26 Sept. 2 Kings 1:1-18

26 Sept.  Elijah confronts King Ahaziah

“After Ahab died, Moab broke away from Israel’s rule. Ahaziah fell down through the wooden bars in his upstairs room in Samaria and was badly hurt. He sent messengers and told them, ‘Go, ask Baal-Zebub, god of Ekron, if I will recover from my injuries.’”

“But the LORD’s angel said to Elijah the Tishbite, ‘Go up and meet the messengers sent by the king of Samaria. Ask them, “Why are you going to ask questions of Baal-Zebub, god of Ekron? Is it because you think there is no God in Israel?” This is what the LORD says, “You will never get up from the bed you are lying on; you will die.”’ Then Elijah left.”

“When the messengers returned to Ahaziah, he asked them, ‘Why have you returned?’ They said, ‘A man came to meet us. He said, “Go back to the king who sent you and tell him what the LORD says: ‘Why do you send messengers to ask questions of Baal-Zebub, god of Ekron?  Is it because you think there is no God in Israel? You will never get up from the bed you are lying on; you will die.’”’”

“Ahaziah asked them, ‘What did the man look like who met you and told you this?’ They answered, ‘He was a hairy man and wore a leather belt around his waist.’ Ahaziah said, ‘It was Elijah the Tishbite.’”

“Then he sent a captain with his 50 men to Elijah. The captain went to Elijah, who was sitting on top of the hill, and said to him, ‘Man of God, the king says, “Come down!”…’”

“Elijah told Ahaziah, ‘This is what the LORD says: “You have sent messengers to ask questions of Baal-Zebub, god of Ekron. Is it because you think there is no God in Israel to ask? Because of this, you will never get up from your bed; you will die.”’”

“So Ahaziah died, just as the LORD, through Elijah, had said he would. Joram became king in Ahaziah’s place during the second year Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat was king of Judah. Joram ruled because Ahaziah had no son to take his place. The other things Ahaziah did are written in the book of the history of the kings of Israel.”

          (2 Kings 1:1-18)



After Ahab's death, his son Ahaziah became king of Israel. Ahaziah was badly injured after falling from the window of an upper room in the palace at Samaria. Desperate to know if he would recover from his injuries, Ahaziah sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub (literally, the ‘Lord of the flies’), the Philistine god of Ekron (see 16 on the map on 15 September). But the messengers were intercepted by Elijah, and then returned and reported Elijah’s words to Ahaziah. The king immediately sent for Elijah.

The Bible tells us that it took three groups of Ahaziah’s soldiers to persuade Elijah to appear before the king. When the first captain and his 50 men approached Elijah, Elijah said, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and burn up you and your 50 men.” (2 Kings 1:10) And this is what happened.

The same fate befell the second captain and his 50 men (see 2 Kings 1:12). But the third captain fell on his knees before Elijah and pleaded for the lives of himself and his men. So when the LORD’s angel said to Elijah, “Go down with him and don’t be afraid of him,” Elijah went down with him to see the king (see 1 Kings 1:13-15).

When Elijah was brought before the king, he prophesied that Ahaziah would not recover because he had turned away from the LORD and had consulted Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron. So Ahaziah died and his brother Jehoram (shortened to ‘Joram’ in 2 Kings) became king in his place.

In the New Testament, when Jesus was accused by the teachers of the law of using the power of Beelzebul to cast out demons, this was a reference to the same Philistine god, Baal-Zebub, though by this time, the name was also used more widely to refer to Satan, “the ruler of demons” (Mark 3:22).

The photo (by Hanay) shows a Philistine pottery drinking bowl from Ekron.

You can read more about Baal-Zebub and other foreign gods @ https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/48-the-jewish-world-of-the-old-testament/foreign-gods/

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