II Kings 13: Elisha dies

Back in Israel, about twenty years later, Jehu’s son Jehoahaz inherited the throne. He was a good follower of God and God helped him fend off Hazael’s son, whom he named Ben-hadad after the man he murdered. Unfortunately his reign was short, and in seven years Jehoash was king.

In the meantime, Elisha fell sick and Johoash of Israel went to mourn at his sickbed. Elisha told him to shoot the arrow of victory and then to bang the quiver on the ground. Jehu only struck the ground three times, which disappointed Elisha because he said that would be the number of victories over Syria.

Then Elisha died and was buried. Later, when the grave was going to be reused, when the dead body was thrown on top of Elisha’s bones, it came back to life.

II Kings 9: Israel gets a new dynasty

Elisha sent one of the prophet trainees to Ramah to anoint a general named Jehu as king of Israel. The guy found Jehu in the officers’ tent and asked to speak to him privately. When the were alone, the prophet trainee dumped some oil on Jehu’s head and was all, God has decreed you to be the next king of Israel and that you will carry out Its curse on Ahab’s family, killing them all, as well as Jezebel! Then he ran away.

Bemused, Jehu went back into the officers’ tent. The other guys were all, what did that crazy dude want? At first Jehu was all, nothing, but they pressed him, so he was all, Well, he poured oil on my head and said I was king of Israel. The room got really quiet for a minute. Then as a body, the men rose to their feet and shouted, All hail King Jehu!  Continue reading “II Kings 9: Israel gets a new dynasty”

II Kings 8

Elisha warned the wealthy woman in Shumen about the long famine mentioned earlier before it happened so that she and her family could emigrate. They spent the seven years of the famine in Philistia and when it was over, Elisha made sure the king gave them back their land.

Elisha’s travels took him to Damascus and there King Ben-hadad lay ill, so he sent his servant Hazael to inquire of Elisha about his chances of recovery. Elisha was all, tell him he’ll get better. I mean, he’ll die, but tell him anyway. Then he stared at Hazael a long time. Just as Hazael was getting really uncomfortable, Elisha burst into tears. At this, Hazael was completely taken aback, and was all, What’s wrong with you?

Elisha was all, I can foresee all the horrors you will rain upon Israel–the young men slaughtered, the cities burned, the brains of the babies dashed upon rocks, the eviscerated abdomens of pregnant women. Hazael was all, Wait, what? Elisha continued, For God has shown me that you will be king of Syria!  Continue reading “II Kings 8”

II Kings 7: The siege ends

Elisha told the messenger to tell the king not to worry because by tomorrow food would be cheap and plentiful in Samaria. The messenger scoffed, so Elisha was all, Fine. You will see this miracle, but not eat of it.

Next morning, four lepers, who by law had to be homeless at the city wall, decided that they would go throw themselves on the mercy of the Syrians, since all they could do but die, and a quick death was better than starvation. But when they got to the camp, they found it deserted–as if all the humans had simply vanished. So the lepers ate and drank their fill and then started carting off and burying all the silver and gold they could find…but after a hour or so they started feeling a bit guilty…and when the disappearance of the Syrians was discovered, they would probably be punished for not telling anybody. They decided that they should better go spread they word. So they went and told the gatekeepers, who told somebody else, etc. until word made it to the king. The king was all, this is probably a trap, but he sent out some men on a couple of the remaining horses to scout for the Syrians. The scouts followed the Syrians trail of discarded items all the way to the Jordan, then rode back with the wonderful news that they were really and truly gone!

At this, people mobbed the camp like it was a mall on the day after Thanksgiving. In the stampede, the scoffing messenger was trampled to death.

As for the Syrians, God or Elisha or some bad rye made them hallucinate that they were being attacked by Egyptian or Hittite mercenaries, and so they fled for their lives.

II Kings 6: More about Elisha

This other time Elisha made a lost ax-head float to keep the guy who borrowed it from distress.

Another time, when the Syrians were making war on Israel, Elisha kept giving the king of Israel such good advice to circumvent the Syrians that the Syrian king began to suspect a spy in his camp. But his followers convinced him that it was because Elisha was such an awesome prophet that nothing was hidden from him. So the Syrian king sent a troop to besiege Elisha in Dothan, where he was staying. Everyone but Elisha was freaked out about this, because he knew he was guarded by an invisible army of angels driving chariots of fire. Then Elisha struck the Syrians with temporary blindness and idiocy and led them into the heart of Samaria. The king of Israel offered to kill them all, but Elisha was all, Let them go this time. So peace between Syria and Israel was made.

Another time the Syrians were besieging Samaria, and it had gone on so long that they had run out of food and people were making a fortune selling donkey heads and dove dung to desperate people to eat. One evening, while the king of Israel was walking the ramparts, worrying at the troops at his gate, a woman came up to him and threw herself at his feet and begged for his help, because her neighbor was cheating her! They had agreed share and eat their babies, and yesterday they had eaten her baby, but today, her neighbor wouldn’t produce her baby! This upset the king pretty badly, and in anger, he sent for Elisha, to kill him for not helping end the famine.

II Kings 5: Elisha heals some guy

Naaman, the Syrian general, was also a leper. He happened to have a Hebrew slave girl, whom he had carried off during one of the numerous conflicts between Israel and Syria, who told him that the great prophet Elisha would be able to cure him of leprosy.

So Naaman traveled down to Samaria with a small fortune in gold, silver, and cloth, and a letter of introduction from they Syrian king to the king of Israel. The king of Israel was quite upset by all this–how was he to cure this man of leprosy? But Elisha sent a message telling the king to send Naaman on to him. So Naaman went to Elisha’s house, and Elisha sent Gehazi out to tell him to bathe in the Jordan seven times.

Naaman was pissed. He expected more courtesy from this prophet and more flash and dazzle than simply being told to bathe, so he started back to Syria in a huff. However, his retinue convinced him that it didn’t hurt to try the prophet’s instructions, since he had already came so far, so they rode to the Jordan. Naaman dunked himself in it seven times, and behold, he was cured. Continue reading “II Kings 5: Elisha heals some guy”

II Kings 4: Elisha does more things

One day a widow whose husband had been a follower of Elisha came to him and was all, my husband left me badly in debt, and now the creditors are threatening to take my sons to sell into slavery for it! What should I do?!

Elisha was all, well, what do you have in your house? And the woman was all, Nothing! It’s all been sold! Well, except for a jug of oil. Then Elisha was all, Ok, go borrow as many vessels as you can, and fill them all with oil and then sell it and pay your debts!

Another time, during this bad famine that we’ll learn more about later, Elisha was visiting Gilgal and his servant Gehazi was making stew. One of Elisha’s followers went out to gather herbs and he saw some likely gourds that he put in too. Unfortunately, they were poisonous; however, Elisha miraculously purified it with some flour.  Continue reading “II Kings 4: Elisha does more things”

II Kings 3: The Moabite Rebellion

Jehoram ruled Israel for 12 years. God didn’t really like him, but thought he was better than his parents since he didn’t worship Baal.

Meesha, the king of Moab a vassal kingdom of Israel, thought that the confusion over succession seemed like a good time to rebel against them, and refused to send the ton of wool or herds of lambs Israel demanded yearly as tribute. So Jehoram sent a message to Jehoshaphat asking for help putting the rebellion down. It was decided that they would take the roundabout way into Moab by marching through the desert of Edom, a vassal kingdom of Judah. So they set out, but after a week, they weren’t there yet, and they had run out of water. After some pondering, the kings decided to consult Elisha, who happened to be handy. At first, Elisha was all rude to Jehoram, but he consented to talk to God out of respect for Jehoshaphat. So he called for a musician and in the music, he heard God or something, and he told the kings that in the morning, the arroyo would be filled with water, though no rain would fall. Continue reading “II Kings 3: The Moabite Rebellion”

II Kings 2: Elijah, Elisha, whatever

So this other time, Elijah and Elisha were in Gilgal doing prophet stuff when Elijah was all, Look, Elisha, I have to go to Bethal. You should just stay here. But Elisha was all, Never! I will follow you, wherever you may lead!

In Bethel, the other holy men were all, Hey, Elisha, we hear that Elijah’s going to be taken by God soon? And Elisha was all, Shut up about it! I know!

Then Elijah was all, Well, now it looks like I have to go to Jericho. Really, Elisha, just stay here. But Elisha was all, I will will follow you, wherever you may lead!

So they went to Jericho. The holy men there were all, Pssst. Elisha! God’s going to take Elijah today! Elisha was all, I know! SShhhhh…here he comes!   Continue reading “II Kings 2: Elijah, Elisha, whatever”