2 Kings 8:1-9:13
Good News Translation
The Woman from Shunem Returns
8 Now Elisha had told the woman who lived in
Shunem, whose son he had brought back to life, that the Lord was sending a famine on the land, which would last for seven years, and that she should leave with her family and go and live somewhere else. 2 She had followed his instructions and had gone with her family to live in Philistia for the seven years.
3 At the end of the seven years she returned to Israel and went to the king to ask that her house and her land be restored to her. 4 She found the king talking with Gehazi, Elisha’s servant; the king wanted to know about Elisha’s miracles. 5 While Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had brought a dead person back to life, the woman made her appeal to the king. Gehazi said to him, “Your Majesty, here is the woman and here is her son whom Elisha brought back to life!” 6 In
answer to the king’s question, she confirmed Gehazi’s story, and so the king called an official and told him to give back to her everything that was hers, including the value of all the crops that her fields had produced during the seven years she had been away.
Elisha and King Benhadad of Syria
7 Elisha went to Damascus at a time when King Benhadad of Syria was sick. When the king was told that Elisha was there, 8 he said to Hazael, one of his officials, “Take a gift to the prophet and ask him to consult the Lord to find out whether or not I am going to get well.” 9 So Hazael loaded forty camels with all kinds of the finest products of Damascus and went to Elisha. When Hazael met him, he said, “Your servant King Benhadad has sent me to ask you whether or not he will recover from his sickness.”
10 Elisha answered, “The Lord has revealed to me that he will die; but go to him and tell him that he will recover.” 11 Then Elisha stared at him with a horrified look on his face until Hazael became ill at ease.
Suddenly Elisha burst into tears. 12 “Why are you crying, sir?” Hazael asked.
“Because I know the horrible things you will do against the people of Israel,” Elisha answered. “You will set their fortresses on fire, slaughter their finest young men, batter their children to death, and rip open their pregnant women.”
13 “How could I ever be that powerful?” Hazael asked. “I’m a nobody!”
“The Lord has shown me that you will be king of Syria,” Elisha replied.
14 Hazael went back to Benhadad, who asked him, “What did Elisha say?”
“He told me that you would certainly get well,” Hazael answered. 15 But on the following day Hazael took a blanket, soaked it in water, and smothered the king.
And Hazael succeeded Benhadad as king of Syria.
King Jehoram of Judah
16 In the fifth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab as king of Israel,[a] Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah 17 at the age of thirty-two, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eight years. 18 His wife was Ahab’s daughter, and like the family of Ahab he followed the evil ways of the kings of Israel. He sinned against
the Lord, 19 but the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah, because he had promised his servant David that his descendants would always continue to rule.
20 During Jehoram’s reign Edom revolted against Judah and became an independent kingdom. 21 So Jehoram set out with all his chariots to Zair, where the Edomite army surrounded them. During the night he and his chariot commanders managed to break out and escape, and his soldiers scattered to their homes. 22 Edom has been independent of[b] Judah ever since. During this same period the city of Libnah also revolted.
23 Everything else that Jehoram did is recorded in The History of the Kings of Judah. 24 Jehoram died and
was buried in the royal tombs in David’s City, and his son Ahaziah succeeded him as king.
King Ahaziah of Judah
25 In the twelfth year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab as king of Israel, Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah 26 at the age of twenty-two, and he ruled in Jerusalem for one year. His mother was Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab and granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27 Since Ahaziah was related to King Ahab by marriage, he sinned against the Lord, just as Ahab’s family did.
28 King Ahaziah joined King Joram of Israel in a war against King Hazael of Syria. The armies clashed at Ramoth in Gilead, and Joram was wounded in
battle. 29 He returned to the city of Jezreel to recover from his wounds, and Ahaziah went there to visit him.
Jehu Is Anointed King of Israel
9 Meanwhile the prophet Elisha called one of the
young prophets and said to him, “Get ready and go to Ramoth in Gilead. Take this jar of olive oil with
you, 2 and when you get there look for Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat and grandson of Nimshi. Take him to a private room away from his companions, 3 pour this olive oil on his head, and say, ‘The Lord proclaims that he anoints you king of Israel.’ Then leave there as fast as you can.”
4 So the young prophet went to Ramoth, 5 where he found the army officers in a conference. He said, “Sir, I have a message for you.”
Jehu asked, “Which one of us are you speaking to?”
“To you, sir,” he replied. 6 Then the two of them went indoors, and the young prophet poured the olive oil on Jehu’s head and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, proclaims: ‘I anoint you king of my people Israel. 7 You are to kill your master the king, that son of Ahab, so that I may punish Jezebel for murdering my prophets and my other servants. 8 All of Ahab’s family and descendants are to die; I will get rid of every male in his family, young and old alike. 9 I will treat his family as I did the families of King Jeroboam of Israel and of
King Baasha of Israel. 10 Jezebel will not be buried; her body will be eaten by dogs in the territory of Jezreel.’” After saying this, the young prophet left the room and fled.
11 Jehu went back to his fellow officers, who asked him, “Is everything all right? What did that crazy fellow want with you?”
“You know what he wanted,” Jehu answered.
12 “No we don’t!” they replied. “Tell us what he said!”
“He told me that the Lord proclaims: ‘I anoint you king of Israel.’”
13 At once Jehu’s fellow officers spread their cloaks at the top of the steps for Jehu to stand on, blew trumpets, and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
- 2 Kings 8:16 Some ancient translations Israel; Hebrew Israel, Jehoshaphat being king of Judah.
- 2 Kings 8:22 independent of; or in revolt against.
2 Kings 7
2 Kings 10
Good News Translation
In Prison at Philippi
16 One day as we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a young servant woman who had an evil spirit that enabled her to predict the future. She earned a lot of money for her owners by telling
fortunes. 17 She followed Paul and us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God! They announce to you how you can be saved!” 18 She did this for many days, until Paul became so upset that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I order you to come out of her!” The spirit went out of her that very moment. 19 When her owners realized that their chance of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the authorities in the public square. 20 They brought them before the Roman officials and said, “These men are Jews, and they are causing trouble in our city. 21 They
are teaching customs that are against our law; we are Roman citizens, and we cannot accept these customs or practice them.” 22 And the crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas.
Then the officials tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and ordered them to be whipped. 23 After a severe beating, they were thrown into jail, and the jailer was ordered to lock them up tight. 24 Upon receiving this order, the jailer threw them into the inner cell and fastened their feet between heavy blocks of wood.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, which shook the prison to its foundations. At once all the doors opened, and the chains fell off all the prisoners. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he thought that the prisoners had escaped; so he pulled out his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul shouted at the top of his voice, “Don’t harm yourself We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for a light, rushed in, and fell trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 30 Then he led them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your family.” 32 Then they preached the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in the house. 33 At that very hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; and he and all his family were baptized at once. 34 Then he took Paul and Silas up into his house and gave them some food to eat. He and his family were filled with joy, because they now believed in God.
35 The next morning the Roman authorities sent police officers with the order, “Let those men go.”
36 So the jailer told Paul, “The officials have sent an order for you and Silas to be released. You may leave, then, and go in peace.”
37 But Paul said to the police officers, “We were not found guilty of any crime, yet they whipped us in public
—and we are Roman citizens! Then they threw us in prison. And now they want to send us away secretly? Not at all! The Roman officials themselves must come here and let us out.”
38 The police officers reported these words to the Roman officials; and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were afraid. 39 So they went and apologized to them; then they led them out of the prison and asked them to leave the
city. 40 Paul and Silas left the prison and went to Lydia’s house. There they met the believers, spoke words of encouragement to them, and left.
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Acts 15 Acts 17
Good News Translation
A Prayer for Help[a]
Lord, hear my prayer!
In your righteousness listen to my plea;
answer me in your faithfulness!
Don’t put me, your servant, on trial; no one is innocent in your sight.
My enemies have hunted me down and completely defeated me.
They have put me in a dark prison,
and I am like those who died long ago.
So I am ready to give up; I am in deep despair.
I remember the days gone by;
I think about all that you have done,
I bring to mind all your deeds.
I lift up my hands to you in prayer;
like dry ground my soul is thirsty for you.
Answer me now, Lord! I have lost all hope.
Don’t hide yourself from me,
or I will be among those who go down to the world
of the dead.
Remind me each morning of your constant love, for I put my trust in you.
My prayers go up to you;
show me the way I should go.
I go to you for protection, Lord; rescue me from my enemies.
You are my God;
teach me to do your will.
Be good to me, and guide me on a safe path.
Rescue me, Lord, as you have promised;
in your goodness save me from my troubles!
Because of your love for me, kill my enemies
and destroy all my oppressors,
for I am your servant.
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a. Psalm 143:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by David. Psalm 142
Good News Translation
26 It is not right to make an innocent person pay a fine; justice is perverted when good people are punished.
Tobit 8: 11-24 GNT Anxious Parents
Later that night, Raguel called his servants, and together they went out to dig a grave, 10 because Raguel thought,
Tobias will probably die too, and people will laugh and make fun of us. 11 When they finished digging the grave, Raguel went back into the house and said to his wife, 12
Send one of the servant women to find out if Tobias is still alive. If he isn’t, then we will bury him before anyone finds out. 13 They then sent a servant woman to take a lamp and see if he was still alive. As she opened the door, she could see that both of them were sound asleep. 14 So she went back and told Raguel and Edna that Tobias was alive and unharmed. 15 Then Raguel[b] praised the God of heaven:
You are worthy of our praise, O God. May your people praise you forever,
may they praise you with pure hearts.
I praise you because you have made me glad;
you have been merciful to us,
and my worst fears did not come true.
You deserve our praise, O Lord;
you were merciful to this young couple, the only children of their parents.
Now, grant them your mercy and protection.
Let them live out their lives in happiness and love.
Then Raguel ordered his servants to fill in the grave before dawn.
The Wedding Feast
19 Raguel told his wife to bake enough bread for a big feast. Then he went out to the herd and brought back two oxen and four rams, which he ordered his servants to slaughter in preparation for the wedding feast. 20 He called for Tobias and vowed[c] that he would not let him leave for two weeks.
Stay, and we will eat and drink together, he said.
It will do my daughter good after her terrible
suffering. 21 Then you may take half of what I own and go back to your parents safe and sound. You will inherit the other half when Edna and I die. Have no doubts about our love for you; from now on you are as much our son as Sarah is our daughter. You can be sure of that, my son.