Human Sacrifice and Divine Wrath in 2 Kings 3

I was reading 2 Kings 3 which discusses the war with Moab, and I was struck by how the story ends – Elisha seems to prophesy success, at least he counsels engagement, Israel does succeed, but at the end King Mesha sacrifices his son and “great wrath” comes against Israel, driving them back. Two questions arose from this ending. What do you think is going on in this story, as it ends abruptly and unexpectedly? And how do you make sense of the victory that seems directly linked to child sacrifice? The ESV study Bible comment claims that this great wrath must have been the wrath of the Moabites, but that interpretation doesn’t sit well with me given the way the text invoked a kind of “divine passive” of sorts. Do you think there is some sort of real demonic response here? How might that affect the way we view the competing gods of the Old Testament and the competing spiritual practices of the present day?

Within this video, I recommend Peter Leithart’s commentary on 1 and 2 Kings. Also, if you weren’t already well aware, I have also written a book on Echoes of Exodus!

If you have any questions for me, please leave them on my Curious Cat account. If you have found these videos helpful, please tell your friends. If you would like to support my continued production of them, you can do so on my Patreon account. You can also get the audio of these videos on Soundcloud or iTunes.

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