The Meaning of 2 Kings 3:4 Explained

2 Kings 3:4

KJV: And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool.

YLT: And Mesha king of Moab was a sheep-master, and he rendered to the king of Israel a hundred thousand lambs, and a hundred thousand rams, with wool,

Darby: And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered to the king of Israel a hundred thousand lambs and a hundred thousand rams, with the wool.

ASV: Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep-master; and he rendered unto the king of Israel the wool of a hundred thousand lambs, and of a hundred thousand rams.

What does 2 Kings 3:4 Mean?

Context Summary

2 Kings 3:1-12 - An Unwise Alliance
Jehoram's reign over the ten tribes was marked by some measures of reform. He discountenanced Baal worship; though, in defiance of the Second Commandment, he clave to Jeroboam's calves. Therefore Jehoshaphat was ill-advised to enter into alliance with him. The servant of Jehovah had no right to say to such a man, "I am as thou art," etc. He had said this before, and narrowly escaped with his life. It was very bad, therefore, to repeat a policy which was already discredited. See 1 Kings 22:4.
How often we rush into alliances and undertake engagements without prayer for guidance, and begin to seek God only when faced with disappointment! In the day of sore trouble, when it seemed likely that kings and troops would perish in the waterless desert, Judah sought divine help. But it was foolish and wrong to charge the Lord with their disasters, as in 2 Kings 3:10. When the curtains of the night are drawn, sailors steer by the stars; and often it is the pressure of dark trials that drives men to seek the advice and help of the servants of God. They know where to find such helpers, when they want them, though in their prosperity they ignore and deride. He who is willing to pour water, as a servant, will not be inflated with pride when three kings visit him. [source]

Chapter Summary: 2 Kings 3

1  Jehoram's reign
4  Mesha rebels
6  Jehoram, with Jehoshaphat, and the king of Edom, being distressed for want of water,
13  by Elisha obtains water, and promise of victory
21  The Moabites, deceived by the colour of the water, coming to spoil, are overcome
26  The king of Moab sacrifices his son, and raises the siege

What do the individual words in 2 Kings 3:4 mean?

Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheepbreeder and he regularly paid the king of Israel a hundred thousand lambs and a hundred rams the wool of
וּמֵישַׁ֥ע מֶֽלֶךְ־ מוֹאָ֖ב הָיָ֣ה נֹקֵ֑ד וְהֵשִׁ֤יב לְמֶֽלֶךְ־ יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מֵאָה־ אֶ֣לֶף כָּרִ֔ים וּמֵ֥אָה אֵילִ֥ים צָֽמֶר

וּמֵישַׁ֥ע  Now  Mesha 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֵישַׁע  
Sense: the king of Moab in the time of Ahab and Jehoram.
מֶֽלֶךְ־  king 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: מֶלֶךְ 
Sense: king.
מוֹאָ֖ב  of  Moab 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: מֹואָב 
Sense: a son of Lot by his eldest daughter.
נֹקֵ֑ד  a  sheepbreeder 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: נׄקֵד  
Sense: sheep-raiser, sheep-dealer, sheep-tender.
וְהֵשִׁ֤יב  and  he  regularly  paid 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Conjunctive perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: שׁוּב  
Sense: to return, turn back.
לְמֶֽלֶךְ־  the  king 
Parse: Preposition-l, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: מֶלֶךְ 
Sense: king.
יִשְׂרָאֵל֙  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.
מֵאָה־  a  hundred 
Parse: Number, feminine singular
Root: מֵאָה 
Sense: hundred.
אֶ֣לֶף  thousand 
Parse: Number, masculine singular
Root: אֶלֶף 
Sense: a thousand.
כָּרִ֔ים  lambs 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: כַּר 
Sense: howdah, palanquin, basket saddle.
וּמֵ֥אָה  and  a  hundred 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Number, feminine singular
Root: מֵאָה 
Sense: hundred.
אֵילִ֥ים  rams 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: אַיִל 
Sense: ram.
צָֽמֶר  the  wool  of 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: צֶמֶר  
Sense: wool.