Jehoahaz Begins His Rule
1Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria. This was during the 23rd year that Joash son of Ahaziah was king in Judah. Jehoahaz ruled 17 years.
2Jehoahaz did what the Lord considered wrong. Like Jeroboam son of Nebat, he committed sins that also caused the people of Israel to sin. And he never stopped doing those things. 3Then the Lord was angry with Israel. He let King Hazael of Aram and Hazael’s son Ben-Hadad gain control of Israel.
The Lord Has Mercy on Israel
4Then Jehoahaz begged the Lord to help them. The Lord listened to him because he had seen the terrible troubles that the king of Aram had caused the Israelites.
5So the Lord sent a man to save Israel. The Israelites were free from the Arameans. So the Israelites went to their own homes, as they did before.
6But the Israelites still did not stop committing the sins of the family of Jeroboam that caused Israel to sin. The Israelites continued committing the sins of Jeroboam. They also kept the Asherah poles in Samaria.
7The king of Aram defeated Jehoahaz’s army and destroyed most of the men in the army. He left only 50 horse soldiers, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers. Jehoahaz’s soldiers were like chaff blown away by the wind at the time of threshing.
8All the great things that Jehoahaz did are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Israel. 9Jehoahaz died and was buried with his ancestors. The people buried Jehoahaz in Samaria. His son Jehoash became the new king after him.
Jehoash’s Rule Over Israel
10Jehoash son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria. This was during the 37th year that Joash was king of Judah. Jehoash ruled Israel for 16 years. 11He did what the Lord said was wrong. He did not stop committing the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat who caused Israel to sin. Jehoash continued to commit those sins. 12All the great things that Jehoash did and his wars against King Amaziah of Judah are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Israel. 13Jehoash died and was buried with his ancestors. Jeroboam became the new king and sat on Jehoash’s throne. Jehoash was buried at Samaria with the kings of Israel.
Jehoash Visits Elisha
14Elisha became sick, and later he died from this sickness. King Jehoash of Israel went to visit Elisha. Jehoash cried for him and said, “My father, my father! Is it time for the chariot of Israel and its horses?#13:14 Is it time … horses This means “Is it time for God to come and take you?” See 2 Kings 2:12.”
15Elisha said to Jehoash, “Take a bow and some arrows.”
Jehoash took a bow and some arrows. 16Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” Jehoash put his hand on the bow. Then Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. 17Elisha said, “Open the east window.” Jehoash opened the window. Then Elisha said, “Shoot.”
Jehoash shot. Then Elisha said, “This is the Lord’s arrow of victory over Aram! You will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you destroy them.”
18Elisha said, “Take the arrows.” Jehoash took the arrows. Then Elisha said to him, “Hit on the ground.”
Jehoash hit the ground three times. Then he stopped. 19The man of God was angry with Jehoash. Elisha said, “You should have hit five or six times! Then you would have defeated Aram until you destroyed it! But now, you will defeat Aram only three times.”
An Amazing Thing at Elisha’s Grave
20Elisha died, and the people buried him.
One time in the spring a group of Moabite soldiers came to fight against Israel. 21Some Israelites were burying a dead man when they saw that group of soldiers. The Israelites quickly threw the dead man into Elisha’s grave. As soon as the dead man touched the bones of Elisha, he came back to life and stood up on his feet.
Jehoash Wins Back Cities of Israel
22During all the days that Jehoahaz ruled, King Hazael of Aram caused trouble to Israel. 23But the Lord was kind to the Israelites. He had mercy and showed his care for them because of his agreement with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He did not want them to be destroyed. He has never completely left them.
24King Hazael of Aram died, and Ben-Hadad became the new king after him. 25Before he died, Hazael had taken some cities in war from Jehoahaz, Jehoash’s father. But now Jehoash took back these cities from Hazael’s son Ben-Hadad. Jehoash defeated Ben-Hadad three times and took back the cities of Israel.