After The Death Of Ahab

After the death of Ahab, Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead. He followed all the evil ways of his father, thus continually leading the people away from God, and confirming them in the worship of Baal.

Having received a serious injury by falling through a lattice, Ahaziah sent men to the god of Ekron to inquire whether he would recover. Elijah met the messengers, reproved them for seeking counsel of a false god, and sent them back to tell the king that he would surely die.

Then Ahaziah sent a captain with fifty men to take Elijah; but the captain spoke roughly to the prophet, and the Lord sent fire from heaven and destroyed both him and his men. A second captain and his fifty, sent out by the king, met the same fate; but the third captain kneeled before Elijah, and begged that his life might be spared; so the man of God went with him to the king.

But Ahaziah died, as Elijah had predicted, having reigned less than two years; and Jehoram, his brother, reigned in his stead. Jehoram put away the image of Baal, but continued the worship of the golden calves, set up by Jeroboam.

During the reign of this king, the prophet Elisha played a very prominent part, as did Elijah during the reign of Ahab and Ahaziah. He had seen Elijah ascend, and had received his mantle, in token that a double portion of Elijah's spirit should rest on him. Many wonderful miracles were wrought by this gentle prophet, among which were, the healing of the waters of Jericho; causing the borrowed ax to float upon the water; multiplying the widow's oil, that she might meet the demands of her exacting creditors; restoring to life the son of the good Shunamite, who had so often entertained him; healing the poisonous pottage, to save the life of the young prophets; curing Naaman, the proud Syrian, of his loathsome leprosy; furnishing water to the perishing armies of Jehoram and Jehoshaphat; striking with blindness the Syrian host that had come to take his life; and after his death, the reviving of the dead man that was let down into his sepulcher.

The miracles of Elisha, like those of Christ, were wrought, not to destroy men, but to restore them to life, or to relieve them from distress; not to strike with terror, but to touch the heart by manifestations of the love and compassion of the Almighty.

When Elisha lead the sightless Syrian army into Samaria, he gave command, not that they should be slain, but that they should be fed and sent home.

At one time there was a famine in the land so severe that women ate their own children in Samaria. To add to the distresses of the Samaritans, the Syrians came up with a vast army and besieged their city. In this extremity the king sent for Elisha, who, when he had come, said that by the next day food should be plenty. Impossible as this seemed, it came to pass; for that very night, the Syrians, seized with an unaccountable panic, fled precipitately, leaving their tents and provisions behind them.

When Ahab took Naboth's vineyard, the Lord, by the mouth of Elijah, told him that dogs should lick his blood where they did the blood of Naboth; that dogs should eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel; and that his family should be utterly destroyed. Although Ahab was killed in battle far away, the chariot in which he died was washed in the pool of Samaria, and there the dogs licked his blood. When Jehoram had reigned twelve years, Jehu, a captain in his army, coming suddenly upon him, slew him and all the rest of the house of Ahab. Jehu also destroyed the temple of Baal, slew all the priests of Baal, and burned all his images. Jezebel, putting out her head to reprove Jehu, was pitched out of the window, and dogs ate her flesh. Thus all the predictions of Elijah were fulfilled.