Moab is largely a plateau that lies east of the Dead Sea. The important route known as the King's Highway ran through Moab, connecting Damascus to the north with the Gulf of Aqabah to the south. In the time of Moses, the Israelites attempted to pass through Moab on their way to Canaan. Balak, the king of Moab, sent for a diviner named Balaam to curse them, but Balaam blessed the Israelites instead (Numbers 22-24). Israel encamped on the plains of Moab before entering the promised land. The book of Ruth tells how a family from Bethlehem moved to Moab during a famine. Ruth was a woman of Moab who became the great-grandmother of King David. Saul and David fought the Moabites and subdued them (1 Samuel 14:47; 2 Samuel 8:2). Prophets sometimes spoke against Moab for its arrogance (Isaiah 15-16; Jeremiah 48).
AUTHOR: Robert Brusic, Seminary Pastor Emeritus