Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: 2 Kings 7-9
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 7
1. Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says, ‘About this time tomorrow a seah of finely milled flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.’”
2. An officer who was the king’s right-hand man responded to the prophet, “Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?” Elisha said, “Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food!”
3. Now four men with a skin disease were sitting at the entrance of the city gate. They said to one another, “Why are we just sitting here waiting to die?
4. If we go into the city, we’ll die of starvation, and if we stay here we’ll die! So come on, let’s defect to the Syrian camp! If they spare us, we’ll live; if they kill us – well, we were going to die anyway.”
5. So they started toward the Syrian camp at dusk. When they reached the edge of the Syrian camp, there was no one there.
6. The Lord had caused the Syrian camp to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a large army. Then they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has paid the kings of the Hittites and Egypt to attack us!”
7. So they got up and fled at dusk, leaving behind their tents, horses, and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.
8. When the men with a skin disease reached the edge of the camp, they entered a tent and had a meal. They also took some silver, gold, and clothes and went and hid it all. Then they went back and entered another tent. They looted it and went and hid what they had taken.
9. Then they said to one another, “It’s not right what we’re doing! This is a day to celebrate, but we haven’t told anyone. If we wait until dawn, we’ll be punished. So come on, let’s go and inform the royal palace.”
10. So they went and called out to the gatekeepers of the city. They told them, “We entered the Syrian camp and there was no one there. We didn’t even hear a man’s voice. But the horses and donkeys are still tied up, and the tents remain up.”
11. The gatekeepers relayed the news to the royal palace.
12. The king got up in the night and said to his advisers, “I will tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know we are starving, so they left the camp and hid in the field, thinking, ‘When they come out of the city, we will capture them alive and enter the city.’”
13. One of his advisers replied, “Pick some men and have them take five of the horses that are left in the city. (Even if they are killed, their fate will be no different than that of all the Israelite people – we’re all going to die!) Let’s send them out so we can know for sure what’s going on.”
14. So they picked two horsemen and the king sent them out to track the Syrian army. He ordered them, “Go and find out what’s going on.”
15. So they tracked them as far as the Jordan. The road was filled with clothes and equipment that the Syrians had discarded in their haste. The scouts went back and told the king.
16. Then the people went out and looted the Syrian camp. A seah of finely milled flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, just as the Lord had said they would.
17. Now the king had placed the officer who was his right-hand man at the city gate. When the people rushed out, they trampled him to death in the gate. This fulfilled the prophet’s word which he had spoken when the king tried to arrest him.
18. The prophet told the king, “Two seahs of barley will sell for a shekel, and a seah of finely milled flour for a shekel; this will happen about this time tomorrow in the gate of Samaria.”
19. But the officer replied to the prophet, “Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?” Elisha said, “Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food!”
20. This is exactly what happened to him. The people trampled him to death in the city gate.
2 Kings 8
Elisha Again Helps the Shunammite Woman
1. Now Elisha advised the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “You and your family should go and live somewhere else for a while, for the Lord has decreed that a famine will overtake the land for seven years.”
2. So the woman did as the prophet said. She and her family went and lived in the land of the Philistines for seven years.
3. After seven years the woman returned from the land of the Philistines and went to ask the king to give her back her house and field.
4. Now the king was talking to Gehazi, the prophet’s servant, and said, “Tell me all the great things which Elisha has done.”
5. While Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had brought the dead back to life, the woman whose son he had brought back to life came to ask the king for her house and field. Gehazi said, “My master, O king, this is the very woman and this is her son whom Elisha brought back to life!”
6. The king asked the woman about it, and she gave him the details. The king assigned a eunuch to take care of her request and ordered him, “Give her back everything she owns, as well as the amount of crops her field produced from the day she left the land until now.”
Elisha Meets with Hazael
7. Elisha traveled to Damascus while King Ben Hadad of Syria was sick. The king was told, “The prophet has come here.”
8. So the king told Hazael, “Take a gift and go visit the prophet. Request from him an oracle from the Lord. Ask him, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”
9. So Hazael went to visit Elisha. He took along a gift, as well as forty camel loads of all the fine things of Damascus. When he arrived, he stood before him and said, “Your son, King Ben Hadad of Syria, has sent me to you with this question, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”
10. Elisha said to him, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover,’ but the Lord has revealed to me that he will surely die.”
11. Elisha just stared at him until Hazael became uncomfortable. Then the prophet started crying.
12. Hazael asked, “Why are you crying, my master?” He replied, “Because I know the trouble you will cause the Israelites. You will set fire to their fortresses, kill their young men with the sword, smash their children to bits, and rip open their pregnant women.”
13. Hazael said, “How could your servant, who is as insignificant as a dog, accomplish this great military victory?” Elisha answered, “The Lord has revealed to me that you will be the king of Syria.”
14. He left Elisha and went to his master. Ben Hadad asked him, “What did Elisha tell you?” Hazael replied, “He told me you would surely recover.”
15. The next day Hazael took a piece of cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it over Ben Hadad’s face until he died. Then Hazael replaced him as king.
Jehoram’s Reign over Judah
16. In the fifth year of the reign of Israel’s King Joram, son of Ahab, Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram became king over Judah.
17. He was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem.
18. He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel, just as Ahab’s dynasty had done, for he married Ahab’s daughter. He did evil in the sight of the Lord.
19. But the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah. He preserved Judah for the sake of his servant David to whom he had promised a perpetual dynasty.
20. During his reign Edom freed themselves from Judah’s control and set up their own king.
21. Joram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night and defeated him and his chariot officers. The Israelite army retreated to their homeland.
22. So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day. At that same time Libnah also rebelled.
23. The rest of the events of Joram’s reign, including a record of his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah.
24. Joram passed away and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Ahaziah replaced him as king.
Ahaziah Takes the Throne of Judah
25. In the twelfth year of the reign of Israel’s King Joram, son of Ahab, Jehoram’s son Ahaziah became king over Judah.
26. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, the granddaughter of King Omri of Israel.
27. He followed in the footsteps of Ahab’s dynasty and did evil in the sight of the Lord, like Ahab’s dynasty, for he was related to Ahab’s family.
28. He joined Ahab’s son Joram in a battle against King Hazael of Syria at Ramoth Gilead in which the Syrians defeated Joram.
29. King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians in Ramah when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. King Ahaziah son of Jehoram of Judah went down to visit Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, for he was ill.
2 Kings 9
Jehu Becomes King
1. Now Elisha the prophet summoned a member of the prophetic guild and told him, “Tuck your robes into your belt, take this container of olive oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead.
2. When you arrive there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi and take him aside into an inner room.
3. Take the container of olive oil, pour it over his head, and say, ‘This is what the Lord says, “I have designated you as king over Israel.”’ Then open the door and run away quickly!”
4. So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead.
5. When he arrived, the officers of the army were sitting there. So he said, “I have a message for you, O officer.” Jehu asked, “For which one of us?” He replied, “For you, O officer.”
6. So Jehu got up and went inside. Then the prophet poured the olive oil on his head and said to him, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I have designated you as king over the Lord’s people Israel.
7. You will destroy the family of your master Ahab. I will get revenge against Jezebel for the shed blood of my servants the prophets and for the shed blood of all the Lord’s servants.
8. Ahab’s entire family will die. I will cut off every last male belonging to Ahab in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated.
9. I will make Ahab’s dynasty like those of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah.
10. Dogs will devour Jezebel on the plot of ground in Jezreel; she will not be buried.’” Then he opened the door and ran away.
11. When Jehu rejoined his master’s servants, they asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this madman visit you?” He replied, “Ah, it’s not important. You know what kind of man he is and the kinds of things he says.”
12. But they said, “You’re lying! Tell us what he said.” So he told them what he had said. He also related how he had said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘I have designated you as king over Israel.’”
13. Each of them quickly took off his cloak and they spread them out at Jehu’s feet on the steps. The trumpet was blown and they shouted, “Jehu is king!”
Jehu the Assassin
14. Then Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram.Now Joram had been in Ramoth Gilead with the whole Israelite army, guarding against an invasion by King Hazael of Syria.
15. But King Joram had returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. Jehu told his supporters, “If you really want me to be king, then don’t let anyone escape from the city to go and warn Jezreel.”
16. Jehu drove his chariot to Jezreel, for Joram was recuperating there. (Now King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit Joram.)
17. Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel and saw Jehu’s troops approaching. He said, “I see troops!” Jehoram ordered, “Send a rider out to meet them and have him ask, ‘Is everything all right?’”
18. So the horseman went to meet him and said, “This is what the king says, ‘Is everything all right?’” Jehu replied, “None of your business! Follow me.” The watchman reported, “The messenger reached them, but hasn’t started back.”
19. So he sent a second horseman out to them and he said, “This is what the king says, ‘Is everything all right?’” Jehu replied, “None of your business! Follow me.”
20. The watchman reported, “He reached them, but hasn’t started back. The one who drives the lead chariot drives like Jehu son of Nimshi; he drives recklessly.”
21. Jehoram ordered, “Hitch up my chariot.” When his chariot had been hitched up, King Jehoram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah went out in their respective chariots to meet Jehu. They met up with him in the plot of land that had once belonged to Naboth of Jezreel.
22. When Jehoram saw Jehu, he asked, “Is everything all right, Jehu?” He replied, “How can everything be all right as long as your mother Jezebel promotes idolatry and pagan practices?”
23. Jehoram turned his chariot around and took off. He said to Ahaziah, “It’s a trap, Ahaziah!”
24. Jehu aimed his bow and shot an arrow right between Jehoram’s shoulders. The arrow went through his heart and he fell to his knees in his chariot.
25. Jehu ordered his officer Bidkar, “Pick him up and throw him into the part of the field that once belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. Remember, you and I were riding together behind his father Ahab, when the Lord pronounced this judgment on him,
26. ‘“Know for sure that I saw the shed blood of Naboth and his sons yesterday,” says the Lord, “and that I will give you what you deserve right here in this plot of land,” says the Lord.’ So now pick him up and throw him into this plot of land, just as the Lord said.”
27. When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what happened, he took off up the road to Beth Haggan. Jehu chased him and ordered, “Shoot him too.” They shot him while he was driving his chariot up the ascent of Gur near Ibleam. He fled to Megiddo and died there.
28. His servants took his body back to Jerusalem and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the city of David.
29. Ahaziah had become king over Judah in the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab.
30. Jehu approached Jezreel. When Jezebel heard the news, she put on some eye liner, fixed up her hair, and leaned out the window.
31. When Jehu came through the gate, she said, “Is everything all right, Zimri, murderer of his master?”
32. He looked up at the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him.
33. He said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down, and when she hit the ground, her blood splattered against the wall and the horses, and Jehu drove his chariot over her.
34. He went inside and had a meal. Then he said, “Dispose of this accursed woman’s corpse. Bury her, for after all, she was a king’s daughter.”
35. But when they went to bury her, they found nothing left but the skull, feet, and palms of the hands.
36. When they went back and told him, he said, “The Lord’s word through his servant, Elijah the Tishbite, has come to pass. He warned, ‘In the plot of land at Jezreel, dogs will devour Jezebel’s flesh.
37. Jezebel’s corpse will be like manure on the surface of the ground in the plot of land at Jezreel. People will not be able to even recognize her.’”