“Again King Ahaziah sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty men. So the third captain of the fifty went up. He came and fell on his knees before Elijah. He entreated him. ‘O man of God please let my life and the life of these fifty servants of yours be precious in your sight. Look, fire came down from heaven, and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifty men. But now let my life be precious in your sight.’ Then the angel of Yahweh said to Elijah. ‘Go down with him. Do not be afraid of him.’ So he set out and went down with him to the king. He said to him. ‘Thus says Yahweh. ‘You have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron. Is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word? Therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone. But you shall surely die.’”
The 3rd time was the charm. The 3rd captain with his 50 men fell on his knees before Elijah. He begged Elijah to consider their lives as precious. He did not want him to send fire from heaven on him and his men. Then the angel of Yahweh appeared to Elijah and told him not to be afraid. Elijah then went down to Samaria with this 3rd group of 50 men. When he met the king, he repeated his original warning. Because Ahaziah had ignored Yahweh, the God of Israel, seeking advice from Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, he would never leave his bed but die. Thus Elijah delivered the bad news to King Ahaziah person.
“The messengers returned to King Ahaziah. He said to them. ‘Why have you returned?’ They answered him. ‘There came a man to meet us. He said to us. ‘Go back to the king who sent you. Say to him. Thus says Yahweh. Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but shall surely die.’ He said to them. ‘What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?’ They answered him. ‘He was a hairy man, with a leather belt around his waist.’ The king said. ‘It is Elijah the Tishbite.’”
The messengers of King Ahaziah returned to him after they had met Elijah on the way to Ekron. The king wanted to know why they came back so quick. They told him that a man met them on their way. This man gave them this message. He wanted to know why the king of Israel had not gone to Yahweh, the God of Israel. Why were they going to Baal-zebub of Ekron? This man said that the king would never leave his bed but die. King Ahaziah wanted to know what kind of man this was. They explained that it was a hairy man with a leather belt on his waist. King Ahaziah immediately recognized him as Elijah the prophet. I guess that not that many hairy men wore leather belts.
“After the death of King Ahab, the land of Moab rebelled against Israel. King Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria. He lay injured. So he sent messengers, telling them. ‘Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury.’ But the angel of Yahweh said to Elijah the Tishbite. ‘Get up. Go to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria. Say to them. ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?’ Now therefore thus says Yahweh. ‘You shall not leave the bed to which you have gone. But you shall surely die.’ So Elijah went.”
Moab went into rebellion after the death of King Ahab. This is not unusual since many countries see an opening when there is a change of leadership. King Ahaziah, the son of King Ahab, fell through a lattice in his house in Samaria. He was injured so he sent some messengers to the god of the Philistine town of Ekron, Baal-zebub. Interesting enough this is one of the names that Christians use about the devil, Beelzebub, the prince of demons. He wanted to know if he was going to recover from his injury. However, an angel of Yahweh appeared to Elijah. He told him to go to Samaria to meet the messengers of King Ahaziah. He was to tell them that King Ahaziah would never leave his bed, but die. He was to ask them why they were not seeking the advice of Yahweh, the God of Israel, instead of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron.