2 Kings 3:21
And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to put on armor, and upward, and stood in the border.
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(21) And when . . . heard . . . they gathered.Now all the Moabites had heard . . . and had gathered themselves: literally, had been summoned, called together (Judges 7:23).

All that were able to put on armour.From every one girding on a girdle, and upwardsi.e., all of adult age, all who could bear arms. It was a levy en masse of the male population for the defence of the country.

Stood in.Had taken their stand on the frontier.

2 Kings 3:21. All that were able to put on armour and upward — That is, from youths, that were but just able to put on armour, to those that were far advanced in life; so that none were exempted. And stood in the border —

Of their country, intending to defend themselves, but not to march out of their country to give the enemy battle.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.And stood in the border - On the north side of the wady, ready to defend their territory. 20-24. when the meat offering was offered—that is, at the time of the morning sacrifice, accompanied, doubtless, with solemn prayers; and these led, it may be, by Elisha on this occasion, as on a similar one by Elijah (1Ki 18:36).

behold, there came water by the way of Edom—Far from the Israelitish camp, in the eastern mountains of Edom, a great fall of rain, a kind of cloudburst, took place, by which the wady was at once filled, but they saw neither the wind nor the rains. The divine interposition was shown by introducing the laws of nature to the determined end in the predetermined way [Keil]. It brought not only aid to the Israelitish army in their distress, by a plentiful supply of water, but destruction on the Moabites, who, perceiving the water, under the refulgent rays of the morning sun, red like blood, concluded the confederate kings had quarrelled and deluged the field with their mutual slaughter; so that, rushing to their camp in full expectation of great spoil, they were met by the Israelites, who, prepared for battle, fought and pursued them. Their country was laid waste in the way, which has always been considered the greatest desolation in the East (2Ki 3:24).

To put on armour, Heb. to gird on a girdle, i.e. a military girdle, to which the sword was fastened, 2 Samuel 20:8 1 Kings 2:5.

In the border, or, in that border, to wit, of their country, which was towards Edom, which way they understood the kings came. Here they stood probably to defend the passages into their country. And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them,.... The kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom:

they gathered all that were able to put on armour, and upward; that were of an age capable of that, and all who were more grown; or "girt on a girdle" (l), a military one, with which the sword was girt, who were at age to wear and knew how to wield a sword: and stood in the border; of their land, between Edom and them, to defend themselves and their country against these invaders.

(l) "eingente cingulo", Montanus.

And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to put on armor, and upward, and stood in the border.
21. And [R.V. Now] when all the Moabites heard] By the circuitous journey which the armies had made their march would be less observed, and it would only be at the time of their appearance on the frontier that the object of their expedition would become known. But the casting off the yoke of Israel, and the freeing of their land from such a burdensome tribute made the war popular in Moab, and all were prepared to do their duty against the invaders.

come up] See above on verse 7.

they gathered all that were able to put on armour] R.V. they gathered themselves together, all &c. The verb is literally, ‘they called themselves together’. The expression indicates the enthusiasm with which each man appealed to his neighbour. ‘To put on armour’ is literally ‘to gird themselves with a girdle’, for to the girdle the weapon was attached.

and stood in the border] This would naturally be a height dividing their country from the land of Edom.

21–27. The Moabites attack the allied armies, but are defeated. The king of Moab sacrifices his eldest son (Not in Chronicles)Verse 21. - And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them. The Hebrew has no pluperfect tense; but the verbs have here a pluperfect force. Translate, When all the Moabites had heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they had gathered all that were able, etc. The muster of the troops had long preceded the storm. They gathered all that were able to put on amour; literally, there had been gathered together all that girded themselves with girdles; i.e. all the male population of full age. And upward - i.e., and all above the age when the girdle was first assumed - and stood in the border; took up a position near the extreme border of their territory, on the northern bank of the Wady-el-Ahsy. He then sent for a minstrel, to collect his mind from the impressions of the outer world by the soft tones of the instrument, and by subduing the self-life and life in the external world to become absorbed in the intuition of divine things. On this influence of music upon the state of the mind, see the remark on 1 Samuel 16:16, and Passavant's Untersuchungen ber den Lebens-magnetismus, p. 207 (ed. 2). - As the minstrel was playing, the hand of the Lord came upon him (והיה according to the later usage for ויהי, as in 1 Samuel 17:48, etc.; compare Ewald, 345, b., and יהוה יד as in 1 Kings 18:46), so that he said in the name of the Lord: "Make this valley full of trenches (עשׂה, inf. abs. for the imperative; for גּבים גּבים see Ges. 108, 4); for thus saith the Lord, ye will see neither wind nor rain, and this valley will be filled with water, that ye may be able to drink, and your flocks and your cattle." גּבים are trenches for collecting water (vid., Jeremiah 14:3), which would suddenly flow down through the brook-valley. This large quantity of water came on the (following) morning "by the way of Edom" (2 Kings 3:20), a heavy fall of rain or violent storm having taken place, as is evident from the context, in the eastern mountains of Edom, at a great distance from the Israelitish camp, the water of which filled the brook-valley, i.e., the Wady el Kurahy and el Ahsy (see at 2 Kings 3:9) at once, without the Israelites observing anything either of the wind, which always precedes rain in the East (Harmar, Beobb. i. pp. 51, 52), or of the rain itself. מקניכם are the flocks intended for slaughtering, בּהמתּכם the beasts of burden.
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