Evil Joram becomes king of Israel. And he starts a war.
VERSE 1. Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.
Jehoram the son of Ahab. He is the second son of Ahab to rule Israel.
In Hebrew, his name is וִיהוֹרָ֣ם (“Yehoram”). But most translations substitute the name “Joram.”
reigned twelve years. Joram reigned from 852 to 841 BC.
VERSE 2. He did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, but not like his father and like his mother, for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made.
He did that which was evil. Joram was yet another evil king in a long line of evil kings.
he put away the pillar of Baal. Evil king Ahab had built this pillar of Baal. Now Ahab’s evil son Joram tears it down.
VERSE 3. Nevertheless he held to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin. He didn’t depart from them.
VERSE 4. Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder; and he supplied the king of Israel with one hundred thousand lambs and the wool of one hundred thousand rams.
a sheep breeder. Back when Omri subjugated Moab, he imposed a tribute of lambs and wool.
As a result, the Moabites grudgingly provided lambs and wool for many years.
the king of Moab rebelled. That is, the Moabites stopped providing lambs and wool.
mustered all Israel. Because the Moabites stopped providing lambs and wool, evil king Jehoram mounts a major war in retaliation.
VERSE 7. He went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me against Moab to battle?” He said, “I will go up. I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
The king of Moab has rebelled against me. This is the statement of an ego-driven person.
Jehoram does not speak about his nation or his people. Rather, what is important to him is himself. It is all about himself.
VERSE 8. Then he said, “Which way shall we go up?” Jehoram answered, “The way of the wilderness of Edom.”
VERSE 9. So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom, and they marched for seven days along a circuitous route. There was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them.
There was no water. They ran out of water.
This reflects very poor planning by the kings.
VERSE 10. The king of Israel said, “Alas! For the LORD has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.”
Alas! For the LORD. Instead of taking responsibility for their poor planning, they blame the LORD God.
VERSE 11. But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of the LORD by him?” One of the king of Israel’s servants answered, “Elisha the son of Shaphat, who poured water on the hands of Elijah, is here.”
we may inquire of the LORD. This is the second time king Jehoshaphat seeks the will of God.
Elisha the son of Shaphat. He is the successor of Elijah the prophet.
poured water on the hands of Elijah. That was a servant’s work. Elisha had been Elijah’s student and disciple.
VERSE 12. Jehoshaphat said, “The LORD’s word is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
VERSE 13. Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father, and to the prophets of your mother.” The king of Israel said to him, “No, for the LORD has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.”
VERSE 14. Elisha said, “As the LORD of Hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I respect the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward you, nor see you.
I respect the presence of Jehoshaphat. The prophet Elisha acknowledges the presence of good king Jehoshaphat.
bring me a musician. Perhaps Elisha needed to calm himself.
Music is associated with the ministry of a prophet:
1 Samuel 10:5. After that you will come to the hill of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is; and it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with a lute, a tambourine, a pipe, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying.
2 Kings 3:15. “But now bring me a musician.” When the musician played, the LORD’s hand came on him.
1 Chronicles 25:1. Moreover, David and the captains of the army set apart for the service certain of the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who were to prophesy with harps, with stringed instruments, and with cymbals. The number of those who did the work according to their service was:
this valley. It was probably the valley of the Zered, on Moab’s southern boundary.
VERSE 17. For the LORD says, ‘You will not see wind, neither will you see rain, yet that valley will be filled with water, and you will drink, both you and your livestock and your other animals.
VERSE 18. This is an easy thing in the LORD’s sight. He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.
This is an easy thing in the LORD’s sight. We often forget that God is limitlessly powerful. We often ask such trivial things of him. But he delights when we ask great and mighty things. Read more »
VERSE 19. You shall strike every fortified city and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.’ ”
VERSE 20. In the morning, about the time of offering the sacrifice, behold, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
the country was filled with water. The LORD God did as Elisha prophesied.
VERSE 21. Now when all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, they gathered themselves together, all who were able to put on armor, young and old, and stood on the border.
VERSE 22. They rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone on the water, and the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood.
saw the water opposite them as red as blood. The enemy sees something that is not there.
VERSE 23. They said, “This is blood. The kings are surely destroyed, and they have struck each other. Now therefore, Moab, to the plunder!”
VERSE 24. When they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and struck the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they went forward into the land attacking the Moabites.
they fled before them. The mighty Moabite army runs away.
VERSE 25. They beat down the cities; and on every good piece of land each man cast his stone, and filled it. They also stopped all the springs of water and cut down all the good trees, until in Kir Hareseth all they left was its stones; however the men armed with slings went around it and attacked it.
VERSE 26. When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too severe for him, he took with him seven hundred men who drew a sword, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not.
he took with him seven hundred men. This is a small detachment of the greatest warriors in Moab.
VERSE 27. Then he took his oldest son who would have reigned in his place, and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. There was great wrath against Israel; and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.
offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. The king of Moab commits human sacrifice.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.