2 Kings 3
Moab's people fight against Judah, Israel and Edom
1 Jehoram the son of Ahab became the king of Israel in Samaria. This was when Jehoshaphat had been the king of Judah for 18 years. Jehoram was king for 12 years. 2 The LORD saw that he did very bad things. But he was not as bad as his father and his mother had been. Jehoram did throw away the special stone of Baal that his father Ahab had made. 3 But he still did the wrong things that Jeroboam had done. Jeroboam was the son of Nebat. He had caused many people in Israel to do those wrong things. Jehoram continued to do them.
4 Mesha the king of Moab was a sheep farmer. He had to supply the king of Israel with 100,000 young sheep. He also had to supply the soft hair from 100,000 male sheep. 5 But after Ahab died, the king of Moab decided not to do this for the king of Israel. 6 So, at that time, King Jehoram went out from Samaria. He caused all the men in Israel to march with him. 7 He also sent this message to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah. ‘The king of Moab will not obey me. Will you go with me to fight against the king of Moab?’ ‘I will go with you’, Jehoshaphat replied. ‘I am as you are. My people are as your people. My horses are as your horses.’ 8 ‘What road should we go on to attack Moab?’ Jehoram asked. ‘Through the sandy part of Edom’, Jehoshaphat replied.
9 So the king of Israel, the king of Judah and the king of Edom went together to Moab. After they had marched round Edom for 7 days, there was no more water. There was no water for the army or for their animals. 10 ‘What has happened?’ said the king of Israel. ‘Has the LORD brought us three kings together to give us to the king of Moab?’ 11 But Jehoshaphat asked, ‘Is there not a prophet of the LORD here? We could ask him what the LORD is saying.’ A leader of the king of Israel's army answered him. ‘Elisha, the son of Shaphat, is here. He was the man who poured water on Elijah's hands.’ 12 Jehoshaphat said, ‘He will tell us what the LORD is saying.’ So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to Elisha.
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, ‘We have nothing to say to each other. Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother.’ ‘No!’ the king of Israel replied. ‘The LORD told us three kings that we must come here together. He is giving us to Moab.’ 14 Elisha said, ‘I am the servant of the LORD Almighty, who is really alive! I would not look at you if Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, was not with you. But I think that he is a good man. If he were not here, I would not look at you. 15 But now, bring a harpist to me.’ While the harpist was making music, the LORD started to use Elisha powerfully. 16 Then Elisha said, ‘This is what the LORD is saying. Dig many long holes in this valley. 17 Do it, because the LORD is saying this. You will not see wind or rain. But this valley will become full of water! You, your cows and your other animals will be able to drink. 18 This is a very easy thing for the LORD to do. He will also give the people in Moab to you. 19 You will destroy every city that has strong walls. You will destroy every important town. You will cut down every good tree. You will fill every hole where they get water. You will put stones on to every good field, so that they will be of no value.’ 20 The water was there on the next morning, at the time when the priests burnt food as gifts to the LORD! The water came from the direction of Edom. The land was full of water!
21 All the people in Moab had heard that the kings had come to fight against them. So the leaders of Moab asked every man who could fight, whether young or old, to come. They put them on the border of Moab. 22 When the men from Moab got up early the next morning, the sun was shining on the water. They were the other side of the border. The people from Moab saw that the water seemed red. They thought that it was like blood. 23 ‘That is blood’, they said. ‘Those kings have fought each other and they have killed each other. Come on, people from Moab. We will take what we can find!’ 24 So the people from Moab came to where Israel's men were. But then, Israel's men stood up and they fought against the people from Moab. The people from Moab ran away. The men from Israel attacked their country and they killed the people from Moab. 25 They destroyed the towns. Each man threw a stone on to every good field, until they covered them with stones. They filled every hole where the people from Moab got water. They cut down every good tree. Only Kir Hareseth kept all its stone walls. But men with weapons were all round it. They also attacked it. 26 Then the king of Moab saw that he was not beating his enemies in the war. So he took with him 700 men with swords. They tried to get to the king of Edom. But they failed. 27 So the king of Moab took his oldest son. This son would have been king after him. He killed him on the wall of the city called Kir Hareseth to make his god happy. They were very angry with the people from Israel. So the people from Israel left Moab and they returned to their own country.
Notes about chapter 3
3:27Jehoram is also called Joram in some Bibles. Samaria was the capital of Israel. The special stone of Baal was where people worshipped Baal. Baal was a false god. The kings of Israel caused their people to worship Baal. Perhaps this was to keep them away from God's house in Jerusalem. 1 Kings 22:47 tells us that there was no king of Edom at this time. The king of Judah ruled Edom. So the ‘king of Edom’ here means the leader of Edom.
3:27Verse 20 The water came from the direction of Edom so the people in Moab would not know about it!
3:27Verse 25 Kir Hareseth was the capital of Moab.