2 Kings 8:7-29
Monday, July 4
For Reflection: The laws that had been given to Moses came with promises if they were obeyed and curses if they were not obeyed (see Deuteronomy 28). Consequences of turning from God was seen in the Bible to set consequences in motion that could last generations.
Think about your relationship with God. Can you see a connection between trying to follow God’s will and the quality of your life (more blessings, fewer curses)?
When bad things happen, is it always the result of sin?
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Death of Ben-hadad
7 Elisha went to Damascus while King Ben-hadad of Aram was ill. When it was told him, “The man of God has come here,” 8 the king said to Hazael, “Take a present with you and go to meet the man of God. Inquire of the Lord through him, whether I shall recover from this illness.” 9 So Hazael went to meet him, taking a present with him, all kinds of goods of Damascus, forty camel loads. When he entered and stood before him, he said, “Your son King Ben-hadad of Aram has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this illness?’ ” 10 Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover,’ but the Lord has shown me that he shall certainly die.” 11 He fixed his gaze and stared at him to the point of embarrassment. Then the man of God wept. 12 Hazael asked, “Why does my lord weep?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel; you will set their fortresses on fire; you will kill their young men with the sword, dash in pieces their little ones, and rip up their pregnant women.” 13 Hazael said, “What is your servant, who is a mere dog, that he should do this great thing?” Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you are to be king over Aram.” 14 Then he left Elisha and went to his master Ben-hadad,[a] who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me that you would certainly recover.” 15 But the next day he took the bedcover and dipped it in water and spread it over the king’s face, until he died. And Hazael succeeded him.
Jehoram Reigns over Judah
16 In the fifth year of King Joram son of Ahab of Israel,[b] Jehoram son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah began to reign. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 19 Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of his servant David, since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his descendants forever.
20 In his days Edom revolted against the rule of Judah and set up a king of their own. 21 Then Joram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. He set out by night and attacked the Edomites and their chariot commanders who had surrounded him,[c] but his army fled home. 22 So Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah to this day. Libnah also revolted at the same time. 23 Now the rest of the acts of Joram and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 24 So Joram slept with his ancestors and was buried with them in the city of David; his son Ahaziah succeeded him.
Ahaziah Reigns over Judah
25 In the twelfth year of King Joram son of Ahab of Israel, Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27 He also walked in the way of the house of Ahab, doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was son-in-law to the house of Ahab.
28 He went with Joram son of Ahab to wage war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded Joram. 29 King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. King Ahaziah son of Jehoram of Judah went down to see Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel because he was wounded.
6 So Jehu[a] got up and went inside; the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, “Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. 7 You shall strike down the house of your master Ahab, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the servants of the Lord. 8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her.” Then he opened the door and fled.
11 When Jehu came back to his master’s officers, they said to him, “Is everything all right? Why did that madman come to you?” He answered them, “You know the sort and how they babble.” 12 They said, “Liar! Come on, tell us!” So he said, “This is just what he said to me: ‘Thus says the Lord, I anoint you king over Israel.’ ” 13 Then hurriedly they all took their cloaks and spread them for him on the bare[b] steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”
Joram of Israel Killed
14 Thus Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Joram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against King Hazael of Aram, 15 but King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. So Jehu said, “If this is your wish, then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.” 16 Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went to Jezreel, where Joram was lying ill. King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit Joram.
17 In Jezreel, the sentinel standing on the tower spied the company of Jehu arriving and said, “I see a company.” Joram said, “Take a horseman; send him to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’ ” 18 So the horseman went to meet him; he said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’ ” Jehu responded, “What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” The sentinel reported, saying, “The messenger reached them, but he is not coming back.” 19 Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’ ” Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.” 20 Again the sentinel reported, “He reached them, but he is not coming back. It looks like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi, for he drives like a maniac.”
21 Joram said, “Get ready.” And they got his chariot ready. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and went to meet Jehu; they met him at the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” He answered, “What peace can there be, so long as the many prostitutions[c] and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?” 23 Then Joram reined about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!” 24 Jehu drew his bow with all his strength and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart, and he sank in his chariot. 25 Jehu said to his aide Bidkar, “Lift him out and throw him on the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite, for remember when you and I rode side by side behind his father Ahab how the Lord uttered this oracle against him: 26 ‘For the blood of Naboth and for the blood of his children that I saw yesterday, says the Lord, I swear I will repay you on this very plot of ground.’ Now, therefore, lift him out and throw him on the plot of ground in accordance with the word of the Lord.”
Ahaziah of Judah Killed
27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw this, he fled in the direction of Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him, saying, “Shoot him also!” And they shot him[d] in the chariot at the ascent to Gur, which is by Ibleam. Then he fled to Megiddo and died there. 28 His officers carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the city of David.
29 In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah began to reign over Judah.
Jezebel’s Violent Death
30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out of the window. 31 As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?” 32 He looked up to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33 He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down; some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled on her. 34 Then he went in and ate and drank; he said, “See to that cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” 35 But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36 When they came back and told him, he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite: In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 the corpse of Jezebel shall be like dung on the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, ‘This is Jezebel.’ ”