Jehoahaz King of Israel
1Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria during the twenty-third year Joash son of Ahaziah was king of Judah. Jehoahaz ruled seventeen years, 2and he did what the Lord said was wrong. Jehoahaz did the same sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had done. Jeroboam had led Israel to sin, and Jehoahaz did not stop doing these same sins. 3So the Lord was angry with Israel and handed them over to Hazael king of Aram and his son Ben-Hadad for a long time.
4Then Jehoahaz begged the Lord, and the Lord listened to him. The Lord had seen the troubles of Israel; he saw how terribly the king of Aram was treating them. 5He gave Israel a man to save them, and they escaped from the Arameans. The Israelites then lived in their own homes as they had before, 6but they still did not stop doing the same sins that the family of Jeroboam had done. He had led Israel to sin, and they continued doing those sins. The Asherah idol also was left standing in Samaria.
7Nothing was left of Jehoahaz’s army except fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand foot soldiers. The king of Aram had destroyed them and made them like chaff.
8Everything else Jehoahaz did and all his victories are written in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. 9Jehoahaz died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoash became king in his place.
Jehoash King of Israel
10Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king of Israel in Samaria during Joash’s thirty-seventh year as king of Judah. Jehoash ruled sixteen years, 11and he did what the Lord said was wrong. He did not stop doing the same sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had done. Jeroboam had led Israel to sin, and Jehoash continued to do the same thing. 12Everything else he did and all his victories, including his war against Amaziah king of Judah, are written in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. 13Jehoash died, and Jeroboam took his place on the throne. Jehoash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
The Death of Elisha
14At this time Elisha became sick. Before he died, Jehoash king of Israel went to Elisha and cried for him. Jehoash said, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and their horsemen!”
15Elisha said to Jehoash, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he took a bow and arrows. 16Then Elisha said to him, “Put your hand on the bow.” So Jehoash put his hand on the bow. Then Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. 17Elisha said, “Open the east window.” So Jehoash opened the window. Then Elisha said, “Shoot,” and Jehoash shot. Elisha said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory over Aram! You will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you destroy them.”
18Elisha said, “Take the arrows.” So Jehoash took them. Then Elisha said to him, “Strike the ground.” So Jehoash struck the ground three times and stopped. 19The man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck five or six times!” Elisha said. “Then you would have struck Aram until you had completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”
20Then Elisha died and was buried.
At that time groups of Moabites would rob the land in the springtime. 21Once as some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a group of Moabites coming. The Israelites threw the dead man into Elisha’s grave. When the man touched Elisha’s bones, the man came back to life and stood on his feet.
War with Aram
22During all the days Jehoahaz was king, Hazael king of Aram troubled Israel. 23But the Lord was kind to the Israelites; he had mercy on them and helped them because of his agreement with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To this day he has never wanted to destroy them or reject them.
24When Hazael king of Aram died, his son Ben-Hadad became king in his place. 25During a war Hazael had taken some cities from Jehoahaz, Jehoash’s father. Now Jehoash took back those cities from Hazael’s son Ben-Hadad. He defeated Ben-Hadad three times and took back the cities of Israel.