2 Kings 8

Elisha helps the woman from Shunem

1 Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had made alive again, ‘Go away from here. The Lord says that there will be a famine in this country for seven years. So you and your family should go to live somewhere else during that time.’ 2 The woman had done what the man of God had told her to do. She and her family went to live in the country of the Philistines for seven years. 3 After seven years, she came back from there. She went to the king to ask for her house and her land.

8:3Someone else had used the woman's land while she was away.

4 The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. The king said to Gehazi, ‘Tell me about all the great things that Elisha has done.’ 5 So Gehazi was telling the king that Elisha had made dead people alive again. While Gehazi was saying this, the woman from Shunem came in to ask the king for her house and her fields. It was her son that Elisha had made alive again. Gehazi said, ‘My master the king, this is the woman! And this is her son that Elisha made alive again!’

6 The king asked the woman about it. She told him what had happened. Then the king commanded one of his officers to take care of her. The king said to him, ‘This woman must receive back everything that belongs to her. She must also receive the value of all the crops that have grown in her fields since the day that she went away.’

King Ben-Hadad dies

7 Ben-Hadad, the king of Syria, was ill in Damascus. Elisha went to Damascus at that time. Somebody told the king, ‘The man of God has come to the city.’ 8 The king said to Hazael, ‘Take a gift with you to go and meet the man of God. Ask him to get a message from the Lord. Ask him, “Will I get well again after this illness?” ’

9 So Hazael went to meet Elisha. He took a gift with him. There were 40 camels that carried many kinds of valuable things that came from Damascus. He arrived at Elisha's house and he stood in front of him. Hazael said, ‘Your servant, Ben-Hadad, king of Syria, has sent me to you. He asks, “Will I get well again after this illness?” ’

10 Elisha answered, ‘Go back to the king. Tell him, “Certainly, you will get well again.” But the Lord has shown me that the king will surely die.’ 11 Then Elisha looked at him with open eyes until Hazael became ashamed. Then the man of God began to weep. 12 So Hazael asked him, ‘Why are you weeping, my master?’ Elisha replied, ‘Because I know that you will cause great trouble for Israel's people. You will destroy their strong cities with fire. You will fight their young men and you will kill them. You will knock down their children to kill them. You will cut open their pregnant women.’

13 Hazael said, ‘I am only an ordinary man, sir. I am not more important than a dog! How could I ever do great things like that?’ Elisha answered, ‘The Lord has shown me this: You will become the king of Syria.’

14 Then Hazael left Elisha. He returned to his master, the king. King Ben-Hadad asked him, ‘What did Elisha say to you?’ Hazael replied, ‘He told me that you will surely get well again.’

15 The next day, Hazael took a thick cloth. He used water to make it wet. Then he put it over the king's face so that he could not breathe. So King Ben-Hadad died. Hazael became king of Syria after him.

Jehoram becomes the king of Judah

16 When Ahab's son Joram had been king of Israel for five years, Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram started to rule Judah as king. 17 He was 32 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. 18 He lived in the same bad way that the kings of Israel did. He did what the family of Ahab had done. He married a daughter of King Ahab and he became as wicked as King Ahab's family was. He did things that the Lord said were evil. 19 But the Lord did not want to destroy the nation of Judah, because of his promise to his servant, David. The Lord had promised that King David would always have descendants who would rule Judah.

8:16Jehoram may have started to rule Judah while his father, King Jehoshaphat, was still alive.

20 While Jehoram was king, Edom's people turned against Judah. They would no longer accept the king of Judah's authority over them. They decided to have their own king. 21 So King Jehoram travelled to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomite army came and they were all around him. But that night, Jehoram and his officers attacked the Edomites and they escaped. The Israelite army ran away to go back home. 22 Even today, Edom's people do not obey the rulers of Judah. The people of Libnah city also turned against Judah at the same time.

8:21Zair was a city just inside the border of Edom.

23 The other things that happened while Jehoram was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The History of Judah's Kings’. It tells about all the things that Jehoram did. 24 Jehoram died and they buried him with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Ahaziah became king after him.

Ahaziah becomes the king of Judah

25 When Ahab's son Joram had been king of Israel for 12 years, Jehoram's son Ahaziah started to rule Judah as king. 26 Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for one year. His mother's name was Athaliah. She was a granddaughter of Omri, king of Israel. 27 Ahaziah lived in the same bad way that Ahab's family had done. He did things that the Lord said were evil, as Ahab's family had done. That was because he had married a woman from Ahab's family.

8:26Athaliah was a daughter of King Ahab.

28 King Ahaziah went with Ahab's son, King Joram of Israel, to fight against Hazael, the king of Syria. They fought a battle at Ramoth Gilead. The Syrian army won the fight and they hurt King Joram. 29 King Joram returned to Jezreel, so that he could get well again. While he was there, King Ahaziah went to visit him, to see if he was getting better.