1Jehoram son of Ahab became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king ofJudah, and reigned for twelve years. 2He did what is displeasing to Yahweh, though not like his father and mother, for he did away with thepil ar to Baal which his father had made. 3Nonetheless, he continued to practise the sins into which Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel and didnot give them up. 4Mesha king of Moab was a sheep-breeder and used to pay the king of Israel in tribute a hundredthousand lambs and a hundred thousand rams with their wool. 5But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebel ed against the king of Israel. 6At once King Jehoram left Samaria and mustered al Israel. 7After this he sent word to the king of Judah, 'The king of Moab has rebel ed against me. Wil you go towar with me against Moab?' 'I wil ,' he replied. 'I wil be as you, my men as yours, my horses as yours,' 8and added, 'Which way are we to attack?' 'Through the desert of Edom,' the other answered. 9So they set out, the king of Israel, the king of Judah and the king of Edom. They carried out a flankingmovement for seven days, until there was no water left for the troops or for the beasts of their baggage train. 10'Alas!' the king of Israel exclaimed, 'Yahweh has summoned us three kings, only to put us into thepower of Moab.' 11But the king of Judah said, 'Is there no prophet of Yahweh here for us to consult Yahweh through him?'One of the king of Israel's servants answered, 'Elisha son of Shaphat is here, who used to pour water on thehands of Elijah.' 12'The word of Yahweh is with him,' the king of Judah said. So the king of Israel, the king of Judah andthe king of Edom went to consult him. 13But Elisha said to the king of Israel, 'What business have you with me? Go to your father's and yourmother's prophets.' 'No,' the king of Israel answered, 'Yahweh is the one who has summoned us three kings,only to put us into the power of Moab.' Elisha replied, 14'By the life of Yahweh Sabaoth whom I serve, if I did not respect the king of Judah, I would take nonotice of you, nor so much as look at you. 15Now bring me someone who can play the lyre.' And as the musician played, the hand of Yahweh cameon him 16and he said, 'Yahweh says this, "Dig in this val ey ditch after ditch," 17for Yahweh says, "You wil see no wind, you will see no rain, but this val ey wil become ful of water,and you and your troops and your baggage animals will drink." 18But this is only a trifle in Yahweh's eyes, for he wil put Moab itself into your power. 19You wil storm every fortified town, fell every productive tree, block every water-hole, ruin al the bestfields with stones.' 20Next morning at the time when the oblation was being offered, water came from the direction of Edom,and the whole terrain was flooded. 21When the Moabites learned that the kings were advancing to fight them, al those of an age to beararms were mobilised; they took up position on the frontier. 22In the morning when they got up, the sun was shining on the water; and in the distance the Moabitessaw the water as red as blood. 23'This is blood!' they said. 'The kings must have fought among themselves and killed one another. Sonow for the booty, Moab!' 24But when they reached the Israelite camp, the Israelites launched their attack and the Moabites fledbefore them, and as they advanced they cut the Moabites to pieces. 25They laid the towns in ruins, and each man threw a stone into al the best fields to fil them up, and theyblocked every water-hole and felled every productive tree. In the end, there was only Kir-Hareseth left, which theslingers surrounded and bombarded. 26When the king of Moab saw that the battle had turned against him, he mustered seven hundredswordsmen in the hope of breaking a way out and going to the king of Aram, but he failed. 27Then he took his eldest son who was to succeed him and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wal .Alarmed at this, the Israelites withdrew and retired to their own territory.
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