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Jehoahaz Becomes King of Israel

13 During the twenty-third year of the reign of[a] Ahaziah’s son Joash, king of Judah, Jehu’s son Jehoahaz began his seventeen year reign in Samaria over Israel.[b] He did what the Lord considered to be evil, after the pattern of Nebat’s son Jeroboam. By doing so, he caused Israel to sin, and he never changed course from it. As a result, the Lord’s wrath flared up against Israel, so he handed them over to domination by King Hazael of Aram and later into constant domination[c] by Hazael’s son Ben-hadad. But Jehoahaz sought the Lord,[d] and the Lord paid attention to him, because the Lord[e] had been watching the oppression that Israel was enduring from the king of Aram.[f]

God Delivers Israel

The Lord provided Israel with a deliverer, so they escaped the Aramean oppression while the descendants of Israel lived in tents as they had formerly. Nevertheless, they did not change course away from the sins of Jeroboam’s household, by which he caused Israel to sin, but continued on that same course, with Asherah poles[g] remaining in place in Samaria. For the Aramean king[h] had left only 50 cavalry, ten chariots, and 10,000 soldiers out of the army belonging to Jehoahaz, because the king of Aram had destroyed the others,[i] making them like chaff left over after threshing.

Now the rest of the activities of Jehoahaz, including everything he did and his grandeur, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? So Jehoahaz died, as did[j] his ancestors, and he was buried in Samaria while his son Joash replaced him as king.

Jehoash Reigns in Samaria

10 During the thirty-seventh year of the reign of[k] King Joash[l] of Judah, Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash began a sixteen year reign as king over Israel in Samaria. 11 He practiced what the Lord considered to be evil, not changing course from all of the sins practiced by Nebat’s son Jeroboam by which he caused Israel to sin. Instead, he continued on that same course. 12 The rest of Joash’s activities, including everything he did and the vehemence with which he fought against King Amaziah of Judah are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, are they not? 13 So Joash died, as did[m] his ancestors, and Jeroboam assumed his throne after Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

Elisha Predicts Partial Victory for Joash

14 When Elisha fell ill with the sickness from which he was about to die, King Joash of Israel came down to see[n] him, wept in his presence, and told him, “My father, Israel’s chariots and cavalry!”

15 Elisha told him, “Pick up a bow and some arrows.” So he picked up a bow and some arrows.

16 Then Elisha told Israel’s king, “Draw the bow!” As he did so, Elisha laid his hands on top of the king’s hands 17 and ordered him, “Open a window that faces east.” So he did so.

Elisha ordered him, “Shoot!” So he shot.

Then Elisha said, “This is the Lord’s arrow of victory—the victory arrow against Aram, because you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you will have utterly finished them off.”

18 After this Elisha said, “Pick up the arrows.” So the king picked them up.

Then Elisha told the king of Israel, “Strike the ground!” So he struck it three times and then stood still.

19 At this, the man of God became angry at him and told him, “You should have struck five or six times! Then you would have attacked Aram until you would have destroyed it! But as it is now, you’ll defeat Aram only three times!”

The Death of Elisha

20 Later, Elisha died and was buried. Now at that time, various Moabite marauders had been invading the land each spring. 21 One day while some Israelis[o] were burying a man, they saw some marauders, so they threw the man into Elisha’s grave. But when the man fell against Elisha’s remains,[p] he revived and rose to his feet.

Elisha’s Prophecy of Partial Victory is Fulfilled

22 Meanwhile, King Hazael of Aram had been oppressing Israel throughout the reign of Jehoahaz, 23 but the Lord showed grace to them, displayed his compassion toward them, and turned to them due to his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He would not destroy them or evict them from his presence up until that time. 24 After King Hazael of Aram died, his son Ben-hadad replaced him as king. 25 At that time, Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash recaptured from Hazael’s son Ben-hadad the cities that Hazael[q] had captured through warfare from the control of Jehoahaz, Jehoash’s father. Joash[r] defeated and recovered cities of Israel from Ben-hadad[s] three times.


  1. 2 Kings 13:1 The Heb. lacks the reign of
  2. 2 Kings 13:1 I.e. over the northern kingdom
  3. 2 Kings 13:3 Lit. into domination all their days
  4. 2 Kings 13:4 Lit. the Lord’s face
  5. 2 Kings 13:4 Lit. because he
  6. 2 Kings 13:4 The Heb. lacks that Israel was enduring from the king of Aram
  7. 2 Kings 13:6 I.e. cultic pillars used in pagan worship, and so throughout the book
  8. 2 Kings 13:7 Lit. For he
  9. 2 Kings 13:7 Lit. destroyed them
  10. 2 Kings 13:9 Lit. Jehoahaz slept with
  11. 2 Kings 13:10 The Heb. lacks the reign of
  12. 2 Kings 13:10 Joash and Jehoash are alternate spellings of the same name
  13. 2 Kings 13:13 Lit. Joash slept with
  14. 2 Kings 13:14 The Heb. lacks see
  15. 2 Kings 13:21 Lit. As they
  16. 2 Kings 13:21 Lit. bones
  17. 2 Kings 13:25 Lit. he
  18. 2 Kings 13:25 Joash and Jehoash are alternate spellings of the same name
  19. 2 Kings 13:25 Lit. him

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