4 Oct. 2 Kings 8:7-15

4 Oct.  Elisha prophesies that Hazael will become king of Aram

 “Then Elisha went to Damascus, where Ben-Hadad king of Aram [Syria] was sick. Someone told him, ‘The man of God has arrived.’ The king said to Hazael, ‘Take a gift in your hand and go and meet him. Ask the LORD through him if I will recover from my sickness.’”

“So Hazael went to meet Elijah, taking with him a gift of 40 camels loaded with every good thing in Damascus. He came and stood before Elisha and said, ‘Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram sent me to you. He asks if he will recover from his sickness.’”

“Elisha said to Hazael, ‘Go and tell Ben-Hadad, “You will surely recover,” but the LORD has told me he will really die.’ Hazael stared at Elisha until he felt ashamed. Then Elisha cried. Hazael asked, ‘Why are you crying master?’”

“Elisha answered, ‘Because I know what evil you will do to the Israelites. You will burn their fortified cities with fire and kill their young men with swords. You will burn their fortified cities with fire and kill their young men with swords. You will throw their babies to the ground and split open their pregnant women.’”

“Hazael said, ‘Am I a dog? How could I do such things?’ Elisha answered, ‘The LORD has shown me that you will be king over Aram.’”

“Then Hazael left Elisha and came to his master. Ben-Hadad said to him, ‘What did Elisha say to you?’ Hazael answered, ‘He told me that you will surely recover.’ But the next day Hazael took a blanket and dipped it in water. Then he put it over Ben-Hadad’s face, and he died. So Hazael became king in Ben-Hadad’s place.”

          (2 Kings 8:7-15)

 

 

Elisha set out for Damascus when he heard that King Ben-Hadad of Aram (Syria) was ill. The king sent Hazael, his chief official, to meet Elisha and to ask him whether he would recover from his illness. Ben-Hadad sent costly gifts to Elisha (“40 camels loaded with every good thing in Damascus”- 2 Kings 8:9), presumably to elicit a favourable answer to his question.

Elisha prophesied that Ben-Hadad would certainly recover from his illness, but would die shortly afterwards. Hazael stared at Elisha in amazement, and felt ashamed because he had been plotting his master’s death for some time.

Elisha then cried in sorrow because the LORD had told him that when Hazael became king of Aram, he would destroy many Israelite cities and kill their young men and women. Hazael replied, “Am I a dog? How could I do such things?” (2 Kings 8:13) Elisha answered that this would happen because the LORD had told him that Hazael would become King of Aram.

Hazael carried Elisha’s message, that his master would recover from his sickness, back to the king, but then he killed Ben-Hadad the next day by suffocating him. Hazael became King of Aram in 842BC, as prophesied by Elijah some years earlier (see 1 Kings 19:15).

The photo (by Steven Damron) shows the ramparts of the citadel in Damascus.

You can read more about Ben-Hadad @ https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/32-the-divided-kingdom-amp-journey-into-exile/elisha-displays-spiritual-gifts/


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