2 Kings 1

The LORD’s Judgment on Ahaziah

1 After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel.
2 Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.”
3 But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’
4 Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’ ” So Elijah went.
5 When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you come back?”
6 “A man came to meet us,” they replied. “And he said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, “This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!” ’ ”
7 The king asked them, “What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?”
8 They replied, “He had a garment of hair[a] and had a leather belt around his waist.” The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”
9 Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!’ ”
10 Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.
11 At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, “Man of God, this is what the king says, ‘Come down at once!’ ”
12 “If I am a man of God,” Elijah replied, “may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.
13 So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants!
14 See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!”
15 The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.
16 He told the king, “This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!”
17 So he died, according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. Because Ahaziah had no son, Joram[b] succeeded him as king in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.
18 As for all the other events of Ahaziah’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?

2 Kings 1 Commentary

Chapter 1

The revolt of Moab-Sickness of Ahaziah, king of Israel. (1-8) Fire called from heaven by Elijah-Death of Ahaziah. (9-18)

Verses 1-8 When Ahaziah rebelled against the Lord, Moab revolted from him. Sin weakens and impoverishes us. Man's revolt from God is often punished by the rebellion of those who owe subjection to him. Ahaziah fell through a lattice, or railing. Wherever we go, there is but a step between us and death. A man's house is his castle, but not to secure him against God's judgments. The whole creation, which groans under the burden of man's sin, will, at length, sink and break under the weight like this lattice. He is never safe that has God for his enemy. Those that will not inquire of the word of God for their comfort, shall hear it to their terror, whether they will or no.

Verses 9-18 Elijah called for fire from heaven, to consume the haughty, daring sinners; not to secure himself, but to prove his mission, and to reveal the wrath of God from heaven, against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Elijah did this by a Divine impulse, yet our Saviour would not allow the disciples to do the like, ( Luke 9:54 ) . The dispensation of the Spirit and of grace by no means allowed it. Elijah was concerned for God's glory, those for their own reputation. The Lord judges men's practices by their principles, and his judgment is according to truth. The third captain humbled himself, and cast himself upon the mercy of God and Elijah. There is nothing to be got by contending with God; and those are wise for themselves, who learn submission from the fatal end of obstinacy in others. The courage of faith has often struck terror into the heart of the proudest sinner. So thunderstruck is Ahaziah with the prophet's words, that neither he, nor any about him, offer him violence. Who can harm those whom God shelters? Many who think to prosper in sin, are called hence like Ahaziah, when they do not expect it. All warns us to seek the Lord while he may be found.

Cross References 21

  • 1. S Genesis 19:37; 2 Samuel 8:2; 2 Kings 3:5
  • 2. ver 16
  • 3. S Mark 3:22
  • 4. 1 Samuel 6:2; Isaiah 2:6; Isaiah 14:29; Matthew 10:25
  • 5. S Judges 18:5; 2 Kings 8:7-10
  • 6. ver 15; Genesis 16:7
  • 7. 1 Kings 17:1
  • 8. S 1 Samuel 28:8
  • 9. ver 6,16; Psalms 41:8
  • 10. S ver 4
  • 11. S 1 Kings 18:7; Zechariah 13:4; Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6
  • 12. 2 Kings 6:14
  • 13. Exodus 18:25; Isaiah 3:3
  • 14. S 1 Kings 18:38; Luke 9:54; S Revelation 11:5; S Revelation 13:13
  • 15. 1 Samuel 26:21; Psalms 72:14
  • 16. ver 3
  • 17. Isaiah 51:12; Isaiah 57:11; Jeremiah 1:17; Ezekiel 2:6
  • 18. S ver 2
  • 19. ver 4
  • 20. 2 Kings 8:15; Jeremiah 20:6; Jeremiah 28:17
  • 21. 2 Kings 3:1; 2 Kings 8:16

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "He was a hairy man"
  • [b]. Hebrew "Jehoram," a variant of "Joram"

Chapter Summary



This, and the preceding book, are properly but one book divided into two parts, because of the size of it, as the book of Samuel; it is a continuation of the history of the kings of Israel and Judah; and for a further account of it the reader is referred to the title of the preceding book.


This chapter begins with the rebellion of Moab against Israel, 2Ki 1:1, relates a fall of the king of Israel in his house, which brought on him a sickness, about which he sent messengers to inquire of the god of Ekron, who were stopped by Elijah, and bid to return, as they did; and upon the king's examination of them about the cause of their return, he perceived it was Elijah that forbad them, 2Ki 1:2-8, upon which the king sent to him two captains, with fifty men each, one after another, to bring him to him, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, 2Ki 1:9-12, but a third with fifty men sent to him were spared, and he is bid to go along with them with a message to the king, as he did, 2Ki 1:13-16 and the chapter is closed with the death of Ahaziah, 2Ki 1:17,18.

2 Kings 1 Commentaries

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