2 Kings 3

Jehoram Meets Moabite Rebellion

Now Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel at Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned for twelve years. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, though not like his father and his mother; for he removed the memorial stone of Baal which his father had made. Nevertheless, he clung to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, into which he misled Israel; he did not abandon them.

Now Mesha the king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he used to make tribute payments to the king of Israel of a hundred thousand lambs, and the wool of a hundred thousand rams. However, when King Ahab died, the king of Moab broke with the [a]king of Israel. So King Jehoram left Samaria for battle [b]at that time and mustered all Israel. Then he went and sent word to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, “The king of Moab has broken away from me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?” And he said, “I will go up. [c]Consider me yours, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” Then he said, “Which way shall we go up?” And he [d]answered, “The way of the wilderness of Edom.”

So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom, and they made a circuit of seven days’ journey. But there was no water for the army or for the cattle that [e]followed them. 10 Then the king of Israel said, “It is hopeless! For the Lord has called these three kings to hand them over to Moab!” 11 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, that we may inquire of the Lord by him?” And one of the king of Israel’s servants answered and said, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who used to pour 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 Now Elisha said to the king of Israel, “[f]What business do you have with me? Go to your father’s prophets and your mother’s prophets.” But the king of Israel said to him, “No, for the Lord has called these three kings together to hand them over to Moab.” 14 Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord of armies lives, before whom I stand, if I did not respect Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look at you nor see you. 15 But now bring me a [g]musician.” And it came about, when the [h]musician played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. 16 And he said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Make this valley [i]full of trenches.’ 17 For the Lord says this: ‘You will not see wind, nor will you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you will drink, you, your livestock, and your other animals. 18 And this is an insignificant thing in the sight of the Lord; He will also give the Moabites into your hand. 19 Then you shall strike every fortified city and every choice city, and [j]cut down every good tree and stop up all the springs of water, and spoil every good plot of land with stones.’” 20 And it happened in the morning about the time of offering the sacrifice, that behold, water came from the direction of Edom, and the country was filled with water.

21 Now all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them. And all who were able to [k]put on armor and older were summoned and they took their positions on the border. 22 Then they got up early in the morning, and the sun shone on the water, and the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood. 23 So they said, “This is blood; the kings must have fought each other, and they have killed one another. Now then, Moab, to the spoils!” 24 But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and struck the Moabites, so that they fled from them; and the Israelites invaded [l]the land, [m]killing the Moabites. 25 So they destroyed the cities; and each one threw a stone on every plot of good land and filled it. So they stopped up every spring of water and [n]cut down every good tree, until in Kir-hareseth only they left its stones; however, the rock slingers surrounded it and struck it. 26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took with him seven hundred men who drew swords, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not. 27 Then the king of Moab took his oldest son who was to reign in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall. And great anger came upon Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.


  1. 2 Kings 3:5 I.e., Jehoram, the new king
  2. 2 Kings 3:6 Lit in that day
  3. 2 Kings 3:7 Lit As I, as you, as my people...
  4. 2 Kings 3:8 Lit said
  5. 2 Kings 3:9 Lit were in their footsteps
  6. 2 Kings 3:13 Lit What to me and to you, an ancient idiom
  7. 2 Kings 3:15 Lit string player
  8. 2 Kings 3:15 Lit string player
  9. 2 Kings 3:16 Lit trenches, trenches
  10. 2 Kings 3:19 Lit fell
  11. 2 Kings 3:21 Lit strap on a belt (for weapons)
  12. 2 Kings 3:24 Lit it
  13. 2 Kings 3:24 Lit striking
  14. 2 Kings 3:25 Lit felled