The king of Moab who was tributary to Ahab, (2 Kings 3:4) 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, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. 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.)
* See other occurrences of the same term: Mesha.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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