Series: Thru the Bible
Message – The Kings during Elisha’s Ministry Pt. 1
***Video is HERE***
The Kings during Elisha’s Ministry Pt. 1
Scriptures covered: 2Kings 4-7
During our last session we examined some of the ministry of Elisha. One of the lives he touched who had also touched his, was a Shunammite woman, who with her husband’s consent, had provided for Elisha and his servant by making and keeping ready a room for them. As you no doubt remember, her son passed away and the Lord used Elisha to raise him back to life.
This relationship continued on for years, and it appears as we begin the next interaction between then that her husband had since died.
The Shunammite widow’s land is restored
“(1) Elisha said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Get ready, you and your household, and go and live as a foreigner wherever you can. For the LORD has announced a seven-year famine, and it has already come to the land.”
(2) So the woman got ready and did what the man of God said. She and her household lived as foreigners in the land of the Philistines for seven years. (3) When the woman returned from the land of the Philistines at the end of seven years, she went to appeal to the king for her house and field.
(4) The king had been speaking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things Elisha has done.” (5) While he was telling the king how Elisha restored the dead son to life, the woman whose son he had restored to life came to appeal to the king for her house and field.
So Gehazi said, “My lord the king, this is the woman and this is the son Elisha restored to life.” (6) When the king asked the woman, she told him the story. So the king appointed a court official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, along with all the income from the field from the day she left the country until now.”
“(7) Elisha came to Damascus while Ben-hadad king of Aram was sick, and the king was told, “The man of God has come here.”
(8) So the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go meet the man of God. Inquire of the LORD through him, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?'”
(9) Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him a gift: 40 camel-loads of all kinds of goods from Damascus. When he came and stood before him, he said, “Your son, Ben-hadad king of Aram, has sent me to ask you, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?'” (10) Elisha told him, “Go say to him, ‘You are sure to recover.’ But the LORD has shown me that he is sure to die.”
(11) Then Elisha stared steadily at him until Hazael was ashamed. The man of God wept, (12) and Hazael asked, “Why is my lord weeping?” He replied, “Because I know the evil you will do to the people of Israel. You will set their fortresses on fire. You will kill their young men with the sword. You will dash their little ones to pieces. You will rip open their pregnant women.”
(13) Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, do this monstrous thing?”
Elisha answered, “The LORD has shown me that you will be king over Aram.”
(14) Hazael left Elisha and went to his master, who asked him, “What did Elisha say to you?” He responded, “He told me you are sure to recover.” (15) The next day Hazael took a heavy cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it over the king’s face. Ben-hadad died, and Hazael reigned instead of him.”
Jehoram becomes king of Judah
“(16) In the fifth year of Israel’s King Joram son of Ahab, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah, replacing his father. (17) He was 32 years old when he became king; 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 Ahab’s daughter was his wife. He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight. (19) The LORD was unwilling to destroy Judah because of His servant David, since He had promised to give a lamp to David and to his sons forever.”
2Chron. 21:1-7, “(1) Jehoshaphat rested with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His son Jehoram became king in his place. (2) He had brothers, sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. (3) Their father had given them many gifts of silver, gold, and valuable things, along with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn. (4) When Jehoram had established himself over his father’s kingdom, he strengthened his position by killing with the sword all his brothers as well as some of the princes of Israel. (5) Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king; he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. (6) He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for Ahab’s daughter was his wife. He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, (7) but because of the covenant the LORD had made with David, He was unwilling to destroy the house of David since the LORD had promised to give a lamp to David and to his sons forever.”
Edom and Libnah rebel against Judah’s reign
2Chron. 21:8-11, “(8) During Jehoram’s reign, Edom rebelled against Judah’s domination and appointed their own king. (9) So Jehoram crossed into Edom with his commanders and all his chariots. Then at night he set out to attack the Edomites who had surrounded him and the chariot commanders. (10) So Edom is still in rebellion against Judah’s domination today. Libnah also rebelled at that time against his domination because he had abandoned the LORD God of his ancestors. (11) Jehoram also built high places in the hills of Judah, and he caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves, and he led Judah astray.”
“(20) During Jehoram’s reign, Edom rebelled against Judah’s control and appointed their own king. (21) So Jehoram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. Then at night he set out to attack the Edomites who had surrounded him and the chariot commanders, but his troops fled to their tents. (22) So Edom is still in rebellion against Judah’s control today. Libnah also rebelled at that time.”
A letter of judgement from Elijah to Jehoram
We have to remember that 2 Chronicles was a much later historical account of the events than we have in Kings. As such, details may have been lost to time and therefore rather than make something up, they simply reported the events as they knew them. That is most likely the case here. On the other hand, it is also possible that events which at the time might has seemed less important were later recorded in Chronicles so that certain details would not be lost to time.
“(12) Then a letter came to Jehoram from Elijah the prophet, saying: This is what the LORD God of your ancestor David says: “Because you have not walked in the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or in the ways of Asa king of Judah (13) but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, have caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to prostitute themselves like the house of Ahab prostituted itself, and also have killed your brothers, your father’s family, who were better than you, (14) the LORD is now about to strike your people, your sons, your wives, and all your possessions with a horrible affliction. (15) You yourself will be struck with many illnesses, including a disease of the intestines, until your intestines come out day after day because of the disease.”
So the obvious difficulty here is that Elijah is gone. How then did he send a letter to this king? The plain answer is no one knows. How did he split the Jordan, cause oil to not run out or raise the dead? Since the letter was obviously prophetic, the most logical answer which requires less assumptions is that it was given to Elijah to write before his departure. In which case, it would have naturally been given to Elisha to have delivered at the appropriate time in his master’s name.
Also, it would make some sense that God would use Elijah’s authority to speak to Jehoram since he would have been far more familiar with Elijah than Elisha – since Elijah was still the primary prophet during the life of his father as well as the beginning of his own reign. Also, all of these events were going to culminate in the death of all the remaining sons of Ahab and Jezebel all of whom Elijah had specifically had dealings and prophetic words of judgment concerning. So this may have been God’s way of honoring Elijah by letting him finish what he started – even after death.
God can move the hearts of kings
“(16) The LORD put it into the mind of the Philistines and the Arabs who live near the Cushites to attack Jehoram. (17) So they went to war against Judah and invaded it. They carried off all the possessions found in the king’s palace and also his sons and wives; not a son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest son.”
God fulfills His judgment over Jehoram
“(18) After all these things, the LORD afflicted him in his intestines with an incurable disease. (19) This continued day after day until two full years passed. Then his intestines came out because of his disease, and he died from severe illnesses. But his people did not hold a fire in his honor like the fire in honor of his fathers. (20) Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king; he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He died to no one’s regret and was buried in the city of David but not in the tombs of the kings.”
“(23) The rest of the events of Jehoram’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, are written about in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. (24) Jehoram rested with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and his son Ahaziah became king in his place.”
Judah’s new King – Ahaziah & Israel’s king Jehu
“(25) In the twelfth year of Israel’s King Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah. (26) Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king; he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, granddaughter of Israel’s King Omri. (27) He walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in the LORD’s sight like the house of Ahab, for he was a son-in-law to Ahab’s family. (28) Ahaziah went with Joram son of Ahab to fight against Hazael king of Aram in Ramoth-gilead, and the Arameans wounded Joram. (29) So King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him in Ramoth-gilead when he fought against Aram’s King Hazael. Then Judah’s King Ahaziah son of Jehoram went down to Jezreel to visit Joram son of Ahab since Joram was ill.”
2Kings 9:1-37, “(1) The prophet Elisha called one of the sons of the prophets and said, “Tuck your mantle under your belt, take this flask of oil with you, and go to Ramoth-gilead. (2) When you get there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi. Go in, get him away from his colleagues, and take him to an inner room. (3) Then, take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘This is what the LORD says: “I anoint you king over Israel.”‘ Open the door and escape. Don’t wait.”
(4) So the young prophet went to Ramoth-gilead. (5) When he arrived, the army commanders were sitting there, so he said, “I have a message for you, commander.”
Jehu asked, “For which one of us?”
He answered, “For you, commander.”
(6) So Jehu got up and went into the house. The young prophet poured the oil on his head and said, “This is what the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I anoint you king over the LORD’s people, Israel. (7) You are to strike down the house of your master Ahab so that I may avenge the blood shed by the hand of Jezebel–the blood of My servants the prophets and of all the servants of the LORD. (8) The whole house of Ahab will perish, and I will eliminate all of Ahab’s males, both slave and 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 will eat Jezebel in the plot of land at Jezreel–no one will bury her.'” Then the young prophet opened the door and escaped.
(11) When Jehu came out to his master’s servants, they asked, “Is everything all right? Why did this crazy person come to you?”
Then he said to them, “You know the sort and their ranting.”
(12) But they replied, “That’s a lie! Tell us!”
So Jehu said, “He talked to me about this and that and said, ‘This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.'”
(13) Each man quickly took his garment and put it under Jehu on the bare steps. They blew the ram’s horn and proclaimed, “Jehu is king!”
It’s interesting how the Prophet is treated lightly and like a ranter until he says something they like! I submit to you that people have not really changed.
(14) Then Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. Joram and all Israel had been at Ramoth-gilead on guard against Hazael king of Aram. (15) But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him when he fought against Aram’s King Hazael.
Jehu said, “If you commanders wish to make me king, then don’t let anyone escape from the city to go tell about it in Jezreel.” (16) Jehu got into his chariot and went to Jezreel since Joram was laid up there and Ahaziah king of Judah had gone down to visit Joram.
(17) Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel. He saw Jehu’s troops approaching and shouted, “I see troops!”
Joram responded, “Choose a rider and send him to meet them and have him ask, ‘Do you come in peace?'”
(18) So a horseman went to meet Jehu and said, “This is what the king asks: ‘Do you come in peace?'”
Jehu replied, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.”
The watchman reported, “The messenger reached them but hasn’t started back.”
(19) So he sent out a second horseman, who went to them and said, “This is what the king asks: ‘Do you come in peace?'”
Jehu answered, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.”
(20) Again the watchman reported, “He reached them but hasn’t started back. Also, the driving is like that of Jehu son of Nimshi–he drives like a madman.”
(21) “Harness!” Joram shouted, and they harnessed his chariot. Then Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah set out, each in his own chariot, and met Jehu at the plot of land of Naboth the Jezreelite.
(22) When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?”
He answered, “What peace can there be as long as there is so much prostitution and witchcraft from your mother Jezebel?”
(23) Joram turned around and fled, shouting to Ahaziah, “It’s treachery, Ahaziah!”
(24) Then Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow went through his heart, and he slumped down in his chariot. (25) Jehu said to Bidkar his aide, “Pick him up and throw him on the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. For remember when you and I were riding side by side behind his father Ahab, and the LORD uttered this oracle against him: (26) ‘As surely as I saw the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons yesterday,’ this is the LORD’s message, ‘so will I repay you on this plot of land,’ this is the LORD’s message. So now, according to the word of the LORD, pick him up and throw him on the plot of land.”
(27) When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what was happening, he fled up the road toward Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him, shouting, “Shoot him too!”
So they shot him in his chariot at Gur Pass near Ibleam, but he fled to Megiddo and died there.
(28) Then his servants carried him to Jerusalem in a chariot and buried him in his fathers’ tomb in the city of David. (29) It was in the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab that Ahaziah had become king over Judah.
(30) When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard about it, so she painted her eyes, adorned her head, and looked down from the window. (31) As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Do you come in peace, Zimri, killer of your master?”
Jezebel had a manipulative heart and the tongue of a snake. She was clearly attempting to manipulate him by her beauty and intimidate him by her words. By calling him ‘Zimri’ she was attempting to instal doubt regarding his success. Zimri had been a servant and commander of the army to his master King Baasha whom he assassinated. Later Zimri’s reign was cut short by Omri, father of Ahab. So this was very likely a threat that even as the house of Ahab had killed Zimri for treachery and treason, so it would do to Jehu.
“(32) He looked up toward the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him, (33) and he said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down, and some of her blood splattered on the wall and on the horses, and Jehu rode over her.
(34) Then he went in, ate and drank, and said, “Take care of this cursed woman and bury her, since she’s a king’s daughter.” (35) But when they went out to bury her, they did not find anything but her skull, her feet, and the palms of her hands. (36) So they went back and told him, and he said, “This fulfills the LORD’s word that He spoke through His servant Elijah the Tishbite: ‘In the plot of land at Jezreel, the dogs will eat Jezebel’s flesh. (37) Jezebel’s corpse will be like manure on the surface of the field in the plot of land at Jezreel so that no one will be able to say: This is Jezebel.'”
“(1) Since Ahab had 70 sons in Samaria, Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria to the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to the guardians of Ahab’s sons, saying:
(2) When this letter arrives, since your master’s sons are with you and you have chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weaponry, (3) select the most qualified of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.”
“(4) However, they were terrified and reasoned, “Look, two kings couldn’t stand against him; how can we?”
(5) So the overseer of the palace, the overseer of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent a message to Jehu: “We are your servants, and we will do whatever you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever you think is right.”
6) Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying: If you are on my side, and if you will obey me, bring me the heads of your master’s sons at this time tomorrow at Jezreel. All 70 of the king’s sons were being cared for by the city’s prominent men. (7) When the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered all 70, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel.
(8) When the messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,”
the king said, “Pile them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.”
(9) The next morning when he went out and stood at the gate, he said to all the people, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him. But who struck down all these? (10) Know, then, that not a word the LORD spoke against the house of Ahab will fail, for the LORD has done what He promised through His servant Elijah.”
(11) So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel–all his great men, close friends, and priests–leaving him no survivors. (12) Then he set out and went on his way to Samaria. On the way, while he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds, (13) Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”
They answered, “We’re Ahaziah’s relatives. We’ve come down to greet the king’s sons and the queen mother’s sons.”
(14) Then Jehu ordered, “Take them alive.”
So they took them alive and then slaughtered them at the pit of Beth-eked–42 men. He didn’t spare any of them.
(15) When he left there, he found Jehonadab son of Rechab coming to meet him. He greeted him and then asked, “Is your heart one with mine?”
“It is,” Jehonadab replied.
Jehu said, “If it is, give me your hand.”
So he gave him his hand, and Jehu pulled him up into the chariot with him. (16) Then he said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD!”
So he let him ride with him in his chariot. (17) When Jehu came to Samaria, he struck down all who remained from the house of Ahab in Samaria until he had annihilated his house, according to the word of the LORD spoken to Elijah. (18) Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him a lot. (19) Now, therefore, summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests. None must be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal. Whoever is missing will not live.” However, Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal. (20) Jehu commanded, “Consecrate a solemn assembly for Baal.” So they called one. (21) Then Jehu sent messengers throughout all Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; there was not a man left who did not come. They entered the temple of Baal, and it was filled from one end to the other. (22) Then he said to the custodian of the wardrobe, “Bring out the garments for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out their garments. (23) Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rechab entered the temple of Baal, and Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look carefully to see that there are no servants of the LORD here among you–only servants of Baal.”
(24) Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed 80 men outside, and he warned them, “Whoever allows any of the men I am delivering into your hands to escape will forfeit his life for theirs.”
(25) When he finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu said to the guards and officers, “Go in and kill them. Don’t let anyone out.” So they struck them down with the sword. Then the guards and officers threw the bodies out and went into the inner room of the temple of Baal. (26) They brought out the pillars of the temple of Baal and burned them (27) and tore down the pillar of Baal. Then they tore down the temple of Baal and made it a latrine–which it is to this day.
(28) Jehu eliminated Baal worship from Israel, (29) but he did not turn away from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit–worshiping the golden calves that were in Bethel and Dan. (30) Nevertheless, the LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in carrying out what is right in My sight and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, four generations of your sons will sit on the throne of Israel.”
“(31) Yet, Jehu was not careful to follow with all his heart the law of the LORD God of Israel. He did not turn from the sins that Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit. (32) In those days the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel. Hazael defeated the Israelites throughout their territory: (33) from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead–the Gadites, the Reubenites, and the Manassites–from Aroer which is by the Arnon Valley through Gilead to Bashan.
(34) Now the rest of the events of Jehu’s reign, along with all his accomplishments and all his might, are written about in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings. (35) Jehu rested with his fathers, and he was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoahaz became king in his place. (36) The length of Jehu’s reign over Israel in Samaria was 28 years.”
“(1) Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, because the troops that had come with the Arabs to the camp had killed all the older sons. So Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah.
(2) Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king; he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, granddaughter of Omri.
(3) He walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother gave him evil advice. (4) So he did what was evil in the LORD’s sight like the house of Ahab, for they were his advisers after the death of his father, to his destruction. (5) He also followed their advice and went with Joram son of Israel’s King Ahab to fight against Hazael, king of Aram, in Ramoth-gilead.
The Arameans wounded Joram, (6) so he returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds they inflicted on him in Ramoth-gilead when he fought against Aram’s King Hazael. Then Judah’s King Ahaziah son of Jehoram went down to Jezreel to visit Joram son of Ahab since Joram was ill.
(7) With his going to Joram, Ahaziah’s downfall was from God, for when Ahaziah went, he went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab.
(8) So it happened when Jehu executed judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the rulers of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers who were serving Ahaziah, and he killed them.
(9) Then Jehu looked for Ahaziah, and Jehu’s soldiers captured him (he was hiding in Samaria). Then they brought him to Jehu, and they killed him. They buried him, for they said, “He is the grandson of Jehoshaphat who sought the LORD with all his heart.”
So the house of Ahaziah had no one to exercise power over the kingdom.”
I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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