2 Kings part 2


2 Kings 3:1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel at Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.  2 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, but not like his father and mother; for he put away the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had made.  3 Nevertheless he persisted in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin; he did not depart from them.


Verse 1 is reminding us that Jehoram of the Northern kingdom is now the king. However, what is interesting is that this verse says that he began his reign in the 18th year of Jehoshaphat. Yet 2 Kings 1:17 says he became king during the 2nd year of Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram. This most plausible explanation for this is that both of these are correct in that Jehoshaphat’s son was co-reigning with him. Now let’s make it even more interesting. In 2 Kings 8:16 it says that Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram became king of Judah during this 5th year of Jehoram king of Israel. The most plausible explanation here is that this is referring to when Jehoshaphat’s son started reigning as the king of Judah on his own.


Now I know this can be confusing and that is why I wanted to point out and show you the most plausible answer to these differences. This is why I reminded you in our last lesson that sometimes we will see the reigns of these kings vary depending on whether they are counting from when the co-reigned or from when they reigned on their own.


Getting back to our text, we learn that Jehoram was little better than his father and mother in that he put away the sacred pillar of Baal. Unfortunately, he did go far enough because he embraced all the false Gods from Jeroboam’s time and still caused Israel to sin.


This teaches us that we should not go back to the restoration movement or to any other movement for our authority. Instead, we always need to go back to the first century and simply look at what God wants us to do because His word and His way is the only way.


2 Kings 3:4 Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheepbreeder, and he regularly paid the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs and the wool of one hundred thousand rams.  5 But it happened, when Ahab died, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.  6 So King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel.  7 Then he went and sent to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, saying, "The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?" And he said, "I will go up; I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses."  8 Then he said, "Which way shall we go up?" And he answered, "By way of the Wilderness of Edom."  


We learn that the King of Moab was a sheepbreeder. The only other time this word is used in reference to Amos in Amos 7:14. Moab decided to rebel at Ahab’s death. Now we have already talked about Jehoshaphat in 1 Kings and how he made some bad decision on joining up with these evil Kings of Israel. Here we see that he didn’t learn his lesson because now we find out that he also joins forces with Jehoram. Now Jehoram needed the help of Jehoshaphat to be able to overcome the King of Moab and so they join forces and make their way through the wilderness of Edom.


2 Kings 3:9 So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom, and they marched on that roundabout route seven days; and there was no water for the army, nor for the animals that followed them.  10 And the king of Israel said, "Alas! For the LORD has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab."  11 But Jehoshaphat said, "Is there no prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of the LORD by him?" So one of the servants of the king of Israel answered and said, "Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of 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.  


So, here we have 3 kings joined together to defeat the Moabites. However, there was no water for the army for 7 days. Jehoram was quick to blame God for their situation as many nonbelievers like to do. But, fortunately for them Jehoshaphat was faithful to God and trusted in Him. So, instead of blaming God for the situation, he wants to seek him out and find out what God wants. It’s interesting that the servants of Jehoram knew about Elisha and knew where he was. So they all go to see Elisha.


2 Kings 3:13 Then Elisha said to the king of Israel, "What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother." But the king of Israel said to him, "No, for the LORD has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab."  14 And Elisha said, "As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, surely were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not look at you, nor see you.  15 "But now bring me a musician." Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.  16 And he said, "Thus says the LORD: 'Make this valley full of ditches.'  17 "For thus says the LORD: 'You shall not see wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink.'


Elisha makes its clear that he doesn’t want anything to do with the King of Israel because he knows how wicked he is and how is relies upon on his false Gods. That’s why he tells him to go to his own prophets instead of him. We find out the only reason Elisha decides to help them is because of Jehoshaphat. Now I don’t know for sure why he calls for a musician, but once he played his instrument the Lord gave Elisha a message. God was going to provide water for these men in this valley, but they would not see wind or rain.


2 Kings 3:18 "And this is a simple matter in the sight of the LORD; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.  19 "Also you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall cut down every good tree, and stop up every spring of water, and ruin every good piece of land with stones."  20 Now it happened in the morning, when the grain offering was offered, that suddenly water came by way of Edom, and the land was filled with water.


No matter how hard things seem to us, to God all things are simple. Defeating the Moabites would be easy with God on their side. Now that they have asked for God’s guidance, He tells them exactly what he wants them to do. He wants them to attack every city and destroy just about everything. Then just as God promised, the next morning the valley fills up with water from Edom.


2 Kings 3:21 And when all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to bear arms and older were gathered; and they stood at the border.  22 Then they rose up early in the morning, and the sun was shining on the water; and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood.  23 And they said, "This is blood; the kings have surely struck swords and have killed one another; now therefore, Moab, to the spoil!"


So the Moabites were ready to fight, but when they saw this water they thought it was blood. Now, I don’t know if God made it look that way or if the early morning light made it look that way. But, whichever it was is caused them drop their guard because they thought these people had killed themselves and so all they could think about was plundering.


2 Kings 3:24 So when they came to the camp of Israel, Israel rose up and attacked the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they entered their land, killing the Moabites.  25 Then they destroyed the cities, and each man threw a stone on every good piece of land and filled it; and they stopped up all the springs of water and cut down all the good trees. But they left the stones of Kir Haraseth intact. However the slingers surrounded and attacked it.  26 And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took with him seven hundred men who drew swords, to break through to the king of Edom, but they could not.  27 Then he took his eldest son who would have reigned in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering upon the wall; and there was great indignation against Israel. So they departed from him and returned to their own land.


Well, as we read, the Moabites were in for a surprise while plundering was on their mind. These 3 armies killed them and started attacking everything God had asked them. However, there were a few places they didn’t destroy. Apparently Moabites thought Edom was the weakest because they tried to get to their king but they failed. As a last ditch effort the king of Moab sacrifices his own son probably to their God Chemosh. We are not given much detail about what happens next, but whatever happened there was great wrath against Israel and it caused them to leave this battle and go back home. There are many thoughts on what happened here, but do to lack of details we can only speculate.


Now as we enter into chapter 4 we will see 5 different miracles that Elisha performs.


2 Kings 4:1 A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves."  2 So Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil."  3 Then he said, "Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors -- empty vessels; do not gather just a few.  4 "And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones."  5 So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out.  6 Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, "Bring me another vessel." And he said to her, "There is not another vessel." So the oil ceased.  7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest."


This woman was the wife of one of the unnamed sons of the prophets. Jewish tradition says that her husband was Obadiah. Back then, when a person could not pay their debt it was common practice for them to take someone as a slave. This poor widow would have really struggled without her sons. Well, Elisha is going to help her out. Now the only thing this woman had of value was a small jar of oil. So, Elisha instructs her to get as many vessels as she can and to poor the oil into each of them and set them aside when they are full and that is exactly what she did. Thanks to God, this widow had enough oil to pay her debt and more to live on for a long time. This shows us the mercy of God and how he provided this woman abundantly.


2 Kings 4: 8 Now it happened one day that Elisha went to Shunem, where there was a notable woman, and she persuaded him to eat some food. So it was, as often as he passed by, he would turn in there to eat some food.  9 And she said to her husband, "Look now, I know that this is a holy man of God, who passes by us regularly.  10 "Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there."


This is great example of godly woman who was wealthy that was willing to provide for a man of God. She persuaded her husband to make him a room to stay in since he was always passing by there and she fed him. This also shows us that Godly women stood out in the OT as well. 


 11 And it happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there.  12 Then he said to Gehazi his servant, "Call this Shunammite woman." When he had called her, she stood before him.  13 And he said to him, "Say now to her, 'Look, you have been concerned for us with all this care. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?' " She answered, "I dwell among my own people."


Here we are introduced to Elisha’s servant Gehazi. We will find out later that he has problem with greed in chapter 5. Elisha is happy with this women’s generosity and he wants to do something for her. He has good relationship with the king and he offers to say something to him in her behalf, but she was satisfied with the ways things were.


 14 So he said, "What then is to be done for her?" And Gehazi answered, "Actually, she has no son, and her husband is old."  15 So he said, "Call her." When he had called her, she stood in the doorway.  16 Then he said, "About this time next year you shall embrace a son." And she said, "No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!"  17 But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her.


Elisha still wanted to do something for this woman, so he gets a good idea from his servant Gehazi. So, she is given the gift of a child.


2 Kings 4:18 And the child grew. Now it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers.  19 And he said to his father, "My head, my head!" So he said to a servant, "Carry him to his mother."  20 When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.  21 And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out.  22 Then she called to her husband, and said, "Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back."  23 So he said, "Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath." And she said, "It is well."  24 Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, "Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you."  25 And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, "Look, the Shunammite woman!.  26 "Please run now to meet her, and say to her, 'Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?' " And she answered, "It is well."  27 Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet, but Gehazi came near to push her away. But the man of God said, "Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the LORD has hidden it from me, and has not told me."  28 So she said, "Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, 'Do not deceive me'?"


Now this is a sad situation. This woman was blessed by God to have this son and now he is dead. Out of desperation she goes to Elisha and clings to his feet hoping that he might be able to do something about her son. You can see that she wasn’t ready to accept her son was gone for good because before she left her house she tells her husband, “it is well” in verse 23 and when asked by Ghaizi how her family was, again she says, “it is well” in verse 26.


2 Kings 4: 29 Then he said to Gehazi, "Get yourself ready, and take my staff in your hand, and be on your way. If you meet anyone, do not greet him; and if anyone greets you, do not answer him; but lay my staff on the face of the child."  30 And the mother of the child said, "As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you." So he arose and followed her.  31 Now Gehazi went on ahead of them, and laid the staff on the face of the child; but there was neither voice nor hearing. Therefore he went back to meet him, and told him, saying, "The child has not awakened."  32 When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed.


So, Gehazi takes Elisha’s staff and puts on the boy, but he is still dead.


2 Kings 4:33 He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD.  34 And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm.  35 He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.  36 And he called Gehazi and said, "Call this Shunammite woman." So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, "Pick up your son."  37 So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.


One thing you will notice in Bible is that there are only a few times that someone was raised from the dead. In fact in the OT there are only 3 instances that I am aware of where the dead are raised alive. One was done by Elijah and 2 were done by Elisha with one of them being done after he was dead. In this instance, he laid on top of the boy 2 times. The first time his flesh became warm and the second time he sneezed 7 times and was brought to life. Once again, this Godly woman was blessed by God.


2 Kings 4:38 And Elisha returned to Gilgal, and there was a famine in the land. Now the sons of the prophets were sitting before him; and he said to his servant, "Put on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets."  39 So one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, though they did not know what they were.  40 Then they served it to the men to eat. Now it happened, as they were eating the stew, that they cried out and said, "Man of God, there is death in the pot!" And they could not eat it.  41 So he said, "Then bring some flour." And he put it into the pot, and said, "Serve it to the people, that they may eat." And there was nothing harmful in the pot.


Since there was a famine in the land, there wasn’t much available to eat, so this man went out and found what he could, including these gourds. He did not know they were poisonous. Now Elisha works his 4th miracle in this chapter by putting flour in the pot and making the stew good to eat. Now let’s move on to our 5th miracle.


2 Kings 4:42 Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, "Give it to the people, that they may eat."  43 But his servant said, "What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?" He said again, "Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the LORD: 'They shall eat and have some left over.' "  44 So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD.


The first thing that comes to my mind in this last miracle is how Jesus did this same thing except on much a larger scale as he fed 5000 one time and 4000 another and that was just the men. We can also see that Elisha servant was just like Jesus’ apostles because he expresses doubt on how these 100 men are going to be fed by such a small amount of food. But, God worked a miracle through Elisha and not only was there enough food for them to eat, they had leftovers. Again, this shows us that God provides and He does so abundantly.