2 Kings 3:27
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wall. The fury against Israel was great; they withdrew and returned to their own land.

New Living Translation
Then the king of Moab took his oldest son, who would have been the next king, and sacrificed him as a burnt offering on the wall. So there was great anger against Israel, and the Israelites withdrew and returned to their own land.

English Standard Version
Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel. And they withdrew from him and returned to their own land.

New American Standard Bible
Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.

King James Bible
Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So he took his firstborn son, who was to become king in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the city wall. Great wrath was on the Israelites, and they withdrew from him and returned to their land.

International Standard Version
So he took his firstborn son, whom he intended to reign after him, and offered him up as a burnt offering on the wall. There subsequently came great anger against Israel, so they abandoned the attack and returned to their homeland.

NET Bible
So he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him up as a burnt sacrifice on the wall. There was an outburst of divine anger against Israel, so they broke off the attack and returned to their homeland.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then he took his firstborn son, who would have succeeded him as king, and sacrificed him on the wall as a burnt offering. There was bitter anger against the Israelites. So they went home to their own country.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation in Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.

King James 2000 Bible
Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

American King James Version
Then he took his oldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

American Standard Version
Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt-offering upon the wall. And there was great wrath against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall: and there was great indignation in Israel, and presently they departed from him, and returned into their own country.

Darby Bible Translation
And he took his eldest son, that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him up for a burnt-offering upon the wall. And there was great wrath against Israel; and they departed from him, and returned to [their own] land.

English Revised Version
Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great wrath against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then he took his eldest son that was to reign in his stead, and offered him for a burnt-offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: And they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

World English Bible
Then he took his eldest son who would have reigned in his place, and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. There was great wrath against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

Young's Literal Translation
and he taketh his son, the first-born who reigneth in his stead, and causeth him to ascend -- a burnt-offering on the wall, and there is great wrath against Israel, and they journey from off him, and turn back to the land.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:20-27 It is a blessing to be favoured with the company of those who have power with God, and can prevail by their prayers. A kingdom may be upheld and prosper, in consequence of the fervent prayers of those who are dear to God. May we place our highest regard upon such as are most precious in his account. When sinners are saying Peace, peace, destruction comes upon them: despair will follow their mad presumption. In Satan's service and at his suggestion, such horrid deeds have been done, as cause the natural feelings of the heart to shudder; like the king of Moab's sacrificing his son. It is well not to urge the worst of men to extremities; we should rather leave them to the judgment of God.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 27. - Then he took his eldest son, that should have reigned in his stead - the throne of Moab being hereditary, and primogeniture the established law (cf. Moabite Stone, lines 2 and 3, "My father reigned over Moab thirty years, and I reigned after my father") - and offered him for a burnt offering. Human sacrifice was widely practiced by the idolatrous nations who bordered on Palestine, and by none more than by the Moabites. A former King of Moab, when in a sore strait, had asked, "Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" (Micah 6:7); and there is reason to believe that a chief element in the worship of Chemosh was the sacrifice of young children by their unnatural parents. The practice rested on the idea that God was best pleased when men offered to him what was dearest and most precious to them; but it was in glaring contradiction to the character of God as revealed by his prophets, and it did violence to the best and holiest instincts of human nature. The Law condemned it in the strongest terms as a profanation of the Divine Name (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:1-5), and neither Jeroboam nor Ahab ventured to introduce it when they established their idolatrous systems. The King of Mesh, undoubtedly, offered the sacrifice to his god Chemosh (see Moabite Stone, lines 3, 4, 8, 12, etc.), hoping to propitiate him, and by his aid to escape from the peril in which he found himself placed. HIS motive for offering the sacrifice upon the wall is not so clear. It was evidently done to attract the notice of the besiegers, but with what further object is uncertain. Ewald thinks the king's intention was to" confound the enemy by the spectacle of the frightful deed to which they had forced him," and thus to "effect a change in their purposes" ('History of Israel,' vol. 4. p. 90); but perhaps it is as likely that he hoped to work upon their fears, and induce them to retire under the notion that, if they did not, Chemosh would do them some terrible injury. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed. It seems necessary to connect these clauses, and to regard them as assigning cause and effect. The deed done aroused an indignation against Israel, which led to the siege being raised. But an indignation on whose part? Keil thinks, on God's. But could God be angry with Israel for an act of the King of Moab, which they had no ground for anticipating, and which they could not possibly have pro-vented? especially when the Israelites had done nothing to cause the act, except by carrying out God's own command to them through his prophet, to "smite every fenced city and every choice city" (ver. 19). The indignation, therefore, must have been human. But who felt it? Probably the Moabites. The terrible act of their king, to which they considered that Israel had driven him, stirred up such a feeling of fury among the residue of the Moabite nation, that the confederates quailed before it, and came to the conclusion that they had best give up the siege and retire. They therefore departed from him - i.e. the King of Mesh - and returned to their own land; severally to Edom, Judea, and Samaria.





Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then he took his eldest son, that should have reigned in his stead,.... Not the eldest son of the king of Edom, whom the king of Moab had in his hands before, which made the king of Edom the more willing to join in this expedition for the recovery of his son, as Joseph Kimchi thinks; or whom he took now in his sally out upon him, as Moses Kimchi and Ben Gersom, proceeding upon a mistaken sense of Amos 2:1 for the king of Edom could have no son that had a right, or was designed to succeed him, since he was but a deputy king himself; and besides, the sacrificing of him was not the way to cause the kings to raise the siege, but rather to provoke them to press it the more closely: it was the king of Moab that took his son and heir to the crown,

and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall; that it might be seen by the camp of Israel, and move their compassion; or rather this was done as a religious action, to appease the deity by an human sacrifice so dear and precious, to give success, and cause the enemy to break up the siege; and was either offered to the true God, the God of Israel, in imitation of Abraham, as some Jewish writers fancy (n), or to his idol Chemosh, the sun; and Jarchi observes, out of an exposition of theirs, that "vau" is wanting in the word for wall, and so may be interpreted of the sun, towards which this burnt offering was offered; and it is observed, from various Heathen authors, that it was usual with the Heathens, when in calamity and distress, to offer up to their gods what was most dear and valuable to them; and particularly the Phoenicians (o), and from them the Carthaginians had this custom, who at one time offered up two hundred sons of their nobility, to appease their gods (p):

and there was great indignation against Israel; not of the king of Edom against them, for not rescuing his son, or because they were the means of this disaster which befell him; but of the king of Moab, who was quite desperate, and determined to hold out the siege to the utmost extremity: and they departed, and returned to their own land; the three kings, the one to Edom, the other to Israel, and the third to Judah; when they saw the Moabites would sell their lives so dear, and hold out to the last man, they thought fit to break up the siege; and perhaps were greatly affected with the barbarous shocking sight they had seen, and might fear, should they stay, something else of the like kind would be done.

(n) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 39. 2. Pesikta in Abarbinel in loc. (o) Vid. Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 1. c. 10. p. 40. l. 4. c. 16. p. 156. Porphyr. de Abstinentia, l. 2. sect. 56. Vid. Aelian. Var. Hist. l. 12. c. 28. (p) Diodor. Sicul. Bibliothec. l. 20. p. 756.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

27. took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering, &c.—By this deed of horror, to which the allied army drove the king of Moab, a divine judgment came upon Israel; that is, the besiegers feared the anger of God, which they had incurred by giving occasion to the human sacrifice forbidden in the law (Le 18:21; 20:3), and hastily raised the siege.

2 Kings 3:27 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jehoram Overcomes Moab's Revolt
26When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took with him 700 men who drew swords, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not. 27Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.
Cross References
2 Kings 3:26
When the king of Moab saw that the battle had gone against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through to the king of Edom, but they failed.

Amos 2:1
This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Moab, even for four, I will not relent. Because he burned to ashes the bones of Edom's king,

Micah 6:7
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
Treasury of Scripture

Then he took his oldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.

offered him In cases of great extremity, it was customary in various heathen nations, to offer {human} sacrifices, and even their own {children.} This was frequent among the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Scythians, Gauls, Africans, and others; and was the natural fruit of a religious system which had for the objects of its worship cruel and merciless divinities. The king of Moab, in this case, sacrificed his son to obtain the favour of Chemosh {his god}, who, being a devil, delighted in blood and murder, and the destruction of mankind. The dearer any thing was to them, the more acceptable those idolaters thought the sacrifice, and therefore burnt their children in the fire to their honour.

Genesis 22:2,13 And he said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, …

Deuteronomy 12:31 You shall not do so to the LORD your God: for every abomination to …

Judges 11:31,39 Then it shall be, that whatever comes forth of the doors of my house …

Psalm 106:36,38 And they served their idols: which were a snare to them…

Ezekiel 16:20 Moreover you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have …

Micah 6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands …

they departed

1 Samuel 14:36-46 And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and …

1 Kings 20:13,28,43 And, behold, there came a prophet to Ahab king of Israel, saying, …

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