New American Standard Bible 1995
15 The oracle concerning Moab.
Surely in a night Ar of Moab is devastated and ruined; Surely in a night Kir of Moab is devastated and ruined. 2 They have gone up to the temple and to Dibon, even to the high places to weep. Moab wails over Nebo and Medeba; Everyone’s head is bald and every beard is cut off. 3 In their streets they have girded themselves with sackcloth; On their housetops and in their squares Everyone is wailing, dissolved in tears. 4 Heshbon and Elealeh also cry out, Their voice is heard all the way to Jahaz; Therefore the armed men of Moab cry aloud; His soul trembles within him. 5 My heart cries out for Moab; His fugitives are as far as Zoar and Eglath-shelishiyah, For they go up the ascent of Luhith weeping; Surely on the road to Horonaim they raise a cry of distress over their ruin. 6 For the waters of Nimrim are desolate. Surely the grass is withered, the tender grass [f]died out, There is no green thing. 7 Therefore the abundance which they have acquired and stored up They carry off over the brook of [g]Arabim. 8 For the cry of distress has gone around the territory of Moab, Its wail goes as far as Eglaim and its wailing even to Beer-elim. 9 For the waters of Dimon are full of [h]blood; Surely I will bring added woes upon Dimon, A lion upon the fugitives of Moab and upon the remnant of the land.
Moab’s connection with Israel begins with Lot. Lot was the nephew of Abraham and when Lot settled in Sodom and Gomorrah it was Abraham who interceded for the city. It was through the intercession of Abraham that Lot was rescued. Lot would flee to the mountains and through an incestuous relationship with his daughter, Moab would be born. The people of Moab throughout their history were enemies of Israel and their treatment of Israel has brought the judgement of God upon themselves. These words to the nations are given by Isaiah for all the people to hear and know that it is God who is in control and it is foolish to align themselves with these foreign nations.
When God brought judgement upon Moab their major cities would be crushed quickly. Here the Lord lists Ar and Kir as two cities that in a night would be leveled and destroyed. When God speaks of bringing judgement it seems laughable to the wicked until it comes. Before judgement comes many wonder if it will, but when it does it comes quickly.
The people will enter their temple and high places to weep. The shaving of the head and bread were a sign of lamenting. The high places are often where idol worship and practices took place. They believed the higher the elevation, the closer they were to the false gods they worshipped. Often their worship involved worshipping creation itself.
The wearing of sackcloth was an outward sign of the sorrow that was felt inwardly. Wailing is crying that involves the entire being of the individual. God is making it clear when judgement comes that it will touch all things and there will be no escape. The wicked may have mocked the prophets words as he spoke, but they would no longer mock when which the prophet spoke became their reality.
The Lord says the armed men of Moab cry aloud. Those in the army who were to be the protectors and warriors of the land would be overwhelmed. When the judgement of God came there would be no escape, there would be no protection. When God sends forth His word the purpose is to produce within the individual repentance. It is to cause the reader to humble their heart before the Lord and to turn from their sin.
God doesn’t take pleasure in the destruction of the wicked. This word spoken against Moab sounds more of a lament than a word of judgement. The Lord says my heart cries out for Moab. God’s desire is that people would turn to Him and would fear Him. But He will never force an individual to fear Him. For those who fear the Lord and honor His word will be blessed by the Lord in every area of life.
Often when invading armies were to be siege a city they would impact the water supply. They would block it and eventually without water and food it would cause those inside a city to eventually come out. Here the Lord says the waters of Nimrim are desolate and the grass is withered. The Lord would bring foreign armies to bring judgment upon Moab.
God in His righteousness and justice must deal with the wickedness of the nations. God has an appointed time for judgment when wickedness gets to a full and the Lord will bring judgement. True peace is simply found in living one’s life for God and His purposes. Though many who are wicked will look at the one who lives for God and believe them to be a fool. It is actually the one who says and believes in their heart that there isn’t a God who is truly a fool.