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II Kings – Chapter 12
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Yoash – also known as Yehoash – became king of Judah at the age of seven. He was a righteous king, but he did not remove the private altars. When Yehoash saw the Temple in a state of disrepair, he decided that it was time to fix things up. He instructed the Kohanim (“priests”) to […]
II Kings – Chapter 11
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Atalya, mother of Achaziah, saw her son was dead and took the opportunity to eradicate his heirs, her own grandchildren. (Remember, she was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!) She wiped out all the descendants of Solomon, through whom the throne is transmitted, except for one. […]
II Kings – Chapter 10
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Jezebel may have been the queen, but Ahab had other wives and concubines. Through them, he had 70 sons and grandsons, most of whom were in Samaria. Yehu wrote to the governors of Jezreel and Samaria asking if they were going to support him or try to prop up one of Ahab’s descendants as a […]
II Kings – Chapter 9
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Elisha called one of his students. (Rashi says this is Yonah – Jonah, who was later swallowed by a fish. We’ll officially meet Yonah later, in chapter 14.) Elisha instructed him to take a flask of oil and anoint Yehu as king of Israel. After doing so, Yonah was to run away, before Yehoram, the […]
II Kings – Chapter 8
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Before the famine of the previous chapter, Elisha told the Shunnamite woman (see chapter 4) that it was coming and that her family should relocate. They went and lived in the land of the Philistines for a few years. When they returned, they found squatters living on their land, who wouldn’t move. The Shunnamite woman […]
II Kings – Chapter 7
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Elisha said “Listen up! At this time tomorrow, a single shekel will buy a seah of flour or two seah of barley!” (A seah is a measure between three and four gallons. Contrast this with the previous chapter in which a half gallon container of pigeon dung for fuel cost five silver pieces and a […]
II Kings – Chapter 6
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The student prophets said to Elisha that their study hall was too small. (Attendance was booming since Gechazi got kicked out.) They went to go build themselves a new school. When they arrived at the Jordan to cut down trees, one of the prophets suffered a mishap. The head of the axe flew off into […]
II Kings – Chapter 5
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Naaman was a general in Aram, but he had tzaraas (a skin condition that for simplicity’s sake we’ll translate as leprosy, even though it’s not exactly the same). Naaman’s wife had a Jewish servant girl, who suggested that Elisha might be able to cure him. Naaman approached the king of Aram, who wrote Naaman a […]
II Kings – Chapter 4
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A prophet’s widow came to Elisha crying that she couldn’t pay her debts and that the creditor was going to take her children as servants to work it off. Elisha asked her what she had in the house; all she had was oil. “No problem,” he said. “Go to all your neighbors and borrow vessels […]