1Some time later the armies of Moab and Ammon, together with their allies, the Meunites, invaded Judah. 2Some messengers came and announced to King Jehoshaphat: “A large army from Edom has come from the other side of the Dead Sea to attack you. They have already captured Hazazon Tamar.” (This is another name for Engedi.) 3Jehoshaphat was frightened and prayed to the LORD for guidance. Then he gave orders for a fast to be observed throughout the country. 4From every city of Judah people hurried to Jerusalem to ask the LORD for guidance, 5and they and the people of Jerusalem gathered in the new courtyard of the Temple. King Jehoshaphat went and stood before them 6and prayed aloud, “O LORD God of our ancestors, you rule in heaven over all the nations of the world. You are powerful and mighty, and no one can oppose you. 7You are our God. When your people Israel moved into this land, you drove out the people who were living here and gave the land to the descendants of Abraham, your friend, to be theirs for ever. 8They have lived here and have built a temple to honour you, knowing 9that if any disaster struck them to punish them — a war, an epidemic, or a famine — then they could come and stand in front of this Temple where you are worshipped. They could pray to you in their trouble, and you would hear them and rescue them.
10“Now the people of Ammon, Moab, and Edom have attacked us. When our ancestors came out of Egypt, you did not allow them to enter those lands, so our ancestors went round them and did not destroy them. 11This is how they repay us — they come to drive us out of the land that you gave us. 12You are our God! Punish them, for we are helpless in the face of this large army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but we look to you for help.”
13All the men of Judah, with their wives and children, were standing there at the Temple. 14The Spirit of the LORD came upon a Levite who was present in the crowd. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah; he was a member of the clan of Asaph and was descended from Asaph through Mattaniah, Jeiel, and Benaiah. 15Jahaziel said, “Your Majesty and all you people of Judah and Jerusalem, the LORD says that you must not be discouraged or be afraid to face this large army. The battle depends on God, not on you. 16Attack them tomorrow as they come up the pass at Ziz. You will meet them at the end of the valley that leads to the wild country near Jeruel. 17You will not have to fight this battle. Just take up your positions and wait; you will see the LORD give you victory. People of Judah and Jerusalem, do not hesitate or be afraid. Go out to battle, and the LORD will be with you!”
18Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low, with his face touching the ground, and all the people bowed with him and worshipped the LORD. 19The members of the Levite clans of Kohath and Korah stood up and with a loud shout praised the LORD, the God of Israel.
20Early the next morning the people went out to the wild country near Tekoa. As they were starting out, Jehoshaphat addressed them with these words: “People of Judah and Jerusalem! Put your trust in the LORD your God, and you will stand firm. Believe what his prophets tell you, and you will succeed.” 21After consulting with the people, the king ordered some musicians to put on the robes they wore on sacred occasions and to march ahead of the army, singing: “Praise the LORD! His love is eternal!”
22When they began to sing, the LORD threw the invading armies into a panic. 23The Ammonites and the Moabites attacked the Edomite army and completely destroyed it, and then they turned on each other in savage fighting. 24When the Judean army reached a tower that was in the desert, they looked towards the enemy and saw that they were all lying on the ground, dead. Not one had escaped.
25Jehoshaphat and his troops moved in to take the loot, and they found many cattle, supplies, clothing, and other valuable objects. They spent three days gathering the loot, but there was so much that they could not take everything. 26On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah and praised the LORD for all he had done. That is why the valley is called “Beracah”.27Jehoshaphat led his troops back to Jerusalem in triumph, because the LORD had defeated their enemies. 28When they reached the city, they marched to the Temple, to the music of harps and trumpets. 29Every nation that heard how the LORD had defeated Israel's enemies was terrified, 30so Jehoshaphat ruled in peace, and God gave him security on every side.
31Jehoshaphat had become king of Judah at the age of 35 and had ruled in Jerusalem for 25 years. His mother was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 32Like his father Asa before him, he did what was right in the sight of the LORD; 33but the pagan places of worship were not destroyed. The people still did not turn wholeheartedly to the worship of the God of their ancestors.
34Everything else that Jehoshaphat did, from the beginning of his reign to its end, is recorded in The History of Jehu Son of Hanani, which is a part of The History of the Kings of Israel.
35At one time King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who did many wicked things. 36At the port of Eziongeber they built ocean-going ships. 37But Eliezer son of Dodavahu, from the town of Mareshah, warned Jehoshaphat, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have built.” And the ships were wrecked and never sailed.
1Jehoshaphat died and was buried in the royal tombs in David's City and his son Jehoram succeeded him as king.
1After the death of King Ahab of Israel, the country of Moab rebelled against Israel.
2King Ahaziah of Israel fell off the balcony on the roof of his palace in Samaria and was seriously injured. So he sent some messengers to consult Baalzebub, the god of the Philistine city of Ekron, in order to find out whether or not he would recover. 3But an angel of the LORD commanded Elijah, the prophet from Tishbe, to go and meet the messengers of King Ahaziah and ask them, “Why are you going to consult Baalzebub, the god of Ekron? Is it because you think there is no god in Israel? 4Tell the king that the LORD says, ‘You will not recover from your injuries; you will die!’ ”
Elijah did as the LORD commanded, 5and the messengers returned to the king. “Why have you come back?” he asked.
6They answered, “We were met by a man who told us to come back and tell you that the LORD says to you, ‘Why are you sending messengers to consult Baalzebub, the god of Ekron? Is it because you think there is no god in Israel? You will not recover from your injuries; you will die!’ ”
7“What did the man look like?” the king asked.
8“He was wearing a cloak made of animal skins, tied with a leather belt,” they answered.
“It's Elijah!” the king exclaimed.
9Then he sent an officer with fifty men to get Elijah. The officer found him sitting on a hill and said to him, “Man of God, the king orders you to come down.”
10“If I am a man of God,” Elijah answered, “may fire come down from heaven and kill you and your men!” At once fire came down and killed the officer and his men.
11The king sent another officer with fifty men, who went up and said to Elijah, “Man of God, the king orders you to come down at once!”
12“If I am a man of God,” Elijah answered, “may fire come down from heaven and kill you and your men!” At once the fire of God came down and killed the officer and his men.
13Once more the king sent an officer with fifty men. He went up the hill, fell on his knees in front of Elijah, and pleaded, “Man of God, be merciful to me and my men. Spare our lives! 14The two other officers and their men were killed by fire from heaven; but please be merciful to me!”
15The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him, and don't be afraid.” So Elijah went with the officer to the king 16and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because you sent messengers to consult Baalzebub, the god of Ekron — as if there were no god in Israel to consult — you will not get well; you will die!’ ”
17Ahaziah died, as the LORD had said through Elijah. Ahaziah had no sons, so his brother Joram succeeded him as king in the second year of the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.
18Everything else that King Ahaziah did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Israel.
Elijah is Taken Up to Heaven
1The time came for the LORD to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal, 2and on the way Elijah said to Elisha, “Now stay here; the LORD has ordered me to go to Bethel.”
But Elisha answered, “I swear by my loyalty to the living LORD and to you that I will not leave you.” So they went on to Bethel.
3A group of prophets who lived there went to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?”
“Yes, I know,” Elisha answered. “But let's not talk about it.”
4Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Now stay here; the LORD has ordered me to go to Jericho.”
But Elisha answered, “I swear by my loyalty to the living LORD and to you that I will not leave you.” So they went on to Jericho.
5A group of prophets who lived there went to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?”
“Yes, I know,” Elisha answered. “But let's not talk about it.”
6Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Now stay here; the LORD has ordered me to go to the River Jordan.”
But Elisha answered, “I swear by my loyalty to the living LORD and to you that I will not leave you.” So they went on, 7and fifty of the prophets followed them to the Jordan. Elijah and Elisha stopped by the river, and the fifty prophets stood a short distance away. 8Then Elijah took off his cloak, rolled it up, and struck the water with it; the water divided, and he and Elisha crossed to the other side on dry ground. 9There, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what you want me to do for you before I am taken away.”
“Let me receive the share of your power that will make me your successor,” Elisha answered.
10“That is a difficult request to grant,” Elijah replied. “But you will receive it if you see me as I am being taken away from you; if you don't see me, you won't receive it.”
11They kept talking as they walked on; then suddenly a chariot of fire pulled by horses of fire came between them, and Elijah was taken up to heaven by a whirlwind. 12Elisha saw it and cried out to Elijah, “My father, my father! Mighty defender of Israel! You are gone!” And he never saw Elijah again.
In grief, Elisha tore his cloak in two. 13Then he picked up Elijah's cloak that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He struck the water with Elijah's cloak, and said, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” Then he struck the water again, and it divided, and he walked over to the other side. 15The fifty prophets from Jericho saw him and said, “The power of Elijah is on Elisha!” They went to meet him, bowed down before him, 16and said, “There are fifty of us here, all strong men. Let us go and look for your master. Maybe the Spirit of the LORD has carried him away and left him on some mountain or in some valley.”
“No, you must not go,” Elisha answered.
17But they insisted until he gave in and let them go. The fifty of them went and looked high and low for Elijah for three days, but didn't find him. 18Then they returned to Elisha, who had waited at Jericho, and he said to them, “Didn't I tell you not to go?”
Miracles of Elisha
19Some men from Jericho went to Elisha and said, “As you know, sir, this is a fine city, but the water is bad and causes miscarriages.”
20“Put some salt in a new bowl, and bring it to me,” he ordered. They brought it to him, 21and he went to the spring, threw the salt in the water, and said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I make this water pure, and it will not cause any more deaths or miscarriages.’ ” 22And that water has been pure ever since, just as Elisha said it would be.
23Elisha left Jericho to go to Bethel, and on the way some boys came out of a town and made fun of him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they shouted.
24Elisha turned round, glared at them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore 42 of the boys to pieces.
25Elisha went on to Mount Carmel, and later returned to Samaria.