The ashes and azas got my head spinnin’ (right ‘round, baby, right ‘round), how about you? This line is a bit hard to keep track of, so let’s break it down:
Joash was the young kid who was hidden away and became king at 8. Even though he died at the end of the last chapter, for this chapter, he is still king of Judah, for the most part.
Jehoahaz becomes king of Israel sometime during the latter part of King Joash’s reign. Jehoahaz is the son of Jehu. Jehu was the commander of “Ahab’s” army (descendants of Ahab, actually, but for me, thinking of it as Ahab’s territory makes it easier to remember who’s who). A few chapters back, Jehu was anointed king, so the rule of Israel switched from Ahab’s family to Jehu’s family. He was the son of Jehoshaphat, though we don’t really know which Jehoshaphat that was. It could have been Judah’s Jehoshaphat, who was a direct descendant of David, but I doubt it, but really, your guess is as good as mine. Either way, Jehoahaz is from a new line that is now ruling Israel, and he wasn’t a horrible guy, from what I can tell. He did pray to the Lord, and the Lord listened. The Kingdom of Israel was safe, albeit oppressed and maybe poor, under his rule.
Jehoahaz’ son, Jehoash replaces him near the end of King Joash’s reign in Judah. So, we’ve got Jehoash in Israel and Joash in Judah. Not confusing at all. Imagine how the townsfolk felt!
Sometime during Jehoash of Israel’s reign, King Joash dies, and his son, Amaziah becomes king. Thank goodness. Jehoash of Israel and Amaziah of Judah are much easier to remember.
Elisha also departs from us, but in true Elisha style, he goes out with a bang. We don’t know how long he’d been lying dead in his tomb, but even in death, he was able to bring life. Man, when he asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit, God not only granted his request, but I think he granted it tenfold!
Writing prompt: timeline
If you’re having difficulty following the kings of Judah and Israel, today is your chance to get organized! Go back and jot down the kings and create your own timeline, or Google one and copy it into your notes somewhere. Don’t feel like studying? Write about Elisha’s last miracle and how it coincides with his beautiful ministry on Earth.