2 Kings 6-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Floating Ax Head
6 And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. 2 Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.”
So he answered, “Go.”
3 Then one said, “Please consent to go with your servants.”
And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed.”
6 So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float. 7 Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
The Blinded Syrians Captured
8 Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, “My camp will be in such and such a place.” 9 And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there.” 10 Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice.
11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?”
12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”
13 So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.”
And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan.”
14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
19 Now Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” But he led them to Samaria.
20 So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria!
21 Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?”
22 But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel.
Syria Besieges Samaria in Famine
24 And it happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a [a]kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver.
26 Then, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!”
27 And he said, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?” 28 Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you?”
And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.”
30 Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes; and as he passed by on the wall, the people looked, and there underneath he had sackcloth on his body. 31 Then he said, “God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!”
32 But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man ahead of him, but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent someone to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 And while he was still talking with them, there was the messenger, coming down to him; and then the king said, “Surely this calamity is from the Lord; why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”
The Syrians Flee
7 Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord: ‘Tomorrow about this time a [b]seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’ ”
2 So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?”
And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
The Syrians Flee
3 Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die.” 5 And they rose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians; and when they had come to the outskirts of the Syrian camp, to their surprise no one was there. 6 For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!” 7 Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives. 8 And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also, and went and hid it.
9 Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some [c]punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” 10 So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, “We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound—only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact.” 11 And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king’s household inside.
12 So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, “Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to [d]hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.’ ”
13 And one of his servants answered and said, “Please, let several men take five of the remaining horses which are left in the city. Look, they may either become like all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; or indeed, I say, they may become like all the multitude of Israel left from those who are consumed; so let us send them and see.” 14 Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king sent them in the direction of the Syrian army, saying, “Go and see.” 15 And they went after them to the Jordan; and indeed all the road was full of garments and weapons which the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned and told the king. 16 Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord.
17 Now the king had appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. But the people trampled him in the gate, and he died, just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him. 18 So it happened just as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two seahs of barley for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, shall be sold tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria.”
19 Then that officer had answered the man of God, and said, “Now look, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?”
And he had said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” 20 And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.
The King Restores the Shunammite’s Land
8 Then Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and furthermore, it will come upon the land for seven years.” 2 So the woman arose and did according to the saying of the man of God, and she went with her household and dwelt in the land of the Philistines seven years.
3 It came to pass, at the end of seven years, that the woman returned from the land of the Philistines; and she went to make an appeal to the king for her house and for her land. 4 Then the king talked with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me, please, all the great things Elisha has done.” 5 Now it happened, as he was telling the king how he had restored the dead to life, that there was the woman whose son he had restored to life, appealing to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him.
So the king appointed a certain officer for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the proceeds of the field from the day that she left the land until now.”
Death of Ben-Hadad
7 Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.” 8 And the king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the Lord by him, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ” 9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ”
10 And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover.’ However the Lord has shown me that he will really die.” 11 Then he [e]set his countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept. 12 And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?”
He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.”
13 So Hazael said, “But what is your servant—a dog, that he should do this gross thing?”
And Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will become king over Syria.”
14 Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me you would surely recover.” 15 But it happened on the next day that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place.
Jehoram Reigns in Judah
16 Now in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoshaphat having been king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat began to reign as [f]king of Judah. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. 19 Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of His servant David, as He promised him to give a lamp to him and his sons forever.
20 In his days Edom revolted against Judah’s authority, and made a king over themselves. 21 So [g]Joram went to Zair, and all his chariots with him. Then he rose by night and attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and the captains of the chariots; and the troops fled to their tents. 22 Thus Edom has been in revolt against Judah’s authority to this day. And Libnah revolted at that time.
23 Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 24 So Joram [h]rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then Ahaziah[i] his son reigned in his place.
Ahaziah Reigns in Judah
25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri, king of Israel. 27 And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab, for he was the son-in-law of the house of Ahab.
28 Now he went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram. 29 Then King Joram went back to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted on him at [j]Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
Jehu Anointed King of Israel
9 And Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets, and said to him, “Get[k] yourself ready, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 Now when you arrive at that place, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, and go in and make him rise up from among his associates, and take him to an inner room. 3 Then take the flask of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I have anointed you king over Israel.” ’ Then open the door and flee, and do not delay.”
4 So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 And when he arrived, there were the captains of the army sitting; and he said, “I have a message for you, Commander.”
Jehu said, “For which one of us?”
And he said, “For you, Commander.” 6 Then he arose and went into the house. And he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. 7 You shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. 8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; and I will cut off from Ahab all the males in Israel, both bond and free. 9 So I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs shall eat Jezebel on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.’ ” And he opened the door and fled.
11 Then Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this madman come to you?”
And he said to them, “You know the man and his babble.”
12 And they said, “A lie! Tell us now.”
So he said, “Thus and thus he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: “I have anointed you king over Israel.” ’ ”
13 Then each man hastened to take his garment and put it [l]under him on the top of the steps; and they blew trumpets, saying, “Jehu is king!”
Joram of Israel Killed
14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had been defending Ramoth Gilead, he and all Israel, against Hazael king of Syria. 15 But King [m]Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted on him when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, “If you are so minded, let no one leave or escape from the city to go and tell it in Jezreel.” 16 So Jehu rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram was laid up there; and Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram.
17 Now a watchman stood on the tower in Jezreel, and he saw the company of Jehu as he came, and said, “I see a company of men.”
And Joram said, “Get a horseman and send him to meet them, and let him say, [n]‘Is it peace?’ ”
18 So the horseman went to meet him, and said, “Thus says the king: ‘Is it peace?’ ”
And Jehu said, “What have you to do with peace? [o]Turn around and follow me.”
So the watchman reported, saying, “The messenger went to them, but is not coming back.”
19 Then he sent out a second horseman who came to them, and said, “Thus says the king: ‘Is it peace?’ ”
And Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Turn around and follow me.”
20 So the watchman reported, saying, “He went up to them and is not coming back; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously!”
21 Then Joram said, [p]“Make ready.” And his chariot was made ready. Then Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot; and they went out to meet Jehu, and [q]met him on the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 Now it happened, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?”
So he answered, “What peace, as long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft are so many?”
23 Then Joram turned around and fled, and said to Ahaziah, “Treachery, Ahaziah!” 24 Now Jehu [r]drew his bow with full strength and shot Jehoram between his arms; and the arrow came out at his heart, and he sank down in his chariot. 25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his captain, “Pick him up, and throw him into the tract of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember, when you and I were riding together behind Ahab his father, that the Lord laid this burden upon him: 26 ‘Surely I saw yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will repay you [s]in this plot,’ says the Lord. Now therefore, take and throw him on the plot of ground, according to the word of the Lord.”
Ahaziah of Judah Killed
27 But when Ahaziah king of Judah saw this, he fled by the road to [t]Beth Haggan. So Jehu pursued him, and said, [u]“Shoot him also in the chariot.” And they shot him at the Ascent of Gur, which is by Ibleam. Then he fled to Megiddo, and died there. 28 And his servants carried him in the chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the City of David. 29 In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab, Ahaziah had become king over Judah.
Jezebel’s Violent Death
30 Now when Jehu had come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she put paint on her eyes and adorned her head, and looked through a window. 31 Then, as Jehu entered at the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?”
32 And he looked up at the window, and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” So two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33 Then he said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses; and he trampled her underfoot. 34 And when he had gone in, he ate and drank. Then he said, “Go now, see to this accursed woman, and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.” 35 So they went to bury her, but they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 Therefore they came back and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as refuse on the surface of the field, in the plot at Jezreel, so that they shall not say, “Here lies Jezebel.” ’ ”
Ahab’s Seventy Sons Killed
2 Now as soon as this letter comes to you, since your master’s sons are with you, and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and weapons, 3 choose the [x]best qualified of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.
4 But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, “Look, two kings could not [y]stand up to him; how then can we stand?” 5 And he who was in charge of the house, and he who was in charge of the city, the elders also, and those who reared the sons, sent to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants, we will do all you tell us; but we will not make anyone king. Do what is good in your sight.” 6 Then he wrote a second letter to them, saying:
If you are for me and will obey my voice, take the heads of the men, your master’s sons, and come to me at Jezreel by this time tomorrow.
Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them. 7 So it was, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons and slaughtered seventy persons, put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel.
8 Then a messenger came and told him, saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.”
And he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.”
9 So it was, in the morning, that he went out and stood, and said to all the people, “You are righteous. Indeed I conspired against my master and killed him; but who killed all these? 10 Know now that nothing shall fall to the earth of the word of the Lord which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab; for the Lord has done what He spoke by His servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
Ahaziah’s Forty-two Brothers Killed
12 And he arose and departed and went to Samaria. On the way, at [z]Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met with the brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, “Who are you?”
So they answered, “We are the brothers of Ahaziah; we have come down to greet the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.”
14 And he said, “Take them alive!” So they took them alive, and killed them at the well of [aa]Beth Eked, forty-two men; and he left none of them.
The Rest of Ahab’s Family Killed
15 Now when he departed from there, he [ab]met Jehonadab the son of Rechab, coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right, as my heart is toward your heart?”
And Jehonadab answered, “It is.”
Jehu said, “If it is, give me your hand.” So he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot. 16 Then he said, “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” So they had him ride in his chariot. 17 And when he came to Samaria, he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to Elijah.
Worshipers of Baal Killed
18 Then Jehu gathered all the people together, and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now therefore, call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. Let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu acted deceptively, with the intent of destroying the worshipers of Baal. 20 And Jehu said, [ac]“Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they proclaimed it. 21 Then Jehu sent throughout all Israel; and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. So they came into the [ad]temple of Baal, and the temple of Baal was full from one end to the other. 22 And he said to the one in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out vestments for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out vestments for them. 23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab the son of Rechab went into the temple of Baal, and said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and see that no servants of the Lord are here with you, but only the worshipers of Baal.” 24 So they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had appointed for himself eighty men on the outside, and had said, “If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escapes, whoever lets him escape, it shall be his life for the life of the other.”
25 Now it happened, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, “Go in and kill them; let no one come out!” And they killed them with the edge of the sword; then the guards and the officers threw them out, and went into the [ae]inner room of the temple of Baal. 26 And they brought the sacred pillars out of the temple of Baal and burned them. 27 Then they broke down the sacred pillar of Baal, and tore down the [af]temple of Baal and made it a refuse dump to this day. 28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal from Israel.
29 However Jehu did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin, that is, from the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. 30 And the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.” 31 But Jehu [ag]took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin.
Death of Jehu
32 In those days the Lord began to cut off parts of Israel; and Hazael conquered them in all the territory of Israel 33 from the Jordan eastward: all the land of Gilead—Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh—from Aroer, which is by the River Arnon, including Gilead and Bashan.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? 35 So Jehu [ah]rested with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. Then Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place. 36 And the period that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
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