GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Joram, son of Ahab, became king of Israel in Samaria during Jehoshaphat's eighteenth year as king of Judah. He ruled for 12 years. 2He did what the LORD considered evil, but he didn't do what his father or mother had done. He put away the sacred stone that his father had set up and dedicated to Baal. 3But he would not give up the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat's son) led Israel to commit. Joram would not turn away from those sins.
4King Mesha of Moab raised sheep. [Each year] he had to pay the king of Israel 100,000 male lambs and the wool from 100,000 rams. 5But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the [new] king of Israel. 6King Joram immediately left Samaria to prepare Israel's army for war. 7He sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: "The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you fight Moab with me?" Jehoshaphat answered, "I'll go. I will do what you do. My troops will do what your troops do. My horses will do what your horses do." 8Joram asked, "Which road should we take?" Jehoshaphat answered, "The road through the desert of Edom."
9So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom took an indirect route [to Moab]. After seven days they ran out of water for the army and the animals. 10The king of Israel said, "Oh no! The LORD has put the three of us at the mercy of [the people of] Moab." 11But Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the LORD whom we could ask?" One of the officials of the king of Israel answered, "Elisha, the son of Shaphat, is here. He used to be Elijah's assistant." 12Jehoshaphat said, "The LORD's word is with him." So King Jehoshaphat of Judah, the king of Israel, and the king of Edom went to Elisha.
13Elisha asked the king of Israel, "Why did you come to me? Go to your father's prophets or your mother's prophets." The king of Israel answered him, "No. The LORD has called the three of us in order to put us at Moab's mercy." 14Elisha answered, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD of Armies whom I serve lives, I wouldn't even bother to look at you or notice you if it weren't for my respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah. 15But get me someone to play some music." While the musician was playing, the LORD's power came over Elisha. 16He said, "This is what the LORD says: Make this valley full of ditches. 17You will not see wind or rain, but this valley will be filled with water. You, your cattle, and your other animals will drink. 18The LORD considers that an easy thing to do. In addition, he will put Moab at your mercy. 19You 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." 20That is what happened in the morning. At the time of the grain offering, water flowed from Edom and filled the countryside.
21All the people of Moab heard that the kings had come to fight them. So all men old enough to bear arms were called to fight. They stood at the border. 22When the Moabites got up early in the morning as the sun was rising over the water, they saw the water from a distance. It was as red as blood. 23They said, "It's blood! The kings have been fighting one another and have killed each other. Now, Moabites, let's take their goods!" 24So when the Moabites came to Israel's camp, the Israelites attacked them, and they fled from the Israelites. Israel went after the Moabites and defeated them. 25Then Israel tore down the cities, each man throwing rocks on every good field until it was covered. They sealed every well and cut down every good tree. Only the stones [in the walls] of Kir Hareseth were left. Soldiers surrounded Kir Hareseth and attacked it with slings and stones. 26When the king of Moab saw he was losing the battle, he took 700 swordsmen to try to break through to the king of Edom. But they couldn't do it. 27Then 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.