3In the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat of Judah, Jehoram son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria; he reigned for twelve years. 2He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, though not like his father and mother, for he removed the pillar of Baal that his father had made. 3Nevertheless he clung to the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to commit; he did not depart from it.
4 Now King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder, who used to deliver to the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs, and the wool of one hundred thousand rams. 5But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6So King Jehoram marched out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. 7As he went he sent word to King Jehoshaphat of Judah, The king of Moab has rebelled against me; will you go with me to battle against Moab? He answered, I will; I am with you, my people are your people, my horses are your horses. 8Then he asked, By which way shall we march? Jehoram answered, By the way of the wilderness of Edom.
9 So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom set out; and when they had made a roundabout march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the animals that were with them. 10Then the king of Israel said, Alas! The Lord has summoned us, three kings, only to be handed over to Moab. 11But Jehoshaphat said, Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord? Then one of the servants of the king of Israel answered, Elisha son of Shaphat, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah, is here. 12Jehoshaphat 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, What have I to do with you? Go to your fathers prophets or to your mothers. But the king of Israel said to him, No; it is the Lord who has summoned us, three kings, only to be handed over to Moab. 14Elisha said, As the Lord of hosts lives, whom I serve, were it not that I have regard for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I would give you neither a look nor a glance. 15But get me a musician. And then, while the musician was playing, the power of the Lord came on him. 16And he said, Thus says the Lord, I will make this wadi full of pools. 17For thus says the Lord, You shall see neither wind nor rain, but the wadi shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your cattle, and your animals. 18This is only a trifle in the sight of the Lord, for he will also hand Moab over to you. 19You shall conquer every fortified city and every choice city; every good tree you shall fell, all springs of water you shall stop up, and every good piece of land you shall ruin with stones. 20The next day, about the time of the morning offering, suddenly water began to flow from the direction of Edom, until 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 armour, from the youngest to the oldest, were called out and were drawn up at the frontier. 22When they rose early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood. 23They said, This is blood; the kings must have fought together, and killed one another. Now then, Moab, to the spoil! 24But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and attacked the Moabites, who fled before them; as they entered Moab they continued the attack.* 25The cities they overturned, and on every good piece of land everyone threw a stone, until it was covered; every spring of water they stopped up, and every good tree they felled. Only at Kir-hareseth did the stone walls remain, until the slingers surrounded and attacked it. 26When the king of Moab saw that the battle was going against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through, opposite the king of Edom; but they could not. 27Then he took his firstborn son who was to succeed him, and offered him as a burnt-offering on the wall. And great wrath came upon Israel, so they withdrew from him and returned to their own land.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011