The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Fourth Book of Kings
It was in the twenty-third year of Joas, son of Ochozias, king of Juda, that Joachaz, Jehu’s son, came to the throne of Israel, and reigned as king in Samaria for seventeen years.
He defied the Lord’s will, following the sinful example of Jeroboam, son of Nabat, that taught Israel to sin, and never departing from it.
His anger thus provoked, the Lord left Israel at the mercy of Hazael, king of Syria, and his son Benadad, without respite;
till at last Joachaz besought the Lord’s favour. (This prayer the Lord answered, seeing Israel hard pressed by the Syrian king’s inroads upon them;
and he gave them a champion to set them free from the Syrian yoke. Then once more the men of Israel could dwell in their old homes;
but even so they did not forgo the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nabat, that taught Israel to sin; they clung to them still, and still the forest-shrine had its place in Samaria.✻ )
In the time of Joachaz, nothing was left of the army but fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand foot-soldiers; such havoc the king of Syria had made among them, sweeping them away like chaff on the threshing-floor.
What else Joachaz did, all his history, and the record of his great deeds, is to be found in the Annals of the kings of Israel.
He was laid to rest with his fathers, with Samaria for his burying-place, and the throne passed to his son Joas.
This Joas, the son of Joachaz, came to the throne of Israel in the thirty-seventh year of Joas king of Juda; and his reign in Samaria lasted sixteen years.
He defied the Lord’s will, and would not abandon the sins of Jeroboam, son of Nabat, that taught Israel to sin; he clung to them yet.
What else Joas did, all his history, and the record of his great deeds, and his war with Amasias king of Juda, is to be found in the Annals of the kings of Israel.
He was laid to rest with his fathers, and the throne passed to his son Jeroboam. (Joas was buried in Samaria, with the other Israelite kings.)
And now Eliseus lay sick in his mortal illness, and Joas, who was then king of Israel, went to visit him; My father, my father, he said weeping, Israel’s chariot and charioteer!
Eliseus bade him fetch bow and arrows, and when bow and arrows were brought,
he would have the king of Israel hold the bow in readiness. The bow was stretched, and Eliseus put his own hands over the king’s hands;
Now, said he, open the window that looks east, and he opened it; Shoot, and he shot. Yonder shaft, Eliseus told him, betokens the divine deliverance, deliverance from the power of Syria. It is for thee to defeat the Syrians utterly, there at Aphec.
Then he would have Joas take up his arrows, and when he had done so, bade him shoot, there on the ground. Shoot he did three times, and then held his hand.
Whereupon the prophet said to him angrily, Five times thou shouldst have let fly, or six, or seven, to defeat the Syrians utterly; this signifies three defeats and no more.
In the year of Eliseus’ death and burial, the country was being ravaged by freebooters from Moab.
Some of these appearing suddenly when a dead man was being carried out to his funeral, the bearers took fright, and threw the corpse into the first grave they could find; it was that of Eliseus. And no sooner had it touched the prophet’s bones, than the dead man came to life again, and rose to his feet.
All through the life-time of Joachaz, king Hazael of Syria had pressed Israel hard;
but now the Lord relented and came to their aid once more. Faithful to his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, he would not make an end of them and cast them off utterly as yet.
So, when Hazael died, and his son Benadad succeeded him as king of Syria,
Joas was able to retake those cities which his father Joachaz had lost to Benadad’s father Hazael, and by right of conquest; three times Joas was victorious, and restored the lost cities to Israel.
The Holy Bible