This is Episode #113 and today we’ll read 2 Kings chapters 6-8 together. In these chapters we see God’s mighty power displayed through Elisha.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #113 and today we’ll read 2 Kings chapters 6-8 together. In these chapters we see God’s mighty power displayed through Elisha.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
2 Kings Chapter 6
The Floating Ax Head
The sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Please notice that the place where we live under your supervision is too small for us. Please let us go to the Jordan where we can each get a log and can build ourselves a place to live there.”
“Go,” he said.
Then one said, “Please come with your servants.”
“I’ll come,” he answered.
So he went with them, and when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Oh, my master, it was borrowed!”
Then the man of God asked, “Where did it fall?”
When he showed him the place, the man of God cut a piece of wood, threw it there, and made the iron float. Then he said, “Pick it up.” So he reached out and took it.
The Aramean War
When the king of Aram was waging war against Israel, he conferred with his servants, “My camp will be at such and such a place.”
But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Be careful passing by this place, for the Arameans are going down there.” Consequently, the king of Israel sent word to the place the man of God had told him about. The man of God repeatedly warned the king, so the king would be on his guard.
The king of Aram was enraged because of this matter, and he called his servants and demanded of them, “Tell me, which one of us is for the king of Israel?”
One of his servants said, “No one, my lord the king. Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in your bedroom.”
So the king said, “Go and see where he is, so I can send men to capture him.”
When he was told, “Elisha is in Dothan,” he sent horses, chariots, and a massive army there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
When the servant of the man of God got up early and went out, he discovered an army with horses and chariots surrounding the city. So he asked Elisha, “Oh, my master, what are we to do?”
Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them.”
Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.” So the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
He Prepared a Feast
When the Arameans came against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Please strike this nation with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, according to Elisha’s word. Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will take you to the man you’re looking for.” And he led them to Samaria. When they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “Lord, open these men’s eyes and let them see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw that they were in the middle of Samaria.
When the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “Should I kill them, should I kill them, my father?”
Elisha replied, “Don’t kill them. Do you kill those you have captured with your sword or your bow? Set food and water in front of them so they can eat and drink and go to their master.”
So he prepared a big feast for them. When they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. The Aramean raiders did not come into Israel’s land again.
The Siege of Samaria
Some time later, King Ben-hadad of Aram brought all his military units together and marched up and laid siege to Samaria. So there was a severe famine in Samaria, and they continued the siege against it until a donkey’s head sold for thirty-four ounces of silver, and a cup of dove’s dung sold for two ounces of silver.
Disaster from the Lord
As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, “My lord the king, help!”
He answered, “If the Lord doesn’t help you, where can I get help for you? From the threshing floor or the winepress?” Then the king asked her, “What’s the matter?”
She said, “This woman said to me, ‘Give up your son, and we will eat him today. Then we will eat my son tomorrow.’ So we boiled my son and ate him, and I said to her the next day, ‘Give up your son, and we will eat him,’ but she has hidden her son.”
When the king heard the woman’s words, he tore his clothes. Then, as he was passing by on the wall, the people saw that there was sackcloth under his clothes next to his skin. He announced, “May God punish me and do so severely if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat remains on his shoulders today.”
Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. The king sent a man ahead of him, but before the messenger got to him, Elisha said to the elders, “Do you see how this murderer has sent someone to remove my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door to keep him out. Isn’t the sound of his master’s feet behind him?”
While Elisha was still speaking with them, the messenger came down to him. Then he said, “This disaster is from the Lord. Why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”
2 Kings Chapter 7
Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says: ‘About this time tomorrow at Samaria’s gate, six quarts of fine flour will sell for a half ounce of silver and twelve quarts of barley will sell for a half ounce of silver.’”
Then the captain, the king’s right-hand man, responded to the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?”
Elisha announced, “You will in fact see it with your own eyes, but you won’t eat any of it.”
Now four men with a skin disease were at the entrance to the city gate. They said to each other, “Why just sit here until we die? If we say, ‘Let’s go into the city,’ we will die there because the famine is in the city, but if we sit here, we will also die. So now, come on. Let’s surrender to the Arameans’ camp. If they let us live, we will live; if they kill us, we will die.”
So the diseased men got up at twilight to go to the Arameans’ camp. When they came to the camp’s edge, they discovered that no one was there, for the Lord had caused the Aramean camp to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a large army. The Arameans had said to each other, “The king of Israel must have hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to attack us.” So they had gotten up and fled at twilight, abandoning their tents, horses, and donkeys. The camp was intact, and they had fled for their lives.
They Went Back to Tell the King
When these diseased men came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent to eat and drink. Then they picked up the silver, gold, and clothing and went off and hid them. They came back and entered another tent, picked things up, and hid them. Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing what is right. Today is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until morning light, our punishment will catch up with us. So let’s go tell the king’s household.”
The diseased men came and called to the city’s gatekeepers and told them, “We went to the Aramean camp and no one was there — no human sounds. There was nothing but tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents were intact.” The gatekeepers called out, and the news was reported to the king’s household.
So the king got up in the night and said to his servants, “Let me tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving, so they have left the camp to hide in the open country, thinking, ‘When they come out of the city, we will take them alive and go into the city.’”
But one of his servants responded, “Please, let messengers take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their fate is like the entire Israelite community who will die, so let’s send them and see.”
The Captain was Trampled
The messengers took two chariots with horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army, saying, “Go and see.” So they followed them as far as the Jordan. They saw that the whole way was littered with clothes and equipment the Arameans had thrown off in their haste. The messengers returned and told the king.
Then the people went out and plundered the Aramean camp. It was then that six quarts of fine flour sold for a half ounce of silver and twelve quarts of barley sold for a half ounce of silver, according to the word of the Lord. The king had appointed the captain, his right-hand man, to be in charge of the city gate, but the people trampled him in the gate. He died, just as the man of God had predicted when the king had come to him.
When the man of God had said to the king, “About this time tomorrow twelve quarts of barley will sell for a half ounce of silver and six quarts of fine flour will sell for a half ounce of silver at Samaria’s gate,” this captain had answered the man of God, “Look, even if the Lord were to make windows in heaven, could this really happen?” Elisha had said, “You will in fact see it with your own eyes, but you won’t eat any of it.” This is what happened to him: the people trampled him in the city gate, and he died.
2 Kings Chapter 8
The Shunammite’s Land Restored
Elisha said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Get ready, you and your household, and go live as a resident alien wherever you can. For the Lord has announced a seven-year famine, and it has already come to the land.”
So the woman got ready and did what the man of God said. She and her household lived as resident aliens in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 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.
The king had been speaking to Gehazi, the attendant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things Elisha has done.”
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.”
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.”
Aram’s King Hazael
Elisha came to Damascus while King Ben-hadad of Aram was sick, and the king was told, “The man of God has come here.” 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?’”
Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him a gift: forty camel-loads of all the finest products of Damascus. When he came and stood before him, he said, “Your son, King Ben-hadad of Aram, has sent me to ask you, ‘Will I recover from this sickness? ’”
Elisha told him, “Go say to him, ‘You are sure to recover.’ But the Lord has shown me that he is sure to die.” Then he stared steadily at him until he was ashamed.
The man of God wept, 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 children to pieces. You will rip open their pregnant women.”
Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, do such a mighty deed?”
Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will be king over Aram.”
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.” 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 in his place.
Judah’s King Jehoram
In the fifth year of Israel’s King Joram son of Ahab, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah, replacing his father. He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He walked in the ways 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. For the sake of his servant David, the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah, since he had promised to give a lamp to David and his sons forever.
During Jehoram’s reign, Edom rebelled against Judah’s control and appointed their own king. 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. So Edom is still in rebellion against Judah’s control today. Libnah also rebelled at that time.
The rest of the events of Jehoram’s reign, along with all his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. Jehoram rested with his ancestors and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and his son Ahaziah became king in his place.
Judah’s King Ahaziah
In the twelfth year of Israel’s King Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, granddaughter of Israel’s King Omri. He walked in the ways of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in the Lord’s sight like the house of Ahab, for his father had married into the house of Ahab.
Ahaziah went with Joram son of Ahab to fight against King Hazael of Aram in Ramoth-gilead, and the Arameans wounded Joram. 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.
Whether during the business of daily living like chopping wood or spectacular circumstances such as war, we see God’s hand working through Elisha. Likewise, Elisha trusted the Lord his God in everything. He was not afraid of the king’s threats – he knew God was on his side. Through Elisha, we are compelled to trust God in all of our circumstances as well. I confess that I falter when it comes to trusting completely. What am I afraid of? Is it that I put God on the same level as those in this world who have betrayed or hurt me? Intellectually, I know that He is totally trustworthy. The shortcoming is my own. I humbly praise God that He already knows my shortcomings and sent Jesus anyway.
The exchange between Elisha and Ahazael gives me pause. It becomes very clear that Elisha is troubled by God’s plan but is determined to be obedient, nonetheless. What circumstances challenge you when endeavoring to obey God’s leading? Let me know at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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