2 Kings 3:19
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones."

New Living Translation
You will conquer the best of their towns, even the fortified ones. You will cut down all their good trees, stop up all their springs, and ruin all their good land with stones."

English Standard Version
and you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree and stop up all springs of water and ruin every good piece of land with stones.”

New American Standard Bible
'Then you shall strike every fortified city and every choice city, and fell every good tree and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.'"

King James Bible
And ye 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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then you must attack every fortified city and every choice city. You must cut down every good tree and stop up every spring of water. You must ruin every good piece of land with stones."

International Standard Version
Then you are to attack every fortified city and every significant city. Cut down every significant tree, fill in all of the water springs, and ruin every prime piece of land with stones."

NET Bible
You will defeat every fortified city and every important city. You must chop down every productive tree, stop up all the springs, and cover all the cultivated land with stones."

New Heart English Bible
You shall strike every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.'"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You will defeat every walled city and every important city. You will cut down every good tree, seal all the wells, and use rocks to ruin every good piece of land."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And ye shall smite every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all fountains of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.'

New American Standard 1977
‘Then you shall strike every fortified city and every choice city, and fell every good tree and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.’”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And ye shall smite every fenced city and every choice city and shall fell every good tree and stop every fountain of water and mar every good piece of land with stones.

King James 2000 Bible
And you shall smite every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall cut down every good tree, and stop up all wells of water, and ruin every good piece of land with stones.

American King James Version
And 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.

American Standard Version
And ye shall smite every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all fountains of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And you shall destroy every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall cut down every fruitful tree, and shall stop up all the springs of waters, and every goodly field you shall cover with stones.

Darby Bible Translation
And ye shall smite every fortified 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.

English Revised Version
And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all fountains of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.

Webster's Bible Translation
And ye shall smite every fortified 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.

World English Bible
You shall strike every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.'"

Young's Literal Translation
and ye have smitten every fenced city, and every choice city, and every good tree ye cause to fall, and all fountains of waters ye stop, and every good portion ye mar with stones.'
Study Bible
Jehoram Overcomes Moab's Revolt
18'This is but a slight thing in the sight of the LORD; He will also give the Moabites into your hand. 19Then you shall strike every fortified city and every choice city, and fell every good tree and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.'" 20It happened in the morning about the time of offering the sacrifice, that behold, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.…
Cross References
Genesis 21:19
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water; and she went and filled the skin with water and gave the lad a drink.

2 Kings 3:25
Thus they destroyed the cities; and each one threw a stone on every piece of good land and filled it. So they stopped all the springs of water and felled all the good trees, until in Kir-hareseth only they left its stones; however, the slingers went about it and struck it.
Treasury of Scripture

And 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.

And ye

2 Kings 13:17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha …

Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not near: there …

Judges 6:16 And the LORD said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall …

1 Samuel 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, …

1 Samuel 23:2 Therefore David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite …

fell

Deuteronomy 20:19,20 When you shall besiege a city a long time, in making war against …

mar [heb] grieve

2 Kings 3:25 And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast …

(19) And ye shall smite . . . shall fell . . .--These verbs are continuative of those in the last verse, i.e., they do not command a course of action, but foretell it. (Comp. 2Kings 8:12-13.) Taken as commands, they appear to conflict with Deuteronomy 20:19, where the felling of an enemy's fruit trees for the purposes of siege-works is forbidden. Keil, however, explains that the law relates to Canaanite territory which the Israelites were to occupy, whereas Moab's was an enemy's country, and therefore not to be spared.

Fenced city . . . choice city.--There is a paronomasia, or play on words of similar sound, in the Hebrew: 'r mib?r . . . 'r mibhr.

Every good tree--i.e., fruit-bearing trees.

Stop.--Genesis 26:15; Genesis 26:18.

Mar.--Literally, make to grieve: a poetical expression. An unfruitful land is said to mourn (Isaiah 24:4; Jeremiah 12:4).

Every good piece of land.--All the good demesne (literally, portion, allotment).

Verse 19. - And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city. The LXX. omit the second clause, perhaps because they could not reproduce in Greek the assonance of the Hebrew, where the words for "fenced" and "choice" (מִבְצֶר and מִבְחור) have nearly the same sound. And shall fell every good tree. It has been said that the Law forbade this, and argued

(1) that Elisha did not here utter a command, but only a prediction (Pool), not bidding the Israelites to cut down the trees, but only telling them they would do so;

(2) that Elisha intentionally excepted the Moabites from the merciful provision of the Law (Deuteronomy 20:19, 20), having authority to do so, and regarding the Moabites as exceptionally wicked (Keil); and

(3) that the Mosaic Law was not observed under the kings, and that Elisha himself had forgotten the provision about fruit trees (Geddes). But a careful examination of the passage in Deuteronomy will show

(1) that there is no general prohibition of the cutting down of fruit trees, but only a prohibition of their being cut down for siege works;

(2) that the prohibition rests on prudential, not on moral, grounds, and is thus practically limited to cases where the conquest of the country attacked, and its occupation by the conquerors, are looked forward to. The words are, "When thou shalt besiege a city.... thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them." The destruction of the fruit trees in an enemy's country was a common feature of the wars of the period, and was largely practiced, both By the Assyrians and the Egyptians (see Layard's 'Monuments of Nineveh,' first series, p. 73; second series, pl. 40; 'Nineveh and Babylon,' p. 588; and 'Records of the Past,' vol. 2. pp. 5, 51, etc.). And stop all wells of water. The stoppage of springs and wells was another common practice in ancient times, often employed against enemies and aliens. The Philistines stopped the Hebrew wells in the days of Isaac (Genesis 26:18). Hezekiah stopped the springs of water outside Jerusalem, when he expected to be besieged By the Assyrians (2 Chronicles 32:3, 4). The Scythians, when Darius invaded their country, stopped all their own wells as they retired before him (Herod., 4:120). Arsaces III. partly stopped, and partly poi-ached, the Persian wells in his war with Antiochus the Great (Polyb., 10:28. § 5). The practice was regarded as quite legitimate. And mar every good piece of land with stones; literally, grieve every good piece of land. To clear the stones off a piece of ground was the first step towards preparing it for cultivation in the stony regions on either side of the Jordan. The clearance was generally effected by collecting the stones into heaps. When it was wished to "mar the land," the stones were there to be spread over it afresh. And ye shall smite every fenced city and every choice city,.... That is, the inhabitants of them with the sword, and demolish them also, 2 Kings 3:25, and shall fell every good tree; which seems contrary to the law in Deuteronomy 20:19, but that may respect trees belonging to a city when besieged only, or only to Canaanitish cities; or the law was now dispensed with, and that for this time only, to make the punishment of Moab the greater, for their rebellion and other sins:

and stop all wells of water; which must be very distressing to those that survived the calamity of the sword:

and mar every good piece of land with stones; as that it could not be ploughed and sowed, nor anything spring up and grow upon it. 3:6-19 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.
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