The Woman from Shunem Returns Home
1Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “Take your family and move to some other place, for the Lord has called for a famine on Israel that will last for seven years.” 2So the woman did as the man of God instructed. She took her family and settled in the land of the Philistines for seven years.
3After the famine ended she returned from the land of the Philistines, and she went to see the king about getting back her house and land. 4As she came in, the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. The king had just said, “Tell me some stories about the great things Elisha has done.” 5And Gehazi was telling the king about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life. At that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in to make her appeal to the king about her house and land.
“Look, my lord the king!” Gehazi exclaimed. “Here is the woman now, and this is her son—the very one Elisha brought back to life!”
6“Is this true?” the king asked her. And she told him the story. So he directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence.
Hazael Murders Ben-Hadad
7Elisha went to Damascus, the capital of Aram, where King Ben-hadad lay sick. When someone told the king that the man of God had come, 8the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift to the man of God. Then tell him to ask the Lord, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
9So Hazael loaded down forty camels with the finest products of Damascus as a gift for Elisha. He went to him and said, “Your servant Ben-hadad, the king of Aram, has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’”
10And Elisha replied, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover.’ But actually the Lord has shown me that he will surely die!” 11Elisha stared at Hazael#8:11a Hebrew He stared at him. with a fixed gaze until Hazael became uneasy.#8:11b The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. Then the man of God started weeping.
12“What’s the matter, my lord?” Hazael asked him.
Elisha replied, “I know the terrible things you will do to the people of Israel. You will burn their fortified cities, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women!”
13Hazael responded, “How could a nobody like me#8:13 Hebrew a dog. ever accomplish such great things?”
Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you are going to be the king of Aram.”
14When Hazael left Elisha and went back, the king asked him, “What did Elisha tell you?”
And Hazael replied, “He told me that you will surely recover.”
15But the next day Hazael took a blanket, soaked it in water, and held it over the king’s face until he died. Then Hazael became the next king of Aram.
Jehoram Rules in Judah
16Jehoram son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah began to rule over Judah in the fifth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab, king of Israel. 17Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 18But Jehoram followed the example of the kings of Israel and was as wicked as King Ahab, for he had married one of Ahab’s daughters. So Jehoram did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. 19But the Lord did not want to destroy Judah, for he had promised his servant David that his descendants would continue to rule, shining like a lamp forever.
20During Jehoram’s reign, the Edomites revolted against Judah and crowned their own king. 21So Jehoram#8:21a Hebrew Joram, a variant spelling of Jehoram; also in 8:23, 24. went with all his chariots to attack the town of Zair.#8:21b Greek version reads Seir. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he went out at night and attacked them#8:21c Or he went out and escaped. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. under cover of darkness. But Jehoram’s army deserted him and fled to their homes. 22So Edom has been independent from Judah to this day. The town of Libnah also revolted about that same time.
23The rest of the events in Jehoram’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah. 24When Jehoram died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Ahaziah became the next king.
Ahaziah Rules in Judah
25Ahaziah son of Jehoram began to rule over Judah in the twelfth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab, king of Israel.
26Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem one year. His mother was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27Ahaziah followed the evil example of King Ahab’s family. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, just as Ahab’s family had done, for he was related by marriage to the family of Ahab.
28Ahaziah joined Joram son of Ahab in his war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. When the Arameans wounded King Joram in the battle, 29he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he had received at Ramoth.#8:29 Hebrew Ramah, a variant spelling of Ramoth. Because Joram was wounded, King Ahaziah of Judah went to Jezreel to visit him.