Good News Translation (GNB)
1

Elijah and King Ahaziah

11After the death of King Ahab of Israel, the country of Moab rebelled against Israel.

2King Ahaziah of Israel fell off the balcony on the roof of his palace in Samaria and was seriously injured. So he sent some messengers to consult Baalzebub, the god of the Philistine city of Ekron, in order to find out whether or not he would recover. 3But an angel of the LORD commanded Elijah, the prophet from Tishbe, to go and meet the messengers of King Ahaziah and ask them, “Why are you going to consult Baalzebub, the god of Ekron? Is it because you think there is no god in Israel? 4Tell the king that the LORD says, ‘You will not recover from your injuries; you will die!’ ”

Elijah did as the LORD commanded, 5and the messengers returned to the king. “Why have you come back?” he asked.

6They answered, “We were met by a man who told us to come back and tell you that the LORD says to you, ‘Why are you sending messengers to consult Baalzebub, the god of Ekron? Is it because you think there is no god in Israel? You will not recover from your injuries; you will die!’ ”

7“What did the man look like?” the king asked.

8

1.8:
Mt 3.4
Mk 1.6
“He was wearing a cloak made of animal skins, tied with1.8 was wearingwith; or was a hairy man and wore. a leather belt,” they answered.

“It's Elijah!” the king exclaimed.

9Then he sent an officer with fifty men to get Elijah. The officer found him sitting on a hill and said to him, “Man of God, the king orders you to come down.”

10

1.10–12:
Lk 9.54
“If I am a man of God,” Elijah answered, “may fire come down from heaven and kill you and your men!” At once fire came down and killed the officer and his men.

11The king sent another officer with fifty men, who went up1.11 One ancient translation went up; Hebrew answered. and said to Elijah, “Man of God, the king orders you to come down at once!”

12“If I am a man of God,” Elijah answered, “may fire come down from heaven and kill you and your men!” At once the fire of God came down and killed the officer and his men.

13Once more the king sent an officer with fifty men. He went up the hill, fell on his knees in front of Elijah, and pleaded, “Man of God, be merciful to me and my men. Spare our lives! 14The two other officers and their men were killed by fire from heaven; but please be merciful to me!”

15The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him, and don't be afraid.” So Elijah went with the officer to the king 16and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because you sent messengers to consult Baalzebub, the god of Ekron — as if there were no god in Israel to consult — you will not get well; you will die!’ ”

17Ahaziah died, as the LORD had said through Elijah. Ahaziah had no sons, so his brother1.17 Some ancient translations his brother; Hebrew does not have these words. Joram succeeded him as king in the second year of the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.

18Everything else that King Ahaziah did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel.

2

Elijah is Taken Up to Heaven

21The time came for the LORD to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal, 2and on the way Elijah said to Elisha, “Now stay here; the LORD has ordered me to go to Bethel.”

But Elisha answered, “I swear by my loyalty to the living LORD and to you that I will not leave you.” So they went on to Bethel.

3A group of prophets who lived there went to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha answered. “But let's not talk about it.”

4Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Now stay here; the LORD has ordered me to go to Jericho.”

But Elisha answered, “I swear by my loyalty to the living LORD and to you that I will not leave you.” So they went on to Jericho.

5A group of prophets who lived there went to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha answered. “But let's not talk about it.”

6Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Now stay here; the LORD has ordered me to go to the River Jordan.”

But Elisha answered, “I swear by my loyalty to the living LORD and to you that I will not leave you.” So they went on, 7and fifty of the prophets followed them to the Jordan. Elijah and Elisha stopped by the river, and the fifty prophets stood a short distance away. 8Then Elijah took off his cloak, rolled it up, and struck the water with it; the water divided, and he and Elisha crossed to the other side on dry ground. 9

2.9:
Deut 21.17
There, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what you want me to do for you before I am taken away.”

“Let me receive the share of your power that will make me your successor,”2.9 the sharesuccessor: Elisha asked for the share that the firstborn son inherited by law from his father (see Deut 21.17). Elisha answered.

10“That is a difficult request to grant,” Elijah replied. “But you will receive it if you see me as I am being taken away from you; if you don't see me, you won't receive it.”

11They kept talking as they walked on; then suddenly a chariot of fire pulled by horses of fire came between them, and Elijah was taken up to heaven by a whirlwind. 12

2.12:
2 Kgs 13.14
Elisha saw it and cried out to Elijah, “My father, my father! Mighty defender of Israel! You are gone!” And he never saw Elijah again.

In grief, Elisha tore his cloak in two. 13Then he picked up Elijah's cloak that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He struck the water with Elijah's cloak, and said, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” Then he struck the water again, and it divided, and he walked over to the other side. 15The fifty prophets from Jericho saw him and said, “The power of Elijah is on Elisha!” They went to meet him, bowed down before him, 16and said, “There are fifty of us here, all strong men. Let us go and look for your master. Maybe the Spirit of the LORD has carried him away and left him on some mountain or in some valley.”

“No, you must not go,” Elisha answered.

17But they insisted until he gave in and let them go. The fifty of them went and looked high and low for Elijah for three days, but didn't find him. 18Then they returned to Elisha, who had waited at Jericho, and he said to them, “Didn't I tell you not to go?”

Miracles of Elisha

19Some men from Jericho went to Elisha and said, “As you know, sir, this is a fine city, but the water is bad and causes miscarriages.”

20“Put some salt in a new bowl, and bring it to me,” he ordered. They brought it to him, 21and he went to the spring, threw the salt in the water, and said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I make this water pure, and it will not cause any more deaths or miscarriages.’ ” 22And that water has been pure ever since, just as Elisha said it would be.

23Elisha left Jericho to go to Bethel, and on the way some boys came out of a town and made fun of him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they shouted.

24Elisha turned round, glared at them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore 42 of the boys to pieces.

25Elisha went on to Mount Carmel, and later returned to Samaria.

3

War between Israel and Moab

31In the eighteenth year of the reign of King Jehoshaphat of Judah, Joram son of Ahab became king of Israel, and he ruled in Samaria for twelve years. 2He sinned against the LORD, but he was not as bad as his father or his mother Jezebel; he pulled down the image his father had made for the worship of Baal. 3Yet, like King Jeroboam son of Nebat before him, he led Israel into sin, and would not stop.

4King Mesha of Moab bred sheep, and every year he gave as tribute to the king of Israel 100,000 lambs, and the wool from 100,000 sheep. 5But when King Ahab of Israel died, Mesha rebelled against Israel. 6At once King Joram left Samaria and gathered all his troops. 7He sent word to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me; will you join me in war against him?”

“I will,” King Jehoshaphat replied. “I am at your disposal, and so are my men and my horses. 8What route shall we take for the attack?”

“We will go the long way, through the wilderness of Edom,” Joram answered.

9So King Joram and the kings of Judah and Edom set out. After marching for seven days, they ran out of water, and there was none left for the men or the pack animals. 10“We're done for!” King Joram exclaimed. “The LORD has put the three of us at the mercy of the king of Moab!”

11King Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there a prophet here through whom we can consult the LORD?”

An officer of King Joram's forces answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He was Elijah's assistant.”

12“He is a true prophet,” King Jehoshaphat said. So the three kings went to Elisha.

13“Why should I help you?” Elisha said to the king of Israel. “Go and consult those prophets that your father and mother consulted.”

“No!” Joram replied. “It is the LORD who has put us three kings at the mercy of the king of Moab.”

14Elisha answered, “By the living LORD, whom I serve, I swear that I would have nothing to do with you if I didn't respect your ally King Jehoshaphat of Judah. 15Now get me a musician.”

As the musician played his harp, the power of the LORD came on Elisha, 16and he said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Dig ditches all over this dry stream bed. 17Even though you will not see any rain or wind, this stream bed will be filled with water, and you, your livestock, and your pack animals will have plenty to drink.’ ” 18And Elisha continued, “But this is an easy thing for the LORD to do; he will also give you victory over the Moabites. 19You will conquer all their beautiful fortified cities; you will cut down all their fruit trees, stop all their springs, and ruin all their fertile fields by covering them with stones.”

20The next morning, at the time of the regular morning sacrifice, water came flowing from the direction of Edom, and covered the ground.

21When the Moabites heard that the three kings had come to attack them, all the men who could bear arms, from the oldest to the youngest, were called out and stationed at the border. 22When they got up the following morning, the sun was shining on the water, making it look as red as blood. 23“It's blood!” they exclaimed. “The three enemy armies must have fought and killed each other! Let's go and loot their camp!”

24But when they reached the camp, the Israelites attacked them and drove them back. The Israelites kept up the pursuit,3.24 One ancient translation kept up the pursuit; Hebrew unclear. slaughtering the Moabites 25and destroying their cities. As they passed a fertile field, every Israelite would throw a stone on it until finally all the fields were covered; they also stopped up the springs and cut down the fruit trees. At last only the capital city of Kir Heres3.25 Probable text only the capital city of Kir Heres; Hebrew unclear. was left, and the slingers surrounded it and attacked it.

26When the king of Moab realized that he was losing the battle, he took 700 swordsmen with him and tried to force his way through the enemy lines and escape to the king of Syria, 3.26 One ancient translation Syria; Hebrew Edom.but he failed. 27So he took his eldest son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him on the city wall as a sacrifice to the god of Moab. The Israelites were terrified3.27 terrified: either because of what Chemosh, the god of the Moabites, might do, or because of what the LORD, the God of the Israelites, might do. and so they drew back from the city and returned to their own country.