Reading for October 6th

Jeremiah 48-50 (Listen)

Judgment on Moab
Concerning Moab.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:

 

“Woe to Nebo, for it is laid waste!

Kiriathaim is put to shame, it is taken;

the fortress is put to shame and broken down;

the renown of Moab is no more.

In Heshbon they planned disaster 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.

 

“A voice! A cry from Horonaim,

‘Desolation and great destruction!’

Moab is destroyed;

her little ones have made a cry.

For at the ascent of Luhith

they go up weeping;

for at the descent of Horonaim

they have heard the distressed cry of destruction.

Flee! Save yourselves!

You will be like a juniper in the desert!

For, because you trusted in your works and your treasures,

you also shall be taken;

and Chemosh shall go into exile

with his priests and his officials.

The 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.

 

“Give wings to Moab,

for she would fly away;

her cities shall become a desolation,

with no inhabitant in them.

 

“Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.

 

“Moab has been at ease from his youth

and has settled on his dregs;

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.

 

“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I shall send to him pourers who will pour him, and empty his vessels and break his jars in pieces. Then Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence.

 

“How do you say, ‘We are heroes

and mighty men of war’?

The destroyer of Moab and his cities has come up,

and the choicest of his young men have gone down to slaughter,

declares the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

The calamity of Moab is near at hand,

and his affliction hastens swiftly.

Grieve for him, all you who are around him,

and all who know his name;

say, ‘How the mighty scepter is broken,

the glorious staff.’

 

“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.

Stand by the way and watch,

O inhabitant of Aroer!

Ask him who flees and her who escapes;

say, ‘What has happened?’

Moab is put to shame, for it is broken;

wail and cry!

Tell it beside the Arnon,

that Moab is laid waste.

 

“Judgment has come upon the tableland, upon Holon, and Jahzah, and Mephaath, and Dibon, and Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim, and Kiriathaim, and Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon, and Kerioth, and Bozrah, and all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near. The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, declares the Lord.

“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. Was not Israel a derision to you? Was he found among thieves, that whenever you spoke of him you wagged your head?

 

“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.

We 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.

I know his insolence, declares the Lord;

his boasts are false,

his deeds are false.

Therefore I wail for Moab;

I cry out for all Moab;

for the men of Kir-hareseth I mourn.

More than for Jazer I weep for you,

O vine of Sibmah!

Your branches passed over the sea,

reached to the Sea of Jazer;

on your summer fruits and your grapes

the destroyer has fallen.

Gladness and joy have been taken away

from the fruitful land of Moab;

I have made the wine cease from the winepresses;

no one treads them with shouts of joy;

the shouting is not the shout of joy.

 

“From the outcry at Heshbon even to Elealeh, as far as Jahaz they utter their voice, from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. For the waters of Nimrim also have become desolate. And I will bring to an end in Moab, declares the Lord, him who offers sacrifice in the high place and makes offerings to his god. Therefore my heart moans for Moab like a flute, and my heart moans like a flute for the men of Kir-hareseth. Therefore the riches they gained have perished.

“For every head is shaved and every beard cut off. On all the hands are gashes, and around the waist is sackcloth. On 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, declares the Lord. How 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 around him.”

 

For thus says the Lord:

“Behold, one shall fly swiftly like an eagle

and spread his wings against Moab;

the 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 birth pains;

Moab shall be destroyed and be no longer a people,

because he magnified himself against the Lord.

Terror, pit, and snare

are before you, O inhabitant of Moab!

declares the Lord.

He 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,

the year of their punishment,

declares the Lord.

 

“In the shadow of Heshbon

fugitives stop without strength,

for fire came out from Heshbon,

flame from the house of Sihon;

it has destroyed the forehead of Moab,

the crown of the sons of tumult.

Woe to you, O Moab!

The people of Chemosh are undone,

for your sons have been taken captive,

and your daughters into captivity.

Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab

in the latter days, declares the Lord.”

Thus far is the judgment on Moab.

 

Judgment on Ammon
Concerning 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?

Therefore, behold, the days are coming,

declares 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.

 

“Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai is laid waste!

Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah!

Put on sackcloth,

lament, and run to and fro among the hedges!

For Milcom shall go into exile,

with his priests and his officials.

Why do you boast of your valleys,

O faithless daughter,

who trusted in her treasures, saying,

‘Who will come against me?’

Behold, I will bring terror upon you,

declares the Lord God of hosts,

from all who are around you,

and you shall be driven out, every man straight before him,

with none to gather the fugitives.

 

“But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, declares the Lord.”

Judgment on Edom

Concerning Edom.

Thus says the Lord of hosts:

 

“Is wisdom no more in Teman?

Has counsel perished from the prudent?

Has their wisdom vanished?

Flee, 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.

If grape gatherers came to you,

would they not leave gleanings?

If thieves came by night,

would they not destroy only enough for themselves?

But 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.

Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive;

and let your widows trust in me.”

 

For 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. For I have sworn by myself, declares the Lord, that Bozrah shall become a horror, a taunt, a waste, and a curse, and all her cities shall be perpetual wastes.”

 

I have heard a message from the Lord,

and an envoy has been sent among the nations:

“Gather yourselves together and come against her,

and rise up for battle!

For behold, I will make you small among the nations,

despised among mankind.

The 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,

declares the Lord.

 

“Edom shall become a horror. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters. As when Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities were overthrown, says the Lord, no man shall dwell there, no man shall sojourn in her. Behold, like a lion coming up from the jungle of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make him 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? Therefore hear the plan that the Lord has made against Edom and the purposes that 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. At the sound of their fall the earth shall tremble; the sound of their cry shall be heard at the Red Sea. Behold, 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 birth pains.”

Judgment on Damascus
Concerning Damascus:

 

“Hamath and Arpad are confounded,

for they have heard bad news;

they melt in fear,

they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet.

Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee,

and panic seized her;

anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her,

as of a woman in labor.

How is the famous city not forsaken,

the city of my joy?

Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares,

and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day,

declares the Lord of hosts.

And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.”

 

Judgment on Kedar and Hazor
Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck down.

 

Thus says the Lord:

“Rise up, advance against Kedar!

Destroy the people of the east!

Their tents and their flocks shall be taken,

their curtains and all their goods;

their camels shall be led away from them,

and men shall cry to them: ‘Terror on every side!’

Flee, wander far away, dwell in the depths,

O inhabitants of Hazor!

declares the Lord.

For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon

has made a plan against you

and formed a purpose against you.

 

“Rise up, advance against a nation at ease,

that dwells securely,

declares the Lord,

that has no gates or bars,

that dwells alone.

Their camels shall become plunder,

their herds of livestock 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,

declares the Lord.

Hazor shall become a haunt of jackals,

an everlasting waste;

no man shall dwell there;

no man shall sojourn in her.”

 

Judgment on Elam
The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah.

Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might. And 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. I will terrify Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, declares the Lord. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them, and I will set my throne in Elam and destroy their king and officials, declares the Lord.

“But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, declares the Lord.”

Judgment on Babylon
The word that the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, concerning the land of the Chaldeans, by Jeremiah the prophet:

 

“Declare among the nations and proclaim,

set up a banner and proclaim,

conceal it not, and say:

‘Babylon is taken,

Bel is put to shame,

Merodach is dismayed.

Her images are put to shame,

her idols are dismayed.’

 

“For out of the north a nation has come up against her, which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away.

“In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.’

“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold. All who found them have devoured them, and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for they have sinned against the Lord, their habitation of righteousness, the Lord, the hope of their fathers.’

“Flee from the midst of Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock. For behold, I am stirring up and bringing against Babylon a gathering of great nations, from the north country. And they shall array themselves against her. From there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like a skilled warrior who does not return empty-handed. Chaldea shall be plundered; all who plunder her shall be sated, declares the Lord.

 

“Though you rejoice, though you exult,

O plunderers of my heritage,

though you frolic like a heifer in the pasture,

and neigh like stallions,

your mother shall be utterly shamed,

and she who bore you shall be disgraced.

Behold, she shall be the last of the nations,

a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.

Because of the wrath of the Lord she shall not be inhabited

but shall be an utter desolation;

everyone who passes by Babylon shall be appalled,

and hiss because of all her wounds.

Set yourselves in array against Babylon all around,

all you who bend the bow;

shoot at her, spare no arrows,

for she has sinned against the Lord.

Raise a shout against her all around;

she has surrendered;

her bulwarks have fallen;

her walls are thrown down.

For this is the vengeance of the Lord:

take vengeance on her;

do to her as she has done.

Cut off from Babylon the sower,

and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest;

because of the sword of the oppressor,

every one shall turn to his own people,

and every one shall flee to his own land.

 

“Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions. First the king of Assyria devoured him, and now at last Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has gnawed his bones. Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria. I will restore Israel to his pasture, and he shall feed on Carmel and in Bashan, and his desire shall be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and in Gilead. In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.

 

“Go up against the land of Merathaim,

and against the inhabitants of Pekod.

Kill, and devote them to destruction,

declares the Lord,

and do all that I have commanded you.

The noise of battle is in the land,

and great destruction!

How the hammer of the whole earth

is cut down and broken!

How Babylon has become

a horror among the nations!

I set a snare for you and you were taken, O Babylon,

and you did not know it;

you were found and caught,

because you opposed the Lord.

The Lord has opened his armory

and brought out the weapons of his wrath,

for the Lord God of hosts has a work to do

in the land of the Chaldeans.

Come against her from every quarter;

open her granaries;

pile her up like heaps of grain, and devote her to destruction;

let nothing be left of her.

Kill all her bulls;

let them go down to the slaughter.

Woe to them, for their day has come,

the time of their punishment.

 

“A voice! They flee and escape from the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, vengeance for his temple.

“Summon archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp around her; let no one escape. Repay her according to her deeds; do to her according to all that she has done. For she has proudly defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day, declares the Lord.

 

“Behold, I am against you, O proud one,

declares the Lord God of hosts,

for your day has come,

the time when I will punish you.

The proud one shall stumble and fall,

with none to raise him up,

and I will kindle a fire in his cities,

and it will devour all that is around him.

 

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah with them. All who took them captive have held them fast; they refuse to let them go. Their Redeemer is strong; the Lord of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.

 

“A sword against the Chaldeans, declares the Lord,

and against the inhabitants of Babylon,

and against her officials and her wise men!

A sword against the diviners,

that they may become fools!

A sword against her warriors,

that they may be destroyed!

A sword against her horses and against her chariots,

and against all the foreign troops in her midst,

that they may become women!

A sword against all her treasures,

that they may be plundered!

A drought against her waters,

that they may be dried up!

For it is a land of images,

and they are mad over idols.

 

“Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon, and ostriches shall dwell in her. She shall never again have people, nor be inhabited for all generations. As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the Lord, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.

 

“Behold, a people comes from the north;

a mighty nation and many kings

are stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.

They lay hold of bow and spear;

they are cruel and have no mercy.

The sound of them is like the roaring of the sea;

they ride on horses,

arrayed as a man for battle

against you, O daughter of Babylon!

 

“The king of Babylon heard the report of them,

and his hands fell helpless;

anguish seized him,

pain as of a woman in labor.

 

“Behold, like a lion coming up from the thicket of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, 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? Therefore hear the plan that the Lord has made against Babylon, and the purposes that he has formed against the land of the Chaldeans: Surely the little ones of their flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate. At the sound of the capture of Babylon the earth shall tremble, and her cry shall be heard among the nations.”