Isaiah 15 - Outline of Isaiah (Book Notes menu page)
I.C.3. The Burden of Moab (15:1-16:14)
1. The burden of Moab.
Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, [and] brought to silence;
because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, [and] brought to silence;
2 He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep:
Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba:
on all their heads [shall be] baldness, [and] every beard cut off.
3 In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth:
on the tops of their houses, and in their streets,
every one shall howl, weeping abundantly.
4 And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh:
their voice shall be heard [even] unto Jahaz:
{about 8 miles south}
therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out;
his life shall be grievous unto him.
Moab - A nation descended from Lot, through one of his daughters. (Gen 19:36,37)
They occupied the region to the east of the Dead Sea.
in the night Ar... Kir... laid waste...- The fall of Moab is sudden and swift.
Though 25 miles apart, both Ar and Kir fall in the same night.
he is gone up to... the high places, to weep...- In their distress, the Moabites cry out to their idols.
But they will not help them (cp. Isa 16:12). Prominent high places were located at Bajith, Dibon, Nebo and Medeba. (The latter two were near the northern reaches of Moab. Dibon was near the River Arnon near the mid-point of the Dead Sea. The location of Bajith is presently unknown.)
5 My heart shall cry out for Moab;
his fugitives [shall flee] unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old:
for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up;
for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction.
6. For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate:
for the hay is withered away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing.
7 Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up,
shall they carry away to the brook of the willows.
8 For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab;
the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beerelim.
9 For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood:
for I will bring more upon Dimon,
lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land.
my heart shall cry out for Moab...- Though the people of Moab worship false gods,
the Lord, and His prophet weep for the troubles that are coming upon them (cp. Isa 16:9; Jer 48:31-46).
his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar - a city at the southern tip of the Dead Sea,
on the border between Moab and Edom.
... an heifer of three years old - This phrase...
A. may be descriptive of their cry, like a young heifer in fear (cp. Jer 48:34), or
B. may be a name for a town, "Eglath Shelishiyah" [NASB]. If so, its location, like that of Luhith and Horonaim, is presently unknown, although, at the time, they were way points enroute to Zoar.
in the way of Horonaim... a cry of destruction - The Assyrian (and later, Babylonian) armies
would shout victoriously as they overran this place, which was evidently in the north, at some distance from Zoar (cp. Jer 48:34). The severity of the destruction is further testified by Eglaim and Beerelim, cities which were well known then, but which are also unknown to us.
for the waters of Dimon {probably Dibon} shall be full of blood...-
The slaughter, coming from the north, would still be severe when it reached this river in the middle of the country.
the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate...- This stream, near the southern end of the Dead Sea,
would be dried up, offering no refreshment to the refugees.
{their} abundance... laid up... to the brook of willows...-
Pursued and perishing from lack of water, the refugees would abandon their treasures along the way, in the struggle to preserve their lives. cp. Jer 48:36
I will bring more... lions upon him that escapeth...-
Lions may refer both to fierce animals, and also to fierce kings.
For example, the Lord sent lions among the gentiles who occupied the land of Israel, following the Assyrian invasion (eg., 2Kin 17:25). But later, the Moabites, who survived the Assyrian invasion, would be troubled by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, after he devoured Israel (cp. Jer 50:17).
This chapter (ch.15) has focused on the 'near view' of the Burden of Moab. The destructions described above are matters of history. The far view will come into focus in the next chapter.
[This section continues into the next chapter.]

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