2 Kings 13

1 Ahaziah's son King Joash of Judah was in his twenty-third year as king of Judah when Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, began to rule in Samaria as king of Israel. He ruled for 17 years.
2 He did what the LORD considered evil. He continued to commit the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat's son) led Israel to commit. He never gave up committing those sins.
3 So the LORD became angry with Israel and put it at the mercy of King Hazael of Aram and Hazael's son Benhadad as long as they lived.
4 Then Jehoahaz pleaded with the LORD, and the LORD heard him because he saw how the Aramean king was oppressing Israel.
5 So the LORD gave the Israelites someone to save them, and they were freed from Aram's power. They were able to live in their homes again as they had done before.
6 But they didn't turn away from the sins that Jeroboam and his dynasty led Israel to commit. They continued to commit those sins. In addition, the pole dedicated to the goddess Asherah remained standing in Samaria.
7 Jehoahaz had no army left except for 50 horses, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers because the king of Aram had destroyed the rest. He had made them like dust that people trample.
8 Isn't everything else about Jehoahaz--everything he did, his heroic acts--written in the official records of the kings of Israel?
9 Jehoahaz lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoash ruled as king in his place.
10 In Joash's thirty-seventh year as king of Judah, Jehoahaz's son Jehoash began to rule Israel in Samaria. He ruled for 16 years.
11 He did what the LORD considered evil and never gave up committing the sins that Jeroboam led Israel to commit. He continued to commit them.
12 Isn't everything else about Jehoash--everything he did, his heroic acts when he fought against King Amaziah of Judah--written in the official records of the kings of Israel?
13 Jehoash lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried with the kings of Israel in Samaria. Then Jeroboam claimed the throne.
14 Elisha became fatally ill. King Jehoash of Israel visited him, cried over him, and said, "Master! Master! Israel's chariot and horses!"
15 Elisha told him, "Get a bow and some arrows." So he got a bow and some arrows.
16 Then Elisha told the king of Israel, "Take the bow in your hand." So the king picked up the bow. Elisha laid his hands on the king's hands.
17 Elisha said, "Open the window that faces east." So the king opened it. "Shoot," Elisha said, and the king shot. Then Elisha said, "That is the arrow of the LORD's victory, the arrow of victory against Aram. You will completely defeat the Arameans at Aphek."
18 Then Elisha said, "Take the arrows." So the king took them. "Stomp on them," he told the king of Israel. The king stomped three times and stopped.
19 Then the man of God became angry with him. "You should have stomped five or six times!" he said. "Then you would have completely defeated the Arameans. But now you will only defeat the Arameans three times."
20 Elisha died and was buried. Moabite raiding parties used to invade the country in the spring.
21 One day some people who were burying a man saw one of these raiding parties. So they quickly put the man into Elisha's tomb. But when the body touched Elisha's bones, the man came back to life and stood up.
22 King Hazael of Aram oppressed Israel as long as Jehoahaz ruled.
23 But the LORD was kind and merciful to the Israelites because of his promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He didn't want to destroy the Israelites, and even now he hasn't turned away from them.
24 King Hazael of Aram died, and his son Benhadad succeeded him as king.
25 Then Jehoash, son of Jehoahaz, reconquered the cities that Benhadad had taken from his father Jehoahaz. Jehoash defeated Benhadad three times and recovered those cities of Israel.

2 Kings 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

Reign of Jehoahaz. (1-9) Jehoash, king of Israel, Elisha dying. (10-19) Elisha's death, The victories of Jehoash. (20-25)

Verses 1-9 It was the ancient honour of Israel that they were a praying people. Jehoahaz, their king, in his distress, besought the Lord; applied himself for help, but not to the calves; what help could they give him? He sought the Lord. See how swift God is to show mercy; how ready to hear prayer; how willing to find a reason to be gracious; else he would not look so far back as the ancient covenant Israel had so often broken, and forfeited. Let this invite and engage us for ever to him; and encourage even those who have forsaken him, to return and repent; for there is forgiveness with him, that he may be feared. And if the Lord answer the mere cry of distress for temporal relief, much more will he regard the prayer of faith for spiritual blessings.

Verses 10-19 Jehoash, the king, came to Elisha, to receive his dying counsel and blessing. It may turn much to our spiritual advantage, to attend the sick-beds and death-beds of good men, that we may be encouraged in religion by the living comforts they have from it in a dying hour. Elisha assured the king of his success; yet he must look up to God for direction and strength; must reckon his own hands not enough, but go on, in dependence upon Divine aid. The trembling hands of the dying prophet, as they signified the power of God, gave this arrow more force than the hands of the king in his full strength. By contemning the sign, the king lost the thing signified, to the grief of the dying prophet. It is a trouble to good men, to see those to whom they wish well, forsake their own mercies, and to see them lose advantages against spiritual enemies.

Verses 20-25 God has many ways to chastise a provoking people. Trouble comes sometimes from that point whence we least feared it. The mention of this invasion on the death of Elisha, shows that the removal of God's faithful prophets is a presage of coming judgments. His dead body was a means of giving life to another dead body. This miracle was a confirmation of his prophecies. And it may have reference to Christ, by whose death and burial, the grave is made a safe and happy passage to life to all believers. Jehoash was successful against the Syrians, just as often as he had struck the ground with the arrows, then a stop was put to his victories. Many have repented, when too late, of distrusts and the straitness of their desires.

Chapter Summary


This chapter gives an account of the wicked reign of Jehoahaz son of Jehu king of Israel, and of the low estate he was brought into by the Syrians, 2Ki 13:1-9, and of the reign of his son Joash, 2Ki 13:10-13, and of the sickness and death of Elisha; of the visit Joash made him in his sickness; and of his prediction of the king's success against the Syrians; and of the reviving of a dead man cast into the prophet's sepulchre, 2Ki 13:14-21 and of the success of Joash against the Syrians, according to the prediction of the prophet, 2Ki 13:22-25.

\\of Judah\\ The same year he was so zealous and busy in repairing the temple, 2Ki 12:6,

\\Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria\\; whereas Joash began to reign in the seventh year of Jehu, and Jehu reigned but twenty eight years, 2Ki 10:36, and 2Ki 12:1, this could be but the twenty first of Joash; to reconcile which it must be observed, that it was at the beginning of the seventh year of Jehu that Joash began to reign, and at the beginning of the twenty third of Joash that Jehoahaz began to reign, as the Jewish commentators observe:

\\and reigned seventeen years\\; the two last of which were in common with his son, as Junius, see 2Ki 13:10 17831-941219-2104-2Ki13.2

2 Kings 13 Commentaries