8 Elisha said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Get ready, you and your household, and go live as a resident alien wherever you can. For the Lord has announced a seven-year famine, and it has already come to the land.”
2 So the woman got ready and did what the man of God said. She and her household lived as resident aliens in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3 When the woman returned from the land of the Philistines at the end of seven years, she went to appeal to the king for her house and field.
4 The king had been speaking to Gehazi, the attendant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things Elisha has done.”
5 While he was telling the king how Elisha restored the dead son to life, the woman whose son he had restored to life came to appeal to the king for her house and field. So Gehazi said, “My lord the king, this is the woman and this is the son Elisha restored to life.”
6 When the king asked the woman, she told him the story. So the king appointed a court official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, along with all the income from the field from the day she left the country until now.”
Aram’s King Hazael
7 Elisha came to Damascus while King Ben-hadad of Aram was sick, and the king was told, “The man of God has come here.” 8 So the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go meet the man of God. Inquire of the Lord through him, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”
9 Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him a gift: forty camel-loads of all the finest products of Damascus. When he came and stood before him, he said, “Your son, King Ben-hadad of Aram, has sent me to ask you, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”
10 Elisha told him, “Go say to him, ‘You are sure to[a] recover.’ But the Lord has shown me that he is sure to die.” 11 Then he stared steadily at him until he was ashamed.
The man of God wept, 12 and Hazael asked, “Why is my lord weeping?”
He replied, “Because I know the evil you will do to the people of Israel. You will set their fortresses on fire. You will kill their young men with the sword. You will dash their children to pieces. You will rip open their pregnant women.”
13 Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, do such a mighty deed?”
Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will be king over Aram.”
14 Hazael left Elisha and went to his master, who asked him, “What did Elisha say to you?”
He responded, “He told me you are sure to recover.” 15 The next day Hazael took a heavy cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it over the king’s face. Ben-hadad died, and Hazael reigned in his place.
Judah’s King Jehoram
16 In the fifth year of Israel’s King Joram son of Ahab, Jehoram[b] son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah, replacing his father.[c] 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for Ahab’s daughter was his wife. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. 19 For the sake of his servant David, the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah, since he had promised to give a lamp[d] to David and his sons forever.
20 During Jehoram’s reign, Edom rebelled against Judah’s control and appointed their own king. 21 So Jehoram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. Then at night he set out to attack the Edomites who had surrounded him and the chariot commanders, but his troops fled to their tents. 22 So Edom is still in rebellion against Judah’s control today. Libnah also rebelled at that time.
23 The rest of the events of Jehoram’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. 24 Jehoram rested with his ancestors and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and his son Ahaziah became king in his place.
Judah’s King Ahaziah
25 In the twelfth year of Israel’s King Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, granddaughter of Israel’s King Omri. 27 He walked in the ways of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in the Lord’s sight like the house of Ahab, for his father had married into[e] the house of Ahab.
28 Ahaziah went with Joram son of Ahab to fight against King Hazael of Aram in Ramoth-gilead, and the Arameans wounded Joram. 29 So King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him in Ramoth-gilead[f] when he fought against Aram’s King Hazael. Then Judah’s King Ahaziah son of Jehoram went down to Jezreel to visit Joram son of Ahab since Joram was ill.
Jehu Anointed as Israel’s King
9 The prophet Elisha called one of the sons of the prophets and said, “Tuck your mantle under your belt, 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. Go in, get him away from his colleagues, and take him to an inner room. 3 Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I anoint you king over Israel.”’ Open the door and escape. Don’t wait.” 4 So the young prophet[g] went to Ramoth-gilead.
5 When he arrived, the army commanders were sitting there, so he said, “I have a message for you, commander.”
Jehu asked, “For which one of us?”
He answered, “For you, commander.”
6 So Jehu got up and went into the house. The young prophet poured the oil on his head and said, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I anoint you king over the Lord’s people, Israel. 7 You are to strike down the house of your master Ahab so that I may avenge the blood shed by the hand of Jezebel—the blood of my servants the prophets and of all the servants of the Lord. 8 The whole house of Ahab will perish, and I will wipe out all of Ahab’s males,[h] both slave and free,[i] in Israel. 9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs will eat Jezebel in the plot of land at Jezreel—no one will bury her.’” Then the young prophet opened the door and escaped.
11 When Jehu came out to his master’s servants, they asked, “Is everything all right? Why did this crazy person come to you?”
Then he said to them, “You know the sort and their ranting.”
12 But they replied, “That’s a lie! Tell us!”
So Jehu said, “He talked to me about this and that and said, ‘This is what the Lord says: I anoint you king over Israel.’”
13 Each man quickly took his garment and put it under Jehu on the bare steps.[j] They blew the ram’s horn and proclaimed, “Jehu is king!”
14 Then Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. Joram and all Israel had been at Ramoth-gilead on guard against King Hazael of Aram. 15 But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him when he fought against Aram’s King Hazael. Jehu said, “If you commanders wish to make me king,[k] then don’t let anyone escape from the city to go tell about it in Jezreel.”
Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah
16 Jehu got into his chariot and went to Jezreel since Joram was laid up there and King Ahaziah of Judah had gone down to visit Joram. 17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel. He saw Jehu’s mob approaching and shouted, “I see a mob!”
Joram responded, “Choose a rider and send him to meet them and have him ask, ‘Do you come in peace?’”
18 So a horseman went to meet Jehu and said, “This is what the king asks: ‘Do you come in peace?’”
Jehu replied, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.”
The watchman reported, “The messenger reached them but hasn’t started back.”
19 So he sent out a second horseman, who went to them and said, “This is what the king asks: ‘Do you come in peace?’”
Jehu answered, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.”
20 Again the watchman reported, “He reached them but hasn’t started back. Also, the driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a madman.”
21 “Get the chariot ready!” Joram shouted, and they got it ready. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah set out, each in his own chariot, and met Jehu at the plot of land of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?”
He answered, “What peace can there be as long as there is so much prostitution and sorcery from your mother Jezebel?”
23 Joram turned around and fled, shouting to Ahaziah, “It’s treachery, Ahaziah!”
24 Then Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow went through his heart, and he slumped down in his chariot. 25 Jehu said to Bidkar his aide, “Pick him up and throw him on the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. For remember when you and I were riding side by side behind his father Ahab, and the Lord uttered this pronouncement against him: 26 ‘As surely as I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons yesterday’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘so will I repay you on this plot of land’—this is the Lord’s declaration. So now, according to the word of the Lord, pick him up and throw him on the plot of land.”
27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what was happening, he fled up the road toward Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him, shouting, “Shoot him too!” So they shot him in his chariot[l] at Gur Pass near Ibleam, but he fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 Then his servants carried him to Jerusalem in a chariot and buried him in his ancestors’ tomb in the city of David. 29 It was in the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab that Ahaziah had become king over Judah.
Jehu Kills Jezebel
30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard about it, so she painted her eyes, fixed her hair,[m] and looked down from the window. 31 As Jehu entered the city gate, she said, “Do you come in peace, Zimri, killer of your master?”
32 He looked up toward the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him, 33 and he said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down, and some of her blood splattered on the wall and on the horses, and Jehu rode over her.
34 Then he went in, ate and drank, and said, “Take care of this cursed woman and bury her, since she’s a king’s daughter.” 35 But when they went out to bury her, they did not find anything but the skull, the feet, and the hands. 36 So they went back and told him, and he said, “This fulfills the Lord’s word that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: ‘In the plot of land at Jezreel, the dogs will eat Jezebel’s flesh. 37 Jezebel’s corpse will be like manure on the surface of the ground in the plot of land at Jezreel so that no one will be able to say: This is Jezebel.’”
Jehu Kills the House of Ahab
10 Since Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria, Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab’s sons,[n] saying:
2 Your master’s sons are with you, and you have chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weaponry, so when this letter arrives 3 select the most qualified[o] of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.
4 However, they were terrified and reasoned, “Look, two kings couldn’t stand against him; how can we?”
5 So the overseer of the palace, the overseer of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent a message to Jehu: “We are your servants, and we will do whatever you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever you think is right.”[p]
6 Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying:
If you are on my side, and if you will obey me, bring me the heads of your master’s sons[q] at this time tomorrow at Jezreel.
All seventy of the king’s sons were being cared for by the city’s prominent men. 7 When the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered all seventy, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel. 8 When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” the king said, “Pile them in two heaps at the entrance of the city gate until morning.”
9 The next morning when he went out and stood at the gate, he said to all the people, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him. But who struck down all these? 10 Know, then, that not a word the Lord spoke against the house of Ahab will fail, for the Lord has done what he promised through his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel—all his great men, close friends, and priests—leaving him no survivors.
12 Then he set out and went to Samaria. On the way, while he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met the relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”
They answered, “We’re Ahaziah’s relatives. We’ve come down to greet the king’s sons and the queen mother’s sons.”
14 Then Jehu ordered, “Take them alive.” So they took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked—forty-two men. He didn’t spare any of them.
15 When he left there, he found Jehonadab son of Rechab coming to meet him. He greeted him and then asked, “Is your heart one with mine?” [r]
“It is,” Jehonadab replied.
Jehu said, “If it is,[s] give me your hand.”
So he gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him up into the chariot with him. 16 Then he said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord!” So he let him ride with him in his chariot. 17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained from the house of Ahab in Samaria until he had annihilated his house, according to the word of the Lord spoken to Elijah.
Jehu Kills the Baal Worshipers
18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot. 19 Now, therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. None must be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing will not live.” However, Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal. 20 Jehu commanded, “Consecrate a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they called one.
21 Then Jehu sent messengers throughout all Israel, and all the servants of Baal[t] came; no one failed to come. They entered the temple of Baal, and it was filled from one end to the other. 22 Then he said to the custodian of the wardrobe, “Bring out the garments for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out their garments.
23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab entered the temple of Baal, and Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look carefully to see that there are no servants of the Lord here among you—only servants of Baal.” 24 Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.
Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside, and he warned them, “Whoever allows any of the men I am placing in your hands to escape will forfeit his life for theirs.” 25 When he finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and officers, “Go in and kill them. Don’t let anyone out.” So they struck them down with the sword. Then the guards and officers threw the bodies out and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal. 26 They brought out the pillar of the temple of Baal and burned it, 27 and they tore down the pillar of Baal. Then they tore down the temple of Baal and made it a latrine—which it still is today.
Evaluation of Jehu’s Reign
28 Jehu eliminated Baal worship from Israel, 29 but he did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit—worshiping the gold calves that were in Bethel and Dan. 30 Nevertheless, the Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my sight and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in my heart, four generations of your sons will sit on the throne of Israel.”
31 Yet Jehu was not careful to follow the instruction of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart. He did not turn from the sins that Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit.
32 In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael defeated the Israelites throughout their territory 33 from the Jordan eastward: the whole land of Gilead—the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites—from Aroer which is by the Arnon Valley through Gilead to Bashan.[u]
34 The rest of the events of Jehu’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and all his might, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. 35 Jehu rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz became king in his place. 36 The length of Jehu’s reign over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
Athaliah Usurps the Throne
11 When Athaliah, Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to annihilate all the royal heirs. 2 Jehosheba, who was King Jehoram’s daughter and Ahaziah’s sister, secretly rescued Joash son of Ahaziah from among the king’s sons who were being killed and put him and the one who nursed him in a bedroom. So he was hidden from Athaliah and was not killed. 3 Joash was in hiding with her in the Lord’s temple six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.
4 In the seventh year, Jehoiada sent for the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, and the guards. He had them come to him in the Lord’s temple, where he made a covenant with them and put them under oath. He showed them the king’s son 5 and commanded them, “This is what you are to do: A third of you who come on duty on the Sabbath are to provide protection for the king’s palace. 6 A third are to be at the Foundation[v] Gate and a third at the gate behind the guards. You are to take turns providing protection for the palace.[w]
7 “Your two divisions that go off duty on the Sabbath are to provide the king protection at the Lord’s temple. 8 Completely surround the king with weapons in hand. Anyone who approaches the ranks is to be put to death. Be with the king in all his daily tasks.”[x]
9 So the commanders of hundreds did everything the priest Jehoiada commanded. They each brought their men—those coming on duty on the Sabbath and those going off duty—and came to the priest Jehoiada. 10 The priest gave to the commanders of hundreds King David’s spears and shields that were in the Lord’s temple. 11 Then the guards stood with their weapons in hand surrounding the king—from the right side of the temple to the left side, by the altar and by the temple.
12 Jehoiada brought out the king’s son, put the crown on him, gave him the testimony,[y] and made him king. They anointed him and clapped their hands and cried, “Long live the king!”
13 When Athaliah heard the noise from the guard and the crowd, she went out to the people at the Lord’s temple. 14 She looked, and there was the king standing by the pillar according to the custom. The commanders and the trumpeters were by the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes and screamed “Treason! Treason!”
15 Then the priest Jehoiada ordered the commanders of hundreds in charge of the army, “Take her out between the ranks, and put to death by the sword anyone who follows her,” for the priest had said, “She is not to be put to death in the Lord’s temple.” 16 So they arrested her, and she went through the horse entrance to the king’s palace, where she was put to death.
17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord, the king, and the people that they would be the Lord’s people and another covenant between the king and the people.[z] 18 So all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed its altars and images to pieces, and they killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, at the altars.
Then Jehoiada the priest appointed guards for the Lord’s temple. 19 He took the commanders of hundreds, the Carites, the guards, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king from the Lord’s temple. They entered the king’s palace by way of the guards’ gate. Then Joash sat on the throne of the kings. 20 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet, for they had put Athaliah to death by the sword in the king’s palace.
Judah’s King Joash
21 Joash[aa] was seven years old when he became king.
12 In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beer-sheba. 2 Throughout the time the priest Jehoiada instructed him, Joash did what was right in the Lord’s sight. 3 Yet the high places were not taken away; the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.
Repairing the Temple
4 Then Joash said to the priests, “All the dedicated silver brought to the Lord’s temple, census silver, silver from vows, and all silver voluntarily given for the Lord’s temple— 5 each priest is to take it from his assessor[ab] and repair whatever damage is found in the temple.”[ac]
6 But by the twenty-third year of the reign of King Joash, the priests had not repaired the damage[ad] to the temple. 7 So King Joash called the priest Jehoiada and the other priests and asked, “Why haven’t you repaired the temple’s damage? Since you haven’t, don’t take any silver from your assessors; instead, hand it over for the repair of the temple.” 8 So the priests agreed that they would receive no silver from the people and would not be the ones to repair the temple’s damage.
9 Then the priest Jehoiada took a chest, bored a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar on the right side as one enters the Lord’s temple; the priests who guarded the threshold put into the chest all the silver that was brought to the Lord’s temple. 10 Whenever they saw there was a large amount of silver in the chest, the king’s secretary and the high priest would go bag up and tally the silver found in the Lord’s temple. 11 Then they would give the weighed silver to those doing the work—those who oversaw the Lord’s temple. They in turn would pay it out to those working on the Lord’s temple—the carpenters, the builders, 12 the masons, and the stonecutters—and would use it to buy timber and quarried stone to repair the damage to the Lord’s temple and for all expenses for temple repairs.
13 However, no silver bowls, wick trimmers, sprinkling basins, trumpets, or any articles of gold or silver were made for the Lord’s temple from the contributions[ae] brought to the Lord’s temple. 14 Instead, it was given to those doing the work, and they repaired the Lord’s temple with it. 15 No accounting was required from the men who received the silver to pay those doing the work, since they worked with integrity. 16 The silver from the guilt offering and the sin offering was not brought to the Lord’s temple since it belonged to the priests.
Aramean Invasion of Judah
17 At that time King Hazael of Aram marched up and fought against Gath and captured it. Then he planned to attack Jerusalem. 18 So King Joash of Judah took all the items consecrated by himself and by his ancestors—Judah’s kings Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah—as well as all the gold found in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and in the king’s palace, and he sent them to King Hazael of Aram. Then Hazael withdrew from Jerusalem.
19 The rest of the events of Joash’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. 20 Joash’s servants conspired against him and attacked him at Beth-millo on the road that goes down to Silla. 21 It was his servants Jozabad[af] son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer who attacked him. He died and they buried him with his ancestors in the city of David, and his son Amaziah became king in his place.
13 In the twenty-third year of Judah’s King Joash son of Ahaziah, Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. 2 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight and followed the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit; he did not turn away from them. 3 So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel, and he handed them over to King Hazael of Aram and to his son Ben-hadad during their reigns.
4 Then Jehoahaz sought the Lord’s favor, and the Lord heard him, for he saw the oppression the king of Aram inflicted on Israel. 5 Therefore, the Lord gave Israel a deliverer, and they escaped from the power of the Arameans. Then the people of Israel returned to their former way of life,[a] 6 but they didn’t turn away from the sins that the house of Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. Jehoahaz continued them, and the Asherah pole also remained standing in Samaria. 7 Jehoahaz did not have an army left, except for fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand foot soldiers, because the king of Aram had destroyed them, making them like dust at threshing.
8 The rest of the events of Jehoahaz’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and his might, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. 9 Jehoahaz rested with his ancestors, and he was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoash[b] became king in his place.
Israel’s King Jehoash
10 In the thirty-seventh year of Judah’s King Joash, Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned sixteen years. 11 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He did not turn away from all the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit, but he continued them.
12 The rest of the events of Jehoash’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and the power he had to wage war against Judah’s King Amaziah, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. 13 Jehoash rested with his ancestors, and Jeroboam sat on his throne. Jehoash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
14 When Elisha became sick with the illness from which he died, King Jehoash of Israel went down and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
15 Elisha responded, “Get a bow and arrows.” So he got a bow and arrows. 16 Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Grasp the bow.” So the king grasped it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. 17 Elisha said, “Open the east window.” So he opened it. Elisha said, “Shoot!” So he shot. Then Elisha said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, yes, the arrow of victory over Aram. You are to strike down the Arameans in Aphek until you have put an end to them.”
18 Then Elisha said, “Take the arrows!” So he took them. Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground!” So he struck the ground three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times. Then you would have struck down Aram until you had put an end to them, but now you will strike down Aram only three times.” 20 Then Elisha died and was buried.
Now Moabite raiders used to come into the land in the spring of the year. 21 Once, as the Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a raiding party, so they threw the man into Elisha’s tomb. When he touched Elisha’s bones, the man revived and stood up!
God’s Mercy on Israel
22 King Hazael of Aram oppressed Israel throughout the reign of Jehoahaz, 23 but the Lord was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and turned toward them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was not willing to destroy them. Even now he has not banished them from his presence.
24 King Hazael of Aram died, and his son Ben-hadad became king in his place. 25 Then Jehoash son of Jehoahaz took back from Ben-hadad son of Hazael the cities that Hazael had taken in war from Jehoash’s father Jehoahaz. Jehoash defeated Ben-hadad three times and recovered the cities of Israel.