2 Kings 5-8 Bible in Basic English

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The Cure of Naaman's Leprosy

5 1  Now Naaman, chief of the army of the king of Aram, was a man of high position with his master, and greatly respected, because by him the Lord had given salvation to Aram; but he was a leper. 2  Now the Aramaeans had gone out in bands, and taken prisoner from Israel a little girl, who became servant to Naaman's wife. 3  And she said to her master's wife, If only my lord would go to the prophet in Samaria, he would make him well. 4  And someone went and said to his lord, This is what the girl from the land of Israel says. 5  So the king of Aram said, Go then; and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he went, taking with him ten talents of silver and six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6  And he took the letter to the king of Israel, in which the king of Aram had said, See, I have sent my servant Naaman to you to be made well, for he is a leper. 7  But the king of Israel, after reading the letter, was greatly troubled and said, Am I God, to give death and life? why does this man send a leper to me to be made well? is it not clear that he is looking for a cause of war? 8  Now Elisha, the man of God, hearing that the king of Israel had done this, sent to the king, saying, Why are you troubled? send the man to me, so that he may see that there is a prophet in Israel.

9  So Naaman, with all his horses and his carriages, came to the door of Elisha's house. 10  And Elisha sent a servant to him, saying, Go to Jordan, and after washing seven times in its waters your flesh will be well again and you will be clean. 11  But Naaman was angry and went away and said, I had the idea that he would come out to see such an important person as I am, and make prayer to the Lord his God, and with a wave of his hand over the place make the leper well. 12  Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not be washed in them and become clean? So turning, he went away in wrath. 13  Then his servants came to him and said, If the prophet had given you orders to do some great thing, would you not have done it? how much more then, when he says to you, Be washed and become clean? 14  Then he went down seven times into the waters of Jordan, as the man of God had said; and his flesh became like the flesh of a little child again, and he was clean.

15  Then he went back to the man of God, with all his train, and, taking his place before him, said, Now I am certain that there is no God in all the earth, but only in Israel: now then, take an offering from me. 16  But he said, By the life of the Lord whose servant I am, I will take nothing from you. And he did his best to make him take it but he would not. 17  Then Naaman said, If you will not, then let there be given to your servant as much earth as two beasts are able to take on their backs; because from now on, your servant will make no offering or burned offering to other gods, but only to the Lord. 18  But may your servant have the Lord's forgiveness for this one thing: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon for worship there, supported on my arm, and my head is bent in the house of Rimmon; when his head is bent in the house of Rimmon, may your servant have the Lord's forgiveness for this thing. 19  And he said to him, Go in peace. And he went from him some distance.

20  But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the man of God, said, Now my master has taken nothing from Naaman, this Aramaean, of what he would have given him: by the living Lord, I will go after him and get something from him. 21  So Gehazi went after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he got down from his carriage and went back to him and said, Is all well? 22  And he said, All is well: but my master has sent me, saying, Even now, two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill-country of Ephraim; will you give me a talent of silver and two changes of clothing for them? 23  And Naaman said, Be good enough to take two talents. And forcing him to take them, he put two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and gave them to his two servants to take before him. 24  When he came to the hill, he took them from their hands, and put them away in the house; and he sent the men away, and they went. 25  Then he came in and took his place before his master. And Elisha said to him, Where have you come from, Gehazi? And he said, Your servant went nowhere. 26  And he said to him, Did not my heart go with you, when the man got down from his carriage and went back to you? Is this a time for getting money, and clothing, and olive-gardens and vine-gardens, and sheep and oxen, and men-servants and women-servants? 27  Because of what you have done, the disease of Naaman the leper will take you in its grip, and your seed after you, for ever. And he went out from before him a leper as white as snow.

The Axe Head Made to Float

6 1  Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, There is not room enough for us in the place where we are living under your care; 2  So let us go to Jordan, and let everyone get to work cutting boards, and we will make a living-place for ourselves there. And he said to them, Go, then. 3  And one of them said, Be pleased to go with your servants. And he said, I will go. 4  So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they got to work cutting down trees. 5  But one of them, while cutting a board, let the head of his axe go into the water; and he gave a cry, and said, This is a bad business, my master, for it is another's. 6  And the man of God said, Where did it go in? and when he saw the place where it had gone into the water, cutting a stick, he put it into the water, and the iron came up to the top of the water. 7  Then he said, Take it up. So he put out his hand and took it.

Elisha and the Syrians

8  At that time the king of Aram was making war against Israel; and he had a meeting with the chiefs of his army and said, I will be waiting in secret in some named place. 9  And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, Take care to keep away from that place, for the Aramaeans are waiting there in secret. 10  So the king of Israel sent to the place where the man of God had said there was danger, and kept clear of it more than once. 11  And at this, the mind of the king of Aram was greatly troubled, and he sent for his servants and said to them, Will you not make clear to me which of us is helping the king of Israel? 12  And one of them said, Not one of us, my lord king; but Elisha, the prophet in Israel, gives the king of Israel news of the words you say even in your bedroom.

13  Then he said, Go and see where he is, so that I may send and get him. And news came to him that he was in Dothan. 14  So he sent there horses and carriages and a great army; and they came by night, circling the town. 15  Now the servant of the man of God, having got up early and gone out, saw an army with horses and carriages of war all round the town. And the servant said to him, O my master, what are we to do? 16  And he said in answer, Have no fear; those who are with us are more than those who are with them. 17  Then Elisha made a prayer to the Lord, saying, Lord, let his eyes be open so that he may see. And the Lord made the young man's eyes open; and he saw that all the mountain was full of horses and carriages of fire round Elisha. 18  Now when the Aramaeans came down to Elisha, he made a prayer to the Lord saying, Lord, make this people blind. And he made them blind at Elisha's request. 19  And Elisha said to them, This is not the way, and this is not the town: come after me so that I may take you to the man you are searching for. And he took them to Samaria. 20  And when they had come into Samaria, Elisha said, Lord, let the eyes of these men be open so that they may see. And the Lord made their eyes open, and they saw that they were in the middle of Samaria. 21  And the king of Israel, when he saw them, said to Elisha, My father, am I to put them to the sword? 22  But he said in answer, You are not to put them to death; have you any right to put to death those whom you have not taken prisoner with your sword and your bow? put bread and water before them, so that they may have food and drink and go to their master. 23  So he made ready a great feast for them, and when they had had food and drink, he sent them away and they went back to their master. And no more bands of Aramaeans came into the land of Israel.

Elisha and the Siege of Samaria

24  Now after this, Ben-hadad, king of Aram, got together all his army and went up to make an attack on Samaria, shutting the town in on all sides with his forces. 25  And they became very short of food in Samaria; for they kept it shut in till the price of an ass's head was eighty shekels of silver, and a small measure of doves' droppings was five shekels of silver. 26  And when the king of Israel was going by on the wall, a woman came crying out to him, and said, Help! my lord king. 27  And he said, If the Lord does not give you help, where am I to get help for you? from the grain-floor or the grape-crusher? 28  And the king said to her, What is troubling you? And she said in answer, This woman said to me, Give your son to be our food today, and we will have my son tomorrow. 29  So, boiling my son, we had a meal of him; and on the day after I said to her, Now give your son for our food; but she has put her son in a secret place. 30  Then the king, hearing what the woman said, took his robes in his hands, violently parting them; and, while he was walking on the wall, the people, looking, saw that under his robe he had haircloth on his flesh. 31  Then he said, May God's punishment come on me if Elisha, the son of Shaphat, keeps his head on his body after this day. 32  But Elisha was in his house, and the responsible men were seated there with him; and before the king got there, Elisha said to those who were with him, Do you see how this cruel and violent man has sent to take away my life? 33  While he was still talking to them, the king came down and said, This evil is from the Lord; why am I to go on waiting any longer for the Lord?

7 1  Then Elisha said, Give ear to the word of the Lord: the Lord says, Tomorrow, about this time, a measure of good meal will be offered for the price of a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the market-place of Samaria. 2  Then the captain whose arm was supporting the king said to the man of God, Even if the Lord made windows in heaven, would such a thing be possible? And he said, Your eyes will see it, but you will not have a taste of the food.

3  Now there were four lepers seated at the doorway into the town: and they said to one another, Why are we waiting here for death? 4  If we say, We will go into the town, there is no food in the town, and we will come to our end there; and if we go on waiting here, death will come to us. Come then, let us give ourselves up to the army of Aram: if they let us go on living, then life will be ours; and if they put us to death, then death will be ours. 5  So in the half light they got up to go to the tents of Aram; but when they came to the outer line of tents, there was no one there. 6  For the Lord had made the sound of carriages and horses, and the noise of a great army, come to the ears of the Aramaeans, so that they said to one another, Truly, the king of Israel has got the kings of the Hittites and of the Egyptians for a price to make an attack on us. 7  So they got up and went in flight, in the half light, without their tents or their horses or their asses or any of their goods; they went in flight, fearing for their lives. 8  And when those lepers came to the outer line of tents, they went into one tent, and had food and drink, and took from it silver and gold and clothing, which they put in a secret place; then they came back and went into another tent from which they took more goods, which they put away in a secret place. 9  Then they said to one another, We are not doing right. Today is a day of good news, and we say nothing: if we go on waiting here till the morning, punishment will come to us. So let us go and give the news to those of the king's house. 10  So they came in, and, crying out to the door-keepers of the town, they gave them the news, saying, We came to the tents of the Aramaeans, and there was no one there and no voice of man, only the horses and the asses in their places, and the tents as they were. 11  Then the door-keepers, crying out, gave the news to those inside the king's house.

12  Then the king got up in the night and said to his servants, This is my idea of what the Aramaeans have done to us. They have knowledge that we are without food; and so they have gone out of their tents, and are waiting secretly in the open country, saying, When they come out of the town, we will take them living and get into the town. 13  And one of his servants said in answer, Send men and let them take five of the horses which we still have in the town; if they keep their lives they will be the same as those of Israel who are still living here; if they come to their death they will be the same as all those of Israel who have gone to destruction: let us send and see. 14  So they took two horsemen; and the king sent them after the army of the Aramaeans, saying, Go and see. 15  And they went after them as far as Jordan; and all the road was covered with clothing and vessels dropped by the Aramaeans in their flight. So those who were sent went back and gave the news to the king. 16  Then the people went out and took the goods from the tents of the Aramaeans. So a measure of good meal was to be had for the price of a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, as the Lord had said. 17  And the king gave authority to that captain, on whose arm he was supported, to have control over the doorway into the town; but he was crushed to death there under the feet of the people, as the man of God had said when the king went down to him. 18  So the words of the man of God came true, which he said to the king: Two measures of barley will be offered for the price of a shekel and a measure of good meal for a shekel, tomorrow about this time in the market-place of Samaria. 19  And that captain said to the man of God, Even if the Lord made windows in heaven, would such a thing be possible? And he said to him, Your eyes will see it, but you will not have a taste of the food. 20  And such was his fate; for he was crushed to death under the feet of the people, in the doorway into the town.

The Shunammite Woman's Land Restored

8 1  Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had given back to life, Go now, with all the people of your house, and get a living-place for yourselves wherever you are able; for by the word of the Lord, there will be great need of food in the land; and this will go on for seven years. 2  So the woman got up and did as the man of God said; and she and the people of her house were living in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3  And when the seven years were ended, the woman came back from the land of the Philistines and went to the king with a request for her house and her land. 4  Now the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, Now, give me an account of all the great things Elisha has done. 5  And while he was giving the king the story of how Elisha had given life to the dead, the woman whose son had come back to life came to the king with a request for her house and her land. And Gehazi said, My lord king, this is the woman and this is her son, whose life Elisha gave back to him. 6  And in answer to the king's questions, the woman gave him all the story. So the king gave orders to one of his unsexed servants, saying, Give her back all her property, and all the produce of her fields from the day when she went away from the land up till now.

Hazael Becomes King of Syria

7  And Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben-hadad, king of Aram, was ill; and they said to him, The man of God has come. 8  Then the king said to Hazael, Take an offering with you, and go to see the man of God and get directions from the Lord by him, saying, Am I going to get better from my disease? 9  So Hazael went to see him, taking with him forty camels with offerings on their backs of every sort of good thing from Damascus; and when he came before him, he said, Your son Ben-hadad, king of Aram, has sent me to you, saying, Will I get better from this disease? 10  And Elisha said to him, Go, say to him, You will certainly get better; but the Lord has made it clear to me that only death is before him. 11  And he kept his eyes fixed on him till he was shamed, and the man of God was overcome with weeping. 12  And Hazael said, Why is my lord weeping? Then he said in answer, Because I see the evil which you will do to the children of Israel: burning down their strong towns, putting their young men to death with the sword, smashing their little ones against the stones, and cutting open the women who are with child. 13  And Hazael said, How is it possible that your servant, who is only a dog, will do this great thing? And Elisha said, The Lord has made it clear to me that you will be king over Aram. 14  Then he went away from Elisha and came in to his master, who said to him, What did Elisha say to you? And his answer was, He said that you would certainly get well. 15  Now on the day after, Hazael took the bed-cover, and making it wet with water, put it over Ben-hadad's face, causing his death: and Hazael became king in his place.

The Reign of Jehoram of Judah

16  In the fifth year of Joram, the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, became king. 17  He was thirty-two years old when he became king; and he was ruling in Jerusalem for eight years. 18  He went in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the family of Ahab did: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 19  But it was not the Lord's purpose to send destruction on Judah, because of David his servant, to whom he had given his word that he would have a light for ever. 20  In his time, Edom made themselves free from the rule of Judah, and took a king for themselves. 21  Then Joram went over to Zair, with all his war-carriages; ... made an attack by night on the Edomites, whose forces were all round him, ... the captains of the war-carriages; and the people went in flight to their tents. 22  So Edom made themselves free from the rule of Judah to this day. And at the same time, Libnah made itself free. 23  Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? 24  And Joram went to rest with his fathers and was put into the earth with his fathers in the town of David: and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.

The Reign of Ahaziah of Judah

25  In the twelfth year that Joram, the son of Ahab, was king of Israel, Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, became king; 26  Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he was ruling in Jerusalem for one year. His mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri, king of Israel. 27  He went in the ways of the family of Ahab, and did evil in the eyes of the Lord as the family of Ahab did, for he was a son-in-law of the family of Ahab. 28  He went with Joram, the son of Ahab, to make war on Hazael, king of Aram, at Ramoth-gilead: and Joram was wounded by the Aramaeans. 29  So King Joram went back to Jezreel to get well from the wounds which the bowmen had given him at Ramah, when he was fighting against Hazael, king of Aram. And Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to see Joram, the son of Ahab, in Jezreel, because he was ill.

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