1 Send the tribute lambs
to the ruler of the land,
from Sela in the desert
to the mount of Daughter Zion.
2 Like fluttering birds
pushed out of the nest,
so are the daughters of Moab
at the fords of the Arnon:
3 “Give us counsel;
render a decision.
Shelter us at noonday
with shade as dark as night.
Hide the refugees;
do not betray the one who flees.
4 Let my fugitives stay with you;
be a refuge for Moab from the destroyer.”
When the oppressor has gone, destruction has ceased,
and the oppressors have vanished from the land,
in the tent of David.
A judge seeking justice and hastening righteousness
will sit on it in faithfulness.
6 We have heard of Moab’s pomposity,
his exceeding pride and conceit,
his overflowing arrogance.
7 Therefore let Moab wail;
let them wail together for Moab.
Moan for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth,
you who are utterly stricken.
8 For the fields of Heshbon have withered,
along with the grapevines of Sibmah.
The rulers of the nations
have trampled its choicest vines,
which had reached as far as Jazer
and spread toward the desert.
Their shoots had spread out
and passed over the sea. b
9 So I weep with Jazer
for the vines of Sibmah;
I drench Heshbon and Elealeh
with my tears.
Triumphant shouts have fallen silent
over your summer fruit and your harvest.
10 Joy and gladness are removed from the orchard;
no one sings or shouts in the vineyards.
No one tramples the grapes in the winepresses;
I have put an end to the cheering.
11 Therefore my heart laments for Moab like a harp,
my inmost being for Kir-heres. c
12 When Moab appears on the high place,
when he wearies himself
and enters his sanctuary to pray,
it will do him no good.
13 This is the message that the LORD spoke earlier concerning Moab. 14 And now the LORD says, “In three years, as a hired worker counts the years, Moab’s splendor will become an object of contempt, with all her many people. And those who are left will be few and feeble.”
5 a Forms of the Hebrew chesed are translated here and in most cases throughout the Scriptures as loving devotion ; the range of meaning includes love , goodness , kindness , faithfulness , and mercy , as well as loyalty to a covenant .
8 b Or and had gone as far as the sea ; that is, probably the Dead Sea
11 c Kir-heres is a variant of Kir-hareseth ; see verse 7.