2 Kings 1

Ahaziah's Messengers Meet Elijah

1 Now 1Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.
2 And Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber which was in Samaria, and became ill. So he sent messengers and said to them, "Go, 2inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, 3whether I will recover from this sickness."
3 But the angel of the LORD said to 4Elijah the 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 5Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?'
4 "Now therefore thus says the LORD, '[a]6You shall not come down from the bed where * you have gone up, but you shall surely die.' " Then Elijah departed.
5 When the messengers returned to him he said to them, "[b]Why have you returned?"
6 They said to him, "A man came up to meet us and said to us, 'Go, return 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 7to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore [c]you shall not come down from the bed where * you have gone up, but shall surely die.' ""'
7 He said to them, "What kind of man was he who came up to meet you and spoke these words to you?"
8 They [d]answered him, "8He was a hairy man with a leather girdle [e]bound about his loins." And he said, "It is Elijah the Tishbite."
9 Then the king 9sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him, and behold, he was sitting on the top of the hill. And he said to him, "O man of God, the king says, 'Come down.' "
10 Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, 10let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty." 11Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
11 So he again sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he said to him, "O man of God, thus says the king, 'Come down quickly.' "
12 Elijah replied to them, "If I am a man of God, let 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 So he 12again sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. When the third captain of fifty went up, he came and bowed down on his knees before Elijah, and begged him and said to him, "O man of God, please let my life and the lives of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight.
14 "Behold fire came down from heaven and consumed the first two captains of fifty with their fifties; but now let my [f]life be precious in your sight."
15 13The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down with him; 14do not be afraid of him." So he arose and went down with him to the king.
16 Then he said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Because * you have sent messengers 15to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron -is it because * there is no God in Israel to inquire of His word?-therefore [g]you shall not come down from the bed where * you have gone up, but shall surely die.' "

Jehoram Reigns over Israel

17 So Ahaziah died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And because he had no son, Jehoram became king in his place 16in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.
18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which 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 16

  • 1. 2 Samuel 8:2; 2 Kings 3:5
  • 2. 2 Kin 1:3, 6, 16; Matthew 10:25; Mark 3:22
  • 3. 2 Kings 8:7-10
  • 4. 1 Kings 17:1; 1 Kings 21:17
  • 5. 2 Kings 1:2
  • 6. 2 Kings 1:6, 16
  • 7. 2 Kings 1:2
  • 8. Zechariah 13:4; Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6
  • 9. 2 Kings 6:13, 14
  • 10. 1 Kings 18:36-38; Luke 9:54
  • 11. Job 1:16
  • 12. Isaiah 1:5; Jeremiah 5:3
  • 13. 2 Kings 1:3
  • 14. Isaiah 51:12; Jeremiah 1:17; Ezekiel 2:6
  • 15. 2 Kings 1:3
  • 16. 2 Kings 3:1; 2 Kings 8:16

Footnotes 7

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

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.