The Second Book of The Kings

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The Second Book of The Kings

  • Author: Jeremiah
  • Place Written: Jerusalem and Judah
  • When Written: c. 560 B.C.E.

Elijah Foretells Ahaziah’s Death

Now Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.

Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub,[1] the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness.” But the angel of Jehovah said to Elijah[2] 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 Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Now therefore thus says Jehovah, ‘You shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” Then Elijah departed.

And the messengers returned to him, and he said unto them, “Why is it that you have returned?” And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, Go, return again to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says Jehovah, Is it because there is no God in Israel, that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore, you shall not come down from the bed where you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” He said to them, “What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these words?” They answered him, “He was a hairy man with a leather belt around his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”

Then the king sent 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 But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

11 And again he again sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he said to him,[3] “O man of God, thus says the king, ‘Come down quickly.’” 12 But Elijah answered and said to them,[4] “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 again 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 soul and the souls of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your eyes. 14 Look, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my soul be precious in your eyes.” 15 Then the angel of Jehovah 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 he said to him, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-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 where you have gone up but shall surely die.’ ”

17 So he died according to the word of Jehovah which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram[5] began to reign in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah,[6] because he had no son. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Israel?

Elijah Taken Up In a Windstorm

And it came about when Jehovah was about to take up Elijah by a whirlwind to heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha[7] from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here please, for Jehovah has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As Jehovah lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today Jehovah will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; be silent.”

Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for Jehovah has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As Jehovah lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today Jehovah will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; be silent.”

Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for Jehovah has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As Jehovah lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at a distance while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Elijah took his garment and folded it together and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” 

11 And as they still went on and talked, look, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into the heavens.[8] 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own garments and tore them in two pieces. 13 He also took up the garment of Elijah that fell from him and returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the garment of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the waters, and said, “Where is Jehovah, the God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the waters, they were divided to the left and to the right; and Elisha crossed over.

Elisha Succeeds Elijah

15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 16 And they said to him, “Look now, there are with your servants fifty strong men. Please let them go and seek your master. It may be that the Spirit of Jehovah has caught him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” And he said, “You shall not send.” 17 But when they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, “Send.” They sent therefore fifty men; and they searched three days but did not find him. 18 When they returned to him while he was staying in Jericho; and he said to them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not go’?”

Elisha Heals Jericho’s Water

19 Now the men of the city said to Elisha, “Look, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad, and the land causes miscarriages.”[9] 20 And he said, “Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, “Thus says Jehovah, I have healed this water. No more will death or miscarriages result from it.” 22 So the waters have been healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.

23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 24 And he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of Jehovah. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys. 25 And he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

Jehoram, King of Israel

Now Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel at Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah and reigned twelve years. He did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah, though not like his father and mother, for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless, he clung to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin; he did not depart from them.

Moab Rebels Against Israel

Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder and used to pay the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs and the wool of one hundred thousand rams. But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So King Joram marched out from Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. And he went and sent word to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?” And he said, “I will go up; I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” Then he said, “Which way shall we go up?” And he answered, “The way of the wilderness of Edom.”

So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom; and they made a circuit of seven days’ journey, and there was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. 10 Then the king of Israel said, “Alas! Jehovah has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.” 11 But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not a prophet of Jehovah here, that we may inquire of Jehovah by him?” And one of the servants of the king of Israel answered and said, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.” 12 And Jehoshaphat said, “The word of Jehovah is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

13 And Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother.” And the king of Israel said to him, “No; it is Jehovah who has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.” 14 And Elisha said, “As Jehovah of armies before whom I stand lives, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you. 15 But now bring me a musician.” And it came about, when the musician played, that the hand of Jehovah came upon him. 16 And he said, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Make this valley full of trenches.’ 17 For thus says Jehovah, ‘You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your livestock, and your animals.’ 18 And this is a light thing in the sight of Jehovah. He will also give the Moabites into your hand. 19 And you shall strike every fortified city and every choice city and fell every good tree and stop all springs of water and mar every good piece of land with stones.” 20 And it happened in the morning about the time of offering the sacrifice, that look, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.

21 Now all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, so they called together all who were able to put on armor, and they stationed themselves at the border. 22 And when they rose early in the morning and the sun shone on the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood. 23 And they said, “This is blood; the kings have been put to the sword, and they have struck down their fellow man. So, Moab, to the spoil!” 24 But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites arose and struck the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they went forward into the land, striking the Moabites down.[10] 25 Thus they destroyed the cities; and each one threw a stone on every piece of good land and filled it. So they stopped all the springs of water and felled all the good trees, until in Kir-hareseth only they left its stones; however, the slingers went about it and struck it down. 26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took with him seven hundred men who drew swords, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not. 27 So he took his firstborn son who was going to reign in his place and offered him up as a burnt offering on the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.

Elisha and the Widow’s Oil

Now a woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared Jehovah; and the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.” And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go outside, borrow containers from all your neighbors, empty containers and not too few. And you shall go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour out into all these containers, and you shall set aside what is full.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they brought the containers to her, and she kept pouring. When the containers were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.” But he said to her, “There are no more containers.” At that the oil stopped. So she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

Elisha Receives the Shunammite Woman’s Hospitality

One day Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman, and she urged him to eat food. And so it was, as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat food. And she said to her husband, “Look now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God passing by us continually. 10 Please, let us make a small room on the roof and let us set a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; and it shall be, when he comes to us, that he can stay there.”

11 One day he came there, and he went to the room on the roof to lie down. 12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.” And when he had called her, she stood before him. 13 And he said to him, “Say now to her, ‘Look, you have been careful about us with all this care; what can I do for you? Would you be spoken for to the king or to the commander of the army?’” And she answered, “I live among my own people.” 14 And he said, “What then is to be done for her?” Gehazi answered, “Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.” 15 And he said, “Call her.” And when he had called her, she stood in the doorway. 16 And he said, “At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord, O man of God; do not lie to your servant.” 17 And the woman conceived and bore a son at that season the next year, as Elisha had said to her.

Elisha Raises the Shunammite’s Son

18 When the child was grown, the day came that he went out to his father to the reapers. 19 And he said to his father, “My head, my head!” Then his father said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 And when he had lifted him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her lap till noon, and then he died. 21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God and shut the door behind him and went out. 22 Then she called to her husband and said, “Send me, please, one of the servants and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back again.” 23 But he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is not a new moon nor a Sabbath.” However, she said, “It is all right.” 24 Then she saddled the donkey and said to her  servant, “Go quickly. Do not slow down for me unless I tell you to.” 

25 So she went and came to the man of God to Mount Carmel. When the man of God saw her from afar, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, over there is the Shunammite. 26 Run, please, now to meet her, and say to her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’” And she answered, “It is well.” 27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught hold of his feet. And Gehazi came near to push her away; but the man of God said, “Let her alone, for her soul is troubled within her; and Jehovah has hidden it from me and has not told me.” 28 Then she said, “Did I ask for a son from my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me?’” 29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Gird up your loins and take my staff in your hand, and go your way; if you meet any man, do not salute him, and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; and lay my staff on the face of the boy.” 30 And the mother of the boy said, “As Jehovah lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” And he arose and followed her. 31 And Gehazi passed along before them and laid the staff on the face of the boy; but there was no voice, or attentiveness. Therefore, he returned to meet him and told him, saying, “The boy has not awakened.”

32 And when Elisha came into the house, look, the boy was dead, lying upon his bed. 33 Then he went in and closed the door behind them both and began to pray to Jehovah. 34 And he went up and lay on the boy and put his mouth on his mouth and his eyes on his eyes and his hands on his hands, and he stretched himself on him; and the flesh of the child became warm. 35 Then he returned and walked in the house once back and forth and went up and stretched himself on him; and the boy sneezed seven times and the boy opened his eyes. 36 Then he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Take up your son.” 37 Then she went in and fell at his feet and bowed herself to the ground, and she took up her son and went out.

Elisha Makes the Stew Suitable For Eating

38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land. And as the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Set on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” 39 One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, for they did not know what they were. 40 So they poured it out for the men to eat. And as they were eating of the stew, they cried out and said, “O man of God, there is death in the pot.” And they could not eat it. 41 But he said, “Then bring flour.” And he threw it into the pot and said, “Pour it out for the men, that they may eat.” And there was no harm in the pot.

Elisha Multiplies Bread

42 Now a man came from Baal-shalishah and brought the man of God bread of the first fruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat.” 43 But his servant said, “What, will I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat, for thus says Jehovah, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” 44 So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of Jehovah.

Naaman Healed of Leprosy by Elisha

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor,[11] because by him Jehovah had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was struck with a skin disease.[12] Now the Syrians had gone out in bands and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”[13] And he went in, and told his lord, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is of the land of Israel.” 

And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of garments. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, “And now as this letter comes to you, look, I have sent Naaman my servant to you, so that you may cure him of his leprosy.” And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his garments and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider and see how he is seeking a quarrel against me.”

But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments, that he sent word to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your garments? Now let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman was angry and went away and said, “Look, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of Jehovah his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.’ 12 Are not Abanah[14] and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 Then his servants came near and spoke to him and said, “My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

Gehazi’s Greed and Punishment of Leprosy

15 When he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came and stood before him. And he said, “Look, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.” 16 But he said, “As Jehovah lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused. 17 Then Naaman said, “If not, please let your servant be given two mules’ load of earth; for your servant will no longer offer a burnt offering nor a sacrifice to other gods, but to Jehovah. 18 In this matter may Jehovah pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, Jehovah pardon your servant in this matter.” 19 He said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a little distance. 20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, “Look, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, by not receiving from his hands what he brought. As Jehovah lives, I will run after him and take something from him.” 21 So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is all well?” 22 And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me to say, ‘Behold, just now there have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.’” 23 Naaman said, “Be pleased to take two talents.” And he urged him and bound two talents of silver in two bags with two changes of garments and gave them to two of his servants; and they carried them before him. 

24 And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and put them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed. 25 But he went in and stood before his master. And Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant did not go anywhere.” 26 Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you,[15] when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to receive money and to receive garments and olive groves and vineyards and sheep and oxen and male and female servants? 27 Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

Elisha Makes the Axe Head Float

Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look now, the place before you where we are living is too small for us. Let us go, please, to the Jordan and take from there each one a log and make us a place there, where we may dwell.” So he said, “Go.” And one said, “Please, come with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. But as one was felling a log, the axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, my master! For it was borrowed.” Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And when he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

Elisha Set Against the Syrians

Now the king of Syria was warring against Israel; and he counseled with his servants saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there.” 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God had told him; and he warned him, so that he saved himself there, not once or twice.

11 And the heart of the king of Syria was enraged because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” 13 And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and take him.” It was told him, “Look, he is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent horses and war chariots there, and a large army, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

15 Now when the servant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, look, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 And he said, “Fear not; for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Jehovah, please open his eyes that he may see.” So Jehovah opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and look, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to Jehovah and said, “Please strike this nation[16] with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. 19 Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city; follow me and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he brought them to Samaria.

20 When they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, “O Jehovah, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So Jehovah opened their eyes and they saw; and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 And the king of Israel said to Elisha, when he saw them, “My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?” 22 And he answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the marauding bands of the Syrians did not come again into the land of Israel.

Famine in Ben-hadad’s Siege of Samaria

24 Now it came about after this, that Ben-hadad king of Syria gathered all his army and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab[17] of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver. 26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!” 27 And he said, “If Jehovah does not help you, where shall I help you? From of the threshing floor, or from of the winepress?” 28 And the king said to her, “What is the matter with you?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29 So we boiled my son and ate him; and I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.” 30 When the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes. Now he was passing by on the wall, and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth beneath on his body. 31 Then he said, “May God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him this day.”

32 Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man from his presence; but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold the door shut against him. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 While he was still talking with them, look, the messenger came down to him and he said, “Look, this evil is from Jehovah; why should I wait for Jehovah any longer?”

Elisha Foretells Food

Then Elisha said, “Listen to the word of Jehovah; thus says Jehovah, Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.” Then the officer on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, “If Jehovah himself should make windows in heaven, could this thing be?” But he said, “You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”

Food Discovered at Deserted Syrian Camp

Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why do we sit here until we die? If we say, ‘We will enter the city,’ then the famine is in the city and we will die there; and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore come and let us go over to the camp of the Syrians. If they spare us, we will live; and if they kill us, we will but die.” So they rose up in the twilight[18] to enter the camp of the Syrians; and when they came to the outskirts of the camp of the Syrians, look, there was no man there. 

For Jehovah[19] had caused the army of the Syrians to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.” So they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their souls. 

And when these lepers came to the outskirts of the camp, they entered one tent and ate and drank, and carried from there silver and gold and garments, and went and hid them; and they returned and entered another tent and carried from there also and went and hid them.

Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, but if we are hesitating and wait until dawn, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” 10 So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and they told them, saying, “We came to the camp of the Syrians, and look, there was no one there, nor the voice of man, only the horses tied and the donkeys tied, and the tents just as they were.” 11 Then the gatekeepers called out, and it was reported inside the king’s household. 

12 And the king rose in the night and said to his servants, “I will tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry. Therefore, they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive and get into the city.’” 13 And one of his servants responded and said, “Please, have some men take five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city. Look, they will be in any case like all the multitude of Israel who are left in it; look, they will be like all the multitude of Israel who have already perished, so let us send them and see.” 14 They took therefore two chariots with horses, and the king sent after the army of the Syrians, saying, “Go and see.” 15 They went after them to the Jordan, and look, all the way was full of garments and equipment which the Syrians had thrown away in their haste. Then the messengers returned and told the king.

16 Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of Jehovah. 17 Now the king appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate. And the people trampled him in the gate, so that he died, as the man of God had said when the king came down to him. 18 And it came about just as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two measures of barley for a shekel and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, will be sold tomorrow about this time at the gate of Samaria.” 19 Then the officer answered the man of God and said, “Now look, if Jehovah should make windows in the heavens, could such a thing be?” And he said, “Look, you will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat of it.” 20 And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate and he died.

The Shunammite’s Land Restored

Now Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Rise up and go, you with your household, and sojourn wherever you can sojourn; for Jehovah has called for a famine, and it will come on the land for seven years.” So the woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God, and she went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. And it came about at the end of the seven years, when the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, she went to appeal to the king for her house and her land. Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” And it came about while he[20] was telling the king how he[21] had restored the dead one to life, look, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” And when the king asked the woman, she told everything to him. So the king appointed a court official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers and all the produce of the field from the day that she left the land even until now.”

Elisha, Ben-hadad, and Hazael

Now Elisha came to Damascus when Ben-hadad king of Syria was sick, and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.” The king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of Jehovah through him, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this sickness?’” So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, every sort of good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ loads. When he came and stood before him, he said, “Your son Ben-hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this sickness?’” 10 And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall[22] certainly recover,’ but Jehovah has shown me that he shall certainly die.” 11 And he kept staring at him until he was embarrassed. Then the man of God wept. 12 And Hazael said, “Why does my lord weep?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the sons of Israel. You will set on fire their fortified places, and you will kill their young men with the sword and dash in pieces their little ones and their pregnant women you will rip open.” 13 And Hazael said, “What is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?” Elisha answered, “Jehovah has shown me that you are to be king over Syria.” 14 Then he departed from Elisha and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me that you would certainly recover.” 15 But the next day he took the bed cloth[j] and dipped it in water and spread it over his face, till he died. And Hazael became king in his place.

Jehoram Reigns in Judah

16 And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah,[23] Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife; and he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah. 19 Yet Jehovah was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David his servant, since he promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons[24] always.[25]

20 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah and made a king over themselves. 21 Then Joram crossed over to Zair, and all his chariots with him. And he arose up by night and struck the Edomites who had surrounded him and the commanders of the chariots; but his army fled to their tents. 22 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. 23 Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Judah? 24 So Joram slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.

Ahaziah Reigns in Judah

25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. 27 And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was son-in-law to the house of Ahab.

28 And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to make war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead, and the Syrians wounded Joram. 29 And King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

Jehu Anointed King of Israel

Now Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, “Tie up your garments, and take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. And when you arrive, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi.[26] And go in and have him rise from among his fellows and lead him to an inner chamber. Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, ‘Thus says Jehovah, I have anointed you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and flee and do not delay.”

So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. And when he came, look, the commanders of the army were sitting. And he said, “I have a word for you, O commander.” And Jehu said, “To which of us all?” And he said, “To you, O commander.” So he arose and went into the house, and he poured the oil on his head and said to him, “Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, I have anointed you king over the people of Jehovah, even over Israel. And you shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Jehovah, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish, and I will cut off from Ahab anyone urinating against a wall,[27] bond or free, in Israel. And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.

11 When Jehu came out to the servants of his master, they said to him, “Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?” And he said to them, “You know the man and his sort of talk.” 12 And they said, “That is false; tell us now.” And he said, “Thus and so he spoke to me, saying, ‘Thus says Jehovah, I anoint you king over Israel.’” 13 Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the horn and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”

Jehu Assassinates Joram and Ahaziah

14 Thus Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi[28] conspired against Joram. Now Joram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against Hazael king of Syria, 15 but King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria. So Jehu said, “If this is your desire,[29] then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” 16 Then Jehu rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram lay there. Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram.

17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and he saw the company of Jehu as he came and said, “I see a company.” And Joram said, “Take a horseman and send to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’” 18 So a man on horseback went to meet him and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’ ” And Jehu said, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” And the watchman reported, saying, “The messenger reached them, but he has not returned.” 19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’ ” And Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” 20 And the watchman reported, “He reached them, but he is not coming back. And the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi,[30] for he drives furiously.”

21 Joram said, “Make ready.” And they made ready his chariot. Then Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and went to meet Jehu, and found him on the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 And when Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” And he answered, “What peace, so long as the prostitutes of your mother Jezebel and her sorceries are so many?” 23 So Joram turned back and fled, and he said to Ahaziah, “There is treachery, Ahaziah!” 24 And Jehu drew his bow with his full strength and shot Joram between his arms; and the arrow went through his heart, and he sank in his chariot. 25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his officer, “Take him up and cast him on the property of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for I remember when you and I rode together after Ahab his father, that Jehovah made this pronouncement against him: 26 ‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,’ says Jehovah, ‘and I will repay you in this property,’ says Jehovah. Now then, take and cast him into the property, according to the word of Jehovah.”

27 When Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu pursued him and said, “Shoot him also, in the chariot.” So, they shot him[31] at the ascent of Gur, which is at Ibleam. But he fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his grave with his fathers in the city of David.

29 In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab, Ahaziah began to reign over Judah.

Jehu Executes Jezebel – Dogs Eat Her Flesh

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window. 31 And as Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, you Zimri, murderer of your master?” 32 And he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three court officials looked down at him. 33 He said, “Throw her down.” So, they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot. 34 When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” 35 But when they went to bury her, they did not find anything but her skull and her feet and the palms of her hands. 36 When they returned and told him. And he said, “This is the word of Jehovah, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the plot of land of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel, 37 and the dead body of Jezebel shall be as dung on the face of the field in the plot of land of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.’”

Jehu Slaughters the House of Ahab

10 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and to the guardians of the sons of Ahab,[32] saying, “Now then, as soon as this letter comes to you, seeing your master’s sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and weapons, select the best and fittest of your master’s sons, and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.” But they were exceedingly afraid and said, “Behold, the two kings could not stand before him. How then can we stand?” And the one who was over the household, and he who was over the city, the elders, and the guardians of the children, sent word to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants, all that you say to us we will do, we will not make any man king; do what is good in your eyes.” Then he wrote a letter to them a second time saying, “If you are on my side, and you will listen to my voice, take the heads of the men, your master’s sons, and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow at this time.” Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were bringing them up. And it came about when the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him at Jezreel. When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning.” It came about in the morning he went out and stood and said to all the people, “You are innocent; look, I conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these? 10 Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of Jehovah, which Jehovah spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for Jehovah has done what he said by his servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu struck down all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his great men and his close friends and his priests, until he left him none remaining.

12 Then he arose and departed and went to Samaria. On the way, when he was at Beth-eked[33] of the Shepherds, 13 Jehu met the kinsmen of Ahaziah king of Judah and said, “Who are you?” And they answered, “We are the relatives of Ahaziah; and we have come down to greet the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.” 14 He said, “Take them alive.” And they took them alive and slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two men, and he left none of them.

15 And when he had departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart?” And Jehonadab answered, “It is.” Jehu said, “If it is, give me your hand.”[34] And he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot. 16 And he said, “Come with me, and see my zeal for Jehovah.” So, he had him[35] ride in his chariot. 17 And when he came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had wiped them out, according to the word of Jehovah that he spoke to Elijah.

The Baal Worshippers Struck Down by Jehu

18 Then Jehu gathered all the people and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much. 19 Now therefore call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests. Let none be missing, for I have a great sacrifice to offer to Baal. Whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu did it with cunning in order to destroy the worshipers of Baal. 20 And Jehu said, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal.” And they proclaimed it. 21 And Jehu sent throughout all Israel, and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And they came into the house of Baal, and the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other. 22 And he said to the one who was in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out garments for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out the garments for them. 23 Then Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab; and he said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and see that there is here with you none of the servants of Jehovah, but only the worshipers of Baal.” 24 Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty[36] men outside and said, “If any of the men whom I bring into your hands escape, he that lets him go, his soul shall be for the soul of him.”

25 Then it came about, as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the officers, “Go in and strike them down; let none come out.” And they struck them down with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the officers cast them out and went to the inner room of the house of Baal. 26 Then they brought out the sacred pillars of the house[37] of Baal and burned each one. 27 And they broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal and made it a latrine to this day.

Jehu Reigns in Israel

28 Thus Jehu annihilated Baal out of Israel. 29 However, as for the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin, from these Jehu did not depart, even the golden calves that were in Bethel and that were in Dan. 30 And Jehovah said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” 31 But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of Jehovah, the God of Israel, with all his heart; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, which he caused Israel to sin.

32 In those days Jehovah began to cut off Israel piece by piece; and Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel: 33 from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the Valley of the Arnon, that is, Gilead and Bashan. 34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the Kings of Israel? 35 And Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place. 36 And the days that Jehu had reigned over Israel were twenty-eight years in Samaria

Athaliah Takes the Throne in Judah

11 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the offspring of the kingdom.[38] But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So, they hid him[39] from Athaliah, and he was not put to death. And he remained with her for six years, hidden at the house of Jehovah, while Athaliah was ruling over the land.

Joash Secretly Anointed King in Judah

Now in the seventh year Jehoiada sent and brought the captains of hundreds of the Carites and of the guard and brought them to him in the house of Jehovah. Then he made a covenant with them and put them under oath in the house of Jehovah and showed them the king’s son. And he commanded them, saying, “This is the thing that you shall do: a third of you, who come in on the Sabbath and keep watch over the king’s house. And a third also shall be at the gate Sur, and a third at the gate behind the guards, so shall take turns keeping watch over the house. And the two divisions of you, which are meant to be off duty on the Sabbath shall also keep watch over the house of Jehovah for the king. And you shall surround the king all about, each with his weapons in his hand. And whoever approaches the ranks is to be put to death. Be with the king when he goes out and when he comes in.”

So the captains of hundreds did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. And each one of them took his men who were to come in on the Sabbath, with those who were to go out on the Sabbath and came to Jehoiada the priest. 10 And the priest gave to the commanders the spears and shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of Jehovah. 11 And the guards stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house, all around the king. 12 Then he brought the king’s son out and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony; and they made him king[40] and anointed[41] him, and they clapped their hands and said, “Long live the king!”

Athaliah Killed

13 When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people in the house of Jehovah. 14 An she looked and behold, the king was standing by the pillar, according to the custom, with the commanders and the trumpeters beside the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced and blew trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and cried, “Treason! Treason!” 15 And Jehoiada the priest commanded the commanders of hundreds who were set over the army and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks, and anyone follows her, put him to death with the sword.” For the priest said, “Let her not be put to death in the house of Jehovah.” 16 So they laid hands on her; and she went through the horses’ entrance to the king’s house, and there she was put to death.

The Reforms of Jehoiada

17 And Jehoiada made a covenant between Jehovah and the king and people, that they should be Jehovah’s people, and also between the king and the people. 18 All the people of the land went to the house of Baal and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces thoroughly and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of Jehovah. 19 And he took the commanders of hundreds and the Carites, and the guards and all the people of the land; and they brought the king down from the house of Jehovah and came by way of the gate of the guards to the king’s house. And he sat on the throne of the kings. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. For they had put Athaliah to death with the sword at the king’s house.

Jehoash Reigns in Judah

21 Jehoash[42] was seven years old when he began to reign.

12 In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. And Jehoash did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah all his days, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him. Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and made sacrificial smoke on the high places.

Jehoash Repairs the Temple

Then Jehoash said to the priests, “All the money of the sacred things which is brought into the house of Jehovah, in current money, the money as an assessment for each soul, and all the money which any man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house of Jehovah, let the priests take it to them, each man from his acquaintance; and they shall repair the damages of the house, wherever any damage may be found.” But it came about that in the twenty-third year of King Jehoash the priests had not repaired the damages of the house. Then King Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and for the other priests and said to them, “Why are you not repairing the damage to the house? Now therefore take no more money from your acquaintances but pay it for the damages of the house.” So the priests agreed that they should take no more money from the people, nor repair the damages of the house.

Then Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in the lid of it and set it beside the altar on the right side as one comes into the house of Jehovah. And the priests who guarded the threshold put in it all the money that was brought into the house of Jehovah. 10 When they saw that there was much money in the chest, the king’s scribe and the high priest would come up and bind it and count the money which was found in the house of Jehovah. 11 They gave the money that was weighed out into the hands of those who did the work, who had the oversight of the house of Jehovah; and they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on the house of Jehovah, 12 and to the masons and the stonecutters, and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the damages to the house of Jehovah, and for all that was laid out for the house to repair it. 13 But there were not made for the house of Jehovah silver cups, snuffers, bowls, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver from the money that was brought into the house of Jehovah, 14 for they gave that to those who did the work, and with it they repaired the house of Jehovah. 15 And they would not ask for an accounting from the men to whom they delivered the money to give to the workers, for they dealt faithfully. 16 The money from the guilt offerings and the money from the sin offerings was not brought into the house of Jehovah; it was for the priests.

Syrian Invasion

17 Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it; and Hazael set his face to go up to Jerusalem. 18 Jehoash king of Judah took all the sacred offerings that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred offerings and all the gold that was found among the treasuries of the house of Jehovah and of the king’s house, and sent them to Hazael king of Syria. Then he went away from Jerusalem.

The Death of Joash

19 Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? 20 And his servants arose and made a conspiracy and struck down Joash in the house of Millo, on the way that goes down to Silla. 21 For Jozacar[43] the son of Shimeath and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, struck him  down and he died; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Amaziah his son reigned in his place.

Jehoahaz Reigns in Israel

13 In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years. He did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from them. And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Syria and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael. Then Jehoahaz softened the face of Jehovah, so that Jehovah listened to him, for he saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Syria oppressed them. Therefore, Jehovah gave Israel a savior, so that they came out from under the hand of Syria, and the sons of Israel dwelt in their tents as formerly. Nevertheless, they did not depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, which he caused Israel to sin, but walked in them; and the Asherah also remained in Samaria. For there was not left to Jehoahaz an army of more than fifty horsemen and ten chariots and ten thousand footmen, for the king of Syria had destroyed them and made them like the dust at threshing. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz and all that he did, and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Israel? And Jehoahaz slept with his forefathers, and they buried him in Samaria, and Joash his son reigned in his place.

Jehoash Reigns in Israel

10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned sixteen years. 11 He also did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin, but he walked in them. 12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did, and the might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Israel? 13 So Joash slept with his forefathers, and Jeroboam sat on his throne. And Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

The Death of Elisha

14 Now when Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” 15 And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he took a bow and arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” And he put his hand on it, then Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. 17 And he said, “Open the window eastward,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot,” and he shot. And he said, “Jehovah’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria! For you shall strike down the Syrians in Aphek until you have made an end of them.” 18 And he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike on the ground.” So he struck three times and stopped. 19 Then the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times![44] Then you would have struck down Syria until you finished it off, but now you will strike down Syria only three times.”

20 Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land in the spring of the year. 21 And it came about as they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet.

22 Now Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. 23 But Jehovah was gracious to them and had compassion on them, and he turned toward them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, or cast them away from his presence until now.

24 When Hazael king of Syria died, Ben-hadad his son became king in his place. 25 Then Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken in war from the hand of Jehoahaz his father. Three times Joash struck him down and recovered the cities of Israel.

Amaziah Reigns in Judah

14 In the second year of Joash the son of Joahaz, king of Israel, Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah, yet not like David his forefather. He did according to all that Joash his father had done. Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and made sacrificial smoke on the high places. Now it came about, as soon as the kingdom was firmly in his hand, that he struck down his servants who had slain the king his father. But the sons of the murderers he did not put to death, according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, as Jehovah commanded, saying, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the sons, nor the sons be put to death for the fathers; but each one shall die for his own sin.”

War with Edom and with Israel

He struck down ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt and took Sela by war and called its name Joktheel down to this day.

Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us look one another in the face.” And Jehoash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, “The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ But there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon and trampled the thistle. 10 You have indeed struck down Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Enjoy your glory, and stay at home, for why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?”

11 But Amaziah would not listen. So Jehoash king of Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth-shemesh, which belongs to Judah. 12 And Judah was defeated by Israel, and every man fled to his tent. 13 And Jehoash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh, and came to Jerusalem and tore down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate, four hundred cubits. 14 And he took all the gold and silver and all the articles which were found in the house of Jehovah, and in the treasuries of the king’s house, the hostages as well, and returned to Samaria.

Death of Jehoash of Israel

15 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash that he did, and his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Israel? 16 And Jehoash slept with his forefathers and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel, and Jeroboam his son reigned in his place.

Death of Amaziah

17 Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? 19 And they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish and put him to death there. 20 And they brought him on horses; and he was buried in Jerusalem with his forefathers in the city of David. 21 And all the people of Judah took Azariah,[45] who was sixteen years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 22 He built Elath and restored it to Judah, after the king slept with his forefathers.

Jeroboam II Reigns in Israel

23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, began to reign in Samaria, and he reigned forty-one years. 24 And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin. 25 He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of Jehovah, the God of Israel, which He spoke through His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher. 26 For Jehovah saw the affliction of Israel, which was very bitter; for there was none left, bond nor free, nor was there any helper for Israel. 27 But Jehovah had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.

28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam and all that he did and his might, how he fought and how he recovered for Israel, Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Israel? 29 And Jeroboam slept with his forefathers, the kings of Israel, and Zechariah his son reigned in his place.

Azariah Reigns in Judah

15 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam[46] king of Israel, Azariah[47] the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, began to reign. He was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jecoliah[48] of Jerusalem. He did right in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and made sacrificial smoke on the high places. Jehovah afflicted the king, and he remained a leper until the day of his death; and he stayed in a separate house, while the king’s son Jotham was in charge of the house, judging the people of the land. Now the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? And Azariah slept with his forefathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David, and Jotham his son reigned in his place.

Zechariah Reigns in Israel

In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria six months. And he did evil in the eyes of Jehovah, as his forefathers had done. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin. 10 Then Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him and struck him down at Ibleam[49] and killed him and reigned in his place. 11 Now the rest of the acts of Zechariah, behold they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Israel. 12 This is the word of Jehovah which He spoke to Jehu, saying, “Your sons to the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” And so it came to pass.

Shallum Reigns in Israel

13 Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah[50] king of Judah, and he reigned one month in Samaria. 14 Then Menahem son of Gadi went up from Tirzah and came to Samaria and struck down Shallum son of Jabesh in Samaria and put him to death and reigned in his place. 15 Now the rest of the acts of Shallum and his conspiracy which he made; look they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Israel. 16 At that time Menahem came from Tirzah and struck down Tiphsah and all who were in it and its territory from Tirzah on, because they did not open it to him.[51] Therefore, he struck it down and ripped open all the pregnant women.

Menahem Reigns in Israel

17 In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem the son of Gadi began to reign over Israel, and he reigned ten years in Samaria. 18 And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah. He did not depart all his days from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin. 19 Pul, the king of Assyria, came against the land, and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver so that his hand might be with him to strengthen the kingdom under his rule. 20 Then Menahem exacted the money from Israel, even from all the mighty men of wealth, from each man fifty shekels of silver to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back and did not stay there in the land. 21 Now the rest of the acts of Menahem and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Israel? 22 And Menahem slept with his forefathers, and Pekahiah his son reigned in his place.

Pekahiah Reigns in Israel

23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned two years. 24 And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin. 25 Then Pekah son of Remaliah, his officer, conspired against him and struck him down in Samaria, in the castle of the king’s house with Argob and Arieh; and with him were fifty men of the Gileadites, and he put him to death and reigned in his place. 26 Now the rest of the acts of Pekahiah and all that he did, behold they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Israel.

Pekah Reigns in Israel

27 In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and he reigned twenty years. 28 And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah. He did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin.

29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon and Abel-beth-maacah and Janoah and Kedesh and Hazor and Gilead and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria. 30 And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah and struck him down and put him to death and reigned in his place, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah. 31 Now the rest of the acts of Pekah and all that he did, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Israel.

Jotham Reigns in Judah

32 In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel, Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah became king. 33 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. 34 And he did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that his father Uzziah had done. 35 Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and made sacrificial smoke on the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of Jehovah. 36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? 37 In those days Jehovah began to send Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah. 38 Jotham slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father, and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.

Ahaz Reigns in Judah

16 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of Jehovah his God, as his forefather David had done. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and even made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom Jehovah drove out from before the sons of Israel. And he sacrificed and made sacrificial smoke on the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.

Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to wage war; and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him. At that time Rezin the king of Syria recovered Elath for Syria and drove the men of Judah from Elath, and the Edomites came to Elath, and have dwelled there until this day. So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son; come up and save me from the hand of the king of Syria, and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are rising up against me.” And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of Jehovah and in the treasures of the king’s house and sent a present to the king of Assyria. And the king of Assyria listened to him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and put Rezin to death.

Ahaz Copies Pagan Altar

10 Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria and saw the altar which was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the pattern of the altar and its model, according to all its workmanship. 11 And Urijah the priest built an altar; according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, thus Urijah the priest made it, before the coming of King Ahaz from Damascus. 12 And when the king came from Damascus, the king saw the altar; then the king drew near to the altar and went up on it. 13 And he burned his burnt offering and his meal offering and poured his drink offering and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings on the altar. 14 And the copper altar, which was before Jehovah, he brought from the front of the house, from between his altar and the house of Jehovah, and he put it on the north side of his altar. 15 And King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, “Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering and the evening meal offering and the king’s burnt offering and his meal offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land and their meal offering and their drink offerings; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice. But the copper altar shall be for me to inquire by.” 16 So Urijah the priest did according to all that King Ahaz commanded.

17 And King Ahaz cut off the frames of the stands and removed the basin from them, and he took down the sea from off the copper oxen that were under it and put it on a stone pavement. 18 And the covered way for the Sabbath which they had built in the house, and the outer entry of the king, he removed from the house of Jehovah because of the king of Assyria. 19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? 20 And Ahaz slept with his forefathers and was buried with his forefathers in the city of David, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

Hoshea Reigns in Israel

17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years. And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him. Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria. And Hoshea became his servant[52] and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore, the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison. Then the king of Assyria came up against all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it for three years.

The Fall of Israel

In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

Israel Exiled Because of Apostasy

Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against Jehovah their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods and walked in the statutes of the nations whom Jehovah had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the statutes of the kings of Israel which they had made. The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against Jehovah their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim[53] on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which Jehovah had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking Jehovah. 12 They served idols which Jehovah had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.” 13 Jehovah warned Israel and Judah by the hand of his every prophet, with every seer saying, “Turn from all of your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, which I sent to you by the hand of my servants the prophets.”

14 But they did not listen, and hardened their necks, like the necks of their fathers who did not believe in Jehovah their God. 15 They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became vain, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom Jehovah had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of Jehovah their God, and made for themselves molten images, even two calves; and they made an Asherah[54] and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. 17 Then they made their sons, and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and looked for omens, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of Jehovah, provoking him. 18 So Jehovah was very angry with Israel and removed them from before his face;[55] none was left except the tribe of Judah.

19 Also Judah did not keep the commandments of Jehovah their God but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. 20 And Jehovah rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

21 When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following Jehovah and made them commit a great sin. 22 The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them, 23 until Jehovah removed Israel out of his sight, as he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. So, Israel was taken into exile from its land to Assyria until this day.

Assyria Resettles Samaria

24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon[56] and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel. So, they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 And at the beginning of their dwelling there, they did not fear Jehovah. Therefore, Jehovah sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have carried away into exile in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so he has sent lions among them, and look, they are killing them because they do not know the law of the god of the land.” 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying “Have one of the priests whom you took into exile from there return to dwell there and teach them the law of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelled in Bethel and taught them how they should fear Jehovah.

29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities in which they dwelled. 30 The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their sons in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 They also feared Jehovah and appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who acted for them in the houses of the high places. 33 So they feared Jehovah, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.

34 To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear Jehovah, and they do not follow the statutes or the regulations or the law or the commandment that Jehovah commanded the sons of Jacob, whom he named Israel. 35 Jehovah made a covenant and commanded them, saying, “You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down yourselves to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them. 36 But Jehovah, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, you shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. 37 And the statutes and the regulations and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods. 38 The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. 39 But Jehovah your God you shall fear; and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” 40 However, they did not listen, but they did according to their former manner.

41 So while these nations feared Jehovah, they also served their idols; their sons and their grandsons, as their forefathers did, so they do to this day.

Hezekiah Reigns in Judah

18 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that David his father had done. He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel had made sacrificial smoke to it (it was called Nehushtan).[57] He trusted in Jehovah, the God of Israel, so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to Jehovah. He did not depart from following him but kept the commandments that Jehovah commanded Moses. And Jehovah was with him; wherever he went, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. He struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.

Review of Israel’s Fall

In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years he took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 The king of Assyria carried Israel away to Assyria and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not listen the voice of Jehovah their God but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of Jehovah commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed.

Sennacherib Attacks Judah

13 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear.” And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of Jehovah and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of Jehovah, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rab-saris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. So, they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they went up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller’s field. 18 And when they called for the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

The Rabshakeh Taunts Jehovah

19 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, “What is this confidence in which you have trusted? 20 You have said but it is the word of lips, ‘There are counsel and strength for the war.’ Now in whom have you put your trust, that you have rebelled against me? 21 Now look, you rely on the staff of this crushed reed, even on Egypt, which, if a man should lean, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 But if you say to me, “We trust in Jehovah our God,” is it not he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem”? 23 So now make this wager, please, with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 24 How, then, could you turn back the face of one official of the least of my master’s servants, and rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Have I now come up without Jehovah’s approval against this place to destroy it? Jehovah said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”

26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah and Joah, said to Rabshakeh, “Speak now to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in the language of the Jews in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 27 But Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words? Has he not also sent me to the men who sit on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”

28 Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the language of the Jews, saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29 Thus says the king, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in Jehovah, saying, Jehovah will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria, ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me, and eat each of his vine and each of his fig tree and drink each of the waters of his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live and not die.” But do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying, “Jehovah will deliver us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that Jehovah should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”

36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

Isaiah Reassures Hezekiah

19 And it came about when King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of Jehovah. And he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the secretary and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; sons have come to the opening of the womb,[58] and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that Jehovah your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to taunt the living God, and will rebuke the words that Jehovah your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.” So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, and Isaiah said to them, “Thus shall you say to your master, ‘Thus says Jehovah: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Look, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’”

Sennacherib Defies Jehovah

When Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he heard that the king had left Lachish. Now the king heard it said about King Tirhakah of Ethiopia,[59] “Look, he has come out to fight against you.” So, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, ‘Let not your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by utterly destroying them, and shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my forefathers have destroyed, Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the sons of Eden that were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, and of Hena and Ivvah?’”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of Jehovah and spread it before Jehovah. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before Jehovah, and said, “O Jehovah, the God of Israel, sitting enthroned above the cherubs, you alone are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth; you made the heavens and the earth. 16 Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear; open your eyes, O Jehovah, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to taunt the living God. 17 Truly, O Jehovah, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood, and stone. Therefore, they have destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O Jehovah our God, save us, please, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you Jehovah are God alone.”

Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. 21 This is the word that Jehovah has spoken concerning him:

“the virgin daughter of Zion
    she despises you, she scorns you;
the daughter of Jerusalem
    shakes her head at you.

22 “Whom have you taunted and blasphemed?
    Against whom have you raised your voice
and do you lift your eyes on high?
    Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have taunted Jehovah,
    and you have said, ‘With my many[60] chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
    to the remotest parts of Lebanon;
I felled its tallest cedars,
    its choicest cypresses;
I entered its farthest lodging place,
    its most fruitful forest.
24 I dug wells
    and drank foreign waters,
and I dried up with the soles of my feet
    all the streams of Egypt.’

25 “Have you not heard
    from long ago it was determined?
From days of old I planned
    what now I bring to pass,
that you should turn fortified cities
    into desolate piles of ruins,
26 while their inhabitants, short of hand,
    are dismayed and confounded,
and have become like plants of the field
    and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
    scorched by the east wind.

27 “But I know your sitting down
    and you are going out and coming in,
    and you are enraged against me.
28 Because you have raged against me
    and your arrogance has come into my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
    and my bit in your lips,
and I will turn you back on the way
    by which you came.

29 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same. Then in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For a remnant will go out of Jerusalem and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of Jehovah of armies[61] will do this.

32 “Therefore thus says Jehovah concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares Jehovah. 34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

35 And that night the angel of Jehovah went out and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; and when they arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and dwelled in Nineveh. 37 And as he was bowing down at the house of his god Nisroch, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons,[62] struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat.[63] And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery

20 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says Jehovah, ‘Give instructions to your household, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’” Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto Jehovah, saying, “Remember now, O Jehovah, I implore you, how I have walked before you in truthfulness and with a complete heart, and have done that which is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept with a great weeping. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle courtyard,[64] the word of Jehovah came to him, saying: “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says Jehovah, the God of David your forefather: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of Jehovah, and I will add fifteen years to your days. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.” Then Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs.” And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.”

And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What shall be the sign that Jehovah will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of Jehovah on the third day?” And Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from Jehovah, that Jehovah will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps or go back ten steps?” 10 And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to decline  ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps.” 11 And Isaiah the prophet cried to Jehovah, and he brought the shadow on the steps back ten steps, by which it had gone down on the steps of Ahaz.

Hezekiah and the Babylonian Envoys

12 At that time Merodach-baladan[65] the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah listened to them,[66] and showed them all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and the house of his armor and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?” And Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, from Babylon.” 15 He said, “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of Jehovah: 17 Look, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says Jehovah. 18 And some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of Jehovah that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “It is good if there will be peace and security in my days?”

20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? 21 And Hezekiah slept with his forefathers, and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

Manasseh Reigns in Judah – His Bloodshed

21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah, according to the detestable practices of the nations whom Jehovah drove out before the sons of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and he bowed down to all the army of the heavens and served them. And he built altars in the house of Jehovah, of which Jehovah had said, “In Jerusalem will I put my name.” And he built altars to all the army of the heavens in two courtyards of the house of Jehovah. And made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft, and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of Jehovah provoking Him to anger. And the carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which Jehovah said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever. And I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander anymore out of the land that I gave to their fathers, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the Law that my servant Moses commanded them.” But they did not listen, and Manasseh seduced them to do evil more than the nations whom Jehovah destroyed before the sons of Israel.

Manasseh’s Idolatry Denounced

10 And Jehovah said by his servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, having done wickedly more than all the Amorites did who were before him, and has made Judah also sin with his idols, 12 therefore thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, ‘Look, I am bringing such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13 And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 And I will forsake the remnant of my heritage and give them into the hand of their enemies, and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, 15 because they have done what is evil in my eyes and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.”

16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he made Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah.

17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did, and the sin that he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? 18 And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son reigned in his place.

Amon Reigns in Judah

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 And he did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah, as Manasseh his father had done. 21 He walked in all the way in which his father walked and served the idols that his father served and bowed down to them. 22 So he forsook Jehovah, the God of his forefathers, and did not walk in the way of Jehovah. 23 And the servants of Amon conspired against him and put the king to death in his house. 24 But the people of the land struck down all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place. 25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? 26 So they[67] buried him in his grave in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son reigned in his place.

Josiah Reigns in Judah

22 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. And he did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah and walked in all the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.

Josiah Repairs the Temple

In the eighteenth year of King Josiah, the king sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah the son of Meshullam the scribe, to the house of Jehovah saying, “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may count the money that has been brought into the house of Jehovah, which the keepers of the threshold have gathered from the people. And let them deliver it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of Jehovah and let them give it to the workmen who are in the house of Jehovah to repair the damage of the house, to the carpenters and the builders and the masons and for buying timber and hewn stone to repair the house. Only no accounting shall be made with them for the money delivered into their hands, for they are trustworthy.”

Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law

And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the scroll of the law in the house of Jehovah.” And Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it. And Shaphan the scribe came to the king and returned the king a word, and he said, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of Jehovah.” 10 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” And Shaphan read it before the king.

11 And it came about when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of Jehovah for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of Jehovah that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.”

Huldah’s Prophecy of Calamity

14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe now she was dwelling in the Second Quarter of Jerusalem, and they spoke to her. 15 And she said to them, “Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 Thus says Jehovah, Look, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the words of the book that the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken me and have made sacrificial smoke to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath will be kindled against this place, and it will not be quenched. 18 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Jehovah, thus shall you say to him, Thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, 19 because your heart was responsive,[68] and you humbled yourself before Jehovah, when you heard how I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares Jehovah. 20 Therefore, look, I will gather you to your forefathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the calamity that I will bring upon this place.’” And they brought back word to the king.

Josiah’s Reforms

23 Then the king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. And the king went up to the house of Jehovah and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of Jehovah. And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before Jehovah, to walk after Jehovah and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant.

And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second order and the keepers of the threshold to bring out of the temple of Jehovah all the vessels made for Baal, for Asherah, and for all the armies of the heavens. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel. And he deposed the priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to make sacrificial smoke in the high places at the cities of Judah and around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and the moon and the constellations and all the army of the heavens. And he brought out the Asherah from the house of Jehovah, outside Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron and beat it to dust and cast the dust of it upon the graves of the common people. And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes who were in the house of Jehovah, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah and defiled the high places where the priests had made offerings, from Geba to Beersheba. And he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one’s left at the gate of the city. Nevertheless, the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of Jehovah in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom,[69] that no one might burn his son or his daughter as an offering to Molech.[70] 11 And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of Jehovah, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the chamberlain, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12 And the altars on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of Jehovah, he pulled down and broke in pieces and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. 13 And the king defiled the high places that were east of Jerusalem, to the south[71] of the Mount of Destruction,[72] which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom[73] the abomination of the Ammonites. 14 And he broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and filled their places with the bones of men.

15 Moreover, the altar at Bethel, the high place erected by Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin, that altar with the high place he pulled down and burned, reducing it to dust. He also burned the Asherah. 16 And as Josiah turned, he saw the graves there on the mount. And he sent and took the bones out of the graves and burned them on the altar and defiled it, according to the word of Jehovah that the man of God proclaimed, who had foretold these things. 17 Then he said, “What is that gravestone that I see?” And the men of the city told him, “It is the grave of the man of God who came from Judah and foretold these things that you have done against the altar at Bethel.” 18 And he said, “Let him be; let no man move his bones.” So, they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria. 19 And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, to provoke Jehovah[74] to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel. 20 And he sacrificed on the altars all the priests of the high places who were there and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

Josiah Restores the Passover

21 And the king commanded all the people, “Keep the Passover to Jehovah your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.” 22 Surely such a Passover had not been kept from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and of the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah this Passover was kept to Jehovah in Jerusalem.

24 Moreover, Josiah removed the mediums and the spiritists and the teraphim[75] and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Jehovah. 25 There was no king like him before him, who turned to Jehovah with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him.

26 Still Jehovah did not turn away from his burning anger that blazed against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. 27 And Jehovah said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.”

Josiah’s Death in Battle

28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? 29 In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. King Josiah went to meet him, and Pharaoh Neco killed him at Megiddo as soon as he saw him. 30 And his servants carried him dead in a chariot from Megiddo and brought him to Jerusalem and buried him in his own grave. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s place.

Jehoahaz’s Reign and Captivity

31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that his forefathers had done. 33 And Pharaoh Neco put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign[76] in Jerusalem, and put on the land a tribute of a hundred talents of silver and a talent[77] of gold. 34 And Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the place of Josiah his father and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz away, and he came to Egypt and died there. 35 And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh, but he taxed the land to give the money according to the command of Pharaoh. He exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, from everyone according to his assessment, to give it to Pharaoh Neco.

Jehoiakim Reigns in Judah

36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that his forefathers had done.

Jehoiakim’s Rebellion and Death

24 In his days, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. And Jehovah sent against him bands of the Chaldeans and bands of the Syrians and bands of the Moabites and bands of the Ammonites, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of Jehovah that he spoke by his servants the prophets. Surely it was by the command of Jehovah that this happened to Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also for the innocent blood that he had shed. For he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and Jehovah would not pardon. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah? So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers, and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. And the king of Egypt did not come again out of his land, for the king of Babylon had taken all that happened to belong to the king of Egypt from the Brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates.

Jehoiachin Reigns in Judah

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that his father had done.

First Deportation to Babylon

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon went up to Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it, 12 Jehoiachin king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his court officials. The king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. 13 He carried out from there all the treasures of the house of Jehovah, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of Jehovah, just as Jehovah had said. 14 Then he led away into exile all Jerusalem and all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land. 15 So he led Jehoiachin away into exile to Babylon; also, the king’s mother and the king’s wives and his officials and the leading men of the land, he led away into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 All the valiant men, seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths, one thousand, all the mighty men fit for war, and these the king of Babylon brought into exile to Babylon. 17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

Zedekiah Reigns in Judah

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 And he did what was evil in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For because of the anger of Jehovah that these things took place in Jerusalem and in Judah that he cast them out from his presence.

And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

Fall and Captivity of Judah

25 And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and camped against it and built a siege wall all around it So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month[78] the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled[79] by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king’s garden, and the Chaldeans were surrounding the city; and the king[80] went by the way of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon.

Now on the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. And he burned the house of Jehovah and the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned with fire. 10 And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 And the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile. 12 But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.

13 And the pillars of copper that were in the house of Jehovah, and the stands and the copper sea that were in the house of Jehovah, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried the copper to Babylon. 14 And they took away the pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the spoons and all the vessels of copper used in the temple service. 15 The captain of the guard also took away the firepans and the basins, what was gold and what was silver. 16 The two pillars, the one sea, and the stands which Solomon had made for the house of Jehovah, the copper of all these vessels was beyond weight. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and a copper capital was on it; the height of the capital was three cubits,[81] with a network and pomegranates on the capital all around, all of copper. And the second pillar was like these with network.

18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest[82] and Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold; 19 and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and five men from those seeing the king’s face who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the city. 20 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So, Judah was taken into exile out of its land.

Gedaliah Made Governor of Judah

22 And over the people who were left in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, he appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, governor. 23 Now when all the captains of the forces, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. 24 And Gedaliah swore to them and their men and said to them, “Do not be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans; live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will be well with you.” 25 But it came about in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal family, came with ten men and struck Gedaliah down so that he died along with the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces arose and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.

Jehoiachin Released from Prison

27 Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison; 28 and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So he[83] changed the clothes of his imprisonment, and he ate bread continually in his presence all the days of his life, 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life.

[1] Beelzebub: (בַּעַל זְבוּב Baal Zebub; Βεελζεβούλ Beelzeboul) In the OT BaalZebub meaning “Owner of the Flies,” was local pagan god worshiped by the Philistines at Ekron. (2 Ki 1:2, 3, 6, 16) In the NT, also a designation applied to Satan the Devil, the prince, the ruler of the demons. (Matt. 10:25; 12:24, 27; Mark 3:22; Lu 11:15, 18, and 19) The Jewish religious leaders blasphemously said that Jesus casts out demons only by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.

[2] Meaning My God Is Jehovah

[3] LXX “He went up and said to him” instead of “And he said to him.”

[4] LXX SYR few Heb. MSS “to him” instead of “to them”

[5] LXXGS SYR VG “Jehoram his brother”

[6] LXX does not have “in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah”

[7] Meaning God Is Salvation

[8] The Hebrew (שָׁמַיִם shamayim) rendered “the heavens” can refer to the realm where God and the angels abide. However, it does often refer to earth’s atmosphere where we find dew and frost (Gen. 27:28; Job 38:29), the birds flying (Deut. 4:17; Prov. 30:19; Matt. 6:26), the winds blow (Ps 78:26), lightning flashes (Lu 17:24), and the clouds float and drop their rain, snow, or hailstones (Josh. 10:11; 1Ki 18:45; Isa 55:10; Ac 14:17). The stars, skies, air, as an area above the earth, which would involve the horizon as well. (1Ki 18:45; Matt. 16:1-3; Acts 1:10-11). The physical “heavens” goes beyond the earth’s atmosphere and even beyond the immediate outer space of our solar system, “the army of the heavens,” that is, the sun, moon, stars, and planets. (Deut. 4:19; Isa 13:10; 1 Cor. 15:40, 41; Heb 11:12) The same original-language words do also apply to the spiritual heavens, where God resides. But that is not the case here with Elijah. Christ Jesus was the first person to receive a resurrection and then an ascension to heaven, “the firstborn of the dead.”​ (Rev. 1:5) Jesus said: “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” (John 3:13) You will note that the account at 2 Kings 2:3-11 nor anywhere else in the Bible says that Elijah died on that occasion. Actually, Elijah was still alive five years later serving as a prophet, seemingly over in the Judah territory. Second Chronicles tells us: “And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet [to Jehoram, king of Judah]” This letter prophesied the sickness and eventual death of Jehoram because of the wrong he had committed, his idolatrous course. (2 Chron. 21:12-15) A piece of further evidence that Elijah did not die in the account at 2 Kings 2:3-11, where he was taken into the “heavens” is that his Elisha, Elijah’s servant, and successor did not hold the common period of mourning at that time for his master. – 2 Samuel 19:1; 1 Chronicles 7:22; 2 Chronicles 35:24.

[9] That is, is unfruitful

[10] LXX SYR “as they went” at the end of the verse.

[11] Lit lifted up of face

[12] The Biblical term for leprosy (צָרַע tsara) covers what is medically known as Hansen’s disease today.

[13] Leprosy: (צָרַעַת tsaraath; λεπρός lepros) is a disease mainly affecting the skin and nerves that can cause tissue change and, in severe cases, loss of sensation and disfigurement. In Bible times, it could affect homes and clothing as well as humans. It is transmitted following close personal contact and has an incubation period of 1-30 years. – Lev. 13:1-46; Deut. 24:8; 2 Ki 5:3, 6, 7, 27; 2 Ch. 26:19; Matt. 8:2; 10:8; 11:5; 26:6; Mark 1:40; 14:3; Lu 4:27; 7:22; 17:12.

[14] MT LXX VG “Abanah” MTmargin AT SYR “Amanah”

[15] MT “did not my heart go” LXX “did not my heart go with you”

[16] Or people

[17] A cab equaled 1.22 L (1.11 dry qt).

[18] That is, evening darkness, the time between daylight and darkness.

[19] This is one of the 134 scribal changes from יהוה [JHVH] to אדני [Adonai]. The earliest MSS have the Tetragrammaton.

[20] That is, Gehazi was telling the king

[21] That is, Elisha had restored the dead one to life

[22] MTmargin LXX SYR VG and 18 Heb. MSS “Go, say to him, ‘You shall’” MT “say, ‘You shall not.’”

The words of Elisha to Hazael have been the matter of several theories. The correct reading is that we find Hazael being told to tell Ben-hadad “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover.’” Thus, Elisha’s answer to Ben-hadad’s question may at first glance cause a bit of a puzzle. But what was meant was that Ben-hadad’s sickness was not going to kill him but that he was going to die by the hand of Hazael, who sought to reign in Ben-hadad’s place. So, we have Hazael verbally telling Ben-hadad the initial part of Elisha’s answer, “you would certainly recover,” while it would be Hazael who would violently fulfill the second part of Elisha’s answer, “he [Ben-hadad] shall certainly die.”

[23] LXX SYR lack “Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah.”

[24] AT LXX VG c. 60 Heb. MSS “give him a lamp and to his sons” See 2Ch 21:7.

[25] Lit all the days

[26] Nimshi is the grandfather of Jehu (2 Kings 9:2, 14), but he is also called his father (9:20; 2 Ch 22:7).

[27] This is a Heb. idiom for males

[28] Nimshi is the grandfather of Jehu (2 Kings 9:2, 14), but he is also called his father (9:20; 2 Ch 22:7).

[29] Lit if this is your soul (נֶפֶשׁ nephesh)

[30] Nimshi is the grandfather of Jehu (2 Kings 9:2, 14), but he is also called his father (9:20; 2 Ch 22:7).

[31] SYR VGc “they shot him” MT lacks.

[32] MT “the guardians of Ahab” LXX “the guardians of the sons of Ahab”

[33] The 1901 ASV has “the shearing-house.” It was an area where sheep were bound to be sheared.

[34] LXX “Jehonadab answered, “It is.” Jehu said, “If it is, give me your hand’” MT “Then Johnadab answered, ‘Yes, it is. Give your hand!’”

[35] MT “they had him” LXX SYR AT, “he had him”

[36] MT LXX VG “Eighty” SYR “three hundred and eighty” LXXL ITLegionensis(margin) “three thousand”

[37] LXX SYR VG “pillar” MT “pillars of the house” Some LXX MSS “garment”

[38] Lit all seed of the kingdom. That is,  all the royal heirs or all the royal family

[39]  LXX SYR VG “she hid him” (See 2 Ch 22:11)

[40] MT SYR VG “and so they made” LXX “and he made”

[41] MT SYR VG “and anointed” LXX “and he anointed”

[42] Jehoash  was the son of Ahaziah (See verse 2) is another spelling of Joash in Heb, which means Jehovah has given

[43] LXX SYR some Heb. MSS “Jozacar” B 19A, “Jozabad” 2Ch 24:26 “Zabad”

[44] LXX “if you had struck five or six times” VG “If you had struck five or six or seven times”

[45] A personal name meaning “Jehovah has helped.” He is called Uzziah at 2Ki 15:13; 2Ch 26:1-23; Isa 6:1; and Zec 14:5.

[46] That is, Jeroboam II

[47] In 2 Ki 15:13; 2 Ch. 26:1-23; Isa. 6:1; and Zech. 14:5, he is called Uzziah.

[48] In 2 Ch. 26:3, she is called Jechiliah.

[49] LXXGS “at Ibleam” MT “before the people” VG “publicly”

[50] “Uzziah” is a personal name meaning “Jehovah is my strength.” Uzziah is another name for Azariah (vs 1), See vs 6 fn.

[51] LXX SYR VG “because they did not open up (the gate) to him”

[52] Hoshea and Israel became a subordinate position to another Shalmaneser king of Assyria, making a payment periodically as a sign of dependence.

[53] Sacred Pole: (אֲשֵׁרָה Asherah) The Hebrew word (ʼasherah) refers to (1) a sacred wooden pole used in the worship of Asherah, a Canaanite goddess of fertility, or (2) an image of the same goddess Asherah herself. – Deut. 16:21; Judges 6:26; 1 Ki 15:13.

[54] Sacred Pole: (אֲשֵׁרָה Asherah) The Hebrew word (ʼasherah) refers to (1) a sacred wooden pole used in the worship of Asherah, a Canaanite goddess of fertility, or (2) an image of the same goddess Asherah herself. – Deut. 16:21; Judges 6:26; 1 Ki 15:13.

[55] Or from his sight

[56] LXX VG “from Babylon” MT “from Babel”

[57] That is, the bronze serpent-idol

[58] That is, sons have come to the point of birth

[59] LXX VG “Ethiopia” MT “Cush”

[60] MTmargin LXX SYR VG Isa 37:24 “With the multitude”

[61] MTmargin LXX SYR VG many Heb. MSS and Isa 37:32 “Jehovah of armies”

[62] MTmargin LXX SYR VG many Heb. MSS and Isa 37:38 “his sons” 

[63] MT LXX SYR “Ararat” VG “the Armenians”

[64] MTmargin LXX SYR VG “court” MT “city”

[65] MT LXX SYR AT some VG MSS some Heb. MSS Isa 39:1; other Heb. MSS read “Berodach-baladan”

[66] MT “listen to them” LXX SYR VG and Isa 39:2 “rejoice over them”

[67] ATLagardian LXX SYR VG “they” MT “he”

[68] Lit soft

[69] MT “the Valley of the Sons of Hinnom” MTmargin LXX  SYR VG many Heb. MSS “the Valley of the Son of Hinnom”

[70] See 23:13 fn.

[71] Lit right

[72] That is the Mount of Olives, specifically the southern part also known as the Mount of Offense.

[73] Malcam (מַלְכָּם) means their king. He is the chief idol god of the Ammonites. (2 Sam. 12:30; 1Ch 20:1, 2; Jer. 49:1, 3) Likely the same as Milcom (מִלְכֹּם Milkom), Molech (מֹלֶךְ Molek), and Moloch (Μολόχ Moloch). (1Ki 11:5, 7; Ac 7:43) The name Malcam is different than Milcom in the MT, only in the vowel points. (1Ki 11:5) The Jews ignored the counsel at Joshua 23:7 and started making sworn oaths by Malcam (Zep 1:5) It is the context that will help the translator to render מַלְכָּם as the name of the god or as “their king.” – Am 1:15.

[74] MT “to provoke” LXX SYR VG “to provoke Jehovah”

[75] That is, household gods, idols

[76] MTmargin AT LXX VG “that he might not reign” MT SYR “while he was reigning”

[77] A talent equaled 34.2 kg (1,101 oz t).

[78] Jer. 52:6 “fourth month” MT “month”

[79] SYR Jer. 52:7 “fled”  MT lacks

[80] MT “he” VGc “Zed­ekiah” SYR some Heb. MSS Jer. 52:7 “they”

[81] MT “three cubits” ATLagardian Jer. 52:22 “five cubits”

[82] MT SYR “the chief priest” LXX VG “the first priest”

[83] That is, Jehoiachin

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