New International Reader's Version

Isaiah 16

1People of Moab, send lambs as a gift
    to the ruler of Judah.
Send them from Sela.
    Send them across the desert.
    Send them to Mount Zion in the city of Jerusalem.
The women of Moab are at the places
    where people go across the Arnon River.
They are like birds that flap their wings
    when they are pushed from their nest.

The Moabites say to the rulers of Judah,
    “Make up your mind. Make a decision.
Cover us with your shadow.
    Make it like night even at noon.
Hide those of us who are running away.
    Don’t turn them over to their enemies.
Let those who have run away from Moab stay with you.
    Keep them safe from those who are trying to destroy them.”

Those who crush others will be destroyed.
    The killing will stop.
    The attackers will disappear from the earth.
A man from the royal house of David will sit on Judah’s throne.
    He will rule with faithful love.
When he judges he will do what is fair.
    He will be quick to do what is right.

We have heard all about Moab’s pride.
    We have heard how very proud they are.
    They think they are so much better than others.
They brag about themselves.
    But all their bragging is nothing but empty words.

So the people of Moab cry out.
    All of them cry over their country.
Sing a song of sadness.
    Weep that you can no longer enjoy the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth.
The fields of Heshbon dry up.
    So do the vines of Sibmah.
The rulers of the nations
    have walked all over its finest vines.
Those vines once reached as far as Jazer.
    They spread out toward the desert.
Their new growth went
    all the way to the Dead Sea.
Jazer weeps for the vines of Sibmah.
    And so do I.
Heshbon and Elealeh,
    I soak you with my tears!
There isn’t any ripe fruit for people to shout about.
    There isn’t any harvest to make them happy.
10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards.
    No one sings or shouts in the vineyards.
No one stomps on grapes at the winepresses.
    That’s because the Lord has put an end to the shouting.
11 My heart mourns over Moab like a song of sadness played on a harp.
    Deep down inside me I mourn over Kir Hareseth.
12 Moab’s people go to their high place to pray.
    But all they do is wear themselves out.
    Their god Chemosh can’t help them at all.

13 That’s the message the Lord has already spoken against Moab. 14 But now he says, “In exactly three years, people will look down on Moab’s glory. Now Moab has many people. But by that time only a few of them will be left alive. And even they will be weak.”