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1After King Ahab’s death, the nation of Moab declared its independence from Israel.

2One day Israel’s new king, Ahaziah, fell through the latticework of an upper room at his palace in Samaria, and he was seriously injured. So he sent messengers to the temple of Baal–zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether he would recover.

3But the angel of the LORD told Elijah, who was from Tishbe, "Go and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Why are you going to Baal–zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether the king will get well? Is there no God in Israel?

4Now, therefore, this is what the LORD says: You will never leave the bed on which you are lying, but you will surely die.’" So Elijah went to deliver the message.

5When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, "Why have you returned so soon?"

6They replied, "A man came up to us and said, ‘Go back to the king and give him this message from the LORD: Why are you sending men to Baal–zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether you will get well? Is there no God in Israel? Now, since you have done this, you will never leave the bed on which you are lying, but you will surely die.’"

7"Who was this man?" the king demanded. "What did he look like?"

8They replied, "He was a hairy man, and he wore a leather belt around his waist." "It was Elijah from Tishbe!" the king exclaimed.

9Then he sent an army captain with fifty soldiers to arrest him. They found him sitting on top of a hill. The captain said to him, "Man of God, the king has commanded you to come along with us."

10But Elijah replied to the captain, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!" Then fire fell from heaven and killed them all.

11So the king sent another captain with fifty men. The captain said to him, "Man of God, the king says that you must come down right away."

12Elijah replied, "If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and destroy you and your fifty men!" And again the fire of God fell from heaven and killed them all.

13Once more the king sent a captain with fifty men. But this time the captain fell to his knees before Elijah. He pleaded with him, "O man of God, please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants.

14See how the fire from heaven has destroyed the first two groups. But now please spare my life!"

15Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Don’t be afraid. Go with him." So Elijah got up and went to the king.

16And Elijah said to the king, "This is what the LORD says: Why did you send messengers to Baal–zebub, the god of Ekron, to ask whether you will get well? Is there no God in Israel? Now, since you have done this, you will never leave the bed on which you are lying, but you will surely die."

17So Ahaziah died, just as the LORD had promised through Elijah. Since Ahaziah did not have a son to succeed him, his brother Joram became the next king. This took place in the second year of the reign of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.

18The rest of the events in Ahaziah’s reign are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel.


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