2 Kings 1; 2 Kings 2; 2 Kings 3; 2 Kings 4

1 After Ahab died, Moab broke away from Israel's rule. 2 Ahaziah fell down through the wooden bars in his upstairs room in Samaria and was badly hurt. He sent messengers and told them, "Go, ask Baal-Zebub, god of Ekron, if I will recover from my injuries." 3 But the Lord's angel said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Go up and meet the messengers sent by the king of Samaria. Ask them, 'Why are you going to ask questions of Baal-Zebub, god of Ekron? Is it because you think there is no God in Israel?' 4 This is what the Lord says: 'You will never get up from the bed you are lying on; you will die.'" Then Elijah left. 5 When the messengers returned to Ahaziah, he asked them, "Why have you returned?" 6 They said, "A man came to meet us. He said, 'Go back to the king who sent you and tell him what the Lord says: "Why do you send messengers to ask questions of Baal-Zebub, god of Ekron? Is it because you think there is no God in Israel? You will never get up from the bed you are lying on; you will die."' " 7 Ahaziah asked them, "What did the man look like who met you and told you this?" 8 They answered, "He was a hairy man and wore a leather belt around his waist." Ahaziah said, "It was Elijah the Tishbite." 9 Then he sent a captain with his fifty men to Elijah. The captain went to Elijah, who was sitting on top of the 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, let fire come down from heaven and burn up you and your fifty men." Then fire came down from heaven and burned up the captain and his fifty men. 11 Ahaziah sent another captain and fifty men to Elijah. The captain said to him, "Man of God, this is what the king says: 'Come down quickly!'" 12 Elijah answered, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and burn up you and your fifty men!" Then fire came down from heaven and burned up the captain and his fifty men. 13 Ahaziah then sent a third captain with his fifty men. The third captain came and fell down on his knees before Elijah and begged, "Man of God, please respect my life and the lives of your fifty servants. 14 See, fire came down from heaven and burned up the first two captains of fifty with all their men. But now, respect my life." 15 The Lord's angel said to Elijah, "Go down with him and don't be afraid of him." So Elijah got up and went down with him to see the king. 16 Elijah told Ahaziah, "This is what the Lord says: 'You have sent messengers to ask questions of Baal-Zebub, god of Ekron. Is it because you think there is no God in Israel to ask? Because of this, you will never get up from your bed; you will die.'" 17 So Ahaziah died, just as the Lord, through Elijah, had said he would. Joram became king in Ahaziah's place during the second year Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat was king of Judah. Joram ruled because Ahaziah had no son to take his place. 18 The other things Ahaziah did are written in the book of the history of the kings of Israel.
1 It was almost time for the Lord to take Elijah by a whirlwind up into heaven. While Elijah and Elisha were leaving Gilgal, 2 Elijah said to Elisha, "Please stay here. The Lord has told me to go to Bethel." But Elisha said, "As the Lord lives, and as you live, I won't leave you." So they went down to Bethel. 3 The groups of prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, "Do you know the Lord will take your master away from you today?" Elisha said, "Yes, I know, but don't talk about it." 4 Elijah said to him, "Stay here, Elisha, because the Lord has sent me to Jericho." But Elisha said, "As the Lord lives, and as you live, I won't leave you." So they went to Jericho. 5 The groups of prophets at Jericho came to Elisha and said, "Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?" Elisha answered, "Yes, I know, but don't talk about it." 6 Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here. The Lord has sent me to the Jordan River." Elisha answered, "As the Lord lives, and as you live, I won't leave you." So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the groups of prophets came and stood far from where Elijah and Elisha were by the Jordan. 8 Elijah took off his coat, rolled it up, and hit the water. The water divided to the right and to the left, and Elijah and Elisha crossed over on dry ground. 9 After they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, "What can I do for you before I am taken from you?" Elisha said, "Leave me a double share of your spirit." 10 Elijah said, "You have asked a hard thing. But if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours. If you don't, it won't happen." 11 As they were walking and talking, a chariot and horses of fire appeared and separated Elijah from Elisha. Then Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw it and shouted, "My father! My father! The chariots of Israel and their horsemen!" And Elisha did not see him anymore. Then Elisha grabbed his own clothes and tore them to show how sad he was. 13 He picked up Elijah's coat that had fallen from him. Then he returned and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Elisha hit the water with Elijah's coat and said, "Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?" When he hit the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and Elisha crossed over. 15 The groups of prophets at Jericho were watching and said, "Elisha now has the spirit Elijah had." And they came to meet him, bowing down to the ground before him. 16 They said to him, "There are fifty strong men with us. Please let them go and look for your master. Maybe the Spirit of the Lord has taken Elijah up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley." But Elisha answered, "No, don't send them." 17 When the groups of prophets had begged Elisha until he couldn't refuse them anymore, he said, "Send them." So they sent fifty men who looked for three days, but they could not find him. 18 Then they came back to Elisha at Jericho where he was staying. He said to them, "I told you not to go, didn't I?" 19 The people of the city said to Elisha, "Look, master, this city is a nice place to live as you can see. But the water is so bad the land cannot grow crops." 20 Elisha said, "Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it." So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt in it. He said, "This is what the Lord says: 'I have healed this water. From now on it won't cause death, and it won't keep the land from growing crops.'" 22 So the water has been healed to this day just as Elisha had said. 23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. On the way some boys came out of the city and made fun of him. They said to him, "Go up too, you baldhead! Go up too, you baldhead!" 24 Elisha turned around, looked at them, and put a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two mother bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys to pieces. 25 Elisha went to Mount Carmel and from there he returned to Samaria.
1 Joram son of Ahab became king over Israel at Samaria in Jehoshaphat's eighteenth year as king of Judah. And Joram ruled twelve years. 2 He did what the Lord said was wrong, but he was not like his father and mother; he removed the stone pillars his father had made for Baal. 3 But he continued to sin like Jeroboam son of Nebat who had led Israel to sin. Joram did not stop doing these same sins. 4 Mesha king of Moab raised sheep. He paid the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs and the wool of one hundred thousand sheep. 5 But when Ahab died, the king of Moab turned against the king of Israel. 6 So King Joram went out from Samaria and gathered Israel's army. 7 He also sent messengers to Jehoshaphat king of Judah. "The king of Moab has turned against me," he said. "Will you go with me to fight Moab?" Jehoshaphat replied, "I will go with you. My soldiers and my horses are yours." 8 Jehoshaphat asked, "Which way should we attack?" Joram answered, "Through the Desert of Edom." 9 So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. After they had marched seven days, there was no more water for the army or for their animals that were with them. 10 The king of Israel said, "This is terrible! The Lord has called us three kings together to hand us over to the Moabites!" 11 But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there a prophet of the Lord here? We can ask the Lord through him." An officer of the king of Israel answered, "Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He was Elijah's servant." 12 Jehoshaphat said, "He speaks the Lord's truth." So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to see Elisha. 13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, "I have nothing to do with you. Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother!" The king of Israel said to Elisha, "No, the Lord has called us three kings together to hand us over to the Moabites." 14 Elisha said, "As surely as the Lord All-Powerful lives, whom I serve, I tell you the truth. I wouldn't even look at you or notice you if Jehoshaphat king of Judah were not here. I respect him. 15 Now bring me someone who plays the harp." While the harp was being played, the Lord gave Elisha power. 16 Then Elisha said, "The Lord says to dig holes in the valley. 17 The Lord says you won't see wind or rain, but the valley will be filled with water. Then you, your cattle, and your other animals can drink. 18 This is easy for the Lord to do; he will also hand Moab over to you. 19 You will destroy every strong, walled city and every important town. You will cut down every good tree and stop up all springs. You will ruin every good field with rocks." 20 The next morning, about the time the sacrifice was offered, water came from the direction of Edom and filled the valley. 21 All the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them. So they gathered everyone old enough to put on armor and waited at the border. 22 But when the Moabites got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water. They saw the water across from them, and it looked as red as blood. 23 Then they said, "This is blood! The kings must have fought and killed each other! Come, Moabites, let's take the valuables from the dead bodies!" 24 When the Moabites came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites came out and fought them until they ran away. Then the Israelites went on into the land, killing the Moabites. 25 They tore down the cities and threw rocks all over every good field. They stopped up all the springs and cut down all the good trees. Kir Hareseth was the only city with its stones still in place, but the men with slingshots surrounded it and conquered it, too. 26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too much for him, he took seven hundred men with swords to try to break through to the king of Edom. But they could not break through. 27 Then the king of Moab took his oldest son, who would have been king after him, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall. So there was great anger against the Israelites, who left and went back to their own land.
1 The wife of a man from the groups of prophets said to Elisha, "Your servant, my husband, is dead. You know he honored the Lord. But now the man he owes money to is coming to take my two boys as his slaves!" 2 Elisha answered, "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?" The woman said, "I don't have anything there except a pot of oil." 3 Then Elisha said, "Go and get empty jars from all your neighbors. Don't ask for just a few. 4 Then go into your house and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and set the full ones aside." 5 So she left Elisha and shut the door behind her and her sons. As they brought the jars to her, she poured out the oil. 6 When the jars were all full, she said to her son, "Bring me another jar." But he said, "There are no more jars." Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She went and told Elisha. And the prophet said to her, "Go, sell the oil and pay what you owe. You and your sons can live on what is left." 8 One day Elisha went to Shunem, where an important woman lived. She begged Elisha to stay and eat. So every time Elisha passed by, he stopped there to eat. 9 The woman said to her husband, "I know that this is a holy man of God who passes by our house all the time. 10 Let's make a small room on the roofn and put a bed in the room for him. We can put a table, a chair, and a lampstand there. Then when he comes by, he can stay there." 11 One day Elisha came to the woman's house. After he went to his room and rested, 12 he said to his servant Gehazi, "Call the Shunammite woman." When the servant had called her, she stood in front of him. 13 Elisha had told his servant, "Now say to her, 'You have gone to all this trouble for us. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak to the king or the commander of the army for you?'" She answered, "I live among my own people." 14 Elisha said to Gehazi, "But what can we do for her?" He answered, "She has no son, and her husband is old." 15 Then Elisha said to Gehazi, "Call her." When he called her, she stood in the doorway. 16 Then Elisha said, "About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms." The woman said, "No, master, man of God, don't lie to me, your servant!" 17 But the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son at that time the next year, just as Elisha had told her. 18 The boy grew up and one day went out to his father, who was with the grain harvesters. 19 The boy said to his father, "My head! My head!" The father said to his servant, "Take him to his mother!" 20 The servant took him to his mother, and he lay on his mother's lap until noon. Then he died. 21 So she took him up and laid him on Elisha's bed. Then she shut the door and left. 22 She called to her husband, "Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys. Then I can go quickly to the man of God and return." 23 The husband said, "Why do you want to go to him today? It isn't the New Moon or the Sabbath day." She said, "It will be all right." 24 Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, "Lead on. Don't slow down for me unless I tell you." 25 So she went to Elisha, the man of God, at Mount Carmel. When he saw her coming from far away, he said to his servant Gehazi, "Look, there's the Shunammite woman! 26 Run to meet her and ask, 'Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the boy all right?'" She answered, "Everything is all right." 27 Then she came to Elisha at the hill and grabbed his feet. Gehazi came near to pull her away, but Elisha said to him, "Leave her alone. She's very upset, and the Lord has not told me about it. He has hidden it from me." 28 She said, "Master, did I ask you for a son? Didn't I tell you not to lie to me?" 29 Then Elisha said to Gehazi, "Get ready. Take my walking stick in your hand and go quickly. If you meet anyone, don't say hello. If anyone greets you, don't respond. Lay my walking stick on the boy's face." 30 The boy's mother said, "As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I won't leave you!" So Elisha got up and followed her. 31 Gehazi went on ahead and laid the walking stick on the boy's face, but the boy did not talk or move. Then Gehazi went back to meet Elisha. "The boy has not awakened," he said. 32 When Elisha came into the house, the boy was lying dead on his bed. 33 Elisha entered the room and shut the door, so only he and the boy were in the room. Then he prayed to the Lord. 34 He went to the bed and lay on the boy, putting his mouth on the boy's mouth, his eyes on the boy's eyes, and his hands on the boy's hands. He stretched himself out on top of the boy. Soon the boy's skin became warm. 35 Elisha turned away and walked around the room. Then he went back and put himself on the boy again. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 36 Elisha called Gehazi and said, "Call the Shunammite!" So he did. When she came, Elisha said, "Pick up your son." 37 She came in and fell at Elisha's feet, bowing facedown to the floor. Then she picked up her son and went out. 38 When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a shortage of food in the land. While the groups of prophets were sitting in front of him, he said to his servant, "Put the large pot on the fire, and boil some stew for these men." 39 One of them went out into the field to gather plants. Finding a wild vine, he picked fruit from the vine and filled his robe with it. Then he came and cut up the fruit into the pot. But they didn't know what kind of fruit it was. 40 They poured out the stew for the others to eat. When they began to eat it, they shouted, "Man of God, there's death in the pot!" And they could not eat it. 41 Elisha told them to bring some flour. He threw it into the pot and said, "Pour it out for the people to eat." Then there was nothing harmful in the pot. 42 A man from Baal Shalishah came to Elisha, bringing him twenty loaves of barley bread from the first harvest. He also brought fresh grain in his sack. Elisha said, "Give it to the people to eat." 43 Elisha's servant asked, "How can I feed a hundred people with so little?" "Give the bread to the people to eat," Elisha said. "This is what the Lord says: 'They will eat and will have food left over.'" 44 After he gave it to them, the people ate and had food left over, as the Lord had said.
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