2 Kings 13

Jehoahaz becomes the king of Israel

1 Jehu's son Jehoahaz became king of Israel when Ahaziah's son Joash had been king of Judah for 23 years. Jehoahaz ruled as king in Samaria for 17 years. 2 But he did things that the Lord said were evil. He did the same bad things that Nebat's son Jeroboam had done. Jeroboam had caused many people in Israel to do those sins, and Jehoahaz did not stop doing them himself. 3 So the Lord was very angry with Israel. For many years the Lord put the Israelites under the power of King Hazael of Syria and his son Ben-Hadad.

4 Then King Jehoahaz asked the Lord for help. The Lord saw that the king of Syria was being very cruel to Israel, so he answered the prayer of Jehoahaz. 5 The Lord sent a leader to rescue Israel from Syria's power. So the Israelites lived safely in their own homes, as they had done before this time. 6 But the Israelites still did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam and his family had done. Jeroboam had caused the Israelites to do bad things, and they still continued to do them. There were still Asherah poles that people worshipped in Samaria.

7 The king of Syria had destroyed most of Jehoahaz's army. All that remained were:

  • 50 soldiers that rode horses.
  • 10 chariots.
  • 10,000 other soldiers.
  • The king of Syria completely destroyed all the rest of the army. Only dust remained!

    8 The other things that happened while Jehoahaz was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The History of Israel's Kings’. It tells about all the things that Jehoahaz used his power to do. 9 Jehoahaz died and they buried him beside his ancestors in Samaria. His son Jehoash became king after him.

    Jehoash becomes the king of Israel

    10 Jehoahaz's son Joash became the king of Israel when Joash had been king of Judah for 37 years. He ruled as king in Samaria for 16 years. 11 But he did things that the Lord said were evil. He did not turn away from the bad things that Nebat's son Jeroboam had done. Jeroboam had caused many people in Israel to do those sins, and Jehoahaz did not stop doing them himself.

    12 The other things that happened while Jehoash was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The History of Israel's Kings’. It tells about all the great things that Jehoash did. It tells about the war that he fought against Amaziah, king of Judah 13 Jehoash died and they buried him in Samaria beside the other kings of Israel. Jeroboam became king of Israel after him.

    Elisha dies

    14 When Jehoash was still king of Israel, Elisha became very ill. It was the illness from which he would soon die. Jehoash went to visit him. Jehoash stood beside Elisha and he wept. Jehoash said, ‘My father! My father! You are riding in Israel's chariot! Israel's men are riding on the horses!’

    13:14These are the same words that Elisha spoke to Elijah when Elijah was going up to heaven. See 2 Kings 2:12. The king is saying that Elisha has been a very powerful leader in the history of Israel.

    15 Elisha said to King Jehoash, ‘Fetch a bow and some arrows.’ The king did that. 16 Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, ‘Prepare to shoot an arrow.’ When he had done that, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands. 17 Elisha said, ‘Open the window towards the east.’ When the king opened it, Elisha said, ‘Shoot the arrow!’ The king shot the arrow and Elisha said, ‘That is the Lord's arrow which shows that you will win the battle against Syria. You will completely destroy Syria's army at Aphek.’

    18 Then Elisha said, ‘Pick up the other arrows.’ When the king of Israel took them, Elisha said to him, ‘Hit the ground with them.’ The king hit the ground three times and then he stopped. 19 The man of God then became angry with King Jehoash. He said, ‘You should have hit the ground five times or six times. Then you would have completely destroyed Syria's army. But now you will only win three battles against Syria.’

    20 After that, Elisha died and they buried him.

    Every year in spring, groups of fighters from Moab came to attack places in Israel. 21 One day some Israelites were burying a man who had died. While they were doing that, they saw a group of fighters from Moab. So they quickly threw the dead body into Elisha's grave. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the dead man became alive again! He jumped up and he stood there!

    22 All the time that Jehoahaz was king of Israel, King Hazael of Syria was cruel to the Israelites. 23 But the Lord was kind to them and he helped them. He loved them because of his covenant with their ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So he has never wanted to destroy them or to send them away from him, even until now.

    24 Hazael, the king of Syria, died. His son Ben-Hadad became king after him. 25 Then Jehoahaz's son, King Jehoash, took back some Israelite cities from Ben-Hadad. They were cities that Hazael had taken from Jehoahaz in war. King Jehoash won three battles against Ben-Hadad and he took back those cities for Israel.