Thematic Bible: Who reigned over israel


Thematic Bible



The rest of Zimri's accomplishments, including his conspiracy that he carried out, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not?

Zimri reigned for seven days at Tirzah during the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Asa of Judah. At that time, the army was encamped in a siege against Gibbethon of Philistia.

As soon as he had consolidated his reign, he executed the entire household of Baasha. He did not leave a single male alive, including any of Baasha's relatives or friends. In doing so, Zimri destroyed the entire household of Baasha, in keeping with the message from the LORD that he had spoken against Baasha through Jehu the prophet


Now when all of Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent for him and invited him to visit their assembly, where they installed him as king over all of Israel. Nobody (with the sole exception of the tribe of Judah) would align with David's dynasty.

Later on, Jeroboam fortified Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim and lived there. He also expanded from there and built Penuel. Jeroboam was thinking to himself, "The kingdom is about to return to David's control. If these people keep going up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices to the LORD there, the hearts of these people will return to their lord, King Rehoboam of Judah. Then they'll kill me and return to Rehoboam, king of Judah!" read more.
So the king sought some advice and then built two golden calves and announced, "It's too difficult for you to travel to Jerusalem. So here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!" He set one of them in Bethel and placed the other one in Dan. Doing this was sinful, because the people traveled as far as Dan to appear before one of their idols. Jeroboam built temples on the high places, and appointed his own priests from the fringe elements of the people who were not descendants of Levi. Jeroboam invented a festival for the fifteenth day of the eighth month similar to the festival that takes place in Judah. He approached the altar that he had set up in Bethel and sacrificed to the calves that he had made, having stationed in Bethel the priests that he had appointed. Then, on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, he went up to burn incense on the altar that he had set up in Bethel, thus beginning the festival that he had made up out of his own heart for the Israelis. Right when Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn some incense, a man of God arrived in Bethel from Judah in obedience to a command from the LORD. He cursed the altar in this message from the LORD: "Hey altar! Hey altar! This is what the LORD says: "Pay attention to this! A son is going to be born in David's dynasty. His name will be Josiah. He will sacrifice the priests who burn incense on you in these high places. Human bones will be burned on you!'" Later that same day, he gave them a special display of power of what was to come when he said, "Here's proof that the LORD has decreed this: Look! This altar will be split apart and the ashes that are on it will spill out." When he heard the man of God curse the altar in Bethel, the king pointed at the man of God from where the king was standing at the altar. "Seize him!" he ordered. But all of a sudden his hand that he had stretched out dried up, and he could not bring it back to his side! Also, the altar broke apart and the ashes that were on it spilled out from the altar, providing just the proof that the man of God had predicted in his message from the LORD! "Please!" the king begged the man of God, "Ask the LORD your God and pray for me that my hand may be restored for me!" So the man of God asked the LORD, and the king's hand was immediately and fully restored, just like it had been before. So the king told the man of God, "Come back to my palace and rest a while. I'd like to give you a reward." But the man of God replied to the king, "Even if you were to offer me half of your house, I wouldn't go with you, and I'm sure not going to eat even a piece of bread or drink water in this place, because the LORD commanded me specifically, "You are not to eat bread, drink water, or return by the way that you came to arrive here!'" Then he left, returning a different way than the one by which he had traveled to Bethel. Now there was an old prophet who lived in Bethel, and his sons went to him and told him everything that the man of God had accomplished that day in Bethel, including the message that he had delivered to the king. "Which way did he go?" their father asked him, since his sons had observed the way that the man of God had taken to return to Judah from Bethel. "Saddle my donkey for me!" he ordered. So they saddled the donkey for him and he rode off after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak tree. "You're the man of God who came from Judah, aren't you?" the old prophet asked him. "I am," he replied. "Come home with me and have a meal," he told him. But he replied, "I can't go back with you to your home, be in your company, or even eat food or drink water with you in this place, because I've been given a command in the form of this message from the LORD: "You are to eat no food, drink no water, and do not return to Judah by traveling the way by which you go there.'" "I'm a prophet like you," the old man replied, "and an angel spoke to me and delivered this message from the LORD: "Bring him back with you to your house and give him food and water.'" But he was lying, and the man of God accompanied the old prophet back to his house, ate some food, and drank some water. Later, while they were sitting down at the table, a message from the LORD was delivered to the prophet who had brought him back, so he cried out to the man of God from Judah: "This is what the LORD says: "Because you disobeyed a command from the LORD and haven't done what the LORD your God commanded you to do, but instead you returned to eat and drink in the very place that he told you "Eat no food and drink no water," your body will not be buried in the same grave as your ancestors.'" After the meal was over, and the man had eaten food and had drunk water, the old prophet saddled the donkey for him that is, for the man of God whom he had brought back. Not long after the man of God had left, a lion met him along the road and killed him. His body was left lying in the middle of the road with the donkey standing beside it and with the lion also standing next to the body. When some men passed by and noticed the body lying in the middle of the road and the lion standing beside the body, they went straight to the city and told what had happened in the city where the old prophet lived. The prophet who had brought the man of God back from the road learned about it. "It's the man of God who disobeyed the message from the LORD," he said. "That's why the LORD gave him to that lion, which mauled him and killed him, just as the message from the LORD told rebuke him." Then he ordered his sons, "Saddle the donkey for me." So they did. The old prophet went out, located the body on the road where the donkey and the lion were standing beside the body. The lion had not eaten the body nor mauled the donkey. The prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back to the city where the old man lived so he could mourn and bury him. He buried the corpse in his own grave and his family mourned for him, crying out, "Oh, no! My brother!" After he had buried the man of God, he gave these instructions to his children: "When I die, bury me in the same grave in which the man of God is buried. Place my bones beside his, because what he predicted by a message from the LORD against the altar in Bethel and the temples built in the high places of the cities of Samaria will certainly come about." Despite everything that happened, Jeroboam never did repent of his evil practices. Instead, he appointed even more people to act as priests for the high places. Anyone who wanted to be a priest was ordained to be a priest in the high places. This practice became so sinful that the LORD decided to erase Jeroboam's dynasty, thus eliminating it from the face of the earth. Right at that time, Jeroboam's son Abijah became ill, so Jeroboam suggested to his wife, "Get up, disguise yourself so that no one will know that you're Jeroboam's wife, and go to Shiloh where the prophet Ahijah lives. He's the one who told me that I would be king over this people. Take ten loaves with you, some cakes, and a jar of honey and go visit him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy." So that's what Jeroboam's wife did. She got up, went to Shiloh, and found Ahijah's home. Ahijah was blind, because his eyes could not focus due to his age. Meanwhile, the LORD had spoken to Ahijah, "Be on your guard! Jeroboam's wife is coming to ask you about her son, because he is ill. You're to say such and such to her. When she arrives, she will pretend to be someone else!" When she arrived, Ahijah heard the sound of her feet as she came through the doorway. He said this to her: "Come in, wife of Jeroboam. What is this pretension at being someone else? I have some harsh news. Go tell Jeroboam: "I raised you up from among the people. "I made you Commander-in-Chief over my people Israel. "I tore the kingdom away from David's dynasty. "Then I gave it to you. But you have not lived like my servant David, who kept my commands with all his heart, and did only what I considered to be right. "Instead, you have done more evil than everyone who lived before you. "You have gone out and crafted other gods for yourself. "You made cast images. "You have provoked me to anger. "You have thrown me behind your back. "Therefore, watch while I bring calamity on Jeroboam's dynasty! "I will eliminate every male, both slave and free in Israel, from Jeroboam. "I will burn up Jeroboam's dynasty, as a man burns up manure until it is gone. Dogs will eat anyone who dies in the city that belongs to Jeroboam's household. The birds of the sky will eat anyone who dies in the open field, because the LORD has determined it.' "Now get up and go home. When your feet cross the city line, your child will die. Everyone in Israel will mourn for him and will bury him, because he alone from Jeroboam's family will receive a decent burial, because something good was observed in him with respect to the LORD God of Israel out of all the household of Jeroboam! "In addition to this, the LORD will raise up for himself a king over Israel who will eliminate Jeroboam's dynasty, starting today and from now on. The LORD will attack Israel, and Israel will shake like a reed shakes in a river current! He will uproot Israel from this good land that he gave to their ancestors and he will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they erected their Asherim and provoked the LORD to become angry! He will give up Israel because of Jeroboam's sins that he committed and by which Jeroboam caused Israel to sin." Then Jeroboam's wife got up and left for Tirzah. As soon as she set foot over the threshold of the house, the child died. All of Israel mourned him at his burial, just as the LORD had said when he spoke through Ahijah the prophet. Now as for the rest of Jeroboam's accomplishments, including how he waged war and how he reigned, you may read about them in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Jeroboam reigned for 22 years and then died, as had his ancestors, and his son Nadab reigned in his place.


During the thirty-seventh year of the reign of King Joash of Judah, Jehoahaz's son Jehoash began a sixteen year reign as king over Israel in Samaria. He practiced what the LORD considered to be evil, not changing course from all of the sins practiced by Nebat's son Jeroboam by which he caused Israel to sin. Instead, he continued on that same course. The rest of Joash's activities, including everything he did and the vehemence with which he fought against King Amaziah of Judah are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? read more.
So Joash died, as did his ancestors, and Jeroboam assumed his throne after Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. When Elisha fell ill with the sickness from which he was about to die, King Joash of Israel came down to see him, wept in his presence, and told him, "My father, Israel's chariots and horsemen!" Elisha told him, "Pick up a bow and some arrows." So he picked up a bow and some arrows. Then Elisha told Israel's king, "Draw the bow!" As he did so, Elisha laid his hands on top of the king's hands and ordered him, "Open a window that faces east." So he did so. Elisha ordered him, "Shoot!" So he shot. Then Elisha said, "This is the LORD's arrow of victory the victory arrow against Aram, because you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you will have utterly finished them off." After this Elisha said, "Pick up the arrows." So the king picked them up. Then Elisha told the king of Israel, "Strike the ground!" So he struck it three times and then stood still. At this, the man of God became angry at him and told him, "You should have struck five or six times! Then you would have attacked Aram until you would have destroyed it! But as it is now, you'll defeat Aram only three times!" Later, Elisha died and was buried. Now at that time, various Moabite marauders had been invading the land each spring. One day while some Israelis were burying a man, they saw some marauders, so they threw the man into Elisha's grave. But when the man fell against Elisha's remains, he revived and rose to his feet. Meanwhile, King Hazael of Aram had been oppressing Israel throughout the reign of Jehoahaz, but the LORD showed grace to them, displayed his compassion toward them, and turned to them due to his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He would not destroy them or evict them from his presence up until that time. After King Hazael of Aram died, his son Ben-hadad replaced him as king. At that time, Jehoahaz's son Jehoash recaptured from Hazael's son Ben-hadad the cities that Hazael had captured through warfare from the control of Jehoahaz, Jehoash's father. Joash defeated and recovered cities of Israel from Ben-hadad three times.

Later, Amaziah sent couriers to Jehoahaz's son Jehoash, grandson of King Jehu of Israel, challenging him, "Come on! Let's fight face to face!" But King Jehoash of Israel sent this message to King Amaziah of Judah: "The thorn bush in Lebanon sent this message to the cedar of Lebanon: "Give your daughter to my son in marriage.' But just then a wild beast from Lebanon wandered by and trampled down the thorn bush. You just defeated Edom and you're arrogant. Bask in your victory and stay home. Why incite trouble so that you yes, you! fall, along with Judah with you?" read more.
But Amaziah refused to listen. So Israel's King Jehoash and Judah's King Amaziah faced each other at Beth-shemesh, which is part of Judah. Judah was defeated by Israel, and everybody fled to their own tents. Then King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah's King Amaziah, the son of Jehoash and grandson of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. He went to Jerusalem and demolished 400 cubits of the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. He confiscated all the gold and silver, all the instruments he could find in the LORD's Temple and in the palace treasuries. He also captured some hostages and then returned to Samaria. The rest of Jehoash's activities that he undertook, including his valor in fighting King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? Jehoash died, as had his ancestors, and he was buried in Samaria alongside the kings of Israel. His son Jeroboam reigned in his place.


Jeroboam's son Nadab became king over Israel during the second year of the reign of King Asa over Judah. He reigned over Israel for two years, practicing what the LORD considered to be evil, living the way his father did, committing sins, and leading Israel to sin. So Ahijah's son Baasha from the household of Issachar conspired against him and killed Nadab at Gibbethon in Philistia while Nadab and all of Israel were attacking Gibbethon.

Now the rest of Nadab's accomplishments, including everything he undertook, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not?


Later, King Rezin of Aram and Remaliah's son Pekah, king of Israel, approached Jerusalem to attack it. They besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him.

Remaliah's son Pekah began a 20-year reign as Israel's king during the fifty-second year of King Azariah of Judah. He did what the LORD considered to be evil by never abandoning the sins of Nebat's son Jeroboam, by which he caused Israel to sin. During the lifetime of King Pekah of Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria attacked. He captured the cities of Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, and Hazor. He also captured Gilead, Galilee, and the entire territory of Naphtali, and carried its people off to Assyria. read more.
So during the twentieth year of the reign of Uzziah's son Jotham, Elah's son Hoshea conspired against Remaliah's son Pekah, attacked him, executed him, and became king in his place. The rest of Pekah's activities, including everything that he accomplished, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.


Ahab's son Ahaziah became king over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. He reigned for two years over Israel. He practiced what the Lord considered to be evil by living life like his father and mother did. He lived like Nebat's son Jeroboam, who led Israel into sin. He served Baal, worshipped him, and provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger, in accordance with everything his father had done.

After this, Jehoram ascended to the throne during the second year of the reign of Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram from Judah. He took the place of Ahaziah, who had no son. The rest of Ahaziah's activities are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not?


Omri's son Ahab became king over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of King Asa of Judah. He reigned over Israel in Samaria for 22 years. Omri's son Ahab practiced more of what the LORD considered to be evil than anyone who had lived before him. In fact, as if it were nothing for him to live like Nebat's son Jeroboam, Ahab married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of Sidon. Then he went out to serve Baal and worship him. read more.
He built an altar for Baal in a temple for Baal that he constructed in Samaria. Ahab also erected an Asherah, doing more to provoke the LORD God of Israel than all of the kings of Israel who had reigned before him. It was during Ahab's reign that Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations just as his firstborn son Abiram was dying, and he erected its gates while his youngest son Segub was dying, thus fulfilling the message that the LORD delivered through Nun's son Joshua. Elijah the foreigner, who was an alien resident from Gilead, told Ahab, "As the LORD God of Israel lives, in whose presence I'm standing, there will be neither dew nor rain these next several years, except when I say so." Later, this message came to him from the LORD: "Leave here and go into hiding at the Wadi Cherith, where it enters the Jordan River. You will be able to drink from that brook, and I've commanded some crows to sustain you there." So Elijah left and did exactly what the LORD had told him to do he went to live near the Wadi Cherith, where it enters the Jordan River. Crows would bring him bread and meat both in the morning and in the evening, and he would drink from the brook. But after a while, the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. Then this message came to him from the LORD: "Get up, move to Zarephath in Sidon, and stay there. Look! I've commanded a widow to sustain you there." So he got up and went to Zarephath. As he arrived at the entrance to the city, a widow was there gathering sticks. So he asked her, "Please, may I have some water in a cup so I can have a drink." While she was on her way to get the water, he called out to her, "Would you please also bring me a piece of bread while you're at it?" "As the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have so much as a muffin, just a handful of flour in a bowl and some oil left in a bottle. Now I'm going to find some sticks so I can cook a last meal for my son and for me. Then we're going to eat it and die." But Elijah told her, "You can stop being afraid. Go and do what you said, but first make me a muffin and bring it to me. Then make a meal for yourself and for your son, because this is what the LORD God of Israel says: "That jar of flour will not run out, nor will that bottle of oil become empty until the very day that the LORD sends rain on the surface of the ground.'" So she went out and did precisely what Elijah told her to do. As a result, Elijah, the widow, and her son were fed for days. The jar of flour never ran out and the bottle of oil never became empty, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah. Sometime later, the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. In fact, his illness became so severe that he died. "What do we have in common, you man of God?" she accused Elijah. "You came to me so you could uncover my guilt! And you're responsible for the death of my son!" "Give me your son," he replied. Then he took him from her lap, carried him upstairs to the room where he lived, and laid him on his bed. Then he called out to the LORD and asked him, "LORD my God, have you also brought evil to this dear widow with whom I am living as her guest? Have you caused the death of her son?" Then he stretched himself three times and cried out to the LORD, "LORD my God, please cause the soul of this little boy to return to him." The LORD listened to Elijah, and the soul of the little boy returned to him, and he revived. Then Elijah took the little boy downstairs from the upper chamber back into the main house and delivered him to his mother. "Look," Elijah told her, "your son is alive." The woman responded to Elijah, "Now at last I've really learned that you are a man of God and that what you have to say about the LORD is the truth." Quite some time later three years later! this message from the LORD came to Elijah: "Go visit Ahab, and I'll send some rain to the surface of the ground." So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab, right when the famine in Samaria was most severe. Ahab called for Obadiah, his household supervisor. This man, who feared the LORD very much, had taken 100 prophets and had hidden them by fifties in a cave, providing them with food and water when Jezebel was trying to destroy the LORD's prophets. Ahab had instructed Obadiah, "Go throughout the land to all of the water springs and to all of the valleys. Maybe we'll find some grass to keep the horses and mules alive. Also, maybe we won't have to kill some of our cattle." So they divided the land between them so they could conduct their survey. Ahab went off by himself in one direction and Obadiah went off by himself in the other. While Obadiah was on the road, Elijah met him. Obadiah recognized him and bowed down with his face to the ground. "It's you, isn't it, my master Elijah?" "I am," he replied. "Go tell your master, "Look! Elijah!'" But Obadiah replied, "What did I do wrong, that you would put me in a position where Ahab would execute me? As surely as the LORD your God lives, there isn't a nation or kingdom where my master hasn't tried to find you. Whenever they would say "He isn't here,' he forced that kingdom or nation to swear that they hadn't seen you. But now you're saying "Go tell your master, "Elijah is here!"' As soon as I've left you, the Spirit of the LORD will carry you off to I don't know where! Then when I go tell Ahab and he can't find you, he'll kill me, even though I have been your servant and have feared the LORD since I was young! Hasn't anyone told you, my master, what I did when Jezebel was killing the LORD's prophets? I hid 100 of the LORD's prophets by fifties in a cave and provided food and water for them. Now you're saying, "Go tell your master, "Elijah's here!"' He's sure to kill me!" But Elijah promised him, "As the LORD of the Heavenly Armies lives, in whose presence I stand, I will appear to Ahab today." So Obadiah went out to meet Ahab and reported to him. Then Ahab went to meet Elijah. When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab asked him, "Is it really you, you destroyer of Israel?" But Elijah replied, "I'm no destroyer of Israel. But you and your ancestor's household have been doing that, because you have abandoned the LORD's commandments and have followed the Baals. So go gather all of Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. Bring along 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the Asherah who are funded at Jezebel's expense." Ahab sent for the Israelis and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel, where Elijah approached all the people and asked them, "How long will you keep hesitating between both sides? If the LORD is God, go after him. If Baal, go after him." But the people didn't say a word. So Elijah told the people, "I'm the only one left over as a prophet of the LORD, am I? But Baal's prophets number 450 men? So let them provide two oxen. They can choose one ox for themselves. Cut it up, lay it on top of some wood, but don't set fire to it. I will prepare the other ox and lay it on top of some wood, and I won't set fire to it. Then you can call on the name of your god, and I'll call on the name of the LORD. Let the God who answers by fire be our God!" "That's a good idea!" all the people shouted. So Elijah told the prophets of Baal, "Choose an ox for yourselves and you prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but don't set fire to the offering." So they took the ox that was given to them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from early morning until noon. "Baal! Answer us!" they cried. But there was no response. Nobody answered. So they kept on dancing around the altar that they had made. Starting about noon, Elijah began to tease them: "Shout louder! "He's a god, so maybe he's busy. "Maybe he's relieving himself. "Maybe he's busy someplace. "Maybe he's taking a nap and somebody needs to wake him up." So the prophets of Baal cried even louder and slashed themselves with swords and lances until their blood gushed out all over them, as was their custom. They kept on raving right through midday and until it was time to offer the evening sacrifice, but there was still no response. Nobody answered, and nobody paid attention. Eventually, Elijah told everybody, "Come here!" So everybody approached him, and he repaired the LORD's altar that had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes of Jacob's descendants, to whom the message from the LORD had come that "Israel is to be your name." So Elijah used the stones to build an altar to the name of the LORD. But then he dug a trench around the altar large enough to hold two measures of seed. Then he laid the wood in order, cut the bull into pieces, and laid them on top of the wood. "Fill four pitchers with water," he ordered. "Then pour them out on the burnt offering and the wood." "Do it a second time," he ordered. So they did it a second time. "Do it a third time," he said. So they did it a third time. The water ran down around the altar and completely filled the trench. As the time for the evening offering arrived, Elijah the prophet approached and said, "LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I, your servant, have done all of this in obedience to your word. Answer me, LORD! Answer me so that this people may know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning back their hearts again." Right then the LORD's fire fell and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, the dust, and even the water that was in the trench! When all the people saw what had happened, they fell flat on their faces and cried out "The LORD is God! The LORD is God!" But Elijah said, "Arrest the prophets of Baal. Don't let even one of them get away." So the people seized them, and Elijah brought them down to the Wadi Kishon and executed them there. After this, Elijah told Ahab, "Get up and have something to eat and drink, because there's the sound of a coming rainstorm." So Ahab got up to get something to eat and drink while Elijah went back up to the top of Mount Carmel, where he bowed low to the ground and placed his face between his knees. Then he told his young servant, "Go and look toward the sea." So he went and looked out to sea. "Nothing there," he said. But Elijah told him to go back seven times. On the seventh look, he said, "Look! There's a cloud, a small one, about the size of a man's hand. It's coming up out of the sea!" "Get up and find Ahab!" Elijah said. "Tell him, "Mount your chariot and ride down the mountain so the storm doesn't stop you.'" A little while later, the sky turned black with storm clouds and winds, and there was a heavy shower. So Ahab rode off to Jezreel. After Ahab had left, the hand of the LORD came upon Elijah, and he tucked his mantle into his belt and outran Ahab in a race to the city gate of Jezreel. Ahab complained to Jezebel about everything that Elijah had done, especially the part about him killing all the prophets of Baal with a sword. Jezebel sent a messenger to tell Elijah, "May the gods do the same to me and even more if tomorrow about this time I haven't made you like one of those prophets you had killed." Elijah was terrified, so he got up and ran for his life to Beer-sheba, which is part of Judah, and left his servant there and ran for a day's journey deep into the wilderness. He found a juniper tree, sat down under it, and prayed that he could die. He asked God, "Enough! LORD! Take my life, because I'm not better than my ancestors!" Then he lay down and went to sleep under the juniper tree. All of a sudden, there was an angel, who kept grabbing him and telling him, "Get up! Eat!" So he looked around, and there near his head was a muffin sitting on top of some heated stones, along with a jar of water. Elijah ate and drank and then lay down again. Later, the angel of the LORD came a second time, grabbed him, and said "Get up! Eat! The journey ahead is too difficult for you!" So Elijah got up, ate and drank, and survived on that one meal for 40 days and nights as he set out on his journey to Horeb, God's mountain. Elijah arrived at a cave and stayed there. All of a sudden this message came from the LORD: "What are you doing here, Elijah?" "I've been very zealous for the LORD God of the Heavenly Armies," he replied. "The Israelis have abandoned your covenant, demolished your altars, executed your prophets with swords, and I that's right, just me! am the only one left. Now they're seeking my life, to get rid of me!" "Go out," he responded, "and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD." And there was the LORD, passing by! A tremendous, mighty windstorm was tearing at the mountains and breaking the rocks in pieces in the presence of the LORD, but the LORD was not in the windstorm. After the wind there came an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there came fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire, there was the sound of a gentle whisper. As soon as Elijah heard it, he covered his face in his mantle, went outside, and stood at the entrance to the cave. And there a voice spoke to him and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" "I've been very zealous for the LORD God of the Heavenly Armies," he replied. "The Israelis have abandoned your covenant, demolished your altars, executed your prophets with swords, and I that's right, just me! am the only one left. Now they're seeking my life, to get rid of me!" The LORD replied to him, "Go! Return to Damascus, and when you get there, anoint Hazael as king over Aram, anoint Nimshi's son Jehu as king over Israel, and anoint Shaphat's son Elisha from Abel-meholah as a prophet to replace you. Whoever escapes from Hazael's sword Jehu will execute, and whoever escapes from Jehu's sword Elisha will put to death. Nevertheless, I've reserved 7,000 in Israel who have neither bowed their knees to Baal nor kissed him." Elijah left there and located Shaphat's son Elisha, who was plowing, along with a total of twelve pairs of oxen. (He was plowing with the twelfth pair.) As Elijah passed by, he tossed his cloak at Elisha. He abandoned the oxen, ran off to follow Elijah, and asked him, "Please, let me kiss my mother and father good-bye, and then I'll come after you." "Go back again," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?" So Elisha turned back, took the pair of oxen, sacrificed them, boiled their flesh using the farm implements for fuel, and gave the food to the people with him. Then he got up, followed Elijah, and became his servant. A little while later, King Ben-hadad of Aram mustered an army of cavalry and chariots in a military confederacy with 32 kings, invaded Samaria, and set up siege encampments there. Then he sent envoys to visit King Ahab of Israel and told him, "This is what Ben-hadad says: "Your silver and gold belong to me. So do the most beautiful of your wives and children.'" "Whatever you want, your majesty," the king of Israel answered. "I belong to you, as does everything I own." After delivering Ahab's answer, the envoys returned with this message: "This is what Ben-hadad says: "I've sent my envoys to you to tell you that your silver, gold, wives, and children are to be given to me. About this time tomorrow, I'll send my servants to you, and they'll search through your palace and your servants' houses. Whatever is important to you will be seized and taken away.'" Then the king of Israel called together all of the elders of the land and told them, "Please note that this man is here looking for trouble. He sent a message to me, demanding my wives, my children, and my silver and gold, and I haven't refused him." "Don't listen to him," all the elders and the people replied. "And don't agree to his terms." So he told Ben-hadad's envoys, "Tell his majesty the king, "Everything that you asked for the first time I will do, but this thing I cannot do.'" So the envoys left to deliver Ahab's response. They returned a little while later. Beh-hadad sent this message back: "May the gods do so to me, and more than that also, if the dust that remains of Samaria is enough to fill up a few handfuls for all of the armies at my disposal." But the king of Israel replied, "Tell him, "The one who is starting to strap on his battle armor should never brag like the one who is taking it off.'" Ben-hadad received Ahab's response while he was celebrating with his kings in the battle pavilions. "Sound "Battle Stations!'" he ordered, and the army began to prepare their attack. Right about then, a prophet approached King Ahab of Israel and told him, "This is what the LORD says: "You see all of this great big army, do you? Well now, I'm going to deliver them all right into your hand, and you will learn that I am the LORD!'" "By whom?" Ahab asked. "This is what the LORD says," the prophet replied. ""By the young men who serve as officials within the provinces.'" "Who is to begin the battle?" Ahab asked. "You," the prophet answered. So Ahab gathered together 232 young men who served as officials within the provinces and then mustered 7,000 soldiers from among the Israelis. They attacked at noon, just as Ben-hadad was drinking himself drunk in the battle pavilions, along with the 32 kings who had joined him. The young men who served as officials within the provinces led the charge, and somebody informed Ben-hadad, "Some men have come out from Samaria." "Take them alive, whether they've come in peace or not," he ordered. Meanwhile, as the young men who served as officials within the provinces left the city, their army followed after them. Each man struck down his opponent, and the Arameans ran away with Israel in pursuit. King Ben-hadad of Aram escaped on horseback with the help of his cavalry. The king of Israel went out and attacked the cavalry and chariots and killed the Arameans in a massive victory. The prophet approached the king of Israel and told him, "Go replenish your forces and prepare for the future, because early this next year the king of Aram will attack you again." Sure enough, the advisors to the king of Aram told him, "Their gods are mountain gods. That's why they were stronger than we were. But when we fight them on the plains, we're certain to be the stronger army! So do this: remove the kings from command and replace them with captains. Then replace the army that you lost, horse-for-horse and chariot-for-chariot. We'll fight them on the plains, and we're certain to be the stronger army." Ben-hadad listened to what they had to say and carried out their advice. Early the next year, Ben-hadad mustered the Arameans and invaded Aphek in a battle against Israel. The Israelis were mustered, equipped with provisions, and sent out to fight. The Israeli encampment looked like two little flocks of goats compared to how the Aramean encampments filled the countryside! Right about then, a man of God approached and told the king of Israel, "This is what the LORD says: "Because the Arameans keep saying "The LORD is a mountain god, but isn't a valley god," I'm going to deliver this entire vast army right into your control, so you'll learn that I really am the LORD.'" So they remained in opposing camps for seven days. Then on the seventh day the battle commenced, and the Israelis killed 100,000 Aramean infantry troops in a single day. The rest of the Aramean army retreated into Aphek, but the city wall collapsed on 27,000 soldiers who had taken shelter there. Ben-hadad himself ran away and hid inside a closet somewhere in the city. "Look, now," his advisors suggested, "we've heard that the Israeli kings are merciful. So let's clothe ourselves with sackcloth, tie our hair back with ropes, and go out to the king of Israel. Maybe he'll spare your life." So they put on some sackcloth, tied their hair back with ropes, and approached the king of Israel. "Your servant Ben-hadad says this," they said. "Please let me live." "Is he still alive?" Ahab asked. "He's my brother." Ben-hadad's advisors, quickly analyzing the signs in what Ahab was saying, responded, "Yes, your brother Ben-hadad." "Go get him," Ahab responded. So Ben-hadad came out to him, and Ahab took him up into his personal chariot. Ben-hadad made this promise to Ahab: "I will restore the cities that my ancestors took from your ancestors. You'll be able to build streets named after yourself in Damascus, as my father did in Samaria." "With this promise I will release you," Ahab replied. So Ahab made a treaty with Ben-hadad and let him go. Right about then, one of the members of the guild of prophets told another through a message from the LORD: "Please strike me!" But the man refused to do so, so he told him, "Because you haven't obeyed the LORD's voice, as soon as you leave here, a lion will kill you." As soon as the man left, a lion found him and killed him. Later, he found another man and told him, "Please strike me!" So the man struck him and wounded him. Then the prophet left and waited for the king to pass by, disguising himself with a bandage over his eyes. As the king was passing by, he cried out to the king and told him, "Your servant went out into the middle of the battle, and a soldier turned aside, brought a prisoner to me, and told me, "Guard this man. If he turns up missing for any reason at all, you'll pay for it with your life or be fined one talent of silver.' While your servant was busy here and there, the prisoner escaped." The king told him, "By your actions you've earned the proper judgment!" Then the prophet quickly tore off his bandage, and the king of Israel recognized him as being one of the prophets. He told the king, "This is what the LORD says: "Because you let the man whom I had dedicated to destruction go free, therefore your life is to be forfeited for his life, and your people for his people.'" After hearing this, the king of Israel rode back to his palace in Samaria, frustrated and in a foul mood. Meanwhile, there was a man named Naboth from Jezreel who owned a vineyard that was located contiguous to King Ahab's palace in Samaria. Ahab addressed Naboth and asked him, "I would like to plant a vegetable garden near my house. Please exchange your vineyard with a better one from me, or if you'd rather have cash, I'll buy it for its full value." But Naboth replied to Ahab, "No way! The LORD prohibits the sale to you of the inheritance of my ancestors!" Ahab went back to his palace, sullen and in a foul mood, because Naboth the Jezreelite had turned down Ahab's offer by saying "I will not transfer my ancestors' inheritance to you!" He laid down on his bed, curled up with his face to the wall, and refused to eat. But his wife Jezebel went to him and asked him, "How is it that you're so sullen and refusing to eat?" "I asked Naboth the Jezreelite, "Sell me your vineyard for cash, or if you want, I'll give you a better one in its place.' But he refused. He told me, "I won't give you my vineyard!'" "Aren't you the reigning king of Israel," his wife Jezebel replied. "Get up, have a meal, and get ready to be happy. I'll go get you the vineyard that Naboth the Jezreelite owns." So she wrote some memos in Ahab's name, set his personal seal to them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived with Naboth in his city. In the memos, she wrote the following directives: "Proclaim a public fast and seat Naboth in the front row. Seat two wicked men in front of him, and make them testify against him. Tell them to claim "You cursed God and the king.' Then take him out and stone him to death." So the leading men of the city, along with the elders and nobles who lived there, did precisely what Jezebel had directed them to do. They followed the instructions that she had set forth in the memos: They proclaimed a public fast and seated Naboth in the front row. Two wicked men came in, sat down in front of them, and testified against Naboth in public, "Naboth cursed God and the king!" So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death. Afterwards, they sent a message to Jezebel that said, "Naboth has been stoned. He's dead." When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she told Ahab, "Get up and confiscate Naboth's vineyard that he refused to sell you for cash. Naboth the Jezreelite isn't alive anymore. He's dead!" So once he heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab got up, went down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, and confiscated it. That's when this message from the LORD came to Elijah the foreigner: "Get up and go down to meet King Ahab of Israel. He's in Samaria. Look! He's in Naboth's vineyard, where he's gone to confiscate it. Ask the king, "Did you commit murder? And now you're going to steal as well?' Also tell him, "This is what the LORD says: "Where the dogs were licking up Naboth's blood, dogs will also lick up your blood that's right yours!"'" Later on, Ahab asked Elijah, "Have you found me, my enemy?" But Elijah answered, "I've found you because you sold yourself to do what the LORD considers to be evil! Now pay attention! I'm going to send evil in your direction! I will completely sweep you away and eliminate from Ahab every male, whether indentured servant or free, throughout Israel. I will make your household resemble that of Nebat's son Jeroboam, or like the household of Ahijah's son Baasha, because of how you've provoked me to anger and made Israel to sin. The LORD also has this to say about Jezebel: "Dogs will eat Jezebel within the outer ramparts of Jezreel. Dogs will eat whoever belongs to Ahab and who dies in the city. The birds of the sky will eat whoever dies in the fields.'" It can be truly said that no one else sold himself to practice what the LORD considered to be evil quite like the way Ahab did, because his wife Jezebel incited him. His behavior in pursuing idolatry was detestable, just like the Amorites had done whom the LORD had expelled in front of the army of Israel. Nevertheless, as soon as Ahab heard this message, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and fasted. He even slept in sackcloth and wandered around meekly. Later, this message from the LORD came to Elijah the foreigner: "Have you noticed that Ahab has humbled himself in my presence? Because he has humbled himself in my presence, I will not bring his evil to harvest during his lifetime, but I will bring evil to his household during his son's lifetime." Three years passed without war between Aram and Israel. During that third year, King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to visit the king of Israel. The king of Israel asked his servants, "Were you aware that Ramoth-gilead belongs to us, but we aren't doing anything to remove it from the control of the king of Aram?" Then he asked Jehoshaphat, "Will you join me in battle against Ramoth-gilead?" "I'm with you," Jehoshaphat answered the king of Israel. "My army will join yours, and my cavalry will be your cavalry." But Jehoshaphat also asked the king of Israel, "Please ask for a message from the LORD, first." So the king of Israel called in about 400 prophets and asked them, "Should we go attack Ramoth-gilead, or should I call off the attack?" "Go attack them," they all said, "because the Lord will drop them right into the king's hand!" But Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the LORD left here that we could talk to?" "There is still one man left by whom we could ask the LORD what to do," the king of Israel replied to Jehoshaphat, "but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me. Instead, he prophesies evil. He is Imla's son Micaiah." But Jehoshaphat rebuked Ahab, "Kings should never talk like that." Nevertheless, the king of Israel called one of his officers and ordered him, "Bring me Imla's son Micaiah quickly." Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were each sitting on their respective thrones, arrayed in their robes, on the threshing floor at the entrance to the city gate of Samaria, and all of the prophets were prophesying in front of them. Chenaanah's son Zedekiah made iron horns for himself and told them, "This is what the LORD says, "With these horns you are to gore the Arameans until they are eliminated!'" All the other prophets were saying similar things, like "Go up to Ramoth-gilead and you will be successful, because the LORD will hand it over to the king!" Meanwhile, the messenger who had gone off to summon Micaiah advised him, "Look, everything that the other prophets were saying was unanimously favorable to the king. So please, cooperate with them and speak favorably." "As the LORD lives," Micaiah replied, "I'll say what my God tells me to say." When Micaiah approached the king, the king asked him, "Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I not?" "Go to war," Micaiah replied, "and you will be successful, because the LORD will hand it over to the king!" When he heard this, the king asked him, "How many times do I have to make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth? Now do it in the name of the LORD!" So Micaiah replied: "I saw all of Israel scattered on the mountains like sheep without a shepherd. And the LORD told me, "These have no master, so let them each return to his own home in peace.'" Then the king of Israel told Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you that he wouldn't prophesy anything good about me, but only evil?" But Micaiah responded, "Therefore, listen to what the LORD has to say. I saw the LORD, sitting on his throne, and the entire Heavenly Army was standing around him on his right hand and on his left hand. "The LORD asked, "Who will tempt King Ahab of Israel to attack Ramoth-gilead, so that he will die there?' And one was saying one thing and one was saying another. "But then a spirit approached, stood in front of the LORD, and said, "I will entice him.' "And the LORD asked him, "How?' ""I will go,' he announced, "and I will be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all of his prophets!' "So the LORD said, "You're just the one to deceive him. You will be successful. Go and do it.' "Now therefore, listen! The LORD has placed a lying spirit in the mouth of all of these prophets of yours, because the LORD has determined to bring disaster upon you." Right then, Chenaanah's son Zedekiah approached Micaiah and struck him on the cheek. Then he asked him, "How did the Spirit of the LORD move from me to speak to you?" Micaiah replied, "You'll see how when the day comes that you run away to hide yourself in a closet!" Then the king of Israel ordered, "Take Micaiah and place him in the custody of Amon, the city governor. Hand him over to Joash, the king's son. Give him this order: "Place him in prison on survival rations of bread and water only until I come back safely.'" "If you return alive," Micaiah responded, "then the LORD has not spoken by me." Then he added, "Listen, all you people!" So the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah both attacked Ramoth-gilead. The king of Israel suggested to Jehoshaphat, "I'll go into battle in disguise, but you keep your royal uniform on." So the king of Israel disguised himself and they both went into the battle. Meanwhile, the king of Aram had issued these orders to 32 of his chariot commanders: "Don't attack unimportant soldiers or ranking officers. Go after only the king of Israel." So when the chariot commanders observed Jehoshaphat, they said by mistake, "It's the king of Israel!" and they turned aside to attack him. But Jehoshaphat cried out. When the chariot commanders saw that their target was not the king of Israel, they stopped pursuing him. Meanwhile, somebody drew his bow aimlessly and struck the king of Israel between the scales where his armor breastplates joined, so he instructed his chariot driver, "Turn around and take me out of the battle, because I've been severely wounded." The battle continued on for the rest of the day while the king of Israel was propped up in front of the Arameans until the sun set, at which time he died. The blood from Ahab's wound ran down into the bottom of the chariot. As the day drew to a close, this order was circulated throughout the army telling the soldiers, "Everybody go back to his city and to his own land." So the king died and was brought back to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. They washed the chariot by the reservoir of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood near where the prostitutes went to bathe, in keeping with the message that the LORD had spoken. Now as to the rest of Ahab's accomplishments, everything that he undertook, the ivory palace he built, and the cities that he built, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? That's how Ahab died, just as his ancestors had, and his son Ahaziah became king in his place.


Baasha killed him during the third year of the reign of King Asa of Judah and took Nadab's place as king. As soon as he was established as king, he killed everyone in the household of Jeroboam. He left not even one single person alive. He destroyed them completely, just as the LORD had spoken through his servant Ahijah the Shilonite, because of the sins that Jeroboam had committed, and because he led Israel into sin, provoking the LORD God of Israel to become angry. read more.
Now the rest of Nadab's accomplishments, including everything he undertook, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? Meanwhile, a state of war continued to exist between Asa and Baasha king of Israel, throughout their reigns. During the third year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Ahijah's son Baasha became king over all of Israel. He reigned for 24 years at Tirzah. He practiced what the LORD considered to be evil, living like Jeroboam did and leading Israel into sin. Later, a message came from the LORD to Hanani's son Jehu. It was directed to rebuke Baasha, and this is what it said: "I raised you from the dirt to become Commander-in-Chief over my people Israel, but you've been living like Jeroboam, you've been leading my people Israel into sin, and you've been provoking me to anger with their sins. So watch out! I'm going to devour Baasha and his household. I'm going to make your household just like the household of Jeroboam, Nebat's son. Anyone from Baasha's household who dies in the city will be eaten by dogs, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the sky will eat." Now the rest of Baasha's accomplishments, including everything that he undertook, as well as his strengths, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? Eventually, Baasha died, as had his ancestors, and he was buried in Tirzah. His son Elah was installed as king in his place. In addition, a message from the LORD came through Hanani's son Jehu the prophet against Baasha and his household, not only because of all of the things that Baasha did that the LORD considered to be evil, including provoking the LORD to anger by what he did and by being like the household of Jeroboam, but also because Baasha had destroyed Jeroboam's household.


take the flask of oil, and pour it out on his head. Then tell him, "This is what the LORD says: I'm anointing you king over Israel.' Then open the door and leave. Don't linger there!" So the young man, who was an attendant to the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. When he arrived, the army commanders were seated, so he said, "I have a message for you, captain!" Jehu asked, "For which one of us?" "For you, captain!" he answered. read more.
So Jehu got up and went inside the house, and the young man told him, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: "I have anointed you king over the people of the LORD that is, over Israel. You are to attack the household of your master Ahab, so I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, as well as the blood of all of the servants of the LORD that has been spilled at Jezebel's orders. The entire household of Ahab will die, and I will cut off from Ahab every male person in Israel, whether imprisoned or surviving. I will make the household of Ahab like the household of Nebat's son Jeroboam and the household of Ahijah's son Baasha. Furthermore, the dogs will eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel. There will be no burial for her.'" Then he opened the door and left. As Jehu was coming out to his master's attendants, one of them asked him, "Is everything all right? Why did this maniac visit you?" "You know the man and how he speculates," Jehu replied. "That's a lie!" they said. "Tell us what's going on!" "He said "This and that' to me," he responded. ""This is what the LORD says: "I have anointed you king over Israel."'" At this, each man quickly grabbed his own garment, placed it under him at the top of the stairs, sounded a trumpet, and announced, "Jehu is king!" Meanwhile, Jehoshaphat's son Jehu, the grandson of Nimshi, had been conspiring against Joram while Joram and all the army of Israel had been defending Ramoth-gilead against King Hazael from Aram. King Jehoram had returned to Jezreel to recover from wounds he had sustained from the Arameans when he had fought against King Hazael from Aram. So Jehu concluded, "Since this is what you've decided, then let no one get away, leave the city, and go report to Jezreel!" Then Jehu rode by chariot to Jezreel, since Joram was recovering there. King Ahaziah from Judah had come to visit Joram. While the watchman was standing guard in the tower at Jezreel, he watched Jehu's entourage arrive. So he called out, "I see a group arriving." Joram ordered, "Take a horseman, send him out to meet them, and have him ask, "Have you come in peace?'" So a horseman went out, greeted Jehu and said, "This is what the king said: "Have you come in peace?'" But Jehu responded, "What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me." The watchman reported, "The messenger arrived there, but he hasn't returned." Then Joram sent out a second horseman, who went out to them and said, "This is what the king said: "Have you come in peace?'" Jehu responded, "What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me." The watchman reported to Joram, "He arrived there, but he hasn't returned. Also, he drives like Nimshi's son Jehu drives irrationally!" Joram replied, "Let's begin our attack!" As soon as his chariot was prepared, both King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out, each in his own chariot, to fight against Jehu. They met together in the property that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. As soon as Joram noticed Jehu, he cried out, "Peace, Jehu?" Jehu replied, "What peace, given your mother Jezebel's prostitution and all of her witchcraft?" Joram reined his horse around to flee and cried out to Ahaziah, "Ahaziah! Treachery!" But Jehu drew his bow with all of his strength, shooting Joram between his shoulder blades. The arrow pierced his heart, and he collapsed in his chariot. After this, Jehu called out to Bidkar, his third in command, "Pick up Joram's body and throw it in the field, the property that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite, because you and I remember how when we were riding together in pursuit of his father Ahab, that the LORD pronounced this oracle against him: "This is what the LORD says, "I have certainly observed the blood of Naboth and his sons, and I will repay you on this property," declares the LORD.' "Therefore take the body and throw it in the field, just as the LORD said." As soon as King Ahaziah of Judah observed this, he attempted to flee by the garden house road, but Jehu pursued him. At the ascent toward Gur which is near Ibleam, he ordered, "Shoot him in the chariot, too!" Ahaziah fled to Megiddo, where he died. Ahaziah's servants transported the king's body by chariot to Jerusalem and buried it in his own sepulcher near his ancestors in the City of David. Ahaziah had begun to reign over Judah in the eleventh year of the reign of Ahab's son Joram. As soon as Jehu arrived at Jezreel, Jezebel adorned her eyes, arranged her hair, and peered out a window. When Jehu had entered through the gate, she asked, "Was Zimri, who murdered his master, received well?" Jehu looked up toward the window and called out, "Who is on my side? Who?" When two or three eunuchs looked out at him, he ordered, "Throw her down!" So they did, and her blood splashed against the wall and on the horses, while Jehu trampled her underfoot. Later on, after he had come in to eat and drink, he ordered, "Go and see to this cursed woman, and bury her, because she was a king's daughter." But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing left of her except her skull, her feet, and the palms of her hands. So they returned and reported to Jehu, and he responded, "This fulfills this message from the LORD that he spoke through his servant Elijah the foreigner, who said: "Dogs will eat Jezebel's flesh on the property of Jezreel, and her corpse will lie like dung on the surface of the field on the property in Jezreel, but no one will say, "This is Jezebel."'" Meanwhile, Ahab had 70 sons who lived in Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and the guardians of Ahab's children. He told them, "As soon as you receive this letter (since your master's children are with you, you have chariots and horses there with you, and you are protected by a walled city and weaponry), select the best and most qualified of your master's sons, set him in place on his father's throne, and fight for your master's dynasty!" But they were too terrified, and so they told one another, "Look! Two previous kings couldn't stand up to Jehu, so how can we?" So the household overseer and the city supervisor, along with the elders and the children's guardians, sent word to Jehu, telling him, "We will serve you and do everything you ask. We won't set up a king, so do what you want to do." But Jehu wrote them another letter: "If you're loyal to me, and if you intend to obey my commands, then bring the heads of your master's sons and meet me in Jezreel about this time tomorrow." Now the king's sons, totaling 70 men, were living with the leading men of the city, who were their guardians. When the letter from Jehu arrived, the city leaders arrested the king's sons, slaughtered all 70 of them, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel. When the messenger arrived to report to the king, he said, "They have brought the heads of the king's sons." Jehu replied, "Put them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning." The next morning, Jehu went out, stood still, and announced to all the people: "Are you righteous? I conspired against my master and killed him, but who slaughtered all of these? Keep this in mind not a single statement by the LORD will fail to come about that he spoke concerning Ahab's dynasty, because the LORD has accomplished what he predicted by his servant Elijah." So Jehu executed all those who remained from Ahab's dynasty in Jezreel, including all of Ahab's men, his friends, and his priests, until there remained not even one survivor. Then Jehu got up, left the city, and went to Samaria. When he arrived at the shearing house that was located on the way, Jehu met up with the relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah. He asked them, "Who are you?" They answered, "We're Ahaziah's relatives, and we've come down to greet the king's sons and the sons of the queen mother." Jehu ordered, "Take them alive!" So Jehu's soldiers captured them and executed all 42 of them near the pit at the shearing house. He left none of them alive. After he left there, he encountered Rechab's son Jehonadab. After he greeted him, Jehu asked him, "Is your heart right, as my heart is with yours?" "It is," Jehonadab answered. "If it is," Jehu replied, "Put out your hand." So Jehonadab stuck out his hand, and Jehu took him up to stand in his chariot. He told him, "Come with me and see my enthusiasm for the LORD!" So Jehu had Jehonadab ride in his chariot. When Jehu arrived in Samaria, he executed everyone who remained of Ahab's household in Samaria, until he had utterly destroyed Ahab in accordance with the message from the LORD that he spoke to Elijah. Then Jehu assembled all the people and announced to them, "Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot! Therefore summon all of Baal's prophets to me, including all his worshipers and all his priests. Don't leave even one out, because I've prepared a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever doesn't show up doesn't live!" But Jehu did this deceptively, intending to destroy Baal's worshippers. Jehu ordered, "Set aside a solemn assembly for Baal!" And so they proclaimed it. Jehu sent the proclamation throughout Israel, and all the Baal worshipers came. There wasn't a single man left who failed to come. When they entered Baal's temple, it was filled from one end to the other. Then Jehu ordered the one in charge of the wardrobe, "Bring out garments for all of the worshipers of Baal." So he brought out garments for them. Jehu and Rechab's son Jehonadab entered Baal's temple, and Jehu told the Baal worshipers, "Look around and be sure that no servant of the LORD is here among you, but only worshipers of Baal." Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Meanwhile, Jehu had stationed 80 men outside, ordering them, "If any of these men whom I've brought into your control escape, the one who allows it will forfeit his life." As soon as he had completed the burnt offering, Jehu ordered the guards and the officers, "Go in and execute them. Don't let even one man escape." So they executed them with swords, and the guards and the officers threw the bodies out and proceeded into the inner room of Baal's temple, from which they brought out the sacred pillars and burned them. They also cut down the pillar to Baal, tore apart Baal's temple, and turned it into a latrine and it remains that way today. That's how Jehu eradicated Baal from Israel. Even so, Jehu never abandoned the sins of Nebat's son Jeroboam, who caused Israel to sin, regarding the golden calves that were at Bethel and Dan. Nevertheless, the LORD told Jehu, "Because you have done well in carrying out what I saw as the right thing to do by completing everything I had in mind regarding Ahab's dynasty, your sons will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation." But Jehu did not remain careful to walk in the instruction of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart. He never abandoned the sins of Jeroboam that had caused Israel to sin. In those days, the LORD began to reduce Israel in size: Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel, from the Jordan River eastward, all the territory of Gilead, the descendants of Gad, the descendants of Reuben, and the descendants of Manasseh, from Aroer by the Valley of the Arnon, including Gilead and Bashan. Now as to the rest of Jehu's activities, including his valiant deeds, they are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? Then Jehu died, as did his ancestors, and they buried him in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz reigned in his place. Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria for 28 years.


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Amaziah son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam son of Joash, king of Israel, began a 41 year reign in Samaria. He did what the LORD considered to be evil by not abandoning all the sins of Nebat's son Jeroboam, who made Israel sin. He rebuilt Israel's coastline from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, in accordance with the message from the LORD God of Israel that he spoke through his servant Jonah the prophet, Amittai's son, who was from Gath-hepher. read more.
For the LORD observed Israel's bitter misery, and there was no one left, neither slave nor free, and there was no deliverer for Israel. The LORD had never said that he would erase the name of Israel from under heaven. Instead, he delivered them by Joash's son Jeroboam. The rest of Jeroboam's actions everything he did, including his powerful fighting and how on behalf of Israel he restored Damascus and Hamath to Judah are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? Jeroboam died, as had his ancestors the kings of Israel, and his son Zechariah became king in his place.


Menahem's son Pekahiah became king over Israel for two years during the fiftieth year of the reign of King Azariah of Judah. He did what the LORD considered to be evil. Just as Nebat's son Jeroboam had led Israel into sin, so also Pekahiah did not stop doing the same thing. Then Remaliah's son Pekah, Pekahiah's officer, conspired against him with Argob and Arieh. Accompanied by 50 Gileadite men, Pekah attacked Pekahiah inside the palace of the king's compound in Samaria, executed him, and reigned as king in his place. read more.
The rest of Pekahiah's activities, including everything he did, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.


Jabesh's son Shallum began his reign in the thirty-ninth year of the reign of Uzziah, king of Judah. He reigned a full month in Samaria, then Gadi's son Menahem approached Samaria from Tirzah and attacked Jabesh's son Shallum, executed him, and reigned in his place. The rest of Shallum's activities, including the conspiracy that he carried out, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not?


At another time, Menahem attacked Tiphsah and all of its inhabitants, including its coastlands from Tirzah, because they would not open the city gate for him. After defeating them, he ripped open all of their pregnant women. In the thirty-ninth year of the reign of Azariah, king of Judah, Gadi's son Menahem began a ten-year reign over Israel from Samaria. He did what the LORD considered to be evil by never abandoning the sins of Nebat's son Jeroboam, who caused Israel to sin, as long as he lived. read more.
Later on, King Pul of Aram attacked the land, and Menahem paid Pul 1,000 silver talents so Pul would join forces with Menahem to secure his hold on the kingdom. Menahem exacted the money from all of Israel's powerful and wealthy men, 50 shekels from each, to pay the king of Aram. As a result, the king of Aram retreated and did not remain there in the land. The rest of Menahem's activities, including everything that he did, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? Then Menahem died, as did his ancestors, and his son Pekahiah reigned in his place.


During the thirty-first year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Omri became king over Israel. He reigned for twelve years, six of them at Tirzah. He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, fortified the hill, and named the city Samaria after Shemer, the former owner of the hill. Omri practiced what the LORD considered to be evil, doing far more evil than anyone who had reigned before him. read more.
He lived just like Nebat's son Jeroboam, and by his sin he led Israel into sin, provoking the LORD God of Israel with their idolatry. Now the rest of Omri's accomplishments, including the power that he demonstrated, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? So Omri died, as had his ancestors, and he was buried in Samaria. His son Ahab became king in his place.


Ahab's son Jehoram ascended to the throne of Israel at Samaria during the eighteenth year of the reign of Judah's King Jehoshaphat. He reigned for twelve years, practicing evil in the LORD's presence, only not to the extent that his mother and father had done he forced abolition of the sacred pillar to Baal that his father had crafted. Even so, he kept on committing the sins that Nebat's son Jeroboam had done, which ensnared Israel in sin he never abandoned them. read more.
Meanwhile, Moab's King Mesha was a sheep breeder. He used to pay 100,000 lambs and the wool from 100,000 rams to the king of Israel as tribute. After Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So King Jehoram left Samaria at that time and mustered the entire army of Israel. As he was going out, he sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: "The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight Moab?" "I'm coming," Jehoshaphat replied. "I'm like you! My army will act like your army and my cavalry like your cavalry," Then Jehoshaphat added: "What road do we take?" Jehoram answered, "We'll go along the Edom desert road." So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom made a complete circuit on the road for seven days, but there was no water for the army or for the livestock that accompanied them. Then the king of Israel remarked, "Oh no! The LORD has summoned us three kings so he can hand us over to Moab, hasn't he?" Jehoshaphat asked, "Isn't there a prophet who belongs to the LORD and through whom we can ask the LORD a question?" One of the king of Israel's attendants replied, "Shaphat's son Elisha lives here. He used to be Elijah's personal attendant." Jehoshaphat answered, "He receives messages from the LORD." So the king of Israel, Jehoshaphat, and the king of Edom went to visit Elisha. Elisha asked the king of Israel, "What do I have in common with you? Go visit your parents' prophets." The king of Israel replied, "No! The LORD has summoned these three kings so he can hand them over to Moab!" But Elisha responded, "As the LORD of the Heavenly Armies lives, in whose presence I stand, I would never pay attention to you or even look in your direction were it not for my continuous respect for the presence of King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Now bring me a musician." As the musician played, the hand of the LORD rested on Elisha, so he said, "This is what the LORD says: "Fill this valley with trench after trench!' This is what the LORD says: "Though you won't see wind or storm, nevertheless that river will overflow with water so that you, your cattle, and your livestock may drink.' And this is the easy part for the LORD he's also going to hand the Moabites over to you! Then you are to attack every fortified city and every significant city. Cut down every significant tree, fill in all of the water springs, and ruin every prime piece of land with stones." The very next day, about the time of the morning offering, water suddenly appeared, coming from the direction of Edom, and the land overflowed with water! Meanwhile, all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to attack them, so everyone old enough to wear battle armor was mustered to stand guard at the border. As the Moabites arose early that morning, the sun cast its rays on the water, and to the Moabites, the water across from them appeared to be red like blood. So they concluded, "This must be blood! The kings must have had one mighty big fight and each man killed the other! So let's go get the battle spoil, Moab!" But when the Moabites arrived at the Israeli encampment, the Israelis got up and attacked them. The Moabites ran away from the Israelis, who followed them into the land as they continued their pursuit against Moab. They destroyed their cities, and all of them threw stones onto every piece of farm land, ruining the fields. Then they filled in all the water wells and chopped down all of the useful trees. Stone walls remained surrounding Kir-hareseth only, until the archers surrounded and attacked that city. When the king of Moab realized that the battle was going strongly against him, he took 700 expert swordsmen to attempt to break through to the king of Edom, but was unable to do so. So he took his firstborn son, whom he intended to reign after him, and offered him up as a burnt offering on the wall. There subsequently came great anger against Israel, so they abandoned the attack and returned to their homeland. Now there happened to be a certain woman who had been the wife of a member of the Guild of Prophets. She cried out to Elisha, "My husband who served you has died, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. But a creditor has come to take away my children into indentured servitude!" Elisha responded, "What shall I do for you? Tell me what you have in your house." She replied, "Your servant has nothing in the entire house except for a flask of oil." He told her, "Go out to all of your neighbors in the surrounding streets and borrow lots of pots from them. Don't get just a few empty vessels, either. Then go in and shut the door behind you, taking only your children, and pour oil into all of the pots. As each one is filled, set it aside." So she left Elisha, shut the door behind her and her children, and while they kept on bringing vessels to her, she kept on pouring oil. When the last of the vessels had been filled, she told her son, "Bring me another pot!" But he replied, "There isn't even one pot left." Then the oil stopped flowing. After this, she went and told the man of God what had happened. So he said, "Go sell the oil, pay your debt, and you and your children will be able to live on the proceeds." Some time later, Elisha went to Shunem, where he met a prominent and wealthy woman who persuaded him to have a meal with her. As a result, whenever he was in the area, he stopped by to eat with her. So she had a talk with her husband. "Look here! I've learned that this is a holy and godly man who comes by here on a regular basis. Now then, let's build a small upper room and put a bed in it for him there, along with a table, a chair, and a lamp stand. That way, when he comes to visit, he can rest there." One day, Elisha came by to visit and stopped in to rest in the upper chamber. He told his attendant Gehazi, "Call this Shunammite." So when he had summoned her, she stood in front of him. Elisha told him, "Ask her, "Look how you've gone to all this trouble to care for us! What can I do for you? Do you wish to be mentioned to the king or to the head of the army?'" She replied, "I'm at home living among my own people." He responded, "What, then, is to be done on her behalf?" Gehazi answered, "Well, she has no son and her husband is growing old." "Call her," Elisha ordered. After he called her, she came and stood in the doorway, and he told her, "About this time next year you will be embracing a son." "No, sir! Please, as a godly man, don't mislead your servant!" But the woman did conceive and did bear a son at that very same time the next year, just as Elisha had told her. After the child had grown up a bit, one day he went out to visit his father, who was with the harvesters. He told his father, "My head! My head!" So his father ordered his servant, "Carry him over to his mother!" So the servant carried him over to his mother, where he rested on her lap until mid-day, and then he died. The woman went upstairs, laid him on the bed belonging to the man of God, and shut the door, leaving him behind as she left. Then she called to her husband and asked him, "Please send me one of the servants, along with one of the donkeys, so I can ride quickly to see that godly man. I'll be right back." He asked her, "What's the point of visiting him today? It's not a New Moon, and it isn't the Sabbath!" But she kept saying, "Things will go well." So she saddled a donkey and told her servant, "Forward, driver! Don't slow down on my account, unless I tell you!" So out she went and eventually she arrived at Mount Carmel to visit the man of God. When the man of God noticed her from a distance, he told his attendant Gehazi, "Look! There's the woman from Shunem! Please run out quickly and greet her. Ask her, "Are things going well with you? Are things going well with your husband? Are things going well with your child?'" She answered Gehazi, "Things are going well." As she came near the man of God on the mountain, she grabbed his feet. When Gehazi intervened to push her away, the man of God said, "Leave her alone! She is deeply troubled! The LORD has concealed the thing from me, and hasn't informed me." Then she asked, "Did I ask my lord for a son? Didn't I beg you, "Don't mislead me?'" At this he told Gehazi, "Get ready to run! Take my staff in your hand, and get on the road. Don't greet anyone you meet. If anyone greets you, don't respond. Just go lay my staff on the youngster's face." At this, the youngster's mother replied, "As long as you and the LORD live, I'm not leaving you!" So he got up and followed her. Meanwhile, Gehazi went on ahead of them and placed the staff on the youngster's face, but when there was no sound or reaction, he returned, met Elisha, and told him, "The youngster has shown no sign of awakening." When Elisha entered the house, there was the youngster, dead and laid out on Elisha's bed! So he entered, shut the door behind them both, and prayed to the LORD. Then he approached the child and lay down with his mouth near the child's, with his eyes near those of the child, and taking the child's hands in his. As Elisha stretched himself on the child, the child's flesh began to grow warm. Then he went downstairs, walked around back and forth inside the house once, went back up to his upper chamber, and stretched himself over the child again. The young man sneezed seven times and then opened his eyes. He called out to Gehazi, "Go get the Shunammite woman!" So he called her. When she came in to see Elisha, he told her, "Take back your son!" Then she approached him, fell at his feet, bowing low to the ground, took back her son, and went out. Elisha returned to Gilgal during a time of famine in the land. While the Guild of Prophets were having a meal with him, he instructed his attendant, "Put a large pot on the fire and boil some stew for the Guild of Prophets." Somebody went out into the fields to grab some herbs, found a wild vine, and gathered a lap full of wild gourds, which he came and sliced up into the stew pot, but nobody else knew. When they served the men, they began to eat the stew. But they cried out, "That pot of stew is deadly, you man of God!" So they couldn't eat the stew. But he replied, "Bring me some flour." He tossed it into the pot and said, "Serve the people so they can eat." Then there was nothing harmful in the pot. Later on, a man arrived from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God some bread as a first fruit offering. He had 20 loaves of barley and ripe ears of corn in his sack. So Elisha said, "Give them to the people so they can eat." Elisha's attendant asked, "What? Will this serve 100 men?" But he replied, "Distribute it to the people so they can eat, because this is what the LORD says: "They will eat and have a surplus!'" So he served them, and they ate and had some left over, just as the LORD had indicated. Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man in the opinion of his master. He was highly favored, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. Though he was a mighty and valiant man, he was suffering from leprosy. On one of their raids to the territory of Israel, Aram had taken captive a young girl when she was an infant, who had eventually become an attendant to Naaman's wife. She mentioned to her mistress, "If only my master were to visit the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy." Later, Naaman went to inform his master and told him something like this: "Thus and so spoke the young woman from the territory of Israel." The king of Aram replied, "Go now, and I'll send a letter to the king of Israel." So he left and took with him ten talents of silver and 6,000 units of gold, along with ten sets of clothing. He also brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read as follows: ""and now as this letter finds its way to you, look! I've sent my servant Naaman to you so you may heal him of his leprosy." When the king of Israel read the letter, he ripped his clothes and cried out, "Am I God? Can I kill and give life? Is this man sending me a request to heal a man's leprosy? Let's think about this he's looking for a reason to start a fight with me!" When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king and asked, "Why did you tear your clothes? Please, let the man come visit me and he will learn that there is a prophet in Israel!" So Naaman arrived with his horses and chariots and stood in front of the door to Elisha's house. Elisha sent a messenger out to him, who told him, "Go bathe in the Jordan River seven times. Your flesh will be restored for you. Now stay clean!" But Naaman flew into a rage and left, telling himself, "Look! I thought "He's surely going to come out to me, stand still, call out in the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the infection, and cure the leprosy!' Aren't the Abana and Pharpar rivers in Damascus better than all of the water in Israel? Couldn't I just bathe in them and become clean?" So he turned away and left, filled with anger. But then his servants approached him and spoke with him. They said, "My father, had the prophet only asked of you something great, you would have done it, wouldn't you? Yet he told you, "Bathe, and be clean"!'" So he went down and plunged himself into the Jordan River seven times, just as the man of God had said, and his flesh rejuvenated like the flesh of a newborn child. And he was clean. Naaman went back to the man of God, along with his entire entourage, and stood before him. "Please look!" he said. "I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel! So please, take a present from your servant." But Elisha replied, "As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will not receive anything from you." Though Naaman urged him to take it, Elisha declined. So Naaman asked, "No? Then please let your servant load two mules with dirt from Israel, because your servant will no longer offer any burnt offering or sacrifice to any other god but the LORD. In this one area may the LORD pardon your servant: Whenever my master enters the temple of Rimmon to worship there, he will lean on my hand while I bow down in the temple of Rimmon. So may the LORD pardon your servant in this one area." "Go in peace," he said. So Naaman left. After Naaman had gone only a short distance, Gehazi, the attendant to Elisha, the man of God, told himself, "Look how my master has spared this Aramean, Naaman! He declined to take from him what he brought. As the LORD lives, I'm going to run after him and get something from him." So Gehazi ran after Naaman. When Naaman noticed someone running after him, he came down from his chariot, greeted him and asked, "Is everything all right?" Gehazi said, "Everything's all right. My master sent me to tell you, "Just now two men from the Guild of Prophets have arrived from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them each a talent of silver bullion and two sets of clothes.'" But Naaman said, "Please accept my invitation to take two talents of silver." He urged him, binding two talents of silver in two bags, along with two sets of clothes. He placed them in the care of two of his young men, and they went on ahead of Gehazi. When he arrived at the stronghold, Gehazi took the bags from their custody and hid them away in the house. Then he sent the men away and they left. Later he went to address his master. Elisha asked him, "Where did you go, Gehazi?" "Your servant went nowhere in particular," he said. But Elisha responded, "Didn't my heart break as the man was turning from his chariot to greet you? Is now the time to receive money? To receive clothes? And olive groves, vineyards, sheep, oxen, servants, or female attendants? Naaman's leprosy will plague you and your descendants forever!" As he left Elisha's presence, he was infected with leprosy that looked like white snow. One day the Guild of Prophets told Elisha, "Notice how the place where we are living is too small for us. Let's go to the Jordan River, fashion some rafters, and build a place for us so we can live there." So he said, "Go!" Someone asked, "Would you be willing to come with your servants?" "I'm willing," he replied. So he accompanied them, and when they came to the Jordan River, they cut down some trees. It happened that as one of them was felling a beam, his axe head fell into the water. He cried out, "Oh no! Master! The axe was on loan to me!" The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he was shown the place, he cut off a branch, tossed it there, and made the iron axe head float. Then Elisha said, "Pick it up!" So the young man reached out and picked it up. Eventually the king of Aram went to war against Israel, taking counsel with his advisors and concluding, "In such and such a place I'll build my encampment." So the man of God sent a message to the king of Israel, warning him, "Keep an eye on that area, because the Arameans are going to be there!" The king of Israel confirmed the matter about which the man of God had warned him. Having been forewarned, he was able to protect himself there on more than one or two occasions. The king of Aram flew into a rage over this, so he called in his advisors and asked them, "Will you please tell me which of us has joined the king of Israel?" "No, your majesty," one of his servants said. "Elisha the prophet, who lives in Israel, tells the king of Israel what you talk about in your bedroom!" So the king ordered, "Go and discover where he is, so I may send men to take him into custody." Later somebody told him, "Look! He's in Dothan!" So the king of Aram sent out horses, chariots, and an elite force, and they arrived during the night and surrounded the city. Meanwhile, the attendant to the man of God got up early in the morning and went outside, and there were the elite forces, surrounding the city, accompanied by horses and chariots! So Elisha's attendant cried out to him, "Oh no! Master! What will we do!?" Elisha replied, "Stop being afraid, because there are more with us than with them!" Then Elisha prayed, asking the LORD, "Please make him able to really see!" And so when the LORD enabled the young man to see, he looked, and there was the mountain, filled with horses and fiery chariots surrounding Elisha! When the army approached him, Elisha spoke to the LORD, asking him, "LORD, I'm asking you please to afflict this group of people with blindness!" So he afflicted them with blindness, just as Elisha had asked. Then Elisha told the army, "This isn't the way, and this isn't the city! Follow me, and I'll bring you to the man you're seeking." Then he led them to Samaria. When they arrived in Samaria, Elisha asked the LORD, "Enable them to see again." So the LORD did so, and there they were right in the middle of Samaria! When the king of Israel saw Elisha, he asked him, "Shall I execute them, my father?" But he replied, "No! You're not to kill them! Would you execute those whom you've taken captive at the point of a sword or with your bow? Give them food and water so they can eat and drink. Then send them back to their master!" So he prepared a large festival for them, and when they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them back to their master, and marauding gangs of Arameans never came into the territory of Israel again. Some time later, King Ben-hadad from Aram mustered his army, invaded the land, and attacked Samaria until there was a great famine throughout Samaria. The siege lasted until a donkey's head cost 80 silver coins and one quarter of a unit of dove's dung cost five silver coins. While the king of Israel was walking along the city wall, a woman cried out to him. "Help me, your majesty!" she said. He replied, "No! Since the LORD won't give you victory, how will I be able to deliver you? From the threshing floor? From the wine press?" Then the king asked her, "What's bothering you?" She said, "This woman told me, "Give up your son, and we'll eat him today, and we'll eat your son tomorrow.'" So we boiled my son and ate him. The next day, I told her, "Give me your son so we can eat him!' But she has hidden her son!" When the king heard what the woman said, he ripped his garments as he continued walking along the city wall. As the people watched, all of a sudden they noticed he was wearing sackcloth underneath his clothes, inside next to his flesh! He said, "May God do to me and more also! if the head of Shaphat's son Elisha remains on his shoulders today!" Meanwhile, Elisha was sitting in his house, along with the elders, when the king sent a man to kill him, but before the messenger arrived, Elisha told the elders, "Are you watching how this descendant of murderers has ordered my head be cut off? Look, when the messenger arrives, shut the door and hold it to shut them out! Don't you hear the sound of his master's feet right behind him?" While he was still talking with them, the messenger arrived to see him and delivered the king's message to Elisha, "Look! This evil has come from the LORD! Why should I wait for the LORD anymore?" So Elisha responded, "Listen to this message from the LORD! "This is what the LORD says: "At about this time tomorrow, in Samaria's city gate, a seah of finely ground flour will sell for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel."'" But the royal attendant on whom the king depended responded to the man of God: "Look here! Even if the LORD were to open a window in the sky, how could this happen?" He replied, "No, you look! You'll see it with your eyes, but you won't eat any of it!" Now there happened to be four lepers who were at that very moment at the entrance to the city gate. As they were talking with one another, they said, "Why are we sitting here waiting to die? If we tell ourselves, "Let's remain in the city,' we'll die there since there's famine in the city. But if we sit here, we'll die, too. So let's go over to the Arameans! If they spare our lives, we'll live, and if they kill us"we're dying anyway!" So they got up at dusk and went out to the Aramean encampment. But when they arrived at the outskirts of the Aramean encampment, there was no one there! The LORD had made the Aramean army hear the sounds of chariots, horses, and a large army, so they told one another, "Look! The king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and the Egyptians to come attack us!" So the Arameans got up and ran away in the gathering darkness. They left behind their tents, horses, and donkeys just as they were and fled for their lives! When the lepers arrived at the outskirts of the encampment, they entered one tent and ate and drank. Then they carried off from there some silver, gold, and clothes, and went out and hid them. After this, they returned, entered another tent, raided it, and went and hid all of that, too! But then they told each other, "We're not doing the right thing. This is a day of good news, but if we keep quiet until morning, we're sure to be punished! So let's leave and go tell the king's household!" So they left, called out to the city gatekeepers, and reported to them: "We went out to the Aramean encampment, and there was nobody there! Not even the sound of men only horses and donkeys tied up, and tents left just as they were!" The gatekeepers announced the report to the king's attendants, so the king got up in the middle of the night and ordered his servants: "Let me explain what the Arameans have done to us. They know that we're hungry, so they've left their encampment to conceal themselves in the surrounding fields. They're telling themselves, "When they come out of the city, we'll capture them alive and enter the city!'" One of his attendants suggested, "Please, let's take five of the remaining horses, since those who remain here will end up like the rest of Israel, which has already died, and we'll send them out to look." So they took two chariots and horses, and the king sent them out after the Aramean army with the orders, "Go and look!" They went out in the direction of the Jordan River, and the entire roadway was strewn with clothes and equipment that the Arameans had abandoned in their haste to leave! So the messengers returned and reported to the king. At this, the people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. At that time, a seah of finely ground flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, in accordance with the LORD's message. Meanwhile, the king appointed the same royal attendant on whom he depended to take control of the city gate, but the people trampled him to death in the gate, just as the man of God had told the king when the king came down to him. It happened just as the man of God had spoken to the king: "At about this time tomorrow, in Samaria's city gate, a seah of finely ground flour will sell for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel." But the royal attendant on whom the king depended responded to the man of God: "Look here! Even if the LORD were to make a window in the sky, how could this happen?" He replied, "No, you look! You'll see it with your eyes, but you won't eat any of it!" And so it happened to him, because the people trampled him in the city gate and he died. Meanwhile, Elisha urged the woman whose son he had restored to life, "You must get up and leave with your household to go live wherever you can, because the LORD has called for a famine, and it's going to come over the land for seven years." So the woman followed the instructions given to her by the man of God, and she went to the territory of the Philistines to live for seven years with her household. At the end of the seven years, the woman returned from the territory of the Philistines and went to the king in order to file an appeal regarding her house and her grain field. The king was talking with Gehazi, the attendant of the man of God. He had asked Gehazi, "Please tell me about all of the great things that Elisha has done." Just as he was telling the king about Elisha's having restored the dead to life, the woman whose son had been restored arrived and appealed to the king for her house and her land! Gehazi told the king, "Your majesty, this is the woman! And here's her son, whom Elisha restored to life!" The king consulted with the woman, who related the story. So the king appointed a court official to represent her and ordered him: "Restore to her everything that belonged to her, including all of the produce that her fields yielded from the day she left the land until now." Later on, Elisha traveled to Damascus. King Ben-hadad of Aram was ill, but someone informed him, "The man of God has come here!" So the king told Hazael, "Take a gift with you and go meet the man of God. Inquire of the LORD through him and ask, "Will I recover from this sickness?'" So Hazael went out to meet with him and took a gift with him 40 camel loads filled with samples of everything good in Damascus. He approached the man of God and said, "Your son King Ben-hadad from Aram has sent me to you to ask you, "Will I recover from this sickness?'" But Elisha told him, "Go tell him, "You will certainly recover,' but the LORD has shown me that he will certainly die." Then Elisha looked steadily at Hazael until Hazael grew ashamed, and then the man of God began to cry. "Why are you crying, sir?" Hazael asked. "Because I know the evil that you're about to bring on the Israelis," he replied. "You'll burn down their fortified cities, execute their young men with swords, dash to pieces their little ones, and you'll tear open their pregnant women!" But Hazael responded, "What? Who am I, your servant, that I should do such a horrible thing?" But Elisha answered, "The LORD has shown me that you will be king over Aram." So he left Elisha and returned to his master, who asked him, "What did Elisha tell you?" He replied, "He told me that you would certainly get better." But the very next day, Hazael grabbed a thick covering, soaked it in water, and spread it over the king's face, and he suffocated. Then Hazael succeeded Ben-hadad as king. Sometime during the fifth year of the reign of Ahab's son Joram, king of Israel (while Jehoshaphat was still ruling as king of Judah), Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram ascended to the throne of Judah. He was 32 years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for eight years. He lived his life like the kings of Israel did, following the example of Ahab's household when he married Ahab's daughter and practiced what was evil in the LORD's presence. But the LORD remained unwilling to destroy Judah for the sake of his servant David, since he had promised to keep David's lamp burning brightly through his descendants every day. During Jehoram's lifetime, Edom rebelled from Judah's hegemony and appointed a king to rule over themselves. Then Joram crossed over to Zair, along with all of his chariots. At night he attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and the commanders of his chariots, but the army ran away to their tents. Edom remains in rebellion against Judah to this day, and Libnah revolted at the same time. The rest of the official acts of Joram, along with everything else that he did, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, are they not? After Joram was laid to rest with his ancestors in the City of David, his son Ahaziah replaced him as king. Joram's son Ahaziah began to reign as king of Judah during the twelfth year of the reign of Ahab's son Joram, king of Israel. Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for one year. His mother was named Athaliah. She was the granddaughter of Omri, king of Israel. Ahaziah lived his life following the example of Ahab's household, practicing what the LORD considered to be evil, just like the household of Ahab, because he was a son-in-law to Ahab's household. He joined Ahab's son Joram in an attack on King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, and that's where the Arameans wounded Joram. Then King Joram retreated to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah during the battle against King Hazael of Aram. Jehoram's son Ahaziah, king of Judah, went to visit Ahab's son Joram in Jezreel because Joram was sick. Elisha called one of the members of the Guild of Prophets and told him, "Get ready to run, take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. As soon as you get there, go find Jehoshaphat's son Jehu, the grandson of Nimshi. When you do, go in, tell him to get up and go apart with you away from his brothers. Lead him into a private chamber, take the flask of oil, and pour it out on his head. Then tell him, "This is what the LORD says: I'm anointing you king over Israel.' Then open the door and leave. Don't linger there!" So the young man, who was an attendant to the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. When he arrived, the army commanders were seated, so he said, "I have a message for you, captain!" Jehu asked, "For which one of us?" "For you, captain!" he answered. So Jehu got up and went inside the house, and the young man told him, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: "I have anointed you king over the people of the LORD that is, over Israel. You are to attack the household of your master Ahab, so I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, as well as the blood of all of the servants of the LORD that has been spilled at Jezebel's orders. The entire household of Ahab will die, and I will cut off from Ahab every male person in Israel, whether imprisoned or surviving. I will make the household of Ahab like the household of Nebat's son Jeroboam and the household of Ahijah's son Baasha. Furthermore, the dogs will eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel. There will be no burial for her.'" Then he opened the door and left. As Jehu was coming out to his master's attendants, one of them asked him, "Is everything all right? Why did this maniac visit you?" "You know the man and how he speculates," Jehu replied. "That's a lie!" they said. "Tell us what's going on!" "He said "This and that' to me," he responded. ""This is what the LORD says: "I have anointed you king over Israel."'" At this, each man quickly grabbed his own garment, placed it under him at the top of the stairs, sounded a trumpet, and announced, "Jehu is king!" Meanwhile, Jehoshaphat's son Jehu, the grandson of Nimshi, had been conspiring against Joram while Joram and all the army of Israel had been defending Ramoth-gilead against King Hazael from Aram. King Jehoram had returned to Jezreel to recover from wounds he had sustained from the Arameans when he had fought against King Hazael from Aram. So Jehu concluded, "Since this is what you've decided, then let no one get away, leave the city, and go report to Jezreel!" Then Jehu rode by chariot to Jezreel, since Joram was recovering there. King Ahaziah from Judah had come to visit Joram. While the watchman was standing guard in the tower at Jezreel, he watched Jehu's entourage arrive. So he called out, "I see a group arriving." Joram ordered, "Take a horseman, send him out to meet them, and have him ask, "Have you come in peace?'" So a horseman went out, greeted Jehu and said, "This is what the king said: "Have you come in peace?'" But Jehu responded, "What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me." The watchman reported, "The messenger arrived there, but he hasn't returned." Then Joram sent out a second horseman, who went out to them and said, "This is what the king said: "Have you come in peace?'" Jehu responded, "What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me." The watchman reported to Joram, "He arrived there, but he hasn't returned. Also, he drives like Nimshi's son Jehu drives irrationally!" Joram replied, "Let's begin our attack!" As soon as his chariot was prepared, both King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out, each in his own chariot, to fight against Jehu. They met together in the property that had belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. As soon as Joram noticed Jehu, he cried out, "Peace, Jehu?" Jehu replied, "What peace, given your mother Jezebel's prostitution and all of her witchcraft?" Joram reined his horse around to flee and cried out to Ahaziah, "Ahaziah! Treachery!" But Jehu drew his bow with all of his strength, shooting Joram between his shoulder blades. The arrow pierced his heart, and he collapsed in his chariot. After this, Jehu called out to Bidkar, his third in command, "Pick up Joram's body and throw it in the field, the property that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite, because you and I remember how when we were riding together in pursuit of his father Ahab, that the LORD pronounced this oracle against him: "This is what the LORD says, "I have certainly observed the blood of Naboth and his sons, and I will repay you on this property," declares the LORD.' "Therefore take the body and throw it in the field, just as the LORD said."


During the thirty-eighth year of the reign of Azariah, king of Judah, Jeroboam's son Zachariah began a six-month reign in Samaria. He did what the LORD considered to be evil, just as his ancestors had done. He never abandoned the sins of Nebat's son Jeroboam, who caused Israel to sin. So Jabesh's son Shallum conspired against him and attacked him in full view of the people, killed him, and reigned in his place. read more.
The rest of Zachariah's activities are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. This is what the LORD told Jehu: "Your children will sit on Israel's throne for the next four generations." And that is what happened:


During the twenty-sixth year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, Baasha's son Elah became king over Israel and reigned at Tirzah for two years. But his servant Zimri, who commanded half of his chariot forces, conspired against Elah while he was drinking himself drunk in the home of Arza, who managed the household at Tirzah. Zimri went inside, attacked him, and killed him in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, and then became king in Elah's place. read more.
As soon as he had consolidated his reign, he executed the entire household of Baasha. He did not leave a single male alive, including any of Baasha's relatives or friends. In doing so, Zimri destroyed the entire household of Baasha, in keeping with the message from the LORD that he had spoken against Baasha through Jehu the prophet because of all the sins that Baasha and his son Elah had committed and because of what they did to lead Israel into sin, thus provoking the LORD God of Israel to anger with their idolatry. Now the rests of Elah's accomplishments, including everything he undertook, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not?


During the twelfth year of the reign of King Ahaz of Judah, Elah's son Hoshea became king over Israel for nine years in Samaria. He practiced what the LORD considered to be evil, though not like the kings of Israel who had preceded him. King Shalmaneser of Assyria attacked him, and Hoshea became his servant and paid tribute to him. read more.
But the king of Assyria uncovered a conspiracy involving Hoshea, who had sent envoys to King So of Egypt and stopped offering tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done annually. As a result, the king of Assyria placed him under arrest and sent him to prison. After this, the king of Assyria invaded the entire land, approached Samaria, and began a three year siege. As a result, during the ninth year of the reign of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and took the Israelis off to Assyria, placing them in Halah, along the Habor River in Gozan, and in cities ruled by the Medes.


During the twenty-third year of the reign of Ahaziah's son Joash, king of Judah, Jehu's son Jehoahaz began his seventeen year reign in Samaria over Israel. He did what the LORD considered to be evil, after the pattern of Nebat's son Jeroboam. By doing so, he caused Israel to sin, and he never changed course from it. As a result, the LORD's wrath flared up against Israel, so he handed them over to domination by King Hazael of Aram and later into constant domination by Hazael's son Ben-hadad. read more.
But Jehoahaz sought the LORD, and the LORD paid attention to him, because the LORD had been watching the oppression that Israel was enduring from the king of Aram. The LORD provided Israel with a deliverer, so they escaped the Aramean oppression while the descendants of Israel lived in tents as they had formerly. Nevertheless, they did not change course away from the sins of Jeroboam's household, by which he caused Israel to sin, but continued on that same course, with Asherah poles remaining in place in Samaria. For the Aramean king had left only 50 cavalry, ten chariots, and 10,000 soldiers out of the army belonging to Jehoahaz, because the king of Aram had destroyed the others, making them like chaff left over after threshing. Now the rest of the activities of Jehoahaz, including everything he did and his grandeur, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? So Jehoahaz died, as did his ancestors, and he was buried in Samaria while his son Joash replaced him as king.


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