Dave Burnette's Commentary

2 Kings Chapter 3


Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (586 BC)
Overview: A History of the Kings of Israel and Judah (c 1-25)
Theme: A Divided Kingdom (c 1-17)
Message: Elisha Predicts Israel's Victory Over Moab (v 1-27)

2 Kings 3 Commentary 

(3:l) Jehoram and Jehoshaphat - Although 1:17 says that Jehoram was king of Judah, 3:1 says that Jehoshaphat was Judah's king. As a king grew older, often his son would rule beside him. Jehoshaphat, nearing the end of his reign, appointed his son Jehoram to rule with him. Jehoram (also called Joram) served as co-ruler of Judah with Jehoshaphat for five years (853-848 BC; he is mentioned again in 8:16-24). Jehoram, king of Israel, was Ahab's son and Ahaziah's brother (1:17). Both Ahab (1 Kings 16:29-22:40) and Ahaziah (2 Kings 1:2-18) served as kings of Israel before Jehoram.

(3:3) Repetitive Sins - The sins of Israel's kings are often compared to the sins of Jeroboam, the first ruler of the northern kingdom of Israel. His great sin was to institute idol worship throughout his kingdom, causing people to turn away from God (1 Kings 12:25-33). By ignoring God and allowing idol worship, Jehoram clung to Jeroboam's sins.

(3:4-5) Wanting to Take God's Blessing - Israel and Judah held some of the most fertile land and strategic military and trade positions in the ancient Middle East. No wonder neighboring nations like Moab envied them and constantly attempted to seize the land. Moab lay just southeast of Israel. The country had been under Israel's control for some time due to Ahab's strong military leadership. When Ahab died, Mesha, the Moabite king, took the opportunity to rebel. While Israel's nest king, Ahariah, did nothing about the revolt, his successor, Jehoram, decided to take action. He joined forces with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and went to fight the Moabites. Together, Israel and Judah brought the Moabites to the brink of surrender. But when they saw the Moabite king sacrifice his own son and successor (3:27), they withdrew and returned home in disgust, even though they had won the battle. Moab fought many other battles with Israel and Judah. Some of them, in fact, were recorded by Mesha (around 840 BC), who carved his exploits on a plaque called the Moabite Stone (discovered in 1868).

(3:9-10) The Alliance - Edom was under Judah's control at this time; thus, they marched with Judah and Israel, making it an alliance of three kings.

(3:11-20) Jehoshaphat's request for a "prophet of the LORD" shows how true worship and religious experience in Israel and Judah had declined. In David's day, both the high priest and the prophets gave the king advice. But most of the priests had left Israel (1 Kings 17:1), and God's prophets were seen as messengers of doom (1 Kings 22:18). This miracle predicted by Elisha affirmed God's power and authority and validated Elisha's ministry. In 2 Chronicles 18, King Jehoshaphat of Judah and King Ahab of Israel gave the prophet Micaiah a similar request. But they ignored God's advice with disastrous results.

(3;15) A Prophecy of Music - In Old Testament times music often accompanied the giving of prophecy (see, for example, 1 Chronicles 25:1).

(3:20) The Meat Offering - The "meat offering" (that is, the daily "food" or grain offering) was one of two sacrifices that the priests were required to offer each day.

(3:25) Scattered Stones - "On every good piece of land cast every man his stone" means the Israelites scattered stones over the land to make it unfit for farming. They also filled the wells and cut down the fruit trees.



Dave Burnette's Life Application

Drifting from God


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue the book of 2 Kings with Chapter 3.  In our text, we see Elisha predicts Israel's victory over Moab and Jehoshaphat, needing water and the man of God to get a word to God for their needs. What catches my eye is the decline of Israel having to seek the Lord's advice when in times past, King David daily sought the priests and prophets for the Lord's direction. In applying, we see that God stays constant, and we drift from Him. I have found this in my own life as I have wondered where God is to realize that I have drifted. It reminded me of a time at the beach when I drifted far from the coast in a rip tide. It was me just going with the flow of my surroundings instead of paying attention and trying to swim against the current. We do this in our spiritual lives by going with the flow of life, ignoring God, and we find that we have drifted from God. How about you? Have you drifted from God? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Jehoshaphat, which reminds us to seek God daily in Prayer and our Bibles for life's direction lest we, too, find ourselves "drifting from God."


2 Kings 3

2 Kings 3

 1Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.

 2And he wrought evil in the sight of the LORD; but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made.

 3Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.

 4And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool.

 5But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.

 6And king Jehoram went out of Samaria the same time, and numbered all Israel.

 7And he went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab hath rebelled against me: wilt thou go with me against Moab to battle? And he said, I will go up: I am as thou art, my people as thy people, and my horses as thy horses.

 8And he said, Which way shall we go up? And he answered, The way through the wilderness of Edom.

 9So the king of Israel went, and the king of Judah, and the king of Edom: and they fetched a compass of seven days' journey: and there was no water for the host, and for the cattle that followed them.

 10And the king of Israel said, Alas! that the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab!

 11But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD, that we may enquire of the LORD by him? And one of the king of Israel's servants answered and said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.

 12And Jehoshaphat said, The word of the LORD is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

 13And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother. And the king of Israel said unto him, Nay: for the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.

 14And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee.

 15But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.

 16And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches.

 17For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.

 18And this is but a light thing in the sight of the LORD: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hand.

 19And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.

 20And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.

 21And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to put on armour, and upward, and stood in the border.

 22And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood:

 23And they said, This is blood: the kings are surely slain, and they have smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.

 24And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in their country.

 25And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees: only in Kirharaseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit the slingers went about it, and smote it.

 26And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too sore for him, he took with him seven hundred men that drew swords, to break through even unto the king of Edom: but they could not.

 27Then 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.