The word of the Lord concerning Moab is a judgment, which nevertheless closes with a gleam of hope. The judgment is described, first, from the standpoint of the scourge. The widespread extent of it is foretold, and the diction and helplessness are graphically set forth.
The judgment is then spoken of from the standpoint of Moab, that is to say, the long security of Moab and his freedom from affliction are recognized, as is also his self-confidence. In contrast with this, the judgment is announced. All his past security is to end and his strength is to vanish. Finally, in a long passage full of tremendous power, the judgment of Moab from the standpoint of the onlooker is described. Surrounding nations are called on to observe and to lament, while yet they recognize the justice of the judgment, as it is a punishment for Moab for the sin of magnifying himself against the Lord.
The prophet himself, observing the judgment, broke out into mourning and lamentation, with sobs describing the desolation, until at last, in one brief sentence, he announced the promise of Jehovah that finally He would restore the captivity of Moab, and indicated that until that time of the divine intervention the judgment of Moab must continue.
the Second Week after Epiphany