Isaiah 15:1-9

Isa 15:1

The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence; because in the night Kir of Moab is laid waste, and brought to silence;


Moab was the descendants of Lot.  36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37 And the firstborn bare a son, and called his name Moab: the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. (Genesis 19:36-37)  Ar was one of the principal cities of Moab along with Kir.  Moab was situated east of the Dead Sea with Edom to the south and Ammon to the north.  This destruction of Moab would take place within the next three years by Nebuchadnezzar or Shalmaneser.  It was the King of Moab who hired Balaam to curse Israel when they first came out of Egypt.  Isaiah delivered this message to the people of Israel for the purpose of telling them that no country who worships false gods will ever escape judgment.  In the night means that the country will be attacked swiftly and totally because it will be brought to silence.


Isa 15:2

He is gone up to Bajith, and to Dibon, the high places, to weep: Moab shall howl over Nebo, and over Medeba: on all their heads shall be baldness, and every beard cut off.


The term “Bajith” signifies a house which would be a house of idols.  Dibon was the capital city under King Mesha and was about 3 miles (5 KM) north of the Arnon River.  They would go up to weep before their idols over Nebo and Medeba, both which were taken by the Amorites.  Their bald heads and shaved beards were a sign of mourning in Israel and in many other ancient middle eastern nations.  When Israel conquered the land under Joshua about 600 years previously, the tribe of Reuben was given the land of Moab but since that time the Moabites had regained their land back.


Isa 15:3

In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly.


Wearing coarse clothes like sackcloth was another sign of deep mourning.  The public squares along with people on their housetops were howling in sorrow for what was to come upon them from Babylon.  Their big error was that they would be howling in mourning to their false gods who could not help them in any way because they didn’t exist.  Sorrow will pervade Moab.


Isa 15:4

And Heshbon shall cry, and Elealeh: their voice shall be heard even unto Jahaz: therefore the armed soldiers of Moab shall cry out; his life shall be grievous unto him.


The city of Heshbon was about 14 miles (23 KM) east of the Jordan River which was given to the Levites in the time of Joshua but in Isaiah’s day it was captured by King Mesha and was in Moabite hands.  Eleah was also a Moabite City.  Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon, (Numbers 32:3)  Eleah was about 2  miles (3 KM) northeast of Heshbon.  The wailing of mourning will be so loud it will be heard even unto Jahaz.  Jahaz was about 16 miles (26 KM) southeast of Heshbon which means that all the land will mourn for what is to come upon them.  The armed soldiers which should be the most courageous will even seek death to try and escape the Babylonian onslaught.


Isa 15:5

My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction.


Though they became the enemies of Israel, yet they were still related through Lot who was Abraham’s nephew and that is why Isaiah was crying in mourning for them.  Those who escape will flee unto the city of Zoar which is the very city that Lot escaped to before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Zoar was south of the Dead Sea which means the fugitives would be going west into Edomite territory.  A three year old heifer would normally be strong and this is what the wailing of the fugitives that head to Zoar will be, loud and clamorous as a heifer lowing for their calf.  They will be ascending the hill of Luhith which was a tower or place for them to find refuge.  Horonaim was another town on the way to Zoar.  The hill of Luhith may have contained a series of caves.


Isa 15:6

For the waters of Nimrim shall be desolate: for the hay is withered away, the grass faileth, there is no green thing.


The waters of Nimrim were located on the southeastern side of the Dead Sea.  Instead of them supplying water from several tributaries among them, they will have become dry and desolate and as a result there will be no green vegetation to support either man or animal.  Without hay, the animals will be unable to survive. 


Isa 15:7

Therefore the abundance they have gotten, and that which they have laid up, shall they carry away to the brook of the willows.


All the abundance that the Moabites have saved up over the many years will now be taken as spoils of war to Babylon when the invasion begins within three years and to add insult to injury, they will be the ones who will have to transport those goods.  We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. (Psalm 137:2)  The willows was some place in Babylon which was by a brook.  By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. (Psalm 137:1) 


Isa 15:8

For the cry is gone round about the borders of Moab; the howling thereof unto Eglaim, and the howling thereof unto Beer-elim.


By this time the cry of their impending doom had gone out through all the land of Moab. Eglaim was some city on the border of Moab.  Beer-Elim were on opposite sides of the country of Moab which means the howling of destruction was heard throughout the entire land.


Isa 15:9

For the waters of Dimon shall be full of blood: for I will bring more upon Dimon, lions upon him that escapeth of Moab, and upon the remnant of the land.


The waters of Dimon were east of the Dead Sea and there would be so many slain that the waters of Dimon will run red with blood.  That particular judgment will not be enough but further judgments will come upon Dimon.  Those that have escaped from Moab will experience the lions which can be understood as the invaders continuing to attack until no one is left alive.  However, God has used animals in the past to bring judgments such as locusts so these can possibly be real lions.  Then even the remnant of the land will suffer the invaders to attack them and wipe the entire nation clean.