2 Kings 3:4
Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he would render to the king of Israel a hundred thousand lambs and the wool of a hundred thousand rams.
Evil - the Same in Principle, Though not in FormD. Thomas 2 Kings 3:1-5
King Mesha's RebellionJ. Orr 2 Kings 3:4, 5
Forgetting God, and its ResultsC.H. Irwwin 2 Kings 3:4-12

We see from these verses how very partial was Jehoram's reformation. He put away the image of Baal, but he experienced no change of heart. Outward observances of religion, outward conformity to God's Law, are of little use, if the heart is not right within. Observe how Jehoram shows his entire forgetfulness or disregard of God.

I. BY HIS MUSTERING OF THE PEOPLE. The King of Moab had risen in rebellion against him. What is Jehoram's first act? Is it to seek help or guidance from God? No; he goes forth and musters all Israel. He relied for safety upon the strength of his army. He forgot the chariots of Israel, and the horsemen thereof." He forgot the judgments that had come upon Ahaziah for his disregard of God.

II. BY SEEKING HUMAN HELP AND GUIDANCE. He goes and seeks the help of Jehoshaphat King of Judah. "Wilt thou go up with me to battle?" From him also he seeks guidance. "Which way shall we go up?" There is no word of turning to God for direction. How very like the manner in which we act still! We seek guidance anywhere but from God. We ask of public opinion, of men of the world, of godless neighbors, "Which way shall we go up?" No wonder that our plans are so often failures, and that anxiety and trouble fill our hearts. Far better that we should turn to the Lord, as Moses did, and say, "If thy presence go not with us, carry us not up hence." Where God's guidance is not sought, God's blessing cannot be expected. So Jehoram found. He and Jehoshaphat were joined by the King of Edom, and, as the three kings and their armies journeyed through the wilderness, there was no water for the host and for the cattle that followed them. Jehoram thinks of God then. He remembers there is such a thing as an overruling providence. But how does he think of him? Only to throw upon God the blame of his own actions. He says, "Alas! that the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab!" So we have heard men blame God for the consequences of their own acts. Like Jehoram, they will have none of God's counsel, they follow their own way, and then they grumble at God because he lets them eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. Then, in their trouble and difficulty, Jehoshaphat inquires for a prophet of the Lord. Jehoram never thought of it. Elisha is discovered, and the three kings do not wait to send for him, but go down in person, and together, to consult with him. What a beautiful testimony that is which Jehoshaphat bears to Elisha, "The word of the Lord is with him"! That was the secret of Elisha's power. - C.H.I.

Then he took his eldest son... and offered him for a burnt offering.
The King of Moab's sacrifice a picture of the world's sacrifices. The King of Moab was besieged in Kirharaseth by the allied armies of Israel, and Judah, and Edom. Finding himself hard pressed, he resolved upon a sortie, in hopes of regaining the open country. Selecting seven hundred of the choicest of his troops, he headed an assault against the lines of the King of Edom, but was driven back. Turning in despair to his counsellors, says a Jewish legend, he inquired how it was that such feats of valour could be done by the men of Israel, and how such miracles were wrought in their behalf; to which his counsellors replied, that they sprang from Abraham, who had an only son, and offered him in sacrifice to God. "Then I, too, have an only son," said the King of Moab. "I also will go and offer him up as a sacrifice to my god;" upon which, as it is stated in sacred history, "he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall." It is not probable that the explanation of the Rabbis is correct. More than likely, as already has been hinted, the act of Mesha was done out of pure, blind, debasing superstition — as a peace-offering or bloody propitiation to the Moabitish war-god, Chemosh. Philo tells us it was a custom among the ancients, in times of great national disaster, instead of all being devoted to destruction, for those who had the rule in either town or country to give up the well-beloved child of their families to be put to death, as a ransom price to secure the favour of the gods (cf. Tennyson's poem, "The Victim." In a time of plague and famine the gods, when consulted, answer —

The king is happy in child and wife.

Take you his nearest; take you his dearest: give us a life.

Cf. also the speech of Caiaphas in John 11:49, 50); and, doubtless, this was the custom in accordance with which the sheep-master offered up his son. Thus it was a picture of the way in which the unbelieving world has all along endeavoured to make peace with God. "How shall I obtain forgiveness? how ever shall a man be justified before God?" is the universal cry of the human heart; and thousands upon thousands in every age have answered it like Mesha: "By giving the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul." In heathen lands how many myriads of little children have fallen victims to this foul superstition? As if the guilt already incurred by a sinner could be wiped away by the simple process of contracting more! Let us thank God that even those among us who have not yet obtained forgiveness have been delivered from this miserable delusion. At the same time, there is room for inquiring if the dregs, at least, of that very superstition which made a victim of the son of Mesha on the wall of Kirharaseth, be not remaining with us. Do we not sometimes offer, as our atoning sacrifice, with a view to purchase heaven's favour, if not the fruit of our bodies, the fruit of our souls — our good deeds, our moral lives, our excellent dispositions, our prayers, our praises, etc.? They are as much a sacrifice of superstition as was that of Mesha. The only difference is, that Mesha's sacrifice was offered to an idol; whereas ours is presented to the living God. If there be another point of difference, it is this, that Mesha knew no better, whereas we are well assured that all such sacrifices are vain.

(T. Whitelaw, M. A.)

One of the most striking evidences of the widespread conviction among the Israelites of the efficacy of the sacrifice of the first-born son, whether infant or grown, is afforded by the story of the sacrifice of the son of the King of Moab. Each town or nation believed in the existence of its own special god, to whom it stood in a peculiar relation. At times it became necessary to strengthen the hands of that god, as it were, against the gods of hostile nations, who seemed to be too strong for him, or to arouse his interest, which seemed in some way to have been alienated or diverted. He may be offended, because he had not received that which was his due. Or it might be that the god was not able to withstand the power of other gods his adversaries. The King of Moab was sore pressed. As a last resort, whether to appease his deity, Chemosh, or to strengthen Chemosh's hands against the gods of his adversaries, the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom, Mesha sacrificed on the wall of the city, in sight of the allied hosts, his son and the heir to the throne. The Israelites, Jews, and Edomites who beheld the sacrifice were filled with terror, knowing the meaning and power of this sacrifice, and believing that it would so arouse and strengthen the god of Moab that he would become almost if not quite irresistible.

(J. P. Peters, D. D.).

Ahab, Aram, Elijah, Elisha, Israelites, Jehoram, Jehoshaphat, Jeroboam, Mesha, Moabites, Nebat, Shaphat
Edom, Kir-hareseth, Moab, Samaria
100000, Breeder, Deliver, Hundred, Lambs, Mesha, Moab, Pay, Raised, Rams, Regularly, Rendered, Sheep, Sheep-farmer, Sheepmaster, Sheep-master, Supply, Thousand, Wool
1. Jehoram's reign
4. Mesha rebels
6. Jehoram, with Jehoshaphat, and the king of Edom, being distressed for want of water,
13. by Elisha obtains water, and promise of victory
21. The Moabites, deceived by the colour of the water, coming to spoil, are overcome
26. The king of Moab sacrifices his son, and raises the siege

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Kings 3:4

     4663   lamb
     4681   ram
     4684   sheep
     4693   wool
     5594   tribute
     7785   shepherd, occupation

2 Kings 3:4-7

     7233   Israel, northern kingdom
     7245   Judah, kingdom of

Sight and Blindness
'Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. 9. And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that them pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. 10. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. 11. Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Minstrel
ELISHA needed that the Holy Spirit should come upon him to inspire him with prophetic utterances. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." We need that the hand of the Lord should be laid upon us, for we can never open our mouths in wisdom except we are under the divine touch. Now, the Spirit of God works according to his own will. "The wind bloweth where it listeth," and the Spirit of God operates as he chooseth. Elisha could not prophesy just when he liked; he must wait until
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 27: 1881

The Old Testament and Archeology
A century ago the student of the world's history found it exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to paint for himself a clear picture of events antedating B.C. 400. Concerning earlier periods, he was, aside from the Old Testament, practically without records that could claim contemporaneousness with the events recorded. But, one hundred years ago, men had commenced to test every statement, be it historical, or scientific, or theological, by severe canons of criticism, and if it could not stand
Frederick Carl Eiselen—The Christian View of the Old Testament

Balak's Inquiries Relative to the Service of God, and Balaam's Answer, Briefly Considered.
"Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with, thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first born for my transgression; the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?--He hath shewed thee, 0 man, what is good: And what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" As mankind are
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

The Prophet Amos.
GENERAL PRELIMINARY REMARKS. It will not be necessary to extend our preliminary remarks on the prophet Amos, since on the main point--viz., the circumstances under which he appeared as a prophet--the introduction to the prophecies of Hosea may be regarded as having been written for those of Amos also. For, according to the inscription, they belong to the same period at which Hosea's prophetic ministry began, viz., the latter part of the reign of Jeroboam II., and after Uzziah had ascended the
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The Prophet Joel.
PRELIMINARY REMARKS. The position which has been assigned to Joel in the collection of the Minor Prophets, furnishes an external argument for the determination of the time at which Joel wrote. There cannot be any doubt that the Collectors were guided by a consideration of the chronology. The circumstance, that they placed the prophecies of Joel just between the two prophets who, according to the inscriptions and contents of their prophecies, belonged to the time of Jeroboam and Uzziah, is
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The Secret of Its Greatness
[Illustration: (drop cap G) The Great Pyramid] God always chooses the right kind of people to do His work. Not only so, He always gives to those whom He chooses just the sort of life which will best prepare them for the work He will one day call them to do. That is why God put it into the heart of Pharaoh's daughter to bring up Moses as her own son in the Egyptian palace. The most important part of Moses' training was that his heart should be right with God, and therefore he was allowed to remain
Mildred Duff—The Bible in its Making

The Assyrian Revival and the Struggle for Syria
Assur-nazir-pal (885-860) and Shalmaneser III. (860-825)--The kingdom of Urartu and its conquering princes: Menuas and Argistis. Assyria was the first to reappear on the scene of action. Less hampered by an ancient past than Egypt and Chaldaea, she was the sooner able to recover her strength after any disastrous crisis, and to assume again the offensive along the whole of her frontier line. Image Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief at Koyunjik of the time of Sennacherib. The initial cut,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7

The book[1] of Kings is strikingly unlike any modern historical narrative. Its comparative brevity, its curious perspective, and-with some brilliant exceptions--its relative monotony, are obvious to the most cursory perusal, and to understand these things is, in large measure, to understand the book. It covers a period of no less than four centuries. Beginning with the death of David and the accession of Solomon (1 Kings i., ii.) it traverses his reign with considerable fulness (1 Kings iii.-xi.),
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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