2 Kings 8

The Axe Head Recovered

Now nthe sons of the prophets said to Elisha, See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there. And he answered, Go. Then one of them said, Be pleased to go with your servants. And he answered, I will go. So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, Alas, my master! It was borrowed. Then the man of God said, Where did it fall? When he showed him the place, ohe cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, Take it up. So he reached out his hand and took it.

Horses and Chariots of Fire

Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, At such and such a place shall be my camp. But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there. 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice.

11 And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel? 12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom. 13 And he said, Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him. It was told him, Behold, he is in pDothan. 14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, Alas, my master! What shall we do? 16 He said, Do not be afraid, qfor those who are with us are more than those who are with them. 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, O Lord, please ropen his eyes that he may see. So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of shorses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord and said, Please strike this people with blindness. tSo he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. 19 And Elisha said to them, This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek. And he led them to Samaria.

20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, O Lord, ropen the eyes of these men, that they may see. So the Lord opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, uMy father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down? 22 He answered, You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive vwith your sword and with your bow? wSet bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master. 23 So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again xon raids into the land of Israel.

Ben-hadad's Siege of Samaria

24 Afterward yBen-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab1 of dove's dung for five shekels of silver. 26 Now as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, Help, my lord, O king! 27 And he said, If the Lord will not help you, how shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the winepress? 28 And the king asked her, What is your trouble? She answered, This woman said to me, Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow. 29 zSo we boiled my son and ate him. And on the next day I said to her, Give your son, that we may eat him. But she has hidden her son. 30 When the king heard the words of the woman, ahe tore his clothesnow he was passing by on the walland the people looked, and behold, ahe had sackcloth beneath on his body 31 and he said, bMay God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today.

32 Elisha was sitting in his house, cand the elders were sitting with him. Now the king had dispatched a man from his presence, but before the messenger arrived Elisha said to the elders, Do you see how this dmurderer has sent to take off my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door and hold the door fast against him. Is not the sound of his master's feet behind him? 33 And while he was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him and said, This trouble is from the Lord! eWhy should I wait for the Lord any longer?

Elisha Promises Food

But Elisha said, Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord, fTomorrow about this time a seah1 of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel,2 and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria. Then gthe captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, hIf the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be? But he said, You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.

The Syrians Flee

Now there were four men who were lepers3 iat the entrance to the gate. And they said to one another, Why are we sitting here until we die? If we say, Let us enter the city, the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians. If they spare our lives we shall live, and if they kill us we shall but die. So they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians. But when they came to the edge of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no one there. For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians jhear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us kthe kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to come against us. lSo they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, leaving the camp as it was, and fled for their lives. And when these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent and ate and drank, and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and went and hid them. Then they came back and entered another tent and carried off things from it and went and hid them.

Then they said to one another, We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king's household. 10 So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city and told them, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and behold, there was no one to be seen or heard there, nothing but the horses tied and the donkeys tied and the tents as they were. 11 Then the gatekeepers called out, and it was told within the king's household. 12 And the king rose in the night and said to his servants, I will tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry. Therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the open country, thinking, When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive and get into the city. 13 And one of his servants said, Let some men take five of the remaining horses, seeing that those who are left here will fare like the whole multitude of Israel who have already perished. Let us send and see. 14 So they took two horsemen, and the king sent them after the army of the Syrians, saying, Go and see. 15 So they went after them as far as the Jordan, and behold, all the way was littered with garments and equipment that the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. And the messengers returned and told the king.

16 Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, maccording to the word of the Lord. 17 Now the king had appointed nthe captain on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. And the people trampled him in the gate, so that he died, as the man of God had said owhen the king came down to him. 18 For when the man of God had said to the king, Two seahs of barley shall be sold for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, about this time tomorrow in the gate of Samaria, 19 nthe captain had answered the man of God, If the Lord himself should make windows in heaven, could such a thing be? And he had said, pYou shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it. 20 And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate and he died.

The Shunammite's Land Restored

Now Elisha had said to the woman qwhose son he had restored to life, Arise, and depart with your household, and sojourn wherever you can, for the Lord rhas called for a famine, and it will come upon the land for sseven years. So the woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God. She went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. And at the end of the seven years, when the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, she went to appeal to the king for her house and her land. Now the king was talking with tGehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done. And while he was telling the king how qElisha had restored the dead to life, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life. And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, Restore all that was hers, together with all the produce of the fields from the day that she left the land until now.

Hazael Murders Ben-hadad

Now Elisha came to uDamascus. vBen-hadad the king of Syria was sick. And when it was told him, The man of God has come here, the king said to wHazael, xTake a present with you and go to meet the man of God, yand inquire of the Lord through him, saying, Shall I recover from this sickness? So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, all kinds of goods of Damascus, forty camels' loads. When he came and stood before him, he said, zYour son Ben-hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, Shall I recover from this sickness? 10 And Elisha said to him, aGo, say to him, You shall certainly recover, but1 the Lord has shown me that bhe shall certainly die. 11 And he fixed his gaze and stared at him, cuntil he was embarrassed. And the man of God wept. 12 And Hazael said, Why does my lord weep? He answered, Because I know dthe evil that you will do to the people of Israel. You will set on fire their fortresses, and you will kill their young men with the sword eand dash in pieces their little ones and rip open their pregnant women. 13 And Hazael said, What is your servant, fwho is but a dog, that he should do this great thing? Elisha answered, gThe Lord has shown me that you are to be king over Syria. 14 Then he departed from Elisha and came to his master, who said to him, What did Elisha say to you? And he answered, He told me hthat you would certainly recover. 15 But the next day he took the bed cloth2 and dipped it in water and spread it over his face, till he died. And Hazael became king in his place.

Jehoram Reigns in Judah

16 In the fifth year of iJoram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah,3 Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, began to reign. 17 He was jthirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for kthe daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 19 Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David his servant, lsince he promised to give ma lamp to him and to his sons forever.

20 In his days Edom revolted from the rule of Judah and set up na king of their own. 21 Then Joram4 passed over to Zair with all his chariots and rose by night, and he and his chariot commanders struck the Edomites who had surrounded him, but his army ofled home. 22 pSo Edom revolted from the rule of Judah to this day. Then qLibnah revolted at the same time. 23 Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 24 So Joram slept with his fathers and was buried rwith his fathers in the city of David, and sAhaziah his son reigned in his place.

Ahaziah Reigns in Judah

25 tIn the utwelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was vtwenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Athaliah; she was wa granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. 27 He also walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was son-in-law to the house of Ahab.

28 He went with Joram the son of Ahab to make war against xHazael king of Syria at yRamoth-gilead, and the Syrians wounded Joram. 29 zAnd King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Syrians had given him at aRamah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And bAhaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

Jehu Anointed King of Israel

Then Elisha the prophet called one of cthe sons of the prophets and said to him, dTie up your garments, and take this eflask of oil in your hand, and go to fRamoth-gilead. And when you arrive, look there for Jehu gthe son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi. And go in and have him rise from among hhis fellows, and lead him to an inner chamber. Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, Thus says the Lord, iI anoint you king over Israel. Then open the door and flee; do not linger.

So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. And when he came, behold, the commanders of the army were in council. And he said, I have a word for you, O commander. And Jehu said, To which of us all? And he said, To you, O commander. So he arose and went into the house. And the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, iI anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. And you shall strike down the house of Ahab your master, so that I may avenge jon Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish, kand I will cut off from Ahab levery male, mbond or free, in Israel. And I will make the house of Ahab like nthe house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like othe house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 pAnd the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her. Then he opened the door and fled.

11 When Jehu came out to the servants of his master, they said to him, qIs all well? Why did rthis mad fellow come to you? And he said to them, You know the fellow and his talk. 12 And they said, That is not true; tell us now. And he said, Thus and so he spoke to me, saying, Thus says the Lord, I anoint you king over Israel. 13 Then in haste severy man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare1 steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, tJehu is king.

Jehu Assassinates Joram and Ahaziah

14 Thus Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (uNow Joram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against vHazael king of Syria, 15 wbut King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) So Jehu said, If this is your decision, then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel. 16 Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to visit Joram.

17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and he saw the company of Jehu as he came and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take a horseman and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace? 18 So a man on horseback went to meet him and said, Thus says the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What do you have to do with peace? Turn around and ride behind me. And the watchman reported, saying, The messenger reached them, but he is not coming back. 19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, Thus the king has said, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What do you have to do with peace? Turn around and ride behind me. 20 Again the watchman reported, He reached them, but he is not coming back. And the driving xis like the driving of Jehu ythe son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously.

21 Joram said, zMake ready. And they made ready his chariot. aThen Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and went to meet Jehu, and met him bat the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 And when Joram saw Jehu, he said, Is it peace, Jehu? He answered, What peace can there be, so long as cthe whorings and the sorceries of your mother Jezebel are so many? 23 Then Joram reined about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, Treachery, O Ahaziah! 24 And Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart, and he sank in his chariot. 25 Jehu said to Bidkar dhis aide, Take him up and throw him bon the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. For remember, when you and I rode side by side behind Ahab his father, how ethe Lord made this fpronouncement against him: 26 As surely as I saw yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sonsdeclares the LordI will repay you on this plot of ground. Now therefore take him up and throw him on the plot of ground, in accordance with the word of the Lord.

27 gWhen Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled in the direction of Beth-haggan. And Jehu pursued him and said, Shoot him also. And they shot him2 in the chariot at the ascent of Gur, which is by hIbleam. And he fled to hMegiddo and died there. 28 iHis servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his fathers in the city of David.

29 In the jeleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab, Ahaziah began to reign over Judah.

Jehu Executes Jezebel

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it. And kshe painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window. 31 And as Jehu entered the gate, she said, lIs it peace, you Zimri, murderer of your master? 32 And he lifted up his face to the window and said, Who is on my side? Who? Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33 He said, Throw her down. So they threw her down. And some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and they trampled on her. 34 Then he went in and ate and drank. And he said, See now to this cursed woman and bury her, mfor she is a king's daughter. 35 But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 When they came back and told him, he said, This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite: nIn the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel, 37 and the corpse of Jezebel shall be oas dung on the face of the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.

Jehu Slaughters Ahab's Descendants

10 Now Ahab had seventy sons in pSamaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of the city,1 to the elders, and to qthe guardians of the sons2 of Ahab, saying, Now then, as soon as this letter comes to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, fortified cities also, and weapons, select the best and fittest of your master's sons and set him on his father's throne and fight for your master's house. But they were exceedingly afraid and said, Behold, the two kings could not stand before him. How then can we stand? So he who was over the palace, and he who was over the city, together with the elders and the guardians, sent to Jehu, saying, rWe are your servants, and we will do all that you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever is good in your eyes. Then he wrote to them a second letter, saying, If you are on my side, and if you are ready to obey me, take the heads of your master's sons and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow at this time. Now the king's sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, qwho were bringing them up. And as soon as the letter came to them, they took the king's sons sand slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets and sent them to him at Jezreel. When the messenger came and told him, They have brought the heads of the king's sons, he said, Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning. Then in the morning, when he went out, he stood and said to all the people, You are innocent. tIt was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who struck down all these? 10 Know then that there shall ufall to the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the Lord has done vwhat he said by his servant Elijah. 11 So Jehu struck down all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his great men and his close friends and his priests, until he left him none remaining.

12 Then he set out and went to Samaria. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met wthe relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah, and he said, Who are you? And they answered, We are the relatives of Ahaziah, and we came down to visit the royal princes and the sons of the queen mother. 14 He said, Take them alive. And they took them alive and slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two persons, and he spared none of them.

15 And when he departed from there, he met xJehonadab the son of yRechab coming to meet him. And he greeted him and said to him, Is your heart true to my heart as mine is to yours? And Jehonadab answered, It is. Jehu said,3 If it is, zgive me your hand. So he gave him his hand. And Jehu took him up with him into the chariot. 16 And he said, Come with me, and see amy zeal for the Lord. So he4 had him ride in his chariot. 17 And when he came to Samaria, bhe struck down all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had wiped them out, according to the word of the Lord vthat he spoke to Elijah.

Jehu Strikes Down the Prophets of Baal

18 Then Jehu assembled all the people and said to them, cAhab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now therefore call to me all the dprophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests. Let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice to offer to Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live. But Jehu did it with cunning in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal. 20 And Jehu ordered, eSanctify fa solemn assembly for Baal. So gthey proclaimed it. 21 And Jehu sent throughout all Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And they entered hthe house of Baal, and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other. 22 He said to him who was in charge of the wardrobe, Bring out the vestments for all the worshipers of Baal. So he brought out the vestments for them. 23 Then Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab, and he said to the worshipers of Baal, Search, and see that there is no servant of the Lord here among you, but only the worshipers of Baal. 24 Then they5 went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.

Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside and said, The man who allows any of those whom I give into your hands to escape ishall forfeit his life. 25 So as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guard and to the officers, jGo in and strike them down; let not a man escape. So when they put them to the sword, the guard and the officers cast them out and went into the inner room of the house of Baal, 26 and they brought out the kpillar that was in hthe house of Baal and burned it. 27 And they demolished the kpillar of Baal, and demolished the house of Baal, and made it la latrine to this day.

Jehu Reigns in Israel

28 Thus Jehu wiped out Baal from Israel. 29 But Jehu did not turn aside from mthe sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, nwhich he made Israel to sinthat is, the golden calves that were in Bethel and in Dan. 30 And the Lord said to Jehu, Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in my heart, oyour sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. 31 But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. pHe did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin.

32 In those days the Lord qbegan to cut off parts of Israel. rHazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel: 33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from sAroer, which is by the Valley of the Arnon, that is, tGilead and Bashan. 34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 35 So Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place. 36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.