1 In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years.
2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.
3 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days.
4 And Jehoahaz besought the LORD, and the LORD hearkened unto him: for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them.
5 (And the LORD gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime.
6 Nevertheless they departed not from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin, but walked therein: and there remained the grove also in Samaria.)
7 Neither did he leave of the people to Jehoahaz but fifty horsemen, and ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen; for the king of Syria had destroyed them, and had made them like the dust by threshing.
8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did, and his might, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
9 And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his stead.
10 In the thirty and seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years.
11 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD; he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin: but he walked therein.
12 And the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, and his might wherewith he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
13 And Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat upon his throne: and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.
15 And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.
16 And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands.
17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD's deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.
19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.
20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
22 But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.
23 And the LORD was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.
24 So Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his stead.
25 And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities, which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times did Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of Israel.
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Chapter 13 of the book of 2 Kings in the King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible is a continuation of the story of the kings of Israel and Judah. It covers the reign of Jehoahaz and Jehoash in Israel, and the reign of Joash in Judah. This chapter also mentions the death of the prophet Elisha and the continuation of the wars between Israel and Syria. The main themes of this chapter include the consequences of disobedience, the power of God's prophets, and the importance of seeking God's guidance and protection.
The chapter begins with the reign of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, as king of Israel. He ruled for 17 years and followed in the footsteps of his ancestors by continuing to worship the golden calves set up by Jeroboam. As a result, God was angry with Israel and allowed them to be oppressed by the king of Syria, Hazael, and his son, Ben-hadad.
During this time, Jehoahaz pleaded with God for help, and God heard his prayer and sent a savior to deliver Israel from the Syrians. However, the Israelites did not turn away from their sins and continued to worship idols. This pattern of disobedience and oppression would continue throughout the reign of Jehoahaz and his successors.
After the death of Jehoahaz, his son Jehoash became king of Israel. He also followed in the ways of his father by worshipping the golden calves. However, he did seek the advice of Elisha, the prophet of God, who was on his deathbed at the time. Elisha instructed Jehoash to shoot an arrow out of a window, symbolizing God's victory over Syria. He also told Jehoash to strike the ground with arrows, symbolizing the number of times he would defeat the Syrians.
Jehoash followed Elisha's instructions and was able to defeat Syria three times. However, he did not completely destroy their army, as Elisha had warned him to do. This would come back to haunt Jehoash later, as the Syrians continued to oppress Israel during his reign.
The chapter also mentions the death of the prophet Elisha. Before his death, Elisha performed one last miracle by reviving a dead man who was thrown into his tomb. This miracle demonstrated God's power and the authority of His prophets. Elisha's death marked the end of an era, as he was the last remaining prophet of the time of Elijah.
However, even in death, Elisha's influence continued as his bones brought a dead man back to life when he touched them. This miracle showed that Elisha's faith and obedience to God continued to be powerful even after his death.
The chapter also briefly mentions the reign of Joash, the king of Judah. He became king at the age of seven and ruled for 40 years. Unlike his predecessors, Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and sought guidance from the priest Jehoiada. Under Jehoiada's influence, Joash repaired the temple of the Lord and reinstated proper worship practices.
However, after Jehoiada's death, Joash turned away from God and began to worship idols. This angered God, and He allowed the king of Syria to invade and defeat Judah. Joash was eventually assassinated by his own servants, and his son Amaziah became king.
Chapter 13 of 2 Kings highlights the consequences of disobedience and the importance of seeking God's guidance and protection. The kings of Israel and Judah suffered greatly because of their disobedience and worship of idols. However, when they turned to God in repentance, He showed them mercy and delivered them from their enemies.
The chapter also emphasizes the power of God's prophets. Elisha's miracles and prophecies demonstrated God's authority and His ability to intervene in the affairs of men. Even in death, Elisha's faith and obedience to God continued to bring about miracles and blessings.
Furthermore, the chapter shows the importance of following God's instructions completely. Jehoash's failure to completely destroy the Syrian army, as instructed by Elisha, resulted in continued oppression for Israel. This serves as a reminder for believers to be obedient to God's commands and to trust in His plan and timing.
In addition, the death of Elisha marks the end of an era, as he was the last remaining prophet of the time of Elijah. This highlights the importance of passing on the knowledge and teachings of God to the next generation, as Jehoiada did with Joash. When Joash turned away from God, it was a result of not having a strong spiritual influence in his life.
In conclusion, Chapter 13 of 2 Kings serves as a reminder for believers to remain obedient to God, seek His guidance and protection, and pass on the knowledge and teachings of God to the next generation. It also highlights the power of God's prophets and the consequences of disobedience. May we learn from the mistakes of the kings of Israel and Judah and strive to follow God's will for our lives.