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Jehoahaz rules Israel
1Jehoahaz, Jehu’s son, became king of Israel in Samaria in the twenty-third year of Judah’s King Jehoash,#Heb Joash (also in 13:10); the king’s name is variously spelled in either long Jehoash or short Joash form. The latter is the form used in 2 Chron. who was Ahaziah’s son. He ruled for seventeen years. 2He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes. He walked in the sins that Jeroboam, Nebat’s son, had caused Israel to commit. He didn’t deviate from them. 3So the Lord was angry at Israel. Time after time God handed them over to Aram’s king Hazael, and to Hazael’s son Ben-hadad.
4But Jehoahaz sought the Lord’s presence, and the Lord listened to him because he saw how badly Aram’s king was oppressing Israel. 5The Lord sent Israel a savior, and they escaped from Aram’s power. Then the Israelites lived peacefully at home, just as they had in the past. 6But they didn’t deviate from the sins that Jeroboam’s dynasty had caused Israel to commit; they walked in them! Moreover, a sacred pole#Heb asherah, perhaps an object devoted to the goddess Asherah stood in Samaria. 7No, nothing was left of Jehoahaz’s army except fifty chariot riders, ten chariots, and ten thousand foot soldiers, because Aram’s king had decimated them, trampling them as if they were dirt. 8The rest of Jehoahaz’s deeds, all that he accomplished, and all his powerful acts, aren’t they written in the official records of Israel’s kings? 9Jehoahaz lay down with his ancestors. He was buried in Samaria. His son Joash succeeded him as king.
Joash rules Israel
10Joash,#Heb Jehoash (also in 13:25); the king’s name is variously spelled in either long Jehoash or short Joash form. The latter is the form used in 2 Chron. Jehoahaz’s son, became king of Israel in Samaria in the thirty-seventh year of Judah’s King Jehoash. He ruled for sixteen years. 11He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes. He didn’t deviate from all the sins that Jeroboam, Nebat’s son, had caused Israel to commit, but he walked in them! 12The rest of Joash’s deeds, all that he accomplished, and his powerful acts—how he fought against Judah’s King Amaziah—aren’t they written in the official records of Israel’s kings? 13Joash lay down with his ancestors, and Jeroboam followed him on the throne. Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
Elisha’s last days
14Now Elisha became sick with the illness that would kill him. So Israel’s King Joash went down to see him. Joash cried over Elisha, saying, "Oh, my father, my father! Israel’s chariots and its riders!"
15Elisha told Joash, "Get a bow and some arrows." So he brought Elisha a bow and some arrows. 16Elisha then said to Israel’s king, "Put your hand on the bow." So Joash put his hand on the bow. Elisha then put his hands over the king’s hands 17and said, "Open the window to the east." The king did so. "Now shoot!" Elisha told him. Joash shot, then Elisha announced, "That’s the Lord’s rescue arrow! The rescue arrow against the Arameans! You will finish the Arameans off at Aphek." 18Then Elisha said, "Take the arrows!" so Joash took them. Elisha then said to Israel’s king, "Hit the ground with them!" Joash hit the ground three times and stopped. 19The man of God became angry with him. He said, "If only you had struck five or six times, you would have finished the Arameans off. As it is, you will defeat them only three times."
20So Elisha died, and he was buried.
Sometimes Moabite raiding parties used to come into the land each spring. 21Now it happened once that while a man was being buried, the people at the funeral suddenly saw a raiding party. They threw the body into Elisha’s tomb and ran off. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet!
22Aram’s King Hazael had oppressed Israel throughout Jehoahaz’s rule. 23But the Lord was gracious to Israel and had compassion on them, turning back to them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; he didn’t want to destroy them or throw them out of his presence until now. 24Aram’s King Hazael died. His son Ben-hadad succeeded him as king. 25Then Jehoahaz’s son Joash recaptured from Hazael’s son Ben-hadad those cities that Hazael had won in battle from Joash’s father Jehoahaz. Joash attacked Ben-hadad three times and took back these Israelite cities.
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