Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life,
saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou
canst sojourn: for the
LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven
Elisha said to the woman whose son he had raised from the dead [1
Get up and go somewhere else.
God is going to send a seven-year famine. 
And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she
went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven
So the woman and her family went to the land of the Philistines for seven years.
And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out
of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for
her house and for her land.
When the seven-year famine was over, the woman returned and asked the king to return her land.
And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying,
Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.
The king said to Elisha's servant Gehazi [3
Tell me all the great things Elisha has done.
And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead
body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life,
cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord,
O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to
So Gehazi told the king the story
about the woman's son whom Elisha
raised from the dead.
And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed
unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the
fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.
After the king heard the story, he said,
Give the woman the land that she used to own.
And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and
it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither.
And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet
the man of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of
Benhadad, the king of Syria, was sick.
He said to Hazael,
Take a present to Elisha and ask him to ask God if I will get better.
So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every
good thing of Damascus, forty camels' burden, and came and stood before him,
and said, Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall
I recover of this disease?
So Hazael went to meet Elisha with 40 camel loads of gifts.
When he found him, he said to him,
Benhadad, the king of Syria, sent me to ask you if he'd recover from his disease.
And Elisha said unto
him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath
shewed me that he shall surely die.
Tell him he will certainly recover.
(God had previously told Elisha that Benhadad would die.) 
And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the
man of God wept.
Then Elisha began to cry.
And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the
evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt
thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and
wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
Why are you crying?
Because I know what you're going to do to the Israelites.
You'll burn their cities, kill their young men, smash their children, and rip up their pregnant women.
Hazael smothers King Benhadad
And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this
great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be
king over Syria.
Are calling me a dog?
God told me that you will be king of Syria.
So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, What
said Elisha to thee? And he answered, He told me that thou shouldest surely
Hazael returned to Benhadad and said to him,
Elisha said you'll recover.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped
it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned
in his stead.
Then Hazael took a thick cloth, dipped it in water, and smothered King Benhadad. [5
And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat
being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah
began to reign.
Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned
eight years in Jerusalem.
Jehoram became the king of Judah while his father, Jehoshaphat, was still king. [6
And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab:
for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the
Jehoram's wife was Ahab's daughter, so he did evil in God's sight.
Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake, as he
promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children.
In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king
So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by
night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of
the chariots: and the people fled into their tents.
But God didn't destroy Judah for David's sake.
Yet Edom revolted from
under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same
Edom revolted against Judah, and they are still revolting today. [7
And the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not
written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the
city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah
the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign.
Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, became king of Judah in the twelfth year of the reign of king Joram of Israel. [8
Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in
Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of
He was 22 years old when he began to reign. [9
And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight
of the LORD, as did the house of Ahab: for he was the son in law of the
house of Ahab.
And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of
Syria in Ramothgilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram.
And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the
Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria.
And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son
of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
And he walked like those in Ahab's family, doing evil in God's sight.
(Because he was the son of a son in law of Ahab.)
- The woman, whose son he had restored to life (v.1)
See the story in 2 Kings 4:18-37.
- The LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.
No reason is given for the famine. But I guess God can send a famine no particular reason.
DWB: God calls for a seven year famine
- The king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God (v.4)
A few chapters ago, God (via Elisha's curse) gave Gehazi and all of his descendants
leprosy. Yet here he converveses with the king as though nothing had happened.
Did God give Gehazi leprosy?
- Howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die (v.10)
Elisha, with God's approval, tells a man to lie.
Is it wrong to lie?
- He took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died.
Did God kill king Benhadad?
Benhadad was sick, so he sent Hazael to ask Elisha if he would recover. Elisha said to tell the king that
he would recover, though God told him that he would die. Hazael returned and delivered the message to the
king and then smothered him.
Seems suspicious, doesn't it? Especially when you consider how much God hated Benhadad.
God killed Ahab and
for not killing Benhadad. Maybe Hazael did the job for God when he smothered him.
- In the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah,
Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. (v.16)
So there were two kings of Judah at this time. Seems kind of strange, but OK.
- Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. (v.22)
The Edomites revolt. But how could they have fought when all of their males had just recently been killed?
(1 Kings 11:16)
- In the twelfth year of Joram ... did Ahaziah ... begin to reign. (v.25)
When did Ahaziah begin to reign?
- Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign. (v.26)
How old was Ahaziah when he began to reign?
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- God's 104th Killing:
God calls for a seven year famine (2 Kings 7:1)
- Slate Blogs the Bible by David Plotz
- Ruled by Stupid, Wicked Kings,
the Holy Land Slides Toward the Abyss
- Christian Response
- SAB authored answered