2 Kings Chapter Eight
New King James Version (NKJV)
INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 8
This chapter gives an account of some advice Elisha had formerly given to the Shunammite woman, and of the success of it, 2 Kings 8:1 and of the sickness of the king of Syria, who sent to Elisha, then being at Damascus, by Hazael, to know whether he should recover; by whom a message was returned, and Hazael was told by the prophet he should be king of Syria, and exercise great cruelty in Israel, 2 Kings 8:7 and of the bad reign of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, over Judah, 2 Kings 8:16 and of the reign of his son Ahaziah, 2 Kings 8:25.
2 Kings 8:1 Then Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and furthermore, it will come upon the land for seven years.”
YLT 1And Elisha spake unto the woman whose son he had revived, saying, `Rise and go, thou and thy household, and sojourn where thou dost sojourn, for Jehovah hath called for a famine, and also, it is coming unto the land seven years.'
Then spoke Elisha unto the woman (whose son he had restored to life),.... His hostess at Shunem, 2 Kings 4:8 the following he said to her, not after the famine in Samaria, but before it, as some circumstances show:
saying, arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn; with the greatest safety to her person and property, and with the least danger to her moral and religious character:
for the Lord hath called for a famine, and it shall also come upon the land seven years: which Jarchi says was the famine that was in the days of Joel; it was, undoubtedly, on account of the idolatry of Israel, and was double the time of that in the days of Elijah.
2 Kings 8:2 2 So the woman arose and did according to the saying of the man of God, and she went with her household and dwelt in the land of the Philistines seven years.
YLT 2And the woman riseth, and doth according to the word of the man of God, and goeth, she and her household, and sojourneth in the land of the Philistines seven years.
And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God,.... Whose words she had reason to believe; she having a son given to her according to his word, and this restored to life, when dead, through his intercession:
and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines; which was not far from her native place, and where there was plenty of food, and she could have as free an exercise of her religion as in the idolatrous kingdom of Israel.
2 Kings 8:3 3 It came to pass, at the end of seven years, that the woman returned from the land of the Philistines; and she went to make an appeal to the king for her house and for her land.
YLT 3And it cometh to pass, at the end of seven years, that the woman turneth back from the land of the Philistines, and goeth out to cry unto the king, for her house, and for her field.
And it came to pass, at the seven years end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines,.... Either hearing that the famine was over, or believing that it was, the time being expired the prophet fixed for it:
and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house, and for her land; which her nearest relations in her absence had seized upon, as heirs to them; or those in whose hands she had intrusted them refused, upon her return, to deliver them to her; or the king's officers had seized upon them for him, as forfeited to the crown by her going out of the land without leave; and now she needed a friend to speak for her to the king, which, in time past, she had no occasion for, and thought she never should, see 2 Kings 4:13.
2 Kings 8:4 4 Then the king talked with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me, please, all the great things Elisha has done.”
YLT 4And the king is speaking unto Gehazi, servant of the man of God, saying, `Recount, I pray thee, to me, the whole of the great things that Elisha hath done.'
And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God,.... Elisha's servant, just at the same time the woman made her application to him; so that this was before he was dismissed from the service of the prophet, and consequently before the affair of Naaman's cure, and so before the siege of Samaria:
saying, tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done; the miracles he wrought, as the dividing of the waters of Jordan, and healing those near Jericho; the affair of procuring water for the armies of the three kings in Edom he needed not to relate, since Jehoram was an eyewitness thereof; the next was the multiplying the widow's cruse of oil, when he in course came to those that were done for the Shunammite woman.
2 Kings 8:5 5 Now it happened, as he was telling the king how he had restored the dead to life, that there was the woman whose son he had restored to life, appealing to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.”
YLT 5And it cometh to pass, he is recounting to the king how he had revived the dead, and lo, the woman whose son he had revived is crying unto the king, for her house and for her field, and Gehazi saith, `My lord, O king, this [is] the woman, and this her son, whom Elisha revived.'
And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life,.... Which was the Shunammite's son:
that, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life cried to the king for her house, and for her land; came and presented her petition to the king at that very instant:
and Gehazi said, my lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life; the very person I am speaking of.
2 Kings 8:6 6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed a certain officer for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the proceeds of the field from the day that she left the land until now.”
YLT 6And the king asketh at the woman, and she recounteth to him, and the king appointeth to her a certain eunuch, saying, `Give back all that she hath, and all the increase of the field from the day of her leaving the land even till now.'
And when the king asked the woman, she told him,.... The whole affair; how that she had a son according to the word of Elisha, when she had been barren, and her husband old; that this child was struck with sickness, and died; and that the prophet, through his prayers, restored it to life:
so the king appointed unto her a certain officer; the word signifies an "eunuch": him he ordered to attend upon her, and assist her, and see to it that she was put into the possession of her house and land:
saying, restore all that was her's, and all the fruits of the field, since the day that she left the land, even till now; not only her house and land, but all the rent, profits, and dues arising from thence during the time of her absence: the Jews except the rent of her house.
2 Kings 8:7 7 Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.”
YLT 7And Elisha cometh in to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram is sick, and it is declared to him, saying, `The man of God hath come hither.'
And Elisha came to Damascus,.... On what account, and when, is not certain, whether to convert Gehazi, as say the JewsF4T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 47. 1. ; or to confirm Naaman in the true religion he professed, for which he might be dismissed from his office, since another man was made general of the Syrian army; or on account of the famine; or rather it may be to anoint, or, however, to declare that Hazael would be king of Syria; see 1 Kings 19:15,
and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; at the time he came thither, where his palace was, and now a Mahometan temple; a very extraordinary building, according to Benjamin the JewF5Itinerar. p. 55. :
and it was told him, saying, the man of God is come hither; the famous prophet in Israel, Elisha, through whom Naaman his general had been cured of his leprosy, of whom he had heard so much.
2 Kings 8:8 8 And the king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the Lord by him, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’”
YLT 8And the king saith unto Hazael, `Take in thy hand a present, and go to meet the man of God, and thou hast sought Jehovah by him, saying, Do I revive from this sickness?'
And the king said to Hazael,.... The captain general of his army:
take a present in thine hand, and go and meet the man of God, who, perhaps, was not as yet come into the city, only into the region of Damascus: or rather "with thee"; so the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions; and which NoldiusF6Ebr. Concord. Part. p. 189. No. 362. approves of, since a burden of forty camels, 2 Kings 8:9 could not be carried in the hand:
and inquire of the Lord by him, saying, shall I recover of this disease? he did not desire him to pray the Lord that he might recover, only was curious to know whether he should or not, see 2 Kings 1:2.
2 Kings 8:9 9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’”
YLT 9And Hazael goeth to meet him, and taketh a present in his hand, even of every good thing of Damascus, a burden of forty camels, and he cometh in and standeth before him, and saith, `Thy son Ben-Hadad, king of Aram, hath sent me unto thee, saying, Do I revive from this sickness?'
So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him,.... As was usual when a prophet or seer was consulted, see 1 Samuel 9:7.
even of every good thing of Damascus; which was a very fruitful place, and had abundance of gardens and orchards in it, which yielded excellent fruit, and of such it is probable the present consisted, and which was large:
even forty camels' burden: which, as they are strong creatures, will bear a great deal. Abarbinel thinks, bread, flesh, and wine, and fowls, were in the present, but not gold, silver, and raiment, which the prophet had refused to take of Naaman; the Jews have a fable, that there was a precious stone in it, worth all the good things of Damascus:
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? he calls him his son, in veneration of the prophet as a father, as such men were called.
2 Kings 8:10 10 And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover.’ However the Lord has shown me that he will really die.”
YLT 10And Elisha saith unto him, `Go, say, Thou dost certainly not revive, seeing Jehovah hath shewed me that he doth surely die.'
And Elisha said unto him, go, say unto him, thou mayest certainly recover,.... That is, of the disease; and there was not only a probability that he might recover of it, it not being a mortal one, but a certainty that he should not die of it, as he did not, but die a violent death, which the prophet predicts in the next clause; though some take these words not as a command, what he should say, but as a prediction of what he would say; that he would go and tell him he should certainly recover, because he would not discourage him, though the prophet assures him in the next clause that he should die: there is a various reading of these words; we follow the marginal reading, but the textual reading is, "say, thou shall not certainly recover", or "in living live"; which agrees with what follows:
howbeit or "for"
the Lord hath showed me, that he shall surely die; though not of that sickness, nor a natural death, but a violent one, and that by the hand of this his servant, though he does not express it.
2 Kings 8:11 11 Then he set his countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept.
YLT 11And he setteth his face, yea, he setteth [it] till he is ashamed, and the man of God weepeth.
And he settled his countenance steadfastly,.... Refrained himself as much as possible, that he might not weep, as some Jewish writers interpret it; or, as others, he turned his face on one side, and covered it with his hands, that Hazael might not see him weep; or rather he set his face on Hazael, and looked at him so wistly:
until he was ashamed; that is, Hazael; the prophet looked him out of countenance:
and the man of God wept; at the thought of what calamities the man before him, he looked on, would be the cause of in Israel, as the following words show.
2 Kings 8:12 12 And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.”
YLT 12And Hazael saith, `Wherefore is my lord weeping?' and he saith, `Because I have known the evil that thou dost to the sons of Israel -- their fenced places thou dost send into fire, and their young men with sword thou dost slay, and their sucklings thou dost dash to pieces, and their pregnant women thou dost rip up.'
And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord?.... Imagining it was for the death of Benhadad he had predicted, for which he could see no reason; of the title, "my lord", see 1 Kings 18:7.
and he answered, because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel; which he foresaw by a spirit of prophecy; and Israel being his own people, he sympathized in their calamities before they came:
their strong holds wilt thou set on fire; which should be taken by him, see 2 Kings 10:32
and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword; in battle:
and wilt dash their children; against rocks and stones, or stone walls, or upon the ground, floor, or pavement, as was usual in warF7Vid. Homer. Iliad. 22. ver. 63, 64. , see Psalm 137:9,
and rip up their women with child: which was the height of barbarity and cruelty. Ben Gersom and Ben Melech interpret this of breaking down the walls of fortified cities, built strong, like hills and mountains; but this is supposed in the first clause.
2 Kings 8:13 13 So Hazael said, “But what is your servant—a dog, that he should do this gross thing?” And Elisha answered, “The Lord has shown me that you will become king over Syria.”
YLT 13And Hazael saith, `But what, [is] thy servant the dog, that he doth this great thing?' And Elisha saith, `Jehovah hath shewed me thee -- king of Aram.'
And Hazael said, but what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?.... What dost thou take me to be, a vile, impudent, fierce, and cruel creature, as a dog, to be guilty of so great inhumanity and barbarity as this? or what is thy servant? a dog, a mean abject creature, of no power and authority, incapable of doing such great things spoken of? to which sense not only what is predicted of him, said to be great, inclines, but what follows:
and Elisha answered, the Lord hath showed me that thou shall be king over Syria; and that thou shalt have power enough to do this; this declaration, according to Ben Gersom, was the anointing of him, predicted 1 Kings 19:15.
2 Kings 8:14 14 Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me you would surely recover.”
YLT 14And he goeth from Elisha, and cometh in unto his lord, and he saith unto him, `What said Elisha to thee?' and he saith, `He said to me, Thou dost certainly recover.'
So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master,.... Benhadad king of Syria:
who said to him, what said Elisha to thee? concerning his recovery, which was the thing uppermost in his mind, and he was eagerly desirous to know how it would be:
and he answered, he told me that thou shouldest surely recover; which was false; for he only said that he "might", and not that he should; and he concealed what he also declared, that though he might recover of his disease, yet that he should surely die in another way.
2 Kings 8:15 15 But it happened on the next day that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place.
YLT 15And it cometh to pass on the morrow, that he taketh the coarse cloth, and dippeth in water, and spreadeth on his face, and he dieth, and Hazael reigneth in his stead.
And it came to pass on the morrow,.... In such haste was Hazael to be king, as the prophet said he would be:
that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died; not that Benhadad took or ordered such a cloth to be dipped and laid on his own face, to allay the violent heat in him; but Hazael did this, and perhaps under such a pretence; but his real design was to strike in the heat, or suffocate him; for such a thick cloth, one of the bedclothes, made of goats' hair, as is supposed, being dipped in water, would suck in a great deal; and being laid on his face, would press hard, and he not able to throw it off, it would let in much water into his mouth and nostrils, and suffocate him, without leaving any marks of violence, which might render his death suspicious:
and Hazael reigned in his stead; having an interest in the army, of which he was general, and perhaps had done some exploits which had recommended him to the regard of the people.
2 Kings 8:16 16 Now in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Jehoshaphat having been king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat began to reign as king of Judah.
YLT 16And in the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel -- and Jehoshaphat [is] king of Judah -- hath Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah reigned;
And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel,.... Who began his reign in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, 2 Kings 3:1.
Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah; as he continued to be two years more; for this must be in the twenty third year of his reign, and he reigned twenty five years, 1 Kings 22:42.
Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign; according to Dr. LightfootF8Works, vol. 1. p. 84. , there were three beginnings of his reign; "first", when his father went with Ahab to Ramothgilead, when be was left viceroy, and afterwards his father reassumed the kingdom; the "second" time was, when Jehoshaphat went with the kings of Israel and Edom against Moab; and this is the time here respected, which was in the fifth of Joram king of Israel; and the "third" time was, at the death of his father; but knew his father was living.
2 Kings 8:17 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
YLT 17a son of thirty and two years was he in his reigning, and eight years he hath reigned in Jerusalem.
Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign,.... The second time, in the lifetime of his father:
and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem; which ended in the twelfth year of Joram king of Israel, 2 Kings 8:25.
2 Kings 8:18 18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the sight of the Lord.
YLT 18And he walketh in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab, for a daughter of Ahab was to him for a wife, and he doth the evil thing in the eyes of Jehovah,
And he walked in the way of the king's of Israel, as did the house of Ahab,.... Imitated them in idolatry:
for the daughter of Ahab was his wife; whose name was Athaliah, 2 Kings 8:26, and by her he was drawn into idolatrous practices; of such bad consequence are marriages with idolaters; it is very much that so good a king as Jehoshaphat his father was should contract such an affinity; he suffered for it in more instances than one:
and he did evil in the sight of the Lord; was guilty of idolatry, than which nothing was more displeasing to the Lord; for he made high places, and compelled his subjects to commit idolatry, 2 Chronicles 21:11.
2 Kings 8:19 19 Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of His servant David, as He promised him to give a lamp to him and his sons forever.
YLT 19and Jehovah was not willing to destroy Judah, for the sake of David his servant, as He said to him, to give to him a lamp -- to his sons all the days.
Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake,.... Not for his merits, but for the mercy he assured him of:
as he promised him to give to him always a light, and to his children; or a kingdom, as the Targum; therefore he would not utterly destroy the tribe, nor suffer the sceptre or government to depart from it till the Messiah came, see Psalm 132:11.
2 Kings 8:20 20 In his days Edom revolted against Judah’s authority, and made a king over themselves.
YLT 20In his days hath Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and they cause a king to reign over them,
In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah,.... Who had been tributary to Judah ever since the times of David, for the space of one hundred and fifty years:
2 Kings 8:21 21 So Joram[a] went to Zair, and all his chariots with him. Then he rose by night and attacked the Edomites who had surrounded him and the captains of the chariots; and the troops fled to their tents.
YLT 21and Joram passeth over to Zair, and all the chariots with him, and he himself hath risen by night, and smiteth Edom, that is coming round about unto him, and the heads of the chariots, and the people fleeth to its tents;
So Joram went over to Zair,.... A city in Edom, the same with the Zaara of PtolemyF9Geograph. l. 5. c. 17. ; some take it to be the same with Seir, the mountain or country of that name:
and all the chariots with him; all the chariots of war he had:
and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about; who came out of their cities in great numbers, and surrounded him, he having entered into their country in an hostile way, to subdue them:
and the captains of the chariots: which belonged to the Edomites; those he smote, 2 Chronicles 21:9.
and the people fled into their tents; the army being routed.
2 Kings 8:22 22 Thus Edom has been in revolt against Judah’s authority to this day. And Libnah revolted at that time.
YLT 22and Edom revolteth from under the hand of Judah till this day; then doth Libnah revolt at that time.
Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day,.... Joram not pursuing the enemy, and taking the advantage of the victory, but returning to his own land, the reason of which follows:
then Libnah revolted at the same time; a considerable city in his own kingdom, a Levitical one; this revolt was occasioned, perhaps, by his idolatrous practices, and which he compelled his subjects to; of this city, see Joshua 10:29.
2 Kings 8:23 23 Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
YLT 23And the rest of the matters of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written on the book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah?
And the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Not in the canonical book of Chronicles, though some of his acts are recorded there, see 2 Chronicles 21:1 but in the annals of the kings of Judah, written by persons appointed for that purpose.
2 Kings 8:24 24 So Joram rested with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.
YLT 24And Joram lieth with his fathers, and is buried with his fathers in the city of David, and reign doth Ahaziah his son in his stead.
And Joram slept with his fathers,.... Died as they did:
and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; but not in the sepulchres of the kings, and without any funeral pomp, and without any mourning and lamentation for him, he being not beloved, and his life not at all desirable, 2 Chronicles 21:19,
and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead; of whom more is said in the following verses.
2 Kings 8:25 25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, began to reign.
YLT 25In the twelfth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel reigned hath Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah;
In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab, king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign. He is called Jehoahaz, and said to be the youngest son of Jehoram, 2 Chronicles 21:17.
2 Kings 8:26 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri, king of Israel.
YLT 26a son of twenty and two years [is] Ahaziah in his reigning, and one year he hath reigned in Jerusalem, and the name of his mother [is] Athaliah daughter of Omri king of Israel,
and he reigned one year in Jerusalem; which was the whole of his reign:
and his mother's name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri king of Israel; that is, his granddaughter; for she was the daughter of Ahab the son of Omri, 2 Kings 8:18, it was usual for grandchildren to be called children, sons and daughters, and perhaps she might be educated in the family of Omri.
2 Kings 8:27 27 And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, like the house of Ahab, for he was the son-in-law of the house of Ahab.
YLT 27and he walketh in the way of the house of Ahab, and doth the evil thing in the eyes of Jehovah, like the house of Ahab, for he [is] son-in-law of the house of Ahab.
And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, as did the house of Ahab,.... Worshipping the calves, and Baal also:
for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab; he was the son of Jehoram, who was son-in-law to Ahab, having married his daughter, which accounts for his being guilty of the same idolatrous practices.
2 Kings 8:28 28 Now he went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram.
YLT 28And he goeth with Joram son of Ahab to battle with Hazael king of Aram in Ramoth-Gilead, and the Aramaeans smite Joram,
And he went with Joram the son of Ahab,.... His mother's brother, and so his uncle:
to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramothgilead; which he went to recover out of the hands of the king of Syria, as his father Ahab had attempted in his time; in which he was assisted by Jehoshaphat, as now Joram was by a grandson of his:
and the Syrians wounded Joram; as they did his father Ahab at the same place, though his wound was not mortal, as his father's was.
2 Kings 8:29 29 Then King Joram went back to Jezreel to recover from the wounds which the Syrians had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
YLT 29and Joram the king turneth back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds with which the Arameans smite him in Ramah, in his fighting with Hazael king of Aram, and Ahaziah son of Jehoram king of Judah hath gone down to see Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, for he is sick.
From Ramoth, having taken it, and left his army there:
to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah; the same with Ramothgilead:
when he fought against Hazael king of Syria; for Benhadad being dead, he was now king in his room, 2 Kings 8:15.
and Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick; of the wounds which he had received, which might occasion a feverish disorder; and so it was brought about in Providence that Ahaziah should here meet with the destruction appointed for him, of which in the following chapter. See 2 Chronicles 22:7.
──《John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible》
New King James Version (NKJV)