2 Kings 5; 2 Kings 6; 2 Kings 7; 2 Kings 8

1 Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a very important man in the eyes of his master. And he was highly respected. That's because the LORD had helped him win the battle over Aram's enemies. He was a brave soldier. But he had a skin disease. 2 Companies of soldiers from Aram had marched out. They had captured a young girl from Israel. She became a servant of Naaman's wife. 3 She spoke to the woman she was serving. She said, "I wish my master would go and see the prophet who is in Samaria. He would heal my master of his skin disease." 4 Naaman went to see his own master. He told him what the girl from Israel had said. 5 "I think you should go," the king of Aram replied. "I'll give you a letter to take to the king of Israel." So Naaman left. He took 750 pounds of silver with him. He also took 150 pounds of gold. And he took ten sets of clothes. 6 He carried the letter to the king of Israel. It said, "I'm sending my servant Naaman to you with this letter. I want you to heal him of his skin disease." 7 The king of Israel read the letter. As soon as he did, he tore his royal robes. He said, "Am I God? Can I kill people and bring them back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be healed of his skin disease? He must be trying to pick a fight with me!" 8 Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes. So he sent the king a message. It said, "Why have you torn your robes? Tell the man to come to me. Then he will know there is a prophet in Israel." 9 So Naaman went to see Elisha. He took his horses and chariots with him. He stopped at the door of Elisha's house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger out to him. The messenger said, "Go. Wash yourself in the Jordan River seven times. Then your skin will be healed. You will be pure and clean again." 11 But Naaman went away angry. He said, "I was sure he would come out to me. I thought he would stand there and pray to the LORD his God. I thought he would wave his hand over my skin. Then I would be healed. 12 And what about the Abana and Pharpar rivers of Damascus? Aren't they better than any of the rivers of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be made pure and clean?" So he turned and went away. He was burning with anger. 13 Naaman's servants went over to him. They said, "You are like a father to us. What if the prophet Elisha had told you to do some great thing? Wouldn't you have done it? But he only said, 'Wash yourself. Then you will be pure and clean.' You should be even more willing to do that!" 14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River. He dipped himself in it seven times. He did exactly what the man of God had told him to do. Then his skin was made pure again. It became clean like the skin of a young boy. 15 Naaman and all of his attendants went back to the man of God. Naaman stood in front of Elisha. He said, "Now I know that there is no God anywhere in the whole world except in Israel. Please accept a gift from me." 16 The prophet answered, "I serve the Lord. You can be sure that he lives. And you can be just as sure that I won't accept a gift from you." Even though Naaman begged him to take it, Elisha wouldn't. 17 "I can see that you won't accept a gift from me," said Naaman. "But please let me have some soil from your land. Give me as much as a pair of mules can carry. Here's why I want it. I won't ever bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god again. I'll bring them only to the Lord. I'll worship him on his own soil. 18 "But there is one thing I hope the LORD will forgive me for. From time to time my master will enter the temple to bow down to his god Rimmon. When he does, he'll lean on my arm. Then I'll have to bow down there also. I hope the LORD will forgive me for that." 19 "Go in peace," Elisha said. Naaman started out on his way. 20 Gehazi was the servant of Elisha, the man of God. Gehazi said to himself, "My master was too easy on Naaman from Aram. He should have accepted the gift he brought. I'm going to run after Naaman. I'm going to get something from him. And that's just as sure as the LORD is alive." 21 Gehazi hurried after Naaman. Naaman saw him running toward him. So he got down from the chariot to greet him. "Is everything all right?" he asked. 22 "Everything is all right," Gehazi answered. "My master sent me to say, 'Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me. They've come from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them 75 pounds of silver and two sets of clothes.' " 23 "I wish you would take twice as much silver," said Naaman. He begged Gehazi to accept it. Then Naaman tied up 150 pounds of silver in two bags. He also gave Gehazi two sets of clothes. He gave all of it to two of his own servants. They carried it ahead of Gehazi. 24 Gehazi came to the hill where Elisha lived. Then the servants handed the things over to Gehazi. He put them away in Elisha's house. He sent the men away, and they left. 25 Then he went back inside the house. He stood in front of his master Elisha. "Gehazi, where have you been?" Elisha asked. "I didn't go anywhere," Gehazi answered. 26 But Elisha said to him, "Didn't my spirit go with you? I know that the man got down from his chariot to greet you. Is this the time for you to accept money or clothes? Is it the time to take olive groves, vineyards, flocks or herds? Is it the time to accept male and female servants? 27 You and your children after you will have Naaman's skin disease forever." Then Gehazi left Elisha. And he had Naaman's skin disease. His skin was as white as snow.
1 The company of the prophets spoke to Elisha. They said, "Look. The place where we meet with you is too small for us. 2 We would like to go to the Jordan River. Each of us can get some wood there. We want to build a place there for us to live in." Elisha said, "Go." 3 Then one of them said, "Won't you please come with us?" "I will," Elisha replied. 4 And he went with them. They went to the Jordan. There they began to cut down trees. 5 One of them was cutting a tree down. The iron blade of his ax fell into the water. "Master!" he cried out. "This ax was borrowed!" 6 The man of God asked, "Where did the blade fall?" He showed him the place. Then Elisha cut a stick and threw it there. That made the iron blade float. 7 "Take it out of the water," he said. So the man reached out and took it. 8 The king of Aram was at war with Israel. He talked things over with his officers. Then he said, "I'm going to set up my camp in a certain place." 9 The man of God sent a message to the king of Israel. It said, "Try to stay away from that place. Aram's army is going to be down there." 10 The king of Israel checked on the place the man of God had told him about. Time after time Elisha warned the king. So the king was on guard in those places. 11 All of that made the king of Aram very angry. He sent for his officers. He said to them, "Tell me. Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?" 12 "You are my king and master," said one of his officers. "None of us is on Israel's side. But Elisha is a prophet in Israel. He tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your own bedroom." 13 "Go and find out where he is," the king ordered. "Then I can send my men and capture him." The report came back. It said, "He's in Dothan." 14 Then the king sent horses and chariots and a strong army there. They went at night and surrounded the city. 15 The servant of the man of God got up the next morning. He went out early. He saw that an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "My master!" the servant said. "What can we do?" 16 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17 Elisha prayed, "Lord, open my servant's eyes so he can see." Then the LORD opened his eyes. He looked up and saw the hills. He saw that Elisha was surrounded by horses and chariots. Fire was all around them. 18 Aram's army came down toward Elisha. Then he prayed to the Lord. He said, "Make these soldiers blind." So the LORD made them blind, just as Elisha had prayed. 19 Elisha told them, "This isn't the right road. This isn't the right city. Follow me. I'll lead you to the man you are looking for." He led them to Samaria. 20 They entered the city. Then Elisha said, "Lord, open the eyes of these men. Help them see again." Then the LORD opened their eyes. They looked around. And there they were, inside Samaria! 21 The king of Israel saw them. So he asked Elisha, "Should I kill them? I need your advice. You are like a father to me. Should I kill them?" 22 "Don't kill them," he answered. "Would you kill men you have captured with your own sword or bow? Put some food and water in front of them. Then they can eat and drink. They can go back to their master." 23 So he prepared a big dinner for them. After they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away. They returned to their master. So the companies of soldiers from Aram stopped attacking Israel's territory. 24 Some time later, Ben-Hadad gathered his entire army together. Ben-Hadad was the king of Aram. His army marched up and surrounded Samaria. Then they attacked it. 25 There wasn't enough food anywhere in the city. It was surrounded for so long that people had to weigh out two pounds of silver for a donkey's head. They had to weigh out two ounces of silver for half a pint of seed pods. 26 One day the king of Israel was walking on top of the wall. A woman cried out to him, "You are my king and master. Please help me!" 27 The king replied, "If the LORD doesn't help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor? From the winepress?" 28 He continued, "What's wrong?" She answered, "A woman said to me, 'Give up your son. Then we can eat him today. Tomorrow we'll eat my son.' 29 So we cooked my son. Then we ate him. The next day I said to her, 'Give up your son. Then we can eat him.' But she had hidden him." 30 When the king heard the woman's words, he tore his royal robes. As he walked along the wall, the people looked up at him. They saw that he was wearing black clothes under his robes. 31 He said, "I'll cut the head of Shaphat's son Elisha off his shoulders today. If I don't, may God punish me greatly!" 32 Elisha was sitting in his house. The elders were sitting there with him. The king went to see Elisha. He sent a messenger on ahead of him. Before the messenger arrived, Elisha spoke to the elders. He said, "That murderer is sending someone here to cut my head off. Can't you see that? When the messenger comes, close the door. Hold it shut against him. Can't you hear his master's footsteps right behind him?" 33 Elisha was still talking to the elders when the messenger came down to him. The king also arrived. He said, "The LORD has sent this horrible trouble on us. Why should I wait any longer for him to help us?"
1 Elisha said, "Listen to a message from the Lord. He says, 'About this time tomorrow, you will be able to buy seven quarts of flour for less than half of an ounce of silver. You will also be able to buy 13 quarts of barley for the same price. That's all you will have to pay for those things at the gate of Samaria.' " 2 The king was leaning on an officer's arm. The officer spoke to the man of God. He said, "Suppose the LORD opens the windows of the skies. Suppose he pours food down on us. Even if he does, could what you are saying really happen?" "You will see it with your own eyes," answered Elisha. "But you won't eat any of it!" 3 There were four men who had a skin disease. They were at the entrance of the gate of Samaria. They said to one another, "Why should we stay here until we die? 4 Suppose we say, 'We'll go into the city.' There isn't any food there, and we'll die. But if we stay here, we'll die anyway. So let's go over to Aram's army camp. Let's give ourselves up. If they spare us, we'll live. If they kill us, we'll die." 5 At sunset they got up. They went to Aram's army camp. They arrived at the edge of it. But no one was there. 6 The Lord had caused the soldiers of Aram to hear a noise. It sounded like chariots and horses and a huge army. So the soldiers spoke to one another. They said, "Listen! The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings. He has paid them to attack us!" 7 So they had gotten up and had run away at sunset. They had left their tents and horses and donkeys behind. They had left the camp as it was. And they had run for their lives. 8 The men who had a skin disease arrived at the edge of the camp. They entered one of the tents. They ate and drank. Then they carried away silver, gold and clothes. They went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent. They took some things from it and hid them also. 9 But then they said to one another, "What we're doing isn't right. This is a day of good news. And we're keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until sunrise, we'll be punished. Let's go at once. Let's report this to the royal palace." 10 So they went. They called out to the people who were guarding the city gates. They told them, "We went into Aram's army camp. No one was there. We didn't hear anyone. The horses and donkeys were still tied up. The tents were left just as they were." 11 The people who guarded the gates shouted the news. It was reported inside the palace. 12 The king of Israel got up in the night. He spoke to his officers. He said, "I'll tell you what the men of Aram have done to us. They know we are very hungry. So they have left the camp to hide in the countryside. They are thinking, 'We are sure they'll come out. Then we'll take them alive. And we'll get into the city.' " 13 One of the king's officers spoke up. He said, "A few horses are still left in the city. Have some men get five of them. They won't be any worse off than all of the other Israelites who are left here. In fact, all of us will soon be dead. So let's send the men to find out what happened." 14 The men chose two chariots and their horses. The king sent them out to look for Aram's army. He commanded the drivers, "Go and find out what has happened." 15 They followed the trail of Aram's soldiers all the way to the Jordan River. They found clothes and supplies all along the road. The soldiers had thrown them down when they ran away. So the men returned. They reported to the king what they had seen. 16 Then the people went out of the city. They took everything of value from Aram's army camp. So seven quarts of flour sold for less than half of an ounce of silver. And 13 quarts of barley sold for the same price. That's exactly what the LORD had said would happen. 17 The king had put an officer in charge of the city gate. He was the officer on whose arm the king leaned. On their way out of the city, the people knocked the officer down. In the entrance of the gate they walked all over him. And he died. That's exactly what the man of God had said would happen. He had said it when the king came down to his house. 18 What the man of God had told the king came true. He had said, "About this time tomorrow, you will be able to buy seven quarts of flour for less than half of an ounce of silver. You will also be able to buy 13 quarts of barley for the same price. That's all you will have to pay for those things at the gate of Samaria." 19 The officer had spoken to the man of God. He had said, "Suppose the LORD opens the windows of the skies. Suppose he pours food down on us. Even if he does, could what you are saying really happen?" The man of God had replied, "You will see it with your own eyes. But you won't eat any of it!" 20 And that's exactly what happened to the officer. On their way out of the city, the people knocked him down. In the entrance of the gate they walked all over him. And he died.
1 Elisha had brought a woman's son back to life. He had said to her, "Go away with your family. Stay for a while anywhere you can. The LORD has decided that there won't be enough food in the land. That will be true for seven years." 2 The woman did just as the man of God told her to. She and her family went away. They stayed in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3 The seven years passed. Then she came back from the land of the Philistines. She went to the king of Israel. She wanted to beg him to get her house and land back. 4 The king was talking to Gehazi. Gehazi was the servant of the man of God. The king had said, "Tell me about all of the great things Elisha has done." 5 Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had brought a dead boy back to life. Just then the woman came to beg the king to get her house and land back. She was the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life. Gehazi said, "King Joram, this is the woman I've been telling you about. And this is her son. He's the one Elisha brought back to life." 6 The king asked the woman about her house and land. And she told him. Then he appointed an official to look into her case. The king told him, "Give her back everything that belonged to her. That includes all of the money that was earned from her land. It was earned from the day she left the country until now." 7 Elisha went to Damascus. Ben-Hadad was sick. He was king of Aram. The king was told, "The man of God has come all the way up here." 8 Then the king said to Hazael, "Take a gift with you. Go and see the man of God. Ask him for the LORD's advice. Ask him whether I will get well again." 9 Hazael went to see Elisha. He took 40 camels with him as a gift. The camels were loaded with all of the finest goods of Damascus. Hazael went into Elisha's house and stood in front of him. He said, "Ben-Hadad has sent me. He is the king of Aram. He asks, 'Will I get well again?' " 10 Elisha answered, "Go and speak to him. Tell him, 'Yes. You will get well again.' But the LORD has shown me that he will in fact die." 11 Elisha stared at him without looking away. He did it until Hazael felt ashamed. Then the man of God began to sob. 12 "Why are you sobbing?" asked Hazael. "Because I know how much harm you will do to the people of Israel," he answered. "You will set fire to their cities that have high walls around them. You will kill their young men with your sword. You will smash their little children on the ground. You will rip open their pregnant women." 13 Hazael said, "How could I possibly do a thing like that? I'm nothing but a dog. I don't have that kind of power." "You will become king of Aram," Elisha answered. "That's what the LORD has shown me." 14 Then Hazael left Elisha. He returned to his master. Ben-Hadad asked, "What did Elisha say to you?" Hazael replied, "He told me you would get well again." 15 But the next day Hazael got a thick cloth. He soaked it in water. He spread it over the king's face. He held it there until the king died. Then Hazael became the next king after him. 16 Jehoram began to rule as king over Judah. It was in the fifth year that Joram was king of Israel. Joram was the son of Ahab. Jehoram was the son of Jehoshaphat. 17 Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. 18 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, just as the royal family of Ahab had done. In fact, he got married to a daughter of Ahab. Jehoram did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 19 But the LORD didn't want to destroy Judah. That's because the LORD had made a covenant with his servant David. He had promised to keep the lamp of David's kingdom burning brightly for him and his children after him forever. 20 When Jehoram was king over Judah, Edom refused to remain under Judah's control. They set up their own king. 21 So Jehoram went to Zair. He took all of his chariots with him. The men of Edom surrounded him and his chariot commanders. He got up at night and fought his way out. But his army ran back home. 22 To this very day Edom has refused to remain under Judah's control. At that same time, Libnah also refused to remain under the control of Judah. 23 The other events of Jehoram's rule are written down. Everything he did is written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah. 24 Jehoram joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the family tomb in the City of David. His son Ahaziah became the next king after him. 25 Ahaziah began to rule as king over Judah. It was in the 12th year that Joram was king of Israel. Joram was the son of Ahab. Ahaziah was the son of Jehoram. 26 Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for one year. His mother's name was Athaliah. She was a granddaughter of Omri. Omri had been the king of Israel. 27 Ahaziah followed the ways of the royal family of Ahab. Ahaziah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as the family of Ahab had done. That's because he had married into Ahab's family. 28 Ahaziah joined forces with Joram. They went to war against Hazael at Ramoth Gilead. Joram was the son of Ahab. Hazael was king of Aram. The soldiers of Aram wounded King Joram. 29 So he returned to Jezreel to give his wounds time to heal. The soldiers of Aram had wounded him at Ramoth in his battle against Hazael, the king of Aram. Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, went down to Jezreel. He went there to see Joram. That's because Joram had been wounded. Ahaziah was king of Judah. Joram was the son of Ahab.
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