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The Sickness of Ahaziah

After Ahab was buried, his son, Ahaziah, became king. Now it happened that Ahaziah fell out of his window in Samaria and was so badly hurt that he was about to die. He told his messengers to inquire of Baalzebub, the heathen god, if he should recover of his sickness.

As the messengers were going to inquire of the heathen god they met Elijah, the prophet, and Elijah spoke sternly to them and said: "Is there no God in Israel? Why should you go to Baalzebub, the heathen god? You may tell your king that the Lord says that he shall not arise from the bed of sickness upon which he lies but that he shall die," and then Elijah departed.

The messengers came back to Ahaziah, and the king said to them: "Why have you returned and what did Baalzebub say?"

"There came a man who met us," replied the messengers, "and the man said that there was a God in Israel and that we should not inquire of Baalzebub, the heathen god, and he also said that the king should not arise from his bed but should die."

When Ahaziah heard this he asked: "What kind of a man was it that met you and said these things?" The messengers told him that he was a hairy man, that wore a girdle and leather about his waist. Then the king knew it was Elijah, the prophet.

The king sent a captain with fifty men to bring Elijah to him. They found the prophet sitting upon the top of a hill. The captain called out to him: "You man of God, the king says come down." Elijah replied to the captain of the fifty men: "If I am a man of God let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men." Then fire came from heaven and consumed the men.

Again Ahaziah sent another captain with fifty men and when he had found Elijah, he also said to him: "Come down quickly, O man of God."

"If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men," replied the prophet. And again fire came down from heaven and consumed the men.

The third time Ahaziah sent the captain with fifty men to take Elijah but this captain fell on his knees before the prophet and prayed to him, saying: "O, man of God, let my life and the lives of these fifty men be precious in thy sight." The angel of the Lord told Elijah to spare these men and to go with the captain to Ahaziah.

When Elijah came to Ahaziah upon his bed of sickness he said to him: "Inasmuch as you sent messengers to ask Baalzebub whether you should die or not and did not send to the true God, therefore, I tell you, you shall not arise from your bed of sickness but you shall surely die."

And so it was as the prophet had said, for Ahaziah died and was buried and his son, Jehoram, reigned in his place.