The Bible – Old Testament
In the twenty-third year of Joash, son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, began his seventeen-year reign over Israel in Samaria.
He did evil in the LORD’S sight, conducting himself like Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and not renouncing the sin he had caused Israel to commit.
The LORD was angry with Israel and for a long time left them in the power of Hazael, king of Aram, and of Ben-hadad, son of Hazael.
Then Jehoahaz entreated the LORD, who heard him, since he saw the oppression to which the king of Aram had subjected Israel.
1 So the LORD gave Israel a savior, and the Israelites, freed from the power of Aram, dwelt in their own homes as formerly.
2 Nevertheless, they did not desist from the sins which the house of Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, but persisted in them. The sacred pole also remained standing in Samaria.
No soldiers were left to Jehoahaz, except fifty horsemen with ten chariots and ten thousand foot soldiers, since the king of Aram had destroyed them and trampled them like dust.
The rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, with all his valor and accomplishments, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
Jehoahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. His son Joash succeeded him as king.
In the thirty-seventh year of Joash, king of Judah, Jehoash, son of Jehoahaz, began his sixteen-year reign over Israel in Samaria.
He did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not desist from any of the sins which Jeroboam, son of Nebat, had caused Israel to commit, but persisted in them.
3 (The rest of the acts of Joash, the valor with which he fought against Amaziah, king of Judah, and all his accomplishments, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
Joash rested with his ancestors, and Jeroboam occupied the throne. Joash was buried with the kings of Israel in Samaria.)
4 When Elisha was suffering from the sickness of which he was to die, King Joash of Israel went down to visit him. “My father, my father!” he exclaimed, weeping over him. “Israel’s chariots and horsemen!”
“Take a bow and some arrows,” Elisha said to him. When he had done so,
5 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” As the king held the bow, Elisha placed his hands over the king’s hands
and said, “Open the window toward the east.” He opened it. Elisha said, “Shoot,” and he shot. The prophet exclaimed, “The LORD’S arrow of victory! The arrow of victory over Aram! You will completely conquer Aram at Aphec.”
Then he said to the king of Israel, “Take the arrows,” which he did. Elisha said to him, “Strike the ground!” He struck the ground three times and stopped.
Angry with him, the man of God said: “You should have struck five or six times; you would have defeated Aram completely. Now, you will defeat Aram only three times.”
Elisha died and was buried. At the time, bands of Moabites used to raid the land each year.
Once some people were burying a man, when suddenly they spied such a raiding band. So they cast the dead man into the grave of Elisha, and everyone went off. But when the man came in contact with the bones of Elisha, he came back to life and rose to his feet.
King Hazael of Aram oppressed Israel during the entire reign of Jehoahaz.
But the LORD was merciful with Israel and looked on them with compassion because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was unwilling to destroy them or to cast them out from his presence.
So when King Hazael of Aram died and his son Ben-hadad succeeded him as king,
Joash, son of Jehoahaz, took back from Ben-hadad, son of Hazael, the cities which Hazael had taken in battle from his father Jehoahaz. Joash defeated Ben-hadad three times, and thus recovered the cities of Israel.
2  Sacred pole: see note on ⇒ Exodus 34:13.
3 [12-13] The conclusion to the reign of Joash is given again in ⇒ 2 Kings 14:15-16 where it is more appropriate.
4  My father, my father: the king expresses here the same sentiments as those with which Elisha addressed Elijah.