2 Kings 7; 2 Kings 8; 2 Kings 9; John 1:1-28

1 Elisha answered, "Listen to what the Lord says! By this time tomorrow you will be able to buy in Samaria ten pounds of the best wheat or twenty pounds of barley for one piece of silver." 2 The personal attendant of the king said to Elisha, "That can't happen - not even if the Lord himself were to send grain at once!" "You will see it happen, but you won't get to eat any of the food," Elisha replied. 3 Four men who were suffering from a dreaded skin disease were outside the gates of Samaria, and they said to each other, "Why should we wait here until we die? 4 It's no use going into the city, because we would starve to death in there; but if we stay here, we'll die also. So let's go to the Syrian camp; the worst they can do is kill us, but maybe they will spare our lives." 5 So, as it began to get dark, they went to the Syrian camp, but when they reached it, no one was there. 6 The Lord had made the Syrians hear what sounded like the advance of a large army with horses and chariots, and the Syrians thought that the king of Israel had hired Hittite and Egyptian kings and their armies to attack them. 7 So that evening the Syrians had fled for their lives, abandoning their tents, horses, and donkeys, and leaving the camp just as it was. 8 When the four men reached the edge of the camp, they went into a tent, ate and drank what was there, grabbed the silver, gold, and clothing they found, and went off and hid them; then they returned, entered another tent, and did the same thing. 9 But then they said to each other, "We shouldn't be doing this! We have good news, and we shouldn't keep it to ourselves. If we wait until morning to tell it, we are sure to be punished. Let's go right now and tell the king's officers!" 10 So they left the Syrian camp, went back to Samaria, and called out to the guards at the gates: "We went to the Syrian camp and didn't see or hear anybody; the horses and donkeys have not been untied, and the tents are just as the Syrians left them." 11 The guards announced the news, and it was reported in the palace. 12 It was still night, but the king got out of bed and said to his officials, "I'll tell you what the Syrians are planning! They know about the famine here, so they have left their camp to go and hide in the countryside. They think that we will leave the city to find food, and then they will take us alive and capture the city." 13 One of his officials said, "The people here in the city are doomed anyway, like those that have already died. So let's send some men with five of the horses that are left, so that we can find out what has happened." 14 They chose some men, and the king sent them in two chariots with instructions to go and find out what had happened to the Syrian army. 15 The men went as far as the Jordan, and all along the road they saw the clothes and equipment that the Syrians had abandoned as they fled. Then they returned and reported to the king. 16 The people of Samaria rushed out and looted the Syrian camp. And as the Lord had said, ten pounds of the best wheat or twenty pounds of barley were sold for one piece of silver. 17 It so happened that the king of Israel had put the city gate under the command of the officer who was his personal attendant. The officer was trampled to death there by the people and died, as Elisha had predicted when the king went to see him. 18 Elisha had told the king that by that time the following day ten pounds of the best wheat or twenty pounds of barley would be sold in Samaria for one piece of silver, 19 to which the officer had answered, "That can't happen - not even if the Lord himself were to send grain at once!" And Elisha had replied, "You will see it happen, but you won't get to eat any of the food." 20 And that is just what happened to him - he died, trampled to death by the people at the city gate.
1 Now Elisha had told the woman who lived in Shunem, whose son he had brought back to life, that the Lord was sending a famine on the land, which would last for seven years, and that she should leave with her family and go and live somewhere else. 2 She had followed his instructions and had gone with her family to live in Philistia for the seven years. 3 At the end of the seven years she returned to Israel and went to the king to ask that her house and her land be restored to her. 4 She found the king talking with Gehazi, Elisha's servant; the king wanted to know about Elisha's miracles. 5 While Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had brought a dead person back to life, the woman made her appeal to the king. Gehazi said to him, "Your Majesty, here is the woman and here is her son whom Elisha brought back to life!" 6 In answer to the king's question, she confirmed Gehazi's story, and so the king called an official and told him to give back to her everything that was hers, including the value of all the crops that her fields had produced during the seven years she had been away. 7 Elisha went to Damascus at a time when King Benhadad of Syria was sick. When the king was told that Elisha was there, 8 he said to Hazael, one of his officials, "Take a gift to the prophet and ask him to consult the Lord to find out whether or not I am going to get well." 9 So Hazael loaded forty camels with all kinds of the finest products of Damascus and went to Elisha. When Hazael met him, he said, "Your servant King Benhadad has sent me to ask you whether or not he will recover from his sickness." 10 Elisha answered, "The Lord has revealed to me that he will die; but go to him and tell him that he will recover." 11 Then Elisha stared at him with a horrified look on his face until Hazael became ill at ease. Suddenly Elisha burst into tears. 12 "Why are you crying, sir?" Hazael asked. "Because I know the horrible things you will do against the people of Israel," Elisha answered. "You will set their fortresses on fire, slaughter their finest young men, batter their children to death, and rip open their pregnant women." 13 "How could I ever be that powerful?" Hazael asked. "I'm a nobody!" "The Lord has shown me that you will be king of Syria," Elisha replied. 14 Hazael went back to Benhadad, who asked him, "What did Elisha say?" "He told me that you would certainly get well," Hazael answered. 15 But on the following day Hazael took a blanket, soaked it in water, and smothered the king. And Hazael succeeded Benhadad as king of Syria. 16 In the fifth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab as king of Israel, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah 17 at the age of thirty-two, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. 18 His wife was Ahab's daughter, and like the family of Ahab he followed the evil ways of the kings of Israel. He sinned against the Lord, 19 but the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah, because he had promised his servant David that his descendants would always continue to rule. 20 During Jehoram's reign Edom revolted against Judah and became an independent kingdom. 21 So Jehoram set out with all his chariots to Zair, where the Edomite army surrounded them. During the night he and his chariot commanders managed to break out and escape, and his soldiers scattered to their homes. 22 Edom has been independent of Judah ever since. During this same period the city of Libnah also revolted. 23 Everything else that Jehoram did is recorded in [The History of the Kings of Judah.] 24 Jehoram died and was buried in the royal tombs in David's City, and his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king. 25 In the twelfth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab as king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah 26 at the age of twenty-two, and he ruled in Jerusalem for one year. His mother was Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab and granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27 Since Ahaziah was related to King Ahab by marriage, he sinned against the Lord, just as Ahab's family did. 28 King Ahaziah joined King Joram of Israel in a war against King Hazael of Syria. The armies clashed at Ramoth in Gilead, and Joram was wounded in battle. 29 He returned to the city of Jezreel to recover from his wounds, and Ahaziah went there to visit him.
1 Meanwhile the prophet Elisha called one of the young prophets and said to him, "Get ready and go to Ramoth in Gilead. Take this jar of olive oil with you, 2 and when you get there look for Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat and grandson of Nimshi. Take him to a private room away from his companions, 3 pour this olive oil on his head, and say, "The Lord proclaims that he anoints you king of Israel.' Then leave there as fast as you can." 4 So the young prophet went to Ramoth, 5 where he found the army officers in a conference. He said, "Sir, I have a message for you." Jehu asked, "Which one of us are you speaking to?" "To you, sir," he replied. 6 Then the two of them went indoors, and the young prophet poured the olive oil on Jehu's head and said to him, "The Lord, the God of Israel, proclaims: "I anoint you king of my people Israel. 7 You are to kill your master the king, that son of Ahab, so that I may punish Jezebel for murdering my prophets and my other servants. 8 All of Ahab's family and descendants are to die; I will get rid of every male in his family, young and old alike. 9 I will treat his family as I did the families of King Jeroboam of Israel and of King Baasha of Israel. 10 Jezebel will not be buried; her body will be eaten by dogs in the territory of Jezreel.' " After saying this, the young prophet left the room and fled. 11 Jehu went back to his fellow officers, who asked him, "Is everything all right? What did that crazy fellow want with you?" "You know what he wanted," Jehu answered. 12 "No we don't!" they replied. "Tell us what he said!" "He told me that the Lord proclaims: "I anoint you king of Israel.' " 13 At once Jehu's fellow officers spread their cloaks at the top of the steps for Jehu to stand on, blew trumpets, and shouted, "Jehu is king!" 14 Then Jehu plotted against King Joram, who was in Jezreel, where he had gone to recover from the wounds which he had received in the battle at Ramoth against King Hazael of Syria. So Jehu said to his fellow officers, "If you are with me, make sure that no one slips out of Ramoth to go and warn the people in Jezreel." 16 Then he got into his chariot and set off for Jezreel. Joram had still not recovered, and King Ahaziah of Judah was there, visiting him. 17 A guard on duty in the watchtower at Jezreel saw Jehu and his men approaching. "I see some men riding up!" he called out. Joram replied, "Send a rider to find out if they are friends or enemies." 18 The messenger rode out to Jehu and said to him, "The king wants to know if you come as a friend." "That's none of your business!" Jehu answered. "Fall in behind me." The guard on the watchtower reported that the messenger had reached the group but was not returning. 19 Another messenger was sent out, who asked Jehu the same question. Again Jehu answered, "That's none of your business! Fall in behind me." 20 Once more the guard reported that the messenger had reached the group but was not returning. And he added, "The leader of the group is driving his chariot like a madman, just like Jehu!" 21 "Get my chariot ready," King Joram ordered. It was done, and he and King Ahaziah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the field which had belonged to Naboth. 22 "Are you coming in peace?" Joram asked him. "How can there be peace," Jehu answered, "when we still have all the witchcraft and idolatry that your mother Jezebel started?" 23 "It's treason, Ahaziah!" Joram cried out, as he turned his chariot around and fled. 24 Jehu drew his bow, and with all his strength shot an arrow that struck Joram in the back and pierced his heart. Joram fell dead in his chariot, 25 and Jehu said to his aide Bidkar, "Get his body and throw it in the field that belonged to Naboth. Remember that when you and I were riding together behind King Joram's father Ahab, the Lord spoke these words against Ahab: 26 "I saw the murder of Naboth and his sons yesterday. And I promise that I will punish you here in this same field.' So take Joram's body," Jehu ordered his aide, "and throw it in the field that belonged to Naboth, so as to fulfill the Lord's promise." 27 King Ahaziah saw what happened, so he fled in his chariot toward the town of Beth Haggan, pursued by Jehu. "Kill him too!" Jehu ordered his men, and they wounded him as he drove his chariot on the road up to Gur, near the town of Ibleam. But he managed to keep on going until he reached the city of Megiddo, where he died. 28 His officials took his body back to Jerusalem in a chariot and buried him in the royal tombs in David's City. 29 Ahaziah had become king of Judah in the eleventh year that Joram son of Ahab was king of Israel. 30 Jehu arrived in Jezreel. Jezebel, having heard what had happened, put on eye shadow, arranged her hair, and stood looking down at the street from a window in the palace. 31 As Jehu came through the gate, she called out, "You Zimri! You assassin! Why are you here?" 32 Jehu looked up and shouted, "Who is on my side?" Two or three palace officials looked down at him from a window, 33 and Jehu said to them, "Throw her down!" They threw her down, and her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses. Jehu drove his horses and chariot over her body, 34 entered the palace, and had a meal. Only then did he say, "Take that cursed woman and bury her; after all, she is a king's daughter." 35 But the men who went out to bury her found nothing except her skull and the bones of her hands and feet. 36 When they reported this to Jehu, he said, "This is what the Lord said would happen, when he spoke through his servant Elijah: "Dogs will eat Jezebel's body in the territory of Jezreel. 37 Her remains will be scattered there like dung, so that no one will be able to identify them.' "
1 In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 From the very beginning the Word was with God. 3 Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. 4 The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. 6 God sent his messenger, a man named John, 7 who came to tell people about the light, so that all should hear the message and believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came to tell about the light. 9 This was the real light - the light that comes into the world and shines on all people. 10 The Word was in the world, and though God made the world through him, yet the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to his own country, but his own people did not receive him. 12 Some, however, did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them the right to become God's children. 13 They did not become God's children by natural means, that is, by being born as the children of a human father; God himself was their Father. 14 The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father's only Son. 15 John spoke about him. He cried out, "This is the one I was talking about when I said, "He comes after me, but he is greater than I am, because he existed before I was born.' " 16 Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another. 17 God gave the Law through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is the same as God and is at the Father's side, he has made him known. 19 The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John to ask him, "Who are you?" 20 John did not refuse to answer, but spoke out openly and clearly, saying: "I am not the Messiah." 21 "Who are you, then?" they asked. "Are you Elijah?" "No, I am not," John answered. "Are you the Prophet?" they asked. "No," he replied. 22 "Then tell us who you are," they said. "We have to take an answer back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" 23 John answered by quoting the prophet Isaiah: "I am "the voice of someone shouting in the desert: Make a straight path for the Lord to travel!' " 24 The messengers, who had been sent by the Pharisees, 25 then asked John, "If you are not the Messiah nor Elijah nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?" 26 John answered, "I baptize with water, but among you stands the one you do not know. 27 He is coming after me, but I am not good enough even to untie his sandals." 28 All this happened in Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
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