2Kings 7-9

Sunday Evening Bible Study

August 4, 2002


We didn’t finish chapter six last week:

2Kings 6:24 – 7:2 Samaria’s siege

:25 an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver

We’re now going to get an idea of just how bad the famine is.

A donkey was considered an “unclean” animal (Lev.11:3), one that a good Jew wasn’t supposed to be eating. That means that we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as animal meat is concerned. And the head of a donkey isn’t going to have a lot of meat on it either.

Fourscore pieces of silver (80 shekels) is two pounds of silver.

:25 the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver

Though the NIV says “a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels”, I checked 12 other translations, and they all translate this as some variation of “dove dung”, though I can’t imagine what you’d do with it once you bought it. One cup of dove poop was going for two ounces of silver.

:27 And he said, If the LORD do not help thee …

(2 Ki 6:27 NLT) "If the LORD doesn't help you, what can I do?"

:29 So we boiled my son, and did eat him

The woman is upset because the other gal didn’t let them eat her son.

This was prophesied as one of the signs of God’s judgment on the nation when they would not follow after the Lord (Deut. 28:52-58). It would happen again when Nebuchadnezzar would come against Jerusalem in 586 BC (Lam. 4:10), and again when the Romans would wipe out Jerusalem in AD 70.


Sometimes desperate times don’t call for desperate measures

These ladies were desperate enough that they chose to eat their children.
Yet they were only a day away from the end of the famine.
Sometimes our panic causes us to do really bad things that aren’t necessary.
I was reading recently about a man who awoke one morning to find a puddle of water in the middle of his king-size waterbed. In order to fix the puncture, he rolled the heavy mattress outdoors and filled it with more water so he could locate the leak more easily. The enormous bag of water was impossible to control and began rolling on the hilly terrain. He tried to hold it back, but it headed downhill and landed in a clump of bushes, which poked it full of holes. Disgusted, he threw out the waterbed frame and moved a standard bed into his room. The next morning, he woke to find a puddle of water in the middle of the new bed. The upstairs bathroom had a leaky drain.
Sometimes God’s answers come by waiting patiently.
I heard Pastor Damian Kyle of Calvary Chapel Modesto share that he has a personal 48-hour rule. If he can help it, he doesn’t make any major decision without first waiting for two full days.
A young, new preacher was walking with an older, more seasoned preacher in the garden one day and feeling a bit insecure about what God had for Him to do, he was inquiring of the older preacher. The older preacher walked up to a rosebush and handed the young preacher a rosebud and told him to open it without tearing off any petals. The young preacher looked in disbelief at the older preacher and was trying to figure out what a rosebud could possibly have to do with his wanting to know the WILL OF GOD for his life and for his ministry. Because of his high respect for the older preacher, he proceeded to TRY to unfold the rose, while keeping every petal intact...It wasn't long before he realized how impossible it was to do so. Noticing the younger preacher's inability to unfold the rosebud while keeping it intact, the older preacher began to recite the following poem...
It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of GOD's design;
But I cannot unfold its petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.
The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I.
GOD opens this flower so sweetly,
When in my hands they fade and die.
If I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of GOD's design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?
So I'll trust in Him for His leading
Each moment of every day.
I will look to him for His guidance
Each step along my way.
The pathway that lies before me,
Only my Heavenly Father knows.
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments,
Just as He unfolds the rose.

--- Author Unknown

:31 …if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand


The blame game

Keep in mind that up to this point, Elisha has been a great help to King Joram.
Every time the Syrian army tried to attack Israel, Elisha had forewarned them and they had troops ready to protect the nation. The king of Syria was upset because he thought that someone was spying on them, when really God had been giving enemy intelligence to Elisha.
Yet for some reason, the Syrians were able to lay siege to the city of Samaria.
How could they do that without Elisha giving King Joram advanced warning?

I wonder if perhaps Elisha hadn’t warned them, yet had instructed Joram to do nothing, but to sit inside the city and wait it out. In verse 33, Joram says,

(2 Ki 6:33 NIV) "This disaster is from the LORD. Why should I wait for the LORD any longer?"

It would seem that Joram has been trying to do what Elisha might have said to him, but things haven’t been too pleasant.
So he wants to have Elisha killed.
Sometimes people don’t like the things that God has to say.
(1 Th 4:3-8 KJV) For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: {4} That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; {5} Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: {6} That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

It is God’s will that we walk in purity. It is God’s will that we do not be caught in immorality, in sex outside of marriage. We ought to learn how to control our own bodies.

{7} For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. {8} He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

If you have a problem with this, says Paul, you don’t have a problem with Paul, but with God. God has put His “Holy” Spirit in us. He is called the “Holy” Spirit because He is holy. And when He is in our lives, He wants to make us “holy” also. He is the one who is working in you to convict you and draw you closer to God.

Ideally, we shouldn’t be mad at anyone but ourselves for being so slow to trust in God. If God is working in you, learn to let Him do His work without fighting Him.

:32 this son of a murderer

Joram is one of the sons of Ahab and Jezebel. Jezebel had a man named Naboth killed in order to give Naboth’s vineyard to Ahab.

:32 hold him fast at the door

It’s interesting that the leaders of the nation are sitting with Elisha.

Elisha instructs the elders to keep the messenger at the door until the king arrives, so Elisha can talk to the king.

:33 what should I wait for the LORD any longer?

NAS - “Behold, this evil is from the LORD; why should I wait for the LORD any longer?”


Don’t give up

It appears the nation is being severely disciplined from the Lord because of their sin, and Joram wants to bail out on it.
It’s kind of like the Christian who wants to take the short cut out of the trial he’s in.
Or the person who wants to bail on their marriage because it’s a little tough right now.
Let God finish the work He set out to do.
(Heb 12:11 KJV) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
In fact, God’s work might be finished quicker than you think!!

2Kings 7

:1 To morrow …a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel

Prices are going to drop dramatically.

Or, 6 ½ quarts of flour will be going for the same price that you could currently buy 1/5 of a cup of dove poop.

:1 two measures of barley for a shekel

Barley was cheaper than wheat. You would be able to buy 13 quarts of barley for a shekel. This isn’t incredibly cheap prices, but it’s a whole lot better than the current state of things.

In a place where people are eating their children, this seems too good to be true.

:2 Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?


More than you can imagine

Sometimes we can think something is impossible, but we’re simply wrong.
The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a “C,” the idea must be feasible.

- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.

We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.

- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives.

- Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project.

Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.

- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

Everything that can be invented has been invented.

- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899.

God wants to do more in your life than you could even imagine.
(Eph 3:20 KJV) Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
(1 Cor 2:9 KJV) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
God is a lot bigger than you think He is. Could He open the windows of heaven?
For some of you, the concept that God could love you seems too good to be true.

:3-11 Adventurous Lepers

:3 four leprous men

These guys are outcasts. They have a disease that kept them at the lowest part of their society. These are the most unlikeliest men to rescue an entire city, but that’s what they’ll do.

God can use anybody.

:4 let us fall unto the host of the Syrians

They figure they have nothing to lose.

If they stay they die, if they go, they might die, but they might live.

So why not go?


A venture in faith

I like these guys - they’re willing to take a little risk or two.
Instead of just staying where it’s comfortable and predictable, they’re willing to try something new.
Another example:
Jonathan and his armor bearer.

They were just sitting around doing nothing, waiting for the action to start with the Philistines.

But they decided they had enough of sitting around.

(1 Sam 14:6 KJV) And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.

And two guys decided to take on the whole Philistine army.

What happened? They started beating the Philistines, a few at a time, and eventually when the Israelites saw what was happening, they all joined in and won a great victory.

:5 And they rose up in the twilight

twilight – they leave at sunset, when they get to the camp of the Syrians, it’s dark.

:7 left their tents, and their horses ...

These guys were in such a hurry that they didn’t even bother to ride any of their horses! That’s scared!

:8 ... and went and hid it ...

It hasn’t really dawned on these four lepers what has happened. They think someone’s going to come back or something. They don’t quite seem to realize at first that they have the whole camp to themselves!

:9 We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace

The lepers start to realize that they’re sitting on all this food and loot, while the people are starving back in the city. They’ve got the most incredible news that can save an entire city. They can either sit on it or share it.


Share the news.

We too have “good tidings” that need to be shared.
Jesus has changed our lives. He’s reached out to outcasts and broken people, and made them new again. We’ve been given the miracle prescription for the human race. We can either sit on it or share it.
Paul wrote,
(1 Cor 9:16 KJV) For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Blunt common sense always characterized Mr. Moody. Once a man rose in one of his meetings to give his experience. “I have been for five years on the Mount of Transfiguration,” he said. Instantly Mr. Moody interrupted him by the sharp question, “How many souls did you lead to Christ last year?’ “Well, I don’t know,” answered the surprised man. “Have you led any?” then came sternly from the preacher. “I-ah-don’t know that I have,” said the man. “Then,” snapped Mr. Moody, still more sternly, “we don’t want that kind of mountaintop experience. When a man gets so high that he can’t reach down and save poor sinners, there is something wrong.”

:10 the porter of the city

The gatekeeper. The guy in the Wizard of Oz who opens the little hatch in the big door.

:12-16 Making sure it’s real

:12 When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive

He’s suspicious. He thinks it might be a trap.

:15 they went after them unto Jordan

The Jordan River is about 22 miles from the city of Samaria.

:16 So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel

Just like the Lord told Elisha.

:17-20 The Faithless lord

:20 the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died

He was trampled by the stampede of hungry people running towards the camp of the Syrians. He saw the deliverance but he wasn’t able to enjoy it.


The price of unbelief

This man did not benefit from the work of God. He didn’t believe it was possible.
Do you have a famine you’re struggling with in your life? Is there a situation you think is impossible to overcome? Is there a person that is impossible to put up with?
God wants to do great things in your life, but you need to trust Him.
(Heb 11:6 KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Salvation – we only enjoy it if we believe.
The Bible tells us that our own sins have separated us from God. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ died on a cross in order to take our sins out of the way. The Bible says that we can be made right with God if we will choose to receive God’s forgiveness and believe in His Son Jesus.
(John 3:17-18 KJV) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. {18} He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

2Kings 8

:1-6 The Shunnamite’s property

:1 the woman, whose son he had restored to life

This was the story back in 2Kings 4, where a wealthy lady from the city of Shunem had helped Elisha in his ministry by giving him a place to say.

In return, Elisha prayed for her, and her and her husband were able to have a child for the first time.

But when the child got a little older, he suddenly died one day.

Elisha was called to come help, and God ended up raising the boy from the dead.

:1 the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.

Double portion – here’s one thing that was actually twice that of Elijah’s – the drought and famine that came during Elijah’s ministry was only 3 ½ years. This one will be 7 years.

Some Jewish commentators say that this was the famine that occurred during the days of the prophet Joel.

:2 And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God

This woman has learned to trust in God’s Word.

She was a “great” woman. She was wealthy. She and her husband probably owned a nice piece of property. Yet they pack up and leave it all behind for seven years.

:3 she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land.

While she was gone, someone must have moved into her house and taken over her land. She wants to ask the king to have her property restored to her.

:4 And the king talked with Gehazi

It seems that Gahazi has traded hanging out with Elisha for hanging out with the king. He became a leper when he took money from Naaman.

Isn’t it interesting that back in chapter 6, the king was wanting to have Elisha put to death, and now he wants to hear stories of what Elisha has done.

:5 as he was telling the king ... behold, the woman ...

Just as Gehazi is telling the king about the things that Elisha had done for the Shunammite woman, guess who walks in through the door!

What a coincidence!


A lawyer and an engineer were fishing in the Caribbean. The lawyer said, “I’m here because my house burned down, and all I owned was destroyed by the fire. I had my home way over-insured and the insurance company paid for everything and I’m using some of the extra insurance money for this trip.” “That’s quite a coincidence,” said the engineer. “I’m here because my house and all my belongings were destroyed by a flood, and my insurance company also paid for everything.” The lawyer paused, a very confused look came over him. “My goodness, how do you ever start a flood?


With God, there are no coincidences.

The definition of coincidence: When God does a miracle and remains anonymous.
Have you ever been thinking of someone, and then the phone rings, and it's them?
God is at work!
(Phil 2:13 KJV) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
(Psa 37:23 KJV) The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
(Prov 16:9 KJV) A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

(Prov 16:9 NLT) We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

:6 Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.

(2 Ki 8:6 NLT) "Is this true?" the king asked her. And she told him that it was. So he directed one of his officials to see to it that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence.

God knows how to provide for you.


Turning bad to good

Think back to when this poor woman’s son had died. What a hopeless time that must have been. And then the prophet came and raised the son from the dead.
But now, even more good continues to come from this tragedy. The raising of her son from the dead seems to be the thing that moves the king to help her and restore her property.

:7-15 A new king for Syria

:7 Elisha came to Damascus

I find this fascinating considering how much the Israelites and the Syrians were enemies.

Remember how the Syrians have been raiding the Israelites? Then they sent troops out to capture Elisha. Then they lay a seige against Samaria to starve it out.

And now Elisha strolls in to town.

Why is Elisha in Syria?

The Jews say it is to chase down and bring Gehazi back to the Lord.

I wonder if he plans to visit Naaman.

Perhaps it has to do with Benhadad’s death and the choosing of a new king.

Elijah’s unfulfilled mission.

(1 Ki 19:15-17 KJV) And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: {16} And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. {17} And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay.

Of these three tasks, Elijah was only able to complete one of them. Elisha will anoint Hazael to be king of Syria. Elisha’s servant will anoint Jehu as king of Israel.

:9 a present … forty camels' burden

When Naaman tried to pay Elisha for his healing, Elisha refused. We don’t have a record of him refusing this gift.

:9 Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee

Thy son Benhadad – I find it interesting that earlier, Benhadad tried to have Elisha killed by surrounding his city with an army. Now he calls him “pop”.

:9 Shall I recover from this disease?

Does this sound familiar at all?

(2 Ki 1:2-3 KJV) And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease. {3} But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?

Here the king of God’s nation Israel was sending a messenger to a pagan god at Ekron to ask about his future.
And in our story, a pagan king of the enemies of God’s people, Syria, is asking God’s prophet about his future.

Isn’t it sad when non-Christians sometimes act better than Christians!

:10 Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die.

It sounds as if Elisha is encouraging Hazael to lie.

There are really two issues here - what will happen with the disease, and whether or not Benhadad will die.

The answer is that he won't die of the disease (and if he had a chance he would have recovered), but he will instead have some kind of violent death.

:11 And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept.

(2 Ki 8:11 NIV) He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael felt ashamed. Then the man of God began to weep.

It seems that Elisha was one of those guys that could seem to look right into you.

:12 Why weepeth my lord?


Keep a tender heart.

I think if I were Elisha I might have either gotten scared of Hazael, or more likely just have gotten angry at him.
Kind of like when you’re watching one of those movies where the bad guy is bullying all the little people, and you feel the adrenalin pump up inside of you, and you want to go punch somebody’s lights out.
But Elisha wept instead.
This is God’s Heart –
When Jesus came to Jerusalem, He knew that He would be killed there. 
(Luke 19:41-42 KJV) And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, {42} Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Jesus could have been angry with Jerusalem for all it had done to the prophets in the past, let alone what it would do to Him. Yet instead of being angry, He wept.

:13 what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?

Some see this as if Hazael is horrified at what Elisha is saying. I think it might be just the opposite.

(2 Ki 8:13 NIV) Hazael said, "How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?" "The LORD has shown me that you will become king of Aram," answered Elisha.

Elisha is horrified at what he sees. Hazael thinks it’s kind of cool.

Hazael is being made king of Syria as a part of God’s judgment on Israel (1Ki. 19:17).

:15 Hazael reigned in his stead

It would look like Benhadad simply stopped breathing in the middle of the night.

Hazael reigned from 841-801 b.c.

He was known by the Syrians in their own records as “the son of a nobody” referring to his lack of royal blood.

:16-24 Joram reigns over Judah

:16 Joram … Jehoram …

Jehoram or Joram = "Jehovah is exalted"

There will be two Jorams (or, Jehorams) at the same time. Both Ahab and Jehoshaphat named their eldest boys Joram.

:16 in the fifth year ... Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign

Chronology stuff:

Sounds straight forward, right?

When you look at a few other passages, things get kind of confusing here.

(2 Ki 1:17 KJV) So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.

How could the guy from the north start to reign in the southern guy’s second year, when here we read that the guy in the south started in the northern guy’s fifth year?


A king didn’t always wait until he was dead to pass on the throne to his sons.

Sometimes they ruled together for awhile.

Apparently -

Jehoshaphat appointed his son Jehoram to be a co-regent at the time that he went to war with Ahab against Ramoth-Gilead.

Perhaps he thought he’d be gone to long, and wanted someone running things.

Perhaps he wanted to make sure someone was already in control in case he didn’t make it.

Jehoshaphat ruled with his son for a few years.

It was in the second year of this co-regency, that the Jehoram of Ahab becomes king of the north.

When Jehoshaphat dies, Jehoram assumes sole authority, and rules for another eight years.

It’s in Jehoram of Ahab’s fifth year that he becomes sole regent.

Warning: If you really want to get into it, you also need to realize that there are various ways of counting the years of reigning.
Some count the first year of a king’s reign only starting with the first full year. Solomon used this method, and the southern kingdom followed it.
Some count the first year of a king’s reign from the year that he starts, even if it’s a partial year. This was the northern kingdom’s method of counting years.
Apparently there were some switches in counting among the kings. When Jehoram of Jehoshaphat came along, he switched methods in the middle of his reign to the method used by the northern kings (why? ask Athaliah).
Both kingdoms eventually switched back to Solomon’s method around 800 b.c. (Amaziah of Judah, Jehoash of Israel).

:18 the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.

The first thing he did as king was to kill all his brothers.

(2 Chr 21:4 KJV) Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel.

In addition to this, through his wife, the worship of Baal was introduced into the southern kingdom of Judah.


Marry the right person

(2 Cor 6:14-16 KJV) Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? {15} And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? {16} And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
We need to be cautious of making binding relationships with unbelievers.

We might think that we will lead them to the Lord.

But more often than not, they lead us away from the Lord.

I do not mean to say that we cut off all relationships with unbelievers.

We need to have relationships with unbelievers, or else how will they hear about Jesus?

But we need to be careful about putting ourselves into the kind of hard-to-get-out-of relationships, because we will find ourselves having to compromise our walk, or else causing trouble.

This means relationships such as marriage, or business partnerships.

:19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake ... and to his children


Walking with the Lord blesses the kids too!

Just as we've seen how a parent's bad decisions can affect the generations to come, the opposite is also true.
A godly parent can pass on blessings too.
(Prov 20:7 KJV) The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Several years ago the Christian Life and Faith magazine presented some unusual facts about two families. In 1677 an immoral man (Max Jukes) married a very licentious woman. Nineteen hundred descendants came from the generations begun by that union. Of these, 771 were criminals, 250 were arrested for various offenses, 60 were thieves, and 39 were convicted for murder. Forty of the women were known to have venereal disease. These people spent a combined total of 1300 years behind bars and cost the State of New York nearly 3 million dollars.
The other family was the Edwards family. The third generation included Jonathan Edwards who was the great New England revival preacher and who became president of Princeton University. Of the 1,344 descendants, many were college presidents and professors. One hundred eighty-six became ministers of the gospel, and many others were active in their churches. Eighty-six were state senators, three were Congressmen, 30 judges, and one became Vice President of the United States. No reference was made of anyone spending time in jail or in the poorhouse.

:20 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves.

Edom – the descendants of Esau. Located southeast of Israel. see map

:20 In his days Edom revolted

This was actually a fulfillment of prophecy.

When Jacob tricked his father Isaac, and got the big blessing, Esau found out, and asked dad:

(Gen 27:38-40 KJV) And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. {39} And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; {40} And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.

:21 Zair

Possibly, “Seir”, which is a mountain in Edom, about 100 miles southeast of Jerusalem.

Seir is also used as another name for Edom itself, since it’s the big mountain in the middle of Edom.

(2 Ki 8:21 NIV) So Jehoram went to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but he rose up and broke through by night; his army, however, fled back home.

It sounds like Jehoram had a personal victory, but the rest of the army went home and they ended up losing the war.

:22 Then Libnah revolted at the same time.

Libnah - see map

It was part of the tribe of Judah, and was a Levitical city, belonging to the descendants of Aaron, the high priest (Josh. 21:13).

We get a clue to why Libnah revolted in the parallel in Chronicles:

(2 Chr 21:10 KJV) So the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also did Libnah revolt from under his hand; because he had forsaken the LORD God of his fathers.


Dare to stand for righteousness.

There comes a time when you can't just keep going along with the evil around you.
(Acts 5:27-29 KJV) And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, {28} Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us. {29} Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

There is a time to be submissive and obedient to those in authority over you, but there are also times when it just isn't right to sit there.

:24 Joram slept

This puts it kindly.

He actually met quite an ugly end:

(2 Chr 21:12-19 KJV) And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying,
It’s interesting that he receives a letter from a prophet who is no longer on the planet. Elijah must have written this before he was whisked away into heaven.
Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, {13} But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were better than thyself: {14} Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: {15} And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day. {16} Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians: {17} And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. {18} And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. {19} And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers.


Sin might be fun, but only for a while.

If it weren't so much fun, we wouldn't be doing it so much, would we?
I think one of the best pictures of what sin is like, the the picture that Solomon paints of the "simple" man, who gets trapped by the harlot.
(Prov 7:21-23 KJV) With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. {22} He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; {23} Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
I'm sure that for Joram, there was lots of fun in going after the idols that he did.
But we need to remember the end of his life before we yield ourselves to temptation.

:25-29 Ahaziah reigns over Judah

:25 Ahaziah

Ahaziah = “Jehovah (Yahu) holds (possesses)”

This kid is known by several names:

Azariah - (2Chr.22:6) = “Jehovah has helped”

Jehoahaz - (2Chr. 21:17) = “Jehovah has seized”

Does this name sound familiar?

It was one of the names of Ahab’s sons, the one who first replaced his father, but died after having an accident falling through the lattice on the patio. (2Ki.1)

More connections between Ahab and Jehoshaphat.

:26 his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel.

Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, and the granddaughter of Omri.

:28 And he went with Joram …to the war …in Ramothgilead

Ramothgileadsee map

This was the same war arrangement that Ahaziah’s grandfather, Jehoshaphat, had made with Joram’s father, Ahab (1Ki. 22).

Ahaziah will now go to war with his uncle Joram.

:29 And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel

Jezreel – the place of the winter palace for the kings of Israel. Jezreel is 38 miles west of Ramoth Gilead. see map

2Kings 9

:1-13 Jehu is anointed king of Israel

:1 take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead:

box of oil – a vial or flask of oil.

:2 Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi

JehuYehuw’ – “Jehovah is He”. His father is NOT the Jehoshaphat of the southern kingdom of Judah.

:3 Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.

I wonder why the man was not supposed to hang around.

The practice in those days of inaugurating a king was done by pouring oil over his head.

It started with King Saul.

When David was anointed king, it was similar to Jehu's in that there already was another king, Saul, and David was anointed to show how God had transferred His authority to David, though David would not become king for a quite a few more years.

(1 Sam 16:12-13 KJV) And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. {13} Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.
This is one of the key verses that shows the symbolic connection between oil and the Holy Spirit in the Bible.

:8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish

(2 Ki 9:8 NIV) The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel--slave or free.

:9 like the house of Jeroboam …and Baasha

These were two earlier dynasties that were both completely wiped out.

:10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel

This might sound familiar because this is pretty much a repeat of what Elijah had told Ahab:

(1 Ki 21:21-24 KJV) Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, {22} And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. {23} And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. {24} Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.

:11 wherefore came this mad fellow to thee?

It sounds like the other generals are teasing Jehu about his visitor.

:11 Ye know the man, and his communication.

Some have suggested that Jehu was thinking that the other army captains had put the prophet up to this. But they didn’t have a clue what was going on.

:13 blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king

Apparently these army guys kind of like the idea of one of their own being king!

They apparently like Jehu too!

These men quickly change from mocking the prophet to taking what he said very seriously.

:14-37 Jehu removes the opposition

:15 let none go forth nor escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel

Jehu doesn't want Joram finding out before he gets there.

It’s about 40 miles from Ramothgilead to Jezreel.

:17 he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company.

the company – Jehu isn’t alone. He’s got some of his men with him.

The king isn’t sure if these are Israelite troops or Syrian troops.

:18 Is it peace?

(2 Ki 9:18 NLT) So a rider went out to meet Jehu and said, "The king wants to know whether you are coming in peace." Jehu replied, "What do you know about peace? Get behind me!" The watchman called out to the king, "The rider has met them, but he is not returning."

:20 the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously

By this time, Jehu's company is getting close enough that the watchmen can start to make out some details.

Is Jehu one of these guys that roars up behind you on the freeway, then zips around you and cuts you off?

Somehow, Jehu has a reputation for being a fast driver!


Fast Bike

A young man (named Jehu) bought the fastest motorcycle that money could buy: a Yamaondason 2000 SP 8.2. It was the most expensive bike in the world, costing $32,150.99. The first day he bought the new bike he took it for a spin. While doing so he stopped at a red light at the city limits. An elderly gentleman pulled up next to him on a moped. The man looked over at the bright, red, shiny, sleek new motorcycle and asked, “What kind of scooter ya got there, sonny?” The young man replied, “It’s a Yamaondason 2000 SP 8.2. It costs $32,150.99 out the door.” “That’s a lot of money,” said the old man, shocked. “Why does it cost so much?” “Because this bike can go 200 mph!” exclaimed the young man. The old fella asked, “Can I take a closer look at it?” “Sure,” replied the new owner. From his moped, the old man leaned over and took a good look at the very fast-looking machine. Just then the light changed, so the young man decided to show the old guy what his new motorcycle could really do. He gave it full throttle and within 30 seconds the speedometer read 199 mph. Suddenly, he noticed a dot in his rear-view mirror. It seemed to be getting closer! He slowed a little to see what it could be, and, suddenly, WHHHOOOSSSHHH, something whipped passed him going much faster. “What could be faster than my 2000 SP 8.2?” the young man thought to himself. Then, just ahead of him, he saw the dot coming back at him. WHHHOOOSSSHHH! It went flying by him again, going in the opposite direction! It almost looked like the elderly man on the moped! How could that be, thought the young man. Again he saw the dot in his mirror! WHHHOOOSSSHHH! KABBBLAMMM! The moped slammed into the rear of the shiny new 2000 SP 8.2, demolishing the rear end of the young rider’s pride and joy. The young man jumped off and saw it was the old timer. Of course the moped was crushed, and the old man was lying on the ground, pretty beat up. The young man ran over to him and asked, “Are you hurt? Is there anything I can do for you? The old man groaned and replied, “Yes, would you please unhook my suspenders from your side-view mirror?”

:21 met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.

What an interesting coincidence. Naboth’s land.

This was the plot of land that king Ahab had wanted for his vegetable garden. When Naboth wouldn’t sell it to him, Ahab had a temper tantrum. Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, then took things into her own hands and had Naboth falsely accused of blasphemy and treason and then put to death.

Elijah had warned Ahab that disaster would come on him because of this.  (1Ki. 21:17-29)

Isn’t it interesting that it was still known as the “portion of Naboth”, even though Ahab had stolen it as his own?

:22 Is it peace, Jehu?

It could be that Joram was wondering if the battle of Ramothgilead was over.

:23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.

When someone insults your mother like that, you know there’s going to be trouble!

Actually, Jehu understood that peace couldn’t come to Israel as long as they were caught in such horrible idolatry.

:25 for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him

Jehu remembers what Elijah had said to Ahab, and thinks it would be fitting for Joram to be thrown into the field.

This was 12 years ago.

Elijah might have only spoken it thinking of Ahab, but it affected more than just Ahab.

Twelve years earlier, Jehu was a loyal subject to the king.
He served Ahab, then Ahaziah his son, then Joram the other son.


Be faithful to speak God's Word.

You never know who it's going to hit.
You never know who's going to remember it.
It's not always up to you to decide how or when it will be effective, only to speak it.
(Isa 55:10-11 KJV) For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: {11} So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

:27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled …

the garden house – or, Beth-haggan. A city south of Jezreel, on the way back home to Jerusalem. see map

Gursee map

Ibleamsee map

Megiddo – Though this is not on the way to Jerusalem, perhaps they took Ahaziah here because it would have been a major city, perhaps one where he could find a doctor. see map

Keep in mind, Ahaziah is also a descendant of Ahab. He is not only a descendant of King David, but he is also Ahab’s grandson. His death also fulfills the prophecy.

:30 she painted her face, and tired her head

In other words, she put on her make-up and fixed her hair.

Some have suggested that she is trying to tempt Jehu. But keep in mind, Jezebel is a great grandmother. One grandson, Ahaziah, who is 22 years old, already has several kids himself.

Perhaps she’s just trying to dress up to present the appropriate figure of an important, majestic queen, perhaps that Jehu would spare her life.


Makeup is okay, inner beauty is best

Over the years, Jezebel has been a kind of picture of the evil woman.
And people in the church have sought to make it a sin for a woman to wear makeup or wear nice clothes.
A woman who dressed too worldly would be called a "Jezebel".
I think we need a little balance here.
But the emphasis of real beauty needs to be by looking at the inside, not the outside:
(1 Tim 2:9-10 ICB) I also want women to wear clothes that are right for them. They should dress with respect and right thinking. They should not use fancy braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes to make themselves beautiful. {10} But they should make themselves beautiful by doing good deeds. Women who say they worship God should make themselves beautiful in that way.

:31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?

Zimri – 1Kings 16 – this was the man who killed his boss, king Elah, the son of Baasha. After having set himself up as king, he was then overthrown by Omri, Jezebel’s father-in-law.

Jezebel is comparing Jehu with Zimri, predicting that he will have trouble.

What’s Jezebel doing?

She’s trying to intimidate Jehu by scaring him with the story of Zimri.

She’s actually kind of trying to use Scripture against Jehu.

Maybe he’ll think to himself, “Gosh, she’s right, maybe I’d better stop this whole thing right now!”

:32 Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.

These eunuchs would be the servants of Jezebel. Apparently they weren’t too happy with her.

:33 he trode her under foot.

He ran his horses and chariot over her.

:34 bury her: for she is a king's daughter.

After having supper, Jehu gets to feeling bad about having treated Jezebel so rudely. So he decides to make sure that she gets a decent burial. After all, she herself was the daughter of a king, Ethbaal king of the Sidonians (1Ki. 16:31).

:36-37 This is the word of the LORD, which he spake …


God’s Word is true

I would imagine that for some folks, this prophecy of Elijah’s seemed like a failure. After all, Elijah himself was not gone.
But it still happened.