2 Kings 1-4 Bible in Basic English

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The Death of Ahaziah

1 1  After the death of Ahab, Moab made itself free from the authority of Israel. 2  Now Ahaziah had a fall from the window of his room in Samaria, and was ill. And he sent men, and said to them, Put a question to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, about the outcome of my disease, to see if I will get well or not. 3  But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Go now, and, meeting the men sent by the king of Samaria, say to them, Is it because there is no God in Israel, that you are going to get directions from Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? 4  Give ear then to the words of the Lord: You will never again get down from the bed on to which you have gone up, but death will certainly come to you. Then Elijah went away. 5  And the men he had sent came back to the king; and he said to them, Why have you come back? 6  And they said to him, On our way we had a meeting with a man who said, Go back to the king who sent you and say to him, The Lord says, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you send to put a question to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? For this reason, you will not come down from the bed on to which you have gone up, but death will certainly come to you. 7  And he said to them, What sort of a man was it who came and said these words to you? 8  And they said in answer, He was a man clothed in a coat of hair, with a leather band about his body. Then he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.

9  Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men; and he went up to him where he was seated on the top of a hill, and said to him, O man of God, the king has said, Come down. 10  And Elijah in answer said to the captain of fifty, If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven on you and on your fifty men, and put an end to you. Then fire came down from heaven and put an end to him and his fifty men. 11  Then the king sent another captain of fifty with his fifty men; and he said to Elijah, O man of God, the king says, Come down quickly. 12  And Elijah in answer said, If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven on you and on your fifty men, and put an end to you. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and put an end to him and his fifty men. 13  Then he sent a third captain of fifty with his fifty men; and the third captain of fifty went up, and falling on his knees before Elijah, requesting mercy of him, said, O man of God, let my life and the life of these your fifty servants be of value to you. 14  For fire came down from heaven and put an end to the first two captains of fifty and their fifties; but now let my life be of value in your eyes. 15  Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, Go down with him; have no fear of him. So he got up and went down with him to the king. 16  And he said to him, This is the word of the Lord: Because you sent men to put a question to Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, for this reason you will never again get down from the bed on to which you have gone up, but death will certainly come to you. 17  So death came to him, as the Lord had said by the mouth of Elijah. And Jehoram became king in his place in the second year of the rule of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah; because he had no son. 18  Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel?

Elisha Succeeds Elijah

2 1  Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a great wind, Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2  And Elijah said to Elisha, Come no farther for the Lord has sent me to Beth-el. But Elisha said, As the Lord is living and as your soul is living, I will not be parted from you. So they went down to Beth-el. 3  And at Beth-el the sons of the prophets came out to Elisha and said, Has it been made clear to you that the Lord is going to take away your master from over you today? And he said, Yes, I have knowledge of it: say no more. 4  Then Elijah said to him, Come no farther, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho. But he said, As the Lord is living and as your soul is living, I will not be parted from you. So they went on to Jericho. 5  And at Jericho the sons of the prophets came up to Elisha and said to him, Has it been made clear to you that the Lord is going to take away your master from over you today? And he said in answer, Yes, I have knowledge of it: say no more. 6  Then Elijah said to him, Come no farther, for the Lord has sent me to Jordan. But he said, As the Lord is living and as your soul is living, I will not be parted from you. So they went on together. 7  And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went out and took their places facing them a long way off, while the two of them were by the edge of Jordan. 8  Then Elijah took off his robe, and, rolling it up, gave the water a blow with it, and the waters were parted, flowing back this way and that, so that they went over on dry land.

9  And when they had come to the other side, Elijah said to Elisha, Say what you would have me do for you before I am taken from you. And Elisha said, Be pleased to let a special measure of your spirit be on me. 10  And he said, You have made a hard request: still, if you see me when I am taken from you, you will get your desire; but if not, it will not be so. 11  And while they went on their way, going on talking together, suddenly there were carriages and horses of fire separating them from one another and Elijah went up to heaven in a great wind. 12  And when Elisha saw it he gave a cry, My father, my father, the carriages of Israel and its horsemen! And he saw him no longer; and he was full of grief.

13  Then he took up Elijah's robe, which had been dropped from him, and went back till he came to the edge of Jordan. 14  And he took Elijah's robe, which had been dropped from him, and giving the water a blow with it, said, Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? and at his blow the waters were parted this way and that; and Elisha went over. 15  And when the sons of the prophets who were facing him at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha. And they came out to him, and went down on the earth before him. 16  And they said, Your servants have with us here fifty strong men; be pleased to let them go in search of Elijah; for it may be that the spirit of the Lord has taken him up and put him down on some mountain or in some valley. But he said, Do not send them. 17  But when they kept on requesting him, he was shamed and said, Send, then. So they sent fifty men; but after searching for three days, they came back without having seen him. 18  And they came back to him, while he was still at Jericho; and he said to them, Did I not say to you, Go not?

19  Now the men of the town said to Elisha, You see that the position of this town is good; but the water is bad, causing the young of the cattle to come to birth dead. 20  So he said, Get me a new vessel, and put salt in it; and they took it to him. 21  Then he went out to the spring from which the water came, and put salt in it, and said, The Lord says, Now I have made this water sweet; no longer will it be death-giving or unfertile. 22  And the water was made sweet again to this day, as Elisha said. 23  Then from there he went up to Beth-el; and on his way, some little boys came out from the town and made sport of him, crying, Go up, old no-hair! go up, old no-hair! 24  And turning back, he saw them, and put a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the wood and put forty-two of the children to death. 25  From there he went to Mount Carmel, and came back from there to Samaria.

The Reign of Jehoram of Israel

3 1  And Jehoram, the son of Ahab, became king over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of the rule of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah; and he was king for twelve years. 2  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord; but not like his father and his mother, for he put away the stone pillar of Baal which his father had made. 3  But still he did the same sins which Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, did and made Israel do; he went on in them.

Elisha Predicts Victory over Moab

4  Now Mesha, king of Moab, was a sheep-farmer; and he gave regularly to the king of Israel the wool from a hundred thousand lambs and a hundred thousand sheep. 5  But when Ahab was dead, the king of Moab got free from the authority of the king of Israel.

6  At that time, King Jehoram went out from Samaria and got all Israel together in fighting order. 7  And he sent to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab has got free from my authority: will you go with me to make war on Moab? And he said, I will go with you: I am as you are, my people as your people, and my horses as your horses. 8  And he said, Which way are we to go? And he said in answer, By the waste land of Edom. 9  So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom by a roundabout way for seven days: and there was no water for the army or for the beasts they had with them. 10  And the king of Israel said, Here is trouble: for the Lord has got these three kings together to give them into the hands of Moab. 11  But Jehoshaphat said, Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may get directions from the Lord? And one of the king of Israel's men said in answer, Elisha, the son of Shaphat, is here, who was servant to Elijah. 12  And Jehoshaphat said, The word of the Lord is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him. 13  But Elisha said to the king of Israel, What have I to do with you? go to the prophets of your father and your mother. And the king of Israel said, No; for the Lord has got these three kings together to give them up into the hands of Moab. 14  Then Elisha said, By the life of the Lord of armies whose servant I am, if it was not for the respect I have for Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, I would not give a look at you, or see you. 15  But now, get me a player of music, and it will come about that while the man is playing, the hand of the Lord will come on me and I will give you the word of the Lord: and they got a player of music, and while the man was playing, the hand of the Lord was on him. 16  And he said, The Lord says, I will make this valley full of water-holes. 17  For the Lord says, Though you see no wind or rain, the valley will be full of water, and you and your armies and your beasts will have drink. 18  And this will be only a small thing to the Lord: in addition he will give the Moabites into your hands. 19  And you are to put every walled town to destruction, cutting down every good tree, and stopping up every water-spring, and making all the good land rough with stones.

20  Now in the morning, about the time when the offering was made, they saw water flowing from the direction of Edom till the country was full of water. 21  Now all Moab, hearing that the kings had come to make war against them, got together all who were able to take up arms and went forward to the edge of the country. 22  And early in the morning they got up, when the sun was shining on the water, and they saw the water facing them as red as blood. 23  Then they said, This is blood: it is clear that destruction has come on the kings; they have been fighting one another: now come, Moab, let us take their goods. 24  But when they came to the tents of Israel, the Israelites came out and made a violent attack on the Moabites, so that they went in flight before them; and they went forward still attacking them; 25  Pulling down the towns, covering every good field with stones, stopping up all the water-springs, and cutting down all the good trees; they went on driving Moab before them till only in Kir-hareseth were there any Moabites; and the fighting-men went round the town raining stones on it. 26  And when the king of Moab saw that the fight was going against him, he took with him seven hundred men armed with swords, with the idea of forcing a way through to the king of Aram, but they were not able to do so. 27  Then he took his oldest son, who would have been king after him, offering him as a burned offering on the wall. So there was great wrath against Israel; and they went away from him, back to their country.

The Widow's Oil

4 1  Now a certain woman, the wife of one of the sons of the prophets, came crying to Elisha and said, Your servant my husband is dead; and to your knowledge he was a worshipper of the Lord; but now, the creditor has come to take my two children as servants in payment of his debt. 2  Then Elisha said to her, What am I to do for you? say now, what have you in the house? And she said, Your servant has nothing in the house but a pot of oil. 3  Then he said, Go out to all your neighbours and get vessels, a very great number of them. 4  Then go in, and, shutting the door on yourself and your sons, put oil into all these vessels, putting on one side the full ones. 5  So she went away, and when the door was shut on her and her sons, they took the vessels to her and she put oil into them. 6  And when all the vessels were full, she said to her son, Get me another vessel. And he said, There are no more. And the flow of oil was stopped. 7  So she came to the man of God and gave him word of what she had done. And he said, Go and get money for the oil and make payment of your debt, and let the rest be for the needs of yourself and your sons.

Elisha and the Shunammite Woman

8  Now there came a day when Elisha went to Shunem, and there was a woman of high position living there, who made him come in and have a meal with her. And after that, every time he went by, he went into her house for a meal. 9  And she said to her husband, Now I see that this is a holy man of God, who comes by day after day. 10  So let us make a little room on the wall; and put a bed there for him, and a table and a seat and a light; so that when he comes to us, he will be able to go in there. 11  Now one day, when he had gone there, he went into the little room and took his rest there. 12  And he said to Gehazi, his servant, Send for this Shunammite. So in answer to his voice she came before him. 13  And he said to him, Now say to her, See, you have taken all this trouble for us; what is to be done for you? will you have any request made for you to the king or the captain of the army? But she said, I am living among my people. 14  So he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi made answer, Still there is this, she has no son and her husband is old. 15  Then he said, Send for her. And in answer to his voice she took her place at the door. 16  And Elisha said, At this time in the coming year you will have a son in your arms. And she said, No, my lord, O man of God, do not say what is false to your servant. 17  Then the woman became with child and gave birth to a son at the time named, in the year after, as Elisha had said to her.

18  Now one day, when the child was older, he went out to his father to where the grain was being cut. 19  And he said to his father, My head, my head! And the father said to a servant, Take him in to his mother. 20  And he took him in to his mother, and she took him on her knees and kept him there till the middle of the day, when his life went from him. 21  Then she went up and put him on the bed of the man of God, shutting the door on him, and went out. 22  And she said to her husband, Send me one of the servants and one of the asses so that I may go quickly to the man of God and come back again. 23  And he said, Why are you going to him today? it is not a new moon or a Sabbath. But she said, It is well. 24  Then she made the ass ready and said to her servant, Keep driving on; do not make a stop without orders from me. 25  So she went, and came to Mount Carmel, to the man of God. And when the man of God saw her coming in his direction, he said to Gehazi, his servant, See, there is the Shunammite; 26  Go quickly to her, and on meeting her say to her, Are you well? and your husband and the child, are they well? And she said in answer, All is well. 27  And when she came to where the man of God was on the hill, she put her hands round his feet; and Gehazi came near with the purpose of pushing her away; but the man of God said, Let her be, for her soul is bitter in her; and the Lord has kept it secret from me, and has not given me word of it. 28  Then she said, Did I make a request to my lord for a son? did I not say, Do not give me false words? 29  Then he said to Gehazi, Make yourself ready, and take my stick in your hand, and go: if you come across anyone on the way, give him no blessing, and if anyone gives you a blessing, give him no answer. And put my stick on the child's face. 30  But the mother of the child said, As the Lord is living and as your soul is living, I will not go back without you. So he got up and went with her. 31  And Gehazi went on before them and put the stick on the child's face; but there was no voice, and no one gave attention. So he went back, and meeting him gave him the news, saying, The child is not awake. 32  And when Elisha came into the house he saw the child dead, stretched on his bed. 33  So he went in, and shutting the door on the two of them, made prayer to the Lord. 34  Then he got up on the bed, stretching himself out on the child, and put his mouth on the child's mouth, his eyes on his eyes and his hands on his hands; and the child's body became warm. 35  Then he came back, and after walking once through the house and back, he went up, stretching himself out on the child seven times; and the child's eyes became open. 36  And he gave orders to Gehazi, and said, Send for the Shunammite. And she came in answer to his voice. And he said, Take up your son. 37  And she came in, and went down on her face to the earth at his feet; then she took her son in her arms and went out.

Elisha's Miracles for the Prophets

38  And Elisha went back to Gilgal, now there was very little food in the land; and the sons of the prophets were seated before him. And he said to his servant, Put the great pot on the fire, and make soup for the sons of the prophets. 39  And one went out into the field to get green plants and saw a vine of the field, and pulling off the fruit of it till the fold of his robe was full, he came back and put the fruit, cut up small, into the pot of soup, having no idea what it was. 40  Then they gave the men soup from the pot. And while they were drinking the soup, they gave a cry, and said, O man of God, there is death in the pot; and they were not able to take any more food. 41  But he said, Get some meal. And he put it into the pot, and said, Now give it to the people so that they may have food. And there was nothing bad in the pot. 42  Now a man came from Baal-shalishah with an offering of first-fruits for the man of God, twenty barley cakes and garden fruit in his bag. And he said, Give these to the people for food. 43  But his servant said, How am I to put this before a hundred men? But he said, Give it to the people for food; for the Lord says, There will be food for them and some over. 44  So he put it before them, and they had a meal and there was more than enough, as the Lord had said.

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