battle progressed Moabite cities were ruined, good tracts of land were filled with stones, trees were cut down and springs were stopped up. When King Mesha found himself penned up in the city of Kir-hareseth with the battle going against him, he, with seven hundred men, unsuccessfully tried to break through to the king of Edom. Finally he took his firstborn son and offered him up as a burnt sacrifice upon the wall. For this or some other reason there “came to be great indignation against Israel” and the siege was abandoned.—2 Ki. 3:6-27.
As this humiliating defeat did not take place on foreign soil but brought devastation to the land of Moab, reasonably a considerable period of time would have been required for recovery. So it seems likely that it was at an earlier date during Jehoshaphat’s reign that Moab combined with the forces of Ammon and the mountainous region of Seir to attack Judah. By Jehovah’s intervention the three armies turned on one another and destroyed themselves. (2 Chron. 20:1, 22-24) Some scholars believe that this event is alluded to at Psalm 83:4-9.—Compare 2 Chronicles 20:14 with the superscription of Psalm 83.
In subsequent years enmity continued between Moab and Israel. After the death of the prophet Elisha marauding bands of Moabites regularly invaded Israel. (2 Ki. 13:20) About two centuries later, in Jehoiakim’s time, similar Moabite bands contributed to the ruin of Judah during its final years. (2 Ki. 24:2) With the destruction of Jerusalem in 607 B.C.E. Jews sought refuge in Moab, returning to Judah when Gedaliah was appointed governor.—Jer. 40:11, 12.
After the exile
After an Israelite remnant returned from Babylonian exile in 537 B.C.E. some married Moabite wives. But at Ezra’s admonition they dismissed these wives and their children (Ezra 9:1, 2; 10:10, 11, 44) Nehemiah found a similar situation, many Israelites having taken Moabite wives.—Neh. 13:1-3, 23.
MOAB IN PROPHECY
In harmony with its long history of opposition to Israel, Moab is mentioned among the hard-set enemies of Jehovah’s people. (Compare Isaiah 11:14.) Condemned for reproaching Israel and for pride and haughtiness, Moab was finally to become a desolation like Sodom. (Zeph. 2:8-11; see also Jeremiah 48:29.) Already at the close of the ninth century B.C.E. Amos wrote that Moab would suffer calamity for “burning the bones of the king of Edom for lime.” (Amos 2:1-3) While some take this to mean that 2 Kings 3:26, 27 refers to King Mesha’s offering up, not his own son, but the firstborn of the king of Edom, this is an unlikely inference. One Jewish tradition, though, does link the event mentioned by Amos with the war waged against Mesha and claims that sometime after this conflict the Moabites dug up the bones of the king of Edom and then burned them for lime. But the Bible record provides no basis for determining the time involved.
Isaiah (chaps. 15 and 16), apparently around the time of King Ahaz’s death and while Assyria dominated in the eighth century B.C.E., referred to one Moabite city after another as being in line for calamity. He concluded with the words: “And now Jehovah has spoken, saying: ‘Within three years, according to the years of a hired laborer, the glory of Moab must also be disgraced with much commotion of every sort, and those who remain over will be a trifling few, not mighty.’”—Isa. 16:14.
From historical records the fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah and Amos cannot be placed precisely in the stream of time. However, there is evidence that Moab did come under the Assyrian yoke. Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser III mentions Salamanu of Moab among those paying tribute to him. Sennacherib claims to have received tribute from Kammusunadbi the king of Moab. And Assyrian monarchs Esar-haddon and Ashurbanipal refer to Moabite Kings Musuri and Kamashaltu as being subject to them. There is also archaeological evidence that many places in Moab were depopulated about the eighth century B.C.E.
Jeremiah’s prophecy of the seventh century B.C.E. pointed to the time when Jehovah would hold an accounting against Moab (Jer. 9:25, 26), doing so by means of the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar. (Jer. 25:8, 9, 17-21; 27:1-7) Numerous Moabite cities were to be reduced to a desolation. (Jer. chap. 48) Apparently when Judah experienced the execution of Jehovah’s judgment by means of the Babylonians, the Moabites said: “Look! The house of Judah is like all the other nations.” For thus failing to recognize that the judgment was really God’s and that the inhabitants of Judah were his people, the Moabites were to experience disaster and thereby ‘come to know Jehovah.’—Ezek. 25:8-11; compare Ezekiel 24:1, 2.
The Jewish historian Josephus writes that, in the fifth year after desolating Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar returned to war against Coelesyria, Ammon and Moab and thereafter attacked Egypt. (Antiquities of the Jews, Book X, chap. IX, par. 7) Regarding archaeological confirmation of the desolation of Moab, The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (Vol. 3, p. 418) observes: “Archaeological exploration has shown that Moab was largely depopulated from ca. the beginning of the sixth century, and in many sites from ca. the eighth century. From the sixth century on, nomads wandered through the land until political and economic factors made sedentary life possible again in the last centuries B.C.”—Compare Ezekiel 25:8-11.
Later, in fulfillment of Jeremiah 48:47, Cyrus, the conqueror of Babylon, likely permitted Moabite exiles to return to their homeland.
The accurate fulfillment of the prophecies concerning Moab cannot be denied. Centuries ago the Moabites ceased to exist as a people. Today what are considered to have been such Moabite cities as Nebo, Heshbon, Aroer, Beth-gamul and Baal-meon are represented by ruins. Many other places are now unknown.
The sole explanation for the disappearance of the Moabites as a people is provided by the Bible. Noted the Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed., Vol. XVIII, p. 632): “Israel remained a great power in religious history while Moab disappeared. It is true that Moab was continuously hard pressed by desert hordes; the exposed condition of the land is emphasized by the chains of ruined forts and castles which even the Romans were compelled to construct. The explanation of the comparative insignificance of Moab, however, is not to be found in purely topographical considerations. Nor can it be sought in political history, since Israel and Judah suffered as much from external movements as Moab itself. The explanation is to be found within Israel itself, in factors . . . to be found in the work of the prophets.”
In view of the disappearance of the Moabites as a people, the inclusion of Moab at Daniel 11:41 among nations in the “time of the end” (Dan. 11:40) is logically to be regarded in a figurative sense. Seemingly the Moabites represent hard-set enemies of spiritual Israel.
(Mo·a·diʹah) [Jehovah summons, or, perhaps, assembly of Jehovah].
A priestly paternal house of which Piltai was the head in the days of Joiakim. (Neh. 12:12, 17) It has been suggested that “Moadiah” is a variation of the name “Maadiah” and that Moadiah is the same person as the priest Maadiah who accompanied Zerubbabel to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile.—Neh. 12:1, 5.
[Heb. tsa·nuʹaʽ; Gr., ai·dosʹ].
These terms are effectively rendered by the English “modesty.” (Prov. 11:2; Mic. 6:8; 1 Tim. 2:9) Tsa·nuʹaʽ conveys the idea of one who is retiring, modest or humble. (A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Brown, Driver and Briggs, p. 857) Ai·dosʹ