I say again, “Agree and amplify.” The enemy is evil, expects evil, and does not understand what is good.
You may think to yourself, “Why would I read all this?” Answer: “Because it’s a good narrative, with a life lesson.” That, and my clients will probably suffer for my effort to provide you all wisdom.
Quiz at the end.
Then were the people of Israel divided into two parts: …the people that followed Omri prevailed against the people that followed Tibni… And he bought the hill Samaria …and built on the hill, and called the name of the city …Samaria. But Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did worse than all that were before him. …and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities. …Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria: and Ahab his son reigned in his stead.
And in the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel: and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty and two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal [meaning “lord” or “master” of Tyre – not the god of Israel, that is, Abram who became Abraham], and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal [of Tyre] in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. And Ahab made a grove [a feminine image of Baal of Tyre]; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.
And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. [Thereafter, Elijah’s god (of Israel) commands him to hide, which he does. Years pass.] …the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab.
And there was a sore famine in Samaria. And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly: For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) And Ahab said unto Obadiah, “Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts.” So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, “Art thou that my lord Elijah?” And he answered him, “I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.”
And he [Obadiah] said, “What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? As the Lord thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. And now thou sayest, ‘Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here.’ And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the Lord shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the Lord from my youth. Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the Lord, how I hid an hundred men of the Lord’s prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me.”
And Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day.”
So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah. And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?”
And he [Elijah] answered, “I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim [Baal – plural]. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves [feminine Baal of Tyre] four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.”
So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people answered him not a word.
Then said Elijah unto the people, “I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord [ed. note: other prophets are hidden by Obadiah]; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God.”
And all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.” [That is, “This is a good test.”]
And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, “Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.”
And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, “O Baal [of Tyre], hear us.” But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, “Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.” And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
And Elijah said unto all the people, “Come near unto me.” And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the [existing and abandoned] altar of the Lord that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be thy name.” And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed [ed. note: perhaps 8-12 inches]. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, “Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.” [Which was done.] And he said, “Do it the second time.” And they did it the second time. And he said, “Do it the third time.” And they did it the third time. And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water. And it came to pass at the [customary] time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, “The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.”
And Elijah said unto them, “Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. And Elijah said unto Ahab, “Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up, and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And he [Elijah] said, “Go again seven times.” And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he [the servant] said, “Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.” And he [Elijah] said, “Go up, say unto Ahab, ‘Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down that the rain stop thee not.'” And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them [the prophets of Baal of Tyre] by tomorrow about this time.” And when he [Elijah] saw that, he arose, and went [ran] for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah [the southern kingdom of Israel, not ruled by Ahab], and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”
And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.” And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God [where Moses received the Ten Commandments].
And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, “What doest thou here, Elijah?” And he said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he [Elijah’s god] said, “Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.” And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle [hoody – like Robin Hood], and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, “What doest thou here, Elijah?”
And he said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” [Elijah is saying this a second time.] And the Lord said unto him, “Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus [all the fucking way from Sinai through modern Israel to the modern capital of modern fucking Syria]: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over [northern] Israel [replacing Ahab and Ahab’s sons]: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room [Elijah’s successor]. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”
So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee.” And he said unto him, “Go back again: for what have I done to thee?” And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.
And Benhadad the king of Syria [the King who Elijah’s god has already arranged a replacement] gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots; and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, “Thus saith Benhadad, ‘Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine.'” And the king of Israel answered and said, “My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have. [Fealty, not surrender.]” And the messengers came again, and said, “Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, ‘Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children; Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away.'” Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, “Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not.” And all the elders and all the people said unto him, “Hearken not unto him, nor consent.” Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Benhadad, “Tell my lord the king, ‘All that thou didst send for to thy servant at the first I will do: but this thing I may not do.'” And the messengers departed, and brought him word again. And Benhadad sent unto him, and said, “The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me.” And the king of Israel answered and said, “Tell him, ‘Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.’ [You’ll put on your armor, but I’ll take it off you.]” And it came to pass, when Ben-hadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, “Set yourselves in array [attack formation].” And they set themselves in array against the city.
And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.'” And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Even by the young men of the princes of the provinces.'” Then he said, “Who shall order the battle?” And he answered, “Thou.”
Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand. And they went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him. And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Benhadad sent out, and they told him, saying, “There are men come out of Samaria.” And he said, “Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive.” So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them. And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen. And the king of Israel [Ahab] went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.
And the prophet came to the king of Israel [Ahab], and said unto him, “Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.”
And the servants of the king of Syria [Benhadad] said unto him, “Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. And do this thing, Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms: And number thee an army, like the army that thou hast lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot: and we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.” And he hearkened unto their voice, and did so.
And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel. And the children of Israel were numbered, and were all present, and went against them: and the children of Israel pitched before them like two little flocks of kids; but the Syrians filled the country. And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Because the Syrians have said, ‘The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys,’ therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.'”
And they pitched one over against the other seven days. And so it was, that in the seventh day the battle was joined: and the children of Israel slew of the Syrians an hundred thousand footmen in one day [unlikely numbers, but sufficient to say lots of Syrians died]. But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber. And his servants said unto him, “Behold now, we have heard that the kings of the house of Israel are merciful kings: let us, I pray thee, put sackcloth on our loins, and ropes upon our heads, and go out to the king of Israel: peradventure he will save thy life.” So they girded sackcloth on their loins, and put ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, “Thy servant Benhadad saith, ‘I pray thee, let me live.'” And he [Ahab] said, “Is he yet alive? he is my brother.”
Now the men did diligently observe whether any thing would come from him, and did hastily catch it: and they said, “Thy brother Benhadad.” Then he said, “Go ye, bring him.” Then Benhadad came forth to him; and he caused him to come up into the chariot. And Ben-hadad said unto him, “The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria.” Then said Ahab, “I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.”
[Here follows an aside. Enjoy the cryptic message.]
And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the Lord, “Smite me, I pray thee.” And the man refused to smite him. Then said he unto him, “Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee.” And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him. Then he found another man, and said, “Smite me, I pray thee.” And the man smote him, so that in smiting he wounded him.
[Hmmm. What could that possibly mean?]
So the prophet departed, and waited for the king by the way, and disguised himself with ashes upon his face. And as the king passed by, he cried unto the king: and he said, “Thy servant went out into the midst of the battle; and, behold, a man turned aside, and brought a man unto me, and said, ‘Keep this man: if by any means he be missing, then shall thy life be for his life, or else thou shalt pay a talent of silver.’ And as thy servant was busy here and there, he was gone.” And the king of Israel said unto him, “So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.” And he [the prophet] hasted, and took the ashes away from his face; and the king of Israel discerned him that he was of the prophets. And he [the prophet] said unto him, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people.'” And the king of Israel went to his house heavy and displeased, and came to Samaria [his capital].
And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, “Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.” And Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.” And Ahab came into his [Ahab’s] house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, “I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers.” And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. [Butthurt.]
But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, “Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?” And he said unto her, “Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, ‘Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it:’ and he answered, ‘I will not give thee my vineyard.'” And Jezebel his wife said unto him, “Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, ‘Thou didst blaspheme God and the king.’ And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.” And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, “Naboth did blaspheme God and the king.” Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died. Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.
And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.” And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord, ‘Hast thou killed, and also taken possession?” And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord, ‘In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.””
And Ahab said to Elijah [after hearing the message from Elijah’s god], “Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?” And he answered, “I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah [that is, exterminated], for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, ‘The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’ Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat. But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.”
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son’s days will I bring the evil upon his house.”
And they continued three years without war between Syria and Israel. And it came to pass in the third year, that Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. And the king of Israel [Ahab] said unto his servants, “Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria?” And he said unto Jehoshaphat, “Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramothgilead?” And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses.” And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, “Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the Lord to day.” Then the king of Israel [Ahab] gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, “Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear?” And they said, “Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?” And the king of Israel [Ahab] said unto Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” And Jehoshaphat said, “Let not the king say so.” Then the king of Israel [Ahab] called an officer, and said, “Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah.”
And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, having put on their robes, in a void place in the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them. And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them.'” And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, “Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the king’s hand.” And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake unto him, saying, “Behold now, the words of the prophets declare good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak that which is good.” And Micaiah said, “As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak.” So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, “Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear?” And he answered him, “Go, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.” And the king said unto him, “How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the Lord?” And he Micaiah said, “I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the Lord said, ‘These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.'” And the king of Israel [Ahab] said unto Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?”
And he [Micaiah] said, “Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?’ And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, ‘I will persuade him.’ And the Lord said unto him, ‘Wherewith?’ And he said, ‘I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.’ Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.”
But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, “Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak unto thee?” And Micaiah said, “Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.” And the king of Israel [Ahab] said, “Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; And say, ‘Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace.'”
And Micaiah said, “If thou return at all in peace, the Lord hath not spoken by me. [You’re gonna die.]” And he said, “Hearken, O people, every one of you.”
So the king of Israel [Ahab] and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead. And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel [Ahab] disguised himself, and went into the battle. But the king of Syria [Benhadad] commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, “Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.” And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “Surely it is the king of Israel.” And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out. And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him.
And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel [Ahab] between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, “Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.” And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot. And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, “Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.” So the king [Ahab] died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the Lord which he spake.
Now the rest of the acts of Ahab, and all that he did, and the ivory house which he made, and all the cities that he built, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? So Ahab slept with his fathers; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned [only] two years over Israel. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father [Ahab], and in the way of his mother [Jezebel], and in the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin [Jeroboam split the northern ten tribes of Israel from the two southern tribes, which became Judah]: For he [Ahaziah] served Baal [of Tyre], and worshipped him, and provoked to anger the Lord God of Israel, according to all that his father [Ahab] had done.
Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, “Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron [a Philistine deity in a Philistine city] whether I shall recover of this disease.” But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, ‘Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?’ Now therefore thus saith the Lord, ‘Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.'” And Elijah departed.
And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said unto them, “Why are ye now turned back?” And they said unto him, “There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, ‘Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, ‘Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.”” And he said unto them, “What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words?” And they answered him, “He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”
Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, “Thou man of God, the king hath said, ‘Come down.'” And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, “If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.” And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, “O man of God, thus hath the king said, ‘Come down quickly.'” And Elijah answered and said unto them, “If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty.” And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, “O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.” And the angel of the Lord said unto Elijah, “Go down with him: be not afraid of him.” And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.
And he said unto him, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.'” So he died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram [his brother] reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.
Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
[Elijah is taken bodily to heaven; Elisha succeeds him, then travels to Samaria.]
Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. And he wrought evil in the sight of the Lord; but not like his father, and [not] like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.
And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool. But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. And king Jehoram went out of Samaria the same time, and numbered all Israel. And he went and sent to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, “The king of Moab hath rebelled against me: wilt thou go with me against Moab to battle?” And he [Jehoshaphat] said, “I will go up: I am as thou art, my people as thy people, and my horses as thy horses.” And he said, “Which way shall we go up?” And he answered, “The way through the wilderness of Edom.” [Edom is south of the Dead Sea, and is the land of the people of Esau, Jacob’s brother.]
So the king of Israel went, and the king of Judah, and the king of Edom: and they fetched a compass of seven days’ journey: and there was no water for the host, and for the cattle that followed them. And the king of Israel [Jehoram] said, “Alas! that the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab!” But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here a prophet of the Lord, that we may enquire of the Lord by him?” And one of the king of Israel’s servants answered and said, “Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, which poured water on the hands of Elijah.” And Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him.” So the king of Israel [Jehoram] and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
And Elisha said unto the king of Israel, “What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother [the prophets of Baal of Tyre]. And the king of Israel said unto him, “Nay: for the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into the hand of Moab.” And Elisha said, “As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee. But now bring me a minstrel.” And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the Lord came upon him. And he said, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ For thus saith the Lord, ‘Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hand. And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.'”
And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water. And when all the Moabites heard that the kings were come up to fight against them, they gathered all that were able to put on armour, and upward, and stood in the border. And they rose up early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood: And they said, “This is blood: the kings are surely slain, and they have smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.” And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in their country. And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees: only in Kirharaseth left they the stones thereof; howbeit the slingers went about it, and smote it. And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too sore for him, he took with him seven hundred men that drew swords, to break through even unto the king of Edom: but they could not. Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall. And there was great indignation against Israel: and they departed from him, and returned to their own land.
[Elisha does many things that may bear on this story, but I’ll spare you the narrative.]
And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, “Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell.” And he answered, “Go ye.” And one said, “Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, “Alas, master! for it was borrowed.” And the man of God said, “Where fell it?” And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. Therefore said he, “Take it up to thee.” And he put out his hand, and took it. [All this to say, Elisha is in Israel, the northern Kingdom, on or near the Jordon River.]
Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, “In such and such a place shall be my camp.” And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.” [Note, Elisha’s been helping some Syrian soldiers and commanders, so it’s plausible he knows this without divine intervention.] And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, “Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? [Who’s betrayed us?]” And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.” [LOL!] And he said, “Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him.” And it was told him, saying, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, “Alas, my master! how shall we do? [oh shit oh shit oh shit]” And he answered, “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.” And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, “Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness.” And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha. And Elisha said unto them, “This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek.” But he led them to Samaria [the capital of Israel, the northern kingdom]. And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
And the king of Israel [Jehoram] said unto Elisha, when he saw them, “My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?” And he answered, “Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.” And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.
And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king.” And he said, “If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress?” And the king said unto her, “What aileth thee?” And she answered, “This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son tomorrow.” So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, “Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.” And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh. Then he said, “God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day.”
But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, “Behold, this evil is of the Lord; what should I wait for the Lord any longer?” Then Elisha said, “Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, ‘To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.'” Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, “Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?” And he said, “Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.”
And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, “Why sit we here until we die? If we say, ‘We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.'” And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there. For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, “Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.” Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it. Then they said one to another, “We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.” So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, “We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were.” And he called the porters; and they told it to the king’s house within.
And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, “I will now shew you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we be hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.'” And one of his servants answered and said, “Let some take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city, (behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it: behold, I say, they are even as all the multitude of the Israelites that are consumed:) and let us send and see.” They took therefore two chariot horses; and the king sent after the host of the Syrians, saying, “Go and see.” And they went after them unto Jordan: and, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king. And the people went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord.
And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him. And it came to pass as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria:” And that lord answered the man of God, and said, “Now, behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?” And he said, “Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.” And so it fell out unto him: for the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died.
And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, “The man of God is come hither.” And the king said unto Hazael, “Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the Lord by him, saying, ‘Shall I recover of this disease?'” So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ burden, and came and stood before him, and said, “Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, ‘Shall I recover of this disease?'” And Elisha said unto him, “Go, say unto him, ‘Thou mayest certainly recover:’ howbeit the Lord hath shewed me that he shall surely die. [Tell him, ‘He’ll live.’ But he won’t.]”
And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept. And Hazael said, “Why weepeth my lord?” And he answered, “Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.” And Hazael said, “But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?” And Elisha answered, “The Lord hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.” [Remember, Elijah annointed Hazael.] So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, “What said Elisha to thee?” And he answered, “He told me that thou shouldest surely recover.” And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead.
And in the fifth year of Joram [Jehoram of Israel] the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. And he walked in the [sinful] way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab [and Jezebel] was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah for David his servant’s sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children.
In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. So Joram [Jehoram of Judah] went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents. Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. And the rest of the acts of Joram [Jehoram of Judah], and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? And Joram [Jehoram of Judah] slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
In the twelfth year of Joram [Jehoram of Israel] the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign. Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned [only] one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel [Omri was father of Ahab]. And he [Ahaziah] walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, as did the house of Ahab: for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab. And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramothgilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram. And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, “Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead: And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu [see above – he’s been annointed King of Israel after Ahab’s line] the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee king over Israel.’ Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.” So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramothgilead. And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, “I have an errand to thee, O captain.” And Jehu said, “Unto which of all us?” And he said, “To thee, O captain.” And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, ‘I have anointed thee king over the people of the Lord, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall perish: and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel: And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah [extinct]: And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.'” And he opened the door, and fled.
Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, “Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee?” And he said unto them, “Ye know the man, and his communication.” And they said, “It is false [we don’t know]; tell us now.” And he said, “Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee king over Israel.'” Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, “Jehu is king.” So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria. But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, “If it be your minds, then let none go forth nor escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel.”
So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram. And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, “I see a company.” And Joram said, “Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, ‘Is it peace?'” So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, “Thus saith the king, ‘Is it peace?'” And Jehu said, “What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.” And the watchman told, saying, “The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again.” Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, “Thus saith the king, ‘Is it peace?'” And Jehu answered, “What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.” And the watchman told, saying, “He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.” And Joram said, “Make ready.” And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” And he answered, “What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, “There is treachery, O Ahaziah.”
And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, “Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the Lord laid this burden upon him; ‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons,’ saith the Lord; ‘and I will requite thee in this plat,’ saith the Lord. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the Lord.” But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, “Smite him also in the chariot.” And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there. And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David. And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.
And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, “Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?” And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, “Who is on my side? who?” And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, “Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king’s daughter.” And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.'”
And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab’s children, saying, “Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master’s sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour; Look even out the best and meetest of your master’s sons, and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.” But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, “Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?” And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, “We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.” Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, “If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master’s sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time.” Now the king’s sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up. And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king’s sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.
And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.” And he said, “Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.” And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, “Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these? Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the Lord spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the Lord hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah.” So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.
And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way, Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, “Who are ye?” And they answered, “We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.” And he said, “Take them alive.” And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them. And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, “Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart?” And Jehonadab answered, “It is.” “If it be, give me thine hand.” And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot. And he said, “Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord.” So they made him ride in his chariot. And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the Lord, which he spake to Elijah.
And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, “Ahab served Baal [of Tyre] a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.” [Huh? Wait for it…] “Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live.” But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal. And Jehu said, “Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal.” And they proclaimed it. And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another. And he said unto him that was over the vestry, “Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal.” And he brought them forth vestments. And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, “Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the Lord, but the worshippers of Baal only.” And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, “If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.” And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, “Go in, and slay them; let none come forth.” And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal. And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them. And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house [toilet] unto this day. Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.
Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan. And the Lord said unto Jehu, “Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. In those days the Lord began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel; From Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the river Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
Now the rest of the acts of Jehu, and all that he did, and all his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? And Jehu slept with his fathers: and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son reigned in his stead. And the time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty and eight years.
Pop quiz for the wise: what is Jehu’s sin?