Isaiah 15

The Lord Will Judge Moab

1Here is a message about Moab:
Indeed, in a night it is devastated,
Ar of Moab is destroyed!
Indeed, in a night it is devastated,
Kir of Moab is destroyed!
2 They went up to the temple,
Heb “house.”

the people of Dibon went up to the high places to lament.
Heb “even Dibon [to] the high places to weep.” The verb “went up” does double duty in the parallel structure.

Because of what happened to Nebo and Medeba,
Heb “over [or “for”] Nebo and over [or “for”] Medeba.”
Moab wails.
Every head is shaved bare,
every beard is trimmed off.
Shaving the head and beard were outward signs of mourning and grief.

3 In their streets they wear sackcloth;
on their roofs and in their town squares
all of them wail,
they fall down weeping.
4 The people of
The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,
their voices are heard as far away as Jahaz.
For this reason Moab’s soldiers shout in distress;
their courage wavers.
The Hebrew text has, “For this reason the soldiers of Moab shout, his inner being quivers for him.” To achieve tighter parallelism, some emend the first line, changing חֲלֻצֵי (khalutse, “soldiers”) to חַלְצֵי (khaltse, “loins”) and יָרִיעוּ (yariu, “they shout,” from רוּעַ, rua’) to יָרְעוּ (yoru, “they quiver”), a verb from יָרַע (yara’), which also appears in the next line. One can then translate v. 4b as “For this reason the insides of the Moabites quiver, their whole body shakes” (cf. NAB, NRSV).

5 My heart cries out because of Moab’s plight,
Heb “for Moab.” For rhetorical purposes the speaker (the Lord?, see v. 9) plays the role of a mourner.

and for the fugitives
The vocalization of the Hebrew text suggests “the bars of her gates,” but the form should be repointed to yield, “her fugitives.” See HALOT 156-57 s.v. בָּרִחַ, and BDB 138 s.v. בָּרִיהַ.
stretched out
The words “are stretched out” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
as far as Zoar and Eglath Shelishiyah.
For they weep as they make their way up the ascent of Luhith;
they loudly lament their demise on the road to Horonaim.
Heb “For the ascent of Luhith, with weeping they go up it; for [on] the road to Horonaim an outcry over shattering they raise up.”

6 For the waters of Nimrim are gone;
Heb “are waste places”; cf. NRSV “are a desolation.”

the grass is dried up,
the vegetation has disappeared,
and there are no plants.
7 For this reason what they have made and stored up,
they carry over the Stream of the Poplars.
8 Indeed, the cries of distress echo throughout Moabite territory;
their wailing can be heard in Eglaim and Beer Elim.
Heb “to Eglaim [is] her wailing, and [to] Beer Elim [is] her wailing.”

9 Indeed, the waters of Dimon
The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa reads “Dibon” instead of “Dimon” in this verse.
are full of blood!
Indeed, I will heap even more trouble on Dimon.
Heb “Indeed I will place on Dimon added things.” Apparently the Lord is speaking.

A lion will attack
The words “will attack” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
the Moabite fugitives
and the people left in the land.
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