Reading 102/341, 2 Kings 1-4.11

2 Kings...

Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. Ahaziah fell down through the lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick, and he sent messengers, and said to them, Go, inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover of this sickness. But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and tell them, Is it because there is no God in Israel, that you go to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus says the Lord, You shall not come down from the bed where you are gone up, but shall surely die. Elijah departed. The messengers returned to him, and he said to them, Why is it that you have returned? They said to him, There came up a man to meet us, and said to us, Go, turn again to the king who sent you, and tell him, Thus says the Lord, Is it because there is no God in Israel, that you send to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron? therefore you shall not come down from the bed where you are gone up, but shall surely die. He said to them, What manner of man was he who came up to meet you, and told you these words? They answered him, He was a hairy man, and girt with a belt of leather about his waist. He said, It is Elijah the Tishbite. Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. He went up to him, and behold, he was sitting on the top of the hill. He spoke to him, man of God, the king has said, Come down. Elijah answered to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from the sky, and consume you and your fifty. Fire came down from the sky, and consumed him and his fifty. Again he sent to him another captain of fifty and his fifty. He answered him, man of God, thus has the king said, Come down quickly. Elijah answered them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from the sky, and consume you and your fifty. The fire of God came down from the sky, and consumed him and his fifty. Again he sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. The third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and begged him, and said to him, man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty your servants, be precious in your sight. Behold, fire came down from the sky, and consumed the two former captains of fifty with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight. The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, Go down with him, do not be afraid of him. He arose, and went down with him to the king. He said to him, Thus says the Lord, Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron, is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? therefore you shall not come down from the bed where you are gone up, but shall surely die. So he died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. Jehoram began to reign in his place in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son. Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? It happened, when the Lord would take up Elijah by a whirlwind into heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, Please wait here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel. Elisha said, As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel. The sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said to him, "Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from your head today?" He said, "Yes, I know it; hold your peace." Elijah said to him, Elisha, please wait here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho. He said, As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they came to Jericho. The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came near to Elisha, and said to him, "Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from your head today?" He answered, "Yes, I know it. Hold your peace." Elijah said to him, "Please wait here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan." He said, "As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you." They two went on. Fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood over against them afar off, and they two stood by the Jordan. Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that they two went over on dry ground. It happened, when they had gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you. Elisha said, please let a double portion of your spirit be on me. He said, You have asked a hard thing, nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so to you; but if not, it shall not be so. It happened, as they still went on, and talked, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both apart, and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen of it! He saw him no more, and he took hold of his own clothes, and tore them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and struck the waters, and said, Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? and when he also had struck the waters, they were divided here and there, and Elisha went over. When the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho over against him saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah does rest on Elisha. They came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. They said to him, See now, there are with your servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray you, and seek your master, lest the Spirit of the Lord has taken him up, and cast him on some mountain, or into some valley. He said, You shall not send. When they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men, and they sought three days, but did not find him. They came back to him, while he stayed at Jericho, and he said to them, "Did not I tell you, 'Do not go?'" The men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, we pray you, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad, and the land miscarries. He said, Bring me a new jar, and put salt therein. They brought it to him. He went forth to the spring of the waters, and cast salt therein, and said, Thus says the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from there any more death or miscarrying. So the waters were healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke. He went up from there to Bethel, and as he was going up by the way, some youths came out of the city and mocked him, and said to him, Go up, you baldy; go up, you baldhead. He looked behind him and saw them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. Two female bears came out of the woods, and mauled forty-two of those youths. He went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria. Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, but not like his father, and like his mother; for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless he cleaved to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from it. Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he rendered to the king of Israel the wool of one hundred thousand lambs, and of one hundred thousand rams. But it happened, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time, and mustered all Israel. He went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab has rebelled against me, will you go with me against Moab to battle? He said, I will go up, I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses. He said, Which way shall we go up? He answered, The way of the desert of Edom. So the king of Israel went, and the king of Judah, and the king of Edom, and they made a circuit of seven days' journey, and there was no water for the army, nor for the animals that followed them. The king of Israel said, Alas! for the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab. But Jehoshaphat said, Is not there here a prophet of the Lord, that we may inquire of the Lord by him? One of the king of Israel's servants answered, Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah. Jehoshaphat said, The word of the Lord is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him. Elisha said to the king of Israel, What have I to do with you? get you to the prophets of your father, and to the prophets of your mother. The king of Israel said to him, No; for the Lord has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab. Elisha said, As the Lord of Armies lives, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward you, nor see you. But now bring me a minstrel. It happened, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came on him. He said, Thus says the Lord, Make this valley full of trenches. For thus says the Lord, You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, and you shall drink, both you and your livestock and your animals. This is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord, he will also deliver the Moabites into your hand. You shall strike every fortified city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones. It happened in the morning, about the time of offering the offering, that behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water. Now when all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, they gathered themselves together, all who were able to put on armor, and upward, and stood on the border. They rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone on the water, and the Moabites saw the water over against them as red as blood, and they said, This is blood; the kings are surely destroyed, and they have struck each man his fellow, now therefore, Moab, to the spoil. When they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and struck the Moabites, so that they fled before them, and they went forward into the land smiting the Moabites. They beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land they cast every man his stone, and filled it, and they stopped all the springs of water, and felled all the good trees, until in Kir Hareseth only they left the stones of it; however the men armed with slings went about it, and struck it. When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too severe for him, he took with him seven hundred men who drew sword, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not. Then he took his eldest son who would have reigned in his place, and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. There was great wrath against Israel, and they departed from him, and returned to their own land. Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets to Elisha, saying, Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant did fear the Lord, and the creditor is come to take to him my two children to be bondservants. Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? tell me; what have you in the house? She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house, except a pot of oil. Then he said, Go, borrow you vessels abroad of all your neighbors, empty vessels; borrow not a few. You shall go in, and shut the door on you and on your sons, and pour out into all those vessels, and you shall set aside what is full. So she went from him, and shut the door on her and on her sons; they brought the vessels to her, and she poured out. It happened, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, Bring me yet a vessel. He said to her, There is not another vessel. The oil stayed. Then she came and told the man of God. He said, Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt, and live you and your sons of the rest. It fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman, and she constrained him to eat bread. So it was, that as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat bread. She said to her husband, See now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God, that passes by us continually. Let us make, Please, a little chamber on the wall, and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a seat, and a lamp stand, and it shall be, when he comes to us, that he shall turn in there. It fell on a day, that he came there, and he turned into the chamber and lay there.

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