Isaiah 16

Chapter 16

1 [a]Send forth lambs to the ruler of the land,
from Sela across the desert
to the mount of daughter Zion.
2 Like fluttering birds,
like scattered nestlings,
are the women of Moab
at the fords of the Arnon.
3 Offer your counsel,
grant us your justice.
At high noon
let your shadow be like night.
Hide those who are outcasts
and do not betray the fugitives.
4 Allow the outcasts of Moab
to settle among you,
and be their refuge from the destroyer.
When the oppression has ceased
and the devastation is at an end,
and the marauders who have trampled the land
have finally departed,
5 a throne established in faithful love
will be established in the tent of David,
and on it will sit in fidelity
a judge who offers fair judgment
and is prompt to ensure justice.
6 We have heard about the pride of Moab,
about how truly intense that pride is,
with its arrogance, its pride, and its insolence,
as well as its boasts which have little basis.
7 Therefore, let Moab wail,
every one of its inhabitants.
In their grief they will long
for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth.
8 The vineyards of Heshbon have withered,
the vines of Sibmah.
The lords of the nations
have destroyed the choicest vines
that once reached as far as Jazer
and spread out toward the desert,
and whose shoots with their spreading branches
spread across the sea.
9 Therefore, I weep with Jazer
for the vines of Sibmah.
I drench you with tears,
Heshbon and Elealeh,
for the cries of battle have fallen
over your harvest and vintage.
10 Joy and gladness
have been taken away from the fields.
In the vineyards no songs are sung,
no joyful shouts are raised.
No one treads out wine in the wine-presses
no cheers of happiness are heard.
11 That is the reason why
my heart throbs like a harp for Moab
and my soul for Kir-hareseth.
12 When the Moabites approach
and exhaust themselves on the high places,
they will flock to their sanctuaries to pray,
but it will avail them nothing.

13 This was the word that the Lord spoke about Moab in the past. 14 But now the Lord says: In three years, as a hired worker reckons them, the glory of Moab will be regarded with contempt, despite its vast multitude. The remnant that survive will be few in number and very feeble.


  1. Isaiah 16:1 The text is uncertain— verse 2 belongs before verse 1, as a continuation of 15:9. Then, it seems, the ruler of Moab is urged to send a messenger to ask for asylum in Jerusalem, to which verses 3-4 refer.

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