Ahaziah’s Sickness and Death
1 After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel. 2 Ahaziah had fallen through the latticed window of his upstairs room in Samaria and was injured. So he sent messengers, instructing them, “Go inquire of Baal-zebub,[a] the god of Ekron, whether I will recover from this injury.”
3 But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? 4 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: You will not get up from your sickbed; you will certainly die.’” Then Elijah left.
5 The messengers returned to the king, who asked them, “Why have you come back?”
6 They replied, “A man came to meet us and said, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and declare to him, “This is what the Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you’re sending these men to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore, you will not get up from your sickbed; you will certainly die.”’”
7 The king asked them, “What sort of man came up to meet you and spoke those words to you?”
8 They replied, “A hairy man with a leather belt around his waist.”
He said, “It’s Elijah the Tishbite.”
9 So King Ahaziah sent a captain with his fifty men to Elijah. When the captain went up to him, he was sitting on top of the hill. He announced, “Man of God, the king declares, ‘Come down!’”
10 Elijah responded to the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.
11 So the king sent another captain with his fifty men to Elijah. He took in the situation[b] and announced, “Man of God, this is what the king says: ‘Come down immediately!’”
12 Elijah responded, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” So a divine fire[c] came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.
13 Then the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. The third captain went up and fell on his knees in front of Elijah and begged him, “Man of God, please let my life and the lives of these fifty servants of yours be precious to you. 14 Already fire has come down from heaven and consumed the first two captains with their companies, but this time let my life be precious to you.”
15 The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him. Don’t be afraid of him.” So he got up and went down with him to the king.
16 Then Elijah said to King Ahaziah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron—is it because there is no God in Israel for you to inquire of his will?—you will not get up from your sickbed; you will certainly die.’”
17 Ahaziah died according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken. Since he had no son, Joram[d] became king in his place. This happened in the second year of Judah’s King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat.[e] 18 The rest of the events of Ahaziah’s reign, along with his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings.[f]
Elijah in the Whirlwind
2 The time had come for the Lord to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal, 2 and Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord is sending me on to Bethel.”
But Elisha replied, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
3 Then the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha and said, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?”
He said, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”
4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; the Lord is sending me to Jericho.”
But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.
5 Then the sons of the prophets who were in Jericho came up to Elisha and said, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?”
He said, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”
6 Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord is sending me to the Jordan.”
But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on.
7 Fifty men from the sons of the prophets came and stood observing them at a distance while the two of them stood by the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water, which parted to the right and left. Then the two of them crossed over on dry ground. 9 When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken from you.”
So Elisha answered, “Please, let me inherit two shares of your spirit.”
10 Elijah replied, “You have asked for something difficult. If you see me being taken from you, you will have it. If not, you won’t.”
11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire with horses of fire suddenly appeared and separated the two of them. Then Elijah went up into heaven in the whirlwind. 12 As Elisha watched, he kept crying out, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
Elisha Succeeds Elijah
When he could see him no longer, he took hold of his own clothes, tore them in two, 13 picked up the mantle that had fallen off Elijah, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the mantle Elijah had dropped, and he struck the water. “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” he asked. He struck the water himself, and it parted to the right and the left, and Elisha crossed over.
15 When the sons of the prophets from Jericho who were observing saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed down to the ground in front of him.
16 Then the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Since there are fifty strong men here with your servants, please let them go and search for your master. Maybe the Spirit of the Lord has carried him away and put him on one of the mountains or into one of the valleys.”
He answered, “Don’t send them.”
17 However, they urged him to the point of embarrassment, so he said, “Send them.” They sent fifty men, who looked for three days but did not find him. 18 When they returned to him in Jericho where he was staying, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”
19 The men of the city said to Elisha, “My lord can see that even though the city’s location is good, the water is bad and the land unfruitful.”
20 He replied, “Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it.”
After they had brought him one, 21 Elisha went out to the spring, threw salt in it, and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. No longer will death or unfruitfulness result from it.’” 22 Therefore, the water still remains healthy today according to the word that Elisha spoke.
23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking up the path, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, chanting, “Go up, baldy! Go up, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the children. 25 From there Elisha went to Mount Carmel, and then he returned to Samaria.
Israel’s King Joram
3 Joram son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria during the eighteenth year of Judah’s King Jehoshaphat, and he reigned twelve years. 2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, but not like his father and mother, for he removed the sacred pillar of Baal his father had made. 3 Nevertheless, Joram clung to the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit. He did not turn away from them.
Moab’s Rebellion against Israel
4 King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder. He used to pay the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs and the wool of one hundred thousand rams, 5 but when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6 So King Joram marched out from Samaria at that time and mobilized all Israel. 7 Then he sent a message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?”
Jehoshaphat said, “I will go. I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
8 He asked, “Which route should we take?”
He replied, “The route of the Wilderness of Edom.”
9 So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom set out. After they had traveled their indirect route for seven days, they had no water for the army or the animals with them.
10 Then the king of Israel said, “Oh no, the Lord has summoned these three kings, only to hand them over to Moab.”
11 But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there a prophet of the Lord here? Let’s inquire of the Lord through him.”
One of the servants of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat, who used to pour water on Elijah’s hands, is here.”
12 Jehoshaphat affirmed, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went to him.
13 However, Elisha said to King Joram of Israel, “What do we have in common? Go to the prophets of your father and your mother!”
But the king of Israel replied, “No, because it is the Lord who has summoned these three kings to hand them over to Moab.”
14 Elisha responded, “By the life of the Lord of Armies, before whom I stand: If I did not have respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I wouldn’t look at you; I would not take notice of you. 15 Now, bring me a musician.”
While the musician played, the Lord’s hand came on Elisha. 16 Then he said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Dig ditch after ditch in this wadi.’ 17 For the Lord says, ‘You will not see wind or rain, but the wadi will be filled with water, and you will drink—you and your cattle and your animals.’ 18 This is easy in the Lord’s sight. He will also hand Moab over to you. 19 Then you will attack every fortified city and every choice city. You will cut down every good tree and stop up every spring. You will ruin every good piece of land with stones.”
20 About the time for the grain offering the next morning, water suddenly came from the direction of Edom and filled the land.
21 All Moab had heard that the kings had come up to fight against them. So all who could bear arms, from the youngest to the oldest, were summoned and took their stand at the border. 22 When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water, and the Moabites saw that the water across from them was red like blood. 23 “This is blood!” they exclaimed. “The kings have crossed swords[g] and their men have killed one another. So, to the spoil, Moab!”
24 However, when the Moabites came to Israel’s camp, the Israelites attacked them, and they fled from them. So Israel went into the land attacking the Moabites. 25 They would destroy the cities, and each of them would throw a stone to cover every good piece of land. They would stop up every spring and cut down every good tree. This went on until only the buildings of Kir-hareseth were left. Then men with slings surrounded the city and attacked it.
26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took seven hundred swordsmen with him to try to break through to the king of Edom, but they could not do it. 27 So he took his firstborn son, who was to become king in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the city wall. Great wrath was on the Israelites, and they withdrew from him and returned to their land.
The Widow’s Oil Multiplied
4 One of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant, my husband, has died. You know that your servant feared the Lord. Now the creditor is coming to take my two children as his slaves.”
2 Elisha asked her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?”
She said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”
3 Then he said, “Go out and borrow empty containers from all your neighbors. Do not get just a few. 4 Then go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour oil into all these containers. Set the full ones to one side.” 5 So she left.
After she had shut the door behind her and her sons, they kept bringing her containers, and she kept pouring. 6 When they were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.”
But he replied, “There aren’t any more.” Then the oil stopped.
7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go sell the oil and pay your debt; you and your sons can live on the rest.”
The Shunammite Woman’s Hospitality
8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. A prominent woman who lived there persuaded him to eat some food. So whenever he passed by, he stopped there to eat. 9 Then she said to her husband, “I know that the one who often passes by here is a holy man of God, 10 so let’s make a small, walled-in upper room and put a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp there for him. Whenever he comes, he can stay there.”
The Shunammite Woman’s Son
11 One day he came there and stopped at the upstairs room to lie down. 12 He ordered his attendant Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her and she stood before him.
13 Then he said to Gehazi, “Say to her, ‘Look, you’ve gone to all this trouble for us. What can we do for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’”
She answered, “I am living among my own people.”
14 So he asked, “Then what should be done for her?”
Gehazi answered, “Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.”
15 “Call her,” Elisha said. So Gehazi called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 Elisha said, “At this time next year you will have a son in your arms.”
Then she said, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your servant.”
17 The woman conceived and gave birth to a son at the same time the following year, as Elisha had promised her.
The Shunammite’s Son Raised
18 The child grew and one day went out to his father and the harvesters. 19 Suddenly he complained to his father, “My head! My head!”
His father told his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 So he picked him up and took him to his mother. The child sat on her lap until noon and then died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut him in, and left.
22 She summoned her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so I can hurry to the man of God and come back again.”
23 But he said, “Why go to him today? It’s not a New Moon or a Sabbath.”
She replied, “It’s all right.”
24 Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Go fast; don’t slow the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
When the man of God saw her at a distance, he said to his attendant Gehazi, “Look, there’s the Shunammite woman. 26 Run out to meet her and ask, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your son all right?’”
And she answered, “It’s all right.”
27 When she came up to the man of God at the mountain, she clung to his feet. Gehazi came to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone—she is in severe anguish, and the Lord has hidden it from me. He hasn’t told me.”
28 Then she said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Didn’t I say, ‘Do not lie to me?’”
29 So Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your mantle under your belt, take my staff with you, and go. If you meet anyone, don’t stop to greet him, and if a man greets you, don’t answer him. Then place my staff on the boy’s face.”
30 The boy’s mother said to Elisha, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.
31 Gehazi went ahead of them and placed the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or sign of life, so he went back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy didn’t wake up.”
32 When Elisha got to the house, he discovered the boy lying dead on his bed. 33 So he went in, closed the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he went up and lay on the boy: he put mouth to mouth, eye to eye, hand to hand. While he bent down over him, the boy’s flesh became warm. 35 Elisha got up, went into the house, and paced back and forth. Then he went up and bent down over him again. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
36 Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite woman.” He called her and she came. Then Elisha said, “Pick up your son.” 37 She came, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; she picked up her son and left.
The Deadly Stew
38 When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. The sons of the prophets were sitting before him. He said to his attendant, “Put on the large pot and make stew for the sons of the prophets.”
39 One went out to the field to gather herbs and found a wild vine from which he gathered as many wild gourds as his garment would hold. Then he came back and cut them up into the pot of stew, but they were unaware of what they were.[h]
40 They served some for the men to eat, but when they ate the stew they cried out, “There’s death in the pot, man of God!” And they were unable to eat it.
41 Then Elisha said, “Get some flour.” He threw it into the pot and said, “Serve it for the people to eat.” And there was nothing bad in the pot.
The Multiplied Bread
42 A man from Baal-shalishah came to the man of God with his sack full of[i] twenty loaves of barley bread from the first bread of the harvest. Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.”
43 But Elisha’s attendant asked, “What? Am I to set this before a hundred men?”
“Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said, “for this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat, and they will have some left over.’” 44 So he set it before them, and as the Lord had promised, they ate and had some left over.
We read about the succession of Elijah in this passage. Elisha would be the prophet who would step up in the place of Elijah who was taken to heaven in a whirlwind. “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” What a powerful statement. Are you leading today in a way that when you leave this earth it would be a compliment for someone to say your spirit landed on another person.