This is Episode #111 and today we’ll begin 2 Kings and read chapters 1-3 together. King Ahaziah dies. Elijah is taken up to heaven in a whirlwind but Elisha gets a double-portion of his spirit. And the Moabites rebelled.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #111 and today we’ll begin 2 Kings and read chapters 1-3 together. King Ahaziah dies. Elijah is taken up to heaven in a whirlwind, but Elisha gets a double-portion of his spirit. And the Moabites rebelled.
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!
Intro to 2 Kings
Before we overview 2 Kings, I want to remind you that the Bible is not laid out in chronological order. 2 Kings is the end of Israel as we know it, as God intended. But we’re not even close to the end of the Old Testament! First, Israel – as the ten northern tribes were called after the kingdom was divided – was exiled by the Assyrians. Then, Nebuchadnezzar rose to power. He conquered the Assyrians and Judah – the remaining two southern tribes – and exiled all of God’s people to Babylonia. We’ll experience all of it in 2 Kings.
Also in this book, we’ll read how Elijah did not die a physical death. We’ll learn how Elisha admirably took his place. And we’ll be introduced to one of the major prophets, Isaiah. Of course, it wouldn’t be the history of the divided kingdom of Israel if we didn’t finish the see-saw ride between Israel’s and Judah’s kings. All this as we trudge closer and closer to captivity with them.
2 Kings Chapter 1
Ahaziah’s Sickness and Death
After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel. Ahaziah had fallen through the latticed window of his upstairs room in Samaria and was injured. So he sent messengers, instructing them, “Go inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I will recover from this injury.”
But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore, this is what the Lord says: You will not get up from your sickbed; you will certainly die.’” Then Elijah left.
The messengers returned to the king, who asked them, “Why have you come back?”
They replied, “A man came to meet us and said, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and declare to him, “This is what the Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you’re sending these men to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore, you will not get up from your sickbed; you will certainly die.”’”
The king asked them, “What sort of man came up to meet you and spoke those words to you?”
They replied, “A hairy man with a leather belt around his waist.”
He said, “It’s Elijah the Tishbite.”
So King Ahaziah sent a captain with his fifty men to Elijah. When the captain went up to him, he was sitting on top of the hill. He announced, “Man of God, the king declares, ‘Come down!’”
God Speaks to Elijah
Elijah responded to the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.
So the king sent another captain with his fifty men to Elijah. He took in the situation and announced, “Man of God, this is what the king says: ‘Come down immediately!’”
Elijah responded, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men.” So a divine fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.
Then the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. The third captain went up and fell on his knees in front of Elijah and begged him, “Man of God, please let my life and the lives of these fifty servants of yours be precious to you. Already fire has come down from heaven and consumed the first two captains with their companies, but this time let my life be precious to you.”
The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down with him. Don’t be afraid of him.” So he got up and went down with him to the king.
Then Elijah said to King Ahaziah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron — is it because there is no God in Israel for you to inquire of his will? — you will not get up from your sickbed; you will certainly die.’”
Ahaziah died according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken. Since he had no son, Joram became king in his place. This happened in the second year of Judah’s King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat. The rest of the events of Ahaziah’s reign, along with his accomplishments, are written in the Historical Record of Israel’s Kings.
2 Kings Chapter 2
Elijah in the Whirlwind
The time had come for the Lord to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal, and Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord is sending me on to Bethel.”
But Elisha replied, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
Then the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha and said, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?”
He said, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”
Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; the Lord is sending me to Jericho.”
But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.
Then the sons of the prophets who were in Jericho came up to Elisha and said, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?”
He said, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”
Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord is sending me to the Jordan.”
But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on.
Elijah is Taken Up
Fifty men from the sons of the prophets came and stood observing them at a distance while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water, which parted to the right and left. Then the two of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken from you.”
So Elisha answered, “Please, let me inherit two shares of your spirit.”
Elijah replied, “You have asked for something difficult. If you see me being taken from you, you will have it. If not, you won’t.”
As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire with horses of fire suddenly appeared and separated the two of them. Then Elijah went up into heaven in the whirlwind. As Elisha watched, he kept crying out, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
Elisha Succeeds Elijah
When he could see him no longer, he took hold of his own clothes, tore them in two, picked up the mantle that had fallen off Elijah, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle Elijah had dropped, and he struck the water. “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” he asked. He struck the water himself, and it parted to the right and the left, and Elisha crossed over.
When the sons of the prophets from Jericho who were observing saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed down to the ground in front of him.
Then the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Since there are fifty strong men here with your servants, please let them go and search for your master. Maybe the Spirit of the Lord has carried him away and put him on one of the mountains or into one of the valleys.”
He answered, “Don’t send them.”
However, they urged him to the point of embarrassment, so he said, “Send them.” They sent fifty men, who looked for three days but did not find him. When they returned to him in Jericho where he was staying, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”
The Water Made Healthy
The men of the city said to Elisha, “My lord can see that even though the city’s location is good, the water is bad and the land unfruitful.”
He replied, “Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it.”
After they had brought him one, Elisha went out to the spring, threw salt in it, and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. No longer will death or unfruitfulness result from it.’” Therefore, the water still remains healthy today according to the word that Elisha spoke.
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking up the path, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, chanting, “Go up, baldy! Go up, baldy!” He turned around, looked at them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the children. From there Elisha went to Mount Carmel, and then he returned to Samaria.
2 Kings Chapter 3
Israel’s King Joram
Joram son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria during the eighteenth year of Judah’s King Jehoshaphat, and he reigned twelve years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, but not like his father and mother, for he removed the sacred pillar of Baal his father had made. Nevertheless, Joram clung to the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit. He did not turn away from them.
Moab’s Rebellion against Israel
King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder. He used to pay the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs and the wool of one hundred thousand rams, but when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. So King Joram marched out from Samaria at that time and mobilized all Israel. Then he sent a message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?”
Jehoshaphat said, “I will go. I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
He asked, “Which route should we take?”
He replied, “The route of the Wilderness of Edom.”
So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom set out. After they had traveled their indirect route for seven days, they had no water for the army or the animals with them.
Then the king of Israel said, “Oh no, the Lord has summoned these three kings, only to hand them over to Moab.”
But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there a prophet of the Lord here? Let’s inquire of the Lord through him.”
One of the servants of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat, who used to pour water on Elijah’s hands, is here.”
Jehoshaphat affirmed, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went to him.
However, Elisha said to King Joram of Israel, “What do we have in common? Go to the prophets of your father and your mother!”
But the king of Israel replied, “No, because it is the Lord who has summoned these three kings to hand them over to Moab.”
Water Filled the Land
Elisha responded, “By the life of the Lord of Armies, before whom I stand: If I did not have respect for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I wouldn’t look at you; I would not take notice of you. Now, bring me a musician.”
While the musician played, the Lord’s hand came on Elisha. Then he said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Dig ditch after ditch in this wadi.’ For the Lord says, ‘You will not see wind or rain, but the wadi will be filled with water, and you will drink — you and your cattle and your animals.’ This is easy in the Lord’s sight. He will also hand Moab over to you. Then you will attack every fortified city and every choice city. You will cut down every good tree and stop up every spring. You will ruin every good piece of land with stones.”
About the time for the grain offering the next morning, water suddenly came from the direction of Edom and filled the land.
All Moab had heard that the kings had come up to fight against them. So all who could bear arms, from the youngest to the oldest, were summoned and took their stand at the border. When they got up early in the morning, the sun was shining on the water, and the Moabites saw that the water across from them was red like blood. “This is blood!” they exclaimed. “The kings have crossed swords and their men have killed one another. So, to the spoil, Moab!”
However, when the Moabites came to Israel’s camp, the Israelites attacked them, and they fled from them. So Israel went into the land attacking the Moabites. They would destroy the cities, and each of them would throw a stone to cover every good piece of land. They would stop up every spring and cut down every good tree. This went on until only the buildings of Kir-hareseth were left. Then men with slings surrounded the city and attacked it.
When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took seven hundred swordsmen with him to try to break through to the king of Edom, but they could not do it. So he took his firstborn son, who was to become king in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the city wall. Great wrath was on the Israelites, and they withdrew from him and returned to their land.
Okay…let’s get the end of chapter 2 cleared up right away. Again, we always have to employ what we know about God; that He is loving, that He is just, and He doesn’t go around being cruel to little kids. First of all, these ‘children’ were probably young people – even young adults – probably around 20 years old. Second, they must have been awful with no redeeming qualities. Finally, you don’t mess with God’s prophets. Elisha left the punishment up to God and the bear incident was what He chose. We also don’t get to judge God.
Likewise, at the end of chapter 3, we don’t want to wrongly assume that Chemosh, the god of the Moabites, had any power to send the Israelites running. More likely, because this disgusting sacrifice of King Mesha’s oldest child was done in the sight of everyone, it rallied the rest of the Moabites to give a final and menacing attack on the Israelites. Not really sure how this squared with Elisha’s word that Israel would take the spoils and cities of Moab. If you know, please share at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
See You Tomorrow!
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will by changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
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.
Bible Study Resources
- CSB Study Bible – Hardcover or Kindle!
- The Bible Project’s Bible Basics – Free!
- Every Bible You Could Ever Want!
- The Bible Hub – Free!
- Bible Study Tools – Free!
- The Bible Project– Free!
- Want to use your tablet for Bible reading? Consider Kindle .
- I love Audible! Try it for free!
- Want it? FaithGear has it!
- Wear your faith! Christian Strong
- Bet Hannon Business Websites designed and maintains my website.
- Title of song used in the podcast is 3 Joys & the Truth, by Daniel O’Connor
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you purchase anything, I may get a small commission. This does not cost you anything and it helps offset the costs of the podcast. Thank you in advance.
View my Broadcast License.