2 Kings 3:26-27, Human sacrifice really works!

When the king of Moab saw that the battle had gone against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through to the king of Edom, but they failed. Then he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him as a sacrifice on the city wall. The fury against Israel was great; they withdrew and returned to their own land.

//A bit of context: King “Jumping Jehoshaphat” asks Elisha the prophet whether or not he will be victorious in a battle against Moab. Elisha calls for a harpist (music seems to aid his visionary abilities) and while the music is playing God speaks to Elisha, promising victory. So the battle begins, in which Moab is at first routed. But then Moab turns the tables with a surprising counterstrike.

Many of my blog post ideas derive from the books I review. This idea comes from David Plotz’s Good Book, and Plotz is such a fun writer that I’d feel silly paraphrasing him. I’m going to invoke my privilege as a book reviewer, and just quote Good Book:

“The besieged Moabite king, on the verge of defeat, sacrifices his firstborn son as a burnt offering in plain sight of the Israelites. This turns the tide of the battle, and the Israelites flee. The theology here befuddles me. If the Moabite made his child a sacrifice to his own god, not the Lord, then it shouldn’t have helped, since rival gods are presumably impotent. If the Moabite king made the sacrifice to the Lord, that shouldn’t have helped either, because the Lord has made it very clear that he loathes child sacrifice. The only theory that makes sense is that the child sacrifice did not work theologically, but did work strategically. It scares the heck out of the Israelites, who figure: If he’ll do that to his own son, can you imagine what he’d do to us?”

David’s book: http://www.dubiousdisciple.com/2011/06/book-review-good-book.html

41 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Correct, God does not allow or condone in any way child sacrifice and the only explanation for such a victory over the Israeli army was that the Moabite army became demonically empowered for a time because of this abomination. The same thing is prophesied to happen at some point in time with us because of the millions (if not billions) of child sacrifices due to our abortion practices here in the USA (Russ Dizdar, Steve Quayle, etc). If one child sacrifice can produce a victory in that instance, one would shudder to imagine what we have unleased demonically with the multitude of abortions coupled with the putting away of God and His precepts in almost every aspect of our society. May God have mercy on our souls.

    • “Demons” are not impotent. And there is a reason why God did not just destroy Satan after he rebelled. It would have been the most logical thing to do and would have saved us all a lot of trouble. If Satan had been destroyed, the fall of man would not have occurred, and we would all right now be living happily in heaven.

      So I think there maybe some meaning in your point about “demonically empowered” though most people including myself will feel uncomfortable with the notion. Why can’t we just pray to God and ask him to destroy Satan right now so everyone can be happy? I have probably made such a prayer before. There is just too much that we do not know, and maybe it is because we do not need to know it right now or ever.

      How did Satan get God’s perfect angels to join him? One would imagine that angels are more intelligent that us. They are certainly more knowledgeable about Celestial laws and happenings, we should not have to argue about that. Yet none of us would imagine joining Satan for any reason and fighting against God. How did he do that if he or his subordinates are “impotent”? Do not underestimate your enemy!

      • Demons are sent from God. “Satan” is not the nemesis of God. He carries out God’s will.

    • Who says God does not condone human sacrifices? He condones as much as he authorizes it. Compare Leviticus 27:28-29, Genesis 22:2, Judges 11:30-39.

    • “Correct, God does not allow or condone in any way child sacrifice”
      That doesn’t make spence because god commanded aberham to sacrifice his eldest son isacc?

    • Great thought but are you suggesting that the demons invoked by the Moabites are more powerful than God Almighty, NO! Just as the blogger had said the action irritated the Israelites and made them demoralized to the point of remembering that God also detested such action and wanted them to annihilate the one who practice it. So they allowed their emotions to overcome their faith.

      • Wambui

        Right. Demons are no powerful than Almighty God. The issue here is that the devil wanted to instill fear-his greatest weapon of warfare unto the Israelite which he unfortunately succeeded with. Remember God uses faith as Satan uses fear to achieve/establish His purposes here on earth.
        Good News!!
        The blood of sprinkling which is the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross speaks better things for us than that of Abel (human beings). By Christ’s death we were given victory over our enemies through Faith as He is the firstborn of our Father and all creation. In HIM and with HIM we are more than conquerors and should not fear the enemy in whichever manner he manifests himself as he is under our feet forever.

  2. are you for real, anonymous? It’s always a little hard for me to decipher between sarcasm and fundamentalism…

  3. aprshe danasabe

    I give God the glory because this what am looking for. Yesterday we had a bible study and one of the bible student asked a questioned as to whether the offering of the eldest son of the king of moab has impart of their victory and to whom did he offer the son to?. Am waiting for the reply.

  4. “…since rival gods are presumably impotent.”
    Daniel 10:13
    Revelations 12:4
    You may not age with me, and I can understand why, but there are verses that show that principalities (as I imagine Molech may have been part of)have not been all that “impotent”. There is a lot we do not understand about celestial laws.

    The bible teaches us what we need to know to gain salvation. It is not a comprehensive book on all events that happen outside our realm and their implications.

  5. You have used a presumption “… rival gods are presumably impotent.” as a premise for your conclusion

    “the child sacrifice did not work theologically, but did work strategically.”

    I would like to see some biblical support for this. I myself am still disturbed by the passage. But I do not think that acknowledging that Satan is a strong opponent is a betrayal of God or Christian beliefs. If it were not for Satan, our lives would be very different from what they are today!

  6. Name Pastor Victor. +2347033609937

    Contextualy speeking, and interpretn scripture wit scripture, God forbids human sacrifice. D king sacrificed to his god.And it had impact on Israel bcos of their wrong standing wit God. U remember,Elisha, if not forJehoshaphat, refused to see d king of Israel bcos of hs hy level of wickednss.We learn: (a)The sacrific or attack of d enemy wil afect us if ur standing wit God is not ok.(b)Prophecy is not enough for a complete victory (though Elisha prphesied victory)-our victory is limited when prophecy is not coupled wit good relationship wit God. (c) there no enchantment agaist Israel ONlY WHEN Israel is not living in sin.(Num.23:21.23)

    • Lee Harmon

      Hello Pastor Victor! Just a note to say I typically don’t find it helpful to interpret scripture with scripture. That’s a hermeneutic which stifles the individuality of the Bible’s many voices. So while I appreciate your input, we probably read the Bible differently! :)

    • prince Collins

      Pastor victor I feel u, I really enjoyed ur view and d scriptural understanding u hv concerning dis very topic, more grace, God bless u.

    • Really great one sir, God bless your understanding sir.

  7. Name Pastor Victor

    To avoid wrong conclusion and heresy, is wise to interpret scripture in light of what d rest of d scriptures say on d topic. Infact, a correct interpretation of d bible wil always be consistent wit d rest of d scriptures. In (Matthew 4:6) devil tempted Jesus by quoting (psalm 91:11) and Jesus interpreted scripture wit scriptures by quoting deut. 6:16- teaching us to use other scriptures that are clear to understand a difficult one. So, back to d issue, according to the uniform testimony of the scriptures, God forbids human sacrifice and to say that they offered d sacrifice to God is a contradiction. Moreover, d Bible records that wrath fell on Israel- not stating d source. For God to promise Israel victory through d prophet and at d same time turn against them should be a defect of character or moral on d side of God. Such sacrifice is common among the cananite. They sacrificed to their god which was domonicaly empowered. It had impact on Israeli becos of d reason I gave earlier. God allowed it to happen for our lesson. ‘NOW ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENED UNTO THEM FOR ENSAMPLES: AND THEY ARE WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, UPON WHOM THE ENDS OF THE WORLD ARE COME.'(1cor. 10:11). Though u are a Christian, if u are not living right, the arrow of d enemy wil affect u. Don’t engaged in a battle wit an occult or a ‘domonicaly’ empowered man when u know that u are not standing well wit God in holiness. Bcos, u may reach a point where u wil hv to answer the Question of ‘who are you’.

    • God bless u sir

    • Joy Odiete

      Hmmm… Thank you, Pastor Victor, for rightly dividing the Word of Truth. Now, by the power of God, I will dig deeper into God’s Word – I want to know God more than ever before.

  8. My dear pastor victor, you are right,because you don’t just assume because you are baptised and you start doing anyhow.some will go to the extent of even quoting some portion of the bible without taking time to read the next verse,a good example is where it said no weapon formed against you shall prosper, they are quick in quoting it but not minding the concluding verse which says that this it is the heritage of the God’s children.just because you are an israelite does not give you the audacity to fight a demonically empowered person you need the breast blate of righteousness to shield you from the arrows of the wicked.finally in the spiritual warfare there nothing like partial obedience,your obedience must be complete 2Cor10:4-6.remember the bible recorded that Isrealites in that context was living in the era of partial obedience 2kings3:1-3

  9. Name Pastor Victor

    Thanks Nonny for helping us see it in a clearer perspective. I love u for that.

  10. I found this article and these post while I was looking for an answer to a question of mine that although it is different, it is related, so I’ll give it a shot and ask it here to see what you all think…
    So God doesn’t like human sacrifice right? He likes it when people sacrifice their own children even less right? So what about Judges 11: 29-40 then? I would love it if someone could explain to me why we have someone sacrificing his daughter to Jehovah and not one mention of God’s disapproval. Thanks.

  11. Pastor Victor is correct. The Bible says that we are to interpret scripture “line upon line, precept upon precept. Here a little, there a little”. If not by using The Word of God, then by what, or by who? Isaiah 28:10. Let’s remember that “The Word of God is powerful, stronger than any two-edged sword…”

    God’s Word is Living and Active
    12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:12.

    • Lee Harmon

      Gina, Pastor Victor is correct if you begin with certain presumptions about the Bible. For example, that the Bible is inerrant, everywhere in agreement, having the stamp of God’s approval on every verse, and delivered to us by God Himself.

      I can no longer read the Bible this way. Instead, I find the Bible to be an inspirational chorus of many different opinions and agendas, reflecting a nation of individuals–each with a voice of their own–growing up and learning about God. It is improper to distort one writer’s opinion by pretending it must jibe with another; this only insults the writers by stifling their individuality. Therefore, scripture cannot interpret scripture.

  12. sirgill

    I perceived God was moved by the King’s evil sacrifice . he gave his all to his unknown god.
    this clearly shows that God is moved by our sacrifices,our total dependency on him.

  13. I agree with Victor in interpreting scripture with scripture. One is that we need the Holy Spirit to help us in understanding the Bible. Interpreting scriptures from our human knowledge may not always be right right because God does not think like man. Secondly, Jesus Christ also told us that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter is settled.These witnesses can only be found in the spirit-inspired scriptures.

  14. Was Jephtha’s daughter really slaughtered or she waited on God all the rest of her life as a servant of God? No longer free to live like any other young lady?

  15. let be frank, if our God is so much please with blood sacrifice right from Abel’s sacrifice till Jesus crusification/sacrifice,please me i may say(permit) God was please with the sacrifice of the king of moab.

    • Anonymous

      In my opinion, I don’t think God was pleased with King of moab’s human sacrifice but God was jealous of the sacrifice because He hasn’t asked for sacrifice of such gravity yet the children of God were disobedient. Note that Elisa reluctantly gave the prophecy. God’s jealousy was also shown when He asked Judah and Israel that how many of the heathen nations has changes their gods, not because He was pleased with those nations serving other gods but because He was jealous of their commitment to their God’s which Israel who has the true God is lacking.

  16. I believe God asked the Isaelites to withdrew from the Moabites becuase of the magnitude of the sacrifice on their alter which was blood. most at times when blood is on an alter victory is asssured. though the blood was for thier own god, but such a sacrifice cause God to ask the Israelite to surrender.

  17. Anyone who believes that the Bible should be viewed as a collection of individuals’ differing perspectives, and that we should honor the different writers as individuals, is as lost as it gets, if not intentionally misleading, and I assure you those individual writers of the Bible would be profoundly offended by that perspective.

    The Bible is a spiritual book written BY God THROUGH the writers HE chose, who gave their lives to represent HIM and HIS Truth.

    ‘Individuality’ is a modern ‘prideful’ concept of self promotion straight from the devil. If you want individuality, spend your life on Facebook. If you want the ONLY Truth, spend your life studying and researching the Bible.

    Jesus spoke ONLY Truths directly from the Bible, as a whole, and HE is the ONLY way and the ONLY Truth. God’s Word ‘IS’ 100% infallible and Jesus ‘IS’ the Word of God.(John1:1-5)

    The Bible is shamefully interpreted incorrectly by many in this day and age, including Seminaries, Christian radio shows, Christian Television and MANY who are sadly recognized as having ‘Authority’ to explain it.

    If you want Truth, read God’s Word and pray for the answers. He will give it to ANYBODY who seeks Him with all their heart.
    (Isa.54:13,Jer.31:34,John6:45;14:26,1Thes.4:9,Heb.12:11,1John2:27)
    The sacrifice in question gave great power to the King of Moab and his army because it was a sacrifice so dear as to inspire their demon god to give them great success in battle and the Israelites ‘WERE’ out of right standing with God. In all of their victories in years/kingdoms past, when they were in right standing with God, they were absolutely unstoppable. And it would be very easy to conclude that those enemies were praying and sacrificing to their demon gods like crazy to absolutely no avail.

    If you are in right standing with God, there is NOTHING that can touch you and God will give you unimaginable power to defeat the enemy when you need it. (See Elijah’s single handed destruction of the multiple King’s armies that were sent to arrest him {2 Kings 1:10-14} and the single handed victories of David’s mighty men against armies of up to 800 men {2 Samuel 23:8-23}. One of those men fought so fiercely that he had to have his sword pried from his hand after the battle.)

    This modern world has never seen the mighty power of God that was commonplace among those who lived completely HOLY lives in the times long past which the Bible tells us about.

    Good luck in your search for Truth and God Bless you all.

    (The age of this blog post matters not. This is an ongoing discussion as long as anyone finds it in their search for Truth.)

  18. Apostle ZephaniahDaniel Haukozi the jr

    How do we know that the son sacrifice by the King was not directed to God Jehovah since the result was positive in that the Israelites surrendered(defeated)? Is not that the Moabites turned to Jehovah at the time of desperation and abandoned their god for a living God and their sacrifice of the son showed greatest commitment, faith n total submission to God who in turn come to their rescue over the Israelites. The king offered the ultimate offer of the first born to God…this alone inspired God to come to plight. Coz let’s look at Abraham who gave his first and only son n was made father of all nations n faith. God Himself gave His first and only son to die for us n through that the world was redeem and satan the enermy defeated. So the king followed this sacrificial method that God approved for redemption over lost human rights in the hands of the enermy and they were greatly served from eviction.

  19. Jonathon Sanders

    Actually you have only to read the words in the end of the chapter to understand what happened. The king sacrificed the heir to the throne thus ending the line. If you consider this in light of the description of Moabite warriors (every man old enough to wear armor) and the economic destruction that Israel wrought on them by destroying all their crops and water supply, the sacrifice of the son was pretty much the end of the line. There was nothing left to destroy to completely vanquish Moab. I’m sure the starkness and grotesqueness of the scene was disturbing and caused a stop to the fighting on the ground but to assume that they became frightened is an unfounded assumption. Israel had won…there was nothing left to destroy so they went home.

  20. Evagelist Tito

    As Christians our strength is defined determined by what well/altar/spring we draw our powers from
    Also the value and worthiness of the sacrifice therein
    Abraham gave out his son… His only son begotten through Faith.
    God our Father gave out his son… ‘His only son’
    Both Jesus & Isaac were worthy precious & valuable sacrifices and firstfruits on the account of genesis 13
    These two sacrifices were of higher praise and match to the contrary powers. The devil was powerless and speechless …. Equally when the devils sacrifice on his altar is of value, worthy than what on our altar we are doomed to defeat
    Only one sacrifice is worthy valuable precious in the new dispensation of the new covenant of grace JESU S the lamb of God. On this word every knee shall bow and every tongue confess Christ Jesus is Lord.
    Moabite altar was higher than the spiritually stand and understanding of the Israelites so they were challenged

  21. Jephthah sacrificed his daughter with God’s blessing when she was the first thing that came out of his house when he returned from his successful military campaign. God did not step in to save her even though there was plenty of time to do it. In the “Ordeal of the Bitter Waters,” a man who was not sure of the paternity of the fetus his wife was carrying brought his wife to a holy man and he performed a ritual which ended with making her drink a poisonous liquid that induced a miscarriage (chemical abortion). If the woman could not conceive a child again she was deemed to be guilty of adultery; if she could still get pregnant she was considered to be innocent. America is said to be sinning against God because of the abortions that take place here and a sign of the End Times is that Israel would once again be clean and sanctified in the eyes of God. In Israel’s socialized system of medicine, a woman can get an abortion at any point in her pregnancy for almost any reason. She only has to appear before a medical panel and request it, and almost all abortions are approved by the panel. If America is a blight in the eyes of God for the abortions performed here, and Israel has much more liberal laws concerning the procedure why isn’t Israel a blight in God’s eyes as well? If Israel is a blight in God’s eyes then they cannot be clean and sanctified before God then the End Times cannot take place.

  22. i am Well pleased with pastor victor’s undeniable, lucid explanation. He said it all. thanks.

  23. Name Dr Martin Joseph +2347031034981

    I am a medical Dr and also a pastor based in Nigeria,I was actually searching for a material for preaching & stumble across this site,it is quite interesting going through different view points but only one thing is very clear.I am particularly blessed by Pastor’s Victor’s responses.This is my viewpoint God warned his children against human sacrifices. In the case of Abraham’s son,God only tested Abraham to know His level of obedience because Abraham was about to be elated as a covenanted father through whom the entire Israelite race shall be born.So God never allowed Abraham to kill his son.In the case of Jesus Christ,God never commanded Jesus death,it was a set up from the kingdom of darkness using evil Pharisaic men to orchestrate it.Man was evil & by the standard of heaven evil man is judged & must die unless he repents.All disobedience is judged.Satan & his demons all are under judgement. Satan was cast down from heaven & he is an agent of darkness to enforce judgement against God’s adversaries(sinners). Satan is not with God, but due to his great evil nature & knowing that God punishes every unrighteousness, he Satan deals with man to enforce God’s judgement upon man.So God knowing that His penalty for sin is death & based on this all of us were to be judged and condemned to also share with the fallen angels.God had an intent to save humanity so He as God could still maintain His integrity as God in the face of Satan. The only wisdom of God was to do an exchange for a man who committed no sin to die for one who committed the sin.Only humanity could redeem humanity but none was pure to be presented as a sacrificial lamb of God, none of us righteous. So Jesus had to take on the form of humanity to die once & for all eternity that whosoever accepts the finished work of Christ & lives by the covenant of a new creature would never see judgement or sentenced to hell.So in the case of Abraham’s son & Jesus it is different.Even when God by Himself does a thing He is still righteous, He as God is the Creator & all He does is acceptable so we should only abide by His instructions.He is God that kills & makes alive.No place have you seen any man kill another based on God’s instructions for sacrifice except under the Mosaic law to clear the land of evil when the Israelites committed great abomination. This was not sacrifice but in anger God can kill to cause others to repent In the case of King of Moab sacrificing his only son,it was a commonplace for the gentiles to do.This was done to appease their gods.The battle was not merely physical, it was a highly spiritual one.In battle though not seen, in the spirit realm the angels & demons are the ones fighting and physically men are mere actors.Each angel or demon is energized to fight based on the sacrifice given by individuals. For the demons,they are energized by evil sacrifices & angels of God energized by holy sacrifices such as worship unto God,righteousness or sacrificial offerings appeasing to God.While the Moab’s king gave a most excellent sacrifice, the Israelites who were as it were in those days not living right with God could not please the Lord and God seeing how devoted these evil Moab were to their god in anger turned His back against His children because they had never sacrificed to Him as great as their enemies. The only sacrifice God accepts His total obedience. During battles God always expects holiness & sacrificial praises & thanks &without being told,the Israelites never lived righteously & no holy prophet or the Levite(praise team)leading them for the battle.They underrated the battle & the tide changed.In life we must always know that we are always at a battle field against our enemies, no wonder how many Christians have died in the battle field of life due to negligent of not walking with the MAN of War,Jesus the Christ each day of our life,by living in partial obedience or in complete sin.I pray may God help us,Amen

  24. hilip Kumah Jnr

    Well Simply Put,
    let deduce this from the Whole chapter 2 kings 2;

    1.The king of Israel,Jehoram was already not in the right standing with the Lord.
    Vs 2 ,3
    “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.”

    2.He had started a battle without inquiring from the Lord
    Elisha only prophesied good because of the presence Jehoshaphat.

    “And Elisha said, As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee.”.

    God already was angry with Israel, He made way for victory until The King of Moab did the Scarifice.
    This sacrifice was to the god chemosh(like dagon), a god parts of israel was worshiping.

    I believe on seeing that sacrifice most of the Israelites understood what it meant.

    God also Being God just allowed it to happen for him(Moab’s King) to feel the pain afterwards…loosing his men and also losing his eldest child.

  25. I will like to toe Pst Victor line and interpretation. Prophecy is not enough if our lives are not right with God. Remember the Children of Eli died and the Ark of God was captured. The Bible said the battle turned against Israel as a result of the sacrifice and surely, the sacrifice was not to the God of Israel. No matter what the Israelite saw the King of Moab do, that was not enough to put the confederate army to flight because they were already having an upper hand.

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