Jehoram, second son of Ahab

Successor to his brother Ahaziah, he removed the image of Baal made by his father, yet continued in the sin of Jeroboam. Jehoram allied with Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and the king of Edom to re-subjugate the Moabites who rebelled during his brother Ahaziah's short reign. On the way to battle, they got stuck in the wilderness of Edom without enough water for the men and animals of their armies. Fearing death by dehydration, they called upon the prophet Elisha for help.

“Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother. But the king of Israel said to him, No, for the LORD has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab. And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you.” (2Ki 13-14)

Elisha answered Jehoram with a sarcastic rebuke by asking him “Why don't you go ask help from the prophets of Baal and Asherah — the prophets of your parents?” He then agreed to seek word from the Lord only because of his respect for Jehoshaphat, the godly king of Judah. The prophet commanded that a musician be brought to him, and it happened when that when he played the hand of the LORD came upon him:

“And he said, Thus says the LORD: Make this valley full of ditches. For thus says the LORD: You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink. And this is a simple matter in the sight of the LORD; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.” (2Ki 3:16-18)

The next morning as the grain offering was being offered, suddenly a flash flood from the mountains of Edom flowed into the valley of their encampment, and the many ditches they had dug were miraculously filled with water. A combination of the sun's rays and the red sandstone terrain gave the water a reddish hue. Viewed from afar, the Moabites mistook the shimmering pools of water as a battlefield bloodbath. Since they had heard no storm (2Ki 3:17), nor seen this phenomenon before, the Moabites surmised that the coalition of three kings had slaughtered each other. The Moabites descended upon the allied camp to gather spoil, only to be surprised and smitten by the refreshed forces of Israel.

In fulfillment of the prophetic command, the Moabite cities were decimated, the good parcels of land were ruined with stones, the springs of water were stopped up, and all the good trees were cut down (2Ki 3:19, 24). King Mesha was pursued to the Moabite capital city of Kir Haraseth, located about 11 miles east of the Dead Sea and about 20 miles northeast of the Arabah. Desperate to save his own skin, he took his eldest son and sacrificed him publicly upon the city wall as a burnt offering to the idol god Chemosh. This disgustingly ruthless act incited the remaining Moabite forces to indignation, causing them to fight with great hatred and fury against Israel. This insane fierceness of battle led Israel to abandon their final mop up efforts and return home.

NOTE: For the final chapter of Jehoram's life, and details of the prophetic fulfillment concerning his death, read the next synopsis on Jehu, Captain of the Host of Israel.