The Message

2 Kings 1

1After Ahab died, Moab rebelled against Israel.

One day Ahaziah fell through the balcony railing on the rooftop of his house in Samaria and was injured. He sent messengers off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, “Am I going to recover from this accident?”

3-4 God’s angel spoke to Elijah the Tishbite: “Up on your feet! Go out and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria with this word, ‘Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you’re running off to consult Baal-Zebub god of Ekron?’ Here’s a message from the God you’ve tried to bypass: ‘You’re not going to get out of that bed you’re in—you’re as good as dead already.’” Elijah delivered the message and was gone.

The messengers went back. The king said, “So why are you back so soon—what’s going on?”

They told him, “A man met us and said, ‘Turn around and go back to the king who sent you; tell him, God’s message: Is it because there’s no God in Israel that you’re running off to consult Baal-Zebub god of Ekron? You needn’t bother. You’re not going to get out of that bed you’re in—you’re as good as dead already.’”

The king said, “Tell me more about this man who met you and said these things to you. What was he like?”

“Shaggy,” they said, “and wearing a leather belt.”

He said, “That has to be Elijah the Tishbite!”

The king sent a captain with fifty men to Elijah. Meanwhile Elijah was sitting, big as life, on top of a hill. The captain said, “O Holy Man! King’s orders: Come down!”

10 Elijah answered the captain of the fifty, “If it’s true that I’m a ‘holy man,’ lightning strike you and your fifty men!” Out of the blue lightning struck and incinerated the captain and his fifty.

11 The king sent another captain with his fifty men, “O Holy Man! King’s orders: Come down. And right now!”

12 Elijah answered, “If it’s true that I’m a ‘holy man,’ lightning strike you and your fifty men!” Immediately a divine lightning bolt struck and incinerated the captain and his fifty.

13-14 The king then sent a third captain with his fifty men. For a third time, a captain with his fifty approached Elijah. This one fell on his knees in supplication: “O Holy Man, have respect for my life and the souls of these fifty men! Twice now lightning from out of the blue has struck and incinerated captains with their fifty men; please, I beg you, respect my life!”

15 The angel of God told Elijah, “Go ahead; and don’t be afraid.” Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.

16 Elijah told him, “God’s word: Because you sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub the god of Ekron, as if there were no God in Israel to whom you could pray, you’ll never get out of that bed alive—already you’re as good as dead.”

17 And he died, exactly as God’s word spoken by Elijah had said.

Because Ahaziah had no son, his brother Joram became the next king. The succession took place in the second year of the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.

18 The rest of Ahaziah’s life is recorded in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.

New International Reader's Version

2 Kings 1

The Lord Judges Ahaziah

1After King Ahab died, Moab refused to remain under Israel’s control. Ahaziah had fallen through the window of his upstairs room in Samaria. He had hurt himself. So he sent messengers to ask the god named Baal-Zebub for advice. Baal-Zebub was the god of the city of Ekron. Ahaziah said to the messengers, “Go and ask Baal-Zebub whether I will get well again.”

But the angel of the Lord spoke to Elijah, who was from Tishbe. The angel said, “Go up to see the messengers of Ahaziah, the king of Samaria. Tell them, ‘You are on your way to ask Baal-Zebub for advice. He is the god of Ekron. Are you going there to pray to that god? Do you think there is no God in Israel?’ The Lord says to Ahaziah, ‘You will never leave the bed you are lying on. You can be sure that you will die!’ ” So Elijah went to see the messengers.

They returned to the king. He asked them, “Why have you come back?”

“A man met us on our way there,” they replied. “He said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you. Tell him, “The Lord says, ‘You are sending messengers to ask Baal-Zebub for advice. He is the god of Ekron. Are you going there to pray to that god? Do you think there is no God in Israel? You will never leave the bed you are lying on. You can be sure that you will die!’ ” ’ ”

The king asked the messengers, “What kind of man came to see you? Who told you these things?”

They replied, “He was wearing clothes made out of hair. He had a leather belt around his waist.”

The king said, “That was Elijah from Tishbe.”

Then Ahaziah sent a captain to Elijah. The captain had his group of 50 fighting men with him. Elijah was sitting on top of a hill. The captain went up to him. He said to Elijah, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!’ ”

10 Elijah answered the captain, “If I’m really a man of God, may fire come down from heaven! May it burn up you and your 50 men!” Then fire came down from heaven. It burned up the captain and his men.

11 After that happened, the king sent another captain to Elijah. The captain had his 50 men with him. He said to Elijah, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down at once!’ ”

12 Elijah replied, “If I’m really a man of God, may fire come down from heaven! May it burn up you and your 50 men!” Then the fire of God came down from heaven. It burned up the captain and his 50 men.

13 So the king sent a third captain with his 50 men. The captain went up to Elijah. He fell on his knees in front of him. “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life! Please have respect for the lives of these 50 men! 14 Fire has come down from heaven. It has burned up the first two captains and all their men. But please have respect for my life!”

15 The angel of the Lord said to Elijah, “Go down along with him. Don’t be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went down to the king with the captain.

16 Elijah told the king, “The Lord says, ‘You have sent messengers to ask Baal-Zebub for advice. He is the god of Ekron. Did you go there to pray to that god for advice? Do you think there is no God in Israel? You will never leave the bed you are lying on. You can be sure that you will die!’ ” 17 So King Ahaziah died. It happened just as the Lord had said it would. He had spoken that message through Elijah.

Ahaziah didn’t have any sons. So Joram, his younger brother, became the next king after him. It was the second year of Jehoram, the king of Judah. Jehoram was the son of Jehoshaphat. 18 All the other events of Ahaziah’s rule are written down. Everything he did is written in the official records of the kings of Israel.