2 Kings 1:1-18

King Ahaziah dies

1 After King Ahab's death, the country of Moab turned against Israel. 2 At this time, Ahaziah was king of Israel. He lived in Samaria city. One day he fell from the window of an upstairs room in his palace. He became very ill. So he sent men to the temple of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron. He told them, ‘Ask their god if I will become well again after my illness.’

3 Then the angel of the Lord spoke to Elijah. He was a prophet who came from Tishbe. The angel said, ‘Go and meet the men that the king of Samaria has sent. Say to them, “Do you think that there is no God in Israel? Is that why you are going to Ekron's god, Baal-Zebub, to ask if the king will get better again?” 4 Because you are doing this, the Lord says to you, Ahaziah, “You will never leave the bed that you are lying on. You will certainly die.” ’

1:3When we write Lord like this, it is a special name for God. Sometimes people write it as ‘Yahweh’, or as ‘Jehovah’. It is his own name that he told Moses. See Exodus 3:14. It means ‘I am who I am’. This shows that God has always been there and he always will be there.

5 Elijah went to tell the men the Lord's message. So the men returned to the king. He asked them, ‘Why have you returned already?’ 6 They replied, ‘A man came to meet us. He told us to go back to the king who had sent us. He says to you, “This is what the Lord says: Why have you sent men to speak to Ekron's god, Baal-Zebub? You seem to think that there is no God in Israel. Because of that, you will not leave the bed that you are lying on. You will certainly die.” ’

7 The king asked them, ‘Describe the man who came to meet you. What did he look like?’ 8 They replied, ‘He was wearing rough clothes. He had tied a leather belt around him.’ Then the king said, ‘That was Elijah, the prophet from Tishbe.’

9 Then the king sent 50 soldiers with their captain to fetch Elijah. Elijah was sitting on the top of a hill. The captain went up and he said to Elijah, ‘Man of God, the king says, “Come down with us.” ’

10 Elijah replied to the captain, ‘If I am really a man of God, fire will come down from the sky. It will destroy you and your 50 soldiers.’ Then fire did come down from the sky. It destroyed the captain and his 50 soldiers.

11 Then the king sent another captain with 50 more soldiers to fetch Elijah. The captain went up and he said to Elijah, ‘Man of God, the king says, “Come down immediately!” ’ 12 Elijah answered, ‘If I am really a man of God, fire will come down from the sky. It will destroy you and your 50 soldiers.’ Then fire from God did come down from the sky. It destroyed the captain and his 50 soldiers.

13 So the king sent a third captain, with 50 more soldiers. This captain went up to Elijah. He bent down on his knees in front of Elijah to ask him to be kind to them. He said, ‘Man of God, we are your servants. Please do not kill me and my 50 soldiers. 14 We know that fire came down from the sky. It destroyed the two captains who came before me and all their soldiers. But now, please be kind and do not kill me.’

15 The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go down with him. Do not be afraid of him.’ So Elijah went down with the captain to meet the king. 16 Elijah said to the king, ‘This is what the Lord says: You sent men to speak to Ekron's god, Baal-Zebub, to find out what would happen to you. Did you think that there is no God in Israel? You did not ask him what would happen. Because of that, you will not leave the bed that you are lying on. You will certainly die.’

17 So Ahaziah died. The Lord had told Elijah that this would happen. Ahaziah had no son, so his brother, Joram, became king after him. This happened in the second year that Jehoshaphat's son, Jehoram, ruled Judah as king.

18 The other things that happened while Ahaziah was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The History of Israel's Kings’. It tells about the things that King Ahaziah did.

1:18Jehoshaphat was the king in Judah between 868 BC and 847 BC. Here are the dates when the kings of Israel ruled: 871-852 BC King Ahab. 852-851 BC King Ahaziah. 851-845 BC King Joram (also called Jehoram).