2 Kings 3

1 Now Jehoram, the son of Ahab, began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.
2 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, but not like his father and like his mother, for he put away the images of Baal that his father had made.
3 Nevertheless, he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin; he did not depart from them.
4 And Mesha, king of Moab, was a pastor and rendered unto the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs and one hundred thousand rams, with the wool.
5 But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
6 And King Jehoram went out of Samaria the same time and numbered all Israel.
7 And he went and sent to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab has rebelled against me; wilt thou go with me against Moab to battle? And he said, I will go up; I am as thou art, my people as thy people and my horses as thy horses.
8 And he said, Which way shall we go up? And he answered, The way through the wilderness of Edom.
9 So the king of Israel went and the king of Judah and the king of Edom, and as they walked round about seven days’ journey through the desert, there was no water for the host or for the beasts that followed them.
10 Then the king of Israel said, Alas! The LORD has called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab!
11 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not a prophet of the LORD here, that we may enquire of the LORD by him? And one of the king of Israel’s slaves answered and said, Here is Elisha, the son of Shaphat, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.
12 And 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 Then Elisha said unto the king of Israel, What have I to do with thee? Go to the prophets of thy father and to the prophets of thy mother. And the king of Israel said unto him, No, for the LORD has called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.
14 And Elisha said, As the LORD of the hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee nor see thee.
15 But now bring me a minstrel. And when the minstrel played, the hand of the LORD came upon him;
16 and he said, Thus hath the LORD said, Make this valley full of ditches.
17 For thus hath the LORD said, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet this valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye and your livestock and your beasts.
18 And this is but a light thing in the sight of the LORD; he will also deliver the Moabites into your hands.
19 And ye shall smite every fenced city and every choice city and shall fell every good tree and stop every fountain of water and mar every good piece of land with stones.
20 And it came to pass in the morning, when the present was offered, that water came by the way of Edom, and the land was filled with water.
21 And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to gird on a girdle and upward and stood in the border.
22 And when they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water before them as red as blood;
23 and they said, This is blood; the kings are surely slain, and they have smitten one another. Now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.
24 But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites so that they fled before them, but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in their country.
25 And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land each man cast his stone and filled it, and they stopped all the fountains of water and felled all the good trees until they left their stones only in Kirharaseth, for the slingers went about it and smote it.
26 And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was overcoming him, he took with him seven hundred men that drew swords to break through unto the king of Edom, but they could not.
27 Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation in Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.

2 Kings 3 Commentary

Chapter 3

Jehoram, king of Israel. (1-5) War with Moab, The intercession of Elisha. (6-19) Water supplied, Moab overcome. (20-27)

Verses 1-5 Jehoram took warning by God's judgment, and put away the image of Baal, yet he maintained the worship of the calves. Those do not truly repent or reform, who only part with the sins they lose by, but continue to love the sins that they think to gain by.

Verses 6-19 The king of Israel laments their distress, and the danger they were in. He called these kings together, yet he charges it upon Providence. Thus the foolishness of man perverteth his way, and then his heart fretteth against the Lord, ( Proverbs 19:3 ) . It was well that Jehoshaphat inquired of the Lord now, but it had been much better if he had done it before he engaged in this war. Good men sometimes neglect their duty, till necessity and affliction drive them to it. Wicked people often fare the better for the friendship and society of the godly. To try their faith and obedience, Elisha bids them make the valley full of pits to receive water. Those who expect God's blessings, must dig pools for the rain to fill, as in the valley of Baca, and thus make even that a well, ( Psalms 84:6 ) . We need not inquire whence the water came. God is not tied to second causes. They that sincerely seek for the dew of God's grace, shall have it, and by it be made more than conquerors.

Verses 20-27 It is a blessing to be favoured with the company of those who have power with God, and can prevail by their prayers. A kingdom may be upheld and prosper, in consequence of the fervent prayers of those who are dear to God. May we place our highest regard upon such as are most precious in his account. When sinners are saying Peace, peace, destruction comes upon them: despair will follow their mad presumption. In Satan's service and at his suggestion, such horrid deeds have been done, as cause the natural feelings of the heart to shudder; like the king of Moab's sacrificing his son. It is well not to urge the worst of men to extremities; we should rather leave them to the judgment of God.

Chapter Summary

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 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010