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RCCG Miracle Land Dundalk
Wednesday, May 03 2023

Contributor: Clem Roberts

Unlike most of the other oracles against the nations, which gloat over their eventual downfall, this oracle about Moab is sympathetic. In v. 5 and 16:9–11, God Almighty laments over the misfortune of Moab. Still, the same sin of pride and arrogance requires judgment. Jeremiah offers a similar prophecy against Moab in Jer 48.

Summary on Isaiah 15:1–16:14

Chapter 15
15:1 Moab was Israel and Judah’s neighbour to the east across the Jordan River. Many of the northern Moabite cities described in this passage were once possessed by Israel. 
Several of them—such as Heshbon and Elealeh—were built by Israelites (Num 32:37).
When Israel and Judah were strong, they dominated and controlled this area of the Transjordan. During Isaiah’s day, Moab—along with all the other countries in the region—was subject to Assyrian invasion.
Ar is devastated in a night, Moab Locations throughout the territory of Moab are named, beginning with their main center of power in the south and moving northward. The northern cities of Moab are destroyed; the southern cities are depicted mourning over the
loss, while fugitives flee southward.

15:2 Dibon Located in disputed territory; Israel claimed the territory east of the Jordan for the tribes of Reuben and Gad. Historically, those areas were predominantly controlled by Moab and Ammon. 
The high places The temple and high places indicate sites of worship for Chemosh, the god of Moab. He is mentioned in 1 Kgs 11:7, 33 as one of the foreign deities whose worship was promoted in Israel. The deity is mentioned outside the Bible in an inscription attributed to Mesha, king of Moab.
Every head is bald A sign of mourning (see Isa 22:12).

15:3 They gird themselves with sackcloth A symbol of despair, humiliation, and mourning, wails, going down in weeping.

15:4 Heshbon and Elealeh Cities in the northern part of Moab’s territory that may have been built by Israel (Num 32:37).

15:5 My heart cries out for Moab; we see God Himself empathizing with the Moabites. Zoar, to Eglath-shelishiyah are locations in the southern part of Moab. On the road of Horonaim The fugitives are fleeing from the destroyed northern cities and heading south. The exact location of Horonaim is unknown; but its connection here with the ascent of Luhith suggests a general location in south central Moab.

15:6 the waters of Nimrim Likely refers to a stream running along the southwest edge of the Moabite plateau and into the Dead Sea. There is no greenness, economic and ecological destruction brings down Moab, leaving its inhabitants with nothing.

15:7 they carry the abundance it has made and their store of goods The wealth and supplies of the kingdom are carried off as spoils of war. The devastation envisioned is likely connected to one of the Assyrian campaigns.

15:9 The waters are full of blood The blood is from those who fell during the Assyrian invasion. The Assyrians took pride in cruel and bloody tactics that kept their subjects living in fear. A lion for the survivors of Moab The few who escape the invaders will have to contend with an untamed wilderness, where even the beasts are under God’s command to destroy them in judgment. Other nations in this sequence of oracles have similarly been promised that they will have no remnant. See Isaiah 14:22, 30.

Chapter 16

16:1 Send a ram Moab, in distress, sends a gift to Judah along with a request for asylum. Referring to Judah as the “ruler of the land” acknowledges the Moabites’ past status as subjects of Israel. See 2 Kgs 3:4–8.
The mountain of daughter Zion Jerusalem.

16:2 Like a bird fleeing from a thrust away nest The refugees are weak and defenceless—they are women seeking shelter at the fords of Arnon. The Arnon River, the primary river in the region, formed a large canyon that created a natural boundary for Moab. It would have presented a difficult obstacle for fleeing refugees to bypass.

16:3 “Bring counsel The daughters of Moab appeal to standards of social justice in requesting protection in Zion. Their request is found in Isa 16:3–4a, Isa 16:4b begins God’s response.

16:4 Let my outcasts of Moab dwell as aliens among you.
Oppressor is no more, God later laments over their plight. Here, He simply defers their plea until the Messiah comes to hear it. The time when all the nations come to Zion has not yet arrived; they are too early (see Isa 2:2–4).

16:5 in the tent of David The Davidic Messiah.

16:6 the pride of Moab Pride is again the besetting sin of all peoples. See 2:11–12; 10:12; 14:10.

16:7 Kir-hareseth A city in south central Moab.

16:8 Heshbon withers the fields Focuses on the physical and economic ruin of the northern part of Moab. Heshbon was a city near the northern border of Moab.

16:9 I weep with the weeping of Jazer for God Almighty empathizes with Moab in vv. 9–11, even though He is responsible for bringing the destruction (v. 10).
Jazer A city north of Heshbon. Sibmah was in the same region. Both Jazer and Heshbon are part of the land allotted to the tribe of Gad in Josh 21:39.
Heshbon and Elealeh Cities in the northern part of Moab’s territory that may have been built by Israel (Num 32:37)

16:10 joy and gladness are taken away similar language appears in Jeremiah’s proclamation about Moab (Jer 48:33).
Make reference to a scenario or in the vineyards where no one triumphs Isa 5:1; Judges 9:27.

16:11 my heart the Hebrew term here refers to the belly, which is associated with emotions in Hebrew or “my stomach trembled.”

16:12 - 14 This is the word the Lord has already spoken concerning Moab. 14, But now the Lord says: “Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them, Moab’s splendour and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble.” Taking a cue from our study last week we can see how pride became the downfall of Satan, Moab and destruction became inevitable. Let us therefore come to God for mercy, with a heart full of gratitude for His sacrificial Love and change our ways to that which is pleasing to God. Pride is dangerous and a killer of destiny. Don’t pride rob you of your final destination. Eternity is not a few years but forever and ever lasting.

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