2 Kings 13
13 When Joash, son of Ahaziah and king of Judah, had ruled Judah 23 years, Jehoahaz (Jehu’s son) succeeded his father as king of Israel in Samaria. He sat upon the throne for 17 years. 2 Jehoahaz committed evil in the Eternal’s eyes. He walked the wicked path of Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) causing the Israelites to live sinful lives. Jehoahaz did not abandon Jeroboam’s sins.
3 The Eternal’s wrath burned against Israel, and He handed them over to Hazael, Aram’s king, and to Ben-hadad, Hazael’s son. 4 Jehoahaz begged for the Eternal One to hear him, and the Eternal granted his desperate request and listened to him. He perceived the suffering of Israel, and He knew how Aram’s king caused that suffering. 5 The Eternal One sent a savior, so that they escaped from the rule of the Arameans. The Israelites then went back to living in their own tents. 6 Even though they escaped from the Arameans, the Israelites continued walking the wicked path that they had learned from the family of Jeroboam—the path that caused the Israelites to live sinful lives. The sacred poles were not demolished in Samaria either. They remained standing and in use. 7 Jehoahaz’s army was decimated. He was left with only 50 horsemen, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers at most. Aram’s king had killed everyone else. They were trampled like dust on the ground.
8 Is not the rest of Jehoahaz’s story—his actions and lasting legacy—documented in the book of the chronicles of Israel’s kings? 9 Jehoahaz left this world to sleep with his fathers and was laid to rest in Samaria. His son, Joash, then inherited the throne.
10 During the 37th year of Joash of Judah’s reign, Jehoash (Jehoahaz’s son) inherited the throne of Israel in Samaria. His reign lasted 16 years. 11 He committed evil in the Eternal’s eyes. He walked the wicked path of Jeroboam (Nebat’s son)—causing the Israelites to live sinful lives.
12 Is not the rest of the story of Joash (King of Israel)—his actions and his courage toward Amaziah, Judah’s king—documented in the book of the chronicles of Israel’s kings? 13 Joash of Israel left this world to sleep with his fathers and was laid to rest in Samaria with Israel’s kings. Jeroboam then inherited the throne.
14 Now Elisha was sick with a terminal illness; and Joash, Israel’s king, came to visit him. He cried over Elisha,
Joash quotes to the prophet Elisha’s own words to Elijah before he ascended.
Joash: My father, O my father! The chariots and riders of Israel![a]
Elisha: 15 Quickly find a bow and some arrows.
Joash did as Elisha instructed and brought a bow and some arrows back to Elisha’s bedside.
Elisha: 16 Now grip the bow tightly.
So Joash gripped the bow, and Elisha placed his hands over the king’s hands.
Elisha: 17 Now open the window facing east.
So Joash opened the window.
Elisha: Now launch the arrow as far as you can!
So Joash drew back the bow and launched the arrow as far as he could.
Elisha: That was the Eternal’s victory arrow! You will crush the Arameans at Aphek! You will do more than just win; you will ruin them! 18 (pausing) Here, take these arrows.
So Joash took the arrows.
Elisha: Hit the ground with them.
So Joash hit the ground three times and stood up. 19 But the man of God became angry at this.
Elisha: You only hit the ground three times! If you had hit the ground five or six times, then you would have completely ruined the Arameans. But because you only hit the ground three times, you will only defeat Aram three times.
20 Elisha then died and was laid to rest.
The Moabite bandits used to storm the land every spring. It was expected by the people. 21 During the springtime, while a group of men were out burying a man, they spied a gang of bandits approaching them. They became afraid, so they threw the dead man’s body into Elisha’s grave. As soon as the dead man’s body touched the bones of Elisha, the dead man miraculously came back to life and stood up.
This miracle, which is unlike anything else in the Bible, must have happened years after Elisha’s death if nothing is left but his bones. Obviously this demonstrates the amazing power Elisha must have had in life, if simple contact with his remains revives a dead man. The demonstration of Elisha’s power, however, is not the author’s primary intention as he records this story. This story is an illustration of what’s about to happen in Israel; a renaissance is coming through their king, Joash.
22 Hazael, Aram’s king, persecuted and abused the Israelites all during Jehoahaz’s reign. 23 But the Eternal One was gracious and compassionate toward them. He was good and turned his face to them because of the covenant He had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Eternal, true to His promise, had protected them and remained near them until now.
24 After Hazael (Aram’s king) died, his son, Ben-hadad, inherited the throne. 25 Jehoash, the king of Israel and Jehoahaz’s son, captured the same cities from Ben-hadad (Hazael’s son) that Ben-hadad had captured from his father, Jehoahaz. Joash crushed him and delivered Israel’s cities three different times just as Elisha had prophesied.