2 Kings 3 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 2 Kings 3)
3:1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the a eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.

(a) Read the annotation in (2 Kings 1:17).

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

(b) He sacrificed to the golden calves that Jeroboam had made.

3:4 And c 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.

(c) This was done after David had made the Moabites tributaries to his successors.

3:7 And 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: d I [am] as thou [art], my people as thy people, [and] my horses as thy horses.

(d) Read (
1 Kings 22:4).

3:9 So the king of Israel went, and the king of Judah, and the e 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.

(e) Meaning the viceroy, or lieutenant of the king of Judah, (
1 Kings 22:47).

3:11 But 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 f poured water on the hands of Elijah.

(f) That is, who was his servant.

3:12 And Jehoshaphat said, g The word of the LORD is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

(g) He is able to instruct us what God's will is in this point.

3:13 And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, h 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, i Nay: for the LORD hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.

(h) He knew that this wicked king would have but used his counsel to serve his turn, and therefore, he disdained to answer him.
(i) The wicked do not esteem the servants of God unless they are driven by every necessity and fear of the present danger.

3:14 And 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 k not look toward thee, nor see thee.

(k) God suffers his word to be declared to the wicked because of the godly that are among them.

3:15 But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel l played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.

(l) He sang songs to God's glory, and so stirred up the prophets heart to prophecy.

3:18 And this is [but] a m light thing in the sight of the LORD: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hand.

(m) He will not only miraculously give you waters, but your enemies also into your hand.

3:19 And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and n mar every good piece of land with stones.

(n) Though God bestows his benefits for a time on the enemies, yet he has his seasons, when he will take them away to the intent they might see his vengeance which is prepared for them.

3:23 And they said, o This [is] blood: the kings are surely slain, and they have smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.

(o) The sudden joy of the wicked is but a preparation for their destruction, which is at hand.

3:24 And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they p went forward smiting the Moabites, even in [their] country.

(p) Meaning, they followed them into the towns.

3:25 And 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 q Kirharaseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit the slingers went about [it], and smote it.

(q) Which was one of the principle cities of the Moabites, in which they left nothing but the walls.

3:27 Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and r 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.

(r) Some refer it to the king of Edom's son, whom they say he had taken in that skirmish: but rather it seemed to be his own son, whom he offered to his gods to pacify them: which barbarous cruelty moved the Israelites hearts of pity to depart.