2 Kings 1

Listen to 2 Kings 1

Elijah Denounces Ahaziah

1 1After the death of Ahab, Moab 2rebelled against Israel.
2 Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, "Go, inquire of 3Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, 4whether I shall recover from this sickness."
3 But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah 5the Tishbite, "Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of 6Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?
4 Now therefore thus says the LORD, 7You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.'" So Elijah went.
5 The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, "Why have you returned?"
6 And they said to him, "There came a man to meet us, and said to us, 'Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the LORD, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of 8Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.'"
7 He said to them, "What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?"
8 They answered him, 9"He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist." And he said, "It is Elijah the Tishbite."
9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, 10"O man of God, the king says, 'Come down.'"
10 But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, 11let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
11 Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he answered and said to him, "O man of God, this is the king's order, 'Come down quickly!'"
12 But Elijah answered them, "If I am a man of God, 12let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
13 Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him, "O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, 13be precious in your sight.
14 Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight."
15 Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So he arose and went down with him to the king
16 and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Because you have sent messengers to inquire of 14Baal-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 to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.'"
17 So he died according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. Jehoram became king in his place 15in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son.
18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles 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 15

  • 1. 2 Kings 3:5
  • 2. [2 Samuel 8:2]
  • 3. [Matthew 10:25; Matthew 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15, 18, 19]
  • 4. [2 Kings 8:8]
  • 5. 1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 21:17
  • 6. [See ver. 2 above]
  • 7. ver. 6, 16
  • 8. [See ver. 2 above]
  • 9. [Zechariah 13:4; Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6]
  • 10. Deuteronomy 33:1; Judges 13:6; 1 Samuel 2:27; 1 Samuel 9:6
  • 11. Luke 9:54
  • 12. Job 1:16
  • 13. [1 Samuel 26:21; Psalms 72:14]
  • 14. [See ver. 2 above]
  • 15. [2 Kings 3:1; 2 Kings 8:16]

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.