2 Kings 8
Elisha’s prediction leads to murder
Elisha warns woman to escape famine1Elisha met with the woman whose son he brought back to life.  He told her, “The LORD is sending a famine  here. For seven years we won’t have enough food to go around. So, you need to live somewhere else during that time.”
2She did what the prophet said. She moved into Philistine territory and stayed there for seven years. 3When the seven years were over, she came home. But she had to ask the king to help her get her home back.
4It just so happened that she showed up at the palace at the time the king was chatting with Elisha’s servant, Gehazi. The king had said, “Tell me about some of the big things Elisha has done.”
5Gehazi was telling the king about what Elisha did for this woman. Gehazi said the prophet brought her dead son back to life. That’s when the woman showed up to talk with the king about her home and land. Gehazi said, “My king, this is the woman I was telling you about. And this is the son Elisha brought back to life.”
6The king talked with the woman and then ruled on her request. He appointed an official to help her get back everything that belonged to her. He said, “Give everything back to her. And find out how much her fields produced while she was gone and get the value of that back to her as well.”
The murder of Syria’s king7Elisha took a trip to Damascus when the king there, Ben-hadad, was sick. Someone told the king that Elisha was in town. 8The king sent a messenger named Hazael to Elisha. The king said, “Take him a gift and ask him if I will get well.”
9Hazael put together an extraordinary gift package—40 camel loads of an array of gifts. Hazael met with Elisha and said, “Your devoted servant, Syria’s King Ben-hadad sent me to you. He wants to know if he will live through this sickness.”
Elisha’s lie10Elisha said, “Tell him he’ll recover. But he won’t. The LORD told me he will die.”
11Elisha locked his eyes onto Hazael and stared until it became uncomfortable and embarrassing. Then he broke down and cried. 12Hazael said, “Why are you crying?” Elisha said, “I know what’s coming and it’s evil. You will hurt the people of Israel. You’ll burn their walled cities, slaughter their young men with your swords, dash their babies to death into rocks, and cut the life out of pregnant women.”
13“Me?” Hazael said. “I’m just a servant, a nobody. How could I do anything as big as that?” Elisha said, “The LORD showed me that you’ll become king of Syria.”
14Hazael went back to the king, who asked for the news. “What did Elisha say?” Hazael said, “You will get well. Absolutely. That’s what he told me.” 15The next day, Hazael soaked a blanket in water and pressed it into the king’s face, suffocating him to death.  Hazael became the new king.
Jehoram becomes king of Judah16King Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, became king of Judah. By then Ahab’s son, Joram, was into the fifth year of his reign. 17Jehoram was 32 years old, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18He was just another king who got on the wrong side of God and stayed there. He was like the evil kings in Ahab’s family. And the LORD didn’t like what he saw.
19But the LORD didn’t end Judah. That’s a tribute to his love for David. God had promised him that his descendants would always rule.
20The nation of Edom decided this would be a good time to revolt against Judah’s domination and declare their independence. 21Jehoram led his entire chariot corps over to Zair,  where he launched a night attack. Edom’s army surrounded them, but Judah’s forces broke through the line and didn’t stop until they got back to Judah. 
22Edom’s revolution not only succeeded, it endured. Judah has no leverage there to this day. Even the town Libnah  took the opportunity then to rebel. 23The rest of Jehoram’s story appears in the History of Judah’s Kings. 24Jehoram died and the people buried him in the City of David.  His son Ahaziah became king.
Ahaziah, new king of Judah25Jehoram’s son Ahaziah became king of Judah when Ahab’s son Joram was into his twelfth year as king of Israel, north of Judah. 26Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king. He was 23 when he died. He reigned a year in Jerusalem. He had a royal mother, Athaliah—granddaughter of Israel’s King Omri.  27He was just another king who got on the wrong side of God and stayed there. He was like the evil kings in Ahab’s family. He was a son-in-law to that family. The LORD didn’t like what he saw in Ahaziah.
28He joined forces with King Joram of Israel to fight Syria’s king, Hazael. They fought at Ramoth in the territory of Gilead. Syrians wounded Joram in that battle. 29Joram came home to the getaway palace at Jezreel, to recover from his wounds at Ramoth in Gilead.  King Ahaziah later left the hills of Jerusalem to go down to Jezreel and visit the wounded king.
2 Kings 4:8.
Some scholars say the Syrian invasion and siege of Samaria and possible destruction of crops, vineyards, and orchards may have caused the long-term food shortage. Invaders sometimes “filled the plowed fields with rocks, plugged every spring of water they found, and cut down every tree worth the trouble” (2 Kings 3:25).
Assyrian records confirm Ben-hadad died a violent death but doesn’t say how.
Location of Zair (Seir in the Greek translation) is unknown. One guess is that Judah went south of the Dead Sea and crossed over to a town with a similar-sounding name: Zoar. But Zair in its Greek form of Seir is what people in the time of Jacob and Esau used as an alternate name for Edom (Genesis 33:14).
This is one guess about how to interpret the confusing second part of the verse. Other versions that show up in Bibles include these: Jehoram lost the battle, but some chariots escaped—though the infantry may have died there. Jehoram’s entire army deserted him. Jehoram won the battle, but then the army gave up and went home. Whatever happened, it seemed to highlight the weakness of Judah because they never got control of Edom’s territory again.
Libnah was a town in the Judean foothills, along the borders of Judah in the hill country and Philistine territory on the coast.
Omri was Ahab’s father, and the first king of a dynasty that ended with the murder of his grandson.
The name of the town in this verse is “Ramah,” another name for Ramoth in Gilead.
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