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Mesha

The Rebellious Moabite King


Jehoram finds that he has inherited a problem from Ahaziah his brother. And this problem deals with Mesha the king of Moab. For you see, Mesha had continued his rebellion against the nation of Israel; for this was a rebellion, that had started right after king Ahab's demise.

( Bible Study Article Covers : 2 Kings 3:1-10 )










Short Recap



In the last article we learned that, while Elisha was en route towards the town that was known as Bethel, the prophet was confronted by some townsmen (or juveniles if you prefer) who started mocking and taunting him: "Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. 'Go away, you baldhead!' they chanted. 'Go away, you baldhead!'" -- 2 Kings 2:23

And after Elisha had heard and seen these young men disrespecting him, the prophet turned around and declared a cursed upon the juveniles: "So Elisha turned around and looked at them, and while doing so, he'd pronounced a curse on them, in the name of the Lord. And almost immediately, two female bears came out of the woods, and mauled 42 of the youths." -- 2 Kings 2:24

Nonetheless we continue to move forward, and it's at this time the Sacred Record turns our attention back towards Ahab's household.

And it's at this moment we find that Ahab's youngest son Jehoram, had now, just become the new king of Israel.

Understand that this would come about, after the unexpected death of his brother Ahaziah.

And just like his father and brother who'd reigned before him, we're now told that, he too, had done evil in the eyes of the Lord.

For you see, even though he was considered wicked, the Sacred Record makes it a point, to reveal that he was not as malicious, as his father and mother, Ahab and Jezebel.

Perhaps this why Jehoram had did away with the "Sacred Stone of Baal" that his father had made. But keep in mind that he didn't destroy the stone, he just simply set it aside, therefore putting thew stone out of sight. But in spite of this, the young Israel king still held true to the pagan religion that was simply known as Baalism. Jehoram continued practicing the very paganistic religion that had caused Israel to sin. And it was because of this, Israel had once again, turned away from the One True God. 






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Jehoram Inherits A Problem





Nonetheless, we find that from the very start of his reign, Jehoram finds that he has inherited a problem from Ahaziah his brother, the Israel king who had reigned before him. And this was no ordinary problem, for it deals with Mesha the king of Moab. For you see, Mesha had continued his rebellion against the nation of Israel, for this was a rebellion that had started right after king Ahab's demise. Mesha would start this anarchist movement, right after Ahab's older son Ahaziah, had just taken the throne.

For you see, Ahaziah had made the crucial mistake, of not trying to crush the Moabites' rebellion, while he was on the throne. But to be fair to Ahaziah, he probably couldn't have done so, even if he wanted to, being that he would spend most of his short two year reign, suffering from a slow death. Remember that Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his palace, soon after he had inherited the throne. And because of this, Ahaziah's reign would fall, just short of two years. And to make matters worse for Ahab's dynasty, he wasn't able to produce an heir before his death.

And so now this brings us to his brother Jehoram. For he was the youngest and the last of Ahab's sons. And now Ahaziah he has taken over the throne, after his brother's death. And because of this, Jehoram would also inherit the revolt that was now being led by king Mesha.






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Mesha's Rebellion Must Be Destroyed!





Now I want to take this time to point out that, Mesha's primary business dealt with the raising of sheep. And the Moabite king had been commanded to pay a certain amount of tribute to Israel. Now this was being required of him, so that there could be exchange for peace between Israel and the Moabites. Now keep in mind, Mesha's payment that he was making for a continued peace, would be considered to be rather large. And it's for this reason, Mesha was beginning to feel the strain of continuing to honor such a deal. For it was an agreement that insisted, Mesha would provide Israel with 100,000 lambs, along with the wool of 100,000 rams.

However, Mesha would no longer agree to pay this tribute, after the death of Ahab. So the Moabite king became defiant, after Israel's new king Ahaziah had taken the throne. And unfortunately for Ahaziah (possibly due to the severe injuries that he had suffered from a tragic fall, soon after he had taken over the throne) wasn't able to put a quick end to Mesha's rebellion, before it had gained momentum from throughout the land.

But unlike his brother before him, Jehoram had vowed to go out and crush the revolt of Mesha and the Moabites. So the new Israel king, would assemble and levy the biggest army he could from within the kingdom. But Jehoram wouldn't stop there, for we also find him reaching out to Jehoshaphat the Judean king, asking him for assistance as well: "The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?" We find Jehoram asking Jehoshaphat.






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Jehoshaphat's Reign : Clearing Things Up




 

Now keep in mind that, even though Jehoshaphat's death had already been recorded earlier from within the Sacred Record: "And Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David his father. Then Jehoram his son reigned in his place." -- 1 Kings 22:50

Keep in mind, Jehoshaphat would still reign for eight years, after the death of Ahab. And since Ahab's son Ahaziah, reign was so brief (for it fell short of two years) we find that Jehoshaphat's reign, had actually overlapped, into the reign of Ahab's youngest son Jehoram.

Now I also want to point out something else, for this could get a little confusing. For I want you to know, both kings had son's that shared the same name "Jehoram." However, I will continue to address this as we move forward, but for right now, I wanted to make sure you understood why Jehoshaphat was still being mentioned, even though his death had already been recorded well before this account had even taken place.

 





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Attacking Through The Desert of Edom





Nonetheless, after Jehoshaphat had heard Jehoram's request, he tells the Israel king: "I will go with you; I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses. But what route shall we attack?" And after hearing this, the Israel king Jehoshaphat shouted out, declaring: "Through the Desert of Edom."

Note: Now since at this time, Edom was a vassal under the Judean king Jehoshaphat. By Jehoram insisting on going through the desert of Edom, and by Jehoshaphat agreeing to join Jehoram's war campaign against the Moabites, this would automatically bring the Edomites into the conflict. What this means, is that the Edomites really didn't have a say in the matter.

Now I also want to point out, it has been found that, the Moabites were heavily fortified towards the north of their lands. So in actuality, it made more sense for Jehoram to attack them from the south. To put it simply, Marching through Edom, would allow the three kings to attack the Moabites at their most vulnerable spot.






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Jehoram War Campaign Runs Into Problems





Nonetheless, as we now move forward, know it's at this time that, after seven days of marching through the Desert of Edom. The armies that consisted of Israel, Judah, and Edom, would find that they had ran out of water. Not only did they not have any more water left for themselves, but they didn't have any water left for their livestock either. And after word had made it back to the three kings, when it came to their current dilemma, Jehoram the Israel king cried out: "What! Has the Lord called us three kings together, only to hand us over to Moab?"

However, the Israel king would be wrong in his assessment, for God did not call them together. And perhaps, this was how he was able to get Jehoshaphat the Judean king to join him in his fight against the Moabites. For it's very well possible, Jehoram had convinced Jehoshaphat, he had some type of confirmation from God (perhaps through one of the Lord's prophets) when it came to him entering into a war with the Moabites.

Now I'm only pointing this out, because it's well documented, Jehoshaphat was a God-fearing king, who always did his best, when it came to walking in the ways of the Lord. As a matter of fact, Jehoshaphat wouldn't even go to war with Jehoram's father Ahab, without first, seeking counsel from one of the Lord's prophets. Now here we are some years later, with Jehoshaphat being willing to help an household of Ahab, as it once again, faces dire times.

Nonetheless, Jehoram never had confirmation from God, when it came to his war campaign, for he'd simply acted on his own. So this is why I find it hilarious, he would blame God for his struggles from within the field of war. Rest assured, Jehoram's struggles, would be of his own doing, not of God's.







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In The Next Upcoming Article :




So we've now entered into the record of Jehoram, the new king of Israel and the Moabites rebellion, which was a rebellion that was being lead by Mesha the king of Moab. We also find that, Jehoram would be able to get the help of both Jehoshaphat the Judean king and the Edomites. But now that they have ran into major problems from within their war campaign against Mesha. Will Jehoram finally turn to God for help? Or will he continue blaming Him for his problems? Also, will God be willing to help Jehoram, even if he did at this point, turn to Him for help?



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