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The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of Fayette Bible Church in Fayetteville, Georgia

This is the September 3 reading. Select here for a new reading date:


BibleTrack Summary: September 3
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Kings & Prophets

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II Kings 5-8    Listen Podcast


 

Elisha practices more unconventional medicine (II Kings 5:1-18)

1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.
2 And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.
3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.
4 And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.
5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.
6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.
7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.
8 And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.
16 But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.
17 And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.
18 In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.

Syria's military commander, Naaman, has leprosy. In the course of battle, Naaman had captured a gal out of the Northern Kingdom who had been serving as a maid in in his household. She comments one day (verse 3), "Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy." When the King of Syria sends his commander, Naaman, to Israel with 7,500 pounds of silver and 2,400 pounds of gold in exchange for healing him from leprosy, the King of Israel (Jehoram) thinks that the King of Syria is trying to pick a fight. By today's standards (2006), that's around $2 million or so in gold and silver. Elisha to the rescue! After hearing of King Jehoram's distress, Elisha sends word to direct Naaman his way.

Things just aren't simple with Elisha; he doesn't even come out to greet Naaman. Instead of a celebrity welcome, Elisha sends a messenger to meet him who requires him to go wash seven times in the Jordan River. Naaman leaves in a rage, but his servant convinces him to take the plunge; it works; he's healed. Elisha declines to take compensation for the healing. Naaman, however, convinced now that Elisha serves the only true God, asks for two mule loads of dirt to take back to Syria with him. Now that's a strange request. It seems that he wants to spread it out back on Syrian soil and kneel there when the Syrian king requires him to bow down to their false gods. Obviously, somewhere along the way, Naaman missed the point. However, Elisha agrees to give up the dirt. Incidentally, that Syrian god, Rimmon, is only mentioned here in this passage.

Whoa! What a price to pay for greed (II Kings 5:19-27)

19 And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.
20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
21 So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?
22 And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.
23 And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him.
24 And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.
25 But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.
26 And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?
27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

Gehazi was Elisha's main man, but he got greedy. More than greedy, actually - he was a conniving thief. He ran after Naaman and said that Elisha had changed his mind about not taking compensation for his healing. Gehazi's lying tale continues: "Two prophets showed up and need some silver and changes of clothing." Considering what Naaman had originally offered, he doesn't take much from Naaman (about $25,000 in silver), but when he returns, Elisha is waiting for him. Hint: Never try to fool a real prophet; they'll generally see it coming. When Elisha confronts him over his dishonest actions, does he fire him? No! He gives him leprosy - right there on the spot. In chapter 8 (see below), though, we'll see that Gehazi doesn't seem to hold any grudges.

An axe head that floats? (II Kings 6:1-7)

1 And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.
2 Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye.
3 And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go.
4 So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.
5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.
6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.

No miracle was too small for Elisha. When the local group of prophets decide that their communal housing is too limited, they ask for Elisha's permission to build a larger quarters for themselves. In the process of gathering the lumber next to the Jordan River, one of the prophets loses his axe head in the water; the axe was borrowed. Elisha comes to the rescue and makes the axe head swim. Isn't it interesting that a miracle such as that gets shared with us. However, miracles just like this one served to multiply Elisha's reputation as a man of God in Israel - the ol' wicked Northern Kingdom.

Here come the Syrians again. Where's Elisha? (II Kings 6:8-23)

8 Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.
9 And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.
10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?
12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.
14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
19 And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.
20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
21 And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
22 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.
23 And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.

Elisha was a protector of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) - as wicked as Israel was. Remember? They never served God, but God gave them the wise counsel of Elisha anyway. Israel shared a border with the Syrians. (I wonder if Naaman had anything to do with this attack.) So, the Syrians plan an attack and set up an ambush. God tells Elisha about the ambush; Elisha tells the King of Israel, Jehoram - ambush diverted.

Disturbed at their failure, the King of Syria wants to find out who the spy is. There is no spy, just Elisha with supernatural ears he is told. While visiting Dothan, about a dozen miles north of Samaria, the Syrian king surrounds the city hoping to catch Elisha. They meet Elisha who convinces them (with a lie) that they had come to the wrong place looking for Elisha (some sort of blindness happened to them - partial blindness to reality, I think), and he led them right to the army of Samaria in their search for Elisha. Now, instead of having Elisha surrounded in Dothan, the Syrian army is surrounded in Samaria by Israel's army.

When the King of Israel asks Elisha what to do, he directs Jehoram to feed them and send them home. What a day! One clarification is in order. Verse 23 speaks of a form of attack when it says, "So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel." While the strategy of raids into Israel with these small bands of soldiers ceased, the following account makes it clear that war between Syria and Israel did not cease.

Now that's hungry! (II Kings 6:24-7:2)

24 And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria.
25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver.
26 And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king.
27 And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress?
28 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow.
29 So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.
30 And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh.
31 Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day.
32 But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?
33 And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the LORD; what should I wait for the LORD any longer?

7:1 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.
2 Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.

Samaria is surrounded by the Syrian army - can't get food into the city. The city-wide famine was so bad, they paid incredible amounts of money for a donkey head. That would be the worst serving portion of an unclean animal. Wait! There's more. They bought dove excrement to eat for 2 pounds of silver. How hungry is that? Then...the unthinkable. A mom hollers at the King for intercession regarding a failed deal with another mom - "we'll eat my son today and yours tomorrow." Except, after they feasted on this woman's son, the other woman hid her son. Israel...cannibalism - incredible! However, it was a fulfillment of God's words to Israel back in Leviticus 26:29 (see notes).

So, whose fault is all this famine anyway. After a little mourning, the King of Israel goes into a temporary rage blaming Elisha - threatens to take off his head. When the King's man shows up to take off his head, Elisha gives him some good news and bad news. Tomorrow there will be lots of nice food to eat, but not for you. Why? Because you said it couldn't be done. Rule of thumb: Never taunt Elisha! Elisha's prophecy regarding this messenger's death is fulfilled in II Kings 7:17-20 (see below).

Four unsuspecting lepers beat the Syrian army back (II Kings 7:3-20)

3 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?
4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.
5 And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there.
6 For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.
7 Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.
8 And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.
9 Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.
10 So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were.
11 And he called the porters; and they told it to the king’s house within.
12 And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, I will now shew you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we be hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.
13 And one of his servants answered and said, Let some take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city, (behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it: behold, I say, they are even as all the multitude of the Israelites that are consumed:) and let us send and see.
14 They took therefore two chariot horses; and the king sent after the host of the Syrians, saying, Go and see.
15 And they went after them unto Jordan: and, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king.
16 And the people went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD.
17 And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him.
18 And it came to pass 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, shall be to morrow about this time in the gate of Samaria:
19 And that lord answered the man of God, and said, Now, behold, if the LORD should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.
20 And so it fell out unto him: for the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died.

Four starving lepers outside Samaria decide they have nothing to lose - "let's go get food from the Syrians." Die here, die there - what's the difference? So these four lepers head for the Syrian army outside Samaria, except the Syrian army mistakenly thinks these four lepers might be leading a large mercenary army of Hittites and Egyptians. Why? Verse 6 says, "For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us." That was divine intervention from Elisha. The army flees their camp, horses, food and everything, and heads for the hills. At first the lepers think only of themselves, but then decide to share this find with the King of Israel. Subsequently, the King of Israel, after determining that it was not a Syrian trick, sends the people of Samaria out to take the plunder of the Syrian army. So, here we are on the next day after Elisha's prophecy; everybody has plenty of food just as he had prophesied in II Kings 7:1 (see above). Oh, by the way, remember the captain back in verse 2 (see above) who would see the food, but not partake of it? He's trampled by all the hungry people and dies - hungry.

Gehazi gets an audience before the king (II Kings 8:1-6)

1 Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.
2 And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.
3 And it came to pass at the seven years’ end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land.
4 And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.
5 And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.
6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.

Elisha's servant, Gehazi, just can't say enough good things about Elisha to the king. Remember the Shunammite woman whose son had been brought back from the dead by Elisha (II King 4:8-37, see notes)? She lost her property. Elisha had warned her to leave, and she had done so. It just so happens that she has returned from the land of the Philistines after the famine was over to find that her property was no longer her property. The woman, coincidentally, is making her appeal to the King of Israel while Gehazi is bragging on Elisha. When the King makes the association between the woman and Elisha, he restores her property.

The fast track to the throne (II Kings 8:7-15)

7 And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither.
8 And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
9 So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
10 And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die.
11 And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept.
12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
13 And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.
14 So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, What said Elisha to thee? And he answered, He told me that thou shouldest surely recover.
15 And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead.

The king of Syria, Benhadad, sends Hazael to Elisha to get some words from God regarding the Syrian king's recovery from illness. When Hazael arrives with 40 camels loaded down with gifts for Elisha, he gets the good news regarding the King of Syria - he'll recover. But there's more news; you, Hazael, will become a ruthless man who will ravage and torture the people of Israel. How? The inquiring mind of Hazael wants to know. Elisha tells Hazael that he will kill the King of Syria and become the King himself. So, Hazael gives the King of Syria the good news, and then the next day smothers him with a wet bed sheet. Now, it's King Hazael of Syria.

There's a little more to this story that is found elsewhere in I Kings 19:15 (see notes). God had commanded Elijah at that time to anoint Hazael as the King of Syria before his departure. So, Elisha's prophecy here is simply a continuation of that which had begun through Elijah.

Judah gets an evil king, Jehoram (II Kings 8:16-24)
This account is paralleled in II Chronicles 21 (see notes).

II Kings 8
II Chronicles 21
16 And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign.
17 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.
19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant’s sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children.
20 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves.
21 So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents.
22 Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time.
23 And the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
1 Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.
2 And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel.
3 And their father gave them great gifts of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fenced cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram; because he was the firstborn.
4 Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel.
5 Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.
7 Howbeit the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a light to him and to his sons for ever.
8 In his days the Edomites revolted from under the dominion of Judah, and made themselves a king.
9 Then Jehoram went forth with his princes, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him in, and the captains of the chariots.
10 So the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also did Libnah revolt from under his hand; because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers.
11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.
12 And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah,
13 But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father’s house, which were better than thyself:
14 Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods:
15 And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.
16 Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians:
17 And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king’s house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.
18 And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.
19 And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.
20 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years, and departed without being desired. Howbeit they buried him in the city of David, but not in the sepulchres of the kings.

The two Jehorams (Judah and Israel) are differentiated in the summary of II Chronicles 21 (see notes),which parallels this account. The fuller account of Jehoram's reign is to be found in that passage, along with the treachery of his wife, Athaliah, after his death. While Jehoram only gets eight verses here in II Kings 8, he gets a whole chapter in II Chronicles 21 (see notes). Judah's new king is Jehoram (another Jehoram was king of Israel). Jehoram (son of Jehoshaphat) of Judah was married to Ahab's (deceased evil king of Israel) daughter, Athaliah. Jezebel was Athaliah's mother. In this brief account, we see that Jehoram fought against Edom, but he was an evil king. However, because of God's promise to David, God did not destroy Judah (verse 19). The Edomites continued for centuries being a problem for Judah and Israel. For more information on the Edomites, click here.

A Summary of King #5 from 848 to 841 B. C. over Judah: Jehoram
References The Good The Bad

II Chronicles 21
II Kings 8:16-24

Not specified - he was evil.

II Chronicles 21:6 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.

II Chronicles 21:11 Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.

Jehoram out, Ahaziah in (II Kings 8:25-29)
The account of Ahaziah's reign is also found in the parallel passage, II Chronicles 22:1-6 (see notes).

II Kings 8
II Chronicles 22
25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign.
26 Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.
27 And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the LORD, as did the house of Ahab: for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab.
28 And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramothgilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram.
29 And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which 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.
1 And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his stead: for the band of men that came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned.
2 Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri.
3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.
4 Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.
5 He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramothgilead: and the Syrians smote Joram.
6 And he returned to be healed in Jezreel because of the wounds which were given him at Ramah, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria. And Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab at Jezreel, because he was sick.

This Ahaziah is not to be mistaken with the Ahaziah who was Ahab's son and had been King of Israel. However, this Ahaziah, King of Judah, didn't serve the one true God either - "did evil in the sight of the LORD." His mother was the wicked Athaliah (daughter of Ahab and Jezebel). Verse 26 reports that Ahaziah was actually 22 years old when he began to reign. Given the fact that his father, Jehoram, was only 40 years old when he died, it is certain that Ahaziah was 22 years old when his reign began. He does do a cooperative battle effort with King Jehoram (aka Joram) of Israel against King Hazael and his Syians. Jehoram was Ahaziah's uncle (brother to his mother, Athaliah). Uncle Jehoram is wounded in the battle, and Ahaziah subsequently goes to visit his injured Uncle Jehoram in Jezreel.

A Summary of King #6 in 841 B. C. over Judah: Ahaziah
References The Good The Bad

II Chronicles 22:1-9
II Kings 8:25-29; 9:27-29

Not specified - he was evil.

II Chronicles 22:3-4 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly. Wherefore he did evil in the sight of the LORD like the house of Ahab: for they were his counsellors after the death of his father to his destruction.

 


For commentary on another passage, click here.


Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner