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Thus says the L ord:

For three transgressions of Moab,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because he burned to lime

the bones of the king of Edom.


So I will send a fire on Moab,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Kerioth,

and Moab shall die amid uproar,

amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet;


I will cut off the ruler from its midst,

and will kill all its officials with him,

says the L ord.


Judgment on Judah


Thus says the L ord:

For three transgressions of Judah,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they have rejected the law of the L ord,

and have not kept his statutes,

but they have been led astray by the same lies

after which their ancestors walked.


So I will send a fire on Judah,

and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem.


Judgment on Israel


Thus says the L ord:

For three transgressions of Israel,

and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;

because they sell the righteous for silver,

and the needy for a pair of sandals—


they who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth,

and push the afflicted out of the way;

father and son go in to the same girl,

so that my holy name is profaned;


they lay themselves down beside every altar

on garments taken in pledge;

and in the house of their God they drink

wine bought with fines they imposed.



Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them,

whose height was like the height of cedars,

and who was as strong as oaks;

I destroyed his fruit above,

and his roots beneath.


Also I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,

and led you forty years in the wilderness,

to possess the land of the Amorite.


And I raised up some of your children to be prophets

and some of your youths to be nazirites.

Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?

says the L ord.



But you made the nazirites drink wine,

and commanded the prophets,

saying, “You shall not prophesy.”



So, I will press you down in your place,

just as a cart presses down

when it is full of sheaves.


Flight shall perish from the swift,

and the strong shall not retain their strength,

nor shall the mighty save their lives;


those who handle the bow shall not stand,

and those who are swift of foot shall not save themselves,

nor shall those who ride horses save their lives;


and those who are stout of heart among the mighty

shall flee away naked in that day,

says the L ord.


He afterwards subjoins, I have made you to ascend from the land of Egypt; I have made you to walk in the desert for forty years, in order to possess the land of the Amorite. The circumstances here specified are intended to confirm the same thing, that God had miraculously redeemed his people. Men, we know, for the most part extenuate the favors of God; nay, this evil is innate in us. This is the reason why the Prophet so largely describes and extols the redemption of the people. Hence he says now that they had been led out of the land of Egypt. And they ought to have remembered what had been their condition in Egypt; for there they were most miserably oppressed. When therefore that coming out was set before them, it was the same as if God had reminded them how shamefully they had been treated, and how hard had been their bondage in Egypt. That beginning ought to have humbled them, and also to have stimulated them to the cultivation of piety. When now they proudly exulted against God, when no recollection of their deliverance laid hold on them, this vice is justly laid to their charge by the Prophet: “See,” he says, “I have brought you forth from the land of Egypt; what were ye then? what was your nobility? what was your wealth or riches? what was your power? For the Egyptians treated you as the vilest slaves; your condition then was extremely ignominious; ye were as lost, and I redeemed you: and now buried is the recollection of so illustrious a kindness, which deserved to be for ever remembered.”

He afterwards adds, I have made you to walk, etc. The Prophet here reminds them of the desert, that the Israelites might know that God might have justly closed up against them an entrance into the land, though he had promised it for an inheritance to Abraham. For how was it that the Lord led them about for so long a time, except that they, as far as they could, had denied God, and rendered themselves unworthy of enjoying the promised land? Then the Prophet indirectly blames the Israelites here for having been the cause why God detained them for forty years without introducing them immediately into the promised land; which might have easily been done, had they not closed the door against themselves by their ingratitude. This is one reason why the Prophet now speaks of the forty years. And then, as God had in various ways testified his kindness towards the Israelites, he had thus bound them the more to himself; but an ungodly forgetfulness had buried all his favors. God daily rained manna on them from heaven; he also gave them drink from a dry rock; he guided them during the day by a pillar of cloud, and in the night by fire: and we also know how often God bore with them, and how many proofs he gave them of his forbearance. The Prophet, then, by speaking here of the forty years, meant to counsel the Israelites to call to mind the many favors, by which they were bound to God, while they were miraculously led by him for forty years in the desert.

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