2 Kings 8:7-13

Hazael Murders Ben-Hadad

7 Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram was ill. When the king was told, “The man of God has come all the way up here,”
8 he said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go to meet the man of God. Consult the LORD through him; ask him, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’ ”
9 Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him as a gift forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus. He went in and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’ ”
10 Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’ Nevertheless,[a] the LORD has revealed to me that he will in fact die.”
11 He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed. Then the man of God began to weep.
12 “Why is my lord weeping?” asked Hazael. “Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites,” he answered. “You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women.”
13 Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?” “The LORD has shown me that you will become king of Aram,” answered Elisha.

2 Kings 8:7-13 Meaning and Commentary

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, 2Ki 8:1-6 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, 2Ki 8:7-15 and of the bad reign of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat, over Judah, 2Ki 8:16-24 and of the reign of his son Ahaziah, 2Ki 8:25-29.

2 Kings 8:7-13 In-Context

5 Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to appeal to the king for her house and land. Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.”
6 The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”
7 Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram was ill. When the king was told, “The man of God has come all the way up here,”
8 he said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go to meet the man of God. Consult the LORD through him; ask him, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’ ”
9 Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him as a gift forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus. He went in and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’ ”
10 Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’ Nevertheless, the LORD has revealed to me that he will in fact die.”
11 He stared at him with a fixed gaze until Hazael was embarrassed. Then the man of God began to weep.
12 “Why is my lord weeping?” asked Hazael. “Because I know the harm you will do to the Israelites,” he answered. “You will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men with the sword, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women.”
13 Hazael said, “How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?” “The LORD has shown me that you will become king of Aram,” answered Elisha.
14 Then Hazael left Elisha and returned to his master. When Ben-Hadad asked, “What did Elisha say to you?” Hazael replied, “He told me that you would certainly recover.”
15 But the next day he took a thick cloth, soaked it in water and spread it over the king’s face, so that he died. Then Hazael succeeded him as king.

Cross References 14

  • 1. S 2 Samuel 8:5; 1 Kings 11:24
  • 2. S 2 Kings 6:24
  • 3. 1 Kings 19:15
  • 4. S Genesis 32:20; S 1 Samuel 9:7; 2 Kings 1:2
  • 5. S Judges 18:5
  • 6. Isaiah 38:1
  • 7. S Judges 3:25
  • 8. Luke 19:41
  • 9. S 1 Kings 19:17; 2 Kings 10:32; 2 Kings 12:17; 2 Kings 13:3,7
  • 10. Psalms 137:9; Isaiah 13:16; Hosea 13:16; Nahum 3:10; Luke 19:44
  • 11. S Genesis 34:29
  • 12. 2 Kings 15:16; Amos 1:13
  • 13. S 1 Samuel 17:43; S 2 Samuel 3:8
  • 14. 1 Kings 19:15

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The Hebrew may also be read "Go and say, ‘You will certainly not recover,’ for."