1 Then there arose the fiery prophet Elijah, whose words blazed like a torch. 2 He brought a famine on the people, and many of them died because of his persistence. 3 Speaking in the name of the Lord, he kept the rain from coming, and on three occasions he called down fire. 4 Elijah, your miracles were marvelous! No one else can boast of such deeds! 5 In the name of the Most High, you brought a dead man back to life. 6 You brought a famous king down to sickness and death. 7 At Sinai you heard the Lord rebuke you and declare his determination to punish his enemies. 8 You anointed a king to be the instrument of that punishment, and a prophet to take your place. 9 You were taken up to heaven in a fiery whirlwind, a chariot drawn by fiery horses. 10 The scripture says that you are ready to appear at the designated time, to cool God's anger before it breaks out in fury; that you “will bring parents and children together again,” and restore the tribes of Israel. 11 Fortunate are those who live to see you come, as well as those who have already died in love, for we too shall live.
12 When Elijah was hidden by the whirlwind, Elisha was filled with his spirit. As long as he lived, he was not afraid of rulers, and they could not make him do as they wished. 13 Nothing was too hard for him. Even when he was dead, his body worked a miracle. 14 In life and in death he performed amazing miracles.
15 But in spite of all this, the people did not abandon their sinful ways until they were taken from their land as prisoners and scattered all over the world. This left the nation few in number, but those who remained were still ruled by the descendants of David. 16 Some of the people did what was pleasing to the Lord, but others committed sin after sin.
17 Hezekiah prepared his city to resist a siege and provided it with a water supply. He had a tunnel built through solid rock with iron tools and had cisterns built to hold the water. 18 During his reign Sennacherib attacked the city and sent his chief official from Lachish. He challenged Jerusalem and boasted arrogantly. 19 The people lost their courage and shook with fear; they were in pain, like a woman in labor. 20 But they prayed to the merciful Lord, the Holy One in heaven, who quickly answered their prayers and sent Isaiah to save them. 21 The Lord struck the Assyrian camp; his angel wiped them out. 22 Yes, Hezekiah did what was pleasing to the Lord and firmly followed the example of his ancestor David. This was what was commanded by the great prophet Isaiah, whose visions were trusted. 23 He made the sun move backward and lengthened the king's life. 24 He comforted the mourners in Jerusalem. His powerful spirit looked into the future, 25 and he predicted what was to happen before the end of time, hidden things that had not yet occurred.