Isaiah 15

The Word Made Fresh

1An oracle that concerns Moab.
Because Ar is put to ruin in a single night, Moab is defeated.
Because Kir is wiped out in a single night, Moab is as well.
2Dibon goes up to the temple and the high places to weep
and wail over Nebo and Medeba.
Every head is shaven. Every beard is clipped.
3They wear sackcloth in the streets,
and on the rooftops and in the public squares
they all cry out tearfully.
4Heshbon and Elealeh weep,
their voices heard as far away as Jahaz.
That is why Moab is shaken, his soul trembling.
5My heart cries out for Moab; his fugitives run to Zoar
and to Eglath-Shelishiyah.
At the hill of Luhith they climb up weeping.
On the highway to Horonaim they cry out loudly at their destruction.
6The pools of Nimrim are desolate;
the grass withers and no new growth appears.
The green plants are no more.
7They have no choice but to carry away the abundance they received
and all they have saved aside.
It all must go over the valley of the Willows.
8A cry has been raised around Moab;
it reaches to Eglaim and to Beer-Elim.
9Dibon’s waters are filled with blood.
Even so, I will smite Dibon even more –
I will send a lion for those who escape Moab,
and another for those that remain in the land.


1-9: Now the prophet turns his attention to Moab, the country to the east of Judah, across the Jordan. This, however, is a lament over the destruction of Moab, not a taunt as was the oracle concerning Babylon. Judah and Moab generally had good relations. For example, Ruth, grandmother of David, was a Moabite woman (Ruth 1:4). The oracle imagines the residents of Moab shaking in fear as they receive news of the fall of neighboring places; Ai, Kir, Nebo, Medeba, Heshbon, and Elealeh. Refugees flee to Zoar and to Eglath and to Horonaim and Eglaim. Dibon (also known as Dimon) is another name for Moab.


Isaiah is systematically addressing the entire area we now call the Middle East. All the people, all the nations are receiving God’s judgment. Should God do this again, how do you think our nation will fair?