2 Kings 3:9-20

9 So the king of Israel set out with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. After a roundabout march of seven days, the army had no more water for themselves or for the animals with them.
10 “What!” exclaimed the king of Israel. “Has the LORD called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?”
11 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the LORD here, through whom we may inquire of the LORD?” An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.[a]
12 Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the LORD is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why do you want to involve me? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.” “No,” the king of Israel answered, “because it was the LORD who called us three kings together to deliver us into the hands of Moab.”
14 Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay any attention to you.
15 But now bring me a harpist.” While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came on Elisha
16 and he said, “This is what the LORD says: I will fill this valley with pools of water.
17 For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink.
18 This is an easy thing in the eyes of the LORD; he will also deliver Moab into your hands.
19 You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones.”
20 The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water.

2 Kings 3:9-20 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 3

This chapter gives the character of Jehoram king of Israel, 2Ki 3:1-3, relates the rebellion of the king of Moab against him, 2Ki 3:4,5, the war that he and his allies entered into on that account, 2Ki 3:6-9 the distress the combined army were in for want of water, their application upon this to Elisha, who promised them water, and they had it in a wonderful manner, 2Ki 3:10-20 and the chapter is concluded with the rout of the Moabites, and the barbarity of their king to his eldest son, 2Ki 3:21-27.

2 Kings 3:9-20 In-Context

7 He also sent this message to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?” “I will go with you,” he replied. “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
8 “By what route shall we attack?” he asked. “Through the Desert of Edom,” he answered.
9 So the king of Israel set out with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. After a roundabout march of seven days, the army had no more water for themselves or for the animals with them.
10 “What!” exclaimed the king of Israel. “Has the LORD called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?”
11 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the LORD here, through whom we may inquire of the LORD?” An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah. ”
12 Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the LORD is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why do you want to involve me? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.” “No,” the king of Israel answered, “because it was the LORD who called us three kings together to deliver us into the hands of Moab.”
14 Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay any attention to you.
15 But now bring me a harpist.” While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came on Elisha
16 and he said, “This is what the LORD says: I will fill this valley with pools of water.
17 For this is what the LORD says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink.
18 This is an easy thing in the eyes of the LORD; he will also deliver Moab into your hands.
19 You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones.”
20 The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water.
21 Now all the Moabites had heard that the kings had come to fight against them; so every man, young and old, who could bear arms was called up and stationed on the border.
22 When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites across the way, the water looked red—like blood.

Cross References 11

  • 1. S 1 Kings 22:47
  • 2. S Genesis 25:22; S 1 Kings 22:5; 1 Kings 22:7
  • 3. S Genesis 20:7
  • 4. S 1 Kings 19:16
  • 5. S Numbers 11:17
  • 6. S 1 Samuel 10:5; 1 Samuel 16:23
  • 7. Jeremiah 15:17; Ezekiel 1:3
  • 8. Psalms 107:35; Isaiah 12:3; Isaiah 32:2; Isaiah 35:6; Isaiah 41:18; Isaiah 65:13
  • 9. S Genesis 18:14; 2 Kings 20:10; Isaiah 49:6; Jeremiah 32:17,27; Mark 10:27
  • 10. S Exodus 29:41; Exodus 29:39-40
  • 11. S Exodus 17:6

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, he was Elijah’s personal servant.