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1 Now Iehoram the sonne of Ahab began to reigne ouer Israel in Samaria, the eighteenth yere of Iehoshaphat king of Iudah, and reigned twelue yeeres.

2 And he wrought euill in the sight of the Lord, but not like his father and like his mother; for hee put away the image of Baal that his father had made.

3 Neuerthelesse, hee cleaued vnto the sinnes of Ieroboam the sonne of Nebat, which made Israel to sinne; he departed not therefrom.

4 And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepe-master, and rendred vnto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambes, and an hundred thousand rammes, with the wooll.

5 But it came to passe when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.

6 And king Iehoram went out of Samaria the same time, and numbred all Israel.

7 And he went, and sent to Iehoshaphat the King of Iudah, saying, The king of Moab hath rebelled against mee: Wilt thou goe with mee against Moab to battell? and he said, I will goe vp: I am as thou art, my people as thy people, and my horses as thy horses.

8 And he said, Which way shall we goe vp? And he answered, The way through the wildernesse of Edom.

9 So the king of Israel went, and the king of Iudah, and the king of Edom: and they fetcht a compasse of seuen dayes iourney: and there was no water for the hoste, and for the cattell that followed them.

10 And the king of Israel said, Alas, that the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliuer them into the hand of Moab.

11 But Iehoshaphat said, Is there not here a Prophet of the Lord, that we may enquire of the Lord by him? And one of the king of Israels seruants answered, and said, Here is Elisha the sonne of Shaphat, which powred water on the hands of Eliiah.

12 And Iehoshaphat saide, The word of the Lord is with him. So the king of Israel, & Iehoshaphat, and the king of Edom went downe to him.

13 And Elisha saide vnto the king of Israel, What haue I to doe with thee? Get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother. And the king of Israel said vnto him, Nay: for the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliuer them into the hand of Moab.

14 And Elisha said, As the Lord of hostes liueth, before whom I stand, Surely were it not that I regard the presence of Iehoshaphat the King of Iudah, I would not looke toward thee, nor see thee.

15 But now bring me a minstrell. And it came to passe when the minstrell played, that the hand of the Lord came vpon him.

16 And hee sayde, Thus sayth the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches.

17 For thus sayth the Lord, Yee shall not see winde, neither shall ye see raine, yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drinke, both ye, and your cattell, and your beasts.

18 And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord, he will deliuer the Moabites also into your hand.

19 And ye shall smite euery fenced citie, and euery choice citie, and shall fell euery good tree, and stop all welles of water, and marre euery good piece of land with stones.

20 And it came to passe in the morning when the meate offering was offered, that behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the countrey was filled with water.

21 And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come vp to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to put on armour, and vpward, and stood in the border.

22 And they rose vp early in the morning, and the Sunne shone vpon the water, and the Moabites sawe the water on the other side as red as blood.

23 And they said, This is blood: the kings are surely slaine, and they haue smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoile.

24 And when they came to the campe of Israel, the Israelites rose vp and smote the Moabites, so that they fledde before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites, euen in their countrey.

25 And they beat downe the cities, and on euery good piece of land cast euery man his stone, and filled it, and they stopped all the welles of water, and felled all the good trees: onely in Kirharaseth left they the stones thereof: howbeit the slingers went about it, and smote it.

26 And when the king of Moab sawe that the battell was too sore for him, he tooke with him seuen hundred men that drewe swordes, to breake thorow euen vnto the king of Edom: but they could not.

27 Then hee tooke his eldest sonne that should haue reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering vpon the wall: and there was great indignation against Israel, and they departed from him, and returned to their owne land.

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Commentary for 2 Kings 3

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

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, #Pr 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, #Ps 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.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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