2 Kings 8:7-15

2 Kings 8:7-15

[7] And Elisha  came  to Damascus;  and Benhadad  the king  of Syria  was sick;  and it was told  him, saying,  The man  of God  is come  hither.  [8] And the king  said  unto Hazael,  Take  a present  in thine hand,  meet  the man  of God,  and enquire  by him, saying,  Shall I recover  of this disease?  [9] So Hazael  to meet  him, and took  a present  with him,  even of every good thing  of Damascus,  forty  camels'  burden,  and came  and stood  before  him, and said,  Thy son  Benhadad  king  of Syria  hath sent  me to thee, saying,  Shall I recover  of this disease?  [10] And Elisha  said  unto him, Thou mayest certainly  howbeit the LORD  hath shewed  me that he shall surely  [11] And he settled  his countenance  stedfastly,  until he was ashamed:  and the man  of God  wept.  [12] And Hazael  said,  Why weepeth  my lord?  And he answered,  Because I know  the evil  that thou wilt do  unto the children  of Israel:  their strong holds  wilt thou set  on fire,  and their young men  wilt thou slay  with the sword,  and wilt dash  their children,  and rip up  their women with child.  [13] And Hazael  said,  But what, is thy servant  a dog,  that he should do  this great  thing?  And Elisha  answered,  The LORD  hath shewed  me that thou shalt be king  over Syria.  [14] from Elisha,  and came  to his master;  who said  Elisha  to thee? And he answered,  me that thou shouldest surely  [15] And it came to pass on the morrow,  that he took  a thick cloth,  and dipped  it in water,  and spread  it on his face,  so that he died:  and Hazael  reigned  in his stead.

What does 2 Kings 8:7-15 Mean?

Contextual Meaning

Hazael was the governor of Damascus. [1] The Gentile King of Aram had more interest in inquiring of Yahweh than Jehoram"s predecessor did ( 2 Kings 8:8; cf. 2 Kings 1:2). It was customary in the Near East to make a great show of giving gifts. It was also common to have one camel carry only one gift to make the present appear even greater. [2]
Ben-Hadad would have recovered ( 2 Kings 8:10) if Hazael had not murdered him ( 2 Kings 8:15). Elisha probably knew Hazael would murder him. The prophet fixed his gaze steadily on Hazael, perhaps hoping to embarrass him out of doing the deed ( 2 Kings 8:11). Hazael evidently became ashamed because he felt Elisha could read his mind ( 2 Kings 8:11). Hazael would be God"s instrument of judgment on Israel ( 2 Kings 8:12; cf. 1 Kings 19:15). He referred to himself humbly as a mere dog incapable of such a feat ( 2 Kings 8:13). Hazael did come from lowly stock. On one Assyrian record Shalmaneser referred to him as "the son of a nobody." [3]
Like Saul, David, and Song of Solomon , Hazael learned that he would be king by special revelation from the Lord ( 2 Kings 8:13). Whether this announcement accompanied Elisha"s anointing by Elijah ( 1 Kings 19:15), or whether that took place at another time, we do not know. Rather than waiting for God to place him on Aram"s throne at the proper time, as David so admirably did, Hazael murdered Ben-Hadad. He did so in a manner that made it look as though the king had died of natural causes ( 2 Kings 8:15).
Ben-Hadad II died in841 B.C. and Hazael ruled from841-801 B.C. during the reigns of Jehoram, Jehu, and Jehoahaz of Israel, and Ahaziah, Athaliah, and Joash of Judah.
Kings of Aram in2Kings [4] KingsDatesReferencesBen-Hadad II860-841 B.C. 1 Kings 20; 2 Kings 6:24; 2 Kings 8:7; 2 Kings 8:9; 2 Kings 8:14Hazael841-801 B.C. 1 Kings 19:15; 1 Kings 19:17 : 2 Kings 8; 2 Kings 9:14-15; 2 Kings 10:32; 2 Kings 12:17-18; 2 Kings 13:3; 2 Kings 13:22; 2 Kings 13:24-25Ben-Hadad III801-773 B.C. 2 Kings 13:3; 2 Kings 13:24-25Rezin773-732 B.C. 2 Kings 15:37; 2 Kings 16:5-6; 2 Kings 16:9 (cf. Isaiah 7:1; Isaiah 7:4; Isaiah 7:8; Isaiah 8:6; Isaiah 9:11)
The episodes in this Elisha narrative ( 2 Kings 2:1 to 2 Kings 8:15) give us many insights into Jehoram and his reign over Israel. Like Ahab and Ahaziah before him, he had little regard for Yahweh. Consequently he did not enjoy much blessing from God personally, and Israel experienced severe discipline in the form of famines, invasions by foreign neighbors, and lack of influence. Nevertheless there were a few in Israel who remained faithful to the Lord, including the prophets (about7 ,000 individuals in all; 1 Kings 19:18).
The meanings of the miracles Elisha performed that I have suggested rest on standard principles of historical grammatical interpretation. I have sought to understand what the original readers of Kings would have seen these miracles as signifying. The meanings of the words in the text, the relationship of the miracle to its context, and the meaning of symbols that biblical and extrabiblical references reveal are key interpretive factors. Commentators differ, of course, in their understandings of these matters as well as the interpretive problems. However, on the basis of the study I have done, the views expressed above seem to me to be what these miracles signified when they occurred. Some evangelical expositors have seen Elisha"s miracles as typifying Jesus Christ and His ministry. [4] There are many similarities.