul, Bethmeon, 24Kerioth, and Bozrah. Judgement has come on all the cities of Moab, far and near. 25Moab's might has been crushed; its power has been destroyed. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
26The LORD said, “Make Moab drunk, because it has rebelled against me. Moab will roll in its own vomit, and people will laugh. 27Moab, remember how you jeered at the people of Israel? You treated them as though they had been caught with a gang of robbers.
28“You people who live in Moab, leave your towns! Go and live on the cliffs! Be like the dove that makes its nest in the sides of a ravine. 29Moab is very proud! I have heard how proud, arrogant, and conceited the people are, how much they think of themselves. 30I, the LORD, know of their arrogance. Their boasts amount to nothing, and the things they do will not last. 31And so I will weep for everyone in Moab and for the people of Kir Heres. 32I will cry for the people of Sibmah, even more than for the people of Jazer. City of Sibmah, you are like a vine whose branches reach across the Dead Sea and go as far as Jazer. But now your summer fruits and your grapes have been destroyed. 33Happiness and joy have been taken away from the fertile land of Moab. I have made the wine stop flowing from the winepresses; there is no one to make the wine and shout for joy.
34“The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,48.34 Probable text Heshbon… cry out; Hebrew unclear. and their cry can be heard as far as Jahaz; it can be heard by the people in Zoar, and it is heard as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah. Even the brook of Nimrim has dried up. 35I will stop the people of Moab from making burnt offerings at their places of worship and from offering sacrifices to their gods. I, the LORD, have spoken.
36“So my heart mourns for Moab and for the people of Kir Heres, like someone playing a funeral song on a flute, because everything they owned is gone. 37All of them have shaved their heads and cut off their beards. They have all made gashes on their hands, and everyone is wearing sackcloth. 38On all the housetops of Moab and in all its public squares there is nothing but mourning, because I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants. 39Moab has been shattered! Cry out! Moab has been disgraced. It is in ruins, and all the surrounding nations jeer at it. I, the LORD, have spoken.”
40The LORD has promised that a nation will swoop down on Moab like an eagle with its outspread wings, 41and the towns and fortresses will be captured. On that day Moab's soldiers will be as frightened as a woman in labour. 42Moab will be destroyed and will no longer be a nation, because it rebelled against me. 43Terror, pits, and traps are waiting for the people of Moab. The LORD has spoken. 44Whoever tries to escape the terror will fall into the pits, and whoever climbs out of the pits will be caught in the traps, because the LORD has set the time for Moab's destruction. 45Helpless refugees try to find protection in Heshbon, the city that King Sihon once ruled, but it is in flames.48.45 Heshbon, the city… flames; or the city of Heshbon, but it is in flames and the palace of King Sihon is burning. Fire has burnt up the frontiers and the mountain heights of the war-loving people of Moab. 46Pity the people of Moab! The people who worshipped Chemosh have been destroyed, and their sons and daughters have been taken away as prisoners.
47But in days to come the LORD will make Moab prosperous again. All of this is what the LORD has said will happen to Moab.