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1 JORAM SON of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.
2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not like his father and mother; for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made.
3 Yet he clung to the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not from them.
4 Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and paid in tribute to the king of Israel [annually] 100,000 lambs and 100,000 rams, with the wool.
5 But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
6 So King Joram went out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel.
7 And he sent to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to war against Moab? And he said, I will go; I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.
8 Joram said, Which way shall we go up? Jehoshaphat answered, The way through the Wilderness of Edom.
9 So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. They made a circuit of seven days' journey, but there was no water for the army or for the animals following them.
10 Then the king of Israel said, Alas! The Lord has called [us] three kings together to be delivered into Moab's hand!
11 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there no prophet of the Lord here by whom we may inquire of the Lord? One of the king of Israel's servants answered, Elisha son of Shaphat, who served Elijah, is here.
12 Jehoshaphat said, The word of the Lord is with him. So Joram king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to Elisha.
13 And Elisha said to the king of Israel, What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your [wicked] father Ahab and your [wicked] mother Jezebel. But the king of Israel said to him, No, for the Lord has called [us] three kings together to be delivered into the hand of Moab.
14 And Elisha said, As the Lord of hosts lives, before Whom I stand, surely, were it not that I respect the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you [King Joram].
15 But now bring me a minstrel. And while the minstrel played, the hand and power of the Lord came upon [Elisha].
16 And he said, Thus says the Lord: Make this [dry] brook bed full of trenches.
17 For thus says the Lord: You shall not see wind or rain, yet that ravine shall be filled with water, so you, your cattle, and your beasts [of burden] may drink.
18 This is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord. He will deliver the Moabites also into your hands.
19 You shall smite every fenced city and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree and stop all wells of water and mar every good piece of land with stones.
20 In the morning, when the sacrifice was offered, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
21 When all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to put on armor, young and old, gathered and drew up at the border.
22 When they rose up early next morning, and the sun shone upon the water, the Moabites saw the water across from them as red as blood.
23 And they said, This is blood; the kings have surely been fighting and have slain one another. Now then, 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. And they went forward, slaying the Moabites as they went.
25 They beat down the cities [walls], and on every good piece of land every man cast a stone, covering it [with stones]. And they stopped all the springs of water and felled all the good trees, until only the stones [of the walls of Moab's capital city] of Kir-hareseth were left standing, and the slingers surrounded and took it.
26 And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was against him, he took with him 700 swordsmen to break through to the king of Edom, but they could not.
27 Then he [Moab's king] took his eldest son, who was to reign in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall [in full view of the horrified enemy kings]. And there was great indignation, wrath, and bitterness against Israel; and they [his allies Judah and Edom] withdrew from [Joram] and returned to their own land.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation