The Antiquities of the Jews
Flavius Josephus

Part 10 out of 26

of God, for [God told him] that he should there find a woman who
was a widow that should give him sustenance. So when he was not
far off the city, he saw a woman that labored with her own hands,
gathering of sticks: so God informed him that this was the woman
who was to give him sustenance. So he came and saluted her, and
desired her to bring him some water to drink; but as she was
going so to do, he called to her, and would have her to bring him
a loaf of bread also; whereupon she affirmed upon oath that she
had at home nothing more than one handful of meal, and a little
oil, and that she was going to gather some sticks, that she might
knead it, and make bread for herself and her son; after which,
she said, they must perish, and be consumed by the famine, for
they had nothing for themselves any longer. Hereupon he said, "Go
on with good courage, and hope for better things; and first of
all make me a little cake, and bring it to me, for I foretell to
thee that this vessel of meal and this cruse of oil shall not
fail until God send rain." When the prophet had said this, she
came to him, and made him the before-named cake; of which she had
part for herself, and gave the rest to her son, and to the
prophet also; nor did any thing of this fall until the drought
ceased. Now Menander mentions this drought in his account of the
acts of Ethbaal, king of the Tyrians; where he says thus: "Under
him there was a want of rain from the month Hyperberetmus till
the month Hyperberetmus of the year following; but when he made
supplications, there came great thunders. This Ethbaal built the
city Botrys in Phoenicia, and the city Auza in Libya." By these
words he designed the want of rain that was in the days of Ahab,
for at that time it was that Ethbaal also reigned over the
Tyrians, as Menander informs us.

3. Now this woman, of whom we spake before, that sustained the
prophet, when her son was fallen into a distemper till he gave up
the ghost, and appeared to be dead, came to the prophet weeping,
and beating her breasts with her hands, and sending out such
expressions as her passions dictated to her, and complained to
him that he had come to her to reproach her for her sins, and
that on this account it was that her son was dead. But he bid her
be of good cheer, and deliver her son to him, for that he would
deliver him again to her alive. So when she had delivered her son
up to him, he carried him into an upper room, where he himself
lodged, and laid him down upon the bed, and cried unto God, and
said, that God had not done well, in rewarding the woman who had
entertained him and sustained him, by taking away her son; and he
prayed that he would send again the soul of the child into him,
and bring him to life again. Accordingly God took pity on the
mother, and was willing to gratify the prophet, that he might not
seem to have come to her to do her a mischief, and the child,
beyond all expectation, came to life again. So the mother
returned the prophet thanks, and said she was then clearly
satisfied that God did converse with him.

4. After a little while Elijah came to king Ahab, according to
God's will, to inform him that rain was coming. Now the famine
had seized upon the whole country, and there was a great want of
what was necessary for sustenance, insomuch that it was after the
recovery of the widow's son of Sarepta, God sent not only men
that wanted it, but the earth itself also, which did not produce
enough for the horse and the other beasts of what was useful for
them to feed on, by reason of the drought. So the king called for
Obadiah, who was steward over his cattle, and said to him, that
he would have him go to the fountains of water, and to the
brooks, that if any herbs could be found for them, they might mow
it down, and reserve it for the beasts. And when he had sent
persons all over the habitable earth (33) to discover the prophet
Elijah, and they could not find him, he bade Obadiah accompany
him. So it was resolved they should make a progress, and divide
the ways between them; and Obadiah took one road, and the king
another. Now it happened that the same time when queen Jezebel
slew the prophets, that this Obadiah had hidden a hundred
prophets, and had fed them with nothing but bread and water. But
when Obadiah was alone, and absent from the king, the prophet
Elijah met him; and Obadiah asked him who he was; and when he had
learned it from him, he worshipped him. Elijah then bid him go to
the king, and tell him that I am here ready to wait on him. But
Obadiah replied, "What evil have I done to thee, that thou
sendest me to one who seeketh to kill thee, and hath sought over
all the earth for thee? Or was he so ignorant as not to know that
the king had left no place untouched unto which he had not sent
persons to bring him back, in order, if they could take him, to
have him put to death?" For he told him he was afraid lest God
should appear to him again, and he should go away into another
place; and that when the king should send him for Elijah, and he
should miss of him, and not be able to find him any where upon
earth, he should be put to death. He desired him therefore to
take care of his preservation; and told him how diligently he had
provided for those of his own profession, and had saved a hundred
prophets, when Jezebel slew the rest of them, and had kept them
concealed, and that they had been sustained by him. But Elijah
bade him fear nothing, but go to the king; and he assured him
upon oath that he would certainly show himself to Ahab that very

5. So when Obadiah had informed the king that Elijah was there,
Ahab met him, and asked him, in anger, if he were the man that
afflicted the people of the Hebrews, and was the occasion of the
drought they lay under? But Elijah, without any flattery, said
that he was himself the man, he and his house, which brought such
sad afflictions upon them, and that by introducing strange gods
into their country, and worshipping them, and by leaving their
own, who was the only true God, and having no manner of regard to
him. However, he bade him go his way, and gather together all the
people to him to Mount Carmel, with his own prophets, and those
of his wife, telling him how many there were of them, as also the
prophets of the groves, about four hundred in number. And as all
the men whom Ahab sent for ran away to the forenamed mountain,
the prophet Elijah stood in the midst of them, and said, "How
long will you live thus in uncertainty of mind and opinion?" He
also exhorted them, that in case they esteemed their own country
God to be the true and the only God, they would follow him and
his commandments; but in case they esteemed him to be nothing,
but had an opinion of the strange gods, and that they ought to
worship them, his counsel was, that they should follow them. And
when the multitude made no answer to what he said, Elijah desired
that, for a trial of the power of the strange gods, and of their
own God, he, who was his only prophet, while they had four
hundred, might take a heifer and kill it as a sacrifice, and lay
it upon pieces of wood, and not kindle any fire, and that they
should do the same things, and call upon their own gods to set
the wood on fire; for if that were done, they would thence learn
the nature of the true God. This proposal pleased the people. So
Elijah bade the prophets to choose out a heifer first, and kill
it, and to call on their gods. But when there appeared no effect
of the prayer or invocation of the prophets upon their sacrifice,
Elijah derided them, and bade them call upon their gods with a
loud voice, for they might either be on a journey, or asleep; and
when these prophets had done so from morning till noon, and cut
themselves with swords and lances, (34) according to the customs
of their country, and he was about to offer his sacrifice, he
bade [the prophets] go away, but bade [the people] come near and
observe what he did, lest he should privately hide fire among the
pieces of wood. So, upon the approach of the multitude, he took
twelve stones, one for each tribe of the people of the Hebrews,
and built an altar with them, and dug a very deep trench; and
when he had laid the pieces of wood upon the altar, and upon them
had laid the pieces of the sacrifices, he ordered them to fill
four barrels with the water of the fountain, and to pour it upon
the altar, till it ran over it, and till the trench was filled
with the water poured into it. When he had done this, he began to
pray to God, and to invocate him to make manifest his power to a
people that had already been in an error a long time; upon which
words a fire came on a sudden from heaven in the sight of the
multitude, and fell upon the altar, and consumed the sacrifice,
till the very water was set on fire, and the place was become

6. Now when the Israelites saw this, they fell down upon the
ground, and worshipped one God, and called him The great and the
only true God; but they called the others mere names, framed by
the evil and vile opinions of men. So they caught their prophets,
and, at the command of Elijah, slew them. Elijah also said to the
king, that he should go to dinner without any further concern,
for that in a little time he would see God send them rain.
Accordingly Ahab went his way. But Elijah went up to the highest
top of Mount Carmel, and sat down upon the ground, and leaned his
head upon his knees, and bade his servant go up to a certain
elevated place, and look towards the sea, and when he should see
a cloud rising any where, he should give him notice of it, for
till that time the air had been clear. When the Servant had gone
up, and had said many times that he saw nothing, at the seventh
time of his going up, he said that he saw a small black thing in
the sky, not larger than a man's foot. When Elijah heard that, he
sent to Ahab, and desired him to go away to the city before the
rain came down. So he came to the city Jezreel; and in a little
time the air was all obscured, and covered with clouds, and a
vehement storm of wind came upon the earth, and with it a great
deal of rain; and the prophet was under a Divine fury, and ran
along with the king's chariot unto Jezreel a city of Izar (35)

7. When Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, understood what signs Elijah
had wrought, and how he had slain her prophets, she was angry,
and sent messengers to him, and by them threatened to kill him,
as he had destroyed her prophets. At this Elijah was affrighted,
and fled to the city called Beersheba, which is situate at the
utmost limits of the country belonging to the tribe of Judah,
towards the land of Edom; and there he left his servant, and went
away into the desert. He prayed also that he might die, for that
he was not better than his fathers, nor need he be very desirous
to live, when they were dead; and he lay and slept under a
certain tree; and when somebody awakened him, and he was risen
up, he found food set by him and water: so when he had eaten, and
recovered his strength by that his food, he came to that mountain
which is called Sinai, where it is related that Moses received
his laws from God; and finding there a certain hollow cave, he
entered into it, and continued to make his abode in it. But when
a certain voice came to him, but from whence he knew not, and
asked him, why he was come thither, and had left the city? he
said, that because he had slain the prophets of the foreign gods,
and had persuaded the people that he alone whom they had
worshipped from the beginning was God, he was sought for by the
king's wife to be punished for so doing. And when he had heard
another voice, telling him that he should come out the next day
into the open air, and should thereby know what he was to do, he
came out of the cave the next day accordingly, When he both heard
an earthquake, and saw the bright splendor of a fire; and after a
silence made, a Divine voice exhorted him not to be disturbed
with the circumstances he was in, for that none of his enemies
should have power over him. The voice also commanded him to
return home, and to ordain Jehu, the son of Nimshi, to be king
over their own multitude; and Hazael, of Damascus, to be over the
Syrians; and Elisha, of the city Abel, to be a prophet in his
stead; and that of the impious multitude, some should be slain by
Hazael, and others by Jehu. So Elijah, upon hearing this charge,
returned into the land of the Hebrews. And when he found Elisha,
the son of Shaphat, ploughing, and certain others with him,
driving twelve yoke of oxen, he came to him, and cast his own
garment upon him; upon which Elisha began to prophesy presently,
and leaving his oxen, he followed Elijah. And when he desired
leave to salute his parents, Elijah gave him leave so to do; and
when he had taken his leave of them, he followed him, and became
the disciple and the servant of Elijah all the days of his life.
And thus have I despatched the affairs in which this prophet was

8. Now there was one Naboth, of the city Izar, [Jezreel,] who had
a field adjoining to that of the king: the king would have
persuaded him to sell him that his field, which lay so near to
his own lands, at what price he pleased, that he might join them
together, and make them one farm; and if he would not accept of
money for it, he gave him leave to choose any of his other fields
in its stead. But Naboth said he would not do so, but would keep
the possession of that land of his own, which he had by
inheritance from his father. Upon this the king was grieved, as
if he had received an injury, when he could not get another man's
possession, and he would neither wash himself, nor take any food:
and when Jezebel asked him what it was that troubled him, and why
he would neither wash himself, nor eat either dinner or supper,
he related to her the perverseness of Naboth, and how, when he
had made use of gentle words to him, and such as were beneath the
royal authority, he had been affronted, and had not obtained what
he desired. However, she persuaded him not to be cast down at
this accident, but to leave off his grief, and return to the
usual care of his body, for that she would take care to have
Naboth punished; and she immediately sent letters to the rulers
of the Israelites [Jezreelites] in Ahab's name, and commanded
them to fast and to assemble a congregation, and to set Naboth at
the head of them, because he was of an illustrious family, and to
have three bold men ready to bear witness that he had blasphemed
God and the king, and then to stone him, and slay him in that
manner. Accordingly, when Naboth had been thus testified against,
as the queen had written to them, that he had blasphemed against
God and Ahab the king, she desired him to take possession of
Naboth's vineyard on free cost. So Ahab was glad at what had been
done, and rose up immediately from the bed whereon he lay to go
to see Naboth's vineyard; but God had great indignation at it,
and sent Elijah the prophet to the field of Naboth, to speak to
Ahab, and to say to him, that he had slain the true owner of that
field unjustly. And as soon as he came to him, and the king had
said that he might do with him what he pleased, (for he thought
it a reproach to him to be thus caught in his sin,) Elijah said,
that in that very place in which the dead body of Naboth was
eaten by dogs both his own blood and that of his wife's should be
shed, and that all his family should perish, because he had been
so insolently wicked, and had slain a citizen unjustly, and
contrary to the laws of his country. Hereupon Ahab began to be
sorry for the things he had done, and to repent of them; and he
put on sackcloth, and went barefoot (36) and would not touch any
food; he also confessed his sins, and endeavored thus to appease
God. But God said to the prophet, that while Ahab was living he
would put off the punishment of his family, because he repented
of those insolent crimes he had been guilty of, but that still he
would fulfill his threatening under Ahab's son; which message the
prophet delivered to the king.

How Hadad King Of Damascus And Of Syria, Made Two Expeditions
Against Ahab And Was Beaten.

1. When the affairs of Ahab were thus, at that very time the son
of Hadad, [Benhadad,] who was king of the Syrians and of
Damascus, got together an army out of all his country, and
procured thirty-two kings beyond Euphrates to be his auxiliaries:
so he made an expedition against Ahab; but because Ahab's army
was not like that of Benhadad, he did not set it in array to
fight him, but having shut up every thing that was in the country
in the strongest cities he had, he abode in Samaria himself, for
the walls about it were very strong, and it appeared to be not
easily to be taken in other respects also. So the king of Syria
took his army with him, and came to Samaria, and placed his army
round about the city, and besieged it. He also sent a herald to
Ahab, and desired he would admit the ambassadors he would send
him, by whom he would let him know his pleasure. So, upon the
king of Israel's permission for him to send, those ambassador's
came, and by their king's command spake thus: That Ahab's riches,
and his children, and his wives were Benhadad's, and if he would
make an agreement, and give him leave to take as much of what he
had as he pleased, he would withdraw his army, and leave off the
siege. Upon this Ahab bade the ambassadors to go back, and tell
their king, that both he himself and all that he hath are his
possessions. And when these ambassadors had told this to
Berthadad, he sent to him again, and desired, since he confessed
that all he had was his, that he would admit those servants of
his which he should send the next day; and he commanded him to
deliver to those whom he should send whatsoever, upon their
searching his palace, and the houses of his friends and kindred,
they should find to be excellent in its kind, but that what did
not please them they should leave to him. At this second
embassage of the king of Syria, Ahab was surprised, and gathered
together the multitude to a congregation, and told them that, for
himself, he was ready, for their safety and peace, to give up his
own wives and children to the enemy, and to yield to him all his
own possessions, for that was what the Syrian king required at
his first embassage; but that now he desires to send his servants
to search all their houses, and in them to leave nothing that is
excellent in its kind, seeking an occasion of fighting against
him, "as knowing that I would not spare what is mine own for your
sakes, but taking a handle from the disagreeable terms he offers
concerning you to bring a war upon us; however, I will do what
you shall resolve is fit to be done." But the multitude advised
him to hearken to none of his proposals, but to despise him, and
be in readiness to fight him. Accordingly, when he had given the
ambassadors this answer to be reported, that he still continued
in the mind to comply with what terms he at first desired, for
the safety of the citizens; but as for his second desires, he
cannot submit to them, - he dismissed them.

2. Now when Benhadad heard this, he had indignation, and sent
ambassadors to Ahab the third time, and threatened that his army
would raise a bank higher than those walls, in confidence of
whose strength he despised him, and that by only each man of his
army taking a handful of earth; hereby making a show of the great
number of his army, and aiming to affright him. Ahab answered,
that he ought not to vaunt himself when he had only put on his
armor, but when he should have conquered his enemies in the
battle. So the ambassadors came back, and found the king at
supper with his thirty-two kings, and informed him of Ahab's
answer; who then immediately gave order for proceeding thus: To
make lines round the city, and raise a bulwark, and to prosecute
the siege all manner of ways. Now, as this was doing, Ahab was in
a great agony, and all his people with him; but he took courage,
and was freed from his fears, upon a certain prophet coming to
him, and saying to him, that God had promised to subdue so many
ten thousands of his enemies under him. And when he inquired by
whose means the victory was to be obtained, be said," By the sons
of the princes; but under thy conduct as their leader, by reason
of their unskilfulness [in war]." Upon which he called for the
sons of the princes, and found them to be two hundred and
thirty-two persons. So when he was informed that the king of
Syria had betaken himself to feasting and repose, he opened the
gates, and sent out the princes' sons. Now when the sentinels
told Benhadad of it, he sent some to meet them, and commanded
them, that if these men were come out for fighting, they should
bind them, and bring them to him; and that if they came out
peaceably, they should do the same. Now Ahab had another army
ready within the walls, but the sons of the princes fell upon the
out-guard, and slew many of them, and pursued the rest of them to
the camp; and when the king of Israel saw that these had the
upper hand, he sent out all the rest of his army, which, falling
suddenly upon the Syrians, beat them, for they did not think they
would have come out; on which account it was that they assaulted
them when they were naked (37) and drunk, insomuch that they left
all their armor behind them when they fled out of the camp, and
the king himself escaped with difficulty, by fleeing away on
horseback. But Ahab went a great way in pursuit of the Syrians;
and when he had spoiled their camp, which contained a great deal
of wealth, and moreover a large quantity of gold and silver, he
took Benhadad's chariots and horses, and returned to the city;
but as the prophet told him he ought to have his army ready,
because the Syrian king would make another expedition against him
the next year, Ahab was busy in making provision for it

3. Now Benhadad, when he had saved himself, and as much of his
army as he could, out of the battle, he consulted with his
friends how he might make another expedition against the
Israelites. Now those friends advised him not to fight with them
on the hills, because their God was potent in such places, and
thence it had come to pass that they had very lately been beaten;
but they said, that if they joined battle with them in the plain,
they should beat them. They also gave him this further advice, to
send home those kings whom he had brought as his auxiliaries, but
to retain their army, and to set captains over it instead of the
kings, and to raise an army out of their country, and let them be
in the place of the former who perished in the battle, together
with horses and chariots. So he judged their counsel to be good,
and acted according to it in the management of the army.

4. At the beginning of the spring, Benhadad took his army with
him, and led it against the Hebrews; and when he was come to a
certain city which was called Aphek, he pitched his camp in the
great plain. Ahab also went to meet him with his army, and
pitched his camp over against him, although his army was a very
small one, if it were compared with the enemy's; but the prophet
came again to him, and told him, that God would give him the
victory, that he might demonstrate his own power to be, not only
on the mountains, but on the plains also; which it seems was
contrary to the opinion of the Syrians. So they lay quiet in
their camp seven days; but on the last of those days, when the
enemies came out of their camp, and put themselves in array in
order to fight, Ahab also brought out his own army; and when the
battle was joined, and they fought valiantly, he put the enemy to
flight, and pursued them, and pressed upon them, and slew them;
nay, they were destroyed by their own chariots, and by one
another; nor could any more than a few of them escape to their
own city Aphek, who were also killed by the walls falling upon
them, being in number twenty-seven thousand. (38) Now there were
slain in this battle a hundred thousand more; but Benhadad, the
king of the Syrians, fled away, with certain others of his most
faithful servants, and hid himself in a cellar under ground; and
when these told him that the kings of Israel were humane and
merciful men, and that they might make use of the usual manner of
supplication, and obtain deliverance from Ahab, in case he would
give them leave to go to him, he gave them leave accordingly. So
they came to Ahab, clothed in sackcloth, with ropes about their
heads, (for this was the ancient manner of supplication among the
Syrians,) (39) and said, that Benhadad desired he would save him,
and that he would ever be a servant to him for that favor. Ahab
replied he was glad that he was alive, and not hurt in the
battle; and he further promised him the same honor and kindness
that a man would show to his brother. So they received assurances
upon oath from him, that when he came to him he should receive no
harm from him, and then went and brought him out of the cellar
wherein he was hid, and brought him to Ahab as he sat in his
chariot. So Benhadad worshipped him; and Ahab gave him his hand,
and made him come up to him into his chariot, and kissed him, and
bid him be of good cheer, and not to expect that any mischief
should be done to him. So Berthadad returned him thanks, and
professed that he would remember his kindness to him all the days
of his life; and promised he would restore those cities of the
Israelites which the former kings had taken from them, and grant
that he should have leave to come to Damascus, as his forefathers
had to come to Samaria. So they confirmed their covenant by
oaths, and Ahab made him many presents, and sent him back to his
own kingdom. And this was the conclusion of the war that Benhadad
made against Ahab and the Israelites.

5. But a certain prophet, whose name was Micaiah, (40) came to
one of the Israelites, and bid him smite him on the head, for by
so doing he would please God; but when he would not do so, he
foretold to him, that since he disobeyed the commands of God, he
should meet with a lion, and be destroyed by him. When that sad
accident had befallen the man, the prophet came again to another,
and gave him the same injunction; so he smote him, and wounded
his skull; upon which he bound up his head, and came to the king,
and told him that he had been a soldier of his, and had the
custody of one of the prisoners committed to him by an officer,
and that the prisoner being run away, he was in danger of losing
his own life by the means of that officer, who had threatened
him, that if the prisoner escaped he would kill him. And when
Ahab had said that he would justly die, he took off the binding
about his head, and was known by the king to be Micaiah the
prophet, who made use of this artifice as a prelude to his
following words; for he said that God would punish him who had
suffered Benhadad, a blasphemer against him, to escape
punishment; and that he would so bring it about, that he should
die by the other's means (41) and his people by the other's army.
Upon which Ahab was very angry at the prophet, and gave
commandment that he should be put in prison, and there kept; but
for himself, he was in confusion at the words of Micaiah, and
returned to his own house.


Concerning Jehoshaphat The King Of Jerusalem And How Ahab Made An
Expedition Against The Syrians And Was Assisted Therein By
Jehoshaphat, But Was Himself Overcome In Battle And Perished

1. And these were the circumstances in which Ahab was. But I now
return to Jehoshaphat, the king of Jerusalem, who, when he had
augmented his kingdom, had set garrisons in the cities of the
countries belonging to his subjects, and had put such garrisons
no less into those cities which were taken out of the tribe of
Ephraim by his grandfather Abijah, when Jeroboam reigned over the
ten tribes [than he did into the other]. But then he had God
favorable and assisting to him, as being both righteous and
religious, and seeking to do somewhat every day that should be
agreeable and acceptable to God. The kings also that were round
about him honored him with the presents they made him, till the
riches that he had acquired were immensely great, and the glory
he had gained was of a most exalted nature.

2. Now, in the third year of this reign, he called together the
rulers of the country, and the priests, and commanded them to go
round the land, and teach all the people that were under him,
city by city, the laws of Moses, and to keep them, and to be
diligent in the worship of God. With this the whole multitude was
so pleased, that they were not so eagerly set upon or affected
with any thing so much as the observation of the laws. The
neighboring nations also continued to love Jehoshaphat, and to be
at peace with him. The Philistines paid their appointed tribute,
and the Arabians supplied him every year with three hundred and
sixty lambs, and as many kids of the goats. He also fortified the
great cities, which were many in number, and of great
consequence. He prepared also a mighty army of soldiers and
weapons against their enemies. Now the army of men that wore
their armor, was three hundred thousand of the tribe of Judah, of
whom Adnah was the chief; but John was chief of two hundred
thousand. The same man was chief of the tribe of Benjamin, and
had two hundred thousand archers under him. There was another
chief, whose name was Jehozabad, who had a hundred and fourscore
thousand armed men. This multitude was distributed to he ready
for the king's service, besides those whom he sent to the best
fortified cities.

3. Jehoshaphat took for his son Jehoram to wife the daughter of
Ahab, the king of the ten tribes, whose name was Athaliah. And
when, after some time, he went to Samaria, Ahab received him
courteously, and treated the army that followed him in a splendid
manner, with great plenty of corn and wine, and of slain beasts;
and desired that he would join with him in his war against the
king of Syria, that he might recover from him the city Ramoth, in
Gilead; for though it had belonged to his father, yet had the
king of Syria's father taken it away from him; and upon
Jehoshaphat's promise to afford him his assistance, (for indeed
his army was not inferior to the other,) and his sending for his
army from Jerusalem to Samaria, the two kings went out of the
city, and each of them sat on his own throne, and each gave their
orders to their several armies. Now Jehoshaphat bid them call
some of the prophets, if there were any there, and inquire of
them concerning this expedition against the king of Syria,
whether they would give them counsel to make that expedition at
this time, for there was peace at that time between Ahab and the
king of Syria, which had lasted three years, from the time he had
taken him captive till that day.

4. So Ahab called his own prophets, being in number about four
hundred, and bid them inquire of God whether he would grant him
the victory, if he made an expedition against Benhadad, and
enable him to overthrow that city, for whose sake it was that he
was going to war. Now these prophets gave their counsel for
making this expedition, and said that he would beat the king of
Syria, and, as formerly, would reduce him under his power. But
Jehoshaphat, understanding by their words that they were false
prophets, asked Ahab whether there were not some other prophet,
and he belonging to the true God, that we may have surer
information concerning futurities. Hereupon Ahab said there was
indeed such a one, but that he hated him, as having prophesied
evil to him, and having foretold that he should be overcome and
slain by the king of Syria, and that for this cause he had him
now in prison, and that his name was Micaiah, the son of Imlah.
But upon Jehoshaphat's desire that he might be produced, Ahab
sent a eunuch, who brought Micaiah to him. Now the eunuch had
informed him by the way, that all the other prophets had foretold
that the king should gain the victory; but he said, that it was
not lawful for him to lie against God, but that he must speak
what he should say to him about the king, whatsoever it were.
When he came to Ahab, and he had adjured him upon oath to speak
the truth to him, he said that God had shown to him the
Israelites running away, and pursued by the Syrians, and
dispersed upon the mountains by them, as flocks of sheep are
dispersed when their shepherd is slain. He said further, that God
signified to him, that those Israelites should return :in peace
to their own home, and that he only should fall in the battle.
When Micalab had thus spoken, Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, "I told
thee a little while ago the disposition of the man with regard to
me, and that he uses to prophesy evil to me." Upon which Micaiah
replied, that he ought to hear all, whatsoever it be, that God
foretells; and that in particular, they were false prophets that
encouraged him to make this war in hope of victory, whereas he
must fight and be killed. Whereupon the king was in suspense with
himself: but Zedekiah, one of those false prophets, came near,
and exhorted him not to hearken to Micaiah, for he did not at all
speak truth; as a demonstration of which he instanced in what
Elijah had said, who was a better prophet in foretelling
futurities than Micaiah (42) for he foretold that the dogs should
lick his blood in the city of Jezreel, in the field of Naboth, as
they licked the blood of Naboth, who by his means was there
stoned to death by the multitude; that therefore it was plain
that this Micalab was a liar, as contradicting a greater prophet
than himself, and saying that he should be slain at three days'
journey distance: "and [said he] you shall soon know whether he
be a true prophet, and hath the power of the Divine Spirit; for I
will smite him, and let him then hurt my hand, as Jadon caused
the hand of Jeroboam the king to wither when he would have caught
him; for I suppose thou hast certainly heard of that accident."
So when, upon his smiting Micaiah, no harm happened to him, Ahab
took courage, and readily led his army against the king of Syria;
for, as I suppose, fate was too hard for him, and made him
believe that the false prophets spake truer than the true one,
that it might take an occasion of bringing him to his end.
However, Zedekiah made horns of iron, and said to Ahab, that God
made those horns signals, that by them he should overthrow all
Syria. But Micaiah replied, that Zedekiah, in a few days, should
go from one secret chamber to another to hide himself, that he
might escape the punishment of his lying. Then did the king give
orders that they should take Micaiah away, and guard him to Amon,
the governor of the city, and to give him nothing but bread and

5. Then did Ahab, and Jehoshaphat the king of Jerusalem, take
their forces, and marched to Ramoth a city of Gilead; and when
the king of Syria heard of this expedition, he brought out his
army to oppose them, and pitched his camp not far from Ramoth.
Now Ahalx and Jehoshaphat had agreed that Ahab should lay aside
his royal robes, but that the king of Jerusalem should put on his
[Ahab's] proper habit, and stand before the army, in order to
disprove, by this artifice, what Micaiah had foretold. (43) But
Ahab's fate found him out without his robes; for Benhadad, the
king of Assyria, had charged his army, by the means of their
commanders, to kill nobody else but only the king of Israel. So
when the Syrians, upon their joining battle with the Israelites,
saw Jehoshaphat stand before the army, and conjectured that he
was Ahab, they fell violently upon him, and encompassed him
round; but when they were near, and knew that it was not he, they
all returned back; and while the fight lasted from the morning
till late in the evening, and the Syrians were conquerors, they
killed nobody, as their king had commanded them. And when they
sought to kill Ahab alone, but could not find him, there was a
young nobleman belonging to king Benhadad, whose name was Naaman;
he drew his bow against the enemy, and wounded the king through
his breastplate, in his lungs. Upon this Ahab resolved not to
make his mischance known to his army, lest they should run away;
but he bid the driver of his chariot to turn it back, and carry
him out of the battle, because he was sorely and mortally
wounded. However, he sat in his chariot and endured the pain till
sunset, and then he fainted away and died.

6. And now the Syrian army, upon the coming on of the night,
retired to their camp; and when the herald belonging to the camp
gave notice that Ahab was dead, they returned home; and they took
the dead body of Ahab to Samaria, and buried it there; but when
they had washed his chariot in the fountain of Jezreel, which was
bloody with the dead body of the king, they acknowledged that the
prophecy of Elijah was true, for the dogs licked his blood, and
the harlots continued afterwards to wash themselves in that
fountain; but still he died at Ramoth, as Micaiah had foretold.
And as what things were foretold should happen to Ahab by the two
prophets came to pass, we ought thence to have high notions of
God, and every where to honor and worship him, and never to
suppose that what is pleasant and agreeable is worthy of belief
before what is true, and to esteem nothing more advantageous than
the gift of prophecy (44) and that foreknowledge of future events
which is derived from it, since God shows men thereby what we
ought to avoid. We may also guess, from what happened to this
king, and have reason to consider the power of fate; that there
is no way of avoiding it, even when we know it. It creeps upon
human souls, and flatters them with pleasing hopes, till it leads
them about to the place where it will be too hard for them.
Accordingly Ahab appears to have been deceived thereby, till he
disbelieved those that foretold his defeat; but, by giving credit
to such as foretold what was grateful to him, was slain; and his
son Ahaziah succeeded him.


Containing The Interval Of One Hundred And Fifty-Seven Years.

From The Death Of Ahab To The Captivity Of The Ten Tribes.


Concerning Jehoshaphat Again; How He Constituted Judges And, By
God's Assistance Overcame His Enemies.

1. When Jehoshaphat the king was come to Jerusalem, from the
assistance he had afforded Ahab, the king of Israel, when he
fought with Benhadad, king of Syria, the prophet Jehu met him,
and accused him for assisting Ahab, a man both impious and
wicked; and said to him, that God was displeased with him for so
doing, but that he delivered him from the enemy, notwithstanding
he had sinned, because of his own proper disposition, which was
good. Whereupon the king betook himself to thanksgivings and
sacrifices to God; after which he presently went over all that
country which he ruled round about, and taught the people, as
well the laws which God gave them by Moses, as that religious
worship that was due to him. He also constituted judges in every
one of the cities of his kingdom; and charged them to have regard
to nothing so much in judging the multitude as to do justice, and
not to be moved by bribes, nor by the dignity of men eminent for
either their riches or their high birth, but to distribute
justice equally to all, as knowing that God is conscious of every
secret action of theirs. When he had himself instructed them
thus, and gone over every city of the two tribes, he returned to
Jerusalem. He there also constituted judges out of the priests
and the Levites, and principal persons of the multitude, and
admonished them to pass all their sentences with care and justice
(1) And that if any of the people of his country had differences
of great consequence, they should send them out of the other
cities to these judges, who would be obliged to give righteous
sentences concerning such causes; and this with the greater care,
because it is proper that the sentences which are given in that
city wherein the temple of God is, and wherein the king dwells,
be given with great care and the utmost justice. Now he set over
them Amariah the priest, and Zebadiah, [both] of the tribe of
Judah; and after this manner it was that the king ordered these

2. About the same time the Moabites and Ammonites made an
expedition against Jehoshaphat, ,and took with them a great body
of Arabians, and pitched their camp at Engedi, a city that is
situate at the lake Asphaltiris, and distant three hundred
furlongs from Jerusalem. In that place grows the best kind of
palm trees, and the opobalsamum. (2) Now Jehoshaphat heard that
the enemies had passed over the lake, and had made an irruption
into that country which belonged to his kingdom; at which news he
was aftrighted, and called the people of Jerusalem to a
congregation in the temple, and standing over against the temple
itself, he called upon God to afford him power and strength, so
as to inflict punishment on those that made this expedition
against them (for that those who built this his temple had
prayed, that he would protect that city, and take vengeance on
those that were so bold as to come against it); for they are come
to take from us that land which thou hast given us for a
possession. When he had prayed thus, he fell into tears; and the
whole multitude, together with their wives and children, made
their supplications also: upon which a certain prophet, Jahaziel
by name, came into the midst of the assembly, and cried out, and
spake both to the multitude and to the king, that God heard their
prayers, and promised to fight against their enemies. He also
gave order that the king should draw his forces out the next day,
for that he should find them between Jerusalem and the ascent of
Engedi, at a place called The Eminence, and that he should not
fight against them, but only stand still, and see how God would
fight against them. When the prophet had said this, both the king
and the multitude fell upon their faces, and gave thanks to God,
and worshipped him; and the Levites continued singing hymns to
God with their instruments of music.

3. As soon as it was day, and the king was come into that
wilderness which is under the city of Tekoa, he said to the
multitude, "that they ought to give credit to what the prophet
had said, and not to set themselves in array for fighting; but to
set the priests with their trumpets, and the Levites with the
singers of hymns, to give thanks to God, as having already
delivered our country from our enemies." This opinion of the king
pleased [the people], and they did what he advised them to do. So
God caused a terror and a commotion to arise among the Ammonites,
who thought one another to be enemies, and slew one another,
insomuch that not one man out of so great an army escaped; and
when Jehoshaphat looked upon that valley wherein their enemies
had been encamped, and saw it full of dead men, he rejoiced at so
surprising an event, as was this assistance of God, while he
himself by his own power, and without their labor, had given them
the victory. He also gave his army leave to take the prey of the
enemy's camp, and to spoil their dead bodies; and indeed so they
did for three days together, till they were weary, so great was
the number of the slain; and on the fourth day, all the people
were gathered together unto a certain hollow place or valley, and
blessed God for his power and assistance, from which the place
had this name given it, the Valley of [Berachah, or] Blessing.

4. And when the king had brought his army back to Jerusalem, he
betook himself to celebrate festivals, and offer sacrifices, and
this for many days. And indeed, after this destruction of their
enemies, and when it came to the ears of the foreign nations,
they were all greatly aftrighted, as supposing that God would
openly fight for him hereafter. So Jehoshaphat from that time
lived in great glory and splendor, on account of his
righteousness and his piety towards God. He was also in
friendship with Ahab's son, who was king of Israel; and he joined
with him in the building of ships that were to sail to Pontus,
and the traffic cities of Thrace (3) but he failed of his gains,
for the ships were destroyed by being so great [and unwieldy]; on
which account he was no longer concerned about shipping. And this
is the history of Jehoshaphat, the king of Jerusalem.


Concerning Ahaziah; The King Of Israel; And Again Concerning The
Prophet Elijah.

1. And now Ahaziah, the son of Ahab, reigned over Israel, and
made his abode in Samaria. He was a wicked man, and in all
respects like to both his parents and to Jeroboam, who first of
all transgressed, and began to deceive the people. In the second
year of his reign, the king of Moab fell off from his obedience,
and left off paying those tributes which he before paid to his
father Ahab. Now it happened that Ahaziah, as he was coming down
from the top of his house, fell down from it, and in his sickness
sent to the Fly, which was the god of Ekron, for that was this
god's name, to inquire about his recovery (4) but the God of the
Hebrews appeared to Elijah the prophet, and commanded him to go
and meet the messengers that were sent, and to ask them, whether
the people of Israel had pot a God of their own, that the king
sent to a foreign god to inquire about his recovery? and to bid
them return and tell the king that he would not escape this
disease. And when Elijah had performed what God had commanded
him, and the messengers had heard what he said, they returned to
the king immediately; and when the king wondered how they could
return so soon, and asked them the reason of it, they said that a
certain man met them, and forbade them to go on any farther; but
to return and tell thee, from the command of the God of Israel,
that this disease will have a bad end. And when the king bid them
describe the man that said this to them, they replied that he was
a hairy man, and was girt about with a girdle of leather. So the
king understood by this that the man who was described by the
messengers was Elijah; whereupon he sent a captain to him, with
fifty soldiers, and commanded them to bring Elijah to him; and
when the captain that was sent found Elijah sitting upon the top
of a hill, he commanded him to come down, and to come to the
king, for so had he enjoined; but that in case he refused, they
would carry him by force. Elijah said to him, "That you may have
a trial whether I be a true prophet, I will pray that fire may
fall from heaven, and destroy both the soldiers and yourself."
(5) So he prayed, and a whirlwind of fire fell [from heaven], and
destroyed the captain, and those that were with him. And when the
king was informed of the destruction of these men, he was very
angry, and sent another captain with the like number of armed men
that were sent before. And when this captain also threatened the
prophet, that unless he came down of his own accord, he would
take him and carry him away, upon his prayer against him, the
fire [from heaven] slew this captain as well the other. And when,
upon inquiry, the king was informed of what happened to him, he
sent out a third captain. But when this captain, who was a wise
man, and of a mild disposition, came to the place where Elijah
happened to be, and spake civilly to him; and said that he knew
that it was without his own consent, and only in submission to
the king's command that he came to him; and that those that came
before did not come willingly, but on the same account; - he
therefore desired him to have pity on those armed men that were
with him, and that he would come down and follow him to the king.
So Elijah accepted of his discreet words and courteous behavior,
and came down and followed him. And when he came to the king, he
prophesied to him and told him that God said, "Since thou hast
despised him as not being God, and so unable to foretell the
truth about thy distemper, but hast sent to the god of Ekron to
inquire of him what will be the end of this thy distemper, know
this, that thou shalt die."

2. Accordingly the king in a very little time died, as Elijah had
foretold; but Jehoram his brother succeeded him in the kingdom,
for he died without children: but for this Jehoram, he was like
his father Ahab in wickedness, and reigned twelve years,
indulging himself in all sorts of wickedness and impiety towards
God, for, leaving off his worship, he worshipped foreign gods;
but in other respects he was an active man. Now at this time it
was that Elijah disappeared from among men, and no one knows of
his death to this very day; but he left behind him his disciple
Elisha, as we have formerly declared. And indeed, as to Elijah,
and as to Enoch, who was before the deluge, it is written in the
sacred books that they disappeared, but so that nobody knew that
they died.


How Joram And Jehoshaphat Made An Expedition Against The
Moabites; As Also Concerning The Wonders Of Elisha; And The Death
Of Jehoshaphat.

1. When Joram had taken upon him the kingdom, he determined to
make an expedition against the king of Moab, whose name was
Mesha; for, as we told you before, he was departed from his
obedience to his brother [Ahaziah], while he paid to his father
Ahab two hundred thousand sheep, with their fleeces of wool. When
therefore he had gathered his own army together, he sent also to
Jehoshaphat, and entreated him, that since he had from the
beginning been a friend to his father, he would assist him in the
war that he was entering into against the Moabites, who had
departed from their obedience, who not only himself promised to
assist him, but would also oblige the king of Edom, who was under
his authority, to make the same expedition also. When Joram had
received these assurances of assistance from Jehoshaphat, he took
his army with him, and came to Jerusalem; and when he had been
sumptuously entertained by the king of Jerusalem, it was resolved
upon by them to take their march against their enemies through
the wilderness of Edom. And when they had taken a compass of
seven days' journey, they were in distress for want of water for
the cattle, and for the army, from the mistake of their roads by
the guides that conducted them, insomuch that they were all in an
agony, especially Joram; and cried to God, by reason of their
sorrow, and [desired to know] what wickedness had been committed
by them that induced him to deliver three kings together, without
fighting, unto the king of Moab. But Jehoshaphat, who was a
righteous man, encouraged him, and bade him send to the camp, and
know whether any prophet of God was come along with them, that we
might by him learn from God what we should do. And when one of
the servants of Joram said that he had seen there Elisha, the son
of Shaphat, the disciple of Elijah, the three kings went to him,
at the entreaty of Jehoshaphat; and when they were come at the
prophet's tent, which tent was pitched out of the camp, they
asked him what would become of the army? and Joram was
particularly very pressing with him about it. And when he replied
to him, that he should not trouble him, but go to his father's
and mother's prophets, for they [to be sure] were true prophets,
he still desired him to prophesy, and to save them. So he swore
by God that he would not answer him, unless it were on account of
Jehoshaphat, who was a holy and righteous man; and when, at his
desire, they brought him a man that could play on the psaltery,
the Divine Spirit came upon him as the music played, and he
commanded them to dig many trenches in the valley; for, said he,
"though there appear neither cloud, nor wind, nor storm of rain,
ye shall see this river full of water, till the army and the
cattle be saved for you by drinking of it. Nor will this be all
the favor that you shall receive from God, but you shall also
overcome your enemies, and take the best and strongest cities of
the Moabites, and you shall cut down their fruit trees, (6) and
lay waste their country, and stop up their fountains and rivers."

2. When the prophet had said this, the next day, before the
sun-rising, a great torrent ran strongly; for God had caused it
to rain very plentifully at the distance of three days' journey
into Edom, so that the army and the cattle found water to drink
in abundance. But when the Moabites heard that the three kings
were coming upon them, and made their approach through the
wilderness, the king of Moab gathered his army together
presently, and commanded them to pitch their camp upon the
mountains, that when the enemies should attempt to enter their
country, they might not be concealed from them. But when at the
rising of the sun they saw the water in the torrent, for it was
not far from the land of Moab, and that it was of the color of
blood, for at such a time the water especially looks red, by the
shining of the sun upon it, they formed a false notion of the
state of their enemies, as if they had slain one another for
thirst; and that the river ran with their blood. However,
supposing that this was the case, they desired their king would
send them out to spoil their enemies; whereupon they all went in
haste, as to an advantage already gained, and came to the enemy's
camp, as supposing them destroyed already. But their hope
deceived them; for as their enemies stood round about them, some
of them were cut to pieces, and others of them were dispersed,
and fled to their own country. And when the kings fell into the
land of Moab, they overthrew the cities that were in it, and
spoiled their fields, and marred them, filling them with stones
out of the brooks, and cut down the best of their trees, and
stopped up their fountains of water, and overthrew their walls to
their foundations. But the king of Moab, when he was pursued,
endured a siege; and seeing his city in danger of being
overthrown by force, made a sally, and went out with seven
hundred men, in order to break through the enemy's camp with his
horsemen, on that side where the watch seemed to be kept most
negligently; and when, upon trial, he could not get away, for he
lighted upon a place that was carefully watched, he returned into
the city, and did a thing that showed despair and the utmost
distress; for he took his eldest son, who was to reign after him,
and lifting him up upon the wall, that he might be visible to all
the enemies, he offered him as a whole burnt-offering to God,
whom, when the kings saw, they commiserated the distress that was
the occasion of it, and were so affected, in way of humanity and
pity, that they raised the siege, and every one returned to his
own house. So Jehoshaphat came to Jerusalem, and continued in
peace there, and outlived this expedition but a little time, and
then died, having lived in all sixty years, and of them reigned
twenty-five. He was buried in a magnificent manner in Jerusalem,
for he had imitated the actions of David.


Jehoram Succeeds Jehoshaphat; How Joram, His Namesake, King Of
Israel, Fought With The Syrians;And What Wonders Were Done By The
Prophet Elisha.

1. Jehoshapat had a good number of children; but he appointed his
eldest son Jehoram to be his successor, who had the same name
with his mother's brother, that was king of Israel, and the son
of Ahab. Now when the king of Israel was come out of the land of
Moab to Samaria, he had with him Elisha the prophet, whose acts I
have a mind to go over particularly, for they were illustrious,
and worthy to be related, as we have them set down in the sacred

2. For they say that the widow of Obadiah (7) Ahab's steward,
came to him, and said, that he was not ignorant how her husband
had preserved the prophets that were to be slain by Jezebel, the
wife of Ahab; for she said that he hid a hundred of them, and had
borrowed money for their maintenance, and that, after her
husband's death, she and her children were carried away to be
made slaves by the creditors; and she desired of him to have
mercy upon her on account of what her husband did, and afford her
some assistance. And when he asked her what she had in the house,
she said, "Nothing but a very small quantity of oil in a cruse."
So the prophet bid her go away, and borrow a great many empty
vessels of her neighbors, and when she had shut her chamber door,
to pour the oil into them all; for that God would fill them full.
And when the woman had done what she was commanded to do, and
bade her children bring every one of the vessels, and all were
filled, and not one left empty, she came to the prophet, and told
him that they were all full; upon which he advised her to go
away, and sell the oil, and pay the creditors what was owing
them, for that there would be some surplus of the price of the
oil, which she might make use of for the maintenance of her
children. And thus did Elisha discharge the woman's debts, and
free her from the vexation of her creditors.

3. Elisha also sent a hasty message to Joram, (8) and exhorted
him to take care of that place, for that therein were some
Syrians lying in ambush to kill him. So the king did as the
prophet exhorted him, and avoided his going a hunting. And when
Benhadad missed of the success of his lying in ambush, he was
wroth with his own servants, as if they had betrayed his
ambushment to Joram; and he sent for them, and said they were the
betrayers of his secret counsels; and he threatened that he would
put them to death, since such their practice was evident, because
he had intrusted this secret to none but them, and yet it was
made known to his enemy. And one that was present said that he
should not mistake himself, nor suspect that they had discovered
to his enemy his sending men to kill him, but that he ought to
know that it was Elisha the prophet who discovered all to him,
and laid open all his counsels. So he gave order that they should
send some to learn in what city Elisha dwelt. Accordingly those
that were sent brought word that he was in Dothan; wherefore
Benhadad sent to that city a great army, with horses and
chariots, to take Elisha: so they encompassed the city round
about by night, and kept him therein confined; but when the
prophet's servant in the morning perceived this, and that his
enemies sought to take Elisha, he came running, and crying out
after a disordered manner to him, and told him of it; but he
encouraged him, and bid him not be afraid, and to despise the
enemy, and trust in the assistance of God, and was himself
without fear; and he besought God to make manifest to his servant
his power and presence, so far as was possible, in order to the
inspiring him with hope and courage. Accordingly God heard the
prayer of the prophet, and made the servant see a multitude of
chariots and horses encompassing Elisha, till he laid aside his
fear, and his courage revived at the sight of what he supposed
was come to their assistance. After this Elisha did further
entreat God, that he would dim the eyes of their enemies, and
cast a mist before them, whereby they might not discern him. When
this was done, he went into the midst of his enemies, and asked
them who it was that they came to seek; and when they replied,
"The prophet Elisha," he promised he would deliver him to them,
if they would follow him to the city where he was. So these men
were so darkened by God in their sight and in their mind, that
they followed him very diligently; and when Elisha had brought
them to Samaria, he ordered Joram the king to shut the gates, and
to place his own army round about them; and prayed to God to
clear the eyes of these their enemies, and take the mist from
before them. Accordingly, when they were freed from the obscurity
they had been in, they saw themselves in the midst of their
enemies; and as the Syrians were strangely amazed and distressed,
as was but reasonable, at an action so Divine and surprising, and
as king Joram asked the prophet if he would give him leave to
shoot at them, Elisha forbade him so to do; and said, that "it is
just to kill those that are taken in battle, but that these men
had done the country no harm, but, without knowing it, were come
thither by the Divine Power:" - so that his counsel was to treat
them in a hospitable manner at his table, and then send them away
without hurting them. (9) Wherefore Joram obeyed the prophet; and
when he had feasted the Syrians in a splendid and magnificent
manner, he let them go to Benhadad their king.

4. Now when these men were come back, and had showed Benhadad how
strange an accident had befallen them, and what an appearance and
power they had experienced of the God of Israel, he wondered at
it, as also at that prophet with whom God was so evidently
present; so he determined to make no more secret attempts upon
the king of Israel, out of fear of Elisha, but resolved to make
open war with them, as supposing he could be too hard for his
enemies by the multitude of his army and power. So he made an
expedition with a great army against Joram, who, not thinking
himself a match for him, shut himself up in Samaria, and depended
on the strength of its walls; but Benhadad supposed he should
take the city, if not by his engines of war, yet that he should
overcome the Samaritans by famine, and the want of necessaries,
and brought his army upon them, and besieged the city; and the
plenty of necessaries was brought so low with Joram, that from
the extremity of want an ass's head was sold in Samaria for
fourscore pieces of silver, and the Hebrews bought a sextary of
dore's dung, instead of salt, for five pieces of silver. Now
Joram was in fear lest somebody should betray the city to the
enemy, by reason of the famine, and went every day round the
walls and the guards to see whether any such were concealed among
them; and by being thus seen, and taking such care, he deprived
them of the opportunity of contriving any such thing; and if they
had a mind to do it, he, by this means, prevented them: but upon
a certain woman's crying out, "Have pity on me, my lord," while
he thought that she was about to ask for somewhat to eat, he
imprecated God's curse upon her, and said he had neither
thrashing-floor nor wine-press, whence he might give her any
thing at her petition. Upon which she said she did not desire his
aid in any such thing, nor trouble him about food, but desired
that he would do her justice as to another woman. And when be
bade her say on, and let him know what she desired, she said she
had made an agreement with the other woman who was her neighbor
and her friend, that because the famine and want was intolerable,
they should kill their children, each of them having a son of
their own, and we will live upon them ourselves for two days, the
one day upon one son, and the other day upon the other; and,"
said she, I have killed my son the first day, and we lived upon
my son yesterday; but this other woman will not do the same
thing, but hath broken her agreement, and hath hid her son." This
story mightily grieved Joram when he heard it; so he rent his
garment, and cried out with a loud voice, and conceived great
wrath against Elisha the prophet, and set himself eagerly to have
him slain, because he did not pray to God to provide them some
exit and way of escape out of the miseries with which they were
surrounded; and sent one away immediately to cut off his head,
who made haste to kill the prophet. But Elisha was not
unacquainted with the wrath of the king against him; for as he
sat in his house by himself, with none but his disciples about
him, he told them that Joram, (10) who was the son of a murderer,
had sent one to take away his head; "but," said he, "when he that
is commanded to do this comes, take care that you do not let him
come in, but press the door against him, and hold him fast there,
for the king himself will follow him, and come to me, having
altered his mind." Accordingly, they did as they were bidden,
when he that was sent by the king to kill Elisha came. But Joram
repented of his wrath against the prophet; and for fear he that
was commanded to kill him should have done it before he came, he
made haste to hinder his slaughter, and to save the prophet: and
when he came to him, he accused him that he did not pray to God
for their deliverance from the miseries they now lay under, but
saw them so sadly destroyed by them. Hereupon Elisha promised,
that the very next day, at the very same hour in which the king
came to him, they should have great plenty of food, and that two
seahs of barley should be sold in the market for a shekel, and a
seah of fine flour should be sold for a shekel. This prediction
made Joram, and those that were present, very joyful, for they
did not scruple believing what the prophet said, on account of
the experience they had of the truth of his former predictions;
and the expectation of plenty made the want they were in that
day, with the uneasiness that accompanied it, appear a light
thing to them: but the captain of the third band, who was a
friend of the king, and on whose hand the king leaned, said,
"Thou talkest of incredible things, O prophet! for as it is
impossible for God to pour down torrents of barley, or fine
flour, out of heaven, so is it impossible that what thou sayest
should come to pass." To which the prophet made this reply," Thou
shalt see these things come to pass, but thou shalt not be in the
least a partaker of them."

5. Now what Elisha had thus foretold came to pass in the manner
following: There was a law at Samaria (11) that those that had
the leprosy, and whose bodies were not cleansed from it, should
abide without the city: and there were four men that on this
account abode before the gates, while nobody gave them any food,
by reason of the extremity of the famine; and as they were
prohibited from entering into the city by the law, and they
considered that if they were permitted to enter, they should
miserably perish by the famine; as also, that if they staid where
they were, they should suffer in the same manner, - they resolved
to deliver themselves up to the enemy, that in case they should
spare them, they should live; but if they should be killed, that
would be an easy death. So when they had confirmed this their
resolution, they came by night to the enemy's camp. Now God had
begun to affright and disturb the Syrians, and to bring the noise
of chariots and armor to their ears, as though an army were
coming upon them, and had made them suspect that it was coming
nearer and nearer to them In short, they were in such a dread of
this army, that they left their tents, and ran together to
Benhadad, and said that Joram the king of Israel had hired for
auxiliaries both the king of Egypt and the king of the Islands,
and led them against them for they heard the noise of them as
they were coming. And Benhadad believed what they said (for there
came the same noise to his ears as well as it did to theirs); so
they fell into a mighty disorder and tumult, and left their
horses and beasts in their camp, with immense riches also, and
betook themselves to flight. And those lepers who had departed
from Samaria, and were gone to the camp of the Syrians, of whom
we made mention a little before, when they were in the camp, saw
nothing but great quietness and silence: accordingly they entered
into it, and went hastily into one of their tents; and when they
saw nobody there, they eat and drank, and carried garments, and a
great quantity of gold, and hid it out of the camp; after which
they went into another tent, and carried off what was in it, as
they did at the former, and this did they for several times,
without the least interruption from any body. So they gathered
thereby that the enemies were departed; whereupon they reproached
themselves that they did not inform Joram and the citizens of it.
So they came to the walls of Samaria, and called aloud to the
watchmen, and told them in what state the enemies were, as did
these tell the king's guards, by whose means Joram came to know
of it; who then sent for his friends, and the captains of his
host, and said to them, that he suspected that this departure of
the king of Syria was by way of ambush and treachery, and that
out of despair of ruining you by famine, when you imagine them to
be fled away, you may come out of the city to spoil their camp,
and he may then fall upon you on a sudden, and may both kill you,
and take the city without fighting; whence it is that I exhort
you to guard the city carefully, and by no means to go out of it,
or proudly to despise your enemies, as though they were really
gone away." And when a certain person said that he did very well
and wisely to admit such a suspicion, but that he still advised
him to send a couple of horsemen to search all the country as far
as Jordan, that "if they were seized by an ambush of the enemy,
they might be a security to your army, that they may not go out
as if they suspected nothing, nor undergo the like misfortune;
and," said he, "those horsemen may be numbered among those that
have died by the famine, supposing they be caught and destroyed
by the enemy." So the king was pleased with this opinion, and
sent such as might search out the truth, who performed their
journey over a road that was without any enemies, but found it
full of provisions, and of weapons, that they had therefore
thrown away, and left behind them, in order to their being light
and expeditious in their flight. When the king heard this, he
sent out the multitude to take the spoils of the camp; which
gains of theirs were not of things of small value, but they took
a great quantity of gold, and a great quantity of silver, and
flocks of all kinds of cattle. They also possessed themselves of
[so many] ten thousand measures of wheat and barley, as they
never in the least dreamed of; and were not only freed from their
former miseries, but had such plenty, that two seahs of barley
were bought for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel,
according to the prophecy of Elisha. Now a seah is equal to an
Italian modius and a half. The captain of the third band was the
only man that received no benefit by this plenty; for as he was
appointed by the king to oversee the gate, that lm might prevent
the too great crowd of the multitude, and they might not endanger
one another to perish, by treading on one another in the press,
he suffered himself in that very way, and died in that very
manner, as Elisha had foretold such his death, when he alone of
them all disbelieved what he said concerning that plenty of
provisions which they should soon have.

6. Hereupon, when Benhadad, the king of Syria, had escaped to
Damascus, and understood that it was God himself that cast all
his army into this fear and disorder, and that it did not arise
from the invasion of enemies, he was mightily cast down at his
having God so greatly for his enemy, and fell into a distemper.
Now it happened that Elisha the prophet, at that time, was gone
out of his own country to Damascus, of which Berthadad was
informed: he sent Hazael, the most faithful of all his servants,
to meet him, and to carry him presents, and bade him inquire of
him about his distemper, and whether he should escape the danger
that it threatened. So Hazael came to Elisha with forty camels,
that carried the best and most precious fruits that the country
of Damascus afforded, as well as those which the king's palace
supplied. He saluted him kindly, and said that he was sent to him
by king Berthadad, and brought presents with him, in order to
inquire concerning his distemper, whether he should recover from
it or not. Whereupon the prophet bid him tell the king no
melancholy news; but still he said he would die. So the king's
servant was troubled to hear it; and Elisha wept also, and his
tears ran down plenteously at his foresight of what miseries his
people would undergo after the death of Berthadad. And when
Hazael asked him what was the occasion of this confusion he was
in, he said that he wept out of his commiseration for the
multitude of the Israelites, and what terrible miseries they will
suffer by thee; "for thou wilt slay the strongest of them, and
wilt burn their strongest cities, and wilt destroy their
children, and dash them against the stones, and wilt rip up their
women with child." And when Hazael said, "How can it be that I
should have power enough to do such things ?" the prophet
replied, that God had informed him that he should be king of
Syria. So when Hazael was come to Benhadad, he told him good news
concerning his distemper (12) but on the next day he spread a wet
cloth, in the nature of a net, over him, and strangled him, and
took his dominion. He was an active man, and had the good-will of
the Syrians, and of the people of Damascus, to a great degree; by
whom both Benhadad himself, and Hazael, who ruled after him, are
honored to this day as gods, by reason of their benefactions, and
their building them temples by which they adorned the city of the
Damascenes. They also every day do with great pomp pay their
worship to these kings, (13) and value themselves upon their
antiquity; nor do they know that these kings are much later than
they imagine, and that they are not yet eleven hundred years old.
Now when Joram, the king of Israel, heard that Berthadad was
dead, he recovered out of the terror and dread he had been in on
his account, and was very glad to live in peace.


Concerning The Wickedness Of Jehoram King O Jerusalem; His Defeat
And Death.

1. Now Jehoram the king of Jerusalem, for we have said before
that he had the same name with the king of Israel, as soon as he
had taken the government upon him, betook himself to the
slaughter of his brethren, and his father's friends, who were
governors under him, and thence made a beginning and a
demonstration of his wickedness; nor was he at all better than
those kings of Israel who at first transgressed against the laws
of their country, and of the Hebrews, and against God's worship.
And it was Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, whom he had married,
who taught him to be a bad man in other respects, and also to
worship foreign gods. Now God would not quite root out this
family, because of the promise he had made to David. However,
Jehoram did not leave off the introduction of new sorts of
customs to the propagation of impiety, and to the ruin of the
customs of his own country. And when the Edomites about that time
had revolted from him, and slain their former king, who was in
subjection to his father, and had set up one of their own
choosing, Jehoram fell upon the land of Edom, with the horsemen
that were about him, and the chariots, by night, and destroyed
those that lay near to his own kingdom, but did not proceed
further. However, this expedition did him no service, for they
all revolted from him, with those that dwelt in the country of
Libnah. He was indeed so mad as to compel the people to go up to
the high places of the mountains, and worship foreign gods.

2. As he was doing this, and had entirely cast his own country
laws out of his mind, there was brought him an epistle from
Elijah the prophet (14) which declared that God would execute
great judgments upon him, because he had not imitated his own
fathers, but had followed the wicked courses of the kings of
Israel; and had compelled the tribe of Judah, and the citizens of
Jerusalem, to leave the holy worship of their own God, and to
worship idols, as Ahab had compelled the Israelites to do, and
because he had slain his brethren, and the men that were good and
righteous. And the prophet gave him notice in this epistle what
punishment he should undergo for these crimes, namely, the
destruction of his people, with the corruption of the king's own
wives and children; and that he should himself die of a distemper
in his bowels, with long torments, those his bowels falling out
by the violence of the inward rottenness of the parts, insomuch
that, though he see his own misery, he shall not be able at all
to help himself, but shall die in that manner. This it was which
Elijah denounced to him in that epistle.

3. It was not long after this that an army of those Arabians that
lived near to Ethiopia, and of the Philistines, fell upon the
kingdom of Jehoram, and spoiled the country and the king's house.
Moreover, they slew his sons and his wives: one only of his sons
was left him, who escaped the enemy; his name was Ahaziah; after
which calamity, he himself fell into that disease which was
foretold by the prophet, and lasted a great while, (for God
inflicted this punishment upon him in his belly, out of his wrath
against him,) and so he died miserably, and saw his own bowels
fall out. The people also abused his dead body; I suppose it was
because they thought that such his death came upon him by the
wrath of God, and that therefore he was not worthy to partake of
such a funeral as became kings. Accordingly, they neither buried
him in the sepulchers of his fathers, nor vouchsafed him any
honors, but buried him like a private man, and this when he had
lived forty years, and reigned eight. And the people of Jerusalem
delivered the government to his son Ahaziah.


How Jehu Was Anointed King, And Slew Both Joram And Ahaziah; As
Also What He Did For The Punishment Of The Wicked.

1. Now Joram, the king of Israel, after the death of Benhadad,
hoped that he might now take Ramoth, a city of Gilead, from the
Syrians. Accordingly he made an expedition against it, with a
great army; but as he was besieging it, an arrow was shot at him
by one of the Syrians, but the wound was not mortal. So he
returned to have his wound healed in Jezreel, but left his whole
army in Ramorb, and Jehu, the son of Nimshi, for their general;
for he had already taken the city by force; and he proposed,
after he was healed,: to make war with the Syrians; but Elisha
the prophet sent one of his disciples to Ramoth, and gave him
holy oil to anoint Jehu, and to tell him that God had chosen him
to be their king. He also sent him to say other things to him,
and bid him to take his journey as if he fled, that when he came
away he might escape the knowledge of all men. So when he was
come to the city, he found Jehu sitting in the midst of the
captains of the army, as Elisha had foretold he should find him.
So he came up to him, and said that he desired to speak with him
about certain matters; and when he was arisen, and had followed
him into an inward chamber, the young man took the oil, and
poured it on his head, and said that God ordained him to be king,
in order to his destroying the house of Ahab, and that he might
revenge the blood of the prophets that were unjustly slain by
Jezebel, that so their house might utterly perish, as those of
Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and of Baasha, had perished for their
wickedness, and no seed might remain of Ahab's family. So when he
had said this, he went away hastily out of the chamber, and
endeavored not to be seen by any of the army.

2. But Jehu came out, and went to the place where he before sat
with the captains; and when they asked him, and desired him to
tell them, wherefore it was that this young man came to him, and
added withal that he was mad, he replied, - "You guess right, for
the words he spake were the words of a madman;" and when they
were eager about the matter, and desired he would tell them, he
answered, that God had said he had chosen him to be king over the
multitude. When he had said this, every one of them put off his
garment, (15) and strewed it under him, and blew with trumpets,
and gave notice that Jehu was king. So when he had gotten the
army together, he was preparing to set out immediately against
Joram, at the city Jezreel, in which city, as we said before, he
was healing of the wound which he had received in the siege of
Ramoth. It happened also that Ahaziah, king of Jerusalem, was now
come to Joram, for he was his sister's son, as we have said
already, to see how he did after his wound, and this upon account
of their kindred; but as Jehu was desirous to fall upon Joram,
and those with him, on the sudden, he desired that none of the
soldiers might run away and tell to Joram what had happened, for
that this would be an evident demonstration of their kindness to
him, and would show that their real inclinations were to make him

3. So they were pleased with what he did, and guarded the roads,
lest somebody should privately tell the thing to those that were
at Jezreel. Now Jehu took his choice horsemen, and sat upon his
chariot, and went on for Jezreel; and when he was come near, the
watchman whom Joram had set there to spy out such as came to the
city, saw Jehu marching on, and told Joram that he saw a troop of
horsemen marching on. Upon which he immediately gave orders, that
one of his horsemen should be sent out to meet them, and to know
who it was that was coming. So when the horseman came up to Jehu,
he asked him in what condition the army was, for that the king
wanted to know it; but Jehu bid him not at all to meddle with
such matters, but to follow him. When the watchman saw this, he
told Joram that the horseman had mingled himself among the
company, and came along with them. And when the king had sent a
second messenger, Jehu commanded him to do as the former did; and
as soon as the watchman told this also to Joram, he at last got
upon his chariot himself, together with Ahaziah, the king of
Jerusalem; for, as we said before, he was there to see how Joram
did, after he had been wounded, as being his relation. So he went
out to meet Jehu, who marched slowly, (16) and in good order; and
when Joram met him in the field of Naboth, he asked him if all
things were well in the camp; but Jehu reproached him bitterly,
and ventured to call his mother a witch and a harlot. Upon this
the king, fearing what he intended, and suspecting he had no good
meaning, turned his chariot about as soon as he could, and said
to Ahaziah, "We are fought against by deceit and treachery." But
Jehu drew his bow, and smote him, the arrow going through his
heart: so Joram fell down immediately on his knee, and gave up
the ghost. Jehu also gave orders to Bidkar, the captain of the
third part of his army, to cast the dead body of Joram into the
field of Naboth, putting him in mind of the prophecy which Elijah
prophesied to Ahab his father, when he had slain Naboth, that
both he and his family should perish in that place; for that as
they sat behind Ahab's chariot, they heard the prophet say so,
and that it was now come to pass according to his prophecy. Upon
the fall of Joram, Ahaziah was afraid of his own life, and turned
his chariot into another road, supposing he should not be seen by
Jehu; but he followed after him, and overtook him at a certain
acclivity, and drew his bow, and wounded him; so he left his
chariot, and got upon his horse, and fled from Jehu to Megiddo;
and though he was under cure, in a little time he died of that
wound, and was carried to Jerusalem, and buried there, after he
had reigned one year, and had proved a wicked man, and worse than
his father.

4. Now when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel adorned herself and
stood upon a tower, and said, he was a fine servant that had
killed his master! And when he looked up to her, he asked who she
was, and commanded her to come down to him. At last he ordered
the eunuchs to throw her down from the tower; and being thrown
down, she be-sprinkled the wall with her blood, and was trodden
upon by the horses, and so died. When this was done, Jehu came to
the palace with his friends, and took some refreshment after his
journey, both with other things, and by eating a meal. He also
bid his servants to take up Jezebel and bury her, because of the
nobility of her blood, for she was descended from kings; but
those that were appointed to bury her found nothing else
remaining but the extreme parts of her body, for all the rest
were eaten by dogs. When Jehu heard this, he admired the prophecy
of Elijah, for he foretold that she should perish in this manner
at Jezreel.

5. Now Ahab had seventy sons brought up in Samaria. So Jehu sent
two epistles, the one to them that brought up the children, the
other to the rulers of Samaria, which said, that they should set
up the most valiant of Ahab's sons for king, for that they had
abundance of chariots, and horses, and armor, and a great army,
and fenced cities, and that by so doing they might avenge the
murder of Ahab. This he wrote to try the intentions of those of
Samaria. Now when the rulers, and those that had brought up the
children, had read the letter, they were afraid; and considering
that they were not at all able to oppose him, who had already
subdued two very great kings, they returned him this answer: That
they owned him for their lord, and would do whatsoever he bade
them. So he wrote back to them such a reply as enjoined them to
obey what he gave order for, and to cut off the heads of Ahab's
sons, and send them to him. Accordingly the rulers sent for those
that brought up the sons of Ahab, and commanded them to slay
them, to cut off their heads, and send them to Jehu. So they did
whatsoever they were commanded, without omitting any thing at
all, and put them up in wicker baskets, and sent them to Jezreel.
And when Jehu, as he was at supper with his friends, was informed
that the heads of Ahab's' sons were brought, he ordered them to
make two heaps of them, one before each of the gates; and in the
morning he went out to take a view of them, and when he saw them,
he began to say to the people that were present, that he did
himself make an expedition against his master [Joram], and slew
him, but that it was not he that slew all these; and he desired
them to take notice, that as to Ahab's family, all things had
come to pass according to God's prophecy, and his house was
perished, according as Elijah had foretold. And when he had
further destroyed all the kindred of Ahab that were found in
Jezreel, he went to Samaria; and as he was upon the road, he met
the relations of Ahaziah king of Jerusalem, and asked them
whither they were going? they replied, that they came to salute
Joram, and their own king Ahaziah, for they knew not that he had
slain them both. So Jehu gave orders that they should catch
these, and kill them, being in number forty-two persons.

6. After these, there met him a good and a righteous man, whose
name was Jehonadab, and who had been his friend of old. He
saluted Jehu, and began to commend him, because he had done every
thing according to the will of God, in extirpating the house of
Ahab. So Jehu desired him to come up into his chariot, and make
his entry with him into Samaria; and told him that he would not
spare one wicked man, but would punish the false prophets, and
false priests, and those that deceived the multitude, and
persuaded them to leave the worship of God Almighty, and to
worship foreign gods; and that it was a most excellent and most
pleasing sight to a good and a righteous man to see the wicked
punished. So Jehonadab was persuaded by these arguments, and came
up into Jehu's chariot, and came to Samaria. And Jehu sought out
for all Ahab's kindred, and slew them. And being desirous that
none of the false prophets, nor the priests of Ahab's god, might
escape punishment, he caught them deceitfully by this wile; for
he gathered all the people together, and said that he would
worship twice as many gods as Ahab worshipped, and desired that
his priests, and prophets, and servants might be present, because
he would offer costly and great sacrifices to Ahab's god; and
that if any of his priests were wanting, they should be punished
with death. Now Ahab's god was called Baal; and when he had
appointed a day on which he would offer those sacrifices, he sent
messengers through all the country of the Israelites, that they
might bring the priests of Baal to him. So Jehu commanded to give
all the priests vestments; and when they had received them, he
went into the house [of Baal], with his friend Jehonadab, and
gave orders to make search whether there were not any foreigner
or stranger among them, for he would have no one of a different
religion to mix among their sacred offices. And when they said
that there was no stranger there, and they were beginning their
sacrifices, he set fourscore men without, they being such of his
soldiers as he knew to be most faithful to him, and bid them slay
the prophets, and now vindicate the laws of their country, which
had been a long time in disesteem. He also threatened, that if
any one of them escaped, their own lives should go for them. So
they slew them all with the sword, and burnt the house of Baal,
and by that means purged Samaria of foreign customs [idolatrous
worship]. Now this Baal was the god of the Tyrians; and Ahab, in
order to gratify his father-in-law, Ethbaal, who was the king of
Tyre and Sidon, built a temple for him in Samaria, and appointed
him prophets, and worshipped him with all sorts of worship,
although, when this god was demolished, Jehu permitted the
Israelites to worship the golden heifers. However, because he had
done thus, and taken care to punish the wicked, God foretold by
his prophet that his .sons should reign over Israel for four
generations. And in this condition was Jehu at this time.


How Athaliah Reigned Over Jerusalem For Five [Six] Years When
Jehoiada The High Priest Slew Her And Made Jehoash, The Son Of
Ahaziah, King.

1. Now when Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, heard of the death of
her brother Joram, and of her son Ahaziah, and of the royal
family, she endeavored that none of the house of David might be
left alive, but that the whole family might be exterminated, that
no king might arise out of it afterward; and, as she thought, she
had actually done it; but one of Ahaziah's sons was preserved,
who escaped death after the manner following: Ahaziah had a
sister by the same father, whose name was Jehosheba, and she was
married to the high priest Jehoiada. She went into the king's
palace, and found Jehoash, for that was the little child's name,
who was not above a year old, among those that were slain, but
concealed with his nurse; so she took him with her into a secret
bed-chamber, and shut him up there, and she and her husband
Jehoiada brought him up privately in the temple six years, during
which time Athaliah reigned over Jerusalem and the two tribes.

2. Now, on the Seventh year, Jehoiada communicated the matter to
certain of the captains of hundreds, five in number, and
persuaded them to be assisting to what attempts he was making
against Athaliah, and to join with him in asserting the kingdom
to the child. He also received such oaths from them as are proper
to secure those that assist one another from the fear of
discovery; and he was then of good hope that they should depose
Athaliah. Now those men whom Jehoiada the priest had taken to be
his partners went into all the country, and gathered together the
priests and the Levites, and the heads of the tribes out of it,
and came and brought them to Jerusalem to the high priest. So he
demanded the security of an oath of them, to keep private
whatsoever he should discover to them, which required both their
silence and their assistance. So when they had taken the oath,
and had thereby made it safe for him to speak, he produced the
child that he had brought up of the family of David, and said to
them, "This is your king, of that house which you know God hath
foretold should reign over you for all time to come. I exhort you
therefore that one-third part of you guard him in the temple, and
that a fourth part keep watch at all the gates of the temple, and
that the next part of you keep guard at the gate which opens and
leads to the king's palace, and let the rest of the multitude be
unarmed in the temple, and let no armed person go into the
temple, but the priest only." He also gave them this order
besides, "That a part of the priests and the Levites should be
about the king himself, and be a guard to him, with their drawn
swords, and to kill that man immediately, whoever he be, that
should be so bold as to enter armed into the temple; and bid them
be afraid of nobody, but persevere in guarding the king." So
these men obeyed what the high priest advised them to, and
declared the reality of their resolution by their actions.
Jehoiada also opened that armory which David had made in the
temple, and distributed to the captains of hundreds, as also to
the priests and Levites, all the spears and quivers, and what
kind of weapons soever it contained, and set them armed in a
circle round about the temple, so as to touch one another's
hands, and by that means excluding those from entering that ought
not to enter. So they brought the child into the midst of them,
and put on him the royal crown, and Jehoiada anointed him with
the oil, and made him king; and the multitude rejoiced, and made
a noise, and cried, "God save the king!"

3. When Athaliah unexpectedly heard the tumult and the
acclamations, she was greatly disturbed in her mind, and suddenly
issued out of the royal palace with her own army; and when she
was come to the temple, the. priests received her; but as for
those that stood round about the temple, as they were ordered by
the high priest to do, they hindered the armed inert that
followed her from going in. But when Athaliah saw the child
standing upon a pillar, with the royal crown upon his head, she
rent her clothes, and cried out vehemently, and commanded [her
guards] to kill him that had laid snares for her, and endeavored
to deprive her of the government. But Jehoiada called for the
captains of hundreds, and commanded them to bring Athaliah to the
valley of Cedron, and slay her there, for he would not have the
temple defiled with the punishments of this pernicious woman; and
he gave order, that if any one came near to help her, he should
be slain also; wherefore those that had the charge of her
slaughter took hold of her, and led her to the gate of the king's
mules, arid slew her there.

4. Now as soon as what concerned Athaliah was by this stratagem,
after this manner, despatched, Jehoiada called together the
people and the armed men into the temple, and made them take an
oath that they would be obedient to the king, and take care of
his safety, and of the safety of his government; after which he
obliged the king to give security [upon oath] that he would
worship God, and not transgress the laws of Moses. They then ran
to the house of Baal, which Athaliah and her husband Jehoram had
built, to the dishonor of the God of their fathers, and to the
honor of Ahab, and demolished it, and slew Mattan, that had his
priesthood. But Jehoiada intrusted the care and custody of the
temple to the priests and Levites, according to the appointment
of king David, and enjoined them to bring their regular
burnt-offerings twice a day, and to offer incense according to
the law. He also ordained some of the Levites, with the porters,
to be a guard to the temple, that no one that was defiled might
come there.

5. And when Jehoiada had set these things in order, he, with the
captains of hundreds, and the rulers, and all the people, took
Jehoash out of the temple into the king's palace; and when he had
set him upon the king's throne, the people shouted for joy, and
betook themselves to feasting, and kept a festival for many days;
but the city was quiet upon the death of Athaliah. Now Jehoash
was seven years old when he took the kingdom. His mother's name
was Zibiah, of the city Beersheba. And all the time that Jehoiada
lived Jehoash was careful that the laws should be kept, and very
zealous in the worship of God; and when he was of age, he married
two wives, who were given to him by the high priest, by whom were
born to him both sons and daughters. And thus much shall suffice
to have related concerning king Jehoash, how he escaped the
treachery of Athaliah, and how he received the kingdom.


Hazael Makes An Expedition Against The People Of Israel And The
Inhabitants Of Jerusalem. Jehu Dies, And Jehoahaz Succeeds In The
Government. Jehoash The King Of Jerusalem At First Is Careful
About The Worship Of God But Afterwards Becomes Impious And
Commands Zechariah To Be Stoned. When Jehoash [King Of Judah] Was
Dead, Amaziah Succeeds Him In The Kingdom.

1. Now Hazael, king of Syria, fought against the Israelites and
their king Jehu, and spoiled the eastern parts of the country
beyond Jordan, which belonged to the Reubenites and Gadites, and
to [the half tribe of] Manassites; as also Gilead and Bashan,
burning, and spoiling, and offering violence to all that he laid
his hands on, and this without impeachment from Jehu, who made no
haste to defend the country when it was under this distress; nay,
he was become a contemner of religion, and a despiser of
holiness, and of the laws, and died when he had reigned over the
Israelites twenty-seven years. He was buried in Samaria, and left
Jehoahaz his son his successor in the government.

2. Now Jehoash, king of Jerusalem, had an inclination to repair
the temple of God; so he called Jehoiada, and bid him send the
Levites and priests through all the country, to require half a
shekel of silver for every head, towards the rebuilding and
repairing of the temple, which was brought to decay by Jehoram,
and Athaliah and her sons. But the high priest did not do this,
as concluding that no one would willingly pay that money; but in
the twenty-third year of Jehoash's reign, when the king sent for
him and the Levites, and complained that they had not obeyed what
he enjoined them, and still commanded them to take care of the
rebuilding the temple, he used this stratagem for collecting the
money, with which the multitude was pleased. He made a wooden
chest, and closed it up fast on all sides, but opened one hole in
it; he then set it in the temple beside the altar, and desired
every one to cast into it, through the hole, what he pleased, for
the repair of the temple. This contrivance was acceptable to the
people, and they strove one with another, and brought in jointly
large quantities of silver and gold; and when the scribe and the
priest that were over the treasuries had emptied the chest, and
counted the money in the king's presence, they then set it in its
former place, and thus did they every day. But when the multitude
appeared to have cast in as much as was wanted, the high priest
Jehoiada, and king Joash, sent to hire masons and carpenters, and
to buy large pieces of timber, and of the most curious sort; and
when they had repaired the temple, they made use of the remaining
gold and silver, which was not a little, for bowls, and basons,
and cups, and other vessels, and they went on to make the altar
every day fat with sacrifices of great value. And these things
were taken suitable care of as long as Jehoiada lived.

3. But as soon as he was dead (which was when he had lived one
hundred and thirty years, having been a righteous, and in every
respect a very good man, and was buried in the king's sepulchers
at Jerusalem, because he had recovered the kingdom to the family
of David) king Jehoash betrayed his [want of] care about God. The
principal men of the people were corrupted also together with
him, and offended against their duty, and what their constitution
determined to be most for their good. Hereupon God was displeased
with the change that was made on the king, and on the rest of the
people, and sent prophets to testify to them what their actions
were, and to bring them to leave off their wickedness; but they
had gotten such a strong affection and so violent an inclination
to it, that neither could the examples of those that had offered
affronts to the laws, and had been so severely punished, they and
their entire families, nor could the fear of what the prophets
now foretold, bring them to repentance, and turn them back from
their course of transgression to their former duty. But the king
commanded that Zechariah, the son of the high priest Jehoiada,
should be stoned to death in the temple, and forgot the
kindnesses he had received from his father; for when God had
appointed him to prophesy, he stood in the midst of the
multitude, and gave this counsel to them and to the king: That
they should act righteously; and foretold to them, that if they
would not hearken to his admonitions, they should suffer a heavy
punishment. But as Zechariah was ready to die, he appealed to God
as a witness of what he suffered for the good counsel he had
given them, and how he perished after a most severe and violent
manner for the good deeds his father had done to Jehoash.

4. However, it was not long before the king suffered punishment
for his transgression; for when Hazael, king of Syria, made an
irruption into his country, and when he had overthrown Gath, and
spoiled it, he made an expedition against Jerusalem; upon which
Jehoash was afraid, and emptied all the treasures of God and of
the kings [before him], and took down the gifts that had been
dedicated [in the temple], and sent them to the king of Syria,
and procured so much by them, that he was not besieged, nor his
kingdom quite endangered; but Hazael was induced by the greatness
of the sum of money not to bring his army against Jerusalem; yet
Jehoash fell into a severe distemper, and was set upon by his
friends, in order to revenge the death of Zechariah, the son of
Jehoiada. These laid snares for the king, and slew him. He was
indeed buried in Jerusalem, but not in the royal sepulchers of
his forefathers, because of his impiety. He lived forty-seven
years, and Amaziah his son succeeded him in the kingdom.

5. In the one and twentieth year of the reign of Jehoash,
Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, took the government of the Israelites
in Samaria, and held it seventeen years. He did not [properly]
imitate his father, but was guilty of as wicked practices as hose
that first had God in contempt: but the king of Syria brought him
low, and by an expedition against him did so greatly reduce his
forces, that there remained no more of so great an army than ten
thousand armed men, and fifty horsemen. He also took away from
him his great cities, and many of them also, and destroyed his
army. And these were the things that the people of Israel
suffered, according to the prophecy of Elisha, when he foretold
that Hazael should kill his master, and reign over the Syrians
and Damcenes. But when Jehoahaz was under such unavoidable
miseries, he had recourse to prayer and supplication to God, and
besought him to deliver him out of the hands of Hazael, and not
overlook him, and give him up into his hands. Accordingly God
accepted of his repentance instead of virtue; and being desirous
rather to admonish those that might repent, and not to determine
that they should be utterly destroyed, he granted him deliverance
from war and dangers. So the country having obtained peace,
returned again to its former condition, and flourished as before.

6. Now after the death of Jehoahaz, his son Joash took the
kingdom, in the thirty-seventh year of Jehoash, the king of the
tribe of Judah. This Joash then took the kingdom of Israel in
Samaria, for he had the same name with the king of Jerusalem, and
he retained the kingdom sixteen years. He was a good man, (17)
and in his disposition was not at all like his father. Now at
this time it was that when Elisha the prophet, who was already
very old, and was now fallen into a disease, the king of Israel
came to visit him; and when he found him very near death, he
began to weep in his sight, and lament, to call him his father,
and his weapons, because it was by his means that he never made
use of his weapons against his enemies, but that he overcame his
own adversaries by his prophecies, without fighting; and that he
was now departing this life, and leaving him to the Syrians, that
were already armed, and to other enemies of his that were under
their power; so he said it was not safe for him to live any
longer, but that it would be well for him to hasten to his end,
and depart out of this life with him. As the king was thus
bemoaning himself, Elisha comforted him, and bid the king bend a
bow that was brought him; and when the king had fitted the bow
for shooting, Elisha took hold of his hands and bid him shoot;
and when he had shot three arrows, and then left off, Elisha
said, "If thou hadst shot more arrows, thou hadst cut the kingdom
of Syria up by the roots; but since thou hast been satisfied with
shooting three times only, thou shalt fight and beat the Syrians
no more times than three, that thou mayst recover that country
which they cut off from thy kingdom in the reign of thy father."
So when the king had heard that, he departed; and a little while
after the prophet died. He was a man celebrated for
righteousness, and in eminent favor with God. He also performed
wonderful and surprising works by prophecy, and such as were
gloriously preserved in memory by the Hebrews. He also obtained a
magnificent funeral, such a one indeed as it was fit a person so
beloved of God should have. It also happened, that at that time
certain robbers cast a man whom they had slain into Elisha's
grave, and upon his dead body coming close to Elisha's body, it
revived again. And thus far have we enlarged about the actions of
Elisha the prophet, both such as he did while he was alive, and
how he had a Divine power after his death also.

7. Now, upon the death of Hazael, the king of Syria, that kingdom
came to Adad his son, with whom Joash, king of Israel, made war;
and when he had beaten him in three battles, he took from him all
that country, and all those cities and villages, which his father
Hazael had taken from the kingdom of Israel, which came to pass,
however, according to the prophecy of Elisha. But when Joash
happened to die, he was buried in Samaria, and the government
devolved on his son Jeroboam.


How Amaziah Made An Expedition Against The Edomites And
Amalekites And Conquered Them; But When He Afterwards Made War
Against Joash, He Was Beaten And Not Long After Was Slain, And
Uzziah Succeeded In The Government.

1. Now, in the second year of the reign of Joash over Israel,
Amaziah reigned over the tribe of Judah in Jerusalem. His
mother's name was Jehoaddan, who was born at Jerusalem. He was
exceeding careful of doing what was right, and this when he was
very young; but when he came to the management of affairs, and to
the government, he resolved that he ought first of all to avenge
his father Je-hoash, and to punish those his friends that had
laid violent hands upon him: so he seized upon them all, and put
them to death; yet did he execute no severity on their children,
but acted therein according to the laws of Moses, who did not
think it just to punish children for the sins of their fathers.
After this he chose him an army out of the tribe of Judah and
Benjamin, of such as were in the flower of their age, and about
twenty years old; and when he had collected about three hundred
thousand of them together, he set captains of hundreds over them.
He also sent to the king of Israel, and hired a hundred thousand
of his soldiers for a hundred talents of silver, for he had
resolved to make an expedition against the nations of the
Amatekites, and Edomites, and Gebalites: but as he was preparing
for his expedition, and ready to go out to the war, a prophet
gave him counsel to dismiss the army of the Israelites, because
they were bad men, and because God foretold that he should be
beaten, if he made use of them as auxiliaries; but that he should
overcome his enemies, though he had but a few soldiers, when it
so pleased God. And when the king grudged at his having already
paid the hire of the Israelites, the prophet exhorted him to do
what God would have him, because he should thereby obtain much
wealth from God. So he dismissed them, and said that he still
freely gave them their pay, and went himself with his own army,
and made war with the nations before mentioned; and when he had
beaten them in battle, he slew of them ten thousand, and took as
many prisoners alive, whom he brought to the great rock which is
in Arabia, and threw them down from it headlong. He also brought
away a great deal of prey and vast riches from those nations. But
while Amaziah was engaged in this expedition, those Israelites
whom he had hired, and then dismissed, were very uneasy at it,
and taking their dismission for an affront, (as supposing that
this would not have been done to them but out of contempt,) they
fell upon his kingdom, and proceeded to spoil the country as far
as Beth-horon, and took much cattle, and slew three thousand men.

2. Now upon the victory which Amaziah had gotten, and the great
acts he had done, he was puffed up, and began to overlook God,
who had given him the victory, and proceeded to worship the gods
he had brought out of the country of the Amalekites. So a prophet
came to him, and said, that he wondered how he could esteem these
to be gods, who had been of no advantage to their own people who
paid them honors, nor had delivered them from his hands, but had
overlooked the destruction of many of them, and had suffered
themselves to be carried captive, for that they had been carried
to Jerusalem in the same manner as any one might have taken some
of the enemy alive, and led them thither. This reproof provoked
the king to anger, and he commanded the prophet to hold his
peace, and threatened to punish him if he meddled with his
conduct. So he replied, that he should indeed hold his peace; but
foretold withal, that God would not overlook his attempts for
innovation. But Amaziah was not able to contain himself under
that prosperity which God had given him, although he had
affronted God thereupon; but in a vein of insolence he wrote to
Joash, the king of Israel, and commanded that he and all his
people should be obedient to him, as they had formerly been
obedient to his progenitors, David and Solomon; and he let him
know, that if he would not be so wise as to do what he commanded
him, he must fight for his dominion. To which message Joash
returned this answer in writing: "King Joash to king Amaziah.
There was a vastly tall cypress tree in Mount Lebanon, as also a
thistle; this thistle sent to the cypress tree to give the
cypress tree's daughter in marriage to the thistle's son; but as
the thistle was saying this, there came a wild beast, and trod
down the thistle: and this may be a lesson to thee, not to be so
ambitious, and to have a care, lest upon thy good success in the
fight against the Amalekites thou growest so proud, as to bring
dangers upon thyself and upon thy kingdom."

3. When Amaziah had read this letter, he was more eager upon this
expedition, which, I suppose, was by the impulse of God, that he
might be punished for his offense against him. But as soon as he
led out his army against Joash, and they were going to join
battle with him, there came such a fear and consternation upon
the army of Amaziah, as God, when he is displeased, sends upon
men, and discomfited them, even before they came to a close
fight. Now it happened, that as they were scattered about by the
terror that was upon them, Amaziah was left alone, and was taken
prisoner by the enemy; whereupon Joash threatened to kill him,
unless he would persuade the people of Jerusalem to open their
gates to him, and receive him and his army into the city.
Accordingly Amaziah was so distressed, and in such fear of his
life, that he made his enemy to be received into the city. So
Joash over threw a part of the wall, of the length of four
hundred cubits, and drove his chariot through the breach into
Jerusalem, and led Amaziah captive along with him; by which means
he became master of Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of
God, and carried off all the gold and silver that was in the
king's palace, and then freed the king from captivity, and
returned to Samaria. Now these things happened to the people of
Jerusalem in the fourteenth year of the reign of Amaziah, who
after this had a conspiracy made against him by his friends, and
fled to the city Lachish, and was there slain by the
conspirators, who sent men thither to kill him. So they took up
his dead body, and carried it to Jerusalem, and made a royal
funeral for him. This was the end of the life of Amaziah, because
of his innovations in religion, and his contempt of God, when he
had lived fifty-four years, and had reigned twenty-nine. He was
succeeded by his son, whose name was Uzziah.


Concerning Jeroboam King Of Israel And Jonah The Prophet; And How
After The Death Of Jeroboam His Son Zachariah Took The
Government. How Uzziah, King Of Jerusalem, Subdued The Nations
That Were Round About Him; And What Befell Him When He Attempted
To Offer Incense To God.

1. In the fifteenth year of the reign of Amaziah, Jeroboam the
son of Joash reigned over Israel in Samaria forty years. This
king was guilty of contumely against God, (18) and became very
wicked in worshipping of idols, and in many undertakings that
were absurd and foreign. He was also the cause of ten thousand
misfortunes to the people of Israel. Now one Jonah, a prophet,
foretold to him that he should make war with the Syrians, and
conquer their army, and enlarge the bounds of his kingdom on the
northern parts to the city Hamath, and on the southern to the
lake Asphaltitis; for the bounds of the Canaanites originally
were these, as Joshua their general had determined them. So
Jeroboam made an expedition against the Syrians, and overran all
their country, as Jonah had foretold.

2. Now I cannot but think it necessary for me, who have promised
to give an accurate account of our affairs, to describe the
actions of this prophet, so far as I have found them written down
in the Hebrew books. Jonah had been commanded by God to go to the
kingdom of Nineveh; and when he was there, to publish it in that
city, how it should lose the dominion it had over the nations.
But he went not, out of fear; nay, he ran away from God to the
city of Joppa, and finding a ship there, he went into it, and
sailed to Tarsus, in Cilicia (19) and upon the rise of a most
terrible storm, which was so great that the ship was in danger of
sinking, the mariners, the master, and the pilot himself, made
prayers and vows, in case they escaped the sea: but Jonah lay
still and covered [in the ship,] without imitating any thing that
the others did; but as the waves grew greater, and the sea became
more violent by the winds, they suspected, as is usual in such
cases, that some one of the persons that sailed with them was the
occasion of this storm, and agreed to discover by lot which of
them it was. When they had cast lots, (21) the lot fell upon the
prophet; and when they asked him whence he came, and what he had
done? he replied, that he was a Hebrew by nation, and a prophet
of Almighty God; and he persuaded them to cast him into the sea,
if they would escape the danger they were in, for that he was the
occasion of the storm which was upon them. Now at the first they
durst not do so, as esteeming it a wicked thing to cast a man who
was a stranger, and who had committed his life to them, into such
manifest perdition; but at last, when their misfortune overbore
them, and the ship was just going to be drowned, and when they
were animated to do it by the prophet himself, and by the fear
concerning their own safety, they cast him into the sea; upon
which the sea became calm. It is also reported that Jonah was
swallowed down by a whale, and that when he had been there three
days, and as many nights, he was vomited out upon the Euxine Sea,
and this alive, and without any hurt upon his body; and there, on
his prayer to God, he obtained pardon for his sins, and went to
the city Nineveh, where he stood so as to be heard, and preached,
that in a very little time they should lose the dominion of Asia.
And when he had published this, he returned. Now I have given
this account about him as I found it written [in our books.]

3. When Jeroboam the king had passed his life in great happiness,
and had ruled forty years, he died, and was buried in Samaria,
and his son Zachariah took the kingdom. After the same manner did
Uzziah, the son of Amaziah, begin to reign over the two tribes in
Jerusalem, in the fourteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam. He
was born of Jecoliah, his mother, who was a citizen of Jerusalem.
He was a good man, and by nature righteous and magnanimous, and
very laborious in taking care of the affairs of his kingdom. He
made an expedition also against the Philistines, and overcame
them in battle, and took the cities of Gath and Jabneh, and brake
down their walls; after which expedition he assaulted those Arabs
that adjoined to Egypt. He also built a city upon the Red Sea,
and put a garrison into it. He, after this, overthrew the
Ammonites, and appointed that they should pay tribute. He also
overcame all the countries as far as the bounds of Egypt, and
then began to take care of Jerusalem itself for the rest of his
life; for he rebuilt and repaired all those parts of the wall
which had either fallen down by length of time, or by the
carelessness of the kings, his predecessors, as well as all that
part which had been thrown down by the king of Israel, when he
took his father Amaziah prisoner, and entered with him into the
city. Moreover, he built a great many towers, of one hundred and
fifty cubits high, and built walled towns in desert places, and
put garrisons into them, and dug many channels for conveyance of
water. He had also many beasts for labor, and an immense number
of cattle; for his country was fit for pasturage. He was also
given to husbandry, and took care to cultivate the ground, and
planted it with all sorts of plants, and sowed it with all sorts
of seeds. He had also about him an army composed of chosen men,
in number three hundred and seventy thousand, who were governed
by general officers and captains of thousands, who were men of
valor, and of unconquerable strength, in number two thousand. He
also divided his whole army into bands, and armed them, giving
every one a sword, with brazen bucklers and breastplates, with
bows and slings; and besides these, he made for them many engines
of war for besieging of cities, such as cast stones and darts,
with grapplers, and other instruments of that sort.

4. While Uzziah was in this state, and making preparation [for
futurity], he was corrupted in his mind by pride, and became
insolent, and this on account of that abundance which he had of
things that will soon perish, and despised that power which is of
eternal duration (which consisted in piety towards God, and in


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