Story Ten

A SPRING SWEETENED BY SALT; AND WATER THAT LOOKED LIKE
BLOOD
AFTER Ē̇-lī́ jah had been taken up to heaven, Ē̇-lī́ shȧ stayed for a time at Jĕŕ ĭ-chō; for, unlike Ē̇-lī́ jah, Ē̇-lī́ did not live in the wilderness, away from the people. He lived in the cities, and helped many by the power which the Lord gave to him.
The people of Jĕŕ ĭ-chō said to Ē̇-lī́ shȧ, "This city stands in a pleasant place; but the water of its spring is very bitter, and causes disease and death; and the land around it is barren, giving no fruit.”
Ē̇-lī́ shȧ said to them, "Bring me a small new bottle, and fill it with salt.”
They brought it to him, and he poured the salt into the fountain that gave water to the city, and said:
"Thus saith the Lord, 'I have healed these waters; from them there shall no more be death or unfruitfulness to the land."'
And the waters became pure and sweet from that time onward. Many believe that the fountain which still flows at the foot of the mountain near the ruins where once stood Jĕŕ ĭ-chō is the one which was healed by the prophet; and it is called "The Fountain of Ē̇-lī́ shȧ”
At this time Jē̇-hṓ ram, the son of Ā́ hăb, was king of Ĭś̝ ra-el. He reigned twelve years, not so wickedly as his father Ā́ hăb had ruled, but still doing evil in the sight of the Lord. From the days of King Dā́ vid the land of Mṓ ab, on the east of the Dead Sea, had been under the control of Ĭś̝ ra-el. The land was governed by its own king, but he paid every year a large sum to Ĭś̝ ra-el. The king of Mṓ ab in the times of Ā́ hăb and Jē̇-hṓ ram was named Mḗ shȧ. He had great flocks of sheep, and he paid to the king of Ĭś̝ ra-el every year the wool of a hundred thousand sheep and of as many rams.
When King Ā́ hăb was dead, the king of Mṓ ab rose against Ĭś̝ ra-el, and tried to set his land free. Then King Jē̇-hó ram sent for King Jē̇-hŏsh́ a-phăt of Jū́ dah, and these two kings', gathered their armies, and made war on Mḗ shȧ, the king of Mṓ ab. They led their armies southward through Jū́ dah, and then through Ḗ dom, on the south of the Dead Sea, and from Ḗdom into the land of Mṓ ab; and with them was the king of Ḗ dom, who was under the king of Jū́ dah.
While they were on their march they found no water, either for the army or for the horses. And the king of Ĭś̝ ra-el said, "Alas! The Lord has brought together these three kings, only to let them fall into the hands of the king of Mṓ ab!”
But the good King Jē̇-hŏsh́ a-phăt said, "Is there not here a prophet of the Lord, so that we may ask of him to show us the Lord's will?”
And one man said, " Ē̇-lī́ shȧ, the son of Shā́ phat, is here; the man who poured water on the hands of Ē̇-lī́ jah, and was his servant." And Jē-hŏsh́ a-phăt said, "The word of the Lord is with him; let us see him.”
And the three kings went to find Ē̇-lī́ shȧ; but Ē̇-lī́ shȧ said to the king of Ĭś̝ ra-el, "Why do you come to me? Go to the idol-prophets of your father Ā́ hăb and your mother Jĕź e-bĕl, and ask them!”
And the king of Ĭś̝ ra-el said to Ē̇-lī́ sha, "You must help us; for the Lord has brought these three kings together, to let them fall into the hands of the king of Mṓ ab.”
Then said Ē̇-lī́ shȧ, "As surely as the Lord of hosts lines, before whom I stand, if Jē̇-hŏsh́ a-phăt, the king of Jū́ dah, were not here, I would not look on you nor speak to you. But now bring me one who can play on the harp, a minstrel.”
And while the minstrel made music on his harp, the power of the Lord came upon Ē̇-lī́ sha, and he said, "Thus saith the Lord, `Make this valley full of ditches. For the Lord tells me that you shall not see any rain, nor hear any wind, yet the valley shall be filled with water; and you shall drink, and your cattle and your horses also shall drink. And the Lord shall give the Mṓ ab-ītes into your hand; and you shall take their cities, and cut down their trees, and stop their wells, and shall conquer their land.”
And it came to pass as Ē̇-lī́ shȧ had said. They dug ditches in the valley, and the next morning they found them full of water, enough for all the host. And when the men of Mṓ ab saw the water in the light of the sun, it was red like blood. They said, one to another, "That is blood; the three kings have quarreled, and their armies have killed each other; now, men of Mṓ ab, hasten to take the camp of the three kings, and all the treasure that is in it!”
So the men of Mṓ ab came rushing unguarded and without their arms. But the army of Ĭś̝ ra-el and of Jū́ dah and of Ḗ dom, met them, and slew them, and won over them a great victory. From that place they went on laying waste the land of Mṓ ab, until the cities were taken, and the whole land was made desolate.
And Mḗ shȧ, the king of Mṓ ab, was in such distress, that, hoping to please the god of his land, who was called Chḗ mŏsh, he took his oldest son, who was to have reigned in his place, and killed him, and offered him up as a burnt-offering. But all was in vain, for the Mṓ ab-ītes were still held under the power of the Ĭś̝ ra-el-ītes. The story of this war between Īś̝ ra-el and Mṓ ab is written not only in the second Book of Kings in the Bible, but also on a stone pillar, which was set up by the king of Mṓ ab afterward. This pillar was found in the land of Mṓ ab not many years ago, and the writing upon it was read, showing that the history of this war as given in the Bible is true.