Bible: 2 Kings 1-17

Elijah Confronts the King and His Commanders

1:1 After Ahab died, Moab rebelled against Israel. 1  1:2 Ahaziah fell through a window lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria 2  and was injured. He sent messengers with these orders, 3 Go, ask 4  Baal Zebub, 5  the god of Ekron, if I will survive this injury.”

1:3 But the Lord’s angelic messenger told Elijah the Tishbite, “Get up, go to meet the messengers from the king of Samaria. Say this to them: ‘You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are on your way to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub the god of Ekron. 6  1:4 Therefore this is what the Lord says, “You will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die!”’” So Elijah went on his way.

1:5 When the messengers returned to the king, 7  he asked them, “Why have you returned? 1:6 They replied, 8 A man came up to meet us. He told us, “Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: “You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are sending for an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. 9  Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die.”’ 1:7 The king 10  asked them, “Describe the appearance 11  of this man who came up to meet you and told you these things.” 1:8 They replied, 12 He was a hairy man 13  and had a leather belt 14  tied around his waist.” The king 15  said, “He is Elijah the Tishbite.”

1:9 The king 16  sent a captain and his fifty soldiers 17  to retrieve Elijah. 18  The captain 19  went up to him, while he was sitting on the top of a hill. 20  He told him, “Prophet, 21  the king says, ‘Come down!’ 1:10 Elijah replied to the captain, 22 If I am indeed a prophet, may fire come down from the sky and consume you and your fifty soldiers!” Fire then came down 23  from the sky and consumed him and his fifty soldiers.

1:11 The king 24  sent another captain and his fifty soldiers to retrieve Elijah. He went up and told him, 25 Prophet, this is what the king says, ‘Come down at once!’ 26  1:12 Elijah replied to them, 27  “If I am indeed a prophet, may fire come down from the sky and consume you and your fifty soldiers!” Fire from God 28  came down from the sky and consumed him and his fifty soldiers.

1:13 The king 29  sent a third captain and his fifty soldiers. This third captain went up and fell 30  on his knees before Elijah. He begged for mercy, “Prophet, please have respect for my life and for the lives of these fifty servants of yours. 1:14 Indeed, 31  fire came down from the sky and consumed the two captains who came before me, along with their men. 32  So now, please have respect for my life.” 1:15 The Lord’s angelic messenger said to Elijah, “Go down with him. Don’t be afraid of him.” So he got up and went down 33  with him to the king.

1:16 Elijah 34  said to the king, 35  “This is what the Lord says, ‘You sent messengers to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. You must think there is no God in Israel from whom you can seek an oracle! 36  Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die.’ 37 

1:17 He died just as the Lord had prophesied through Elijah. 38  In the second year of the reign of King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat over Judah, Ahaziah’s brother Jehoram replaced him as king of Israel, because he had no son. 39  1:18 The rest of the events of Ahaziah’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 40 

Elijah Makes a Swift Departure

2:1 Just before 41  the Lord took Elijah up to heaven in a windstorm, Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal. 2:2 Elijah told Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” 42  But Elisha said, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 2:3 Some members of the prophetic guild 43  in Bethel came out to Elisha and said, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?” 44  He answered, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”

2:4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” 45  But he replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. 2:5 Some members of the prophetic guild in Jericho approached Elisha and said, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?” He answered, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”

2:6 Elijah said to him, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they traveled on together. 2:7 The fifty members of the prophetic guild went and stood opposite them at a distance, while Elijah and Elisha 46  stood by the Jordan. 2:8 Elijah took his cloak, folded it up, and hit the water with it. The water divided, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

2:9 When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you, 47  before I am taken away from you?” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energizes you.” 48  2:10 Elijah 49  replied, “That’s a difficult request! 50  If you see me taken from you, may it be so, but if you don’t, it will not happen.”

2:11 As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a fiery chariot 51  pulled by fiery horses appeared. 52  They went between Elijah and Elisha, 53  and Elijah went up to heaven in a windstorm. 2:12 While Elisha was watching, he was crying out, “My father, my father! The chariot and horsemen of Israel!” 54  Then he could no longer see him. He grabbed his clothes and tore them in two. 2:13 He picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen off him, and went back and stood on the shore of the Jordan. 2:14 He took the cloak that had fallen off Elijah, 55  hit the water with it, and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he hit the water, it divided and Elisha crossed over.

2:15 When the members of the prophetic guild in Jericho, 56  who were standing at a distance, 57  saw him do this, they said, “The spirit that energized Elijah 58  rests upon Elisha.” They went to meet him and bowed down to the ground before him. 2:16 They said to him, “Look, there are fifty capable men with your servants. Let them go and look for your master, for the wind sent from the Lord 59  may have carried him away and dropped him on one of the hills or in one of the valleys.” But Elisha 60  replied, “Don’t send them out.” 2:17 But they were so insistent, he became embarrassed. So he said, “Send them out.” They sent the fifty men out and they looked for three days, but could not find Elijah. 61  2:18 When they came back, Elisha 62  was staying in Jericho. He said to them, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t go?

Elisha Demonstrates His Authority

2:19 The men of the city said to Elisha, “Look, the city has a good location, as our 63  master can see. But the water is bad and the land doesn’t produce crops.” 64  2:20 Elisha 65  said, “Get me a new jar and put some salt in it.” So they got it. 2:21 He went out to the spring and threw the salt in. Then he said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘I have purified 66  this water. It will no longer cause death or fail to produce crops.” 67  2:22 The water has been pure to this very day, just as Elisha prophesied. 68 

2:23 He went up from there to Bethel. 69  As he was traveling up the road, some young boys 70  came out of the city and made fun of him, saying, “Go on up, baldy! Go on up, baldy! 2:24 When he turned around and saw them, he called God’s judgment down on them. 71  Two female bears came out of the woods and ripped forty-two of the boys to pieces. 2:25 From there he traveled to Mount Carmel and then back to Samaria. 72 

Moab Fights with Israel

3:1 In the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign over Judah, Ahab’s son Jehoram became king over Israel in Samaria; 73  he ruled for twelve years. 3:2 He did evil in the sight of 74  the Lord, but not to the same degree as his father and mother. He did remove the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had made. 3:3 Yet he persisted in 75  the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who encouraged Israel to sin; he did not turn from them. 76 

3:4 Now King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder. 77  He would send as tribute 78  to the king of Israel 100,000 male lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. 3:5 When Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 3:6 At that time King Jehoram left Samaria and assembled all Israel for war. 3:7 He sent 79  this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you fight with me against Moab?” Jehoshaphat 80  replied, “I will join you in the campaign; my army and horses are at your disposal.” 81  3:8 He then asked, “Which invasion route are we going to take?” 82  Jehoram 83  answered, “By the road through the Desert of Edom.” 3:9 So the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom 84  set out together. They wandered around on the road for seven days and finally ran out of water for the men and animals they had with them. 3:10 The king of Israel said, “Oh no! 85  Certainly the Lord has summoned these three kings so that he can hand them over to the king of Moab! 3:11 Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here that we might seek the Lord’s direction?” 86  One of the servants of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shapat is here; he used to be Elijah’s servant.” 87  3:12 Jehoshaphat said, “The Lord speaks through him.” 88  So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to visit him.

3:13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why are you here? 89  Go to your father’s prophets or your mother’s prophets!” The king of Israel replied to him, “No, for the Lord is the one who summoned these three kings so that he can hand them over to Moab.” 3:14 Elisha said, “As certainly as the Lord who rules over all 90  lives (whom I serve), 91  if I did not respect King Jehoshaphat of Judah, 92  I would not pay attention to you or acknowledge you. 93  3:15 But now, get me a musician.” 94  When the musician played, the Lord energized him, 95  3:16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Make many cisterns in this valley,’ 96  3:17 for this is what the Lord says, ‘You will not feel 97  any wind or see any rain, but this valley will be full of water and you and your cattle and animals will drink.’ 3:18 This is an easy task for the Lord; 98  he will also hand Moab over to you. 3:19 You will defeat every fortified city and every important 99  city. You must chop down 100  every productive 101  tree, stop up all the springs, and cover all the cultivated land with stones.” 102 

3:20 Sure enough, the next morning, at the time of the morning sacrifice, water came flowing down from Edom and filled the land. 103  3:21 Now all Moab had heard that the kings were attacking, 104  so everyone old enough to fight was mustered and placed at the border. 105  3:22 When they got up early the next morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites, who were some distance away, the water looked red like blood. 3:23 The Moabites 106  said, “It’s blood! The kings are totally destroyed! 107  They have struck one another down! Now, Moab, seize the plunder! 3:24 When they approached the Israelite camp, the Israelites rose up and struck down the Moabites, who then ran from them. The Israelites 108  thoroughly defeated 109  Moab. 3:25 They tore down the cities and each man threw a stone into every cultivated field until they were covered. 110  They stopped up every spring and chopped down every productive tree.

Only Kir Hareseth was left intact, 111  but the slingers surrounded it and attacked it. 3:26 When the king of Moab realized he was losing the battle, 112  he and 700 swordsmen tried to break through and attack 113  the king of Edom, but they failed. 3:27 So he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him up as a burnt sacrifice on the wall. There was an outburst of divine anger against Israel, 114  so they broke off the attack 115  and returned to their homeland.

Elisha Helps a Widow and Her Sons

4:1 Now a wife of one of the prophets 116  appealed 117  to Elisha for help, saying, “Your servant, my husband is dead. You know that your servant was a loyal follower of the Lord. 118  Now the creditor is coming to take away my two boys to be his servants.” 4:2 Elisha said to her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a small jar of olive oil.” 4:3 He said, “Go and ask all your neighbors for empty containers. 119  Get as many as you can. 120  4:4 Go and close the door behind you and your sons. Pour the olive oil into all the containers; 121  set aside each one when you have filled it.” 4:5 So she left him and closed the door behind her and her sons. As they were bringing the containers to her, she was pouring the olive oil. 4:6 When the containers were full, she said to one of her sons, 122 Bring me another container.” But he answered her, “There are no more.” Then the olive oil stopped flowing. 4:7 She went and told the prophet. 123  He said, “Go, sell the olive oil. Repay your creditor, and then you and your sons can live off the rest of the profit.”

Elisha Gives Life to a Boy

4:8 One day Elisha traveled to Shunem, where a prominent 124  woman lived. She insisted that he stop for a meal. 125  So whenever he was passing through, he would stop in there for a meal. 126  4:9 She said to her husband, “Look, I’m sure 127  that the man who regularly passes through here is a very special prophet. 128  4:10 Let’s make a small private upper room 129  and furnish it with 130  a bed, table, chair, and lamp. When he visits us, he can stay there.”

4:11 One day Elisha 131  came for a visit; he went 132  into the upper room and rested. 133  4:12 He told his servant Gehazi, “Ask the Shunammite woman to come here.” 134  So he did so and she came to him. 135  4:13 Elisha said to Gehazi, 136 Tell her, ‘Look, you have treated us with such great respect. 137  What can I do for you? Can I put in a good word for you with the king or the commander of the army?’” She replied, “I’m quite secure.” 138  4:14 So he asked Gehazi, 139  “What can I do for her?” Gehazi replied, “She has no son, and her husband is old.” 4:15 Elisha told him, “Ask her to come here.” 140  So he did so 141  and she came and stood in the doorway. 142  4:16 He said, “About this time next year 143  you will be holding a son.” She said, “No, my master! O prophet, do not lie to your servant! 4:17 The woman did conceive, and at the specified time the next year she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

4:18 The boy grew and one day he went out to see his father who was with the harvest workers. 144  4:19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!” His father 145  told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 4:20 So he picked him up and took him to his mother. He sat on her lap 146  until noon and then died. 4:21 She went up and laid him down on the prophet’s 147  bed. She shut the door behind her and left. 4:22 She called to her husband, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so I can go see the prophet quickly and then return.” 4:23 He said, “Why do you want to go see him today? It is not the new moon 148  or the Sabbath.” She said, “Everything’s fine.” 149  4:24 She saddled the donkey and told her servant, “Lead on. 150  Do not stop unless I say so.” 151 

4:25 So she went to visit 152  the prophet at Mount Carmel. When he 153  saw her at a distance, he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, it’s the Shunammite woman. 4:26 Now, run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you well? Are your husband and the boy well?’” She told Gehazi, 154 Everything’s fine.” 4:27 But when she reached the prophet on the mountain, she grabbed hold of his feet. Gehazi came near to push her away, but the prophet said, “Leave her alone, for she is very upset. 155  The Lord has kept the matter hidden from me; he didn’t tell me about it.” 4:28 She said, “Did I ask my master for a son? Didn’t I say, ‘Don’t mislead me?’ 4:29 Elisha 156  told Gehazi, “Tuck your robes into your belt, take my staff, 157  and go! Don’t stop to exchange greetings with anyone! 158  Place my staff on the child’s face.” 4:30 The mother of the child said, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So Elisha 159  got up and followed her back.

4:31 Now Gehazi went on ahead of them. He placed the staff on the child’s face, but there was no sound or response. When he came back to Elisha 160  he told him, “The child did not wake up.” 4:32 When Elisha arrived at the house, there was 161  the child lying dead on his bed. 4:33 He went in by himself and closed the door. 162  Then he prayed to the Lord. 4:34 He got up on the bed and spread his body out over 163  the boy; he put his mouth on the boy’s 164  mouth, his eyes over the boy’s eyes, and the palms of his hands against the boy’s palms. He bent down over him, and the boy’s skin 165  grew warm. 4:35 Elisha 166  went back and walked around in the house. 167  Then he got up on the bed again 168  and bent down over him. The child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 4:36 Elisha 169  called to Gehazi and said, “Get the Shunammite woman.” So he did so 170  and she came to him. He said to her, “Take your son.” 4:37 She came in, fell at his feet, and bowed down. Then she picked up her son and left.

Elisha Makes a Meal Edible

4:38 Now Elisha went back to Gilgal, while there was famine in the land. Some of the prophets were visiting him 171  and he told his servant, “Put the big pot on the fire 172  and boil some stew for the prophets.” 173  4:39 Someone went out to the field to gather some herbs and found a wild vine. 174  He picked some of its fruit, 175  enough to fill up the fold of his robe. He came back, cut it up, and threw the slices 176  into the stew pot, not knowing they were harmful. 177  4:40 The stew was poured out 178  for the men to eat. When they ate some of the stew, they cried out, “Death is in the pot, O prophet!” They could not eat it. 4:41 He said, “Get some flour.” Then he threw it into the pot and said, “Now pour some out for the men so they may eat.” 179  There was no longer anything harmful in the pot.

Elisha Miraculously Feeds a Hundred People

4:42 Now a man from Baal Shalisha brought some food for the prophet 180 twenty loaves of bread made from the firstfruits of the barley harvest, as well as fresh ears of grain. 181  Elisha 182  said, “Set it before the people so they may eat.” 4:43 But his attendant said, “How can I feed a hundred men with this?” 183  He replied, “Set it before the people so they may eat, for this is what the Lord says, ‘They will eat and have some left over.’ 184  4:44 So he set it before them; they ate and had some left over, just as the Lord predicted. 185 

Elisha Heals a Syrian General

5:1 Now Naaman, the commander of the king of Syria’s army, was esteemed and respected by his master, 186  for through him the Lord had given Syria military victories. But this great warrior had a skin disease. 187  5:2 Raiding parties went out from Syria and took captive from the land of Israel a young girl, who became a servant to Naaman’s wife. 5:3 She told her mistress, “If only my master were in the presence of the prophet who is in Samaria! 188  Then he would cure him of his skin disease.”

5:4 Naaman 189  went and told his master what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5:5 The king of Syria said, “Go! I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman 190  went, taking with him ten talents 191  of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, 192  and ten suits of clothes. 5:6 He brought the letter to king of Israel. It read: “This is a letter of introduction for my servant Naaman, 193  whom I have sent to be cured of his skin disease.” 5:7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill or restore life? Why does he ask me to cure a man of his skin disease? 194  Certainly you must see that he is looking for an excuse to fight me! 195 

5:8 When Elisha the prophet 196  heard that the king had torn his clothes, he sent this message to the king, “Why did you tear your clothes? Send him 197  to me so he may know there is a prophet in Israel.” 5:9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood in the doorway of Elisha’s house. 5:10 Elisha sent out a messenger who told him, “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan; your skin will be restored 198  and you will be healed.” 5:11 Naaman went away angry. He said, “Look, I thought for sure he would come out, stand there, invoke the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the area, and cure the skin disease. 5:12 The rivers of Damascus, the Abana and Pharpar, are better than any of the waters of Israel! 199  Could I not wash in them and be healed?” So he turned around and went away angry. 5:13 His servants approached and said to him, “O master, 200  if the prophet had told you to do some difficult task, 201  you would have been willing to do it. 202  It seems you should be happy that he simply said, “Wash and you will be healed.” 203  5:14 So he went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, as the prophet had instructed. 204  His skin became as smooth as a young child’s 205  and he was healed.

5:15 He and his entire entourage returned to the prophet. Naaman 206  came and stood before him. He said, “For sure 207  I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel! Now, please accept a gift from your servant.” 5:16 But Elisha 208  replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives (whom I serve), 209  I will take nothing from you.” Naaman 210  insisted that he take it, but he refused. 5:17 Naaman said, “If not, then please give your servant a load of dirt, enough for a pair of mules to carry, 211  for your servant will never again offer a burnt offering or sacrifice to a god other than the Lord. 212  5:18 May the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to worship, and he leans on my arm and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.” 213  5:19 Elisha 214  said to him, “Go in peace.”

When he had gone a short distance, 215  5:20 Gehazi, the prophet Elisha’s servant, thought, 216 Look, my master did not accept what this Syrian Naaman offered him. 217  As certainly as the Lord lives, I will run after him and accept something from him.” 5:21 So Gehazi ran after Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from his chariot to meet him and asked, “Is everything all right? 218  5:22 He answered, “Everything is fine. 219  My master sent me with this message, ‘Look, two servants of the prophets just arrived from the Ephraimite hill country. 220  Please give them a talent 221  of silver and two suits of clothes.’ 5:23 Naaman said, “Please accept two talents of silver. 222  He insisted, and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, along with two suits of clothes. He gave them to two of his servants and they carried them for Gehazi. 223  5:24 When he arrived at the hill, he took them from the servants 224  and put them in the house. Then he sent the men on their way. 225 

5:25 When he came and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” He answered, “Your servant hasn’t been anywhere.” 5:26 Elisha 226  replied, “I was there in spirit when a man turned and got down from his chariot to meet you. 227  This is not the proper time to accept silver or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, sheep, cattle, and male and female servants. 228  5:27 Therefore Naaman’s skin disease will afflict 229  you and your descendants forever!” When Gehazi 230  went out from his presence, his skin was as white as snow. 231 

Elisha Makes an Ax Head Float

6:1 Some of the prophets 232  said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you 233  is too cramped 234  for us. 6:2 Let’s go to the Jordan. Each of us will get a log from there and we will build a meeting place for ourselves there.” He said, “Go.” 6:3 One of them said, “Please come along with your servants.” He replied, “All right, I’ll come.” 6:4 So he went with them. When they arrived at the Jordan, they started cutting down trees. 6:5 As one of them was felling a log, the ax head 235  dropped into the water. He shouted, “Oh no, 236  my master! It was borrowed! 6:6 The prophet 237  asked, “Where did it drop in?” When he showed him the spot, Elisha 238  cut off a branch, threw it in at that spot, and made the ax head float. 6:7 He said, “Lift it out.” So he reached out his hand and grabbed it.

Elisha Defeats an Army

6:8 Now the king of Syria was at war with Israel. He consulted his advisers, who said, “Invade 239  at such and such 240  a place.” 6:9 But the prophet sent this message to the king of Israel, “Make sure you don’t pass through this place because Syria is invading there.” 6:10 So the king of Israel sent a message to the place the prophet had pointed out, warning it 241  to be on its guard. This happened on several occasions. 242  6:11 This made the king of Syria upset. 243  So he summoned his advisers 244  and said to them, “One of us must be helping the king of Israel.” 245  6:12 One of his advisers said, “No, my master, O king. The prophet Elisha who lives in Israel keeps telling the king of Israel the things you say in your bedroom.” 6:13 The king 246  ordered, “Go, find out where he is, so I can send some men to capture him.” 247  The king was told, “He is in Dothan.” 6:14 So he sent horses and chariots there, along with a good-sized army. 248  They arrived during the night and surrounded the city.

6:15 The prophet’s 249  attendant got up early in the morning. When he went outside there was an army surrounding the city, along with horses and chariots. He said to Elisha, 250  “Oh no, my master! What will we do? 6:16 He replied, “Don’t be afraid, for our side outnumbers them.” 251  6:17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes so he can see.” The Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he saw that 252  the hill was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 6:18 As they approached him, 253  Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike these people 254  with blindness.” 255  The Lord 256  struck them with blindness as Elisha requested. 257  6:19 Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the right road or city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you’re looking for.” He led them to Samaria. 258 

6:20 When they had entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O Lord, open their eyes, so they can see.” The Lord opened their eyes and they saw that they were in the middle of Samaria. 259  6:21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Should I strike them down, 260  my master? 261  6:22 He replied, “Do not strike them down! You did not capture them with your sword or bow, so what gives you the right to strike them down? 262  Give them some food and water, so they can eat and drink and then go back to their master.” 6:23 So he threw a big banquet 263  for them and they ate and drank. Then he sent them back 264  to their master. After that no Syrian raiding parties again invaded the land of Israel.

The Lord Saves Samaria

6:24 Later King Ben Hadad of Syria assembled his entire army and attacked 265  and besieged Samaria. 266  6:25 Samaria’s food supply ran out. 267  They laid siege to it so long that 268  a donkey’s head was selling for eighty shekels of silver 269  and a quarter of a kab 270  of dove’s droppings 271  for five shekels of silver. 272 

6:26 While the king of Israel was passing by on the city wall, a woman shouted to him, “Help us, my master, O king! 6:27 He replied, “No, let the Lord help you. How can I help you? The threshing floor and winepress are empty.” 273  6:28 Then the king asked her, “What’s your problem?” She answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Hand over your son; we’ll eat him today and then eat my son tomorrow.’ 6:29 So we boiled my son and ate him. Then I said to her the next day, ‘Hand over your son and we’ll eat him.’ But she hid her son! 6:30 When the king heard what the woman said, he tore his clothes. As he was passing by on the wall, the people could see he was wearing sackcloth under his clothes. 274  6:31 Then he said, “May God judge me severely 275  if Elisha son of Shaphat still has his head by the end of the day! 276 

6:32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house with the community leaders. 277  The king 278  sent a messenger on ahead, but before he arrived, 279  Elisha 280  said to the leaders, 281 Do you realize this assassin intends to cut off my head?” 282  Look, when the messenger arrives, shut the door and lean against it. His master will certainly be right behind him.” 283  6:33 He was still talking to them when 284  the messenger approached 285  and said, “Look, the Lord is responsible for this disaster! 286  Why should I continue to wait for the Lord to help? 7:1 Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says, ‘About this time tomorrow a seah 287  of finely milled flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.’ 7:2 An officer who was the king’s right-hand man 288  responded to the prophet, 289 Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?” 290  Elisha 291  said, “Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food! 292 

7:3 Now four men with a skin disease 293  were sitting at the entrance of the city gate. They said to one another, “Why are we just sitting here waiting to die? 294  7:4 If we go into the city, we’ll die of starvation, 295  and if we stay here we’ll die! So come on, let’s defect 296  to the Syrian camp! If they spare us, 297  we’ll live; if they kill us – well, we were going to die anyway.” 298  7:5 So they started toward 299  the Syrian camp at dusk. When they reached the edge of the Syrian camp, there was no one there. 7:6 The Lord had caused the Syrian camp to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a large army. Then they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has paid the kings of the Hittites and Egypt to attack us! 7:7 So they got up and fled at dusk, leaving behind their tents, horses, and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives. 7:8 When the men with a skin disease reached the edge of the camp, they entered a tent and had a meal. 300  They also took some silver, gold, and clothes and went and hid it all. 301  Then they went back and entered another tent. They looted it 302  and went and hid what they had taken. 7:9 Then they said to one another, “It’s not right what we’re doing! This is a day to celebrate, but we haven’t told anyone. 303  If we wait until dawn, 304  we’ll be punished. 305  So come on, let’s go and inform the royal palace.” 7:10 So they went and called out to the gatekeepers 306  of the city. They told them, “We entered the Syrian camp and there was no one there. We didn’t even hear a man’s voice. 307  But the horses and donkeys are still tied up, and the tents remain up.” 308  7:11 The gatekeepers relayed the news to the royal palace. 309 

7:12 The king got up in the night and said to his advisers, 310 I will tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know we are starving, so they left the camp and hid in the field, thinking, ‘When they come out of the city, we will capture them alive and enter the city.’ 7:13 One of his advisers replied, “Pick some men and have them take five of the horses that are left in the city. (Even if they are killed, their fate will be no different than that of all the Israelite people – we’re all going to die!) 311  Let’s send them out so we can know for sure what’s going on.” 312  7:14 So they picked two horsemen and the king sent them out to track the Syrian army. 313  He ordered them, “Go and find out what’s going on.” 314  7:15 So they tracked them 315  as far as the Jordan. The road was filled with clothes and equipment that the Syrians had discarded in their haste. 316  The scouts 317  went back and told the king. 7:16 Then the people went out and looted the Syrian camp. A seah 318  of finely milled flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, just as the Lord had said they would. 319 

7:17 Now the king had placed the officer who was his right-hand man 320  at the city gate. When the people rushed out, they trampled him to death in the gate. 321  This fulfilled the prophet’s word which he had spoken when the king tried to arrest him. 322  7:18 The prophet told the king, “Two seahs of barley will sell for a shekel, and a seah of finely milled flour for a shekel; this will happen about this time tomorrow in the gate of Samaria.” 7:19 But the officer replied to the prophet, “Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?” 323  Elisha 324  said, “Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food! 325  7:20 This is exactly what happened to him. The people trampled him to death in the city gate.

Elisha Again Helps the Shunammite Woman

8:1 Now Elisha advised the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “You and your family should go and live somewhere else for a while, 326  for the Lord has decreed that a famine will overtake the land for seven years.” 8:2 So the woman did as the prophet said. 327  She and her family went and lived in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 8:3 After seven years the woman returned from the land of the Philistines and went to ask the king to give her back her house and field. 328  8:4 Now the king was talking to Gehazi, the prophet’s 329  servant, and said, “Tell me all the great things which Elisha has done.” 8:5 While Gehazi 330  was telling the king how Elisha 331  had brought the dead back to life, the woman whose son he had brought back to life came to ask the king for her house and field. 332  Gehazi said, “My master, O king, this is the very woman and this is her son whom Elisha brought back to life! 8:6 The king asked the woman about it, and she gave him the details. 333  The king assigned a eunuch to take care of her request and ordered him, 334  “Give her back everything she owns, as well as the amount of crops her field produced from the day she left the land until now.”

Elisha Meets with Hazael

8:7 Elisha traveled to Damascus while King Ben Hadad of Syria was sick. The king 335  was told, “The prophet 336  has come here.” 8:8 So the king told Hazael, “Take a gift 337  and go visit the prophet. Request from him an oracle from the Lord. Ask him, 338  ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ 8:9 So Hazael went to visit Elisha. 339  He took along a gift, 340  as well as 341  forty camel loads of all the fine things of Damascus. When he arrived, he stood before him and said, “Your son, 342  King Ben Hadad of Syria, has sent me to you with this question, 343  ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ 8:10 Elisha said to him, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover,’ 344  but the Lord has revealed to me that he will surely die.” 8:11 Elisha 345  just stared at him until Hazael became uncomfortable. 346  Then the prophet started crying. 8:12 Hazael asked, “Why are you crying, my master?” He replied, “Because I know the trouble you will cause the Israelites. You will set fire to their fortresses, kill their young men with the sword, smash their children to bits, and rip open their pregnant women.” 8:13 Hazael said, “How could your servant, who is as insignificant as a dog, accomplish this great military victory?” 347  Elisha answered, “The Lord has revealed to me that you will be the king of Syria.” 348  8:14 He left Elisha and went to his master. Ben Hadad 349  asked him, “What did Elisha tell you?” Hazael 350  replied, “He told me you would surely recover.” 8:15 The next day Hazael 351  took a piece of cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it over Ben Hadad’s 352  face until he died. Then Hazael replaced him as king.

Jehoram’s Reign over Judah

8:16 In the fifth year of the reign of Israel’s King Joram, son of Ahab, Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram became king over Judah. 353  8:17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. 354  8:18 He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel, just as Ahab’s dynasty had done, for he married Ahab’s daughter. 355  He did evil in the sight of 356  the Lord. 8:19 But the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah. He preserved Judah for the sake of 357  his servant David to whom he had promised a perpetual dynasty. 358 

8:20 During his reign Edom freed themselves from Judah’s control and set up their own king. 359  8:21 Joram 360  crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night and defeated him and his chariot officers. 361  The Israelite army retreated to their homeland. 362  8:22 So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day. 363  At that same time Libnah also rebelled.

8:23 The rest of the events of Joram’s reign, including a record of his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 364  8:24 Joram passed away 365  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Ahaziah replaced him as king.

Ahaziah Takes the Throne of Judah

8:25 In the twelfth year of the reign of Israel’s King Joram, son of Ahab, Jehoram’s son Ahaziah became king over Judah. 8:26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. 366  His mother was Athaliah, the granddaughter 367  of King Omri of Israel. 8:27 He followed in the footsteps of Ahab’s dynasty and did evil in the sight of 368  the Lord, like Ahab’s dynasty, for he was related to Ahab’s family. 369 

8:28 He joined Ahab’s son Joram in a battle against King Hazael of Syria at Ramoth Gilead in which the Syrians defeated Joram. 8:29 King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians 370  in Ramah when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. King Ahaziah son of Jehoram of Judah went down to visit 371  Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, for he was ill.

Jehu Becomes King

9:1 Now Elisha the prophet summoned a member of the prophetic guild 372  and told him, “Tuck your robes into your belt, take this container 373  of olive oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. 9:2 When you arrive there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi and take him aside into an inner room. 374  9:3 Take the container of olive oil, pour it over his head, and say, ‘This is what the Lord says, “I have designated 375  you as king over Israel.”’ Then open the door and run away quickly! 376 

9:4 So the young prophet 377  went to Ramoth Gilead. 9:5 When he arrived, the officers of the army were sitting there. 378  So he said, “I have a message for you, O officer.” 379  Jehu asked, “For which one of us?” 380  He replied, “For you, O officer.” 9:6 So Jehu 381  got up and went inside. Then the prophet 382  poured the olive oil on his head and said to him, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I have designated you as king over the Lord’s people Israel. 9:7 You will destroy the family of your master Ahab. 383  I will get revenge against Jezebel for the shed blood of my servants the prophets and for the shed blood of all the Lord’s servants. 384  9:8 Ahab’s entire family will die. I 385  will cut off every last male belonging to Ahab in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. 386  9:9 I will make Ahab’s dynasty 387  like those of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah. 9:10 Dogs will devour Jezebel on the plot of ground in Jezreel; she will not be buried.’” 388  Then he opened the door and ran away.

9:11 When Jehu rejoined 389  his master’s servants, they 390  asked him, “Is everything all right? 391  Why did this madman visit you?” He replied, “Ah, it’s not important. You know what kind of man he is and the kinds of things he says.” 392  9:12 But they said, “You’re lying! Tell us what he said.” So he told them what he had said. He also related how he had said, 393 This is what the Lord says, ‘I have designated you as king over Israel.’ 9:13 Each of them quickly took off his cloak and they spread them out at Jehu’s 394  feet on the steps. 395  The trumpet was blown 396  and they shouted, “Jehu is 397  king! 9:14 Then Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram.

Jehu the Assassin

Now Joram had been in Ramoth Gilead with the whole Israelite army, 398  guarding against an invasion by King Hazael of Syria. 9:15 But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians 399  when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. 400  Jehu told his supporters, 401  “If you really want me to be king, 402  then don’t let anyone escape from the city to go and warn Jezreel.” 9:16 Jehu drove his chariot 403  to Jezreel, for Joram was recuperating 404  there. (Now King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit 405  Joram.)

9:17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel and saw Jehu’s troops approaching. 406  He said, “I see troops!” 407  Jehoram ordered, 408 Send a rider out to meet them and have him ask, ‘Is everything all right?’ 409  9:18 So the horseman 410  went to meet him and said, “This is what the king says, ‘Is everything all right?’” 411  Jehu replied, “None of your business! 412  Follow me.” The watchman reported, “The messenger reached them, but hasn’t started back.” 9:19 So he sent a second horseman out to them 413  and he said, “This is what the king says, ‘Is everything all right?’” 414  Jehu replied, “None of your business! Follow me.” 9:20 The watchman reported, “He reached them, but hasn’t started back. The one who drives the lead chariot drives like Jehu son of Nimshi; 415  he drives recklessly.” 9:21 Jehoram ordered, “Hitch up my chariot.” 416  When his chariot had been hitched up, 417  King Jehoram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out in their respective chariots 418  to meet Jehu. They met up with him 419  in the plot of land that had once belonged to Naboth of Jezreel.

9:22 When Jehoram saw Jehu, he asked, “Is everything all right, Jehu?” He replied, “How can everything be all right as long as your mother Jezebel promotes idolatry and pagan practices? 420  9:23 Jehoram turned his chariot around and took off. 421  He said to Ahaziah, “It’s a trap, 422  Ahaziah! 9:24 Jehu aimed his bow and shot an arrow right between Jehoram’s shoulders. 423  The arrow went through 424  his heart and he fell to his knees in his chariot. 9:25 Jehu ordered 425  his officer Bidkar, “Pick him up and throw him into the part of the field that once belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. Remember, you and I were riding together behind his father Ahab, when the Lord pronounced this judgment on him, 9:26 ‘“Know for sure that I saw the shed blood of Naboth and his sons yesterday,” says the Lord, “and that I will give you what you deserve right here in this plot of land,” 426  says the Lord.’ So now pick him up and throw him into this plot of land, just as the Lord said.” 427 

9:27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what happened, he took off 428  up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him and ordered, “Shoot him too.” They shot him while he was driving his chariot up the ascent of Gur near Ibleam. 429  He fled to Megiddo 430  and died there. 9:28 His servants took his body 431  back to Jerusalem 432  and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the city of David. 9:29 Ahaziah had become king over Judah in the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab.

9:30 Jehu approached Jezreel. When Jezebel heard the news, she put on some eye liner, 433  fixed up her hair, and leaned out the window. 9:31 When Jehu came through the gate, she said, “Is everything all right, Zimri, murderer of his master? 434  9:32 He looked up at the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three 435  eunuchs looked down at him. 9:33 He said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down, and when she hit the ground, 436  her blood splattered against the wall and the horses, and Jehu drove his chariot over her. 437  9:34 He went inside and had a meal. 438  Then he said, “Dispose of this accursed woman’s corpse. Bury her, for after all, she was a king’s daughter.” 439  9:35 But when they went to bury her, they found nothing left but 440  the skull, feet, and palms of the hands. 9:36 When they went back and told him, he said, “The Lord’s word through his servant, Elijah the Tishbite, has come to pass. He warned, 441 In the plot of land at Jezreel, dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh. 9:37 Jezebel’s corpse will be like manure on the surface of the ground in the plot of land at Jezreel. People will not be able to even recognize her.’ 442 

Jehu Wipes Out Ahab’s Family

10:1 Ahab had seventy sons living in Samaria. 443  So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the leading officials of Jezreel and to the guardians of Ahab’s dynasty. This is what the letters said, 444  10:2 You have with you the sons of your master, chariots and horses, a fortified city, and weapons. So when this letter arrives, 445  10:3 pick the best and most capable 446  of your master’s sons, place him on his father’s throne, and defend 447  your master’s dynasty.”

10:4 They were absolutely terrified 448  and said, “Look, two kings could not stop him! 449  How can we? 450  10:5 So the palace supervisor, 451  the city commissioner, 452  the leaders, 453  and the guardians sent this message to Jehu, “We are your subjects! 454  Whatever you say, we will do. We will not make anyone king. Do what you consider proper.” 455 

10:6 He wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are really on my side and are willing to obey me, 456  then take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel at this time tomorrow.” 457  Now the king had seventy sons, and the prominent 458  men of the city were raising them. 10:7 When they received the letter, they seized the king’s sons and executed all seventy of them. 459  They put their heads in baskets and sent them to him in Jezreel. 10:8 The messenger came and told Jehu, 460  “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.” Jehu 461  said, “Stack them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.” 10:9 In the morning he went out and stood there. Then he said to all the people, “You are innocent. I conspired against my master and killed him. But who struck down all of these men? 10:10 Therefore take note that not one of the judgments the Lord announced against Ahab’s dynasty has failed to materialize. The Lord had done what he announced through his servant Elijah.” 462  10:11 Then Jehu killed all who were left of Ahab’s family in Jezreel, and all his nobles, close friends, and priests. He left no survivors.

10:12 Jehu then left there and set out for Samaria. 463  While he was traveling through Beth Eked of the Shepherds, 10:13 Jehu encountered 464  the relatives 465  of King Ahaziah of Judah. He asked, “Who are you?” They replied, “We are Ahaziah’s relatives. We have come down to see how 466  the king’s sons and the queen mother’s sons are doing.” 10:14 He said, “Capture them alive!” So they captured them alive and then executed all forty-two of them in the cistern at Beth Eked. He left no survivors.

10:15 When he left there, he met 467  Jehonadab, son of Rekab, who had been looking for him. 468  Jehu greeted him and asked, 469 Are you as committed to me as I am to you?” 470  Jehonadab answered, “I am!” Jehu replied, “If so, give me your hand.” 471  So he offered his hand and Jehu 472  pulled him up into the chariot. 10:16 Jehu 473  said, “Come with me and see how zealous I am for the Lord’s cause.” 474  So he 475  took him along in his chariot. 10:17 He went to Samaria and exterminated all the members of Ahab’s family who were still alive in Samaria, 476  just as the Lord had announced to Elijah. 477 

Jehu Executes the Prophets and Priests of Baal

10:18 Jehu assembled all the people and said to them, “Ahab worshiped 478  Baal a little; Jehu will worship 479  him with great devotion. 480  10:19 So now, bring to me all the prophets of Baal, as well as all his servants and priests. 481  None of them must be absent, for I am offering a great sacrifice to Baal. Any of them who fail to appear will lose their lives.” But Jehu was tricking them 482  so he could destroy the servants of Baal. 10:20 Then Jehu ordered, “Make arrangements for 483  a celebration for Baal.” So they announced it. 10:21 Jehu sent invitations throughout Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; not one was absent. They arrived at the temple of Baal and filled it up from end to end. 484  10:22 Jehu ordered the one who was in charge of the wardrobe, 485 Bring out robes for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them. 10:23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rekab went to the temple of Baal. Jehu 486  said to the servants of Baal, “Make sure there are no servants of the Lord here with you; there must be only servants of Baal.” 487  10:24 They went inside to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside. He had told them, “If any of the men inside get away, you will pay with your lives! 488 

10:25 When he finished offering the burnt sacrifice, Jehu ordered the royal guard 489  and officers, “Come in and strike them down! Don’t let any escape!” So the royal guard and officers struck them down with the sword and left their bodies lying there. 490  Then they entered the inner sanctuary of the temple of Baal. 491  10:26 They hauled out the sacred pillar of the temple of Baal and burned it. 10:27 They demolished 492  the sacred pillar of Baal and 493  the temple of Baal; it is used as 494  a latrine 495  to this very day. 10:28 So Jehu eradicated Baal worship 496  from Israel.

A Summary of Jehu’s Reign

10:29 However, Jehu did not repudiate the sins which Jeroboam son of Nebat had encouraged Israel to commit; the golden calves remained in Bethel 497  and Dan. 498  10:30 The Lord said to Jehu, “You have done well. You have accomplished my will and carried out my wishes with regard to Ahab’s dynasty. Therefore four generations of your descendants will rule over Israel.” 499  10:31 But Jehu did not carefully and wholeheartedly obey the law of the Lord God of Israel. 500  He did not repudiate the sins which Jeroboam had encouraged Israel to commit. 501 

10:32 In those days the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel’s territory. 502  Hazael attacked their eastern border. 503  10:33 He conquered all the land of Gilead, including the territory of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh, extending all the way from the Aroer in the Arnon Valley through Gilead to Bashan. 504 

10:34 The rest of the events of Jehu’s reign, including all his accomplishments and successes, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 505  10:35 Jehu passed away 506  and was buried in Samaria. 507  His son Jehoahaz replaced him as king. 10:36 Jehu reigned over Israel for twenty-eight years in Samaria.

Athaliah is Eliminated

11:1 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she was determined to destroy the entire royal line. 508  11:2 So Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram and sister of Ahaziah, took Ahaziah’s son Joash and sneaked 509  him away from the rest of the royal descendants who were to be executed. She hid him and his nurse in the room where the bed covers were stored. 510  So he was hidden from Athaliah and escaped execution. 511  11:3 He hid out with his nurse in the Lord’s temple 512  for six years, while Athaliah was ruling over the land.

11:4 In the seventh year Jehoiada summoned 513  the officers of the units of hundreds of the Carians 514  and the royal bodyguard. 515  He met with them 516  in the Lord’s temple. He made an agreement 517  with them and made them swear an oath of allegiance in the Lord’s temple. Then he showed them the king’s son. 11:5 He ordered them, “This is what you must do. One third of the unit that is on duty during the Sabbath will guard the royal palace. 11:6 Another third of you will be stationed at the Foundation 518  Gate. Still another third of you will be stationed at the gate behind the royal guard. 519  You will take turns guarding the palace. 520  11:7 The two units who are off duty on the Sabbath will guard the Lord’s temple and protect the king. 521  11:8 You must surround the king. Each of you must hold his weapon in his hand. Whoever approaches your ranks must be killed. You must accompany the king wherever he goes.” 522 

11:9 The officers of the units of hundreds did just as 523  Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each of them took his men, those who were on duty during the Sabbath as well as those who were off duty on the Sabbath, and reported 524  to Jehoiada the priest. 11:10 The priest gave to the officers of the units of hundreds King David’s spears and the shields that were kept in the Lord’s temple. 11:11 The royal bodyguard 525  took their stations, each holding his weapon in his hand. They lined up from the south side of the temple to the north side and stood near the altar and the temple, surrounding the king. 526  11:12 Jehoiada 527  led out the king’s son and placed on him the crown and the royal insignia. 528  They proclaimed him king and poured olive oil on his head. 529  They clapped their hands and cried out, “Long live the king!

11:13 When Athaliah heard the royal guard 530  shout, she joined the crowd 531  at the Lord’s temple. 11:14 Then she saw 532  the king standing by the pillar, according to custom. The officers stood beside the king with their trumpets and all the people of the land were celebrating and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes and screamed, “Treason, treason! 533  11:15 Jehoiada the priest ordered the officers of the units of hundreds, who were in charge of the army, 534 Bring her outside the temple to the guards. 535  Put the sword to anyone who follows her.” The priest gave this order because he had decided she should not be executed in the Lord’s temple. 536  11:16 They seized her and took her into the precincts of the royal palace through the horsesentrance. 537  There she was executed.

11:17 Jehoiada then drew up a covenant between the Lord and the king and people, stipulating that they should be loyal to the Lord. 538  11:18 All the people of the land went and demolished 539  the temple of Baal. They smashed its altars and idols 540  to bits. 541  They killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altar. Jehoiada the priest 542  then placed guards at the Lord’s temple. 11:19 He took the officers of the units of hundreds, the Carians, the royal bodyguard, and all the people of land, and together they led the king down from the Lord’s temple. They entered the royal palace through the Gate of the Royal Bodyguard, 543  and the king 544  sat down on the royal throne. 11:20 All the people of the land celebrated, for the city had rest now that they had killed Athaliah with the sword in the royal palace.

Joash’s Reign over Judah

11:21 545  Jehoash 546  was seven years old when he began to reign. 12:1 In Jehu’s seventh year Jehoash became king; he reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. 547  His mother was Zibiah, who was from Beer Sheba. 12:2 Throughout his lifetime Jehoash did what the Lord approved, 548  just as 549  Jehoiada the priest taught him. 12:3 But the high places were not eliminated; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense on the high places.

12:4 Jehoash said to the priests, “I place at your disposal 550  all the consecrated silver that has been brought to the Lord’s temple, including the silver collected from the census tax, 551  the silver received from those who have made vows, 552  and all the silver that people have voluntarily contributed to the Lord’s temple. 553  12:5 The priests should receive the silver they need from the treasurers and repair any damage to the temple they discover.” 554 

12:6 By the twenty-third year of King Jehoash’s reign the priests had still not repaired the damage to the temple. 12:7 So King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada the priest along with the other priests, and said to them, “Why have you not repaired the damage to the temple? Now, take no more silver from your treasurers unless you intend to use it to repair the damage.” 555  12:8 The priests agreed 556  not to collect silver from the people and relieved themselves of personal responsibility for the temple repairs. 557 

12:9 Jehoiada the priest took a chest and drilled a hole in its lid. He placed it on the right side of the altar near the entrance of 558  the Lord’s temple. The priests who guarded the entrance would put into it all the silver brought to the Lord’s temple. 12:10 When they saw the chest was full of silver, the royal secretary 559  and the high priest counted the silver that had been brought to the Lord’s temple and bagged it up. 560  12:11 They would then hand over 561  the silver that had been weighed to the construction foremen 562  assigned to the Lord’s temple. They hired carpenters and builders to work on the Lord’s temple, 12:12 as well as masons and stonecutters. They bought wood and chiseled stone to repair the damage to the Lord’s temple and also paid for all the other expenses. 563  12:13 The silver brought to the Lord’s temple was not used for silver bowls, trimming shears, basins, trumpets, or any kind of gold or silver implements. 12:14 It was handed over 564  to the foremen who used it to repair the Lord’s temple. 12:15 They did not audit the treasurers who disbursed 565  the funds to the foremen, for they were honest. 566  12:16 (The silver collected in conjunction with reparation offerings and sin offerings was not brought to the Lord’s temple; it belonged to the priests.)

12:17 At that time King Hazael of Syria attacked 567  Gath and captured it. Hazael then decided to attack Jerusalem. 568  12:18 King Jehoash of Judah collected all the sacred items that his ancestors Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, kings of Judah, had consecrated, as well as his own sacred items and all the gold that could be found in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and the royal palace. He sent it all 569  to King Hazael of Syria, who then withdrew 570  from Jerusalem.

12:19 The rest of the events of Joash’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 571  12:20 His servants conspired against him 572  and murdered Joash at Beth-Millo, on the road that goes down to Silla. 573  12:21 His servants Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer murdered him. 574  He was buried 575  with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Amaziah replaced him as king.

Jehoahaz’s Reign over Israel

13:1 In the twenty-third year of the reign of Judah’s King Joash son of Ahaziah, Jehu’s son Jehoahaz became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 576  for seventeen years. 13:2 He did evil in the sight of 577  the Lord. He continued in 578  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who had encouraged Israel to sin; he did not repudiate those sins. 579  13:3 The Lord was furious with 580  Israel and handed them over to 581  King Hazael of Syria and to Hazael’s son Ben Hadad for many years. 582 

13:4 Jehoahaz asked for the Lord’s mercy 583  and the Lord responded favorably, 584  for he saw that Israel was oppressed by the king of Syria. 585  13:5 The Lord provided a deliverer 586  for Israel and they were freed from Syria’s power. 587  The Israelites once more lived in security. 588  13:6 But they did not repudiate 589  the sinful ways of the family 590  of Jeroboam, who encouraged Israel to sin; they continued in those sins. 591  There was even an Asherah pole 592  standing in Samaria. 13:7 Jehoahaz had no army left 593  except for fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers. The king of Syria had destroyed his troops 594  and trampled on them like dust. 595 

13:8 The rest of the events of Jehoahaz’s reign, including all his accomplishments and successes, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 596  13:9 Jehoahaz passed away 597  and was buried 598  in Samaria. His son Joash replaced him as king.

Jehoash’s Reign over Israel

13:10 In the thirty-seventh year of King Joash’s reign over Judah, Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 599  for sixteen years. 13:11 He did evil in the sight of 600  the Lord. He did not repudiate 601  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin; he continued in those sins. 602  13:12 The rest of the events of Joash’s 603  reign, including all his accomplishments and his successful war with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 604  13:13 Joash passed away 605  and Jeroboam succeeded him on the throne. 606  Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

Elisha Makes One Final Prophecy

13:14 Now Elisha had a terminal illness. 607  King Joash of Israel went down to visit him. 608  He wept before him and said, “My father, my father! The chariot 609  and horsemen of Israel! 610  13:15 Elisha told him, “Take a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 611  13:16 Then Elisha 612  told the king of Israel, “Aim the bow.” 613  He did so, 614  and Elisha placed his hands on the king’s hands. 13:17 Elisha 615  said, “Open the east window,” and he did so. 616  Elisha said, “Shoot!” and

he did so. 617  Elisha 618  said, “This arrow symbolizes the victory the Lord will give you over Syria. 619  You will annihilate Syria in Aphek! 620  13:18 Then Elisha 621  said, “Take the arrows,” and he did so. 622  He told the king of Israel, “Strike the ground!” He struck the ground three times and stopped. 13:19 The prophet 623  got angry at him and said, “If you had struck the ground five or six times, you would have annihilated Syria! 624  But now, you will defeat Syria only three times.”

13:20 Elisha died and was buried. 625  Moabite raiding parties invaded 626  the land at the beginning of the year. 627  13:21 One day some men 628  were burying a man when they spotted 629  a raiding party. So they threw the dead man 630  into Elisha’s tomb. When the body 631  touched Elisha’s bones, the dead man 632  came to life and stood on his feet.

13:22 Now King Hazael of Syria oppressed Israel throughout Jehoahaz’s reign. 633  13:23 But the Lord had mercy on them and felt pity for them. 634  He extended his favor to them 635  because of the promise he had made 636  to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He has been unwilling to destroy them or remove them from his presence to this very day. 637  13:24 When King Hazael of Syria died, his son Ben Hadad replaced him as king. 13:25 Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash took back from 638  Ben Hadad son of Hazael the cities that he had taken from his father Jehoahaz in war. Joash defeated him three times and recovered the Israelite cities.

Amaziah’s Reign over Judah

14:1 In the second year of the reign of Israel’s King Joash son of Joahaz, 639  Joash’s 640  son Amaziah became king over Judah. 14:2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. 641  His mother 642  was Jehoaddan, who was from Jerusalem. 14:3 He did what the Lord approved, 643  but not like David his father. He followed the example of his father Joash. 644  14:4 But the high places were not eliminated; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense on the high places.

14:5 When he had secured control of the kingdom, 645  he executed the servants who had assassinated his father. 646  14:6 But he did not execute the sons of the assassins. He obeyed the Lord’s commandment as recorded in the law scroll of Moses, 647 Fathers must not be put to death for what their sons do, 648  and sons must not be put to death for what their fathers do. 649  A man must be put to death only for his own sin.” 650 

14:7 He defeated 651  10,000 Edomites in the Salt Valley; he captured Sela in battle and renamed it Joktheel, a name it has retained to this very day. 14:8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel. He said, “Come, let’s meet face to face.” 652  14:9 King Jehoash of Israel sent this message back to King Amaziah of Judah, “A thornbush in Lebanon sent this message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ Then a wild animal 653  of Lebanon came by and trampled down the thorn. 654  14:10 You thoroughly defeated Edom 655  and it has gone to your head! 656  Gloat over your success, 657  but stay in your palace. Why bring calamity on yourself? Why bring down yourself and Judah along with you? 658  14:11 But Amaziah would not heed the warning, 659  so King Jehoash of Israel attacked. 660  He and King Amaziah of Judah met face to face 661  in Beth Shemesh of Judah. 14:12 Judah was defeated by Israel, and each man ran back home. 662  14:13 King Jehoash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, son of Jehoash son of Ahaziah, in Beth Shemesh. He 663  attacked 664  Jerusalem and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate – a distance of about six hundred feet. 665  14:14 He took away all the gold and silver, all the items found in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace, and some hostages. 666  Then he went back to Samaria. 667 

( 14:15 The rest of the events of Jehoash’s 668  reign, including all his accomplishments and his successful war with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 669  14:16 Jehoash passed away 670  and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. His son Jeroboam replaced him as king.)

14:17 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Jehoash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 14:18 The rest of the events of Amaziah’s reign are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 671  14:19 Conspirators plotted against him in Jerusalem, 672  so he fled to Lachish. But they sent assassins after him 673  and they killed him there. 14:20 His body was carried back by horses 674  and he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors in the city of David. 14:21 All the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in his father Amaziah’s place. 14:22 Azariah 675  built up Elat and restored it to Judah after the king 676  had passed away. 677 

Jeroboam II’s Reign over Israel

14:23 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Judah’s King Amaziah, son of Joash, Jeroboam son of Joash became king over Israel. He reigned for forty-one years in Samaria. 678  14:24 He did evil in the sight of 679  the Lord; he did not repudiate 680  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin. 14:25 He restored the border of Israel from Lebo Hamath in the north to the sea of the Arabah in the south, 681  in accordance with the word of the Lord God of Israel announced through 682  his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher. 14:26 The Lord saw Israel’s intense suffering; 683  everyone was weak and incapacitated and Israel had no deliverer. 684  14:27 The Lord had not decreed that he would blot out Israel’s memory 685  from under heaven, 686  so he delivered them through Jeroboam son of Joash.

14:28 The rest of the events of Jeroboam’s reign, including all his accomplishments, his military success in restoring Israelite control over Damascus and Hamath, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 687  14:29 Jeroboam passed away 688  and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. 689  His son Zechariah replaced him as king.

Azariah’s Reign over Judah

15:1 In the twenty-seventh year of King Jeroboam’s reign over Israel, Amaziah’s son Azariah became king over Judah. 15:2 He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. 690  His mother’s name was Jecholiah, who was from Jerusalem. 15:3 He did what the Lord approved, just as his father Amaziah had done. 691  15:4 But the high places were not eliminated; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense on the high places. 15:5 The Lord afflicted the king with an illness; he suffered from a skin disease 692  until the day he died. He lived in separate quarters, 693  while his son Jotham was in charge of the palace and ruled over the people of the land.

15:6 The rest of the events of Azariah’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 694  15:7 Azariah passed away 695  and was buried 696  with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Jotham replaced him as king.

Zechariah’s Reign over Israel

15:8 In the thirty-eighth year of King Azariah’s reign over Judah, Jeroboam’s son Zechariah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 697  for six months. 15:9 He did evil in the sight of 698  the Lord, as his ancestors had done. He did not repudiate 699  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin. 15:10 Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against him; he assassinated him in Ibleam 700  and took his place as king. 15:11 The rest of the events of Zechariah’s reign are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 701  15:12 His assassination brought to fulfillment the Lord’s word to Jehu, 702 Four generations of your descendants will rule over Israel.” 703  That is exactly what happened. 704 

15:13 Shallum son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of King Uzziah’s 705  reign over Judah. He reigned for one month 706  in Samaria. 15:14 Menahem son of Gadi went up from Tirzah to 707  Samaria and attacked Shallum son of Jabesh. 708  He killed him and took his place as king. 15:15 The rest of the events of Shallum’s reign, including the conspiracy he organized, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 709  15:16 At that time Menahem came from Tirzah and attacked Tiphsah. He struck down all who lived in the city and the surrounding territory, because they would not surrender. 710  He even ripped open the pregnant women.

Menahem’s Reign over Israel

15:17 In the thirty-ninth year of King Azariah’s reign over Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king over Israel. He reigned for twelve years in Samaria. 711  15:18 He did evil in the sight of 712  the Lord; he did not repudiate 713  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin. 714 

During his reign, 15:19 Pul 715  king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem paid 716  him 717  a thousand talents 718  of silver to gain his support 719  and to solidify his control of the kingdom. 720  15:20 Menahem got this silver by taxing all the wealthy men in Israel; he took fifty shekels of silver from each one of them and paid it to the king of Assyria. 721  Then the king of Assyria left; he did not stay there in the land.

15:21 The rest of the events of Menahem’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 722  15:22 Menahem passed away 723  and his son Pekahiah replaced him as king.

Pekahiah’s Reign over Israel

15:23 In the fiftieth year of King Azariah’s reign over Judah, Menahem’s son Pekahiah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 724  for two years. 15:24 He did evil in the sight of 725  the Lord; he did not repudiate 726  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin. 15:25 His officer Pekah son of Remaliah conspired against him. He and fifty Gileadites assassinated Pekahiah, as well as Argob and Arieh, in Samaria in the fortress of the royal palace. 727  Pekah then took his place as king.

15:26 The rest of the events of Pekahiah’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 728 

Pekah’s Reign over Israel

15:27 In the fifty-second year of King Azariah’s reign over Judah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 729  for twenty years. 15:28 He did evil in the sight of 730  the Lord; he did not repudiate 731  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin. 15:29 During Pekah’s reign over Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, 732  Gilead, and Galilee, including all the territory of Naphtali. He deported the people 733  to Assyria. 15:30 Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah son of Remaliah. He assassinated him 734  and took his place as king, in the twentieth year of the reign of Jotham son of Uzziah.

15:31 The rest of the events of Pekah’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 735 

Jotham’s Reign over Judah

15:32 In the second year of the reign of Israel’s King Pekah son of Remaliah, Uzziah’s son Jotham became king over Judah. 15:33 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. 736  His mother was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. 15:34 He did what the Lord approved, just as his father Uzziah had done. 737  15:35 But the high places were not eliminated; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense on the high places. He built the Upper Gate to the Lord’s temple.

15:36 The rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 738  15:37 In those days the Lord prompted King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah to attack Judah. 739  15:38 Jotham passed away 740  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of his ancestor David. His son Ahaz replaced him as king.

Ahaz’s Reign over Judah

16:1 In the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah son of Remaliah, Jotham’s son Ahaz became king over Judah. 16:2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. 741  He did not do what pleased the Lord his God, in contrast to his ancestor David. 742  16:3 He followed in the footsteps of 743  the kings of Israel. He passed his son through the fire, 744  a horrible sin practiced by the nations 745  whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 16:4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

16:5 At that time King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel attacked Jerusalem. 746  They besieged Ahaz, 747  but were unable to conquer him. 748  16:6 (At that time King Rezin of Syria 749  recovered Elat for Syria; he drove the Judahites from there. 750  Syrians 751  arrived in Elat and live there to this very day.) 16:7 Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your dependent. 752  March up and rescue me from the power 753  of the king of Syria and the king of Israel, who have attacked 754  me.” 16:8 Then Ahaz took the silver and gold that were 755  in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as tribute 756  to the king of Assyria. 16:9 The king of Assyria responded favorably to his request; 757  he 758  attacked Damascus and captured it. He deported the people 759  to Kir and executed Rezin.

16:10 When King Ahaz went to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria in Damascus, he saw the altar there. 760  King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a drawing of the altar and a blueprint for its design. 761  16:11 Uriah the priest built an altar in conformity to the plans King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. 762  Uriah the priest finished it before King Ahaz arrived back from Damascus. 763  16:12 When the king arrived back from Damascus and 764  saw the altar, he approached it 765  and offered a sacrifice on it. 766  16:13 He offered his burnt sacrifice and his grain offering. He poured out his libation and sprinkled the blood from his peace offerings on the altar. 16:14 He moved the bronze altar that stood in the Lord’s presence from the front of the temple (between the altar and the Lord’s temple) and put it on the north side of the new 767  altar. 16:15 King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest, “On the large altar 768  offer the morning burnt sacrifice, the evening grain offering, the royal burnt sacrifices and grain offering, the burnt sacrifice for all the people of Israel, their grain offering, and their libations. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt sacrifice and other sacrifices on it. The bronze altar will be for my personal use.” 769  16:16 So Uriah the priest did exactly as 770  King Ahaz ordered.

16:17 King Ahaz took off the frames of the movable stands, and removed the basins from them. He took “The Sea 771  down from the bronze bulls that supported it 772  and put it on the pavement. 16:18 He also removed the Sabbath awning 773  that had been built 774  in the temple and the king’s outer entranceway, on account of the king of Assyria. 775 

16:19 The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 776  16:20 Ahaz passed away 777  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Hezekiah replaced him as king.

Hoshea’s Reign over Israel

17:1 In the twelfth year of King Ahaz’s reign over Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 778  for nine years. 17:2 He did evil in the sight of 779  the Lord, but not to the same degree as the Israelite kings who preceded him. 17:3 King Shalmaneser of Assyria threatened 780  him; Hoshea became his subject and paid him tribute. 17:4 The king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was planning a revolt. 781  Hoshea had sent messengers to King So 782  of Egypt and had not sent his annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested him and imprisoned him. 783  17:5 The king of Assyria marched through 784  the whole land. He attacked Samaria and besieged it for three years. 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel 785  to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes.

A Summary of Israel’s Sinful History

17:7 This happened because the Israelites sinned against the Lord their God, who brought them up from the land of Egypt and freed them from the power of 786  Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped 787  other gods; 17:8 they observed the practices 788  of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before Israel, and followed the example of the kings of Israel. 789  17:9 The Israelites said things about the Lord their God that were not right. 790  They built high places in all their cities, from the watchtower to the fortress. 791  17:10 They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 17:11 They burned incense on all the high places just like the nations whom the Lord had driven away from before them. Their evil practices made the Lord angry. 792  17:12 They worshiped 793  the disgusting idols 794  in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command. 795 

17:13 The Lord solemnly warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and all the seers, “Turn back from your evil ways; obey my commandments and rules that are recorded in the law. I ordered your ancestors to keep this law and sent my servants the prophets to remind you of its demands.” 796  17:14 But they did not pay attention and were as stubborn as their ancestors, 797  who had not trusted the Lord their God. 17:15 They rejected his rules, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the laws he had commanded them to obey. 798  They paid allegiance to 799  worthless idols, and so became worthless to the Lord. 800  They copied the practices of the surrounding nations in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command. 801  17:16 They abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God; they made two metal calves and an Asherah pole, bowed down to all the stars in the sky, 802  and worshiped 803  Baal. 17:17 They passed their sons and daughters through the fire, 804  and practiced divination and omen reading. They committed themselves to doing evil in the sight of the Lord and made him angry. 805 

17:18 So the Lord was furious 806  with Israel and rejected them; 807  only the tribe of Judah was left. 17:19 Judah also failed to keep the commandments of the Lord their God; they followed Israel’s example. 808  17:20 So the Lord rejected all of Israel’s descendants; he humiliated 809  them and handed them over to robbers, until he had thrown them from his presence. 17:21 He tore Israel away from David’s dynasty, and Jeroboam son of Nebat became their king. 810  Jeroboam drove Israel away 811  from the Lord and encouraged them to commit a serious sin. 812  17:22 The Israelites followed in the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and did not repudiate 813  them. 17:23 Finally 814  the Lord rejected Israel 815  just as he had warned he would do 816  through all his servants the prophets. Israel was deported from its land to Assyria and remains there to this very day.

The King of Assyria Populates Israel with Foreigners

17:24 The king of Assyria brought foreigners 817  from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria 818  in place of the Israelites. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 17:25 When they first moved in, 819  they did not worship 820  the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them and the lions were killing them. 17:26 The king of Assyria was told, 821 The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God of the land, so he has sent lions among them. They are killing the people 822  because they do not know the requirements of the God of the land.” 17:27 So the king of Assyria ordered, “Take back one of the priests whom you 823  deported from there. He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God of the land.” 824  17:28 So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel. 825  He taught them how to worship 826  the Lord.

17:29 But each of these nations made 827  its own gods and put them in the shrines on the high places that the people of Samaria 828  had made. Each nation did this in the cities where they lived. 17:30 The people from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, 829  the people from Cuth made Nergal, 830  the people from Hamath made Ashima, 831  17:31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, 832  and the Sepharvites burned their sons in the fire as an offering to Adrammelech and Anammelech, 833  the gods of Sepharvaim. 17:32 At the same time they worshiped 834  the Lord. They appointed some of their own people to serve as priests in the shrines on the high places. 835  17:33 They were worshiping 836  the Lord and at the same time serving their own gods in accordance with the practices of the nations from which they had been deported.

17:34 To this very day they observe their earlier practices. They do not worship 837  the Lord; they do not obey the rules, regulations, law, and commandments that the Lord gave 838  the descendants of Jacob, whom he renamed Israel. 17:35 The Lord made an agreement 839  with them 840  and instructed them, “You must not worship other gods. Do not bow down to them, serve them, or offer sacrifices to them. 17:36 Instead you must worship the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt by his great power and military ability; 841  bow down to him and offer sacrifices to him. 17:37 You must carefully obey at all times the rules, regulations, law, and commandments he wrote down for you. You must not worship other gods. 17:38 You must never forget the agreement I made with you, and you must not worship other gods. 17:39 Instead you must worship the Lord your God; then he will rescue you from the power of all your enemies.” 17:40 But they 842  pay no attention; instead they observe their earlier practices. 17:41 These nations are worshiping the Lord and at the same time serving their idols; their sons and grandsons do just as their fathers have done, to this very day.

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