2 Kings part 1
Tonight we are getting back to our OT study as we enter into
2 Kings. Once again I want to point out that 1 and 2 Kings were originally one
book and I have already given a detailed introduction to this book. So, there
is no need for me to it again. †2 Kings
picks up where 1 Kings leaves off. When we came to the end of 1 Kings we found
out that King Jehoshaphat had died and his son Jehoram reigns in place over the
The only thing I want to point out about 2 Kings is that it
will show us the downfall of the
2 Kings 1:1
Now earlier during Davidís reign, he wiped out about 2/3 of
Moabites army in (2 Sam. 8:2) and they became a part of Solomonís empire. Later
on at the division of
Ahaziah falls and hurts himself and instead of seeking God almighty he wants his answer to come from the false God and this does not set well with God as we read in,
2 Kings 1:3 But the
angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Arise, go up to meet the
messengers of the king of
If you recall my lesson on the angel of the Lord I believe this is referring to Jesus before He became flesh. The angle of the Lord comes to Elijah †and has him meet Ahaziahís messenger and give him a message from God. Elijah does exactly as he is instructed and the messenger returns back to the King and gives him the bad news that he is going to die right where he lays. Now I have no doubt that if this king had not ignored that was a God and he had turned to Him and sought His counsel God would have healed him. But now there is no hope for his life. Notice the kingís response.
2 Kings 1:7 Then he said to them, "What kind of man was it who came up to meet you and told you these words?"† 8 So they answered him, "A hairy man wearing a leather belt around his waist." And he said, "It is Elijah the Tishbite."
It is pretty obvious that the King wants to know who told him this news so that he could have him killed. As soon as the messenger described him, he knew right away that it was Elijah the man of God.
2 Kings 1:9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. So he went up to him; and there he was, sitting on the top of a hill. And he spoke to him: "Man of God, the king has said, 'Come down!' "† 10 So Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, "If I am a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men." And fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.† 11 Then he sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty men. And he answered and said to him: "Man of God, thus has the king said, 'Come down quickly!' "† 12 So Elijah answered and said to them, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men." And the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.† 13 Again, he sent a third captain of fifty with his fifty men. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and pleaded with him, and said to him: "Man of God, please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight.† 14 "Look, fire has come down from heaven and burned up the first two captains of fifties with their fifties. But let my life now be precious in your sight."† 15 And the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So he arose and went down with him to the king.
The king didnít send the men for a friendly visit because He wanted Elijah dealt with. He thought the sending 50 men would be enough, but it wouldnít matter how many he sent because God was on Elijahís side. The first 2 sets of 50 soldiers are burned alive from the fire of heaven. Some have actually said that this was an unfair act because these men were just following orders. Therefore they were innocent. But, this is not the case. It is true that they were following orders but they had a choice to follow or not to follow those orders. These men knew who Elijah was and you can see this by the captain calling him a man of God. Calling these men innocent because they simply followed orders would be the same thing as calling Hitlerís soldiers innocent for killing thousands of Jews because they were just following orders.† Besides this we know that God doesnít punish people who do not deserve it.
Now the 3rd set of soldiers plead with Elijah and because of this God shows mercy on them and the Angel of the Lord tells Elijah to go to the king.
2 Kings 1:16 Then he
said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Because you have sent messengers to
inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, is it because there is no
As you can see the king didnít get much satisfaction because Elijah was still breathing and now he is in his face telling him the same message he herd before and it happened just as Elijah said. Ahaziah reigned for 2 short years and then Jehoram also known as Joram, one of the of sons of Ahab, becomes the new king over Israel and at the same time there is also king called Jehoram over the kingdom of Judah. So, it can become very confusing at times of who is who if you donít pay close attention.
Now as we enter into chapter 2 we will see our story shift from Elijah to Elisha.
2 Kings 2:1 And it
came to pass, when the LORD was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a
whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.† 2 Then Elijah said to Elisha,
"Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to
Besides Enoch, Elijah is the only other person mentioned in the Bible that did not have to taste death before being taken up into heaven. All these people mentioned here knew it was time for Elijah to be taken up. We do not know for sure who these sons of the prophet were, but they always seem to be around while this is going on. Now Elijah apparently didnít want any witnesses of his ascension so he tries to Get Elisha to stay behind, but he will not do it and Elisha doesnít want to hear what the sonís of prophets have to say either.
2 Kings 2:4 Then
Elijah said to him, "Elisha, stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me
Two more times Elijah
tries to get Elisha to stay behind, but he will not. We also learn that there †are 50 of these sons of the prophets and now
they are by the
2 Kings 2:8 Now Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water; and it was divided this way and that, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
This is the second time
in history that the
2 Kings 2:9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?" Elisha said, "Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me."† 10 So he said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so."
I do not believe that Elisha is asking for twice the power of Elijah, but instead he asking for double portion in the same sense that oldest son receives a double portion or 2/3 of his fatherís inheritance. Elijah says this is hard because this was not his right to grant such a promise because the power that Elijah had came from God and could only be granted by God. So, that why he tells him if he sees him taken up then he will have it, but if he does not then he will not have it.
2 Kings 2:11 Then it
happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared
with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a
whirlwind into heaven.† 12 And
Elisha saw it, and he cried out, "My father, my father, the chariot
What an amazing site this must have been. Here these two
were talking and all of sudden along comes a chariot of fire out of no where
and separates them and takes Elijah up via a whirlwind out his site. Now
whenever Elisha cries out, ďMy father, my
father, the chariot of
In other words Elisha is stating that Elijahís spiritual
2 Kings 2:13 He also
took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood
by the bank of the
When Elisha picks up the mantel he is taking on the
responsibilities that Elijah had. He strikes the water as Elijah did and for a
third time the
2 Kings 2:16 Then
they said to him, "Look now, there are fifty strong men with your
servants. Please let them go and search for your master, lest perhaps the
Spirit of the LORD has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into
some valley." And he said, "You shall not send anyone."† 17 But when they urged him till he
was ashamed, he said, "Send them!" Therefore they sent fifty
men, and they searched for three days but did not find him.† 18 And when they came back to him,
for he had stayed in
These same 50 men knew
the Elijah would be taken from them and they could see that Elisha had his spirit,
yet they still want to go see if they can find Elijah. After all, they didnít
get to see Elijah ascend into heaven on the fiery chariot. Elisha tells them
not to look, but the would stop pressing him so he final says, ďGo ahead.Ē They
look for 3 days and come up empty handed and Elisha basically tells them, ď I
told you so.Ē So, now they are in
2 Kings 2:19 Then the men of the city said to Elisha, "Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren."† 20 And he said, "Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it." So they brought it to him.† 21 Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, "Thus says the LORD: 'I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.' "† 22 So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.†
Here we learn that the city has a problem with their water and now Elijah will work his second miracle. He put salt in the source of the river and proclaims that it will be healed and will fix the barrenness problem as well. Some have tried to say that the salt fixed the problem, but how long is a bowl full of salt going to last in water? Not very long, yet we are told that water remained healed for a long time afterward which shows that this was a miracle and not just the salt.
2 Kings 2:23 Then he
went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came
from the city and mocked him, and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead! Go
up, you baldhead!"† 24 So
he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name
of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of
the youths.† 25 Then he went
from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to
Some translations give the impression that these were young boys, but the word is translated as young men many times. In fact, Joshua was somewhere in his twenties when he is called this in Exodus 33:11. These young men were mocking Elisha saying Go up baldhead. They were being very disrespectful and they basically wanted Elisha to go up like Elijah did because these young men didnít want to have anything to do with the righteousness that Elisha represented.
Then Elisha pronounces a curse on them. This is exactly what Deut. 27:14-26 said to do on those who were being disobedient. Because of their mockery and disobedience God causes 2 female bears to kill 42 of these young men. This is another story that some donít like because they think these were young boys who didnít deserve to die because of their teasing. Obviously these were not young boys and they were not just teasing. Otherwise, God would not have allowed them to be killed and Elisha would not have cursed them. This is another area where we must realize that God knows the hearts of men and we have to trust in his judgment.
Then our chapter ends
with Elisha in