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each other, and blindly and furiously they fought till all were slain.
Johnnie. I do not understand it, grandfather. Who was it that fought ?
Grandfather. The Moabites, the Ammonites, and the Edomites, who had come up with intent to destroy the men of Judah, set upon each other instead. Why they did this we cannot tell. The sacred historian tells us that “the Lord set ambushments against them, and that by these ambushments they were smitten.” Now, it is not unlikely that these foreign invaders may have set parties in ambush to take by surprise the children of Judah, when they came out to defend their country. This may have been; but whether this were so or not, certain it is, that by the over-ruling providence of God, confusion fell upon the children of Lot and the children of Esau, so that they attacked their allies instead of their enemies. The children of Ammon and the children of Moab fiercely attacked the inhabitants of Mount Seir, and killed every one of them. When they had utterly destroyed the dwellers in the mountain, then did the descendants of Lot fall upon each other, and fought until not one of all that vast multitude remained to tell the tale. Thus it was that the Lord fought for his people, and so it came to pass as the Lord had foretold, that the battle was not theirs but God's. From this we learn that those who pray shall prosper.
George. I never heard of such an easy won battle. You could hardly call it a battle at all, for Jehoshaphat and his people had nothing to do but to look on.
Marianne. But did the people of Judah see their enemies killing each other ?
Grandfather. When the people of Judah arrived at the watch tower in the wilderness, the sight which met their eyes and a strange sight, doubtless, they must have thought it was a multitude of dead bodies where so lately had been an army of living men. A solemn sight that battle field must have been. Round and round those bodies lay, clad in splendid garments, glittering with gold and precious stones. So great was the riches that the people of Jehoshaphat were three days in the gathering of it. Useless that wealth was now to those who lately had thought so much of it. From this we see the folly of setting our hearts on the treasures of earth. For this signal mercy vouchsafed to them, the children of Judah assembled in a valley to give thanks to their God, and that religious act of theirs gave a name to the valley. It was called the valley of Barechab, or of blessing.
George. And had Jehoshaphat any more war in his reign ?
Grandfather. He engaged in another war which I will now give you an account of. Jehoram, the son of Ahab, was now king of Israel. He commenced his reign in the eighteenth year of the reign of Jehoshaphat in Judah.
George. Was Jehoram Ahab's successor ?
Grandfather. Abaziah succeeded his father Ahab, but he only reigned two years, and at his death his brother Jehoram ascended the throne.
Johnnie. Was Jehoram a good king ?
Marianne. You need not ask, for all the kings of Israel were bad.
Grandfather. He was a wicked man, although not like his father and his mother, a worshipper of Baal. He was perhaps the best of his family, but they were a vile family, and the best was bad. During the reign of Ahab the Moabites had been tributaries to the king of Israel. When Ahab died, Mesha, king of Moab, rebelled. Although Ahaziah was two years on the throne, he made no attempt to recover this part of his revenue,
—the hundred thousand rams and the hundred thousand lambs which the king of Moab had been in the habit of paying yearly. As soon as Jehoram was king of Israel he resolved to demand his right, so he assembled an army and prepared to march against Mesha. He sent to ask the assistance of Jehoshaphat in this undertaking. The king of Judah gave to him the same reply as he had given to his father when he asked him to go with him against the king of Syria,—“ I am as thou art, my people as thy people, and my horses as thy horses."
Marianne. I would have thought Jehoshaphat would not have joined with one of the wicked kings of Israel again ; he had not gained much by it I daresay.
Grandfather. He did not. He very nearly lost his life in the expedition. Jehoram consulted him about the road they ought to take to the land of the Moabites. Jehoshaphat advised the way through the wilderness of Edom.
Johnnie. Was that the nearest way?
went by it that they might see if the king of Edom would go with them. He went with them; and the three kings travelled on together for seven days. At the end of that time they could go no farther, for they were in a barren wilderness ; their supply of water was exhausted ; and it then seemed as if nothing else could be looked for than that those kings, with their armies, and the cattle that accompanied them, should die of thirst. When this fearful death was staring them in the face, Jehoshaphat asked if there was a prophet of the Lord there. They had been long of thinking of inquiring of the Lord ; perhaps if they had done so sooner they might not have been suffered to fall into this danger ; but better seek help from Heaven late than seek it not at all.
Johnnie. Was there a prophet there?
Marianne. Elisha ? Was not that the name of the prophet who killed the captains and all their soldiers when they came to take him, and who raised to life again the little boy who died on his mother's knee ?
Grandfather. There were two prophets living at the same time with names very nearly the same, Elijah and Elisha. They were both very eminent men of God, and worked many miracles. It was Elijah who caused fire to come down from heaven to consume the soldiers,—a hundred and two men,—whom Ahaziah, king of Israel, sent to take him ; and it was Elisha--that same Elisha who now appeared before the three kings in the wilder
ness of Edom—who raised to life the little boy of whom you have heard. Many more miracles these two prophets did, God giving them power, that his name might be glorified.
Johnnie. Tell us about some of the miracles, grandfather. I would like to hear about the little boy. What was the matter with him ? and what did the prophet do to restore him to life?
Grandfather. Another time I may tell you more particularly about him, and about the other wonderful things which were done by Elijah and Elisha ; but at present we must keep to the battles, as that is the course we have undertaken to go through. The prophet Elisha had much to do with war, so we see a good deal of him. When it was told to the kings that the great prophet was there, they went to seek him. When he saw them, he spoke thus to the king of Israel: “ What have I to do with thee? Get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother.” Jehoram pleaded that here were three kings who were in imminent danger. He seems to have thought only of the kings, the people were not worthy to be thought of; the heart of the idolatrous king did not beat warmly for his subjects. His speech made no impression on Elisha. “ Were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah,” said the prophet, “ I would not look towards thee, nor see thee.”
Johnnie. And what did he tell them to do?