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2002 11 11
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Chapter 8


Elisha once said to the woman whose son he had restored to life: "Get ready! Leave with your family and settle wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a seven-year famine which is coming upon the land."


The woman got ready and did as the man of God said, setting out with her family and settling in the land of the Philistines for seven years.


At the end of the seven years, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines and went out to the king to claim her house and her field.


The king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. "Tell me," he said, "all the great things that Elisha has done."


Just as he was relating to the king how his master had restored a dead person to life, the very woman whose son Elisha had restored to life came to the king to claim her house and field. "My lord king," Gehazi said, "this is the woman, and this is that son of hers whom Elisha restored to life."


1 The king questioned the woman, and she told him her story. With that the king placed an official at her disposal, saying, "Restore all her property to her, with all that the field produced from the day she left the land until now."


Elisha came to Damascus at a time when Ben-hadad, king of Aram, lay sick. When he was told that the man of God had come there,


the king said to Hazael, "Take a gift with you and go call on the man of God. Have him consult the LORD as to whether I shall recover from this sickness."


Hazael went to visit him, carrying a present, and with forty camel loads of the best goods of Damascus. On his arrival, he stood before the prophet and said, "Your son Ben-hadad, king of Aram, has sent me to ask you whether he will recover from his sickness."


"Go and tell him," Elisha answered, "that he will surely recover. However, the LORD has showed me that he will in fact die."


Then he stared him down until Hazael became ill at ease. The man of God wept,


and Hazael asked, "Why are you weeping, my lord?" Elisha replied, "Because I know the evil that you will inflict upon the Israelites. You will burn their fortresses, you will slay their youth with the sword, you will dash their little children to pieces, you will rip open their pregnant women."


2 Hazael exclaimed, "How can a dog like me, your servant, do anything so important?" "The LORD has showed you to me as king over Aram," replied Elisha.


Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master. "What did Elisha tell you?" asked Ben-hadad. "He told me that you would surely recover," replied Hazael.


The next day, however, Hazael took a cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it over the king's face, so that he died. And Hazael reigned in his stead.


3 In the fifth year of Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, became king.


He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.


He conducted himself like the kings of Israel of the line of Ahab, since the sister of Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the LORD'S sight.


Even so, the LORD was unwilling to destroy Judah, because of his servant David. For he had promised David that he would leave him a lamp in the LORD'S presence for all time.


During Jehoram's reign, Edom revolted against the sovereignty of Judah and chose a king of its own.


Thereupon Jehoram with all his chariots crossed over to Zair. He arose by night and broke through the Edomites when they had surrounded him and the commanders of his chariots. Then his army fled homeward.


To this day Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah. Libnah also revolted at that time.


The rest of the acts of Jehoram, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.


Jehoram rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. His son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.


4 Ahaziah, son of Jehoram, king of Judah, became king in the twelfth year of Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel.


He was twenty-two years old when he began his reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Athaliah; she was daughter of Omri, king of Israel.


He conducted himself like the house of Ahab, doing evil in the LORD'S sight as they did, since he was related to them by marriage.


He joined Joram, son of Ahab, in battle against Hazael, king of Aram, at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded Joram.


King Joram returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah in his battle against Hazael, king of Aram. Then Ahaziah, son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to Jezreel to visit him there in his illness.



1 [6] An official: literally "eunuch," and perhaps actually so in this instance.

2 [13] A dog . . . your servant: Hazael feigns humility ( 1 Sam 24:14; 2 Sam 9:8), without attending to the crimes he would commit after usurping the royal power as the prophet predicts. Anything so important: literally "a great deed" for a patriotic Syrian.

3 [16] Jehoram of Judah succeeded his father Jehoshaphat during the reign of Ahaziah of Israel. See note on 2 Kings 3:1.

4 [25] Twelfth year of Joram: i.e., of Israel, who probably reigned only eight years.

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