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The character of Jehoram, ver. 1 - 3.
He and his allies invade Moab, ver. 4 - 8.
Their distress and relief, ver. 9 - 20.
Their success, ver. 21 - 25.
The king of Moab sacrifices his son, and they retire, ver. 26, 27.
3: The sins - The worship of the calves: which all the kings of
Israel kept up as a wall of partition between their subjects and those
of Judah. So that altho' he had a little religion, yet he had not
enough to over - rule this policy.
4: A sheep - master - A man of great wealth (which in those times and
places consisted much in cattle) which enabled and emboldened him to rebel
against his sovereign.
7: He said - He joins with him in this war; because the war was just
in itself, and convenient for Jehoshaphat, both in the general, that
revolters should be chastised: lest the examples should pass into his
dominions, and the Edomites be encouraged to revolt from him, as they
did from his son; and in particular, that the Moabites should be
humbled, who had invaded his land before this time, (2Ch 20:1), and
might do so again if they were not brought low; for which a fair
opportunity now offered.
9: King of Edom - That is, the vice - roy under Jehosaphat,(1Ki 22:47),
here called king: because that word is sometimes used for any prince or
chief ruler. Seven days - Because they made a great army, which could
move but slowly; and they fetched a greater compass than was usual, for
some advantage which they expected by it. No water - A frequent want in
those parts; and now, it seems, increased by the extraordinary heat and
dryness of the season.
11: Is there not, &c. - This he should have asked before, when they
first undertook the expedition, as he did in a like case, (1Ki 22:5),
and for that neglect he now suffers; but better late than never: his
affliction brings him to the remembrance of his former sin, and present
duty. Poured water - Who was his servant; this being one office of a
servant: and this office was the more necessary among the Israelites,
because of the frequent washings which their law required. Probably it was
by a special direction from God, that Elisha followed them, unasked,
unobserved. Thus does God prevent us with the blessings of his goodness;
and provide for those who provide not for themselves.
12: The word, &c. - He is a true prophet. Which Jehoshaphat might
easily understand, because being a good man, many would be ready to inform
him of. Went - To his tent; which was either in the camp, or not far from
it: they did not send for him, but went to him, that by giving him this
honour, they might engage him to give them his utmost assistance.
13: What have I, &c. - I desire to have no discourse with thee.
Get thee - To the calves, which thou after thy father's example dost
worship; and to the Baals which thy mother yet worshippeth by thy
permission; let these idols whom thou worshippest in thy prosperity,
now help thee in thy distress.
14: Jehoshaphat - Whom I reverence and love for his piety. It is
good being with those who have God's favour, and the love of his people.
Wicked men often fare the better, for the friendship and society of good
15: Minstrel - One that can sing and play upon a musical instrument.
This he requires, that his mind which had been disturbed at the sight of
wicked Jehoram, might be composed, and that he might be excited to more
fervent prayer whereby he was prepared to receive the prophetic inspiration.
Those that desire communion with God must keep their spirits quiet and
serene. All hurry of spirit, and all turbulent passions, make us unfit for
divine visitations. The hand, &c. - The spirit of prophecy, so called, to
note that it was no natural nor acquired virtue inherent in him; but a
singular gift of God, given to whom and when he pleased.
19: Ye shall smite - And if this command seem severe, it must be
considered, that the Moabites were a very wicked people, perfidious,
cruel, implacable enemies to God's people upon all occasions, and now
in a state of rebellion.
20: The meal - offering - That is, the morning sacrifice: which
doubtless was attended with the solemn prayers of God's people. At this
time Elisha joined his prayers with the prayers of God's people,
especially those at Jerusalem. And this time God chose to answer their
prayers, and to work this miracle, that thereby he might determine the
controversy between the Israelites and the Jews, about the place and
manner of worship, and give a publick testimony from heaven for the
Jews, and against the Israelites. God that commands all the waters
both above and beneath the firmament, sent them abundance of water on a
21: The border - Of their country, to defend the passage.
25: Kir - haraseth - This was the royal city of the Moabites, into
which the remnant of the Moabites were gathered, where also their king
was with them. The stones - The walls and buildings of this city only
were left; their whole country being destroyed. The slingers - Such as
slung great stones against the walls to break them down, according to the
manner of those times. Made breaches in the walls, by which they might
enter the city, and take it.
26: To break thro' - That he might make an escape: which he chose
to do on the king of Edom's quarter; because he thought his was the
27: His son - Or rather, his own son: whom he sacrificed; partly, to
obtain the favour of his god, according to the manner of the Phoenicians
and other people in publick calamities; and partly, to oblige the
Israelites to quit the siege out of compassion; or, as despairing to
conquer (at least without greater loss of men than it was worth) him who
was resolved to defend the city to the utmost extremity.
On the wall - That the besiegers might see it, and be moved by it.
There was, &c. - Or, great trouble or repentance upon Israel, the
Israelitish king and people (who was the first cause of the war, and had
brought the rest into confederacy with him) were greatly grieved for this
barbarous action, and resolved to prosecute the war no farther.