2 Kings 1

Moab rebels 1
Ahaziah is injured in a fall 2
Angel of the Lord sends Elijah to reprove the king 3
Two groups of 50 are sent to Elijah and fire destroys them 9
A third is spared 13
Ahaziah dies 17
..
Text
Explanation
This chapter completes the story of King Ahaziah which began at 1ki2251.
 1 ¶ Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.
 2 And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.
  1 - Moab rebelled The Moabite stone found by archaeologists says that the country was oppressed by Omri and Ahab. David had made Moab an occupied territory forced to pay tribute 2sa0802. The story continues at 2ki0304.
  2 - Baal-zebub Literally "lord of flies." Compare mt1025, mt1224, mr0322, lu1115.
.3 But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?
 4 Now therefore thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed.
  3 - Angel of the Lord The angel had come to him earlier 1ki1905.
 5 And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said unto them, Why are ye now turned back?
.6 And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.
.7 And he said unto them, What manner of man was he which came up to meet you, and told you these words? 
.8 And they answered him, He was an hairy man, and girt with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.
  5 - When ... turned back Ahiziah realized that they could not have gone to Ekron.
  6 - That thou sendest to enquire This was open rebellion and needed a response. The nation needed to understand the folly of the Philistine gods and the power of the true God.
  8 - Hairy man ... girdle of leather Elijah stayed often in the out of doors. His counterpart, John the Baptist, wore a garment of camel hair mt0303.
.9 ¶ Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.
 10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
 11 Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.
 12 And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
  9 - Captain of fifty Ahazirah hated Elijah but feared his connection with God. Apparently he thought that a military band like this would impress Elijah maybe frighten him into being careful to not displease the king. Those who are committed to the Lord, however, consider a right relationship with God is more important that life.
  10 - Fire come down Notice the condition. The king was not just trying to get Elijah to conform to his wishes but was challenging Elijah's God. This was the divine answer. Ahazirah, not Elijah, was responsible for the sentence of death v6. The king had not learned the lesson of his father's rebellion 1ki1817. For a NT allusion, see lu0951.
 11 - Another captain A display of incredible stubbornness, and of disregard for the lives of his soldiers. Notice the order was to have been obeyed "quickly."
.13 And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. 
 14 Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.
  13 - Captain of the third fifty ... on his knees His kneeling was a matter of humility and respect, not of worship. He also cared about the men under his command.
  14 - There came fire Others who were not in the military bands had seen what had happened. The king would also have been aware.
.15 And the angel of the LORD said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.
 16 And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.
  Be not afraid Elijah had feared Jezebel. He was to go without fear to again deliver the message that the king would die and why. Consider the lesson for us. The personal message from the prophet confirmed that the king had no excuse for rebellion. He had given his allegiance to the foreign god. We having understood this story may know that God will not forgive those who persist in rebellion.
.17 So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.
.18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
  17 - Jehoram Another son of Ahab apparently named for the Jehoram who was a son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.
__________________________________
.
Previous, 1 Kings 22
Next
Kings home
Commentary home
Contact