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fearful noises as of a mighty host of chariots and horses, and they were seized with a panic, and fled, leaving behind all their tents and properties. Then the four lepers went all about the camp, eating and drinking, and hiding great spoil of gold, and silver, and raiment as long as they dared. But after a while they returned to the city, and gave notice of what had happened. The king of Israel thought at first that the Syrians were only hiding, in hopes of surprising him if he left the city, but on sending out messengers, it was plain that they had really taken their flight. Then all the people fell upon the forsaken camp, and spoiled it. And Elisha's prophecies about the low prices of food were fulfilled by the time he spoke of. His words about the Samaritan lord who had mocked him were fulfilled also. This man was appointed to have charge of the gate, and the people, in their eager pressing, trod upon him, and killed him, so that he did indeed see the plenty, but he did not share in it.
At last the close of Benhadad's life was come. He was sick ; and hearing that Elisha was in Damascus, he sent his captain, Hazael, with a splendid present, to inquire of the Prophet whether he should recover. This was the same Hazael of whom the Lord had told Elijah long ago that he should be king of Syria, in the room of Benhadad. So now Elisha knew that Hazael was about to be king, and he replied, “Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover;” meaning, probably, that Benhadad would not die of his disease. But then Elisha added, “Howbeit the Lord hath showed me that he shall surely die.” Then, looking into the future with a prophet's sight, Elisha wept; and Hazael asked, “ Why weepeth my lord ?” Elisha answered, “Because I know the evil that thou wilt do to the children of Israel : their strongholds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and thou wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.” Hazael was amazed, and asked, “But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing ?”
Elisha answered, “The Lord hath showed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.”
So Hazael went back to Benhadad, and when the king asked what Elisha said, Hazael answered, “He told me that thou shouldest surely recover.” But the next day Hazael took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it over Benhadad's face, and smothered
him. And Hazael became king in his stead, as the Lord had said by Elijah and Elisha.
Hazael went to war with Joram, king of Israel, directly, and the king was wounded in battle.
THE CONSPIRACY OF JEHU, AND DEATH OF
At the same time when the LORD told Elijah that Hazael should be king of Syria, He also said that Jehu, the son of Nimshi, should be king of Israel. Jehu was one of the captains of Joram's host.
The time was now come for this to be fulfilled ; and accordingly Elisha called one of the sons of the prophets, and gave him a box of oil, and bade him go to Ramoth-Gilead, take Jehu apart from his fellow captains, and anoint him king over Israel. Then the prophet was to open the door, flee, and not tarry.
He obeyed exactly. The captains of the host were sitting in council, and the young man called Jehu away, and poured the oil upon his head, declaring the will of the Lord. He said the LORD would make Jehu king, in order to smite the house of Ahab, and avenge the blood of the Lord's servants at the hand of Jezebel. And of Jezebel herself he said, “The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her.” Then the young man opened the door, and fled.
When Jehu went back to his fellow officers, they asked what “that mad fellow” wanted of him? He thought they had known, but they said they did not; and then he repeated the prophet's words, and how he had just been anointed king over Israel.
Then they all made haste, putting their garments under Jehu, in sign of honour, and they went to the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, crying, “ Jehu is king !” Jehu bade them take heed that no one should go out of the city and carry the tidings to Jezreel, where King Joram and his mother Jezebel were.
Then Jehu himself set forth in a chariot for Jezreel. The watchman on the tower of Jezreel saw Jehu's company coming, and told the king. Joram sent a horseman to meet them, and ask, “ Is it peace ?” Jehu said, “ What hast thou to do with peace? Turn thee behind me.” And the watchman told Joram, “The messenger came to them, but he cometh not
again.” Then Joram sent another horseman, but Jehu kept him also ; and now, as the company drew nearer, and the watchman saw more plainly, he said, “The driving is like the driving of Jehu, the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.”
Then Joram bade them make ready his chariot, and called his nephew Abaziah, king of Judah, (who had come to Jezreel to see him,) and they went forth each in their own chariot to meet the conspirators.
Now it came to pass that the spot where the two kings met Jehu was in the portion of the murdered Naboth. As soon as he was near, Joram called out, “Is it peace, Jehu ?” Jehu answered, “What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many ?” Then Joram was afraid, and
? turned his chariot and fled, crying out to the king of Judah, “There is treachery, O Ahaziah !"
But Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and smote Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow went out at his heart, and he sank down dead in the chariot. Then Jehu said to his captain, Bidkar, “Take and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the