2 Kings 8
More great things that Elisha did
1 Elisha had made a woman's son alive again. Elisha had said to the woman, ‘Go away with your family. Stay for a time in whatever place you can stay. Do this because the LORD says that there will be a famine in this country. It will continue for 7 years.’ 2 The woman had done what the man of God had said. She and her family went away. They stayed in the country called Philistia for 7 years. 3 She came back from the country called Philistia after the 7 years. She went to the king to ask for her house and for her fields. 4 The king was talking to Gehazi, who was the servant of the man of God. The king had said, ‘Tell me about all the great things that Elisha has done.’ 5 Gehazi was telling the king that Elisha had made dead people alive again. While Gehazi was doing this, the woman came in to ask for her house and her fields. It was her dead 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 and she told him. Then the king asked for an officer to come to him. The king said to him, ‘Give everything back to her. This must include all the money from her fields, from the day that she left until now.’
7 Elisha went to Damascus. Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram, was ill. Somebody told him, ‘The man of God has come here.’ 8 The king said to Hazael, ‘Take a gift with you. Go and meet the man of God. Ask him to ask the LORD this question. “Will I get well after this illness?” ’ 9 Hazael went to meet Elisha. He took with him, as a gift, all the best things from Damascus. They needed 40 camels to carry them! He went in to Elisha's house and he stood in front of him. He said, ‘Your son, Ben-Hadad, king of Aram, has sent me to you. He asks, “Will I get well after this illness?” ’
8:9Ben-Hadad was not really Elisha's son. But Ben-Hadad thought about Elisha as a man thinks about his father.
10 Elisha answered, ‘Go back to him. Say to him, “Surely, you will get well after your illness.” But the LORD has shown to me that he will surely die.’ 11 Elisha looked at him with open eyes until Hazael was ashamed. Then the man of God began to weep. 12 And Hazael asked, ‘Why is my master weeping?’ ‘Because I know that you will hurt Israel's people’, answered Elisha. Then he said, ‘You will burn their strong cities. You will kill their young men with the sword. You will knock their children on the ground. You will cut their pregnant women open.’ 13 Hazael said, ‘How could your servant, who has no more power than a dog, do something like that?’ ‘The LORD has shown me this. You will become king of Aram’, Elisha answered. 14 Then Hazael left Elisha and Hazael returned to his master the king. Ben-Hadad asked him, ‘What did Elisha say to you?’ Hazael replied, ‘He told me that you will surely get well.’ 15 But the next day, Hazael took a thick cloth. He filled it with water. Then he put it over the king's face until he died. So Hazael became king after Ben-Hadad.
Jehoram becomes the king of Judah
16 In the 5th year that Joram was king of Israel, Jehoshaphat was still king of Judah. Joram was the son of Ahab. Then Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat, also started to rule as king of Judah. 17 He was 32 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 8 years. 18 He did all the bad things that the kings of Israel had done. He did what the family of Ahab had done. That was because he married a daughter of Ahab. The LORD saw that Jehoram did very bad things. 19 But the LORD did not want to destroy Judah, because of his promise to his servant David. The LORD had promised always to leave something like a light in Judah because of David, and because of his descendants.
20 While Jehoram was king, Edom's people decided not to obey the king of Judah. Edom's people decided to have their own king. 21 So Jehoram crossed to Zair with all his chariots. Zair is in Edom. The men from Edom were all round him and all round the leaders of his chariots. But one night, Jehoram's army started to fight. They beat the men from Edom that were all round him and all round the leaders of his chariots. But then his army hurried back home! 22 Even today, Edom's people do not obey the rulers of Judah. The people in a city called Libnah stopped obeying the king of Judah at the same time. 23 Other things happened while Jehoram was king and he did other things. People wrote about them in a book. It is called ‘the reports about the kings of Judah’. 24 Jehoram died like his ancestors and people buried him in the City of David. They buried him with his ancestors. His son Ahaziah became king after him.
Ahaziah becomes the king of Judah
25 Ahaziah was the son of Jehoram, who had been the king of Judah. Joram was the son of Ahab. Ahaziah began to rule when Joram had been king for nearly 12 years. 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, who had been the king of Israel. 27 Ahaziah did all the bad things that the family of Ahab had done. The LORD saw that Ahaziah did very bad things. He did what the family of Ahab had done. That was because he had married a woman from Ahab's family.
28 Ahaziah went with Joram to fight against Hazael the king of Aram. Joram was the son of Ahab. The fight was at Ramoth Gilead. The army from Aram hurt Joram, 29 so King Joram returned to Jezreel. He went there to get well after the army from Aram had hurt him at Ramoth. This happened when he fought Hazael, the king of Aram. Then Ahaziah went down to Jezreel to see Joram, the son of Ahab. Ahaziah was the son of Jehoram who had been the king of Judah. Ahaziah went because Joram was ill.
Notes about chapter 8
8:29Verse 1 The story is in 2 Kings 4:8-37. Perhaps the famine was the one in 2 Kings 4:38.
8:29Verses 3 and 6 Someone else had used the woman's fields while she was away.
8:29Verse 11 Some Bible students think that Hazael looked at Elisha. The Hebrew words are not very clear.
8:29Verse 16 These dates do not always agree with those in other parts of 2 Kings. When a king became old, his son sometimes ruled with him. Jehoram did that with Jehoshaphat.
8:29Verse 19 ‘A light in Judah’ means that a descendant of David would always rule in Judah.