2 Kings 4-13 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
The Widow’s Oil. 1 A certain woman, the widow of one of the guild prophets, cried out to Elisha: “My husband, your servant, is dead. You know that he revered the Lord, yet now his creditor has come to take my two children into servitude.”[a] 2 Elisha answered her, “What am I to do for you? Tell me what you have in the house.” She replied, “This servant of yours has nothing in the house but a jug of oil.” 3 He said, “Go out, borrow vessels from all your neighbors—as many empty vessels as you can. 4 Then come back and close the door on yourself and your children; pour the oil into all the vessels, and as each is filled, set it aside.” 5 So she went out. She closed the door on herself and her children and, as they handed her the vessels, she would pour in oil. 6 When all the vessels were filled, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” He answered, “There is none left.” And then the oil stopped. 7 She went and told the man of God, who said, “Go sell the oil to pay off your creditor; with what remains, you and your children can live.”
Elisha Raises the Shunammite’s Son. 8 One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who pressed him to dine with her. Afterward, whenever he passed by, he would stop there to dine. 9 So she said to her husband, “I know that he is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, 10 let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp, so that when he comes to us he can stay there.”
11 One day Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight. 12 Then he said to his servant Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite woman.” He did so, and when she stood before Elisha, 13 he told Gehazi, “Say to her, ‘You have troubled yourself greatly for us; what can we do for you? Can we say a good word for you to the king or to the commander of the army?’” She replied, “I am living among my own people.”[b] 14 Later Elisha asked, “What can we do for her?” Gehazi answered, “She has no son, and her husband is old.” 15 Elisha said, “Call her.” He did so, and when she stood at the door, 16 Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be cradling a baby son.” She said, “My lord, you are a man of God; do not deceive your servant.” 17 Yet the woman conceived, and by the same time the following year she had given birth to a son, as Elisha had promised; 18 and the child grew up healthy.
One day the boy went out to his father among the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!” And his father said to the servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 The servant picked him up and carried him to his mother; he sat in her lap until noon, and then died. 21 She went upstairs and laid him on the bed of the man of God. Closing the door on him, she went out 22 and called to her husband, “Let me have one of the servants and a donkey. I must go quickly to the man of God, and I will be back.” 23 He asked, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the new moon nor the sabbath.” But she said, “It is all right.” 24 When the donkey was saddled, she said to her servant, “Lead on! Do not stop my donkey unless I tell you.” 25 She kept going till she reached the man of God on Mount Carmel. When he saw her at a distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi: “There is the Shunammite! 26 Hurry to meet her, and ask if everything is all right with her, with her husband, and with the boy.” “Everything is all right,” she replied. 27 But when she reached the man of God on the mountain, she clasped his feet. Gehazi came near to push her away, but the man of God said: “Let her alone, she is in bitter anguish; the Lord hid it from me and did not let me know.” 28 She said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, ‘Do not mislead me’?” 29 He said to Gehazi, “Get ready for a journey. Take my staff with you and be off; if you meet anyone, give no greeting,[c] and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff upon the boy.” 30 But the boy’s mother cried out: “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not release you.” So he started back with her.
31 Meanwhile, Gehazi had gone on ahead and had laid the staff upon the boy, but there was no sound, no response. He returned to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened.” 32 When Elisha reached the house, he found the boy dead, lying on the bed. 33 He went in, closed the door on them both, and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he lay upon the child on the bed, placing his mouth upon the child’s mouth, his eyes upon the eyes, and his hands upon the hands. As Elisha stretched himself over the child, the boy’s flesh became warm. 35 He arose, paced up and down the room, and then once more stretched himself over him, and the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 36 Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” He called her, and she came to him, and Elisha said to her, “Take your son.” 37 She came in and fell at his feet in homage; then she took her son and left.
The Poisoned Stew. 38 When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. Once, when the guild prophets were seated before him, he said to his servant, “Put the large pot on, and make some vegetable stew for the guild prophets.” 39 Someone went out into the field to gather herbs and found a wild vine, from which he picked a sackful of poisonous wild gourds. On his return he cut them up into the pot of vegetable stew without anybody’s knowing it. 40 The stew was served, but when they began to eat it, they cried, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it. 41 He said, “Bring some meal.” He threw it into the pot and said, “Serve it to the people to eat.” And there was no longer anything harmful in the pot.
The Barley Loaves. 42 A man came from Baal-shalishah bringing the man of God twenty barley loaves made from the first fruits, and fresh grain in the ear. Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.” 43 But his servant objected, “How can I set this before a hundred?” Elisha again said, “Give it to the people to eat, for thus says the Lord: You will eat and have some left over.” 44 He set it before them, and when they had eaten, they had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.
Elisha Cures Naaman’s Leprosy. 1 Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram, was highly esteemed and respected by his master, for through him the Lord had brought victory to Aram. But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.[d] 2 Now the Arameans had captured from the land of Israel in a raid a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
4 Naaman went and told his master, “This is what the girl from the land of Israel said.” 5 The king of Aram said, “Go. I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents, six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.
6 He brought the king of Israel the letter, which read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 7 When he read the letter, the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed: “Am I a god with power over life and death, that this man should send someone for me to cure him of leprosy? Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!” 8 When Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments, he sent word to the king: “Why have you torn your garments? Let him come to me and find out that there is a prophet in Israel.”
9 Naaman came with his horses and chariot and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent him the message: “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.” 11 But Naaman went away angry, saying, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand there to call on the name of the Lord his God, and would move his hand over the place, and thus cure the leprous spot. 12 Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?”[e] With this, he turned about in anger and left.
13 But his servants came up and reasoned with him: “My father, if the prophet told you to do something extraordinary, would you not do it? All the more since he told you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
15 He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God. On his arrival he stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel. Please accept a gift from your servant.” 16 Elisha replied, “As the Lord lives whom I serve, I will not take it.” And despite Naaman’s urging, he still refused. 17 Naaman said: “If you will not accept, please let me, your servant, have two mule-loads of earth,[f] for your servant will no longer make burnt offerings or sacrifices to any other god except the Lord. 18 But may the Lord forgive your servant this: when my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down there, as he leans upon my arm, I too must bow down in the temple of Rimmon. When I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord please forgive your servant this.” 19 Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.”[g]
Naaman had gone some distance 20 when Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the man of God, thought to himself: “My master was too easy on this Aramean Naaman, not accepting what he brought. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something out of him.” 21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. Seeing that someone was running after him, Naaman alighted from his chariot to wait for him. He asked, “Is everything all right?” 22 Gehazi replied, “Yes, but my master sent me to say, ‘Two young men have just come to me, guild prophets from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two festal garments.’” 23 Naaman said, “I insist! Take two talents,” and he pressed him. He tied up two silver talents in bags and gave them, with two festal garments, to two of his servants, who carried them before Gehazi. 24 When he reached the hill, Gehazi received these things, appropriated them for his house, and sent the men on their way.
25 He went in and stood by Elisha his master, who asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” He answered, “Your servant has not gone anywhere.” 26 But Elisha said to him: “Was I not present in spirit when someone got down from his chariot to wait for you? Is this a time to take money or to take garments, olive orchards or vineyards, sheep or cattle, male or female servants? 27 The leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And Gehazi went out, a leper with skin like snow.[h]
The Lost Ax. 1 The guild prophets once said to Elisha: “This place where we live with you is too cramped for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan, where by getting one beam apiece we can build ourselves a place to live.” Elisha said, “Go.” 3 One of them requested, “Please agree to accompany your servants.” He replied, “Yes, I will come.”
4 So he went with them, and when they arrived at the Jordan they began to cut down trees. 5 While one of them was felling a tree trunk, the iron ax blade slipped into the water. He cried out, “Oh, no, master! It was borrowed!” 6 “Where did it fall?” asked the man of God. When he pointed out the spot, Elisha cut off a stick, threw it into the water, and brought the iron to the surface. 7 He said, “Pick it up.” And the man stretched out his hand and grasped it.
The Aramean Ambush. 8 When the king of Aram was waging war on Israel, he would make plans with his servants: “I will bivouac at such and such a place.” 9 But the man of God would send word to the king of Israel, “Be careful! Do not pass by this place, for Aram will attack there.” 10 So the king of Israel would send word to the place which the man of God had indicated, and alert it; then they would be on guard. This happened several times.
11 Greatly disturbed over this, the king of Aram called together his officers and asked them, “Will you not tell me who among us is for the king of Israel?” 12 “No one, my lord king,” answered one of the officers. “The Israelite prophet Elisha can tell the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” 13 He said, “Go, find out where he is, so that I may take him captive.”
Informed that Elisha was in Dothan, 14 he sent there a strong force with horses and chariots. They arrived by night and encircled the city. 15 Early the next morning, when the servant of the man of God arose and went out, he saw the force with its horses and chariots surrounding the city. “Alas!” he said to Elisha. “What shall we do, my lord?” 16 Elisha answered, “Do not be afraid. Our side outnumbers theirs.” 17 Then he prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes, that he may see.” And the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw that the mountainside was filled with fiery chariots and horses around Elisha.
18 When the Arameans came down to get him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this people blind, I pray you.” And the Lord struck them blind, according to Elisha’s word. 19 Then Elisha said to them: “This is the wrong road, and this is the wrong city. Follow me! I will take you to the man you want.” And he led them to Samaria. 20 When they entered Samaria, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open their eyes that they may see.” The Lord opened their eyes, and they saw that they were inside Samaria. 21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?” 22 Elisha replied, “You must not kill them. Do you slay those whom you have taken captive with your sword or bow?[i] Serve them a meal. Let them eat and drink, and then go back to their master.” 23 The king spread a great feast for them. When they had eaten and drunk he sent them away, and they went back to their master. No more Aramean raiders came into the land of Israel.
War Against Aram: Famine. 24 After this, Ben-hadad, king of Aram, mustered his whole army and laid siege to Samaria. 25 Because of the siege the famine in Samaria was so severe that a donkey’s head sold for eighty pieces of silver, and a fourth of a kab of “dove droppings”[j] for five pieces of silver.
26 One day, as the king of Israel was walking on the city wall, a woman cried out to him, “Save us, my lord king!” 27 He replied, “If the Lord does not save you, where could I find means to save you? On the threshing floor? In the wine press?” 28 Then the king asked her, “What is your trouble?” She replied: “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son that we may eat him today; then tomorrow we will eat my son.’ 29 So we boiled my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, ‘Now give up your son that we may eat him.’ But she hid her son.” 30 When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his garments. And as he was walking on the wall, the people saw that he was wearing sackcloth underneath, next to his skin.
31 The king exclaimed, “May God do thus to me, and more, if the head of Elisha, son of Shaphat, stays on him today!”
32 Meanwhile, Elisha was sitting in his house in conference with the elders. The king had sent one of his courtiers; but before the messenger reached him, Elisha said to the elders: “Do you know that this murderer is sending someone to cut off my head? When the messenger comes, see that you close the door and hold it fast against him. His master’s footsteps are echoing behind him.” 33 While Elisha was still speaking, the messenger came down to him and said, “This evil is from the Lord. Why should I trust in the Lord any longer?”[k]
1 Elisha replied: “Hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord: At this time tomorrow a seah of fine flour will sell for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, in the market[l] of Samaria.” 2 But the adjutant, upon whose arm the king leaned, answered the man of God, “Even if the Lord were to make windows in heaven, how could this happen?” Elisha said, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”
3 At the city gate four lepers were asking one another, “Why should we sit here until we die? 4 If we decide to go into the city, we shall die there, for there is famine in the city. If we remain here, we shall die too. So come, let us desert to the camp of the Arameans. If they let us live, we live; if they kill us, we die.” 5 At twilight they left for the Arameans; but when they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there. 6 The Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses, the sound of a large army, and they had reasoned among themselves, “The king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to fight us.” 7 Then in the twilight they had fled, abandoning their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, the whole camp just as it was, and fleeing for their lives.
8 After the lepers reached the edge of the camp, they went first into one tent, ate and drank, and took silver, gold, and clothing from it, and went out and hid them. Back they came into another tent, took things from it, and again went out and hid them. 9 Then they said to one another: “We are not doing right. This is a day of good news, and we are keeping silent. If we wait until morning breaks, we will be blamed. So come, let us go and inform the palace.” 10 They came and summoned the city gatekeepers. They said, “We went to the camp of the Arameans, but no one was there—not a human voice, only the horses and donkeys tethered, and the tents just as they were left.” 11 The gatekeepers announced this and it was reported within the palace.
12 Though it was night, the king got up; he said to his servants, “Let me tell you what the Arameans have done to us. Knowing that we are starving, they have left their camp to hide in the field. They are thinking, ‘The Israelites will leave the city and we will take them alive and enter it.’” 13 [m]One of his servants, however, suggested: “Let some of us take five of the horses remaining in the city—they are just like the whole throng of Israel that has reached its limit—and let us send scouts to investigate.” 14 They took two chariots, and horses, and the king sent them to reconnoiter the Aramean army with the order, “Go and find out.” 15 They followed the Arameans as far as the Jordan, and the whole route was strewn with garments and other objects that the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. The messengers returned and told the king. 16 The people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans.
Then a seah of fine flour sold for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord. 17 The king had put in charge of the gate the officer upon whose arm he leaned; but the people trampled him to death at the gate, just as the man of God had predicted when the messenger came down to him. 18 This was in accordance with the word the man of God spoke to the king: “Two seahs of barley will sell for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel at this time tomorrow in the market of Samaria.” 19 The adjutant had answered the man of God, “Even if the Lord were to make windows in heaven, how could this happen?” And Elisha had replied, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” 20 And that is what happened to him, for the people trampled him to death at the gate.
The Shunammite’s Return. 1 Elisha once said to the woman whose son he had restored to life: “Get ready! Leave with your household and live wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a seven-year famine which is coming upon the land.” 2 The woman got ready and did as the man of God said, setting out with her household, and living in the land of the Philistines for seven years.
3 At the end of the seven years, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines and went out to the king to appeal for her house and her field. 4 The king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God: “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5 Just as he was telling the king how his master had restored a dead person to life, the very woman whose son Elisha had restored to life came to the king appealing for her house and field. Gehazi said, “My lord king, this is the woman, and this is that son of hers whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 The king questioned the woman, and she told him her story. With that the king placed an official[n] at her disposal, saying, “Restore all her property to her, with all that the field produced from the day she left the land until now.”
Elisha and Hazael of Aram.[o] 7 Elisha came to Damascus at a time when Ben-hadad, king of Aram, lay sick. When he was told, “The man of God has come here,” 8 the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go call on the man of God. Consult the Lord through him, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’” 9 Hazael went to visit him, carrying a present, and with forty camel loads of the best goods of Damascus. On his arrival, he stood before Elisha and said, “Your son Ben-hadad, king of Aram, has sent me to you to ask, ‘Will I recover from my sickness?’” 10 Elisha answered, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover.’ But the Lord has showed me that he will surely die.” 11 Then he stared him down until he became ill at ease. The man of God wept, 12 and Hazael asked, “Why are you weeping, my lord?” Elisha replied, “Because I know the evil that you will inflict upon the Israelites. You will burn their fortresses, you will slay their youth with the sword, you will dash their little children to pieces, you will rip open their pregnant women.” 13 Hazael exclaimed, “How can your servant, a dog[p] like me, do anything so important?” Elisha replied, “The Lord has showed you to me as king over Aram.”
14 Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master, who asked, “What did Elisha tell you?” Hazael replied, “He said, ‘You will surely recover.’” 15 The next day, however, Hazael took a cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it over the king’s face, so that he died. And Hazael succeeded him as king.
Reign of Joram of Judah. 16 [q]In the fifth year of Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, Joram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, became king. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
18 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel as the house of Ahab had done, since the daughter of Ahab was his wife; and he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. 19 Even so, the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah, for the sake of his servant David. For he had promised David that he would leave him a holding in the Lord’s presence for all time. 20 During Joram’s reign, Edom revolted against the rule of Judah and installed a king of its own. 21 Thereupon Joram with all his chariots crossed over to Zair. He arose by night and broke through the Edomites when they had surrounded him and the commanders of his chariots. Then his army fled homeward. 22 To this day Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah. Libnah also revolted at that time.
23 The rest of the acts of Joram, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. 24 Joram rested with his ancestors; he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David, and his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.
Reign of Ahaziah of Judah.[r] 25 In the twelfth year of Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah, son of Joram, king of Judah, became king. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, daughter of Omri, king of Israel.[s]
27 He walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in the Lord’s sight like the house of Ahab, since he was related to them by marriage. 28 He joined Joram, son of Ahab, in battle against Hazael, king of Aram, at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded Joram. 29 King Joram returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah in his battle against Hazael, king of Aram. Then Ahaziah, son of Joram, king of Judah, went down to Jezreel to visit Joram, son of Ahab, for he was sick.
Elisha and Jehu of Israel.[t] 1 Elisha the prophet called one of the guild prophets and said to him: “Get ready for a journey. Take this flask of oil with you, and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2 When you get there, look for Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi. Enter and take him away from his companions and bring him into an inner chamber. 3 From the flask you have, pour oil on his head, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee without delay.”
4 The aide (the prophet’s aide) went to Ramoth-gilead. 5 When he arrived, the commanders of the army were in session. He said, “I have a message for you, commander.” Jehu asked, “For which one of us?” “For you, commander,” he answered. 6 Jehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet’s aide poured the oil on his head and said, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. 7 [u]You shall destroy the house of Ahab your master; thus will I avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the other servants of the Lord shed by Jezebel. 8 The whole house of Ahab shall perish:
I will cut off from Ahab’s line every male,
9 I will make the house of Ahab like that of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and like that of Baasha, son of Ahijah. 10 In the confines of Jezreel, the dogs shall devour Jezebel so that no one can bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.
11 When Jehu rejoined his master’s servants, they asked him, “Is all well? Why did that madman come to you?” He replied, “You know that kind of man and his talk.” 12 But they said, “Tell us another lie!” So he told them, “This is what the prophet’s aide said to me, ‘Thus says the Lord: I anoint you king over Israel.’” 13 At once each took his garment, spread it under Jehu on the bare steps, blew the horn, and cried out, “Jehu is king!”
VIII. The End of the Omrid Dynasty[v]
Death of Joram of Israel. 14 Jehu, son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi, formed a conspiracy against Joram. (Joram, with all Israel, had been besieging Ramoth-gilead against Hazael, king of Aram, 15 but had returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him in the battle against Hazael, king of Aram.)
Jehu said to them, “If this is what you really want, see that no one escapes from the city to report in Jezreel.”
16 Then Jehu mounted his chariot and drove to Jezreel, where Joram lay ill and Ahaziah, king of Judah, had come to visit him. 17 The watchman standing on the tower in Jezreel saw the troop of Jehu coming and reported, “I see chariots.” Joram said, “Get a driver and send him to meet them and to ask whether all is well.” 18 So a horseman went out to meet him and said, “The king asks, ‘Is everything all right?’” Jehu said, “What does it matter to you how things are? Get behind me.” The watchman reported to the king, “The messenger has reached them, but is not returning.” 19 Joram sent a second horseman, who went to them and said, “The king asks, ‘Is everything all right?’” “What does it matter to you how things are?” Jehu replied. “Get behind me.” 20 The watchman reported, “He has reached them, but is not returning. The driving is like that of Jehu, son of Nimshi; he drives like a madman.” 21 “Hitch up my chariot,” said Joram, and they hitched up his chariot. Then Joram, king of Israel, and Ahaziah, king of Judah, set out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They reached him near the plot of ground of Naboth the Jezreelite.
22 When Joram recognized Jehu, he asked, “Is everything all right, Jehu?” Jehu replied, “How could everything be all right as long as all the harlotry and sorcery[w] of your mother Jezebel continues?” 23 Joram reined about and fled, crying to Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!” 24 But Jehu had drawn his bow and he shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow went through his heart and he collapsed in his chariot. 25 Then Jehu said to his adjutant Bidkar, “Take him and throw him into the plot of ground in the field of Naboth the Jezreelite. For remember when you and I were driving teams behind Ahab his father, the Lord delivered this oracle against him: 26 As surely as I saw yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons—oracle of the Lord—I will repay you for it in that very plot of ground—oracle of the Lord. So now take him and throw him into this plot of ground, in keeping with the word of the Lord.”
Death of Ahaziah of Judah. 27 Seeing what was happening, Ahaziah, king of Judah, fled toward Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him, shouting, “Him too!” They struck him as he rode through the pass of Gur near Ibleam, but he continued his flight as far as Megiddo and died there. 28 His servants brought him in a chariot to Jerusalem and they buried him in his grave with his ancestors in the City of David. 29 In the eleventh year of Joram, son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah.
Death of Jezebel. 30 Jehu came to Jezreel, and when Jezebel heard of it, she shadowed her eyes, adorned her hair, and looked down from her window. 31 As Jehu came through the gate, she cried out, “Is all well, you Zimri, murderer of your master?” 32 Jehu looked up to the window and shouted, “Who is on my side? Who?” At this, two or three eunuchs looked down toward him. 33 “Throw her down,” he ordered. They threw her down, and some of her blood spurted against the wall and against the horses. Jehu trod over her body 34 and, after eating and drinking, he said: “Attend to that accursed woman and bury her; for she was the daughter of a king.” 35 But when they went to bury her, they found nothing of her but the skull, the feet, and the hands. 36 They returned to Jehu, and when they told him, he said, “This is the word the Lord spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: In the confines of Jezreel the dogs shall devour the flesh of Jezebel. 37 The corpse of Jezebel shall be like dung in the field in the confines of Jezreel, so that no one can say: This was Jezebel.”
Death of the Sons of Ahab of Israel. 1 Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the elders who were rulers of Jezreel and to Ahab’s guardians. Jehu wrote: 2 “Since your master’s sons are with you, as well as his chariots, horses, fortified city, and weaponry, when this letter reaches you 3 decide which is the best and the fittest of your master’s sons, place him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.” 4 They were overcome with fright and said, “If the two kings could not withstand him, how can we?” 5 So the master of the palace and the chief of the city, along with the elders and the guardians, sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants, and we will do everything you tell us. We will proclaim no one king; do whatever you think best.” 6 So Jehu wrote them a second letter: “If you are on my side and will obey me, bring along the heads of your master’s sons[x] and come to me in Jezreel at this time tomorrow.” (The seventy princes were in the care of prominent men of the city, who were rearing them.)
7 When the letter arrived, they took the princes and slew all seventy of them, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu in Jezreel. 8 A messenger came in and told him, “They have brought the heads of the princes.” He said, “Pile them in two heaps at the gate of the city until morning.”
9 In the morning he came outside, stood there, and said to all the people: “You are guiltless, for it was I who conspired against my lord and slew him. But who killed all these? 10 Know that not a single word which the Lord has spoken against the house of Ahab shall fail. The Lord has accomplished what he decreed through his servant Elijah.” 11 (And so Jehu slew all who were left of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, as well as all his powerful supporters, intimates, and priests, leaving him no survivor.) 12 Then he went back inside.
Death of the Relatives of Ahaziah of Judah. He set out for Samaria and, at Beth-eked-haroim on the way, 13 Jehu came across relatives of Ahaziah, king of Judah. “Who are you?” he asked, and they said, “We are relatives of Ahaziah. We are going down to visit the princes and the family of the queen mother.”[y] 14 “Take them alive,” Jehu ordered. They were taken alive, forty-two in number, then slain at the pit of Beth-eked. Not one of them survived.
15 When he set out from there, Jehu met Jehonadab, son of Rechab, on the road. He greeted him and asked, “Are you with me wholeheartedly, as I am with you?” “Yes,” he replied. “If you are, give me your hand.” He gave him his hand, and he had him mount his chariot, 16 and said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.” And they took him along in his chariot.
Slaughter of the Worshipers of Baal. 17 When he arrived in Samaria, Jehu slew all who were left of Ahab’s line in Samaria, doing away with them completely, according to the word the Lord spoke to Elijah.
18 Jehu gathered all the people together and said to them: “Ahab served Baal to some extent, but Jehu will serve him yet more. 19 Now summon for me all Baal’s prophets, all his servants, and all his priests. See that no one is absent, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is absent shall not live.” This Jehu did as a ruse, so that he might destroy the servants of Baal.
20 Jehu said further, “Proclaim a solemn assembly in honor of Baal.” They did so, 21 and Jehu sent word of it throughout all Israel. All the servants of Baal came; there was no one who did not come; they came to the temple of Baal, and it was filled from wall to wall. 22 Then Jehu said to the custodian of the wardrobe, “Bring out garments for all the servants of Baal.” When he had brought out the garments for them, 23 Jehu, with Jehonadab, son of Rechab, entered the temple of Baal and said to the servants of Baal, “Search and be sure that there is no one who serves the Lord here with you, but only servants of Baal.” 24 Then they proceeded to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty troops outside with this warning, “Any of you who lets someone escape of those whom I shall deliver into your hands shall pay life for life.”
25 As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and aides, “Go in and slay them. Let no one escape.” So the guards and aides put them to the sword and cast them out. Afterward they went into the inner shrine of the temple of Baal, 26 and took out the pillars of the temple of Baal. They burned the shrine, 27 tore down the pillar of Baal, tore down the temple of Baal, and turned it into a latrine, as it remains today.
28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal in Israel.
Death of Jehu of Israel. 29 However, Jehu did not desist from the sins which Jeroboam, son of Nebat, had caused Israel to commit, the golden calves at Bethel and at Dan.
30 The Lord said to Jehu: Because you have done well what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in my heart, your sons to the fourth generation shall sit upon the throne of Israel. 31 But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart, since he did not desist from the sins which Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. 32 At that time the Lord began to dismember Israel. Hazael defeated the Israelites throughout their territory 33 east of the Jordan (all the land of Gilead, of the Gadites, Reubenites, and Manassites), from Aroer on the wadi Arnon up through Gilead and Bashan.
34 The rest of the acts of Jehu, with all that he did and all his valor, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 35 Jehu rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoahaz succeeded him as king. 36 The length of Jehu’s reign over Israel was twenty-eight years in Samaria.
Death of the Heirs of Ahaziah of Judah. 1 When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she began to kill off the whole royal family. 2 But Jehosheba,[z] daughter of King Joram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash, Ahaziah’s son, and spirited him away, along with his nurse, from the bedroom where the princes were about to be slain. He was concealed from Athaliah, and so he did not die. 3 For six years he remained hidden with her in the house of the Lord, while Athaliah ruled as queen over the land.
Death of Athaliah. 4 But in the seventh year, Jehoiada summoned the captains of the Carians[aa] and of the guards. He had them come to him in the house of the Lord, made a covenant with them, exacted an oath from them in the house of the Lord, and then showed them the king’s son. 5 He gave them these orders: “This is what you must do: one third of you who come on duty on the sabbath shall guard the king’s house; 6 another third shall be at the gate Sur; and the last third shall be at the gate behind the guards. You shall guard the palace on all sides, 7 while the two of your divisions who are going off duty that week shall keep guard over the house of the Lord for the king. 8 You shall surround the king, each with drawn weapons, and anyone who tries to approach the guard detail is to be killed; stay with the king, wherever he goes.”
9 The captains did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each took his troops, both those going on duty for the week and those going off duty that week, and came to Jehoiada the priest. 10 He gave the captains King David’s spear and quivers, which were in the house of the Lord. 11 And the guards, with drawn weapons, lined up from the southern to the northern limit of the enclosure, surrounding the altar and the temple on the king’s behalf. 12 Then Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown and the testimony[ab] upon him. They proclaimed him king and anointed him, clapping their hands and shouting, “Long live the king!”
13 When Athaliah heard the noise made by the people, she came before them in the house of the Lord. 14 When she saw the king standing by the column,[ac] as was the custom, and the captains and trumpeters near the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, Athaliah tore her garments and cried out, “Treason, treason!” 15 Then Jehoiada the priest instructed the captains in command of the force: “Escort her with a guard detail. If anyone follows her, let him die by the sword.” For the priest had said, “She must not die in the house of the Lord.” 16 So they seized her, and when she reached the Horse Gate of the king’s house, she was put to death.
17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people,[ad] by which they would be the Lord’s people; and another between the king and the people. 18 Thereupon all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and demolished it. They shattered its altars and images completely, and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. Jehoiada the priest appointed a detachment for the house of the Lord, 19 and took the captains, the Carians, the guards, and all the people of the land, and they led the king down from the house of the Lord; they came through the guards’ gate to the king’s house, and Joash took his seat on the royal throne. 20 All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the king’s house.
IX. Kings of Judah and Israel[ae]
Reign of Joash of Judah. 1 Joash was seven years old when he became king. 2 In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah, from Beer-sheba.
3 Joash did what was right in the Lord’s sight as long as he lived, because Jehoiada the priest guided him, 4 though the high places did not disappear; the people continued to sacrifice and to burn incense on the high places.
5 Joash said to the priests: “All the funds for sacred purposes that are brought to the house of the Lord—the census tax, personal redemption money—and all funds that are freely brought to the house of the Lord, 6 the priests may take for themselves, each from his own vendor. However, they must make whatever repairs on the temple may prove necessary.” 7 Nevertheless, as late as the twenty-third year of the reign of King Joash, the priests had not made needed repairs on the temple. 8 Accordingly, King Joash summoned the priest Jehoiada and the other priests. He asked, “Why do you not repair the temple? You must no longer take funds from your vendors, but you shall turn them over for the repairs.” 9 So the priests agreed that they would neither take funds from the people nor make the repairs on the temple.
10 Jehoiada the priest then took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar, on the right as one entered the house of the Lord. The priests who kept the doors would put into it all the silver that was brought to the house of the Lord. 11 When they noticed that there was a large amount of silver in the chest, the royal scribe would come up with the high priest, and they would gather up and weigh all the silver that was in the house of the Lord. 12 The amount thus realized they turned over to the workers assigned to the house of the Lord. They in turn would pay it to the carpenters and builders working in the house of the Lord, 13 and to the masons and stone cutters, and for the purchase of the wood and hewn stone used in repairing the breaches, and for any other expenses that were necessary to repair the house of the Lord. 14 None of the valuables brought to the house of the Lord were used there to make silver basins, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, or any gold or silver article. 15 Instead, they were given to the workers, and with them they repaired the house of the Lord. 16 Moreover, no reckoning was asked of those who were provided with the funds to give to the workers, because they held positions of trust. 17 The funds from reparation offerings and from purification offerings, however, were not brought to the house of the Lord; they belonged to the priests.
18 Then Hazael, king of Aram, came up and attacked Gath. When he had taken it, Hazael resolved to go on to attack Jerusalem. 19 Joash,[af] king of Judah, took all the sacred offerings presented by his forebears, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, kings of Judah, as well as his own, and all the gold there was in the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the king’s house, and sent them to King Hazael of Aram, who then turned away from Jerusalem.
20 The rest of the acts of Joash, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. 21 Certain of his officials[ag] entered into a conspiracy and struck Joash down at Beth-millo. 22 Jozacar, son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad, son of Shomer, were the officials who struck and killed him. He was buried with his ancestors in the City of David, and his son Amaziah succeeded him as king.
Reign of Jehoahaz of Israel. 1 In the twenty-third year of Joash, son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, became king over Israel in Samaria for seventeen years.
2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight: he did not depart from following the sins that Jeroboam, son of Nebat, had caused Israel to commit. 3 The Lord was angry with Israel and for a long time gave them into the power of Hazael, king of Aram, and of Ben-hadad, son of Hazael. 4 Then Jehoahaz entreated the Lord, who heard him, since he saw the oppression to which the king of Aram had subjected Israel. 5 So the Lord gave Israel a savior,[ah] and the Israelites, freed from the power of Aram, dwelt in their own tents as formerly. 6 Nevertheless, they did not desist from the sins the house of Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, but persisted in them. The Asherah[ai] remained even in Samaria. 7 No army was left to Jehoahaz, except fifty horses with ten chariots and ten thousand foot soldiers, since the king of Aram had destroyed them and trampled them like dust.
8 The rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, with all that he did and his valor, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 9 Jehoahaz rested with his ancestors; he was buried in Samaria and his son Joash succeeded him as king.
Reign of Joash of Israel. 10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash, king of Judah, Joash, son of Jehoahaz, became king over Israel in Samaria sixteen years.
11 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he did not desist from any of the sins Jeroboam, son of Nebat, had caused Israel to commit, but persisted in them.
12 [aj]The rest of the acts of Joash, with all that he did and his valor, and how he fought with Amaziah, king of Judah, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 13 Joash rested with his ancestors. Then Jeroboam sat on his throne. Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
Elisha’s Deathbed Prophecy. 14 When Elisha was suffering from the sickness of which he was to die, Joash, king of Israel, went down to weep over him. “My father, my father!”[ak] he exclaimed, “Israel’s chariot and steeds!” 15 Elisha said to him, “Take bow and arrows,” and he took bow and arrows. 16 [al]Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Rest your hand on the bow,” and he rested his hand on it. Elisha placed his hands over the king’s hands 17 and said, “Open the window toward the east.” He opened it. Elisha said, “Shoot,” and he shot. He said,
“An arrow of victory for the Lord!
18 Then he said to the king of Israel, “Take the arrows,” which he did. Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Beat the ground!” He beat the ground three times and stopped. 19 The man of God became angry with him and said, “You should have beat five or six times. You would have beaten Aram and finished him. Now you will beat Aram only three times.”
20 And so Elisha died and was buried.
At that time of year, bands of Moabites used to raid the land. 21 Once some people were burying a man, when suddenly they saw such a raiding band. So they cast the man into the grave of Elisha, and everyone went off. But when the man came in contact with the bones of Elisha, he came back to life and got to his feet.
22 King Hazael of Aram oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. 23 But the Lord was gracious with Israel and looked on them with compassion because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was unwilling to destroy them or to cast them out from his presence even up to now. 24 So when King Hazael of Aram died and his son Ben-hadad succeeded him as king, 25 Joash, son of Jehoahaz, took back from Ben-hadad, son of Hazael, the cities Hazael had taken in battle from Jehoahaz, his father. Three times Joash beat him, and thus recovered the cities of Israel.