1 Jehoram, son of Ahab, began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and he reigned for twelve years. 2 He did what was displeasing to Yahweh, but not as his father or mother had done, for he removed the statue of Baal which his father had made. 3 Nonetheless he clung to the sin of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, which had become the sin of Israel, and did not depart from it.
Expedition of Israel and Judah against Moab
4 Mesha, the king of Moab, had flocks of sheep. He paid the king of Israel a hundred thousand lambs and a hundred thousand rams with their wool annually. 5 But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
6 At that time, King Jehoram set out from Samaria to mobilize the whole of Israel. 7 He also sent word to Jeho shaphat, the king of Judah, “The king of Moab has rebelled against me; will you come with me to fight against Moab?” Jehoshaphat answered him, “I will go with you, for you and I are one; my men and my horses are at your disposal.” 8 Jehoram asked, “By which way shall we go up?” And he answered, “By the way of the desert of Edom.”
9 The kings of Israel, of Judah and of Edom had been going around for seven days, and there was no water for the soldiers and for the animals that followed them. 10 Then the king of Israel said, “Yahweh has called us three kings to give us into the hands of Moab.” 11 Then Jeho shaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of Yahweh here, through whom we may consult Yahweh?” One of the servants of the king of Israel said, “Elisha, son of Shaphat, is here. It was he who poured water on the hands of Elijah.” 12 And Jeho shaphat agreed, “Indeed, God’s word comes to him.” So the king of Israel, the king of Edom and Jehoshaphat went down to Elisha.
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go see the prophets of your father or those of your mother.” But the king of Israel asked him, “Has Yahweh perhaps called us three together to deliver us into the hands of Moab?” 14 Elisha replied, “Had not Jeho shaphat the king of Judah been before me, I swear by Yahweh God of Hosts whom I serve, that I would not attend to you nor look at you. 15 Now, bring me someone who plays the harp.” As the musician played, the hand of Yahweh came upon Elisha 16 and he said, “This is the word of Yahweh: Dig trenches and more trenches in this valley, 17 for Yahweh says: You shall not see wind or rain, but the valley shall be filled with water, and you, your troops and your livestock will drink. 18 This is an easy thing for Yahweh, for he shall give Moab into your hands. 19 You shall conquer all the fortified cities, cut down all fruit-bearing trees, close up all the springs of water, and scatter stones in all the plowed fields.”
20 In the morning, at the time of the offering, water came from the direction of Edom, and the whole country was flooded.
21 The Moabites had learned that the kings had come to attack them, so they gathered to gether all the men able to bear arms and posi tioned them at the border. 22 When they woke up in the morning, they saw the sun shining upon the water, and this appeared to them as if it were blood. 23 So the Moabites said, “Look at the blood; the kings have surely turned against one another and killed each other. Let us now go and gather the booty!” 24 But when they came to the camp the Israelites confronted, defeated and routed them. The Israelites pursued and entered Moab. 25 They destroyed the cities of Moab, and each man threw stones on the fertile land, until it was covered. They closed up the springs of water and cut down fruit trees. Only Kir-hareseth was left with stones, but men armed with slings, surrounded the city and be gan harassing it.
26 When the king of Moab saw that his enemies were winning, he gathered seven hundred warriors to break through the blockade, opposite the king of Edom. But they did not succeed. 27 So he took his firstborn son who was to succeed him as king, and sacrificed him in the fire upon the wall. The fury that came upon the Israelites was great, so they withdrew from there and returned to their own land.