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Историко-культурный контекст Ветхого Завета

В.Сорокин

Северное Царство

Время правления Соломона было блестящей эпохой в истории древнего Израиля, которая уже никогда более не повторялась. Собственно, и само государство, созданное Саулом, Давидом и Соломоном, распалось сразу же после смерти последнего. Причину этого надо искать в межклановых противоречиях, никогда окончательно не угасавших в израильском обществе в допленный период. С другой стороны, в последние годы правления Соломона пророческие лидеры были, очевидно, недовольны как религиозной ситуацией в целом, так и религиозной политикой самого Соломона, по-видимому, казавшейся им слишком толерантной, и они активно искали ему замену, в том числе и среди его собственных высокопоставленных приближённых. Одним из таких людей был Иеровоам, на которого и была сделана ставка в пророческих кругах (3 Цар 11:29–39). Неудивительно, что, когда информация об этом дошла до Соломона, Иеровоаму пришлось бежать в Египет (3 Цар 11:40), куда и прежде бежали политические противники Соломона (3 Цар 11:15–17). Очевидно, правивший в последние годы Соломона в Египте Шешонк (Сусаким Синодального перевода) изменил политику своей страны по отношению к Израилю, вновь вспомнив о былых притязаниях Египта на Палестину.

Недовольство северных племён выплеснулось наружу сразу же после смерти Соломона, при восхождении на престол его сына и преемника Ровоама. Власть правителя в Израиле никогда не была абсолютной, и потому даже наследнику Соломона, имевшему все династические права на престол, требовалось согласие подданных для того, чтобы его занять. Тогда-то представители Севера и выдвинули свои претензии, требуя, прежде всего, налоговых послаблений (3 Цар 12:1–4). Неудивительно, что Иеровоам, сам по происхождению северянин, возглавил делегацию своих земляков. Попросив трёхдневной отсрочки, Ровоам начал обдумывать своё положение (3 Цар 12:5). Опытные советники, служившие ещё его отцу Соломону, советовали пойти на уступки, которые, можно думать, недорого стоили бы сравнительно богатому государству и обеспечили бы лояльность северных кланов, составлявших подавляющее большинство еврейского населения страны (3 Цар 12:6–8). Такое решение было бы тем более верным, что в древности при восхождении на престол нового правителя было принято делать подданным подарки, в том числе и в виде налоговых послаблений. Но другие, более молодые и менее опытные советники, быть может, видевшие в уступках опасность ослабления центральной власти, напротив, советовали молодому правителю максимально жёсткую политическую линию (3 Цар 12:8–11). К несчастью, Ровоам склонился к мнению последних, что и привело к распаду страны (3 Цар 12:12–17), восстановить единство которой Ровоаму не удалось (3 Цар 12:18–19, 21–24).

Так на территории единого прежде Израиля возникло два новых независимых государства. Граница между ними проходила по территории Самарии, причём большая часть последней принадлежала северянам. Одно из этих двух государств, находившееся на Севере, историки называют обычно Израильским Царством, а второе, находившееся на Юге — Иудейским Царством или просто Иудеей. Иногда их называют также просто Северным Царством и Южным Царством. Впрочем, в древности Северное Царство называли обычно Самарийским Царством или просто Самарией. По-видимому, связано это было с тем, что административной столицей нового государства стал Шхем (Сихем) (3 Цар 12:25), а религиозной — Бейт-Эль (Вефиль) (3 Цар 12:32–33), из которых оба находились в Самарии, а Бейт-Эль был крупным религиозным центром уже во времена Патриархов. Между двумя государствами, прежде составлявшими единое целое, с самого начала их существования начались соперничество и вражда, не прекращавшиеся до самого конца истории Северного Царства.

История эта оказалась довольно короткой. Образовалось Северное Царство после смерти Соломона, то есть в начале IX века, а прекратило свое существование в середине VIII века под ударами ассирийцев. За приблизительно 150 лет своей истории это государство пережило немало правителей и дворцовых переворотов, случавшихся здесь чаще, чем в любом другом государстве региона. С одной стороны, такая ситуация была в значительной мере обусловлена постоянным конфликтом правителей Самарии с пророческим движением, который начался уже во время правления Иеровоама (3 Цар 13:1–3). С другой, нельзя не отметить и постоянных войн, которые изматывали страну. Воевать Самарийскому царству пришлось не только с Иудеей (3 Цар 15:7), но также и с другими своими соседями — моавитянами (4 Цар 3:6–7) и сирийцами (3 Цар 20:1) — правителями небольших семитских государств, находившихся к северо-востоку от Северного Царства. К тому же, небольшое государство не могло сравниться с Израилем времён Соломона ни объёмом внутреннего рынка, ни масштабами внешнеторговых операций. Последние правители Самарийского царства, не имея сил противостоять сирийцам, обратились за помощью к правителям Ассирийской империи, которая как раз именно в это время активно вмешалась в палестинские дела (4 Цар 16:7), что и привело в итоге к военно-политической катастрофе, в результате которой Северное Царство было разгромлено, а основная часть его населения депортирована (4 Цар 17:1–6) (небольшая часть жителей Самарии, возможно, бежала во время этих событий на Юг, в Иудею). Победные стелы ассирийских императоров Тиглатпаласара III и Салманасара V упоминают среди побеждённых имена правителей Северного Царства, подтверждая свидетельства Книг Царей.

Для понимания складывавшейся в Северном Царстве религиозной ситуации необходимо иметь в виду две важных особенности, связанных со сложившимися на этой территории этническими и религиозными реалиями. Прежде всего, необходимо учитывать многонациональный характер страны. На сравнительно небольшой территории еврейское население жило вперемешку с нееврейским. Определённое число язычников в Израиле сохранялось как при Давиде, так и при Соломоне, и после разделения страны большая его часть оказалась на территории Самарийского царства. И, хотя большая часть еврейского населения также оказалась на Севере, можно предполагать, что в процентном отношении численность языческого населения Северного Царства была заметно выше таковой в едином Израиле (не говоря уже об Иудее, где нееврейского населения было очень немного). Кроме того, следует помнить, что, хотя религиозной столицей яхвизма со времён Давида был Иерусалим, множество древних и почитаемых уже в эпоху Патриархов яхвистских святилищ находилось в Самарии, и после разделения страны они оказались на территории Северного Царства. К этому необходимо добавить, что наиболее древние из них, включая и святилище в Бейт-Эле (Вефиле), почитались не только яхвистами, но и местными язычниками (что не удивительно, некоторые из них, по-видимому, подобно святилищу Иерусалима, изначально яхвистскими не были).

В такой ситуации правителям Северного Царства необходимо было решать две религиозно-политические задачи. Одна из них была связана с необходимостью обеспечить религиозную независимость своего государства от Иерусалима; вторая диктовалась необходимостью создать такую религию, которая объединила бы еврейское население страны с нееврейским (о доминировании яхвизма при изменившихся условиях думать, по-видимому, уже не приходилось). Решить первую из двух задач было сравнительно просто, так как централизация яхвистского культа, судя по всем известным нам сегодня данным, Соломоном осуществлена не была, и древние яхвистские культовые центры на Севере вовсе не были забыты. Этим и воспользовался Иеровоам, религиозная реформа которого, прежде всего, имела своей целью создать собственный государственный религиозный центр, независимый от Иерусалима (3 Цар 12:26–33). Задача была решена созданием новой религиозной столицы в Бейт-Эле, где была учреждена даже собственная, независимая от Храма священническая корпорация (3 Цар 12:31). Очевидно, Иеровоам не хотел, чтобы священники Иерусалима и священники Бейт-Эля (Вефиля) принадлежали к одному племени. По-видимому, такая реформа не вызывала негативной реакции у основной массы населения, которое отнюдь не симпатизировало Иудее и Иерусалиму и вполне могло довольствоваться, так сказать, «местным» яхвизмом.

Решить вторую задачу было несколько сложнее. Впрочем, опыт её решения в древнем мире хорошо известен, и процесс этот носит обычно стихийный характер. Речь идёт о формировании на территории со смешанным населением так называемых синкретических культов, то есть таких культов, которые в рамках одного и того же ритуала соединяют поклонение двум изначально различным божествам. Традиционная языческая теология в эту эпоху принимала обычно форму мифа, объяснявшего смысл совершавшегося в том или ином святилище ритуала, который оказывался в центре религиозной жизни. Если учесть к тому же, что для древних было вполне естественно верить в возможность наличия у одного и того же божества разных имён, под которыми оно могло быть известно у разных народов, неудивительно, что религиозный синкретизм в известные периоды времени и на известных территориях был широко распространён, причём речь должна в данном случае идти не о синкретических божествах или культах, а о почитании одного и того же божества под разными именами. Для греков античной или, тем более, эллинистической эпохи было естественно сравнивать Аполлона с Ра или Зевса с Гором, причём нередко они действительно не делали различия между такими парами божеств, считая, что египтяне почитают Аполлона под именем Ра, а Зевса под именем Гора.

Разумеется, речь в таких и подобных им случаях должна идти о массовом религиозном сознании, и к тому же о религиозном сознании, которое уже не слишком укоренено в собственной религиозной традиции, - но приходится признать, что именно таким было религиозное сознание основной массы населения Северного Царства, причём относится это, по-видимому, в равной степени к яхвистам и к язычникам. Говорить об отказе от яхвизма в Северном Царстве не приходится — ни на официальном уровне, ни на бытовом. Однако следует признать факт наличия двоеверия, которое могло принимать в Северном Царстве различные формы. Для яхвистов речь шла, прежде всего, о признании наличия других богов помимо Яхве, очевидно, подчинённых Ему, но всё же требующих себе поклонения. С другой стороны, от язычников, по-видимому, требовалось признание за Яхве особого статуса и особой роли в мироздании, что языческое сознание в общем допускало, но скорее в форме так называемого энотеизма, чем в форме собственно монотеистической. В отличие от последнего первый предполагает наличие верховного божества (которым оказывается, как правило, бог солнца или бог-громовник), стоящего во главе пантеона. На такое верховное божество смотрят обычно как на владыку мироздания и как на отца богов и людей, но не считают его единственным владыкой и творцом мироздания. Типичным примером энотеизма можно считать олимпийскую религию. В такой энотеистической форме яхвизм вполне мог бы стать приемлемым для нееврейского населения Северного Царства, а евреи в массе своей едва ли заметили бы отличие этой по существу новой религии от прежней, существовавшей при Давиде и Соломоне.

В такой ситуации единственными приверженцами и хранителями чистого яхвизма оставались пророческие общины. Конечно, религиозная политика правителей Северного Царства (в том числе и самого Иеровоама, которому именно пророческие лидеры помогли прийти к власти) была для них ещё менее приемлема, чем та абсолютная веротерпимость, которая царила в Израиле в последние годы правления Соломона. Разумеется, ни о какой поддержке властей со стороны пророческих лидеров в такой ситуации говорить не приходилось. Неудивительно, что конфликт между властями и пророческим движением в Самарийском Царстве не затухал ни на один день на всём протяжении его короткой истории, если не считать периода правления Ииуя (4 Цар 10:36), бывшего ставленником пророческих лидеров. Почти всё время пророческие общины и их вожди находились в Самарии на нелегальном или на полулегальном положении. Надо заметить, что теократический идеал в Северном Царстве мог иметь своих приверженцев, и не только в пророческой среде. Этому способствовала прежде всего социально-экономическая ситуация: дела в экономике Самарии шли почти всегда отнюдь не блестяще, а теократия ассоциировалась у многих со славным прошлым, с эпохой Давида и великих побед, а отчасти и с правлением Соломона, которое было временем экономического процветания. Кроме того, с теократией связывались у простых людей представления о справедливости, нарушение которой со стороны власти, разумеется, отнюдь не прибавляло ей популярности (3 Цар 21).

В таких обстоятельствах вожди пророческих общин не могли не задумываться о той альтернативе, которую они могли бы предложить в случае прихода к власти кого-либо из своих представителей. Именно в это время в пророческих кругах Северного Царства появляется ранний (допленный) вариант Книги Второзакония: именно он и был тем религиозно-политическим проектом, который должен был быть осуществлён в случае прихода к власти сторонников истинного яхвизма. Текст Книги Второзакония, очевидно, должен был рассматриваться его авторами как новый вариант Торы, которому предстояло дополнить и частично заменить прежний, существовавший, по-видимому, ещё с догосударственной эпохи в форме Книги Завета. В Северном Царстве он не был осуществлён никогда, даже в правление пророческого ставленника Ииуя, при котором, казалось бы, можно было ожидать реализации пророческих планов, касающихся реформы власти и государственного управления. По-видимому, частично на него опирался Иосия, проводя свою религиозную реформу в Иудее. Но полностью к исполнению он был принят лишь в послепленный период, когда персидские власти приняли решение о воссоздании на территории Иудеи еврейской национальной автономии. Впрочем, некоторые нормы этого нового законодательства не могли применяться в автономии, которая отнюдь не была независимым государством и власти которой не имели поэтому необходимой для его применения юридической свободы.

С точки зрения композиции Книга Второзакония очевидно повторяет Книгу Завета: она включает в себя преамбулу (гл. 1 – 11) и основной текст, как это вообще характерно для древних законодательных сборников. Но, в отличие от Книги Завета, в которой преамбулой служило описание заключения союза с Богом на Синае, преамбула Книги Второзакония, вложенная её автором в уста Моисея, включает в себя, помимо исторического обзора пути, пройденного народом по дороге к обещанной Богом земле (гл. 1–4) и собственно Декалога с увещанием к его соблюдению (гл. 5), напоминание о необходимости сохранения религиозной чистоты общины и бескомпромиссности по отношению к язычникам и их культам (гл. 7). Такие призывы были особенно актуальны в Северном Царстве, где официальный яхвизм стал, как уже говорилось, формой своеобразного религиозного компромисса с местным язычеством. Впрочем, судя по главе 9, её автор смотрел на своих соплеменников и единоверцев совершенно трезво, отнюдь их не идеализируя и прекрасно понимая, что еврейский народ не потому называется народом Божиим, что отличается от других выдающимися нравственными или какими-то иными качествами. Здесь как никогда прежде ясно звучит мысль о том, что народ Божий имеет всё, что имеет, лишь по милости Божией — горький вывод, сделанный, можно думать, не только вследствие обдумывания истории столь далёкой, как кочевая эпоха, но и более близких событий, возможно, происходивших на глазах у автора книги.

Особенного внимания в преамбуле заслуживает наставление, связанное с важностью религиозного обучения и воспитания детей (Втор 6:6–9, 20–25). В последующие эпохи, (в иудейской традиции - вплоть до сегодняшнего дня), на этих словах основаны наставления, обращённые к детям, в том числе и в контексте таких ритуалов, как пасхальный седер (торжественная ритуальная трапеза, связанная с иудейской Пасхой). Однако для нас сейчас интереснее сам факт появления такого наставления в преамбуле Книги Второзакония, так как он свидетельствует о том внимании, которое автор книги уделяет целенаправленному религиозному воспитанию и образованию детей в семье. Такая проблема едва ли могла бы быть актуальной в традиционном родоплеменном социуме, где общественные нормы и ценности передаются посредством традиционных же родовых институтов, а их усвоение происходит естественным образом и не требует особых усилий со стороны родителей. Очевидно, она встала во весь рост тогда, когда этот социум разрушился, а на смену ему пришло новое общество современного типа, наподобие того, которое возникло при Соломоне. И если при Соломоне, можно думать, проблема религиозного воспитания и образования детей стояла ещё не слишком остро, то теперь, в новой религиозно-политической ситуации, она стала весьма актуальной, и была осмыслена представителями пророческих кругов именно как проблема всей яхвистской общины: ведь язычество проникало в еврейское общество прежде всего на бытовом уровне, и именно здесь, в собственных домах и семьях, с ним и нужно было бороться.

Что касается самого законодательства, то здесь особенно интересной является норма, предписывающая централизацию яхвистского культа (Втор 12:13–14). Такая централизация, очевидно, предполагает Иерусалим как религиозную столицу и Храм как единственное место для жертвоприношения. В таком случае все другие яхвистские алтари, в том числе и те, что сохранились на Севере ещё со времён Патриархов, должны были быть уничтожены. В эпоху Моисея или Иисуса Навина, когда война за Палестину шла под лозунгами возвращения к алтарям предков, такая мысль могла бы показаться едва ли не кощунственной: ведь разрушить в таком случае предстояло как раз именно те самые алтари, ради которых и шла война! Однако теперь, когда большинство из этих алтарей стали, по существу, языческими, официальный яхвизм Северного Царства перестал рассматриваться пророками, как истинный, а в качестве носителя чистого яхвизма рассматривалась, вероятно, Иудея, правители которой (по крайней мере, формально) остались верны той религии, которую исповедовал Давид, взгляд на Иерусалим как на единственный оставшийся оплот чистого яхвизма был вполне оправдан. В таком случае централизация культа в Иерусалиме была бы возможностью избавиться от множества святилищ, где, с точки зрения пророческих лидеров, истинный яхвизм лишь осквернялся, так, что само их существование было для Бога оскорблением.

Однако правители Иудеи вовсе не горели желанием осуществлять замыслы пророческих вождей, и те решили действовать сами. Решающую роль в этих действиях сыграли такие выдающиеся лидеры пророческого движения, как Илия и его ученик и преемник Елисей. Оба они ещё при жизни стали легендарными личностями, прославившись не только чудесами, но и бескомпромиссной борьбой за чистоту яхвизма. Уже Илия избирает для осуществления своего теократического идеала Ииуя (3 Цар 19:15–17). Но осуществить задуманное пришлось Елисею, который стал вдохновителем и организатором теократического переворота в Самарии , непосредственно возглавленного Ииуем (4 Цар 9–10). Но переворот привёл не к тем результатам, на которые надеялись пророческие вожди: придя к власти, Ииуй, как видно, вовсе не собирался доводить религиозную реформу до конца. Покончив с языческими святилищами (по крайней мере, на государственном уровне) (4 Цар 10:18–28), он не стал переносить религиозную столицу из Бейт-Эля (Вефиля) в Иерусалим, очевидно, понимая, что это подорвёт независимость его собственного государства (4 Цар 10:29–31). Преемники же Ииуя, по-видимому, свели на нет все его реформы, вернувшись к прежней религиозной политике (4 Цар 13:1–2). Вся кровь, пролитая Ииуем, оказалась пролитой напрасно, к тому же немало скомпрометировав в глазах современников не только пророческое движение, но и сам яхвизм. Эта попытка установить в Северном Царстве теократическое правление оказалась первой и последней; она была предпринята около середины VIII века, и уже очень скоро Самарийское Царство прекратило своё существование под ударами ассирийской армии. Единственным хранителем яхвизма осталась Иудея.

Отрывки к тексту:
Ki1 11
Ki1 12
Ki1 13
Ki1 15
Ki2 3
Ki2 16
Ki2 17
Ki2 10
Ki1 21
Deu 1-4
Deu 5
Deu 7
Deu 12
Ki1 19
Ki2 9-10
Ki2 13
1
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,
2
from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love.
3
He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.
4
For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
5
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites.
6
Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not follow the LORD fully, as David his father had done.
7
Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon.
8
Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
9
Now the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,
10
and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD had commanded.
11
So the LORD said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.
12
Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son.
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However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”
14
Then the LORD raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was of the royal line in Edom.
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For it came about, when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army had gone up to bury the slain, and had struck down every male in Edom
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(for Joab and all Israel stayed there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom),
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that Hadad fled to Egypt, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, while Hadad was a young boy.
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They arose from Midian and came to Paran; and they took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house and assigned him food and gave him land.
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Now Hadad found great favor before Pharaoh, so that he gave him in marriage the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen.
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The sister of Tahpenes bore his son Genubath, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house; and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s house among the sons of Pharaoh.
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But when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Send me away, that I may go to my own country.”
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Then Pharaoh said to him, “But what have you lacked with me, that behold, you are seeking to go to your own country?” And he answered, “Nothing; nevertheless you must surely let me go.”
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God also raised up another adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah.
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He gathered men to himself and became leader of a marauding band, after David slew them of Zobah; and they went to Damascus and stayed there, and reigned in Damascus.
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So he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, along with the evil that Hadad did; and he abhorred Israel and reigned over Aram.
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Then Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king.
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Now this was the reason why he rebelled against the king: Solomon built the Millo, and closed up the breach of the city of his father David.
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Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious, he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph.
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It came about at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had clothed himself with a new cloak; and both of them were alone in the field.
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Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak which was on him and tore it into twelve pieces.
31
He said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces; for thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give you ten tribes
32
(but he will have one tribe, for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel),
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because they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the sons of Ammon; and they have not walked in My ways, doing what is right in My sight and observing My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did.
34
Nevertheless I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of My servant David whom I chose, who observed My commandments and My statutes;
35
but I will take the kingdom from his son’s hand and give it to you, even ten tribes.
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But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name.
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I will take you, and you shall reign over whatever you desire, and you shall be king over Israel.
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Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.
39
Thus I will afflict the descendants of David for this, but not always.’”
40
Solomon sought therefore to put Jeroboam to death; but Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt to Shishak king of Egypt, and he was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.
41
Now the rest of the acts of Solomon and whatever he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the book of the acts of Solomon?
42
Thus the time that Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel was forty years.
43
And Solomon slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of his father David, and his son Rehoboam reigned in his place.
Скрыть
1
Then Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king.
2
Now when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, he was living in Egypt (for he was yet in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of King Solomon).
3
Then they sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all the assembly of Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying,
4
“Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.”
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Then he said to them, “Depart for three days, then return to me.” So the people departed.
6
King Rehoboam consulted with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was still alive, saying, “How do you counsel me to answer this people?”
7
Then they spoke to him, saying, “If you will be a servant to this people today, and will serve them and grant them their petition, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”
8
But he forsook the counsel of the elders which they had given him, and consulted with the young men who grew up with him and served him.
9
So he said to them, “What counsel do you give that we may answer this people who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Lighten the yoke which your father put on us’?”
10
The young men who grew up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall say to this people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us!’ But you shall speak to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins!
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Whereas my father loaded you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.’”
12
Then Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day as the king had directed, saying, “Return to me on the third day.”
13
The king answered the people harshly, for he forsook the advice of the elders which they had given him,
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and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father disciplined you with whips, but I will discipline you with scorpions.”
15
So the king did not listen to the people; for it was a turn of events from the LORD, that He might establish His word, which the LORD spoke through Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16
When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, “What portion do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse; To your tents, O Israel! Now look after your own house, David!” So Israel departed to their tents.
17
But as for the sons of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.
18
Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death. And King Rehoboam made haste to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.
19
So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.
20
It came about when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. None but the tribe of Judah followed the house of David.
21
Now when Rehoboam had come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen men who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
22
But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
23
“Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin and to the rest of the people, saying,
24
‘Thus says the LORD, “You must not go up and fight against your relatives the sons of Israel; return every man to his house, for this thing has come from Me.”’” So they listened to the word of the LORD, and returned and went their way according to the word of the LORD.
25
Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there. And he went out from there and built Penuel.
26
Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David.
27
If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will return to their lord, even to Rehoboam king of Judah; and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.”
28
So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
29
He set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
30
Now this thing became a sin, for the people went to worship before the one as far as Dan.
31
And he made houses on high places, and made priests from among all the people who were not of the sons of Levi.
32
Jeroboam instituted a feast in the eighth month on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast which is in Judah, and he went up to the altar; thus he did in Bethel, sacrificing to the calves which he had made. And he stationed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
33
Then he went up to the altar which he had made in Bethel on the fifteenth day in the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised in his own heart; and he instituted a feast for the sons of Israel and went up to the altar to burn incense.
Скрыть
1
Now behold, there came a man of God from Judah to Bethel by the word of the LORD, while Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense.
2
He cried against the altar by the word of the LORD, and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.’”
3
Then he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign which the LORD has spoken, ‘Behold, the altar shall be split apart and the ashes which are on it shall be poured out.’”
4
Now when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him.” But his hand which he stretched out against him dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself.
5
The altar also was split apart and the ashes were poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.
6
The king said to the man of God, “Please entreat the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” So the man of God entreated the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored to him, and it became as it was before.
7
Then the king said to the man of God, “Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.”
8
But the man of God said to the king, “If you were to give me half your house I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water in this place.
9
For so it was commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘You shall eat no bread, nor drink water, nor return by the way which you came.’”
10
So he went another way and did not return by the way which he came to Bethel.
11
Now an old prophet was living in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the deeds which the man of God had done that day in Bethel; the words which he had spoken to the king, these also they related to their father.
12
Their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” Now his sons had seen the way which the man of God who came from Judah had gone.
13
Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him and he rode away on it.
14
So he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak; and he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.”
15
Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”
16
He said, “I cannot return with you, nor go with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place.
17
For a command came to me by the word of the LORD, ‘You shall eat no bread, nor drink water there; do not return by going the way which you came.’”
18
He said to him, “I also am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him.
19
So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house and drank water.
20
Now it came about, as they were sitting down at the table, that the word of the LORD came to the prophet who had brought him back;
21
and he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have disobeyed the command of the LORD, and have not observed the commandment which the LORD your God commanded you,
22
but have returned and eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which He said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water”; your body shall not come to the grave of your fathers.’”
23
It came about after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, for the prophet whom he had brought back.
24
Now when he had gone, a lion met him on the way and killed him, and his body was thrown on the road, with the donkey standing beside it; the lion also was standing beside the body.
25
And behold, men passed by and saw the body thrown on the road, and the lion standing beside the body; so they came and told it in the city where the old prophet lived.
26
Now when the prophet who brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God, who disobeyed the command of the LORD; therefore the LORD has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke to him.”
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Then he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it.
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He went and found his body thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion had not eaten the body nor torn the donkey.
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So the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back, and he came to the city of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him.
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He laid his body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!”
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After he had buried him, he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones.
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For the thing shall surely come to pass which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria.”
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After this event Jeroboam did not return from his evil way, but again he made priests of the high places from among all the people; any who would, he ordained, to be priests of the high places.
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This event became sin to the house of Jeroboam, even to blot it out and destroy it from off the face of the earth.
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Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah.
2
He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
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He walked in all the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, like the heart of his father David.
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But for David’s sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, to raise up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem;
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because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.
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There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.
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Now the rest of the acts of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.
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And Abijam slept with his fathers and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son became king in his place.
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So in the twentieth year of Jeroboam the king of Israel, Asa began to reign as king of Judah.
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He reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.
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Asa did what was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father.
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He also put away the male cult prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols which his fathers had made.
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He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother, because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah; and Asa cut down her horrid image and burned it at the brook Kidron.
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But the high places were not taken away; nevertheless the heart of Asa was wholly devoted to the LORD all his days.
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He brought into the house of the LORD the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things: silver and gold and utensils.
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Now there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
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Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah.
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Then Asa took all the silver and the gold which were left in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and the treasuries of the king’s house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants. And King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Aram, who lived in Damascus, saying,
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“Let there be a treaty between you and me, as between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you a present of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me.”
20
So Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah and all Chinneroth, besides all the land of Naphtali.
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When Baasha heard of it, he ceased fortifying Ramah and remained in Tirzah.
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Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah—none was exempt—and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had built. And King Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.
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Now the rest of all the acts of Asa and all his might and all that he did and the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet.
24
And Asa slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.
25
Now Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.
26
He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father and in his sin which he made Israel sin.
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Then Baasha the son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, while Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon.
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So Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah and reigned in his place.
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It came about as soon as he was king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam any persons alive, until he had destroyed them, according to the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite,
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and because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, because of his provocation with which he provoked the LORD God of Israel to anger.
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Now the rest of the acts of Nadab and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
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There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.
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In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah became king over all Israel at Tirzah, and reigned twenty-four years.
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He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel sin.
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Now Jehoram the son of Ahab became king over Israel at Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years.
2
He did evil in the sight of the LORD, though not like his father and his mother; for he put away the sacred pillar of Baal which his father had made.
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Nevertheless, he clung to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin; he did not depart from them.
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Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and used to pay the king of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams.
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But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
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And King Jehoram went out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel.
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Then he went and sent word to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying, “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?” And he said, “I will go up; I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”
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He said, “Which way shall we go up?” And he answered, “The way of the wilderness of Edom.”
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So the king of Israel went with the king of Judah and the king of Edom; and they made a circuit of seven days’ journey, and there was no water for the army or for the cattle that followed them.
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Then the king of Israel said, “Alas! For the LORD has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.”
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But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not a prophet of the LORD here, that we may inquire of the LORD by him?” And one of the king of Israel’s servants answered and said, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.”
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Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the LORD is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
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Now Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What do I have to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother.” And the king of Israel said to him, “No, for the LORD has called these three kings together to give them into the hand of Moab.”
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Elisha said, “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look at you nor see you.
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But now bring me a minstrel.” And it came about, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.
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He said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Make this valley full of trenches.’
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For thus says the LORD, ‘You shall not see wind nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, both you and your cattle and your beasts.
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This is but a slight thing in the sight of the LORD; He will also give the Moabites into your hand.
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Then you shall strike every fortified city and every choice city, and fell every good tree and stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.’”
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It happened in the morning about the time of offering the sacrifice, that behold, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
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Now all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them. And all who were able to put on armor and older were summoned and stood on the border.
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They rose early in the morning, and the sun shone on the water, and the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood.
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Then they said, “This is blood; the kings have surely fought together, and they have slain one another. Now therefore, Moab, to the spoil!”
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But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites arose and struck the Moabites, so that they fled before them; and they went forward into the land, slaughtering the Moabites.
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Thus they destroyed the cities; and each one threw a stone on every piece of good land and filled it. So they stopped all the springs of water and felled all the good trees, until in Kir-hareseth only they left its stones; however, the slingers went about it and struck it.
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When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took with him 700 men who drew swords, to break through to the king of Edom; but they could not.
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Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel, and they departed from him and returned to their own land.
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In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, became king.
2
Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD his God, as his father David had done.
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But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and even made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD had driven out from before the sons of Israel.
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He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.
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Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to wage war; and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him.
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At that time Rezin king of Aram recovered Elath for Aram, and cleared the Judeans out of Elath entirely; and the Arameans came to Elath and have lived there to this day.
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So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son; come up and deliver me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are rising up against me.”
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Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and sent a present to the king of Assyria.
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So the king of Assyria listened to him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and captured it, and carried the people of it away into exile to Kir, and put Rezin to death.
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Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw the altar which was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the pattern of the altar and its model, according to all its workmanship.
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So Urijah the priest built an altar; according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, thus Urijah the priest made it, before the coming of King Ahaz from Damascus.
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When the king came from Damascus, the king saw the altar; then the king approached the altar and went up to it,
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and burned his burnt offering and his meal offering, and poured his drink offering and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings on the altar.
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The bronze altar, which was before the LORD, he brought from the front of the house, from between his altar and the house of the LORD, and he put it on the north side of his altar.
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Then King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, “Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering and the evening meal offering and the king’s burnt offering and his meal offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land and their meal offering and their drink offerings; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice. But the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.”
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So Urijah the priest did according to all that King Ahaz commanded.
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Then King Ahaz cut off the borders of the stands, and removed the laver from them; he also took down the sea from the bronze oxen which were under it and put it on a pavement of stone.
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The covered way for the sabbath which they had built in the house, and the outer entry of the king, he removed from the house of the LORD because of the king of Assyria.
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Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
20
So Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and his son Hezekiah reigned in his place.
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In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned nine years.
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He did evil in the sight of the LORD, only not as the kings of Israel who were before him.
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Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him, and Hoshea became his servant and paid him tribute.
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But the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, who had sent messengers to So king of Egypt and had offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year; so the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison.
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Then the king of Assyria invaded the whole land and went up to Samaria and besieged it three years.
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In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
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Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods
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and walked in the customs of the nations whom the LORD had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had introduced.
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The sons of Israel did things secretly which were not right against the LORD their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city.
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They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree,
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and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the LORD had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the LORD.
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They served idols, concerning which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”
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Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.”
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However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the LORD their God.
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They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the LORD had commanded them not to do like them.
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They forsook all the commandments of the LORD their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal.
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Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him.
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So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.
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Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the customs which Israel had introduced.
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The LORD rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them out of His sight.
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When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the LORD and made them commit a great sin.
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The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them
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until the LORD removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day.
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The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from Avva and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel. So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities.
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At the beginning of their living there, they did not fear the LORD; therefore the LORD sent lions among them which killed some of them.
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So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have carried away into exile in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them because they do not know the custom of the god of the land.”
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Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Take there one of the priests whom you carried away into exile and let him go and live there; and let him teach them the custom of the god of the land.”
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So one of the priests whom they had carried away into exile from Samaria came and lived at Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
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But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the houses of the high places which the people of Samaria had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived.
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The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima,
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and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of Sepharvaim.
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They also feared the LORD and appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who acted for them in the houses of the high places.
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They feared the LORD and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile.
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To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the LORD, nor do they follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law, or the commandments which the LORD commanded the sons of Jacob, whom He named Israel;
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with whom the LORD made a covenant and commanded them, saying, “You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down yourselves to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them.
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But the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, and to Him you shall bow yourselves down, and to Him you shall sacrifice.
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The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods.
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The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods.
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But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”
40
However, they did not listen, but they did according to their earlier custom.
41
So while these nations feared the LORD, they also served their idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.
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Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and to the guardians of the children of Ahab, saying,
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“Now, when this letter comes to you, since your master’s sons are with you, as well as the chariots and horses and a fortified city and the weapons,
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select the best and fittest of your master’s sons, and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.”
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But they feared greatly and said, “Behold, the two kings did not stand before him; how then can we stand?”
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And the one who was over the household, and he who was over the city, the elders, and the guardians of the children, sent word to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants, all that you say to us we will do, we will not make any man king; do what is good in your sight.”
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Then he wrote a letter to them a second time saying, “If you are on my side, and you will listen to my voice, take the heads of the men, your master’s sons, and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow about this time.” Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them.
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When the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him at Jezreel.
8
When the messenger came and told him, saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Put them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.”
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Now in the morning he went out and stood and said to all the people, “You are innocent; behold, I conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these?
10
Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the LORD has done what He spoke through His servant Elijah.”
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So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his acquaintances and his priests, until he left him without a survivor.
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Then he arose and departed and went to Samaria. On the way while he was at Beth-eked of the shepherds,
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Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and said, “Who are you?” And they answered, “We are the relatives of Ahaziah; and we have come down to greet the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.”
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He said, “Take them alive.” So they took them alive and killed them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two men; and he left none of them.
15
Now when he had departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart?” And Jehonadab answered, “It is.” Jehu said, “If it is, give me your hand.” And he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot.
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He said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD.” So he made him ride in his chariot.
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When he came to Samaria, he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke to Elijah.
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Then Jehu gathered all the people and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much.
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Now, summon all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests; let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal; whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu did it in cunning, so that he might destroy the worshipers of Baal.
20
And Jehu said, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal.” And they proclaimed it.
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Then Jehu sent throughout Israel and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And when they went into the house of Baal, the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other.
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He said to the one who was in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out garments for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out garments for them.
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Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab; and he said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and see that there is here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but only the worshipers of Baal.”
24
Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed for himself eighty men outside, and he had said, “The one who permits any of the men whom I bring into your hands to escape shall give up his life in exchange.”
25
Then it came about, as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the royal officers, “Go in, kill them; let none come out.” And they killed them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the royal officers threw them out, and went to the inner room of the house of Baal.
26
They brought out the sacred pillars of the house of Baal and burned them.
27
They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.
28
Thus Jehu eradicated Baal out of Israel.
29
However, as for the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin, from these Jehu did not depart, even the golden calves that were at Bethel and that were at Dan.
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The LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.”
31
But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel sin.
32
In those days the LORD began to cut off portions from Israel; and Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel:
33
from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites and the Reubenites and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
34
Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and all that he did and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
35
And Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son became king in his place.
36
Now the time which Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
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Now it came about after these things that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard which was in Jezreel beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
2
Ahab spoke to Naboth, saying, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden because it is close beside my house, and I will give you a better vineyard than it in its place; if you like, I will give you the price of it in money.”
3
But Naboth said to Ahab, “The LORD forbid me that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.”
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So Ahab came into his house sullen and vexed because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him; for he said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers.” And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and ate no food.
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But Jezebel his wife came to him and said to him, “How is it that your spirit is so sullen that you are not eating food?”
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So he said to her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you a vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”
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Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.”
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So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal, and sent letters to the elders and to the nobles who were living with Naboth in his city.
9
Now she wrote in the letters, saying, “Proclaim a fast and seat Naboth at the head of the people;
10
and seat two worthless men before him, and let them testify against him, saying, ‘You cursed God and the king.’ Then take him out and stone him to death.”
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So the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city, did as Jezebel had sent word to them, just as it was written in the letters which she had sent them.
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They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth at the head of the people.
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Then the two worthless men came in and sat before him; and the worthless men testified against him, even against Naboth, before the people, saying, “Naboth cursed God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death with stones.
14
Then they sent word to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned and is dead.”
15
When Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned and was dead, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth, the Jezreelite, which he refused to give you for money; for Naboth is not alive, but dead.”
16
When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
17
Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
18
“Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who is in Samaria; behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth where he has gone down to take possession of it.
19
You shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?”’ And you shall speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “In the place where the dogs licked up the blood of Naboth the dogs will lick up your blood, even yours.”’”
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Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD.
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Behold, I will bring evil upon you, and will utterly sweep you away, and will cut off from Ahab every male, both bond and free in Israel;
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and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, because of the provocation with which you have provoked Me to anger, and because you have made Israel sin.
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Of Jezebel also has the LORD spoken, saying, ‘The dogs will eat Jezebel in the district of Jezreel.’
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The one belonging to Ahab, who dies in the city, the dogs will eat, and the one who dies in the field the birds of heaven will eat.”
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Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife incited him.
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He acted very abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites had done, whom the LORD cast out before the sons of Israel.
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It came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently.
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Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
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“Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days, but I will bring the evil upon his house in his son’s days.”
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1
These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab.
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It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.
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In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that the LORD had commanded him to give to them,
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after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.
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Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law, saying,
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“The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
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Turn and set your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.
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See, I have placed the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their descendants after them.’
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“I spoke to you at that time, saying, ‘I am not able to bear the burden of you alone.
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The LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day like the stars of heaven in number.
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May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand-fold more than you are and bless you, just as He has promised you!
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How can I alone bear the load and burden of you and your strife?
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Choose wise and discerning and experienced men from your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.’
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You answered me and said, ‘The thing which you have said to do is good.’
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So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and appointed them heads over you, leaders of thousands and of hundreds, of fifties and of tens, and officers for your tribes.
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“Then I charged your judges at that time, saying, ‘Hear the cases between your fellow countrymen, and judge righteously between a man and his fellow countryman, or the alien who is with him.
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You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’
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I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.
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“Then we set out from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw on the way to the hill country of the Amorites, just as the LORD our God had commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea.
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I said to you, ‘You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the LORD our God is about to give us.
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See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.’
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“Then all of you approached me and said, ‘Let us send men before us, that they may search out the land for us, and bring back to us word of the way by which we should go up and the cities which we shall enter.’
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The thing pleased me and I took twelve of your men, one man for each tribe.
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They turned and went up into the hill country, and came to the valley of Eshcol and spied it out.
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Then they took some of the fruit of the land in their hands and brought it down to us; and they brought us back a report and said, ‘It is a good land which the LORD our God is about to give us.’
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“Yet you were not willing to go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God;
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and you grumbled in your tents and said, ‘Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites to destroy us.
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Where can we go up? Our brethren have made our hearts melt, saying, “The people are bigger and taller than we; the cities are large and fortified to heaven. And besides, we saw the sons of the Anakim there.”’
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Then I said to you, ‘Do not be shocked, nor fear them.
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The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,
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and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.’
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But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God,
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who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go.
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“Then the LORD heard the sound of your words, and He was angry and took an oath, saying,
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‘Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers,
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except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and to his sons I will give the land on which he has set foot, because he has followed the LORD fully.’
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The LORD was angry with me also on your account, saying, ‘Not even you shall enter there.
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Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter there; encourage him, for he will cause Israel to inherit it.
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Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.
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But as for you, turn around and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.’
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“Then you said to me, ‘We have sinned against the LORD; we will indeed go up and fight, just as the LORD our God commanded us.’ And every man of you girded on his weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country.
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And the LORD said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you; otherwise you will be defeated before your enemies.”’
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So I spoke to you, but you would not listen. Instead you rebelled against the command of the LORD, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country.
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The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and crushed you from Seir to Hormah.
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Then you returned and wept before the LORD; but the LORD did not listen to your voice nor give ear to you.
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So you remained in Kadesh many days, the days that you spent there.
1
“Then we turned and set out for the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea, as the LORD spoke to me, and circled Mount Seir for many days.
2
And the LORD spoke to me, saying,
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‘You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north,
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and command the people, saying, “You will pass through the territory of your brothers the sons of Esau who live in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. So be very careful;
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do not provoke them, for I will not give you any of their land, even as little as a footstep because I have given Mount Seir to Esau as a possession.
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You shall buy food from them with money so that you may eat, and you shall also purchase water from them with money so that you may drink.
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For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”’
8
“So we passed beyond our brothers the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, away from the Arabah road, away from Elath and from Ezion-geber. And we turned and passed through by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
9
Then the LORD said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab, nor provoke them to war, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the sons of Lot as a possession.’
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(The Emim lived there formerly, a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim.
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Like the Anakim, they are also regarded as Rephaim, but the Moabites call them Emim.
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The Horites formerly lived in Seir, but the sons of Esau dispossessed them and destroyed them from before them and settled in their place, just as Israel did to the land of their possession which the LORD gave to them.)
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‘Now arise and cross over the brook Zered yourselves.’ So we crossed over the brook Zered.
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Now the time that it took for us to come from Kadesh-barnea until we crossed over the brook Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war perished from within the camp, as the LORD had sworn to them.
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Moreover the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from within the camp until they all perished.
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“So it came about when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people,
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that the LORD spoke to me, saying,
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‘Today you shall cross over Ar, the border of Moab.
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When you come opposite the sons of Ammon, do not harass them nor provoke them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the sons of Lot as a possession.’
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(It is also regarded as the land of the Rephaim, for Rephaim formerly lived in it, but the Ammonites call them Zamzummin,
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a people as great, numerous, and tall as the Anakim, but the LORD destroyed them before them. And they dispossessed them and settled in their place,
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just as He did for the sons of Esau, who live in Seir, when He destroyed the Horites from before them; they dispossessed them and settled in their place even to this day.
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And the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim who came from Caphtor, destroyed them and lived in their place.)
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‘Arise, set out, and pass through the valley of Arnon. Look! I have given Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land into your hand; begin to take possession and contend with him in battle.
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This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the peoples everywhere under the heavens, who, when they hear the report of you, will tremble and be in anguish because of you.’
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“So I sent messengers from the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying,
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‘Let me pass through your land, I will travel only on the highway; I will not turn aside to the right or to the left.
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You will sell me food for money so that I may eat, and give me water for money so that I may drink, only let me pass through on foot,
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just as the sons of Esau who live in Seir and the Moabites who live in Ar did for me, until I cross over the Jordan into the land which the LORD our God is giving to us.’
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But Sihon king of Heshbon was not willing for us to pass through his land; for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, in order to deliver him into your hand, as he is today.
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The LORD said to me, ‘See, I have begun to deliver Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to occupy, that you may possess his land.’
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“Then Sihon with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Jahaz.
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The LORD our God delivered him over to us, and we defeated him with his sons and all his people.
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So we captured all his cities at that time and utterly destroyed the men, women and children of every city. We left no survivor.
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We took only the animals as our booty and the spoil of the cities which we had captured.
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From Aroer which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon and from the city which is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was no city that was too high for us; the LORD our God delivered all over to us.
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Only you did not go near to the land of the sons of Ammon, all along the river Jabbok and the cities of the hill country, and wherever the LORD our God had commanded us.
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“Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og, king of Bashan, with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Edrei.
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But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand; and you shall do to him just as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’
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So the LORD our God delivered Og also, king of Bashan, with all his people into our hand, and we smote them until no survivor was left.
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We captured all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
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All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns.
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We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women and children of every city.
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But all the animals and the spoil of the cities we took as our booty.
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“Thus we took the land at that time from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of Arnon to Mount Hermon
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(Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir):
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all the cities of the plateau and all Gilead and all Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.
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(For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was an iron bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits by ordinary cubit.)
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“So we took possession of this land at that time. From Aroer, which is by the valley of Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead and its cities I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites.
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The rest of Gilead and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh, all the region of Argob (concerning all Bashan, it is called the land of Rephaim.
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Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called it, that is, Bashan, after his own name, Havvoth-jair, as it is to this day.)
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To Machir I gave Gilead.
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To the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead even as far as the valley of Arnon, the middle of the valley as a border and as far as the river Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon;
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the Arabah also, with the Jordan as a border, from Chinnereth even as far as the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah on the east.
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“Then I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The LORD your God has given you this land to possess it; all you valiant men shall cross over armed before your brothers, the sons of Israel.
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But your wives and your little ones and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall remain in your cities which I have given you,
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until the LORD gives rest to your fellow countrymen as to you, and they also possess the land which the LORD your God will give them beyond the Jordan. Then you may return every man to his possession which I have given you.’
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I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings; so the LORD shall do to all the kingdoms into which you are about to cross.
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Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you.’
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“I also pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying,
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‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours?
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Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’
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But the LORD was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me; and the LORD said to me, ‘Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter.
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Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes to the west and north and south and east, and see it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan.
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But charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him, for he shall go across at the head of this people, and he will give them as an inheritance the land which you will see.’
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So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.
1
“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
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You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
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Your eyes have seen what the LORD has done in the case of Baal-peor, for all the men who followed Baal-peor, the LORD your God has destroyed them from among you.
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But you who held fast to the LORD your God are alive today, every one of you.
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“See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it.
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So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’
7
For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him?
8
Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law which I am setting before you today?
9
“Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently, so that you do not forget the things which your eyes have seen and they do not depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your sons and your grandsons.
10
Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.’
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You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, and the mountain burned with fire to the very heart of the heavens: darkness, cloud and thick gloom.
12
Then the LORD spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice.
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So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.
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The LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it.
15
“So watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire,
16
so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
17
the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky,
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the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth.
19
And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
20
But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.
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“Now the LORD was angry with me on your account, and swore that I would not cross the Jordan, and that I would not enter the good land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
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For I will die in this land, I shall not cross the Jordan, but you shall cross and take possession of this good land.
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So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you.
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For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
25
“When you become the father of children and children’s children and have remained long in the land, and act corruptly, and make an idol in the form of anything, and do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD your God so as to provoke Him to anger,
26
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will surely perish quickly from the land where you are going over the Jordan to possess it. You shall not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed.
27
The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD drives you.
28
There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.
29
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.
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When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice.
31
For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.
32
“Indeed, ask now concerning the former days which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and inquire from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything been done like this great thing, or has anything been heard like it?
33
Has any people heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived?
34
Or has a god tried to go to take for himself a nation from within another nation by trials, by signs and wonders and by war and by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm and by great terrors, as the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
35
To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him.
36
Out of the heavens He let you hear His voice to discipline you; and on earth He let you see His great fire, and you heard His words from the midst of the fire.
37
Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power,
38
driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in and to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is today.
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Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.
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So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time.”
41
Then Moses set apart three cities across the Jordan to the east,
42
that a manslayer might flee there, who unintentionally slew his neighbor without having enmity toward him in time past; and by fleeing to one of these cities he might live:
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Bezer in the wilderness on the plateau for the Reubenites, and Ramoth in Gilead for the Gadites, and Golan in Bashan for the Manassites.
44
Now this is the law which Moses set before the sons of Israel;
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these are the testimonies and the statutes and the ordinances which Moses spoke to the sons of Israel, when they came out from Egypt,
46
across the Jordan, in the valley opposite Beth-peor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites who lived at Heshbon, whom Moses and the sons of Israel defeated when they came out from Egypt.
47
They took possession of his land and the land of Og king of Bashan, the two kings of the Amorites, who were across the Jordan to the east,
48
from Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of Arnon, even as far as Mount Sion (that is, Hermon),
49
with all the Arabah across the Jordan to the east, even as far as the sea of the Arabah, at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah.
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1
Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully.
2
The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.
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The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today.
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The LORD spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire,
5
while I was standing between the LORD and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the LORD; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. He said,
6
‘I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
7
‘You shall have no other gods before Me.
8
‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
9
You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
10
but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
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‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
12
‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you.
13
Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
14
but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
15
You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day.
16
‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.
17
‘You shall not murder.
18
‘You shall not commit adultery.
19
‘You shall not steal.
20
‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
21
‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’
22
“These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain from the midst of the fire, of the cloud and of the thick gloom, with a great voice, and He added no more. He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.
23
And when you heard the voice from the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near to me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders.
24
You said, ‘Behold, the LORD our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire; we have seen today that God speaks with man, yet he lives.
25
Now then why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer, then we will die.
26
For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived?
27
Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’
28
“The LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the LORD said to me, ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken.
29
Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!
30
Go, say to them, “Return to your tents.”
31
But as for you, stand here by Me, that I may speak to you all the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which you shall teach them, that they may observe them in the land which I give them to possess.’
32
So you shall observe to do just as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left.
33
You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you will possess.
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“When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you,
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and when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.
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Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons.
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For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you.
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But thus you shall do to them: you shall tear down their altars, and smash their sacred pillars, and hew down their Asherim, and burn their graven images with fire.
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For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
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“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,
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but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
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Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
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but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face.
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Therefore, you shall keep the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which I am commanding you today, to do them.
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“Then it shall come about, because you listen to these judgments and keep and do them, that the LORD your God will keep with you His covenant and His lovingkindness which He swore to your forefathers.
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He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you.
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You shall be blessed above all peoples; there will be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle.
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The LORD will remove from you all sickness; and He will not put on you any of the harmful diseases of Egypt which you have known, but He will lay them on all who hate you.
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You shall consume all the peoples whom the LORD your God will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, nor shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.
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“If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’
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you shall not be afraid of them; you shall well remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt:
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the great trials which your eyes saw and the signs and the wonders and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which the LORD your God brought you out. So shall the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.
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Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet against them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you perish.
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You shall not dread them, for the LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.
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The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly, for the wild beasts would grow too numerous for you.
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But the LORD your God will deliver them before you, and will throw them into great confusion until they are destroyed.
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He will deliver their kings into your hand so that you will make their name perish from under heaven; no man will be able to stand before you until you have destroyed them.
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The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the LORD your God.
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You shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned.
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“These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth.
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You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.
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You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place.
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You shall not act like this toward the LORD your God.
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But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come.
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There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.
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There also you and your households shall eat before the LORD your God, and rejoice in all your undertakings in which the LORD your God has blessed you.
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“You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes;
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for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you.
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When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security,
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then it shall come about that the place in which the LORD your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the LORD.
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And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance with you.
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“Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every cultic place you see,
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but in the place which the LORD chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.
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“However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, whatever you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the deer.
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Only you shall not eat the blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water.
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You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the contribution of your hand.
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But you shall eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all your undertakings.
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Be careful that you do not forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land.
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“When the LORD your God extends your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, whatever you desire.
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If the place which the LORD your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates whatever you desire.
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Just as a gazelle or a deer is eaten, so you will eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it.
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Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.
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You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.
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You shall not eat it, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of the LORD.
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Only your holy things which you may have and your votive offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the LORD chooses.
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And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the LORD your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God, and you shall eat the flesh.
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“Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God.
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“When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land,
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beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’
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You shall not behave thus toward the LORD your God, for every abominable act which the LORD hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
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“Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.
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Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
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Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.”
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And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.
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But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.”
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He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.”
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Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again.
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The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.”
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So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.
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Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
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He said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
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So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
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After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing.
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When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
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Then he said, “I have been very zealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the sons of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I alone am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
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The LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram;
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and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place.
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It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death.
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Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”
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So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him.
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He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?”
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So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him.
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Now Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins, and take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth-gilead.
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When you arrive there, search out Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in and bid him arise from among his brothers, and bring him to an inner room.
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Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’ Then open the door and flee and do not wait.”
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So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.
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When he came, behold, the captains of the army were sitting, and he said, “I have a word for you, O captain.” And Jehu said, “For which one of us?” And he said, “For you, O captain.”
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He arose and went into the house, and he poured the oil on his head and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel.
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You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.
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For the whole house of Ahab shall perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male person both bond and free in Israel.
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I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah.
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The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her.’” Then he opened the door and fled.
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Now Jehu came out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?” And he said to them, “You know very well the man and his talk.”
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They said, “It is a lie, tell us now.” And he said, “Thus and thus he said to me, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’”
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Then they hurried and each man took his garment and placed it under him on the bare steps, and blew the trumpet, saying, “Jehu is king!”
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So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Now Joram with all Israel was defending Ramoth-gilead against Hazael king of Aram,
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but King Joram had returned to Jezreel to be healed of the wounds which the Arameans had inflicted on him when he fought with Hazael king of Aram. So Jehu said, “If this is your mind, then let no one escape or leave the city to go tell it in Jezreel.”
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Then Jehu rode in a chariot and went to Jezreel, for Joram was lying there. Ahaziah king of Judah had come down to see Joram.
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Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel and he saw the company of Jehu as he came, and said, “I see a company.” And Joram said, “Take a horseman and send him to meet them and let him say, ‘Is it peace?’”
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So a horseman went to meet him and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’” And Jehu said, “What have you to do with peace? Turn behind me.” And the watchman reported, “The messenger came to them, but he did not return.”
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Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, “Thus says the king, ‘Is it peace?’” And Jehu answered, “What have you to do with peace? Turn behind me.”
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The watchman reported, “He came even to them, and he did not return; and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, for he drives furiously.”
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Then Joram said, “Get ready.” And they made his chariot ready. Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out to meet Jehu and found him in the property of Naboth the Jezreelite.
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When Joram saw Jehu, he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” And he answered, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?”
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So Joram reined about and fled and said to Ahaziah, “There is treachery, O Ahaziah!”
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And Jehu drew his bow with his full strength and shot Joram between his arms; and the arrow went through his heart and he sank in his chariot.
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Then Jehu said to Bidkar his officer, “Take him up and cast him into the property of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, for I remember when you and I were riding together after Ahab his father, that the LORD laid this oracle against him:
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‘Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth and the blood of his sons,’ says the LORD, ‘and I will repay you in this property,’ says the LORD. Now then, take and cast him into the property, according to the word of the LORD.”
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When Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu pursued him and said, “Shoot him too, in the chariot.” So they shot him at the ascent of Gur, which is at Ibleam. But he fled to Megiddo and died there.
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Then his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem and buried him in his grave with his fathers in the city of David.
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Now in the eleventh year of Joram, the son of Ahab, Ahaziah became king over Judah.
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When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes and adorned her head and looked out the window.
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As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is it well, Zimri, your master’s murderer?”
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Then he lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? Who?” And two or three officials looked down at him.
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He said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her under foot.
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When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.”
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They went to bury her, but they found nothing more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands.
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Therefore they returned and told him. And he said, “This is the word of the LORD, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘In the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel;
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and the corpse of Jezebel will be as dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’”
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Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and to the guardians of the children of Ahab, saying,
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“Now, when this letter comes to you, since your master’s sons are with you, as well as the chariots and horses and a fortified city and the weapons,
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select the best and fittest of your master’s sons, and set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.”
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But they feared greatly and said, “Behold, the two kings did not stand before him; how then can we stand?”
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And the one who was over the household, and he who was over the city, the elders, and the guardians of the children, sent word to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants, all that you say to us we will do, we will not make any man king; do what is good in your sight.”
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Then he wrote a letter to them a second time saying, “If you are on my side, and you will listen to my voice, take the heads of the men, your master’s sons, and come to me at Jezreel tomorrow about this time.” Now the king’s sons, seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them.
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When the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons and slaughtered them, seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him at Jezreel.
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When the messenger came and told him, saying, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons,” he said, “Put them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until morning.”
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Now in the morning he went out and stood and said to all the people, “You are innocent; behold, I conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these?
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Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the LORD has done what He spoke through His servant Elijah.”
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So Jehu killed all who remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his acquaintances and his priests, until he left him without a survivor.
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Then he arose and departed and went to Samaria. On the way while he was at Beth-eked of the shepherds,
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Jehu met the relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and said, “Who are you?” And they answered, “We are the relatives of Ahaziah; and we have come down to greet the sons of the king and the sons of the queen mother.”
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He said, “Take them alive.” So they took them alive and killed them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two men; and he left none of them.
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Now when he had departed from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to him, “Is your heart right, as my heart is with your heart?” And Jehonadab answered, “It is.” Jehu said, “If it is, give me your hand.” And he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot.
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He said, “Come with me and see my zeal for the LORD.” So he made him ride in his chariot.
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When he came to Samaria, he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke to Elijah.
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Then Jehu gathered all the people and said to them, “Ahab served Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much.
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Now, summon all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers and all his priests; let no one be missing, for I have a great sacrifice for Baal; whoever is missing shall not live.” But Jehu did it in cunning, so that he might destroy the worshipers of Baal.
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And Jehu said, “Sanctify a solemn assembly for Baal.” And they proclaimed it.
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Then Jehu sent throughout Israel and all the worshipers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left who did not come. And when they went into the house of Baal, the house of Baal was filled from one end to the other.
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He said to the one who was in charge of the wardrobe, “Bring out garments for all the worshipers of Baal.” So he brought out garments for them.
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Jehu went into the house of Baal with Jehonadab the son of Rechab; and he said to the worshipers of Baal, “Search and see that there is here with you none of the servants of the LORD, but only the worshipers of Baal.”
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Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed for himself eighty men outside, and he had said, “The one who permits any of the men whom I bring into your hands to escape shall give up his life in exchange.”
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Then it came about, as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the royal officers, “Go in, kill them; let none come out.” And they killed them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the royal officers threw them out, and went to the inner room of the house of Baal.
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They brought out the sacred pillars of the house of Baal and burned them.
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They also broke down the sacred pillar of Baal and broke down the house of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.
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Thus Jehu eradicated Baal out of Israel.
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However, as for the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel sin, from these Jehu did not depart, even the golden calves that were at Bethel and that were at Dan.
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The LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab according to all that was in My heart, your sons of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.”
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But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart; he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel sin.
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In those days the LORD began to cut off portions from Israel; and Hazael defeated them throughout the territory of Israel:
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from the Jordan eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites and the Reubenites and the Manassites, from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, even Gilead and Bashan.
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Now the rest of the acts of Jehu and all that he did and all his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
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And Jehu slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria. And Jehoahaz his son became king in his place.
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Now the time which Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.
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In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel at Samaria, and he reigned seventeen years.
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He did evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin; he did not turn from them.
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So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and He gave them continually into the hand of Hazael king of Aram, and into the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael.
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Then Jehoahaz entreated the favor of the LORD, and the LORD listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them.
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The LORD gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly.
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Nevertheless they did not turn away from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel sin, but walked in them; and the Asherah also remained standing in Samaria.
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For he left to Jehoahaz of the army not more than fifty horsemen and ten chariots and 10,000 footmen, for the king of Aram had destroyed them and made them like the dust at threshing.
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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?
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And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in Samaria; and Joash his son became king in his place.
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In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years.
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He did evil in the sight of the LORD; he did not turn away from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin, but he walked in them.
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Now the rest of the acts of Joash and all that he did and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?
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So Joash slept with his fathers, and Jeroboam sat on his throne; and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
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When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!”
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Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he took a bow and arrows.
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Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” And he put his hand on it, then Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands.
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He said, “Open the window toward the east,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” And he shot. And he said, “The LORD’S arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them.”
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Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times and stopped.
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So the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would have struck Aram until you would have destroyed it. But now you shall strike Aram only three times.”
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Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land in the spring of the year.
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As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet.
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Now Hazael king of Aram had oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.
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But the LORD was gracious to them and had compassion on them and turned to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them or cast them from His presence until now.
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When Hazael king of Aram died, Ben-hadad his son became king in his place.
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Then Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from the hand of Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken in war from the hand of Jehoahaz his father. Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel.
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