2 Kings 3:5
But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
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(5) But.And.

When.—So some MSS. The ordinary text has, “about the time of Ahab’s death” (ke for be).

Rebelledi.e., refused payment of the annual tribute.

3:1-5 Jehoram took warning by God's judgment, and put away the image of Baal, yet he maintained the worship of the calves. Those do not truly repent or reform, who only part with the sins they lose by, but continue to love the sins that they think to gain by.Moab, the region immediately east of the Dead Sea and of the lower Jordan, though in part suited for agriculture, is in the main a great grazing country. Mesha resembled a modern Arab Sheikh, whose wealth is usually estimated by the number of his flocks and herds. His tribute of the wool of 100, 000 lambs was a tribute in kind, the ordinary tribute at this time in the East.

Mesha is the monarch who wrote the inscription on the "Moabite stone" (2 Kings 1:1 note). The points established by the Inscription are:

1. That Moab recovered from the blow dealt by David 2 Samuel 8:2, 2 Samuel 8:12, and became again an independent state in the interval between David's conquest and the accession of Omri;

2. That Omri reconquered the country, and that it then became subject to the northern kingdom, and remained so throughout his reign and that of his son Ahab, and into the reign of Ahab's son and successor, Ahaziah;

3. That the independence was regained by means of a war, in which Mesha took town after town from the Israelites, including in his conquests many of the towns which, at the original occupation of the holy land, had passed into the possession of the Reubenites or the Gadites, as Baal-Meon Numbers 32:38, Kirjathaim Numbers 32:37, Ataroth Numbers 32:34, Nebo Numbers 32:38, Jahaz Joshua 13:18, etc.;

4. That the name of Yahweh was well known to the Moabites as that of the God of the Israelites; and

5. That there was a sanctuary of Yahweh at Nebo, in the Trans-Jordanic territory, where "vessels" were used in His service.

5. king of Moab rebelled—This is a repetition of 2Ki 1:1, in order to introduce an account of the confederate expedition for crushing this revolt, which had been allowed to continue unchecked during the short reign of Ahaziah. See of this 2 Kings 1:1. It is here repeated to make way for the following story. Ahaziah did not attempt the recovery of Moab, either because he was a man of a low spirit and courage; or because his sickness, or the shortness of his reign, gave not opportunity for it.

But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. Who then was Ahaziah; but either through the pusillanimity of his temper, or the sickness that attended him, or the shortness of his reign, he took no steps to the reduction of him, or to oblige him to pay his tribute, which he neglected to do, and is meant by his rebellion. But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
5. when Ahab was dead] The sickness of Ahaziah had no doubt prevented him from taking any step during his brief reign to suppress the revolt of Moab. It is probable that during Ahaziah’s time all those reconquests, that are mentioned in the Mesha tablet, were made by the Moabites, the king of Israel being able to offer no resistance.

2 Kings 3:5The statement concerning the rebellion of the Moabites, which has already been mentioned in 2 Kings 1:1, is repeated here, because it furnished the occasion for the expedition about to be described. Ahaziah had been unable to do anything during his short reign to renew the subjugation of Moab; Joram was therefore anxious to overtake what had been neglected immediately after his ascent of the throne. He went to Samaria ההוּא בּיּום, at that time, namely, when he renewed his demand for the tribute and it was refused (Thenius), and mustered all Israel, i.e., raised an army out of the whole kingdom, and asked Jehoshaphat to join in the war, which he willingly promised to do (as in 1 Kings 22:4), notwithstanding the fact that he had been blamed by prophets for his alliance with Ahab and Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 19:2 and 2 Chronicles 20:37). He probably wished to chastise the Moabites still further on this occasion for their invasion of Judah (2 Chronicles 20), and to do his part by bringing them once more under the yoke of Israel, to put it out of their power to make fresh incursions into Judah.
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