Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: 2 Kings 1-3
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
2 Kings 1
Elijah Confronts the King and His Commanders
1. After Ahab died, Moab rebelled against Israel.
2. Ahaziah fell through a window lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria and was injured. He sent messengers with these orders, “Go, ask Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron, if I will survive this injury.”
3. But the Lord’s angelic messenger told Elijah the Tishbite, “Get up, go to meet the messengers from the king of Samaria. Say this to them: ‘You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are on your way to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub the god of Ekron.
4. Therefore this is what the Lord says, “You will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die!”’” So Elijah went on his way.
5. When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you returned?”
6. They replied, “A man came up to meet us. He told us, “Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: “You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are sending for an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die.”’”
7. The king asked them, “Describe the appearance of this man who came up to meet you and told you these things.”
8. They replied, “He was a hairy man and had a leather belt tied around his waist.” The king said, “He is Elijah the Tishbite.”
9. The king sent a captain and his fifty soldiers to retrieve Elijah. The captain went up to him, while he was sitting on the top of a hill. He told him, “Prophet, the king says, ‘Come down!’”
10. Elijah replied to the captain, “If I am indeed a prophet, may fire come down from the sky and consume you and your fifty soldiers!” Fire then came down from the sky and consumed him and his fifty soldiers.
11. The king sent another captain and his fifty soldiers to retrieve Elijah. He went up and told him, “Prophet, this is what the king says, ‘Come down at once!’”
12. Elijah replied to them, “If I am indeed a prophet, may fire come down from the sky and consume you and your fifty soldiers!” Fire from God came down from the sky and consumed him and his fifty soldiers.
13. The king sent a third captain and his fifty soldiers. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. He begged for mercy, “Prophet, please have respect for my life and for the lives of these fifty servants of yours.
14. Indeed, fire came down from the sky and consumed the two captains who came before me, along with their men. So now, please have respect for my life.”
15. The Lord’s angelic messenger 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.
16. Elijah said to the king, “This is what the Lord says, ‘You sent messengers to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. You must think there is no God in Israel from whom you can seek an oracle! Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die.’”
17. He died just as the Lord had prophesied through Elijah. In the second year of the reign of King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat over Judah, Ahaziah’s brother Jehoram replaced him as king of Israel, because he had no son.
18. The rest of the events of Ahaziah’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel.
2 Kings 2
Elijah Makes a Swift Departure
1. Just before the Lord took Elijah up to heaven in a windstorm, Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal.
2. Elijah told Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
3. Some members of the prophetic guild in Bethel came out to Elisha and said, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?” He answered, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”
4. Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.
5. Some members of the prophetic guild in Jericho approached Elisha and said, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?” He answered, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”
6. Elijah said to him, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they traveled on together.
7. The fifty members of the prophetic guild went and stood opposite them at a distance, while Elijah and Elisha stood by the Jordan.
8. Elijah took his cloak, folded it up, and hit the water with it. The water divided, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
9. When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energizes you.”
10. Elijah replied, “That’s a difficult request! If you see me taken from you, may it be so, but if you don’t, it will not happen.”
11. As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a fiery chariot pulled by fiery horses appeared. They went between Elijah and Elisha, and Elijah went up to heaven in a windstorm.
12. While Elisha was watching, he was crying out, “My father, my father! The chariot and horsemen of Israel!” Then he could no longer see him. He grabbed his clothes and tore them in two.
13. He picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen off him, and went back and stood on the shore of the Jordan.
14. He took the cloak that had fallen off Elijah, hit the water with it, and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he hit the water, it divided and Elisha crossed over.
15. When the members of the prophetic guild in Jericho, who were standing at a distance, saw him do this, they said, “The spirit that energized Elijah rests upon Elisha.” They went to meet him and bowed down to the ground before him.
16. They said to him, “Look, there are fifty capable men with your servants. Let them go and look for your master, for the wind sent from the Lord may have carried him away and dropped him on one of the hills or in one of the valleys.” But Elisha replied, “Don’t send them out.”
17. But they were so insistent, he became embarrassed. So he said, “Send them out.” They sent the fifty men out and they looked for three days, but could not find Elijah.
18. When they came back, Elisha was staying in Jericho. He said to them, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t go’?”
Elisha Demonstrates His Authority
19. The men of the city said to Elisha, “Look, the city has a good location, as our master can see. But the water is bad and the land doesn’t produce crops.”
20. Elisha said, “Get me a new jar and put some salt in it.” So they got it.
21. He went out to the spring and threw the salt in. Then he said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘I have purified this water. It will no longer cause death or fail to produce crops.”
22. The water has been pure to this very day, just as Elisha prophesied.
23. He went up from there to Bethel. As he was traveling up the road, some young boys came out of the city and made fun of him, saying, “Go on up, baldy! Go on up, baldy!”
24. When he turned around and saw them, he called God’s judgment down on them. Two female bears came out of the woods and ripped forty-two of the boys to pieces.
25. From there he traveled to Mount Carmel and then back to Samaria.
2 Kings 3
Moab Fights with Israel
1. In the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign over Judah, Ahab’s son Jehoram became king over Israel in Samaria; he ruled for twelve years.
2. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not to the same degree as his father and mother. He did remove the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had made.
3. Yet he persisted in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who encouraged Israel to sin; he did not turn from them.
4. Now King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder. He would send as tribute to the king of Israel 100,000 male lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams.
5. When Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
6. At that time King Jehoram left Samaria and assembled all Israel for war.
7. He sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you fight with me against Moab?” Jehoshaphat replied, “I will join you in the campaign; my army and horses are at your disposal.”
8. He then asked, “Which invasion route are we going to take?” Jehoram answered, “By the road through the Desert of Edom.”
9. So the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom set out together. They wandered around on the road for seven days and finally ran out of water for the men and animals they had with them.
10. The king of Israel said, “Oh no! Certainly the Lord has summoned these three kings so that he can hand them over to the king of Moab!”
11. Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here that we might seek the Lord’s direction?” One of the servants of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shapat is here; he used to be Elijah’s servant.”
12. Jehoshaphat said, “The Lord speaks through him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to visit him.
13. Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why are you here? Go to your father’s prophets or your mother’s prophets!” The king of Israel replied to him, “No, for the Lord is the one who summoned these three kings so that he can hand them over to Moab.”
14. Elisha said, “As certainly as the Lord who rules over all lives (whom I serve), if I did not respect King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I would not pay attention to you or acknowledge you.
15. But now, get me a musician.” When the musician played, the Lord energized him,
16. and he said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Make many cisterns in this valley,’
17. for this is what the Lord says, ‘You will not feel any wind or see any rain, but this valley will be full of water and you and your cattle and animals will drink.’
18. This is an easy task for the Lord; he will also hand Moab over to you.
19. You will defeat every fortified city and every important city. You must chop down every productive tree, stop up all the springs, and cover all the cultivated land with stones.”
20. Sure enough, the next morning, at the time of the morning sacrifice, water came flowing down from Edom and filled the land.
21. Now all Moab had heard that the kings were attacking, so everyone old enough to fight was mustered and placed at the border.
22. When they got up early the next morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites, who were some distance away, the water looked red like blood.
23. The Moabites said, “It’s blood! The kings are totally destroyed! They have struck one another down! Now, Moab, seize the plunder!”
24. When they approached the Israelite camp, the Israelites rose up and struck down the Moabites, who then ran from them. The Israelites thoroughly defeated Moab.
25. They tore down the cities and each man threw a stone into every cultivated field until they were covered. They stopped up every spring and chopped down every productive tree. Only Kir Hareseth was left intact, but the slingers surrounded it and attacked it.
26. When the king of Moab realized he was losing the battle, he and 700 swordsmen tried to break through and attack the king of Edom, but they failed.
27. So he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him up as a burnt sacrifice on the wall. There was an outburst of divine anger against Israel, so they broke off the attack and returned to their homeland.