Chapter 3

1And Jehoram the son of Ahab reigned over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned twelve years.   אוִיהוֹרָ֣ם בֶּן־אַחְאָ֗ב מָלַ֚ךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בְּשֹׁ֣מְר֔וֹן בִּשְׁנַת֙ שְׁמֹנֶ֣ה עֶשְׂרֵ֔ה לִיהוֹשָׁפָ֖ט מֶ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֑ה וַיִּמְלֹ֖ךְ שְׁתֵּים־עֶשְׂרֵ֥ה שָׁנָֽה:
And Jehoram the son of Ahab: This section too was written here to tell the miracle of Mesha the king of Moab, which was performed through Elisha, for Scripture enumerated for Elijah eight miracles and for Elisha sixteen, to fulfill “a double portion of your spirit to me” (above 2:9), and he wrote them all one juxtaposed to the other. I saw this in the Thirty-two Methods of R. Eliezer the son of R. Jose the Calilean. Now the dividing of the Jordan by Elisha is counted like two miracles of Elijah.  
2And he did what was bad in the eyes of the Lord, however, not like his father and mother; and he removed the monument of the Baal that his father had made.   בוַיַּעֲשֶֹ֚ה הָרַע֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה רַ֕ק לֹ֥א כְאָבִ֖יו וּכְאִמּ֑וֹ וַיָּ֙סַר֙ אֶת־מַצְּבַ֣ת הַבַּ֔עַל אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָֹ֖ה אָבִֽיו:
however, not like his father and mother: who added the worship of the Baal in order to provoke God.  
3Only to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin did he cling; he did not turn away from it.   גרַ֠ק בְּחַטֹּ֞אות יָרָבְעָ֧ם בֶּֽן־נְבָ֛ט אֲשֶׁר־הֶחֱטִ֥יא אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל דָּבֵ֑ק לֹא־סָ֖ר מִמֶּֽנָּה:
Only to the sins of Jeroboam… did he cling: And so [did] all kings of Israel, for fear lest the kingdom return to the house of David if they would perform the pilgrimage on festivals. They, therefore, worshipped the calves.  
4Now Mesha the king of Moab was a sheepman; and he would repeatedly pay tribute to the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs and one hundred thousand rams with their wool.   דוּמֵישַׁ֥ע מֶֽלֶךְ־מוֹאָ֖ב הָיָ֣ה נֹקֵ֑ד וְהֵשִׁ֚יב לְמֶֽלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מֵאָה־אֶ֣לֶף כָּרִ֔ים וּמֵ֥אָה אֶ֖לֶף אֵילִ֥ים צָֽמֶר:
a sheepman: Jonathan [however, renders נֹקֵד as] an owner of livestock.  
rams with their wool: Jonathan [renders:] pasture-fed rams, i.e., with their wool.  
5And it was, that when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.   הוַיְהִ֖י כְּמ֣וֹת אַחְאָ֑ב וַיִּפְשַׁ֥ע מֶֽלֶךְ־מוֹאָ֖ב בְּמֶ֥לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
6Now King Jehoram went out of Samaria on that day, and counted all Israel.   ווַיֵּצֵ֞א הַמֶּ֧לֶךְ יְהוֹרָ֛ם בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא מִשֹּׁמְר֑וֹן וַיִּפְקֹ֖ד אֶת־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
7And he went and called Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, saying, "The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to war against Moab?" And he said, "I will go up. I will be like you, my people like your people, my horses like your horses."   זוַיֵּ֡לֶךְ וַיִּשְׁלַח֩ אֶל־יְהוֹשָׁפָ֨ט מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָ֜ה לֵאמֹ֗ר מֶ֚לֶךְ מוֹאָב֙ פָּשַׁ֣ע בִּ֔י הֲתֵלֵ֥ךְ אִתִּ֛י אֶל־מוֹאָ֖ב לַמִּלְחָמָ֑ה וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֶעֱלֶ֔ה כָּמ֧וֹנִי כָמ֛וֹךָ כְּעַמִּ֥י כְעַמֶּ֖ךָ כְּסוּסַ֥י כְּסוּסֶֽיךָ:
8And he said, "By which road shall we go up?" And he said, "By way of the Desert of Edom."   חוַיֹּ֕אמֶר אֵי־זֶ֥ה הַדֶּ֖רֶךְ נַעֲלֶ֑ה וַיֹּ֕אמֶר דֶּ֖רֶךְ מִדְבַּ֥ר אֱדֽוֹם:
by way of the Desert of Edom: for the king of Edom, too, will go with us.  
9And the king of Israel and the king of Judah and the king of Edom went, and they went around, a journey of seven days; and there was no water for the camp or for the animals that were with them.   טוַיֵּלֶךְ֩ מֶ֨לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֚ל וּמֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה֙ וּמֶ֣לֶךְ אֱד֔וֹם וַיָּסֹ֕בּוּ דֶּ֖רֶךְ שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִ֑ים וְלֹא־הָיָ֨ה מַ֧יִם לַֽמַּחֲנֶ֛ה וְלַבְּהֵמָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּרַגְלֵיהֶֽם:
10And the king of Israel said, "Alas! For the Lord has called these three kings to deliver them into the hands of Moab!"   יוַיֹּ֖אמֶר מֶ֣לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אֲהָ֕הּ כִּֽי־קָרָ֣א יְהֹוָ֗ה לִשְׁלשֶׁ֙ת֙ הַמְּלָכִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה לָתֵ֥ת אוֹתָ֖ם בְּיַד־מוֹאָֽב:
to deliver them…: for they will die of thirst.  
11And Jehoshaphat said, "Is there no prophet of the Lord here that we may inquire of the Lord through him?" And one of the king of Israel's servants answered, "Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, who poured water on Elijah's hands."   יאוַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהוֹשָׁפָ֗ט הַאֵ֨ין פֹּ֚ה נָבִיא֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה וְנִדְרְשָׁ֥ה אֶת־יְהֹוָ֖ה מֵאוֹת֑וֹ וַ֠יַּעַן אֶחָ֞ד מֵעַבְדֵ֚י מֶֽלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וַיֹּ֔אמֶר פֹּה אֱלִישָׁ֣ע בֶּן־שָׁפָ֔ט אֲשֶׁר־יָ֥צַק מַ֖יִם עַל־יְדֵ֥י אֵלִיָּֽהוּ:
who poured water on Elijah’s hands: on Mt. Carmel, and with his pouring, his fingers became like springs of water, until the ditch filled up, and it is fitting for a miracle to be performed for us through him concerning water.  
12And Jehoshaphat said, "The word of the Lord is with him." And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.   יבוַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ יְה֣וֹשָׁפָ֔ט יֵ֥שׁ אוֹת֖וֹ דְּבַר־יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיֵּרְד֣וּ אֵלָ֗יו מֶ֧לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל וִיהוֹשָׁפָ֖ט וּמֶ֥לֶךְ אֱדֽוֹם:
13And Elisha said to the king of Israel, "What do I have [to do] with you? Go to your father's prophets and to your mother's prophets!" And the king of Israel said to him, "Don't [say that], for the Lord has summoned these three kings to deliver them into the hands of Moab."   יגוַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֱלִישָׁ֜ע אֶל־מֶ֚לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מַה־לִּ֣י וָלָ֔ךְ לֵךְ אֶל־נְבִיאֵ֣י אָבִ֔יךָ וְאֶל־נְבִיאֵ֖י אִמֶּ֑ךָ וַיֹּ֚אמֶר לוֹ֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אַ֗ל כִּֽי־קָרָ֚א יְהֹוָה֙ לִשְׁלֹ֨שֶׁת֙ הַמְּלָכִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה לָתֵ֥ת אוֹתָ֖ם בְּיַד־מוֹאָֽב:
Don’t [say that], for the Lord has summoned…: Jonathan [paraphrases thus]: Please do not mention the sins of that wicked woman. Beg mercy for us, for the Lord has summoned…  
14And Elisha said, "As the Lord of Hosts, before Whom I have stood, lives, for were it not that I respect Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor would I see you."   ידוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלִישָׁ֗ע חַי־יְהֹוָ֚ה צְבָאוֹת֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָמַ֣דְתִּי לְפָנָ֔יו כִּ֗י לוּלֵ֛י פְּנֵ֛י יְהוֹשָׁפָ֥ט מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָ֖ה אֲנִ֣י נֹשֵֹ֑א אִם־אַבִּ֥יט אֵלֶ֖יךָ וְאִם־אֶרְאֶֽךָּ:
15"And now fetch me a musician." And it was that when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him."   טווְעַתָּ֖ה קְחוּ־לִ֣י מְנַגֵּ֑ן וְהָיָה֙ כְּנַגֵּ֣ן הַֽמְנַגֵּ֔ן וַתְּהִ֥י עָלָ֖יו יַד־יְהֹוָֽה:
fetch me a musician: Because of his anger, the Shechinah left him.  
16And he said, "So has the Lord said, 'This valley will be made full of pools.'   טזוַיֹּ֕אמֶר כֹּ֖ה אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֑ה עָשֹ֛ה הַנַּ֥חַל הַזֶּ֖ה גֵּבִ֥ים | גֵּבִֽים:
full of pools: Pits full of water.  
17For so has the Lord said, 'You shall not see wind neither shall you see rain, yet that valley will be filled with water; and you and your cattle and your beasts shall drink.   יזכִּֽי־כֹ֣ה | אָמַ֣ר יְהֹוָ֗ה לֹֽא־תִרְא֥וּ ר֙וּחַ֙ וְלֹֽא־תִרְא֣וּ גֶ֔שֶׁם וְהַנַּ֥חַל הַה֖וּא יִמָּ֣לֵא מָ֑יִם וּשְׁתִיתֶ֛ם אַתֶּ֥ם וּמִקְנֵיכֶ֖ם וּֽבְהֶמְתְּכֶֽם:
18And this will be slight in the eyes of the Lord, and He will deliver Moab into your hands.   יחוְנָקַ֥ל זֹ֖את בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה וְנָתַ֥ן אֶת־מוֹאָ֖ב בְּיֶדְכֶֽם:
And this will be slight: And furthermore, this miracle is slight and insignificant in the eyes of the Lord, and He will proceed to act wondrously with you [and perform] another miracle, and He will deliver Moab into your hands.  
19And you shall strike every fortified city and every choice city, and you shall fell every good tree, and you shall stop up all springs of water, and you shall clutter every good field with stones."   יטוְהִכִּיתֶ֞ם כָּל־עִ֚יר מִבְצָר֙ וְכָל־עִ֣יר מִבְח֔וֹר וְכָל־עֵ֥ץ טוֹב֙ תַּפִּ֔ילוּ וְכָל־מַעְיְנֵי־מַ֖יִם תִּסְתֹּ֑מוּ וְכָל֙ הַחֶלְקָ֣ה הַטּוֹבָ֔ה תַּכְאִ֖בוּ בָּאֲבָנִֽים:
and you shall fell every good tree: Even though it is stated (Deut. 20:19): “You shall not destroy its trees,” here He permitted it for you, for this is a contemptible and insignificant nation before Him. And so [Scripture] states (Deut. 23:7): “You shall not seek their welfare and their good.” These are the good trees that are among them.  
good field: A sown field (Koumici in O.F.).  
20And it was in the morning when the meal-offering was offered up, that, behold, water was coming from the road of Edom; and the land became filled with the water.   כוַיְהִ֚י בַבֹּ֙קֶר֙ כַּעֲל֣וֹת הַמִּנְחָ֔ה וְהִנֵּה־מַ֥יִם בָּאִ֖ים מִדֶּ֣רֶךְ אֱד֑וֹם וַתִּמָּלֵ֥א הָאָ֖רֶץ אֶת־הַמָּֽיִם:
And it was in the morning when the meal offering was offered up: The water began falling from heaven in the morning in the land of Edom, and at the time of offering up the meal offering, it came surging into that valley, since the prophet had said, “You shall not see wind neither shall you see rain” (v. 17). In R. Tanhuma’s Midrash.  
21And all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to wage war with them; and they assembled, everyone old enough to gird a sword and older, and they stood at the border.   כאוְכָל־מוֹאָב֙ שָֽׁמְע֔וּ כִּֽי־עָל֥וּ הַמְּלָכִ֖ים לְהִלָּ֣חֶם בָּ֑ם וַיִּצָּעֲק֗וּ מִכֹּ֨ל חֹגֵ֚ר חֲגֹרָה֙ וָמַ֔עְלָה וַיַּעַמְד֖וּ עַֽל־הַגְּבֽוּל:
at the border: at the border that is called marche [in French].  
22And they arose early in the morning, when the sun shone on the water; and the Moabites saw the water from a distance, red as blood.   כבוַיַּשְׁכִּ֣ימוּ בַבֹּ֔קֶר וְהַשֶּׁ֖מֶשׁ זָרְחָ֣ה עַל־הַמָּ֑יִם וַיִּרְא֨וּ מוֹאָ֥ב מִנֶּ֛גֶד אֶת־הַמַּ֖יִם אֲדֻמִּ֥ים כַּדָּֽם:
red as blood: Such is the nature of water; when the sun shines on it in the morning, it appears red at a distance. Now, since they had never seen water in that valley, they, therefore, thought that it was blood.  
23And they said, "This is blood! The kings have fought with each other and have killed each other. And now, to the spoils, Moab!"   כגוַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ דָּ֣ם זֶ֔ה הָחֳרֵ֚ב נֶֽחֶרְבוּ֙ הַמְּלָכִ֔ים וַיַּכּ֖וּ אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־רֵעֵ֑הוּ וְעַתָּ֥ה לַשָּׁלָ֖ל מוֹאָֽב:
24And they came to the Israelite camp, and the Israelites arose and struck the Moabites, and they fled from before them; and they attacked them, and slew the Moabites.   כדוַיָּבֹאוּ֘ אֶל־מַחֲנֵ֣ה יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וַיָּקֻ֚מוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וַיַּכּ֣וּ אֶת־מוֹאָ֔ב וַיָּנֻ֖סוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֑ם וַיַּכּוּ־ (כתיב וַיַּבּוּ־) בָ֔הּ וְהַכּ֖וֹת אֶת־מוֹאָֽב:
25And they demolished the cities, and each one threw his stone on every fertile field and filled it up, and they stopped up every water spring and they felled every good tree until they left over its stones only in Kir-Haresheth; and the catapultists surrounded and struck it.   כהוְהֶעָרִ֣ים יַהֲרֹ֡סוּ וְכָל־חֶלְקָ֣ה ט֠וֹבָה יַשְׁלִ֨יכוּ אִישׁ־אַבְנ֜וֹ וּמִלְא֗וּהָ וְכָל־מַעְיַן־מַ֚יִם יִסְתֹּ֙מוּ֙ וְכָל־עֵֽץ־ט֣וֹב יַפִּ֔ילוּ עַד־הִשְׁאִ֧יר אֲבָנֶ֛יהָ בַּקִּ֖יר חֲרָ֑שֶׂת וַיָּסֹ֥בּוּ הַקַּלָּעִ֖ים וַיַּכּֽוּהָ:
And they demolished the cities: [i.e.,] they were demolishing the cities.  
and the catapultists surrounded and struck it: and each one threw his stonefor they would take stones from the walls until they left all the stones of the walls in the wall with only their clay, i.e., their mortar; that is to say that there were no more stones in the wall. And afterwards the catapultists surrounded that which remained in the field where the wall was not broken, and broke it down.  
26And the king of Moab saw that the men of war were stronger than he and he took with him seven hundred men who drew their swords, to break a way to the king of Edom, yet they were unable.   כווַיַּרְא֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ מוֹאָ֔ב כִּֽי־חָזַ֥ק מִמֶּ֖נּוּ הַמִּלְחָמָ֑ה וַיִּקַּ֣ח א֠וֹתוֹ שְׁבַע־מֵא֨וֹת אִ֜ישׁ שֹׁ֣לֵֽף חֶ֗רֶב לְהַבְקִ֛יעַ אֶל־מֶ֥לֶךְ אֱד֖וֹם וְלֹ֥א יָכֹֽלוּ:
27And he took his first-born who would reign after him, and brought him up for a burnt-offering on the wall. And there was great wrath upon Israel, and they withdrew from him and returned to the land.   כזוַיִּקַּח֩ אֶת־בְּנ֨וֹ הַבְּכ֜וֹר אֲשֶׁר־יִמְלֹ֣ךְ תַּחְתָּ֗יו וַיַּעֲלֵ֚הוּ עֹלָה֙ עַל־הַ֣חֹמָ֔ה וַיְהִ֥י קֶצֶף־גָּד֖וֹל עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיִּסְעוּ֙ מֵֽעָלָ֔יו וַיָּשֻׁ֖בוּ לָאָֽרֶץ:
And he took his firstborn son: In the Pesikta of the section of Shekalim it is expounded that he asked his servants ([in] Pesikta [and] Yalkut: his astrologers), “What is the character of this nation, that miracles such as these were performed for them?” They replied, “Their forefather, Abraham, had an only son. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him, Sacrifice him before Me, and he wanted to sacrifice him to the Holy One, Blessed be He.” He said to them, “I too have a first born son. I will go and sacrifice him to the gods.”  
on the wall: Heb. חֹמָה. The ‘vav’ is missing, for he worshipped the sun, חַמָה [i.e., he sacrificed his son to the sun].  
and there was great wrath: For their iniquities were remembered, that they too worship pagan deities and are not worthy of miracles.