71Elisha answered, “Listen to what the LORD says! By this time tomorrow you will be able to buy in Samaria three kilogrammes of the best wheat or six kilogrammes of barley for one piece of silver.”
2The personal attendant of the king said to Elisha, “That can't happen — not even if the LORD himself were to send grain7.2 grain; or rain. at once!”
“You will see it happen, but you will never eat any of the food,” Elisha replied.
3Four men who were suffering from a dreaded skin disease were outside the gates of Samaria, and they said to one another, “Why should we wait here until we die? 4It's no use going into the city, because we would starve to death in there; but if we stay here, we'll die also. So let's go to the Syrian camp; the worst they can do is kill us, but maybe they will spare our lives.” 5So, as it began to get dark, they went to the Syrian camp, but when they reached it, no one was there. 6The Lord had made the Syrians hear what sounded like the advance of a large army, with horses and chariots, and the Syrians thought that the king of Israel had hired Hittite and Egyptian kings and their armies to attack them. 7So that evening the Syrians had fled for their lives, abandoning their tents, horses, and donkeys, and leaving the camp just as it was.
8When the four men reached the edge of the camp, they went into a tent, ate and drank what was there, grabbed the silver, gold, and clothing they found, and went off and hid them; then they returned, entered another tent, and did the same thing. 9But then they said to each other, “We shouldn't be doing this! We have good news and we shouldn't keep it to ourselves. If we wait until morning to tell it, we are sure to be punished. Let's go at once and tell the king's officers!” 10So they left the Syrian camp, went back to Samaria and called out to the guards at the gates: “We went to the Syrian camp and didn't see or hear anybody; the horses and donkeys have not been untied, and the tents are just as the Syrians left them.”
11The guards announced the news, and it was reported in the palace. 12It was still night, but the king got out of bed and said to his officials, “I'll tell you what the Syrians are planning! They know about the famine here, so they have left their camp to go and hide in the countryside. They think that we will leave the city to find food, and then they will take us alive and capture the city.”
13One of his officials said, “The people here in the city are doomed anyway, like those that have already died. So let's send some men with five of the horses that are left, so that we can find out what has happened.”7.13 Verse 13 in Hebrew is unclear. 14They chose some men, and the king sent them in two chariots with instructions to go and find out what had happened to the Syrian army. 15The men went as far as the Jordan, and all along the road they saw the clothes and equipment that the Syrians had abandoned as they fled. Then they returned and reported to the king. 16The people of Samaria rushed out and looted the Syrian camp. And, as the LORD had said, three kilogrammes of the best wheat or six kilogrammes of barley were sold for one piece of silver.
17It so happened that the king of Israel had put the city gate under the command of the officer who was his personal attendant. The officer was trampled to death there by the people and died, as Elisha had predicted when the king went to see him. 18Elisha had told the king that by that time the following day three kilogrammes of the best wheat or six kilogrammes of barley would be sold in Samaria for one piece of silver, 19to which the officer had answered, “That can't happen — not even if the LORD himself were to send grain7.19 grain; or rain. at once!” And Elisha had replied, “You will see it happen, but you will never eat any of the food.” 20And that is just what happened to him — he died, trampled to death by the people at the city gate.
Now Elisha had told the woman who lived in Shunem, whose son he had brought back to life, that the LORD was sending a famine on the land, which would last for seven years, and that she should leave with her family and go and live somewhere else. 2She had followed his instructions, and had gone with her family to live in Philistia for the seven years.
3At the end of the seven years, she returned to Israel and went to the king to ask for her house and her land to be restored to her. 4She found the king talking with Gehazi, Elisha's servant; the king wanted to know about Elisha's miracles. 5While Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had brought a dead person back to life, the woman made her appeal to the king. Gehazi said to him, “Your Majesty, here is the woman and here is her son whom Elisha brought back to life!” 6In answer to the king's question, she confirmed Gehazi's story, and so the king called an official and told him to give back to her everything that was hers, including the value of all the crops that her fields had produced during the seven years she had been away.
7Elisha went to Damascus at a time when King Benhadad of Syria was ill. When the king was told that Elisha was there, 8he said to Hazael, one of his officials, “Take a gift to the prophet, and ask him to consult the LORD to find out whether or not I am going to get well.” 9So Hazael loaded forty camels with all kinds of the finest products of Damascus and went to Elisha. When Hazael met him, he said, “Your servant King Benhadad has sent me to ask you whether or not he will recover from his illness.”
10Elisha answered, “The LORD has revealed to me that he will die; but go to him and tell him that he will recover.” 11Then Elisha stared at him with a horrified look on his face until Hazael became ill at ease. Suddenly Elisha burst into tears. 12“Why are you crying, sir?” Hazael asked.
“Because I know the horrible things you will do against the people of Israel,” Elisha answered. “You will set their fortresses on fire, slaughter their finest young men, batter their children to death, and rip open their pregnant women.”
“How could I ever be that powerful?” Hazael asked. “I'm a nobody!”
“The LORD has shown me that you will be king of Syria,” Elisha replied.
14Hazael went back to Benhadad, who asked him, “What did Elisha say?”
“He told me that you would certainly get well,” Hazael answered. 15But on the following day Hazael took a blanket, soaked it in water, and smothered the king.
And Hazael succeeded Benhadad as king of Syria.
16In the fifth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab as king of Israel,8.16 Some ancient translations Israel; Hebrew Israel, Jehoshaphat being king of Judah. Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah 17at the age of 32, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. 18His wife was Ahab's daughter, and like the family of Ahab he followed the evil ways of the kings of Israel. He sinned against the LORD, 19
but the LORD was not willing to destroy Judah, because he had promised his servant David that his descendants would always continue to rule.
During Jehoram's reign Edom revolted against Judah and became an independent kingdom. 21So Jehoram set out with all his chariots for Zair, where the Edomite army surrounded them. During the night he and his chariot commanders managed to break out and escape, and his soldiers scattered to their homes. 22Edom has been independent of8.22 independent of; or in revolt against. Judah ever since. During this same period the city of Libnah also revolted.
23Everything else that Jehoram did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 24Jehoram died and was buried in the royal tombs in David's City, and his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.
25In the twelfth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab as king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah 26at the age of 22, and he ruled in Jerusalem for one year. His mother was Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab and granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27Since Ahaziah was related to King Ahab by marriage, he sinned against the LORD, just as Ahab's family did.
28King Ahaziah joined King Joram of Israel in a war against King Hazael of Syria. The armies clashed at Ramoth in Gilead, and Joram was wounded in battle. 29He returned to the city of Jezreel to recover from his wounds, and Ahaziah went there to visit him.
91Meanwhile the prophet Elisha called one of the young prophets and said to him, “Get ready and go to Ramoth in Gilead. Take this jar of olive oil with you, 2and when you get there look for Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat and grandson of Nimshi. Take him to a private room away from his companions, 3pour this olive oil on his head, and say, ‘The LORD proclaims that he anoints you king of Israel.’ Then leave there as fast as you can.”
4So the young prophet went to Ramoth, 5where he found the army officers in a conference. He said, “Sir, I have a message for you.”
Jehu asked, “Which one of us are you speaking to?”
“To you, sir,” he replied. 6
Then the two of them went indoors, and the young prophet poured the olive oil on Jehu's head and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, proclaims: ‘I anoint you king of my people Israel. 7You are to kill your master the king, that son of Ahab, so that I may punish Jezebel for murdering my prophets and my other servants. 8All Ahab's family and descendants are to die; I will get rid of every male in his family, young and old alike. 9I will treat his family as I did the families of King Jeroboam of Israel and of King Baasha of Israel. 10
Jezebel will not be buried; her body will be eaten by dogs in the territory of Jezreel.’ ” After saying this, the young prophet left the room and fled.
11Jehu went back to his fellow-officers, who asked him, “Is everything all right? What did that crazy fellow want with you?”
“You know what he wanted,” Jehu answered.
12“No we don't!” they replied. “Tell us what he said!”
“He told me that the LORD proclaims: ‘I anoint you king of Israel.’ ”
13At once Jehu's fellow-officers spread their cloaks at the top of the steps for Jehu to stand on, blew trumpets, and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
14-15Then Jehu plotted against King Joram, who was in Jezreel, where he had gone to recover from the wounds which he had received in the battle at Ramoth against King Hazael of Syria. So Jehu said to his fellow-officers, “If you are with me, make sure that no one slips out of Ramoth to go and warn the people in Jezreel.” 16Then he got into his chariot and set off for Jezreel. Joram had still not recovered, and King Ahaziah of Judah was there, visiting him.
17A guard on duty in the watchtower at Jezreel saw Jehu and his men approaching. “I see some men riding up!” he called out.
Joram replied, “Send a rider to find out if they are friends or enemies.”
18The messenger rode out to Jehu and said to him, “The king wants to know if you come as a friend.”
“That's none of your business!” Jehu answered. “Fall in behind me.”
The guard on the watchtower reported that the messenger had reached the group but was not returning. 19Another messenger was sent out, who asked Jehu the same question. Again Jehu answered, “That's none of your business! Fall in behind me.”
20Once more the guard reported that the messenger had reached the group but was not returning. And he added, “The leader of the group is driving his chariot like a madman, just like Jehu!”
21“Get my chariot ready,” King Joram ordered. It was done, and he and King Ahaziah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the field which had belonged to Naboth. 22“Are you coming in peace?” Joram asked him.
“How can there be peace,” Jehu answered, “when we still have all the witchcraft and idolatry that your mother Jezebel started?”
23“It's treason, Ahaziah!” Joram cried out, as he turned his chariot round and fled. 24Jehu drew his bow, and with all his strength shot an arrow that struck Joram in the back and pierced his heart. Joram fell dead in his chariot, 25and Jehu said to his aide Bidkar, “Get his body and throw it in the field that belonged to Naboth. Remember that when you and I were riding together behind King Joram's father Ahab, the LORD spoke these words against Ahab: 26
‘I saw the murder of Naboth and his sons yesterday. And I promise that I will punish you here in this same field.’ So take Joram's body,” Jehu ordered his aide, “and throw it in the field that belonged to Naboth, so as to fulfil the LORD's promise.”
27King Ahaziah saw what happened, so he fled in his chariot towards the town of Beth Haggan, pursued by Jehu. “Kill him too!” Jehu ordered his men, and they wounded him9.27 Some ancient translations and they wounded him; Hebrew does not have these words. as he drove his chariot on the road up to Gur, near the town of Ibleam. But he managed to keep going until he reached the city of Megiddo, where he died. 28His officials took his body back to Jerusalem in a chariot and buried him in the royal tombs in David's City.
29Ahaziah had become king of Judah in the eleventh year that Joram son of Ahab was king of Israel.
30Jehu arrived in Jezreel. Jezebel, having heard what had happened, put on eyeshadow, arranged her hair, and stood looking down at the street from a window in the palace. 31As Jehu came through the gate, she called out, “You Zimri!9.31 Zimri: An Israelite army officer who assassinated the king of Israel (see 1 Kgs 16.8–12). You assassin! Why are you here?”
32Jehu looked up and shouted, “Who is on my side?” Two or three palace officials looked down at him from a window, 33and Jehu said to them, “Throw her down!” They threw her down, and her blood spattered the wall and the horses. Jehu drove his horses and chariot over her body, 34entered the palace, and had a meal. Only then did he say, “Take that cursed woman and bury her; after all, she is a king's daughter.” 35But the men who went out to bury her found nothing except her skull, and the bones of her hands and feet. 36
When they reported this to Jehu, he said, “This is what the LORD said would happen, when he spoke through his servant Elijah: ‘Dogs will eat Jezebel's body in the territory of Jezreel. 37Her remains will be scattered there like dung, so that no one will be able to identify them.’ ”