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Our Young Folk's Josephus by  William Shepard
Table of Contents




[213] MEANWHILE, the king of Syria had turned his victorious arms against Israel, which at this time was governed by Jehoahaz, who had succeeded his father, Jehu. Now, Jehoahaz was a very wicked man, and God allowed Hazael to defeat his armies, and take away from him his great cities, and reduce his people to slavery.

Jehoahaz died after he had reigned seventeen years, and was succeeded by his son Jehoash. As this was in the lifetime of Jehoash, king of Judah, there were now two kings of this name, as before there had been two Jehorams. It was during the reign of Jehoash of Israel that the prophet Elisha died. He was a very old man. On his death-bed he was visited by the king, who shed tears over him. But Elisha comforted him, and commanded a bow and some arrows to be brought to him, and he bade the king shoot the bow. The king shot three arrows and stopped. Then Elisha said,—

"If thou hadst shot more arrows, thou hadst utterly destroyed the kingdom of Syria, and swept it from the earth; but since thou hast been satisfied with shooting three times only, thou shalt fight and beat the Syrians no more times that three, and shalt only recover from them those cities which they cut off from thy kingdom in the reign of thy father."

When the king had departed, Elisha died, and he was buried in a magnificent manner. And it happened, shortly afterward, that some robbers slew a traveler and threw his body [214] into the gave of Elisha, and the murdered man came to life again.

Jehoash made war against Adad, the king of Syria, who had succeeded his father Hazael, and defeated him in three great battles, and took from him all that country and all those cities which had belonged to the kingdom of Israel. He also defeated Amaziah, king of Judah, as will be related in the next chapter. And having done these things, he died, leaving the throne of Israel to his son Jeroboam.

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