Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.
Sojourn — In any convenient place out of the land of Israel.
The Lord, … — Hath appointed to bring a famine. This expression intimates, that all afflictions are sent by God, and come at his call or command.
Seven years — A double time to the former famine under Elijah, which is but just, because they were still incorrigible under all the judgments of God, and the powerful ministry of Elisha.
And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land.
Her house — Which having been forsaken by her, were possessed by her kindred.
And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.
Gehazi the servant — Formerly his servant. The law did not forbid conversing with lepers, but only dwelling with them.
And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
Enquire of the Lord, … — In his health he bowed down in the house of Rimmon; but now he tends to enquire of the God of Israel. Among other instances of the change of mens minds by affliction or sickness, this is one; that it often gives them other thoughts of God's ministers, and teacheth them to value those whom they before hated and despised.
So Hazael went 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?
Thy son — He who before persecuted him as an enemy, now in his extremity honours him like a father.
And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die.
Howbeit — Here is no contradiction: for the first words contain an answer to Benhadad's question, shall I recover? To which the answer is, thou mayest, notwithstanding thy disease, which is not mortal. The latter words contain the prophet's addition to that answer, which is, that he should die, not by the power of his disease, but by some other cause.
And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept.
He settled — The prophet fixed his eyes upon Hazael.
Until — 'Till Hazael was ashamed, as apprehending the prophet discerned something of an evil and shameful nature in him.
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.
A dog — So fierce, barbarous, and inhuman.
King — And when thou shalt have power in thy hand, thou wilt discover that bloody disposition, and that hatred against God's people, which now lies hid from others, and possibly from thyself.
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.
Spread it — So closely, that he choaked him therewith.
And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign.
Jehoram — Jehoram was first made king or vice-roy, by his father divers years before this time, at his expedition to Ramoth-Gilead, which dominion of his, ended at his father's return. But now Jehoshaphat, being not far from his death, and having divers sons and fearing some competition among them, makes Jehoram king the second time, as David did Solomon upon the like occasion.
And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD.
He walked — After his father's death.
The daughter — Athaliah. This unequal marriage, though Jehoshaphat possibly designed it as a means of uniting the two kingdoms under one head, is here and elsewhere noted, as the cause both of the great wickedness of his posterity, and of those sore calamities which befel them. No good could be reasonably expected from such an union. Those that are ill matched are already half-ruined.
Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children.
Alway — Until the coming of the Messiah: for so long, and not longer, this succession might seem necessary for the making good of God's promise and covenant made with David. But when the Messiah, was once come, there was no more need of any succession, and the scepter might and did without any inconvenience depart from Judah, and from all the succeeding branches of David's family, because the Messiah was to hold the kingdom forever in his own person, though not in so gross a way as the carnal Jews imagined.
A light — A son and successor.
And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given 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.
Ramah — The same place with Ramoth, or Ramoth-Gilead.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany