1:2 Ahaziah fell through a window lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria 1 and was injured. He sent messengers with these orders, 2 “Go, ask 3 Baal Zebub, 4 the god of Ekron, if I will survive this injury.”
1:3 But the Lord’s angelic messenger told Elijah the Tishbite, “Get up, go to meet the messengers from the king of Samaria. Say this to them: ‘You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are on your way to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub the god of Ekron. 5
2 Kings 1:16Context
1:16 Elijah 6 said to the king, 7 “This is what the Lord says, ‘You sent messengers to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. You must think there is no God in Israel from whom you can seek an oracle! 8 Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die.’” 9
2 tn Heb “and he sent messengers and said to them.”
3 tn That is, “seek an oracle from.”
4 sn Apparently Baal Zebub refers to a local manifestation of the god Baal at the Philistine city of Ekron. The name appears to mean “Lord of the Flies,” but it may be a deliberate scribal corruption of Baal Zebul, “Baal, the Prince,” a title known from the Ugaritic texts. For further discussion and bibliography, see HALOT 261 s.v. זְבוּב בַּעַל and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 25.
5 tn Heb “Is it because there is no God in Israel [that] you are going to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron?” The translation seeks to bring out the sarcastic tone of the rhetorical question.
6 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elijah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
7 tn Heb “him”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
8 tn Heb “Because you sent messengers to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron, is there no God in Israel to inquire of his word?”
9 sn For the third time in this chapter we read the Lord’s sarcastic question to king and the accompanying announcement of judgment. The repetition emphasizes one of the chapter’s main themes. Israel’s leaders should seek guidance from their own God, not a pagan deity, for Israel’s sovereign God is the one who controls life and death.