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Israel in Samaria, in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.

And 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.

Nevertheless, he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he depart. ed not therefrom: And Mesha king of Moab was a sheep master,

and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams with the wool.

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

And Jehoram sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, The kings 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.

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

So 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 the host, and for the cattle that followed them.

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

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 poured water on the hands of Elijahı.

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

And

And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy fa. ther, 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.

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 not look toward thee, nor see thee. But now bring me a minstrel.

And it came to pass when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon

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

For 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.

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

And he 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.

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

And 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.

And 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 :

And

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

And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fed before theni; but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in their country,

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 Kir-haraseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit, the slingers went about it, and smote it.

And 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.

Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in bis 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.

ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS, The rebellion of the Moabites was mentioned in a former Section; but we do not find that Ahaziah made any attempt to reduce them, notwithstanding the tribate which the king of Moab paid was a considerable revenue to the crown. We may conclude, from the general tenour of Jehoshaphat's conduct, that he thought it his duty to assist the king of Israel in such a cause, as he had reason to think he had renounced idolatry. The king of Edom, whose aid he required, was no more than a

deputy under him. The plan, which Jehoshaphat proposed, appeared a very politic

one

one; but the execution of it brought the three kings into such distress, as nothing but the providence of God could deliver them from. The king of Israel began to reproach the Lord as the author of their mis: fortune; but Jehoshapliat wisely and piously wished to enquire, by the mouth of some holy prophet, by what means they might be relieved in this unhappy situation, and whether the present enterprize was agreeable to the Divine will.

We may suppose that Elisha attended this tedious march by the appointment of God, that he might prove by his counsels and direction, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof, as Elijah had formerly been*. It is likely that there were many in this combined army to whom the prophet was known, though he kept himself concealed from the kings, till they should wish for his presence.

Elisha knowing that Jehoram was not reformed, though he had with interested views put away the image of Baal; he beheld him with a holy indignation, which so much disturbed his mind, that he required a musician to be sent for; who, by playing on a harp, and singing Psalms, calmed the tumult of his soul. From this circumstance we may judge, that it is proper for those who desire communion with God to keep their spirits quiet and serene, since they are not prepared even for

prayer and praise till they can lift up their thoughts to heaven. Elisha was however guilty of no sin in his behaviour to Jehoram, as he kept his anger within due bounds, and dismissed it so soon.

The order which the prophet gave to the suppliant kings, to make the valley full of ditches, was to try their faith and obedience. The supply of water, he foretold, which could not come by natural means, was an earnest

* See Section lxii..

of

And all Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones,

their wives and their children.
Then
upon

Jahazel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Le. vite of the sons of Asaph, came the spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation: and he said, Hear. ken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat. Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed, by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not your's but God's.

To-nortow go-ye down against them; behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz, and he shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set your. selves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you,

O Judah and Jerusalem ; fear not, nor be dismayed, tomorrow go out against them; for the LORD will be with you.

And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem before the LORD worshipping the LORD.

And the Levites of the children of the Kohathites, and of the children of the Korhites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with a loud voice on high.

And they rose early in the morning, and went forth, into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood, and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem ; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, that should praise the beauty of holiness as they went out before the army, and say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for

ever.

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