The Shunammite’s Return. 1Elisha once said to the woman whose son he had restored to life: “Get ready! Leave with your household and live wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a seven-year famine which is coming upon the land.”a 2The woman got ready and did as the man of God said, setting out with her household, and living in the land of the Philistines for seven years.
3At the end of the seven years, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines and went out to the king to appeal for her house and her field. 4The king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God: “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5Just as he was telling the king how his master had restored a dead person to life, the very woman whose son Elisha had restored to life came to the king appealing for her house and field. Gehazi said, “My lord king, this is the woman, and this is that son of hers whom Elisha restored to life.” 6The king questioned the woman, and she told him her story. With that the king placed an official* at her disposal, saying, “Restore all her property to her, with all that the field produced from the day she left the land until now.”
Elisha and Hazael of Aram.* 7b Elisha came to Damascus at a time when Ben-hadad, king of Aram, lay sick. When he was told, “The man of God has come here,” 8the king said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go call on the man of God. Consult the LORD through him, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”c 9Hazael went to visit him, carrying a present, and with forty camel loads of the best goods of Damascus. On his arrival, he stood before Elisha and said, “Your son Ben-hadad, king of Aram, has sent me to you to ask, ‘Will I recover from my sickness?’” 10Elisha answered, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover.’ But the LORD has showed me that he will surely die.” 11Then he stared him down until he became ill at ease. The man of God wept, 12and Hazael asked, “Why are you weeping, my lord?” Elisha replied, “Because I know the evil that you will inflict upon the Israelites. You will burn their fortresses, you will slay their youth with the sword, you will dash their little children to pieces, you will rip open their pregnant women.”d 13Hazael exclaimed, “How can your servant, a dog* like me, do anything so important?” Elisha replied, “The LORD has showed you to me as king over Aram.”
14Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master, who asked, “What did Elisha tell you?” Hazael replied, “He said, ‘You will surely recover.’” 15The next day, however, Hazael took a cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it over the king’s face, so that he died. And Hazael succeeded him as king.
Reign of Joram of Judah. 16* In the fifth year of Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, Joram, son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, became king. 17He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
18He walked in the way of the kings of Israel as the house of Ahab had done, since the daughter of Ahab was his wife; and he did what was evil in the LORD’s sight. 19Even so, the LORD was unwilling to destroy Judah, for the sake of his servant David. For he had promised David that he would leave him a holding in the LORD’s presence for all time.e 20During Joram’s reign, Edom revolted against the rule of Judah and installed a king of its own. 21Thereupon Joram with all his chariots crossed over to Zair. He arose by night and broke through the Edomites when they had surrounded him and the commanders of his chariots. Then his army fled homeward. 22To this day Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah. Libnah also revolted at that time.f
23The rest of the acts of Joram, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. 24Joram rested with his ancestors; he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David, and his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.
Reign of Ahaziah of Judah.* 25In the twelfth year of Joram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah, son of Joram, king of Judah, became king. 26Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, daughter of Omri, king of Israel.*
27He walked in the way of the house of Ahab and did what was evil in the LORD’s sight like the house of Ahab, since he was related to them by marriage. 28He joined Joram, son of Ahab, in battle against Hazael, king of Aram, at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded Joram.g 29King Joram returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah in his battle against Hazael, king of Aram. Then Ahaziah, son of Joram, king of Judah, went down to Jezreel to visit Joram, son of Ahab, for he was sick.
* [8:6] An official: lit., “eunuch,” and perhaps actually so in this instance.
* [8:13] To call oneself a “dog” is to admit one’s insignificance (1 Sm 24:15; 2 Sm 9:8); it is not necessarily a term of contempt, as in English. Hazael focuses on the question of his power, making no comment on the atrocities Elisha predicts he will commit.
* [8:25–29] The narrative of Ahaziah’s reign, like that of Joram of Israel, lacks the standard formulaic conclusion. The deaths of both kings, and indeed the obliteration of the whole house of Omri, will be recounted in the story of Jehu’s insurrection.