Isaiah 15, Part Two: The Prime Of Life
Isaiah continues his lament, describing Moab as a valuable, vigorous animal, soon to be slaughtered.
Isaiah 15:5 (ESV) My heart cries out for Moab; her fugitives flee to Zoar, to Eglath-shelishiyah.
Eglath-shelishiyah is a compound word, combinining "heifer" (a young female cow that has not borne a calf) with "third", referring to a three-year-old cow. "Heifer" was used to refer to young women (Judges 14:18), as well as the nations of Egypt (Jeremiah 46:20), Chaldea (Jeremiah 50:11), and Ephraim (Hosea 10:11).
Jeremiah echoes the declaration of Isaiah:
Jeremiah 48:34-35 (ESV) “From the outcry at Heshbon even to Elealeh, as far as Jahaz they utter their voice, from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. For the waters of Nimrim also have become desolate. And I will bring to an end in Moab, declares the LORD, him who offers sacrifice in the high place and makes offerings to his god.
Moab was being described as a young female cow, three years old, at its full vigor, not yet brought under the yoke, but soon to be broken by an invading, foreign nation.
Zoar means "little", and it referred to a place east of the Jordan River. Luhith was a mountain in Moab. Horonaim, a town not far from Zoar - Nimrim, a city south of Moab. Brook of the Willows probably referred to a valley far away from the desolation of Moab. Eglaim and Beer-elim referred to places east of Moab.
Moab's history, as well as that of Israel, Assyria, Babylon or the Medes, does not describe the nations as being morally excellent or spiritually vigorous. The LORD's compassion for Moab could not have been based upon admiration of their works.