Accession of Jehoram Over Israel & The Mesha (Mobite) Stone

So Elijah didn’t die, You took him to heaven, like You did with 1 Enoch and You gave Elisha twice the spirit that Elijah had (2 Kgs 2:15), that’s some serious power. 

What is he going to do next? 

Moabite Storm God, Shihan Ancient Land of Moab, circa 1100 B.C.

“Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.

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 departed not therefrom.

Al Karak Castle
The town of Al Karak lies 80 miles south of Amman and 55 miles south of Madaba in west central Jordan.

Its name derives from the Aramaic Karka meaning “citadel”.

El Kerak was a heavily fortified crusader citadel which was built in 1132 on the site of what was even then an ancient fortress and located at that time in the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

It eventually fell to the Muslims in 1188, the year the crusaders lost control of Palestine to Saladin.

The site has been inhabited from at least the Iron Age (from c.1400 B.C.) and was an important city for the Moabites and the Nabateans.

Situated on a clifftop 1000 meters above sea-level and surrounded on 3 sides by a valley it is ideally placed to control the trade routes from Damascus to Egypt and Mecca.

In the Bible it is called Qer Harreseth (Kir-haraseth) and its doom was prophesied by Isaiah (16:7).

And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, 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 king of Israel.

And king Jehoram went out of Samaria the same time, and numbered all Israel.

And he went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, The king 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” (2 Kgs 3:1-8).

So the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom journeyed for seven day and there was no water for them or the cattle that was with them.  And the king of Israel believed that God did this so they would die to the hand of Moab, and Jehoshaphat said,

Edom
The name Edom was given to Esau, the first-born son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob, when he sold his birthright to the latter for a meal of lentil pottage.

The country which the Lord subsequently gave to Esau was hence called the country of Edom and his descendants were called Edomites.

Edom was called Mount Seir and Idumea also.

Edom was wholly a mountainous country.

It embraced the narrow mountainous tract (about 100 miles long by 20 broad) extending along the eastern side of the Wadi Arabah from the northern end of the Gulf of Elath to near the southern end of the Dead Sea.

The ancient capital of Edom was Bozrah.

Petra appears to have been the principal stronghold in the days of Amaziah (B.C. 838).

Elath and Ezion Geber were the seaports.

“…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 Elijah” (2 Kgs 3:11).

So the kings went to Elisha and he told them they should go to their own prophets, but to bring a minstrel to play and the hand of God came upon him.  He told them that they weren’t  going to die before the Moab’s, but just the opposite. 

He also told them to dig ditches, and even though there was no rain they would be filled of water for them and the cattle. And God wanted the kings to

“…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 meat offering 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 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 fled before them: 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 Kirharaseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit the slingers went about it, and smote it.

The Moabite Stone
“The skeptics’ claim that King David never existed is now hard to defend.

The French scholar Andre Lemaire reported a related “House of David” discovery in Biblical Archaeology Review.

His subject was the Mesha Stele (also known as the Moabite Stone), the most extensive inscription ever recovered from ancient Palestine.

Found in 1868 at the ruins of biblical Dibon and later fractured, the basalt stone wound up in the Louvre, where Lemaire spent seven years studying it.

His conclusion:
the phrase “House of David” appears there as well.

As with the Tel Dan fragment, this inscription comes from an enemy of Israel boasting of a victory -King Mesha of Moab, who figured in the Bible. Lemaire had to reconstruct a missing letter to decode the wording, but if he’s right, there are now two 9th century references to David’s dynasty.”

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.

The Moab Land Hotel in Madaba, Jordan
With grand views of St. George’s Church and beyond, this family-run hotel couldn’t be more central if it tried.

The bright, recently refurbished rooms, painted pale yellow, have proper sprung mattresses and pine furniture and there’s a cosy communal area with TV.

The prize draw of this establishment, apart from the welcome, is the glorious rooftop terrace where breakfast is served in summer.

The reception is on the upper floor.

Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his 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” (2 Kgs 3:19-27).

There are two Enochs, the first was Cain’s son, the one that didn’t die was Jared’s son, from the line of Seth.

The Mesha (Moabite) Stone

Mesha, king of Moab, west of the Dead Sea, revolted against Israel (2 Kgs 3:4-5), but Israel’s king Jehoram set out to reassert Is­raelite authority.

He succeeded in de­feating the Moabite army and destroying some cities but was unable to capture Moab’s capital, Kir Hareseth (modern name is Kerak). It appears that Mesha retained his independence.

A unique discovery made in Dhiban, Jor­dan, in 1868 describes Mesha’s revolt from the Moabite perspective.

This document, called both the Mesha Inscription and the Moabite Stone, uses language very similar to what we see in the Old Testament.

Yahweh, the God of Israel, shows up in the inscription, as does Chemosh, the national god of Moab.

Ataroth related to a place on the slopes of the Madaba plateau in Judah, but also the name of a village on the border of the inheritance of Ephraim and the northern boundary of the tribe of Benjamin.

The modern village is located to the direct west of Ner’s spring the junction of the Nablus-Jerusalem road, so named after the uncle, and commander-general of Saul, the first king from Benjamin over Israel.

Mesha describes how Omri of Israel oppressed Moab and attributes Moab’s suffering to the dis­pleasure of Chemosh.

He claims to have been inspired by Chemosh to rise up and deliver Moab, indicating also that he slaughtered the entire town of Nebo, which he proceeded to put under the “ban.”

The Old Testament assertion that Mesha raised sheep is corroborated by a state­ment by Mesha to the effect that he brought flocks to the house of Baal Meon.   

The stele notes that the tribe of Gad was living in Ataroth, as mentioned in Num 32:34.

In addition to Ataroth, 12 other Moabite towns are mentioned in the inscription. These same towns are described in the Bible as being located in Moab.

Several of them are mentioned by the prophets Isaiah (Is 15), Jeremiah (Jer 48) and Ezekiel (Eze 25) as part of their predictions of the downfall of this ancient kingdom.

Some scholars believe that the stele also has a refer­ence to the house of David, but this interpreta­tion has not won universal acceptance.