Jehoahaz King of Israel
1Jehoahaz became king of Israel in Samaria. It was in the 23rd year of the rule of Joash, the king of Judah. Jehoahaz ruled for 17 years. Joash was the son of Ahaziah. Jehoahaz was the son of Jehu. 2Jehoahaz did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. He committed the sins Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, had committed. Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit those same sins. Jehoahaz didn’t turn away from them. 3So the Lord was very angry with Israel. For a long time he kept them under the power of Hazael, the king of Aram. The Lord also kept them under the power of his son Ben-Hadad.
4Then Jehoahaz asked the Lord for help. The Lord listened to him. The Lord saw how badly the king of Aram was treating Israel. 5The Lord provided someone to save Israel. And they escaped from the power of Aram. So the Israelites lived in their own homes, just as they had before. 6But the people didn’t turn away from the sins of the royal house of Jeroboam. He had caused Israel to commit those same sins. The people continued to commit them. And the pole used to worship the female god named Asherah remained standing in Samaria.
7The army of Jehoahaz had almost nothing left. All it had was 50 horsemen, 10 chariots and 10,000 soldiers on foot. The king of Aram had destroyed the rest of them. He had made them like dust at threshing time.
8The other events of the rule of Jehoahaz are written down. Everything he did and accomplished is written in the official records of the kings of Israel. 9Jehoahaz joined the members of his family who had already died. He was buried in Samaria. Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash became the next king after him.
Jehoash King of Israel
10Jehoash became king of Israel in Samaria. It was in the 37th year that Joash was king of Judah. Jehoash ruled for 16 years. He was the son of Jehoahaz. 11Jehoash did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord. Jehoash didn’t turn away from any of the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat. Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit those same sins. And Jehoash continued to commit them.
12The other events of the rule of Jehoash are written down. That includes his war against Amaziah, the king of Judah. Everything he did and accomplished is written in the official records of the kings of Israel. 13Jehoash joined the members of his family who had already died. He was buried in the royal tombs in Samaria. Jeroboam became the next king on Israel’s throne after him.
14Elisha had been suffering from a sickness. Later he would die from it. Jehoash, the king of Israel, went down to see him. Jehoash wept over him. “My father!” he cried. “You are like a father to me! You, Elisha, are the true chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
15Elisha said to Jehoash, “Get a bow and some arrows.” So he did. 16“Hold the bow in your hands,” Elisha said to the king of Israel. So Jehoash took hold of the bow. Then Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.
17“Open the east window,” Elisha said. So he did. “Shoot!” Elisha said. So he shot. “That’s the Lord’s arrow!” Elisha announced. “It means you will win the battle over Aram! You will completely destroy the men of Aram at Aphek.”
18Elisha continued, “Get some arrows.” So the king did. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” Jehoash struck it three times. Then he stopped. 19The man of God was angry with him. He said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times. Then you would have won the war over Aram. You would have completely destroyed them. But now you will win only three battles over them.”
20Elisha died and was buried.
Some robbers from Moab used to enter the country of Israel every spring. 21One day some Israelites were burying a man. Suddenly they saw a group of robbers. So they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. The body touched Elisha’s bones. When it did, the man came back to life again. He stood up on his feet.
22Hazael, the king of Aram, treated Israel badly. He did it the whole time Jehoahaz was king. 23But the Lord helped Israel. He was tender and kind to them. He showed concern for them. He did all these things because of the covenant he had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. To this day he hasn’t been willing to destroy Israel. And he hasn’t driven them out of his land.
24Hazael, the king of Aram, died. His son Ben-Hadad became the next king after him. 25Then Jehoash won back some towns from Ben-Hadad, the son of Hazael. Ben-Hadad had captured them in battle from Jehoahaz, the father of Jehoash. Jehoash won three battles over Ben-Hadad. So Jehoash won back the Israelite towns.