1 Send lambs from Sela as tribute
to the ruler of the land.
Send them through the desert
to the mountain of beautiful Zion.
2 The women of Moab are left like homeless birds
at the shallow crossings of the Arnon River.
3 “Help us,” they cry.
“Defend us against our enemies.
Protect us from their relentless attack.
Do not betray us now that we have escaped.
4 Let our refugees stay among you.
Hide them from our enemies until the terror is past.”
When oppression and destruction have ended
and enemy raiders have disappeared,
5 then God will establish one of David’s descendants as king.
He will rule with mercy and truth.
He will always do what is just
and be eager to do what is right.
6 We have heard about proud Moab—
about its pride and arrogance and rage.
But all that boasting has disappeared.
7 The entire land of Moab weeps.
Yes, everyone in Moab mourns
for the cakes of raisins from Kir-hareseth.
They are all gone now.
8 The farms of Heshbon are abandoned;
the vineyards at Sibmah are deserted.
The rulers of the nations have broken down Moab—
that beautiful grapevine.
Its tendrils spread north as far as the town of Jazer
and trailed eastward into the wilderness.
Its shoots reached so far west
that they crossed over the Dead Sea.a
9 So now I weep for Jazer and the vineyards of Sibmah;
my tears will flow for Heshbon and Elealeh.
There are no more shouts of joy
over your summer fruits and harvest.
10 Gone now is the gladness,
gone the joy of harvest.
There will be no singing in the vineyards,
no more happy shouts,
no treading of grapes in the winepresses.
I have ended all their harvest joys.
11 My heart’s cry for Moab is like a lament on a harp.
I am filled with anguish for Kir-hareseth.b
12 The people of Moab will worship at their pagan shrines,
but it will do them no good.
They will cry to the gods in their temples,
but no one will be able to save them.
13 The Lord has already said these things about Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord says, “Within three years, counting each day,c the glory of Moab will be ended. From its great population, only a feeble few will be left alive.”
a. 16:8 Hebrew the sea.
b. 16:11 Hebrew Kir-heres, a variant spelling of Kir-hareseth.
c. 16:14 Hebrew Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them.