The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Jeremias
And thus to Moab speaks the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel. Alas for Nabo, spoiled and shamed, for Cariathaim taken, the high fortress humbled, a prey to alarms!
For Moab, scant triumph; against Hesebon there are plots a-brewing, Away with it, a nation let it be no more! Silence for thee, a long silence; the sword is at thy heels.
From Oronaim the cry goes up, rack and ruin everywhere;
Moab lies crushed, let Segor echo the cry!
Weep they and wail, that climb the slopes of Luith; all the way down from Oronaim their foes may hear it, the cry of desolation.
Fly he must that would escape with life, stripped though he be as the desert tamarisk.
Ill reposed that confidence in ramparts of thine, stores of thine; taken thou shalt be like the rest, and Chamos go into exile, all his priests and all his votary chiefs with him.
Of all thy cities, none shall be safe from the spoiler’s entry; wasted thy valleys shall be, swept bare the hill-sides; the Lord decrees it.
Weave a coronal✻ for Moab; in the flower of her pride she goes into exile, and all her cities lie desolate, none to dwell there.
Cursed the man who goes about the Lord’s work grudgingly, nor with blood stains his sword!
Since those first days of his, ever was Moab too rich; he, that knew not exile, is like a wine that has settled on its lees, never decanted; tang and reek of it were never lost;
a time is coming now, the Lord says, when I mean to send certain stewards of mine that shall tilt those jars; draw wine, drain goblet, and break jar to pieces!
Chamos will play Moab false, as Bethel played Israel false, when Israel trusted in its sanctuary.
Ay, boast on of your bravery, tell us you are warriors all!
Yet Moab is laid waste, its townships aflame, all the flower of its chivalry gone to their death; so that king decrees, whose name is the Lord of hosts.
Not long delayed, Moab’s last hour; runs on swift feet his calamity.
Mourn with him, you that are his neighbours, you that are his familiars; so trusty a rod broken, a staff so fair.
Poor maid of Dibon, come down from thy splendour and sit on the parched ground; the spoiler of Moab has scaled thy heights, dismantled thy walls;
poor maid of Aroer, by the wayside linger and look around thee; ask of the fugitives, How went the day?
Alas, Moab’s hope is lost; Moab lies conquered. Loud be the cry of lament in Arnon, that tells of fields laid waste;
doom on the hill-country, on Helon, Jasa, and Mephaath,
Dibon, Nabo, and Beth-Deblathaim,
Cariathaim, Beth-gamul, Bethmaon,
Carioth, and Bosra, and all the cities of Moab, far and near.
Blunted now is that horn, the Lord says, crushed that strong arm!
Senseless let him fall, that once for the divine power vaunted himself a match; a laughing-stock let him be, that once, vomiting over his wine, clapped hands
in derision to make a laughing-stock of Israel! An interloper thou didst call him, and now, for this ill speaking of thine, thyself shalt be cast into exile.✻
Leave your cities, Moabites, and take to the hills; make the dove your model, that ever at the outermost edge of cave will build her nest.
The boasting of Moab has long been in our ears,✻ as it was ever boastful; proud, scornful, boastful Moab, with head so high in air!
Well I know, the Lord says, those high pretensions of hers, that have no strength to warrant them, those dreams that never come true!
So, from one end of Moab to the other, there is dole and dirge, mournful hearing for the men behind those walls of hardened brick.
Jazer laments for thee, vineyard of Sabama, and with Jazer I too will mourn; thy shoots reached from Jazer itself to the Dead Sea and beyond; now, harvest of thine and vintage of thine the spoiler has overrun.
From the garden-lands of Moab joy and triumph have died away; all the presses I have emptied of their wine, no vintage-song, no treading the grapes as of old.
The dirge goes up from Hesebon, from Eleale and Jasa; goes up all the way from Segor to Oronaim, like the lowing of heifer full-grown; foul run the waters of Nemrim.
None will I leave in Moab, the Lord says, to worship at the hill-shrines, or do sacrifice to its gods.
For Moab my heart wails like the wailing of flutes, wailing of flutes for those brick-walled cities of hers; too high she aimed, and see, they lie in ruins.
Every head is shorn, every beard shaved in mourning; with bound✻ hands men go, sackcloth on their backs.
Roof-top and street in Moab is none but echoes with grief; I have cast Moab away, the Lord says, like a jar past mending.
Lament for Moab in defeat, bowed heads for Moab’s shame! A laughing-stock it will be and a by-word for all its neighbours.
An eagle’s flight yonder conqueror has, the Lord says, and will sweep down on Moab too.
Now Carioth✻ is lost, and all the strongholds taken; cowed as woman’s heart in child-bearing are those warrior hearts;
Moab, that set the Lord at defiance, shall be a people no more.
Terror in front of its people, the Lord says, trap and toil behind them;
from terror flee thou, into trap fall thou; from the trap free thee, toils shall fasten thee. Such shall be my year of reckoning with the men of Moab, the Lord says.
From the toils escaped, who turns to Hesebon for shelter? Helpless he stands; such a fire comes out from Hesebon, all Seon’s capital aflame, till cheek and head of blustering Moab are consumed.
Alas, Moab, alas, people of Chamos, for thy undoing! Gone into exile now thy sons and daughters!✻
Yet a time shall come at last, the Lord says, when her lot shall be reversed.
Thus far the doom of Moab.
Thus far the doom of Moab.
The Holy Bible