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The Shunammite Woman’s Land Restored

 8

Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Get up and go with your household, and settle wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come on the land for seven years.” 2So the woman got up and did according to the word of the man of God; she went with her household and settled in the land of the Philistines seven years. 3At the end of the seven years, when the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, she set out to appeal to the king for her house and her land. 4Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5While he was telling the king how Elisha had restored a dead person to life, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. Gehazi said, “My lord king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6When the king questioned the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, together with all the revenue of the fields from the day that she left the land until now.”

Death of Ben-hadad

7 Elisha went to Damascus while King Ben-hadad of Aram was ill. When it was told him, “The man of God has come here,” 8the king said to Hazael, “Take a present with you and go to meet the man of God. Inquire of the Lord through him, whether I shall recover from this illness.” 9So Hazael went to meet him, taking a present with him, all kinds of goods of Damascus, forty camel loads. When he entered and stood before him, he said, “Your son King Ben-hadad of Aram has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this illness?’ ” 10Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover’; but the Lord has shown me that he shall certainly die.” 11He fixed his gaze and stared at him, until he was ashamed. Then the man of God wept. 12Hazael asked, “Why does my lord weep?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel; you will set their fortresses on fire, you will kill their young men with the sword, dash in pieces their little ones, and rip up their pregnant women.” 13Hazael said, “What is your servant, who is a mere dog, that he should do this great thing?” Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you are to be king over Aram.” 14Then he left Elisha, and went to his master Ben-hadad, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me that you would certainly recover.” 15But the next day he took the bed-cover and dipped it in water and spread it over the king’s face, until he died. And Hazael succeeded him.

Jehoram Reigns over Judah

16 In the fifth year of King Joram son of Ahab of Israel, Jehoram son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah began to reign. 17He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 19Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of his servant David, since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his descendants forever.

20 In his days Edom revolted against the rule of Judah, and set up a king of their own. 21Then Joram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. He set out by night and attacked the Edomites and their chariot commanders who had surrounded him; but his army fled home. 22So Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah to this day. Libnah also revolted at the same time. 23Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 24So Joram slept with his ancestors, and was buried with them in the city of David; his son Ahaziah succeeded him.

Ahaziah Reigns over Judah

25 In the twelfth year of King Joram son of Ahab of Israel, Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah began to reign. 26Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27He also walked in the way of the house of Ahab, doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was son-in-law to the house of Ahab.

28 He went with Joram son of Ahab to wage war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded Joram. 29King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. King Ahaziah son of Jehoram of Judah went down to see Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was wounded.


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2Ki 8:1-6. The Shunammite's Land Restored.

1. Then spake Elisha unto the woman—rather "had spoken." The repetition of Elisha's direction to the Shunammite is merely given as an introduction to the following narrative; and it probably took place before the events recorded in chapters 5 and 6.

the Lord hath called for a famine—All such calamities are chastisements inflicted by the hand of God; and this famine was to be of double duration to that one which happened in the time of Elijah (Jas 5:17)—a just increase of severity, since the Israelites still continued obdurate and incorrigible under the ministry and miracles of Elisha (Le 26:21, 24, 28).

2. she … sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years—Their territory was recommended to her from its contiguity to her usual residence; and now that this state had been so greatly reduced, there was less risk than formerly from the seductions of idolatry; and many of the Jews and Israelites were residing there. Besides, an emigration thither was less offensive to the king of Israel than going to sojourn in Judah.

3. she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land—In consequence of her long-continued absence from the country, her possessions were occupied by her kindred, or had been confiscated by the crown. No statute in the law of Moses ordained that alienation. But the innovation seems to have been adopted in Israel.

4-6. the king talked with Gehazi—Ceremonial pollution being conveyed by contact alone, there was nothing to prevent a conference being held with this leper at a distance; and although he was excluded from the town of Samaria, this reported conversation may have taken place at the gate or in one of the royal gardens. The providence of God so ordained that King Jehoram had been led to inquire, with great interest, into the miraculous deeds of Elisha, and that the prophet's servant was in the act of relating the marvellous incident of the restoration of the Shunammite's son when she made her appearance to prefer her request. The king was pleased to grant it; and a state officer was charged to afford her every facility in the recovery of her family possession out of the hands of the occupier.

2Ki 8:7-15. Hazael Kills His Master, and Succeeds Him.

7, 8. Elisha came to Damascus—He was directed thither by the Spirit of God, in pursuance of the mission formerly given to his master in Horeb (1Ki 19:15), to anoint Hazael king of Syria. On the arrival of the prophet being known, Ben-hadad, who was sick, sent to inquire the issue of his disease, and, according to the practice of the heathens in consulting their soothsayers, ordered a liberal present in remuneration for the service.

9. forty camels' burden—The present, consisting of the rarest and most valuable produce of the land, would be liberal and magnificent. But it must not be supposed it was actually so large as to require forty camels to carry it. The Orientals are fond of display, and would, ostentatiously, lay upon forty beasts what might very easily have been borne by four.

Thy son Ben-hadad—so called from the established usage of designating the prophet "father." This was the same Syrian monarch who had formerly persecuted him (see 2Ki 6:13, 14).

10. Go, say … Thou mayest certainly recover—There was no contradiction in this message. This part was properly the answer to Ben-hadad's inquiry [2Ki 8:9]. The second part was intended for Hazael, who, like an artful and ambitious courtier, reported only as much of the prophet's statement as suited his own views (compare 2Ki 8:14).

11. he settled his countenance stedfastly until he was ashamed—that is, Hazael. The steadfast, penetrating look of the prophet seemed to have convinced Hazael that his secret designs were known. The deep emotions of Elisha were justified by the horrible atrocities which, too common in ancient warfare, that successful usurper committed in Israel (2Ki 10:32; 13:3, 4, 22).

15. took a thick cloth, &c.—a coverlet. In the East, this article of bedding is generally a thick quilt of wool or cotton, so that, with its great weight, when steeped in water, it would be a fit instrument for accomplishing the murderous purpose, without leaving any marks of violence. It has been supposed by many doubtful that Hazael purposely murdered the king. But it is common for Eastern people to sleep with their faces covered with a mosquito net; and, in some cases of fever, they dampen the bedclothes. Hazael, aware of those chilling remedies being usually resorted to, might have, with an honest intention, spread a refreshing cover over him. The rapid occurrence of the king's death and immediate burial were favorable to his instant elevation to the throne.

2Ki 8:16-23. Jehoram's Wicked Reign.

16. Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat … began to reign—(See on 2Ki 3:1). His father resigned the throne to him two years before his death.

18. daughter of Ahab—Athaliah, through whose influence Jehoram introduced the worship of Baal and many other evils into the kingdom of Judah (see 2Ch 21:2-20). This apostasy would have led to the total extinction of the royal family in that kingdom, had it not been for the divine promise to David (2Sa 7:16). A national chastisement, however, was inflicted on Judah by the revolt of Edom, which, being hitherto governed by a tributary ruler (2Ki 3:9; 1Ki 22:47), erected the standard of independence (2Ch 21:9).

2Ki 8:24. Ahaziah Succeeds Him.

24. Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead—(See on 2Ch 22:1).




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