2 Kings 1–3; Matthew 12:1–37

2 Kings Illustration

2 Kings

Elijah Denounces Ahaziah

aAfter the death of Ahab, Moab brebelled against Israel.

Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, Go, inquire of cBaal-zebub, the god of Ekron, dwhether I shall recover from this sickness. But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah ethe Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of cBaal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus says the Lord, fYou shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die. So Elijah went.

The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, Why have you returned? And they said to him, There came a man to meet us, and said to us, Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the Lord, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of cBaal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die. He said to them, What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things? They answered him, gHe wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, hO man of God, the king says, Come down. 10 But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, If I am a man of God, ilet fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty. Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

11 Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he answered and said to him, O man of God, this is the king's order, Come down quickly! 12 But Elijah answered them, If I am a man of God, jlet fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty. Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

13 Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him, O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, kbe precious in your sight. 14 Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight. 15 Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, Go down with him; do not be afraid of him. So he arose and went down with him to the king 16 and said to him, Thus says the Lord, Because you have sent messengers to inquire of cBaal-zebub, the god of Ekronis it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.

17 So he died according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken. Jehoram became king in his place lin the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

Elijah Taken to Heaven

Now when the Lord was about to mtake Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and nElisha were on their way from oGilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, pPlease stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel. But Elisha said, qAs the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel. And rthe sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you? And he said, Yes, I know it; keep quiet.

Elijah said to him, Elisha, pplease stay here, for the Lord has sent me to tJericho. But he said, qAs the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you. So they came to Jericho. rThe sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you? And he answered, Yes, I know it; keep quiet.

Then Elijah said to him, pPlease stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan. But he said, As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you. So the two of them went on. Fifty men of rthe sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah utook his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, vand the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you. And Elisha said, Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me. 10 And he said, You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so. 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, wchariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, My father, my father! xThe chariots of Israel and its horsemen! And he saw him no more.

Then he took hold of his own clothes yand tore them in two pieces. 13 And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? And when he had struck the water, vthe water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.

Elisha Succeeds Elijah

15 Now when rthe sons of the prophets who were at Jericho saw him opposite them, they said, The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha. And they came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16 And they said to him, Behold now, there are with your servants fifty strong men. Please let them go and seek your master. It may be that zthe Spirit of the Lord has caught him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley. And he said, You shall not send. 17 But when they urged him atill he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men. And for three days they sought him but did not find him. 18 And they came back to him while he was staying at Jericho, and he said to them, Did I not say to you, Do not go?

19 Now the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful. 20 He said, Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it. So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went to the spring of water and bthrew salt in it and said, Thus says the Lord, I have healed this water; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it. 22 So the water has been healed to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke.

23 He went up from there to Bethel, and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead! 24 And he turned around, and when he saw them, che cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys. 25 From there he went on to dMount Carmel, and from there he returned eto Samaria.

Moab Rebels Against Israel

fIn the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twelve years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, though not like his father and mother, for he put away the gpillar of Baal hthat his father had made. Nevertheless, he clung to ithe sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, jwhich he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from it.

Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, kand he had to deliver to the king of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. But lwhen Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So King Jehoram marched out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. And he went and sent word to Jehoshaphat king of Judah: The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to battle against Moab? And he said, I will go. mI am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses. Then he said, By which way shall we march? Jehoram answered, By the way of the wilderness of Edom.

So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and nthe king of Edom. And when they had made a circuitous march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. 10 Then the king of Israel said, Alas! oThe Lord has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab. 11 pAnd Jehoshaphat said, Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord? Then one of the king of Israel's servants answered, qElisha the son of Shaphat is here, rwho poured water on the hands of Elijah. 12 And Jehoshaphat said, The word of the Lord is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

13 And Elisha said to the king of Israel, sWhat have I to do with you? Go to tthe prophets of your father and to uthe prophets of your mother. But the king of Israel said to him, No; it is othe Lord who has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab. 14 And Elisha said, vAs the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you. 15 But now wbring me a musician. And when the musician played, xthe hand of the Lord came upon him. 16 And he said, Thus says the Lord, I will make this dry streambed full of pools. 17 For thus says the Lord, You shall not see wind or rain, but that streambed shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your livestock, and your animals. 18 This is a light thing in the sight of the Lord. He will also give the Moabites into your hand, 19 and you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree and stop up all springs of water yand ruin every good piece of land with stones. 20 The next morning, about the time of zoffering the sacrifice, behold, water came from the direction of Edom, till the country was filled with water.

21 When all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to put on armor, from the youngest to the oldest, were called out and were drawn up at the border. 22 And when they rose early in the morning and the sun shone on the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood. 23 And they said, This is blood; the kings have surely fought together and struck one another down. Now then, Moab, to the spoil! 24 But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose and struck the Moabites, till they fled before them. And they went forward, striking the Moabites as they went.1 25 And they overthrew the cities, and aon every good piece of land every man threw a stone until it was covered. They stopped every spring of water and felled all the good trees, till only its stones were left in bKir-hareseth, and the slingers surrounded and attacked it. 26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle was going against him, he took with him 700 cswordsmen to break through, opposite the king of Edom, but they could not. 27 Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place dand offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel. And they withdrew from him and returned to their own land.


Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

12 At that time wJesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and xthey began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, yLook, your disciples are doing zwhat is not lawful to do on the Sabbath. He said to them, aHave you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate bthe bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read cin the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, dsomething greater than the temple is here. And if you had known ewhat this means, fI desire mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For gthe Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.

A Man with a Withered Hand

He went on from there and hentered their synagogue. 10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, iIs it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?jso that they might accuse him. 11 He said to them, Which one of you who has a sheep, kif it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 lOf how much more value is a man than a sheep! So mit is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. 13 Then he said to the man, Stretch out your hand. And nthe man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

God's Chosen Servant

15 Jesus, aware of this, owithdrew from there. And pmany followed him, and he healed them all 16 and qordered them not to make him known. 17 rThis was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

18  sBehold, my tservant whom I have chosen,

my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.

uI will put my Spirit upon him,

and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

19  He will not quarrel or cry aloud,

nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;

20  a bruised reed he will not break,

and a smoldering wick he will not quench,

until he brings justice to victory;

21  vand in his name the Gentiles will hope.

Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

22 wThen a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. 23 xAnd all the people were amazed, and said, xCan this be the Son of David? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, yIt is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons. 25 zKnowing their thoughts, ahe said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, bby whom do cyour sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is dby the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then ethe kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or fhow can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed ghe may plunder his house. 30 hWhoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 iTherefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but jthe blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word kagainst the Son of Man lwill be forgiven, but jwhoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in mthis age or in the age to come.

A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit

33 nEither make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, ofor the tree is known by its fruit. 34 pYou brood of vipers! How can you speak good, qwhen you are evil? rFor out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 rThe good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, son the day of judgment tpeople will give account for uevery careless word they speak, 37 for vby your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.