1After Jehoshaphat had been ruling Judah for almost eighteen years, Ahab's son Joram became the king of Israel. He ruled in Samaria city for twelve years.
2He did things that Yahweh considered to be evil, but he did not do as much evil as his father and mother had done, and he got rid of the pillar for worshiping Baal which his father had made.
3But he committed the sins that King Jeroboam had committed and which led the Israeli people to sin, and he did not stop committing those sins.
4Mesha, the king of Moab, raised sheep. Every year he was forced to give 100,000 lambs and the wool from 100,000 rams to the king of Israel, because his kingdom was controlled by the king of Israel.
5But after King Ahab died, Mesha rebelled against the king of Israel.
6So King Joram left Samaria and gathered together all his soldiers.
7Then he sent this message to Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. So will your army join my army and fight against the army of Moab?” Jehoshaphat replied, “Yes, we will help you. We are ready to do whatever you want us to. My soldiers and my horses are ready to help you.”
8He asked, “On which road shall we march to attack them?” Joram replied, “We will go south to Jerusalem, where your army will join us. Then we will all go south of the Dead Sea, and then turn north through the Edom desert.”
9So the king of Israel and his army went with the kings of Judah and Edom and their armies. They marched for seven days. Then there was no water left for their soldiers or for their animals that carried supplies.
10The king of Israel exclaimed, “This is a terrible situation! It seems that Yahweh will allow the three of us to be captured by the army of MTY Moab!”
11Jehoshaphat said, “Is there a prophet here who can ask Yahweh for us what we should do?” One of Joram's army officers said, “Elisha, the son of Shaphat, is here. He was Elijah's assistant.” IDM
12Jehoshaphat said, “ It will be good to ask him, because he speaks what Yahweh tells him to say.” So those three kings went to Elisha.
13Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why do you come to me RHQ? Go and ask those prophets that your father and mother consulted!” But Joram replied, “No, we want you to ask Yahweh, because it seems that Yahweh is going to allow us three kings to be captured by the army of Moab.”
14Elisha replied, “I serve Yahweh, the commander of the armies of angels in heaven. As surely as he lives, if I did not respect Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not even think about doing anything to help you.
15But, bring a musician to me.” So they did that. And when the musician played on his harp, the power of Yahweh came on Elisha.
16He said, “Yahweh says that he will cause this dry stream-bed to be full of water.
17The result will be that your soldiers and your animals that carry supplies and your livestock will have plenty of water to drink.
18That is not difficult for Yahweh to do. But he will do more than that. He will also enable you to defeat the army of Moab.
19You will conquer all their beautiful cities, cities that have high walls around them. You must cut down all their fruit trees, stop water from flowing from their springs, and ruin their fertile fields by covering them with rocks.”
20The next morning, at the time when they offered the sacrifices of grain, they were surprised to see water flowing from Edom and covering the ground.
21When the people of Moab heard that the three kings had come with their armies to fight against them, all the men who were able to fight in battles, from the youngest men to the oldest ones, were summoned, and they ◄took their positions/prepared to fight► at the southern border of their land.
22But when they rose early the next morning, they saw that the water across from them appeared to be as red as blood.
23They exclaimed, “It is blood! The three enemy armies must have fought and killed each other! So let's go and take everything that they have left!”
24But when they reached the area where the Israeli soldiers had set up their tents, the Israelis attacked the soldiers from Moab and forced them to retreat. The Israeli soldiers pursued the soldiers from Moab and killed many of them.
25The Israelis also destroyed their cities. And whenever they passed fertile fields, they threw rocks on those fields, until the fields were covered with rocks. They stopped water from flowing from the springs and cut down the fruit trees. Finally, only the capital city, Kir-Hareseth, remained. The Israeli soldiers who threw stones with slings surrounded the city and attacked it.
26When the king of Moab realized that his army was being defeated, he took with him seven hundred men who fought with swords, and they tried to force a way through the Israeli lines of soldiers to escape to get help from the king of Syria, but they were unable to escape.
27Then the king of Moab took his oldest son, who would have become the next king, and killed him and offered him for a sacrifice to their god Chemosh, burning him on top of the city wall. The Israeli soldiers were horrified, with the result that they left that city and returned to their own country.