Jehoahaz’s Reign over Israel
1 In the twenty-third year of the reign of Judah’s King Joash son of Ahaziah, Jehu’s son Jehoahaz became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria for seventeen years. 2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord. He continued in the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who had encouraged Israel to sin; he did not repudiate those sins. 3 The Lord was furious with Israel and handed them over to King Hazael of Syria and to Hazael’s son Ben Hadad for many years.
4 Jehoahaz asked for the Lord’s mercy and the Lord responded favourably, for he saw that Israel was oppressed by the king of Syria. 5 The Lord provided a deliverer for Israel and they were freed from Syria’s power. The Israelites once more lived in security. 6 But they did not repudiate the sinful ways of the family of Jeroboam, who encouraged Israel to sin; they continued in those sins. There was even an Asherah pole standing in Samaria. 7 Jehoahaz had no army left except for fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers. The king of Syria had destroyed his troops and trampled on them like dust.
8 The rest of the events of Jehoahaz’s reign, including all his accomplishments and successes, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 9 Jehoahaz passed away and was buried in Samaria. His son Joash replaced him as king.
Jehoash’s Reign over Israel
10 In the thirty-seventh year of King Joash’s reign over Judah, Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria for sixteen years. 11 He did evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not repudiate the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin; he continued in those sins. 12 The rest of the events of Joash’s reign, including all his accomplishments and his successful war with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 13 Joash passed away and Jeroboam succeeded him on the throne. Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
Elisha Makes One Final Prophecy
14 Now Elisha had a terminal illness. King Joash of Israel went down to visit him. He wept before him and said, “My father, my father! The chariot and horsemen of Israel!” 15 Elisha told him, “Take a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 Then Elisha told the king of Israel, “Aim the bow.” He did so, and Elisha placed his hands on the king’s hands. 17 Elisha said, “Open the east window,” and he did so. Elisha said, “Shoot!” and
he did so. Elisha said, “This arrow symbolizes the victory the Lord will give you over Syria. You will annihilate Syria in Aphek!” 18 Then Elisha said, “Take the arrows,” and he did so. He told the king of Israel, “Strike the ground!” He struck the ground three times and stopped. 19 The prophet got angry at him and said, “If you had struck the ground five or six times, you would have annihilated Syria! But now, you will defeat Syria only three times.”
20 Elisha died and was buried. Moabite raiding parties invaded the land at the beginning of the year. 21 One day some men were burying a man when they spotted a raiding party. So they threw the dead man into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the dead man came to life and stood on his feet.
22 Now King Hazael of Syria oppressed Israel throughout Jehoahaz’s reign. 23 But the Lord had mercy on them and felt pity for them. He extended his favour to them because of the promise he had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He has been unwilling to destroy them or remove them from his presence to this very day. 24 When King Hazael of Syria died, his son Ben Hadad replaced him as king. 25 Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash took back from Ben Hadad son of Hazael the cities that he had taken from his father Jehoahaz in war. Joash defeated him three times and recovered the Israelite cities.