1. A place on the eastern frontier of the territory of Joktan, Ge 10:30, supposed to have been in the region of Bassora, at the northwest end of the Persian Gulf.
2. A king of Moab, who paid an enormous tribute to Ahab king of Israel, but revolted at his death, 2Ki 1:1; 3:4-27. Joram the son of Ahab, with the aid of Judah and Edom, made war upon him, and besieged him in his capital. Unable to force his way through the besieging host, King Mesha sought the aid of his gods by sacrificing his own son on the city wall; and the besiegers, horrorstruck at this atrocious act, withdrew in terror, lest some curse should fall on them.
middle district, Vulgate, Messa. (1.) A plain in that part of the boundaries of Arabia inhabited by the descendants of Joktan (Ge 10:30).
(2.) Heb meysh'a, "deliverance," the eldest son of Caleb (1Ch 2:42), and brother of Jerahmeel.
(3.) Heb id, a king of Moab, the son of Chemosh-Gad, a man of great wealth in flocks and herds (2Ki 3:4). After the death of Ahab at Ramoth-Gilead, Mesha shook off the yoke of Israel; but on the ascension of Jehoram to the throne of Israel, that king sought the help of Jehoshaphat in an attempt to reduce the Moabites again to their former condition. The united armies of the two kings came unexpectedly on the army of the Moabites, and gained over them an easy victory. The whole land was devastated by the conquering armies, and Mesha sought refuge in his last stronghold, Kir-harasheth (q.v.). Reduced to despair, he ascended the wall of the city, and there, in the sight of the allied armies, offered his first-born son a sacrifice to Chemosh, the fire-god of the Moabites. This fearful spectacle filled the beholders with horror, and they retired from before the besieged city, and recrossed the Jordan laden with spoil (2Ki 3:25-27).
The exploits of Mesha are recorded in the Phoenician inscription on a block of black basalt found at Dibon, in Moab, usually called the "Moabite stone" (q.v.).
1. King of Moab. (See DIBON on his victorious campaign against Israel, and confirmation of Scripture.) Revolted at Ahab's death (2Ki 1:1; 3:4-5). Being "sheepmasters" the Moabites had rendered tribute to Israel ever since David's days (2Sa 8:2) in flocks, 100,000 lambs, and 100,000 rams with the wool. Isaiah (Isa 16:1) counsels Moab to resume payment, "send the lamb to the ruler ... from Sela unto ... Zion." (See JEHORAM, JEHOSHAPHAT, ELISHA, ENGEDI, CHEMOSH, on the confederacy against Mesha and the superstitions indignation raised against Israel because of their reducing him to such desperation that he sacrificed his own son (Mic 6:7), so that the allies departed to their own land.)
2. Firstborn of Jerahmeel's brother Caleb; father, i.e. founder, of Ziph (1Ch 2:42).
3. A descendant of Benjamin, born in Moab, son of Shaharaim and Hodesh (1Ch 8:8-9). 1Ch 8:4. Joktan's descendants "dwelt from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the East." The western port of Arabia; Muss (Bothart), Mesene ("a fluviatile island") at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates, near Bassora (Gesenius) (Ge 10:30); Beishe in the N. of Yemen (Knobel).
1. One of the limits of the Joktanites, Ge 10:30; probably in the S.E. Perhaps Musa on the Red Sea.
2. King of Moab, described as a sheep-master: a pastoral prince rich in flocks and herds. He was tributary to Ahab, but rebelled and suffered an entire defeat from Jehoram, Jehoshaphat, and the king of Edom. With 700 men he endeavoured to break through the allied forces but failed. In desperation he offered his eldest son as a sacrifice on the wall. 2Ki 3:4-27.
3. Eldest son of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel. 1Ch 2:42.
4. Son of Shaharaim, a Benjamite. 1Ch 8:9.
1. The name of one of the geographical limits of the Joktanites when they first settled in Arabia.
2. The king of Moab who was tributary to Ahab,
but when Ahab fell at Ramoth-gilead, Mesha refused to pay tribute to his successor, Jehoram. When Jehoram succeeded to the throne of Israel, one of his first acts was to secure the assistance of Jehoshaphat, his father's ally, in reducing the Moabites to their former condition of tributaries. The Moabites were defeated, and the king took refuge in his last stronghold, and defended himself with the energy of despair. With 700 fighting men he made a vigorous attempt to cut his way through the beleaguering army, and when beaten back, he withdrew to the wall of his city, and there, in sight of the allied host, offered his first-born son, his successor in the kingdom, as a burnt offering to Chemosh, the ruthless fire-god of Moab. His bloody sacrifice had so far the desired effect that the besiegers retired from him to their own land. (At Dibon in Moab has lately been discovered the famous Moabite Stone, which contains inscriptions concerning King Mesha and his wars, and which confirms the Bible account. --ED.)
3. The eldest son of Caleb the son of Hezron by his wife Azubah, as Kimchi conjectures.
4. A Benjamite, son of Shabaraim by his wife Hodesh, who bore him in the land of Moab.