2 Kings Chapter 3 |
1Jehoram son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat of Judah; and he reigned twelve years. 2He did what was displeasing to the Lord, yet not like his father and mother, for he removed the pillars of Baal that his father had made. 3However, he clung to the sins which Jeroboam son of Nebat caused Israel to commit; he did not depart from them.
4Now King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder; and he used to pay as tribute to the king of Israel a hundred thousand lambs and the wool of a hundred thousand rams. 5But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6So King Jehoram promptly set out from Samaria and mustered all Israel. 7At the same time, he sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me; will you come with me to make war on Moab?” He replied, “I will go. I will do what you do: my troops shall be your troops, my horses shall be your horses.” 8And he asked, “Which route shall we take?” [Jehoram] replied, “The road through the wilderness of Edom.”
9So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom set out, and they marched for seven days until they rounded [the tip of the Dead Sea]; and there was no water left for the army or for the animals that were with them.
10“Alas!” cried the king of Israel. “The Lord has brought these three kings together only to deliver them into the hands of Moab.”
11But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there a prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” One of the courtiers of the king of Israel spoke up and said, “Elisha son of Shaphat, who poured water on the hands of Elijah, is here.”
12“The word of the Lord is with him,” said Jehoshaphat. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
13Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have you to do with me? Go to your father’s prophets or your mother’s prophets.” But the king of Israel said, “Don’t [say that], for the Lord has brought these three kings together only to deliver them into the hands of Moab.”
14“As the Lord of Hosts lives, whom I serve,” Elisha answered, “were it not that I respect King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I wouldn’t look at you or notice you.
15Now then, get me a musician.”
As the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him, 16and he said, “Thus said the Lord: This wadi shall be full of pools. 17For thus said the Lord: You shall see no wind, you shall see no rain, and yet the wadi shall be filled with water; and you and your cattle and your pack animals shall drink. 18And this is but a slight thing in the sight of the Lord, for He will also deliver Moab into your hands. 19You shall conquer every fortified town and every splendid city; you shall fell every good tree and stop up all wells of water; and every fertile field you shall ruin with stones.” 20And in the morning, when it was time to present the meal offering, water suddenly came from the direction of Edom and the land was covered by the water.
21Meanwhile, all the Moabites had heard that the kings were advancing to make war on them; every man old enough to bear arms rallied, and they stationed themselves at the border. 22Next morning, when they rose, the sun was shining over the water, and from the distance the water appeared to the Moabites as red as blood. 23“That’s blood!” they said. “The kings must have fought among themselves and killed each other. Now to the spoil, Moab!”
24They entered the Israelite camp, and the Israelites arose and attacked the Moabites, who fled before them. They advanced, constantly attacking the Moabites, 25and they destroyed the towns. Every man threw a stone into each fertile field, so that it was covered over; and they stopped up every spring and felled every fruit tree. Only the walls of Kir-hareseth were left, and then the slingers surrounded it and attacked it. 26Seeing that the battle was going against him, the king of Moab led an attempt of seven hundred swordsmen to break a way through to the king of Edom; but they failed. 27So he took his first-born son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him up on the wall as a burnt offering. A great wrath came upon Israel, so they withdrew from him and went back to [their own] land.