Isaiah 16

Prophecy of Moab’s Devastation

16 Send the tribute lamb to the ruler of the land,
From [a]Sela by way of the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.
Then, like fluttering birds or scattered nestlings,
The daughters of Moab will be at the crossing places of the Arnon.
[b]Give us advice, make a decision;
[c]Cast your shadow like night [d]at high noon;
Hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive.
Let the [e]outcasts of Moab stay with you;
Be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.”
For the oppressor has come to an end, destruction has ceased,
Oppressors have been removed from the land.
A throne will be established in faithfulness,
And a judge will sit on it in trustworthiness in the tent of David;
Moreover, he will seek justice,
And be prompt in righteousness.

We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride;
Even of his arrogance, pride, and fury;
His idle boasts are [f]false.
Therefore Moab will wail; everyone of Moab will wail.
You will moan for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth
As those who are utterly stricken.
For the fields of Heshbon have [g]withered, the vines of Sibmah as well;
The lords of the nations have trampled down its choice clusters
Which reached as far as Jazer and wandered to the deserts;
Its [h]tendrils spread themselves out and passed over the sea.
Therefore I will weep bitterly for Jazer, for the vine of Sibmah;
I will drench you with my tears, Heshbon and Elealeh;
For the shouting over your summer fruits and your harvest has fallen away.
10 Gladness and joy are taken away from the fruitful field;
In the vineyards also there will be no cries of joy or jubilant shouting,
No treader treads out wine in the presses,
For I have made the shouting to cease.
11 Therefore my [i]inner being sounds like a harp for Moab.
And my [j]heart for Kir-hareseth.
12 So it will come about when Moab presents himself,
When he tires himself upon his high place
And comes to his sanctuary to pray,
That he will not prevail.

13 This is the word which the Lord spoke earlier concerning Moab. 14 But now the Lord has spoken, saying, “Within three years, as [k]a hired worker would count them, the glory of Moab will become contemptible along with all his great population, and his remnant will be very small and [l]impotent.”


  1. Isaiah 16:1 I.e., Petra in Edom
  2. Isaiah 16:3 Lit Bring
  3. Isaiah 16:3 Lit Set
  4. Isaiah 16:3 Lit in the midst of the noon
  5. Isaiah 16:4 As in most ancient versions; MT My outcasts, as for Moab
  6. Isaiah 16:6 Lit not so
  7. Isaiah 16:8 Or dried out
  8. Isaiah 16:8 I.e., parts of a climbing plant that attach to its support
  9. Isaiah 16:11 Lit entrails murmur
  10. Isaiah 16:11 Lit inward parts
  11. Isaiah 16:14 Lit the years of a hired
  12. Isaiah 16:14 Lit not mighty