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2 Kings 1; 2 Kings 2; 2 Kings 3; 2 Kings 4 (New Living Translation)

1 After King Ahab's death, the nation of Moab declared its independence from Israel. 2 One day Israel's new king, Ahaziah, fell through the latticework of an upper room at his palace in Samaria, and he was seriously injured. So he sent messengers to the temple of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether he would recover. 3 But the angel of the LORD told Elijah, who was from Tishbe, "Go and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, 'Why are you going to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether the king will get well? Is there no God in Israel? 4 Now, therefore, this is what the LORD says: You will never leave the bed on which you are lying, but you will surely die.'" So Elijah went to deliver the message. 5 When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, "Why have you returned so soon?" 6 They replied, "A man came up to us and said, 'Go back to the king and give him this message from the LORD: Why are you sending men to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether you will get well? Is there no God in Israel? Now, since you have done this, you will never leave the bed on which you are lying, but you will surely die.'" 7 "Who was this man?" the king demanded. "What did he look like?" 8 They replied, "He was a hairy man, and he wore a leather belt around his waist." "It was Elijah from Tishbe!" the king exclaimed. 9 Then he sent an army captain with fifty soldiers to arrest him. They found him sitting on top of a hill. The captain said to him, "Man of God, the king has commanded you to come along with us." 10 But Elijah replied to the captain, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!" Then fire fell from heaven and killed them all. 11 So the king sent another captain with fifty men. The captain said to him, "Man of God, the king says that you must come down right away." 12 Elijah replied, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!" And again the fire of God fell from heaven and killed them all. 13 Once more the king sent a captain with fifty men. But this time the captain fell to his knees before Elijah. He pleaded with him, "O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants. 14 See how the fire from heaven has destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life!" 15 Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Don't be afraid. Go with him." So Elijah got up and went to the king. 16 And Elijah said to the king, "This is what the LORD says: Why did you send messengers to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether you will get well? Is there no God in Israel? Now, since you have done this, you will never leave the bed on which you are lying, but you will surely die." 17 So Ahaziah died, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah. Since Ahaziah did not have a son to succeed him, his brother Joram became the next king. This took place in the second year of the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. 18 The rest of the events in Ahaziah's reign are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 1 When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here, for the LORD has told me to go to Bethel." But Elisha replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you!" So they went on together to Bethel. 3 The group of prophets from Bethel came to Elisha and asked him, "Did you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?" "Quiet!" Elisha answered. "Of course I know it." 4 Then Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here, for the LORD has told me to go to Jericho." But Elisha replied again, "As surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you." So they went on together to Jericho. 5 Then the group of prophets from Jericho came to Elisha and asked him, "Did you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?" "Quiet!" he answered again. "Of course I know it." 6 Then Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here, for the LORD has told me to go to the Jordan River." But again Elisha replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, I will never leave you." So they went on together. 7 Fifty men from the group of prophets also went and watched from a distance as Elijah and Elisha stopped beside the Jordan River. 8 Then Elijah folded his cloak together and struck the water with it. The river divided, and the two of them went across on dry ground! 9 When they came to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, "What can I do for you before I am taken away?" And Elisha replied, "Please let me become your rightful successor." 10 "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah replied. "If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, then you won't." 11 As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between them, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 Elisha saw it and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and charioteers of Israel!" And as they disappeared from sight, Elisha tore his robe in two. 13 Then Elisha picked up Elijah's cloak and returned to the bank of the Jordan River. 14 He struck the water with the cloak and cried out, "Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" Then the river divided, and Elisha went across. 15 When the group of prophets from Jericho saw what happened, they exclaimed, "Elisha has become Elijah's successor!" And they went to meet him and bowed down before him. 16 "Sir," they said, "just say the word and fifty of our strongest men will search the wilderness for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has left him on some mountain or in some valley." "No," Elisha said, "don't send them." 17 But they kept urging him until he was embarrassed, and he finally said, "All right, send them." So fifty men searched for three days but did not find Elijah. 18 Elisha was still at Jericho when they returned. "Didn't I tell you not to go?" he asked. 19 Now the leaders of the town of Jericho visited Elisha. "We have a problem, my lord," they told him. "This town is located in beautiful natural surroundings, as you can see. But the water is bad, and the land is unproductive." 20 Elisha said, "Bring me a new bowl with salt in it." So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the spring that supplied the town with water and threw the salt into it. And he said, "This is what the LORD says: I have made this water wholesome. It will no longer cause death or infertility. " 22 And sure enough! The water has remained wholesome ever since, just as Elisha said. 23 Elisha left Jericho and went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, a group of boys from the town began mocking and making fun of him. "Go away, you baldhead!" they chanted. "Go away, you baldhead!" 24 Elisha turned around and looked at them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them. 25 From there Elisha went to Mount Carmel and finally returned to Samaria. 1 Ahab's son Joram began to rule over Israel in the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat's reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria twelve years. 2 He did what was evil in the LORD's sight, but he was not as wicked as his father and mother. He at least tore down the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had set up. 3 Nevertheless he continued in the sins of idolatry that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led the people of Israel to commit. 4 King Mesha of Moab and his people were sheep breeders. They used to pay the king of Israel an annual tribute of 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. 5 But after Ahab's death, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6 So King Joram mustered the army of Israel and marched from Samaria. 7 On the way, he sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: "The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you help me fight him?" And Jehoshaphat replied, "Why, of course! You and I are brothers, and my troops are yours to command. Even my horses are at your service." 8 Then Jehoshaphat asked, "What route will we take?" "We will attack from the wilderness of Edom," Joram replied. 9 The king of Edom and his troops joined them, and all three armies traveled along a roundabout route through the wilderness for seven days. But there was no water for the men or their pack animals. 10 "What should we do?" the king of Israel cried out. "The LORD has brought the three of us here to let the king of Moab defeat us." 11 But King Jehoshaphat of Judah asked, "Is there no prophet of the LORD with us? If there is, we can ask the LORD what to do." One of King Joram's officers replied, "Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to be Elijah's personal assistant. " 12 Jehoshaphat said, "Then the LORD will speak through him." So the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom went to consult with Elisha. 13 "I want no part of you," Elisha said to the king of Israel. "Go to the pagan prophets of your father and mother!" But King Joram said, "No! For it was the LORD who called us three kings here to be destroyed by the king of Moab!" 14 Elisha replied, "As surely as the LORD Almighty lives, whom I serve, I would not bother with you except for my respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah. 15 Now bring me someone who can play the harp." While the harp was being played, the power of the LORD came upon Elisha, 16 and he said, "This is what the LORD says: This dry valley will be filled with pools of water! 17 You will see neither wind nor rain, says the LORD, but this valley will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and for your cattle and your other animals. 18 But this is only a simple thing for the LORD, for he will make you victorious over the army of Moab! 19 You will conquer the best of their cities, even the fortified ones. You will cut down all their trees, stop up all their springs, and ruin all their good land with stones." 20 And sure enough, the next day at about the time when the morning sacrifice was offered, water suddenly appeared! It was flowing from the direction of Edom, and soon there was water everywhere. 21 Meanwhile, when the people of Moab heard about the three armies marching against them, they mobilized every man who could fight, young and old, and stationed themselves along their border. 22 But when they got up the next morning, the sun was shining across the water, making it look as red as blood. 23 "It's blood!" the Moabites exclaimed. "The three armies have attacked and killed each other! Let's go and collect the plunder!" 24 When they arrived at the Israelite camp, the army of Israel rushed out and attacked the Moabites, who turned and ran. The army of Israel chased them into the land of Moab, destroying everything as they went. 25 They destroyed the cities, covered their good land with stones, stopped up the springs, and cut down the good trees. Finally, only Kir-hareseth was left, but even that came under attack. 26 When the king of Moab saw that he was losing the battle, he led seven hundred of his warriors in a desperate attempt to break through the enemy lines near the king of Edom, but they failed to escape. 27 So he took his oldest son, who would have been the next king, and sacrificed him as a burnt offering on the wall. As a result, the anger against Israel was great, so they withdrew and returned to their own land. 1 One day the widow of one of Elisha's fellow prophets came to Elisha and cried out to him, "My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the LORD. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves." 2 "What can I do to help you?" Elisha asked. "Tell me, what do you have in the house?" "Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil," she replied. 3 And Elisha said, "Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. 4 Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting the jars aside as they are filled." 5 So she did as she was told. Her sons brought many jars to her, and she filled one after another. 6 Soon every container was full to the brim!"Bring me another jar," she said to one of her sons."There aren't any more!" he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing. 7 When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, "Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and there will be enough money left over to support you and your sons." 8 One day Elisha went to the town of Shunem. A wealthy woman lived there, and she invited him to eat some food. From then on, whenever he passed that way, he would stop there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, "I am sure this man who stops in from time to time is a holy man of God. 10 Let's make a little room for him on the roof and furnish it with a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp. Then he will have a place to stay whenever he comes by." 11 One day Elisha returned to Shunem, and he went up to his room to rest. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, "Tell the woman I want to speak to her." When she arrived, 13 Elisha said to Gehazi, "Tell her that we appreciate the kind concern she has shown us. Now ask her what we can do for her. Does she want me to put in a good word for her to the king or to the commander of the army?" "No," she replied, "my family takes good care of me." 14 Later Elisha asked Gehazi, "What do you think we can do for her?"He suggested, "She doesn't have a son, and her husband is an old man." 15 "Call her back again," Elisha told him. When the woman returned, Elisha said to her as she stood in the doorway, 16 "Next year at about this time you will be holding a son in your arms!" "No, my lord!" she protested. "Please don't lie to me like that, O man of God." 17 But sure enough, the woman soon became pregnant. And at that time the following year she had a son, just as Elisha had said. 18 One day when her child was older, he went out to visit his father, who was working with the harvesters. 19 Suddenly he complained, "My head hurts! My head hurts!"His father said to one of the servants, "Carry him home to his mother." 20 So the servant took him home, and his mother held him on her lap. But around noontime he died. 21 She carried him up to the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and left him there. 22 She sent a message to her husband: "Send one of the servants and a donkey so that I can hurry to the man of God and come right back." 23 "Why today?" he asked. "It is neither a new moon festival nor a Sabbath."But she said, "It's all right." 24 So she saddled the donkey and said to the servant, "Hurry! Don't slow down on my account unless I tell you to." 25 As she approached the man of God at Mount Carmel, Elisha saw her in the distance. He said to Gehazi, "Look, the woman from Shunem is coming. 26 Run out to meet her and ask her, 'Is everything all right with you, with your husband, and with your child?'" "Yes," the woman told Gehazi, "everything is fine." 27 But when she came to the man of God at the mountain, she fell to the ground before him and caught hold of his feet. Gehazi began to push her away, but the man of God said, "Leave her alone. Something is troubling her deeply, and the LORD has not told me what it is." 28 Then she said, "It was you, my lord, who said I would have a son. And didn't I tell you not to raise my hopes?" 29 Then Elisha said to Gehazi, "Get ready to travel; take my staff and go! Don't talk to anyone along the way. Go quickly and lay the staff on the child's face." 30 But the boy's mother said, "As surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, I won't go home unless you go with me." So Elisha returned with her. 31 Gehazi hurried on ahead and laid the staff on the child's face, but nothing happened. There was no sign of life. He returned to meet Elisha and told him, "The child is still dead." 32 When Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there on the prophet's bed. 33 He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the LORD. 34 Then he lay down on the child's body, placing his mouth on the child's mouth, his eyes on the child's eyes, and his hands on the child's hands. And the child's body began to grow warm again! 35 Elisha got up and walked back and forth in the room a few times. Then he stretched himself out again on the child. This time the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes! 36 Then Elisha summoned Gehazi. "Call the child's mother!" he said. And when she came in, Elisha said, "Here, take your son!" 37 She fell at his feet, overwhelmed with gratitude. Then she picked up her son and carried him downstairs. 38 Elisha now returned to Gilgal, but there was a famine in the land. One day as the group of prophets was seated before him, he said to his servant, "Put on a large kettle and make some stew for these men." 39 One of the young men went out into the field to gather vegetables and came back with a pocketful of wild gourds. He shredded them and put them into the kettle without realizing they were poisonous. 40 But after the men had eaten a bite or two they cried out, "Man of God, there's poison in this stew!" So they would not eat it. 41 Elisha said, "Bring me some flour." Then he threw it into the kettle and said, "Now it's all right; go ahead and eat." And then it did not harm them! 42 One day a man from Baal-shalishah brought the man of God a sack of fresh grain and twenty loaves of barley bread made from the first grain of his harvest. Elisha said, "Give it to the group of prophets so they can eat." 43 "What?" his servant exclaimed. "Feed one hundred people with only this?"But Elisha repeated, "Give it to the group of prophets so they can eat, for the LORD says there will be plenty for all. There will even be some left over!" 44 And sure enough, there was plenty for all and some left over, just as the LORD had promised.
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