1 Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.
2 For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon.
3 Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth.
4 Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.
Here Moab is addressed no longer as an enemy to Judah, but as a protector, defending Yahweh's outcasts by its power from the oppression of the spoiler. Who are these "outcasts;" and who is he that seeks to spoil them?
In a previous chapter the prophet styles them "the outcasts of Israel;" and in another place, "the outcasts in the land of Egypt"-Isai. 11:13; 27:13: these are they whom Yahweh cast out of his sight, when he delivered them into the hand of the Assyrian-2 Kings 17:18-20.
The Assyrian was then the spoiler, and the same territorial power under its latter day dynasty; that is, under Gog, the king of the north, will seek to spoil them, and again appropriate their land as a province of his dominions. For before he sets his myriads in motion, he is represented by the Spirit as saying,
"I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil and to take a prey"-Ezek. 38:11, 12.
This is the "spoiler," "extortioner," and "oppressor," of Yahweh's outcasts in the latter day; from whom Moab will afford them refuge and protection.
Now let us advance another step, and suppose that a multitude of Jewish refugees have escaped from Egypt, Judea, &c., to Moab; and, under the protection of that power, which is as "the shadow of night in the midst of noonday," they are waiting in hope, as the Hungarians, Poles, and Italians, are now doing in regard to the spoilers and oppressors of their respective countries.
What next? In this their extremity their cry is,
"Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off from our parts" -Ezek. 37:11.
But, while thus despairing, the glorious news arrives from the seat of war-
"The extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land"-Isai. 16:4.
This is consequent upon the "turning back" of Gog, or the breaking of the Assyrian Image upon the mountains of Israel by the Stone-the Bethlehem-born Judge of Israel.
Here, then, is Moab, the pre-adventual protector of the Jews: whence arises this new Moabitish power? We answer that, as
"her plants went over the sea, extending to the sea of Jazer,"
it is from thence Moab may be said to reappear in the land-from beyond sea; consequently a maritime power is Moab when revived. Now, let it be noted that the latter half of Isai. 16:4 is parallel with 17:14. Both these texts relate to the fate of the same spoiler.
Chap. 18:1, 2, 7, is a proclamation to the protecting Moab in its transmarine position.
"Ho! land shadowing wide with wings, extending from beyond to rivers of Khush: that sendeth by sea whirling things, even on vessels of fleetness upon the waters. Go ye swift messengers for a nation scattered and peeled, for a people terrible from this and onward; a nation meeted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled * * * And bring them as a present to Yahweh of armies, to the place of His Name, the Mount Zion."
Now, this maritime power can be no other than Tarshish; for its mission is the same.
"Surely, the coasts shall trust in me, and the ships of Tarshish foremost (in the front, before any other power) to bring thy sons from far, O Zion, their silver and their gold with them, unto the Name of Yahweh thine Elohim, even to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee"-Isai. 60:9
From these and other considerations we conclude that the power within the limits of the Holy Land, which in the latter days, and previous to the advent of the King of Israel, extends the shield of its protection over the Jews against their spoiler, is that of
"Sheba and Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and the young lions thereof;"
which, planting itself on Edom, Moab, and Ammon, is the latter day return of the last two from captivity, which are then prepared for the manifestation of all demanded by the burdens, and not anciently fulfilled.
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, March 1856
5 And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.
6 We have heard of the pride of Moab; he is very proud: even of his haughtiness, and his pride, and his wrath: but his lies shall not be so.
7 Therefore shall Moab howl for Moab, every one shall howl: for the foundations of Kirhareseth shall ye mourn; surely they are stricken.
8 For the fields of Heshbon languish, and the vine of Sibmah: the lords of the heathen have broken down the principal plants thereof, they are come even unto Jazer, they wandered through the wilderness: her branches are stretched out, they are gone over the sea.
9 Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen.
10 And gladness is taken away, and joy out of the plentiful field; and in the vineyards there shall be no singing, neither shall there be shouting: the treaders shall tread out no wine in their presses; I have made their vintage shouting to cease.
11 Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh.
12 And it shall come to pass, when it is seen that Moab is weary on the high place, that he shall come to his sanctuary to pray; but he shall not prevail.
13 This is the word that Yahweh hath spoken concerning Moab since that time.
14 But now Yahweh hath spoken, saying, Within three years, as the years of an hireling, and the glory of Moab shall be contemned, with all that great multitude; and the remnant shall be very small and feeble.