8 1Years before, Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought to life, “Leave here and go, you and your family, and live someplace else. God has ordered a famine in the land; it will last for seven years.” 2The woman did what the Holy Man told her and left. She and her family lived as aliens in the country of Philistia for seven years. 3Then, when the seven years were up, the woman and her family came back. She went directly to the king and asked for her home and farm. 4The king was talking with Gehazi, servant to the Holy Man, saying, “Tell me some stories of the great things Elisha did.” 5It so happened that as he was telling the king the story of the dead person brought back to life, the woman whose son was brought to life showed up asking for her home and farm. Gehazi said, “My master the king, this is the woman! And this is her son whom Elisha brought back to life!” 6The king wanted to know all about it, and so she told him the story. The king assigned an officer to take care of her, saying, “Make sure she gets everything back that’s hers, plus all profits from the farm from the time she left until now.” 7Elisha traveled to Damascus. Ben–Hadad, king of Aram, was sick at the time. He was told, “The Holy Man is in town.” 8The king ordered Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go meet the Holy Man. Ask God through him, ‘Am I going to recover from this sickness?’ ” 9Hazael went and met with Elisha. He brought with him every choice thing he could think of from Damascus—forty camel–loads of items! When he arrived he stood before Elisha and said, “Your son Ben–Hadad, king of Aram, sent me here to ask you, ‘Am I going to recover from this sickness?’ ” 10Elisha answered, “Go and tell him, ‘Don’t worry; you’ll live.’ The fact is, though—God showed me—that he’s doomed to die.” 11Elisha then stared hard at Hazael, reading his heart. Hazael felt exposed and dropped his eyes. Then the Holy Man wept. 12Hazael said, “Why does my master weep?” “Because,” said Elisha, “I know what you’re going to do to the children of Israel: burn down their forts, murder their youth, smash their babies, rip open their pregnant women.” 13Hazael said, “Am I a mongrel dog that I’d do such a horrible thing?” “God showed me,” said Elisha, “that you’ll be king of Aram.” 14Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master, who asked, “So, what did Elisha tell you?” “He told me, ‘Don’t worry; you’ll live.’ ” 15But the very next day, someone took a heavy quilt, soaked it in water, covered the king’s face, and suffocated him. Now Hazael was king. Jehoram of Judah 16In the fifth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah became king. 17He was thirty–two years old when he began his rule, and was king for eight years in Jerusalem. 18He copied the way of life of the kings of Israel, marrying into the Ahab family and continuing the Ahab line of sin—from God’s point of view, an evil man living an evil life. 19But despite that, because of his servant David, God was not ready to destroy Judah. He had, after all, promised to keep a lamp burning through David’s descendants. 20During Jehoram’s reign, Edom revolted against Judah’s rule and set up their own king. 21Jehoram responded by taking his army of chariots to Zair. Edom surrounded him, but in the middle of the night he and his charioteers broke through the lines and hit Edom hard. But his infantry deserted him. 22Edom continues in revolt against Judah right up to the present. Even little Libnah revolted at that time. 23The rest of the life and times of Jehoram, the record of his rule, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 24Jehoram died and was buried in the family grave in the City of David. His son Ahaziah succeeded him as king. Ahaziah of Judah 25In the twelfth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah began his reign. 26Ahaziah was twenty–two years old when he became king; he ruled only a year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. 27He lived and ruled just like the Ahab family had done, continuing the same evil–in–God’s–sight line of sin, related by both marriage and sin to the Ahab clan. 28He joined Joram son of Ahab king of Israel in a war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. The archers wounded Joram. 29Joram pulled back to Jezreel to convalesce from the injuries he had received in the fight with Hazael. Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah paid a visit to Joram son of Ahab on his sickbed in Jezreel.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About