December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Thus says the LORD: For three crimes of Moab, and for four, I will not revoke my word; Because he burned to ashes the bones of Edom's king,
- I will send fire upon Moab, to devour the castles of Kerioth; Moab shall meet death amid uproar and shouts and trumpet blasts.
- I will root out the judge from her midst, and her princes I will slay with him, says the LORD.
- 2 Thus says the LORD: For three crimes of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke my word; Because they spurned the law of the LORD, and did not keep his statutes; Because the lies which their fathers followed have led them astray,
- I will send fire upon Judah, to devour the castles of Jerusalem.
- 3 4 Thus says the LORD: For three crimes of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke my word; Because they sell the just man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals.
- They trample the heads of the weak into the dust of the earth, and force the lowly out of the way. Son and father go to the same prostitute, profaning my holy name.
- 5 Upon garments taken in pledge they recline beside any altar; And the wine of those who have been fined they drink in the house of their god.
- Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorites before them, who were as tall as the cedars, and as strong as the oak trees. I destroyed their fruit above, and their roots beneath.
- It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt, and who led you through the desert for forty years, to occupy the land of the Amorites:
- 6 I who raised up prophets among your sons, and nazirites among your young men. Is this not so, O men of Israel? says the LORD.
- But you gave the nazirites wine to drink, and commanded the prophets not to prophesy.
- Beware, I will crush you into the ground as a wagon crushes when laden with sheaves.
- Flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong man shall not retain his strength; The warrior shall not save his life,
- nor the bowman stand his ground; The swift of foot shall not escape, nor the horseman save his life.
- And the most stouthearted of warriors shall flee naked on that day, says the LORD.
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1  Here the prophet stresses the gravity of Moab's violation of the Semitic custom of providing honorable burial for the dead.
2  The lies: false gods, who exist only in the minds of their worshipers. The crimes of Judah are infidelity and idolatry, in contrast to the sins for which the surrounding nations are judged.
3 [6-13] The detailed crimes of Israel are placed in strong contrast with the benefits with which the Lord favored his people.
4  A pair of sandals: indicating how cheaply the rich regarded the poor.
5  Upon garments . . . any altar: usurers kept the garments taken as pledges from the poor; but instead of restoring them to their owners before nightfall (Exodus 22:25; Deut 24:12), they used them in idolatrous worship. Wine . . . their god: under the guise of a religious ceremony they drink the wine obtained through unjust fines.
6  Nazirites: see note on Numbers 6:1-3.
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