2 Kings – Chapter 3

2Kingschapter3

Verses 1-3 – These names are a little confusing, so let me try to make clear who is who. Jehoram was Jehoshaphat’s son. (Verse 8:16). As Jehoshaphat ruled toward the end of his life, it was custom for the appointed king to rule alongside the ruling king. Jehoram did this the last 5 years of Jehoshaphat’s reign (kings over Judah, the southern kingdom).
Joram, king of Israel was Ahab’s son and Ahaziah’s brother. Both Ahab (1 Kings 16:29—22:40) and Ahaziah (1:2-28) served as kings of Israel (northern kingdom) before Joram. The confusion is at the beginning of chapter 3, in the spelling. Two versions of the Bible spell, Jorams’s name—Jehoram as being Ahab’s son. But look in chapter 8 verse 16. It says Joram, son of Ahab not Jehoram. Two different versions of the Bible clear this spelling up. I use four different versions of the Bible for references. Even I was confused.
Verses 4, 5 – Moab lay just southeast of Israel. Israel and Judah held some of the most fertile land in the ancient Near East. The neighboring nations like Moab envied them and constantly attempted to seize the land. The country had been under Israel’s control for some time due to Ahab’s military leadership. When Ahab died, Mesha, the Moabite King, took the opportunity to rebel. While Israel’s next king, Ahaziah, did nothing about the revolt, Joram decided to take action. He joined forces with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah and went to fight the Moabites. (Unless you have been following and studying up to this point, this all will seem non-relevant. I assure you all of God’s Word is relevant.) God’s Word describes how the land that was promised to Israel was conquered and lost throughout history and why different tribes continue to fight over this promise land unto this day. Together, Israel and Judah brought the Moabites to the edge of surrender. However, when they saw the Moabite King sacrifice his own son and successor (3:27), they withdraw. Some of these battles fought by Mesha were recorded on a plaque called the Moabite Stone, which was discovered in 1868.
Verse 10 – Edom was under Judah’s control; thus, they marched with them, making three kings.
Verses 11-20 – In Old Testament time’s music often accompanied prophecy (1 Chronicles 25:1). Jehoshaphat’s request for “a prophet of the Lord” shows how true worship in both Israel and Judah had declined. This miracle predicted by Elisha affirmed God’s power and authority and validated Elisha’s ministry. In 2 Chronicles 18, King Jehoshaphat of Judah and Kin Ahab of Israel gave the prophet Micaiah a similar request. However, they ignored God’s advice—with disastrous results.

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