Chapter 16

1Send lambs of the ruler of the land from Sela Midbarah to the mountain of the community of Zion.   אשִׁלְחוּ־כַ֥ר מוֹשֵֽׁל־אֶ֖רֶץ מִסֶּ֣לַע מִדְבָּ֑רָה אֶל־הַ֖ר בַּת־צִיּֽוֹן:
Send lambs of the ruler of the land: Be not proud. Do you not know that the ruler of your land, Mesha, king of Moab, (II Kings 3: 4) was a sheepman; and he would repeatedly pay tribute to the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs. Send those lambs of your ruler from Sela Midbarah to the mountain of the community of Zion.  
2And it shall be like a wandering bird, driven from the nest; shall the villages of Moab be at the fords of Arnon.   בוְהָיָ֥ה כְעֽוֹף־נוֹדֵ֖ד קֵ֣ן מְשֻׁלָּ֑ח תִּֽהְיֶ֙ינָה֙ בְּנ֣וֹת מוֹאָ֔ב מַעְבָּרֹ֖ת לְאַרְנֽוֹן:
like a wandering bird: from its nest.  
driven from the nest: like young birds driven from their nest, who roam and wander, so shall the villages of Moab wander to the fords of the Arnon.  
3Bring counsel, deliberate judgment, make like the night your shadow at noon; conceal the exiles, reveal not the wanderer.   גהָבִ֚יאִי (כתיב הָבִ֚יאִו) עֵצָה֙ עֲשִֹ֣י (כתיב עֲשִֹ֣ו) פְלִילָ֔ה שִׁ֧יתִי כַלַּ֛יִל צִלֵּ֖ךְ בְּת֣וֹךְ צָֽהֳרָ֑יִם סַתְּרִי֙ נִדָּחִ֔ים נוֹדֵ֖ד אַל־תְּגַלִּֽי:
deliberate judgment: This is an expression of a debate of judgment, to choose for yourself what is good. Comp. (Job 34: 4) “Let us choose for ourselves what is just.” [derajjsnement in O. F., discernment.]  
make like the night your shadow: Make yourself a shadow at noon that will darken your shadow like night, to hide therein from before your enemies.  
conceal the exiles: If the exiles of My people flee again through your land in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, do not turn them over to the Chaldees but conceal them.  
4May My exiles sojourn among you, Moab. Become a hiding place for them from before the plunderer, for the milking has come to an end; the udders have vanished; the tramplers have ceased from the earth.   דיָג֚וּרוּ בָךְ֙ נִדָּחַ֔י מוֹאָ֛ב הֱוִי־סֵ֥תֶר לָ֖מוֹ מִפְּנֵ֣י שׁוֹדֵ֑ד כִּֽי־אָפֵ֚ס הַמֵּץ֙ כָּ֣לָה שֹׁ֔ד תַּ֥מּוּ רֹמֵ֖ס מִן־הָאָֽרֶץ:
May My exiles sojourn among you: The fleeing children of Israel.  
become a hiding place for them: for you too shall know the soul of the wanderers, what their distress is.  
for the milking has come to an end: Your squeezing, your wealth and your glory, which you had through your flocks and your cattle, from which you would squeeze milk and cream.  
the udders have vanished: Heb. כָּלָה שֹׁד, an expression of breasts that supply milk. Comp. (infra 60:16) “And the breast of (וְשֹׁד) the kings you shall suck.”  
the tramplers have ceased: Your animals that trample [the earth] in your land.  
5And the throne shall be established through loving- kindness, and there shall sit thereon in truth in the tent of David, one who judges and demands justice and performs righteousness.   הוְהוּכַ֚ן בַּחֶ֙סֶד֙ כִּסֵּ֔א וְיָשַׁ֥ב עָלָ֛יו בֶּֽאֱמֶ֖ת בְּאֹ֣הֶל דָּוִ֑ד שֹׁפֵ֛ט וְדֹרֵ֥שׁ מִשְׁפָּ֖ט וּמְהִ֥ר צֶֽדֶק:
And the throne shall be established through lovingkindness: When this destruction comes upon you, then the throne of David shall be established and magnified, for at that time, Sennacherib shall meet his downfall through Hezekiah, whose throne shall be established through the lovingkindness that he shall perform, as we find that he bestowed lovingkindness, as it is stated in II Chron. (30:24): “For Hezekiah, king of Judah provided for the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep.”  
and there shall sit… one who judges and demands justice and performs righteousness: Heb. וּמְהִר צֶדֶק. Jonathan renders: and performs justice.  
6We heard the pride of Moab, they have become very proud; their pride and their haughtiness and their conception are improper, [as are] their branches.   ושָׁמַ֥עְנוּ גְאֽוֹן־מוֹאָ֖ב גֵּ֣א מְאֹ֑ד גַּֽאֲוָת֧וֹ וּגְאוֹנ֛וֹ וְעֶבְרָת֖וֹ לֹא־כֵ֥ן בַּדָּֽיו:
they have become very proud: Heb. גֵּא מְאֹד, [lit.] he has become very proud.  
their pride and their haughtiness: are improper, for the source of the nurturing of their branches was through illegitimacy and the incest of the daughters from their father.  
and their conception: Heb. וְעֶבְרָתוֹ, their conception, [lit. his conception.] Alternatively, עֶבְרָתוֹ means “his anger,” the anger they bore for Israel.  
improper: Their heroes acted improperly, for they were unappreciative.  
7Therefore, Moab shall wail for Moab; they shall all wail; for the walls of Kir-hareseth shall you lament, but brokenhearted.   זלָכֵ֗ן יְיֵלִ֥יל מוֹאָ֛ב לְמוֹאָ֖ב כֻּלֹּ֣ה יְיֵלִ֑יל לַֽאֲשִׁישֵׁ֧י קִֽיר־חֲרֶ֛שֶׂת תֶּהְגּ֖וּ אַךְ־נְכָאִֽים:
Therefore, Moab shall wail for Moab: [lit. to Moab,] for Moab.  
for the walls of Kir-hareseth: Heb. לַאֲשִׁישֵׁי, for the walls of Kir-hareseth.  
for the walls: Comp. (Jer. 50: 15) “Her walls (אָשְׁיוֹתֶיהָ) fell.”  
shall you lament, but broken- hearted: Heb. נְכָאִים, broken.  
shall you lament: Heb. תֶּהֶגּוּ.  
8For the grain fields of Heshbon have become desolate; the vine of Sibmah, the chiefs of nations have broken its saplings; they reached as far as Jazer; they strayed to the desert; its tendrils spread out, crossed the sea.   חכִּ֣י שַׁדְמוֹת֩ חֶשְׁבּ֨וֹן אֻמְלָ֜ל גֶּ֣פֶן שִׂבְמָ֗ה בַּֽעֲלֵ֚י גוֹיִם֙ הָֽלְמ֣וּ שְׂרוּקֶּ֔יהָ עַד־יַעְזֵ֥ר נָגָ֖עוּ תָּ֣עוּ מִדְבָּ֑ר שְׁלֻ֣חֹתֶ֔יהָ נִטְּשׁ֖וּ עָ֥בְרוּ יָֽם:
grain fields: Heb. שַׁדְמוֹת.  
the vine of Sibmah: We can deduce that Heshbon was a place of fields and Sibmah a place of vineyards. Now if you ask, All these are cities of the east side of the Jordan, and Israel took them from the hands of Sihon. Now when did they return to the hands of Moab? When Sennacherib exiled the Reubenites and the Gadites, the neighboring Moabites came and settled in them.  
has become desolate: Heb. אֻמְלָל, has become desolate.  
its saplings: its choice saplings.  
they reached as far as Jazer: The grain fields and the vine and the saplings mentioned here are merely an allegory. They represent camps, companies, and rulers [in the days of these peoples]. So did Jonathan paraphrase it.  
they reached as far as Jazer: they went into exile.  
they strayed to the desert: lit. they strayed the desert.  
its tendrils: its branches; and they are the symbol of its exiles.  
spread out: Heb. נִטְּשׁוּ, scattered. Comp. (Ezekiel 29:5) “And I will scatter you (וּנְטַשְׁתִּי) in the desert” ; (I Sam. 30:16) “And behold, they were scattered (נְטוּשִׁים)” ; (II Sam. 5:22) “And spread out (וַיִּנָּטְשׁוּ) in the valley of Rephaim.”  
9Therefore, I will weep with the weeping of Jazer, for the vine of Sibmah; I will be sated over you with my tears, Heshbon and Elealeh, for over your figs and over your harvest a shout has fallen.   טעַל־כֵּ֡ן אֶבְכֶּ֞ה בִּבְכִ֚י יַעְזֵר֙ גֶּ֣פֶן שִׂבְמָ֔ה אֲרַיָּ֙וֶךְ֙ דִּמְעָתִ֔י חֶשְׁבּ֖וֹן וְאֶלְעָלֵ֑ה כִּ֧י עַל־קֵיצֵ֛ךְ וְעַל־קְצִירֵ֖ךְ הֵידָ֥ד נָפָֽל:
I will weep with the weeping of Jazer: Jonathan paraphrases: As I brought camps upon Jazer, so will I bring killers upon Sibmah, and, according to the wording of the verse, the prophet states: Similar to the lamentations of Jazer, I have to lament over you, the vine of Sibmah.  
I will be sated over you with my tears: Heb. אַרְיָוֶ, I will be sated over you. There are some words that serve as two words. Comp. (Jer. 10:20) “My children went out of me (יְצֵאוּנִי) ” ; (Jos. 15:19) “A dry land you have given to me (נְתַתָּנִי) ” ; (Gen. 37:4) “To speak to him (דַּבְּרוֹ) peacefully.”  
your figs: Heb. (קִיצֵ), the figs that are dried out in the summer.  
a shout: the noise of robbers and spoilers.  
10And joy and gladness shall be terminated from the fruitful field, and in the vineyards there shall be neither song nor shout; no treader shall tread wine into the pits; the shout have I abolished.   יוְנֶֽאֱסַ֨ף שִׂמְחָ֚ה וָגִיל֙ מִן־הַכַּרְמֶ֔ל וּבַכְּרָמִ֥ים לֹֽא־יְרֻנָּ֖ן לֹ֣א יְרֹעָ֑ע יַ֗יִן בַּיְקָבִ֛ים לֹֽא־יִדְרֹ֥ךְ הַדֹּרֵ֖ךְ הֵידָ֥ד הִשְׁבַּֽתִּי:
from the fruitful field: Heb. כַּרְמֶל. That is a place of a forest and grain fields.  
no shout: Heb. יְרֹעָע, an expression of a shout of (תְּרוּעַת) joy.  
the shout have I abolished: the voice of those assembled to lay the beam to press the grapes.  
11Therefore, my bowels shall moan for Moab like a harp, and my innards for Kir-heres.   יאעַל־כֵּן֙ מֵעַ֣י לְמוֹאָ֔ב כַּכִּנּ֖וֹר יֶֽהֱמ֑וּ וְקִרְבִּ֖י לְקִ֥יר חָֽרֶשׂ:
shall moan: in lamentation.  
12And it shall come to pass, when it shall appear that Moab has wearied [of waging war] on the high place, and he shall enter his sanctuary to pray and he shall not be able.   יבוְהָיָ֧ה כִֽי־נִרְאָ֛ה כִּֽי־נִלְאָ֥ה מוֹאָ֖ב עַל־הַבָּמָ֑ה וּבָ֧א אֶל־מִקְדָּשׁ֛וֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּ֖ל וְלֹ֥א יוּכָֽל:
that Moab has wearied on the high place: to wage war on the high places of the towers.  
and he shall enter his sanctuary: to the place where they prepare themselves and ready themselves there to pray.  
13This is the word that the Lord spoke concerning Moab long ago.   יגזֶ֣ה הַדָּבָ֗ר אֲשֶׁ֨ר דִּבֶּ֧ר יְהֹוָ֛ה אֶל־מוֹאָ֖ב מֵאָֽז:
This is the word: the end of Moab’s destruction at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.  
that the Lord spoke concerning Moab long ago: Many days before the calamity came upon it, Isaiah prophesied this about it. Alternatively, “Long ago,” denotes the time when Balak hired Balaam.  
14And now, the Lord has spoken saying, "In three years like the years of a hireling, the glory of Moab shall be debased, among all the great multitude, and the remnant shall be very few, not many."   ידוְעַתָּ֗ה דִּבֶּ֣ר יְהֹוָה֘ לֵאמֹר֒ בְּשָׁלֹ֚שׁ שָׁנִים֙ כִּשְׁנֵ֣י שָׂכִ֔יר וְנִקְלָה֙ כְּב֣וֹד מוֹאָ֔ב בְּכֹ֖ל הֶֽהָמ֣וֹן הָרָ֑ב וּשְׁאָ֥ר מְעַ֛ט מִזְעָ֖ר ל֥וֹא כַבִּֽיר:
And now, the Lord has spoken: to bring the retribution near to them.  
In three years like the years of a hireling: Because of three years that they aided Sennacherib when he besieged Samaria, and they aided him without compensation, as though they were his hirelings, the glory of Moab shall, therefore, be debased among the rest of Sennacherib’s multitudes, for he swept them away into captivity from the midst of that army and went away. And so it is related in Seder Olam (ch. 23): He swept away the Ammonites and the Moabites who aided him when he besieged Samaria three years, to fulfill what is said: “Three years like the years of a hireling, etc.” It can further be explained as follows: “Three years like the years of a hireling.” Three years were decreed upon you as a reprieve, but they will be exact, and the retribution will not be delayed further, as a hireling is exact with the years of his hire, to limit them.  
the glory of Moab shall be debased: in the eyes of all the great multitude of Sennacherib.  
and the remnant: The survivors left to Moab.  
not many: Heb. לוֹא כַּבִּיר, an expression of a large number.