|* II Kings 8
In II Kings 7 we read of Father at the beginning of the chapter prophesying through His prophet Elisha to Jehoram the king of Israel concerning the famine which Samaria was presently enduring because of the siege by king Ben-Hadad and the Syrian army, saying, “Thus saith the LORD, ‘To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.’.” In other words, the famine was going to come to an end; however, one of Jehoram’s servants mocked Father and disdainfully stated to Elisha, “Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?.” His statement concerning “if Father would make windows in heaven…” was actually a mocking of Father going all the way back to Genesis 7:11 when Father brought about the flood of Noah’s day in order to destroy the offspring of the fallen angels and flesh women. Father then replied to this foolish servant of Jehoram through His prophet Elisha telling him, “Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.”. This prophesy came to pass as the chapter closed as; Father had caused the Syrian army to hear the sound of horses and chariots and a great host rapidly approaching, and they became afraid for their lives, so much so, that they fled their camp in terror, they left behind all their animals and equipment, and were even stripping off their armor and weapons as they fled, making their way toward the Jordan River and safety on the other side.
We next read of Four leprous men who had been at the entering in of the gate of Samaria deciding to go over to the Syrian camp, figuring that, rather than stand at the Samarian gate dying of starvation, they’d go over and see if the Syrian’s would give them something to eat, or if they’d slay them with the sword. Either way it’d be better than the slow death of starvation. So, they head over to the Syrian camp about twilight and find it completely empty, they enter in and eat to their full, then take silver, and gold, and raiment and hide it, go back and raid another tent when it dawns on one of them that they all have relatives in Samaria who are also dying of starvation; so, they therefore should go back to Samaria and notify the king off their discovery. Which they then proceed to do, and upon being notified, Jehoram then tells his counsel that the Syrian camp being empty is nothing more than a ruse, a trap being laid by the Syrians in order to try and capture Samaria and kill all the Israelites;, therefore, nobody should venture outside the city walls. One of his servants tells the king that they should at least sent a team or two of horse and chariot to see whether it is indeed a trap, or if by some chance, what the leprous men said was true. So, Jehoram relents and allows two teams of horse and chariot to go over to the Syrian camp, and sure enough, there is no trap, the Syrians have fled and abandoned their camp and the horse and chariot teams have even followed their trail of discarded armor and weapons all the way to the Jordan River. Therefore, they went back and notified the king of what they found. Upon his being notified, Jehoram then tells his people that they may go over to the Syrian camp and partake of the food.
The people do so and even after devouring much food, Father’s prophesy come to pass exactly as He prophesied through Elisha, fine flour and barley were so abundant that a peck of fine flour sold for a shekel and two pecks of barley sold for two shekels. As for the foolish servant who mocked Father, there again, Father’s prophesy came to pass as; he saw all the food; however, when the king appointed him to have charge of the gate, the people trampled him to death in order to get to the food.
Now, in this chapter, II Kings 8, we’ll discover that it is a parenthetical chapter as; as we’ll find as we make our way through it, that it’ll take us back in time by about 7 years, back to II Kings 4. We know this because the chapter opens with a famine already underway, and it is the famine which we read of in II Kings 4:38 and that’s where we’ll pick it up.
With that introduction being said, let's go to Father and ask Him for His Blessings on our Study of His Word: "Father, we come to you right now to thank you for inviting us to Your table in order that we might be able to partake of and receive Your Spiritual Meat, and Father, as we prepare to dine on the sustenance which sustains our inner man, we ask that You O LORD open our ears and eyes, that we might be able to hear and see your Truths, open our hearts and minds and prepare us in order that we may receive Your Truth. We Pray for Your understanding of Your Word, we seek Your knowledge in Your Word and most importantly Father, we Pray for and desire Your Wisdom from Your Word, in Jesus' Precious name we Pray, thank You Father, Amen."
I Kings 22:51-II Kings 8:15 ISRAEL. (Introversion.)
II Kings 3:1-8:18 Joram.
II Kings 8:1-6 Shunammite.
II Kings 8:1 Then spake Elisha (YAH his Salvation) 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.” -> This woman who Elisha is speaking with is the same woman from II Kings 4 who had had her husband build the small room onto their house for Elisha to stay the night in as he traveled back and from between the schoolhouses for the prophets in Mount Carmel and Gilgal. At the end of that chapter, after Father had performed His seventh miracle through His prophet Elisha, we then read of Elisha returning to Gilgal and upon arriving there, he discovers there is a dearth in the land.
It is this same dearth which we are reading of here in this verse of vII Kings 8:1, and obviously after Father performed His eighth miracle through His prophet—i.e. that of changing the pot of stew which had been too bitter to eat, to where after meal was poured on top, it was now fit to eat—Elisha has returned to Shunem—as have we as; we are now reading of the continuation of II Kings 4—to warn the woman to go and find a place where there is an abundance of food which will sustain her, her husband, and her son for the next seven years while this famine is in the land.
Don't confuse this drought with the one from the previous chapter II Kings 7 as; that drought was not called for by Father, that one was on Samaria, and took place because the Syrians were besieging the city.
Elisha=“Son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah; the attendant and disciple of Elijan, and subsequently his successor as prophet of the kingdom of Israel. The earliest mention of his name is in the command to Elijah in the cave at Horeb I Kings 19:16-17. Elijah sets forth to obey the command, and comes upon his successor engaged in ploughing. He crosses to him and throws over his shoulders the rough mantle --a token at once of investiture with the prophet's office and of adoption as a son. Elisha delayed merely to give the farewell kiss to his father and mother and preside at a parting feast with his people, and then followed the great prophet on his northward road. We hear nothing more of Elisha for eight years, until the translation of his master, when he reappears, to become the most prominent figure in the history of his country during the rest of his long life. In almost every respect Elisha presents the most complete contrast to Elijah. Elijah was a true Bedouin child of the desert. If he enters a city it is only to deliver his message of fire and be gone. Elisha, on the other hand, is a civilized man, an inhabitant of cities. His dress was the ordinary garment of an Israelite, the begged , probably similar in form to the long abbeyeh of the modern Syrians II Kings 2:12. His hair was worn trimmed behind, in contrast to the disordered locks of Elijah, and he used a walking-staff II Kings 4:29, of the kind ordinarily carried by grave or aged citizens Zechariah 8:4. After the departure of his master, Elisha returned to dwell at Jericho II Kings 2:18, where he miraculously purified the springs. We next meet with Elisha at Bethel, in the heart of the country, on his way from Jericho to Mount Carmel II Kings 2:23. The mocking children, Elisha's curse and the catastrophe which followed are familiar to all. Later he extricates Jehoram king of Israel, and the kings of Judah and Edom, from their difficulty in the campaign against Moab arising from want of water II Kings 3:4-27. Then he multiplies the widow's oil II Kings 4:5. The next occurrence is at Shunem, where he is hospitably entertained by a woman of substance, whose son dies, and is brought to life again by Elisha II Kings 4:8-37. Then at Gilgal he purifies the deadly pottage II Kings 4:38-41, and multiplies the loaves II Kings 4:42-44. The simple records of these domestic incidents amongst the sons of the prophets are now interrupted by an occurrence of a more important character II Kings 5:1-27. The chief captain of the army of Syria, Naaman, is attacked with leprosy, and is sent by an Israelite maid to the prophet Elisha, who directs him to dip seven times in the Jordan, which he does and is healed II Kings 5:1-14, while Naaman's servant, Gehazi, he strikes with leprosy for his unfaithfulness II Kings 5:20-27. Again the scene changes. It is probably at Jericho that Elisha causes the iron axe to swim II Kings 6:1-7. A band of Syrian marauders are sent to seize him, but are struck blind, and he misleads them to Samaria, where they find themselves in the presence of the Israelite king and his troops II Kings 6:8-23. During the famine in Samaria II Kings 6:24-33, he prophesied incredible plenty II Kings 7:1-2, which was soon fulfilled II Kings 7:3-20. We next find the prophet at Damascus. Benhadad the king is sick, and sends to Elisha by Hazael to know the result. Elisha prophesies the king's death, and announces to Hazael that he is to succeed to the throne II Kings 7:8,15. Finally this prophet of God, after having filled the position for sixty years, is found on his death-bed in his own house II Kings 13:14-19. The power of the prophet, however, does not terminate with his death. Even in the tomb he restores the dead to life II Kings 13:21.”.
II Kings 8:2 And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines (immigrants) seven years. -> Seven years is a long time for a famine to be throughout the land, seven years is also a long time to be away from your home; but, the woman obeyed Elisha and packed up her family and many of their belongings, and moved them into the land where the Philistines inhabited.
Philistines=“The origin of the Philistines is nowhere expressly stated in the Bible (I disagree with this statement as; we can read in both Genesis 10 and I Chronicles 1 that Noah’s son Ham begat Mizraim, who then begat Casluhim, [out of whom came Philistim (the Philistines in I Chronicles 1)]); but as the prophets describe them as "the Philistines-from Caphtor" Amos 9:7, and "the remnant of the maritime district of Caphtor" Jeremiah 47:4 it is prima facie probable that they were the Caphtorim which came out of Caphtor" who expelled the Avim from their territory and occupied it; in their place, (2:23) and that these again were the Caphtorim mentioned in the Mosaic genealogical table among the descendants of Mizraim Genesis 10:14. It has been generally assumed that Caphtor represents Crete, and that the Philistines migrated from that island, either directly or through Egypt, into Palestine. But the name Caphtor is more probably identified with the Egyptian Coptos. [CAPHTOR] History. -- The Philistines must have settled in the land of Canaan before the time of Abraham; for they are noticed in his day as a pastoral tribe in the neighborhood of Gerur Genesis 21:32,34; 26:1,8. Between the times of Abraham and Joshua the Philistines had changed their quarters, and had advanced northward into the plain of Philistia. The Philistines had at an early period attained proficiency in the arts of peace. Their wealth was abundant Judges 16:5,19, and they appear in all respects to have been a prosperous people. Possessed of such elements of power, they had attained in the time of the judges an important position among eastern nations. About B.C. 1200 we find them engaged in successful war with the Sidonians. Justin xviii. 3. The territory of the Philistines having been once occupied by the Canaanites, formed a portion of the promised land, and was assigned the tribe of Judah Joshua 15:2,12,45-47. No portion of it, however, was conquered in the lifetime of Joshua Joshua 13:2, and even after his death no permanent conquest was effected Judges 3:3, though we are informed that the three cities of Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekron were taken Judges 1:18. The Philistines soon recovered these, and commenced an aggressive policy against the Israelites, by which they gained a complete ascendancy over them. Individual heroes were raised up from time to time, such as Shamgar the son of Anath Judges 3:31, and still more Samson, Judges 13-16 , but neither of these men succeeded in permanently throwing off the yoke. The Israelites attributed their past weakness to their want, of unity, and they desired a king, with the special object of leading them against the foe I Samuel 8:20. Saul threw off the yoke; and the Philistines were defeated with great slaughter at Geba I Samuel 13:3. They made no attempt to regain their supremacy for about twenty-five years, and the scene of the next contest shows the altered strength of the two parties. It was no longer in the central country, but in a ravine leading down to the Philistine plain, the valley of Elah, the position of which is about 14 miles southwest of Jerusalem. On this occasion the prowess of young David secured success to Israel, and the foe was pursued to the gates of Gath and Ekron I Samuel 17:1. ... The power of the Philistines was, however, still intact on their own territory. The border warfare was continued. The scene of the next conflict was far to the north, in the valley of Esdraelon. The battle on this occasion proved disastrous to the Israelites; Saul himself perished, and the Philistines penetrated across the Jordan and occupied the, forsaken cities I Samuel 31:1-7. On the appointment of David to be king, he twice attacked them, and on each occasion with signal success, in the first case capturing their images, in the second pursuing them "from Geba until thou come to Gazer" II Samuel 5:17-25; I Chronicles 14:8-16. Henceforth the Israelites appear as the aggressors. About seven years after the defeat at Rephaim, David, who had now consolidated his power, attacked them on their own soil end took Gath with its dependencies. The whole of Philistine was included in Solomon's empire. Later when the Philistines, joined by the Syrians and Assyrians, made war on the kingdom of Israel, Hezekiah formed an alliance with the Egyptians, as a counterpoise to the Assyrians, and the possession of Philistia became henceforth the turning-point of the struggle between the two great empires of the East. The Assyrians under Tartan, the general of Sargon, made an expedition against Egypt, and took Ashdod, as the key of that country Isaiah 20:1,4,5. Under Senacherib, Philistia was again the scene of important operations. The Assyrian supremacy was restored by Esarhaddon, and it seems probable that the Assyrians retained their hold on Ashdod until its capture, after a long siege, by Psammetichus. It was about this time that Philistia was traversed by vast Scythian horde on their way to Egypt. The Egyptian ascendancy was not as yet re-established, for we find the next king, Necho, compelled to besiege Gaza on his return from the battle of Megiddo. After the death of Necho the contest was renewed between the Egyptians and the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar, and the result was specially disastrous to the Philistines. The "old hatred" that the Philistines bore to the Jews was exhibited in acts of hostility at the time of the Babylonish captivity Ezekiel 25:15-17, but on the return this was somewhat abated, for some of the Jews married Philistine women, to the great scandal of their rulers Nehemiah 13:23,24. From this time the history of Philistia is absorbed in the struggles of the neighboring kingdoms. The latest notices of the Philistines as a nation occur in 1 Maccabees 3-5. Institutions, religion, etc. -- With regard to the institutions of the Philistines our information is very scanty, The five chief cities had, as early as the days of Joshua, constituted themselves into a confederacy, restricted however, in all probability, to matters of offence and defense. Each was under the government of a prince Joshua 13:3; Judges 3:3; I Samuel 18:30; 29:6, and each possessed its own territory. The Philistines appear to have been deeply imbued with superstition: they carried their idols with them on their campaigns II Samuel 5:21, and proclaimed their victories in their presence I Samuel 31:9. The gods whom they chiefly worshipped were Dagon Judges 16:23; I Samuel 5:3-5; I Chronicles 10:10; Ashtaroth I Samuel 31:10, Herod and Baalzebub II Kings 1:2-6.”.
II Kings 8:3 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. -> Exactly as prophesied, at the end of seven years, the famine ended. Therefore the woman and her family being anxious to return home to their own home, packed up their belongings and did just that, they returned to Samaria; however, upon returning home they found that their home was no longer theirs, and it was occupied by someone else. So, the woman went to see king Jehoram—Ahab's son—and petition him to restore unto her her lands and her house.
II Kings 8:4 And the king talked with Gehazi (valley of a visionary; or, valley of vision) the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.” -> This verse with Jehoram talking with Gehazi shows us how far back in time this verse has taken us as; for Jehoram to be talking with Elisha's student means that the war with the Moabites has ended not too far in the past as; if you'll recall, Jehoram and Jehoshaphat had gone down to see Elisha and enquire of him concerning the war between them and the Moabites, and Father through Elisha told them they would have the victory, which came to pass; therefore, we see that Jehoram is still thinking of not harming Elisha, otherwise he wouldn't be talking with Gehazi, at least not in a friendly manner; two, for Gehazi to be standing before the king in Samaria, means that Gehazi had not yet chased after Naaman and lying to him saying that two new student came to the schoolhouse and Elisha sent him to ask for gold and silver and two changes of raiment for each of them, and for lying in Elisha's name and coveting the gold, silver and raiment, Father put the leprosy which Elisha cleansed Naaman of, onto Gehazi, and he being a leper was therefore no longer allowed in the city.
So, anyway, as Jehoram was speaking with Gehazi, he asked Gehazi to tell him of all the miracles which Father had performed through His prophet Elisha, and as Gehazi was chronicling out for Jehoram the nine miracles: (1) Jordan divided (II Kings 2:14); (2) Waters healed (2:21); (3) Bears from wood (2:24); (4) Water for kings (3:20); (5) Oil for the widow woman (4:1-6); (6) Gift of son (4:16-17); (7) Raising the woman’s from dead (4:35); (8) Healing of pottage (4:41); and (9) Bread multiplied (4:43), as we're about to read, in walks the woman and her son to whom Father gave the boy when she and her husband were already along in years, and then the boy died and Father restored his life for her.
Gehazi=“The servant or boy of Elisha. He was sent as the prophet's messenger on two occasions to the good Shunammite II Kings 4:12; obtained fraudulently money and garments from Naaman, was miraculously smitten with incurable leprosy, and was dismissed from the prophet's service II Kings 5:1. ... Later in the history he is mentioned as being engaged in relating to King Joram all the great things which Elisha had done II Kings 8:4,5.”.
II Kings 8:5 And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried 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.” -> So, as Gehazi is standing there telling the king of the miracles that Father performed through the hand of Elisha, in walks this woman and her son, the young lad is looking very well and just like any other healthy boy, and the woman without being asked, begins asking for the king to restore her land and home back to her. Before the king removed her from his presence, Gehazi cuts the woman off in mid-sentence by telling the king that this is the woman and child he was referring to.
II Kings 8:6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.” -> Jehoram then asks the woman to explain what happened to her lands and home, and explains to him of Elisha coming to her in order to notify her of the coming famine, that she and her family needed to go to a place where they'd have plenty of food to sustain them for the next seven years, and now that the famine has ended, she and her family have returned; but, when they got to their house, they discovered somebody else living in her house, and she'd like for the king to decree that the home and property are indeed hers and for the current occupant to vacate the premises. To which the king agrees and sends one of his officers—think of maybe the County Clerk—who goes and tells the occupant, the king wants not only house and lands restored to her; but, you are even to restore the produce and fruit—or the monetary value of such—which the land had yielded over the seven year period while she was gone. It’s probably a pretty safe bet that with the great famine in the land which just ended, there would have not been all that much. However, this does bring to our minds, the inheritance that is involved here. This inheritance will be passed on to the woman’s son, the very son whom was brought back to live by Father, through His prophet Elisha.
That inheritance is promised and will be absolutely given to those who are true to Father all the way to the coming of Jesus Christ. All that is taken from you by satan's system will be well restored and many times over, and that is something that you can take to the bank. For all the trouble that you have gone through and missed while living in these flesh bodies, and missed from the Mighty presence of Almighty God ELYON, will be restored back to you. It is a beautiful though and it is going to happen to you. So, we see that this Shunammite woman was a type of what we can expect when we too return home.
Make sure brethren, that you continue to plant the seeds of Truth in brothers and sisters’ minds, for even if others take in that harvest crop which grew out of your seeds, in the end of this earth Age you will restored all the fruitful rewards which came from that crop. That end of this Age is not too far away as; we are living in the final generation. Most of the signs of the end times are history to us today; for the Jews have returned to Jerusalem, the peace treaties have all been signed and delivered. The one world system is set up and their ten agencies are now controlling the affairs of the nations of the world nation. We are living in the generation of "the parable of the fig tree," mentioned and discussed in detail in Jeremiah 24 and the restoration is not far away. Father is always faithful and keeps His Word.
Beginning with the next verse, we return to the chronological correct Biblical time following after II Kings 6-7. Here we'll find that Ben-hadad, king of Syria has returned to his palace after hearing those horses and chariots and the great host, and he and his army fled from their besieging of Samaria.
We're also going to read of the coming to pass of what Father had Elijah do, just prior to Him calling His prophet Home to Him. Recall brethren from I Kings 19:15-17 that Elijah was to leave Mount Horeb—where Father had revealed Himself to Elijah, allowing him to see Father's back—and return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus where he was to anoint Hazael the next king of Syria, and Elisha his relief?
8:7-15 Mission to Elisha. (Ben-Hadad).
II Kings 8:7 And Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben-hadad the king of Syria (the highland) was sick; and it was told him, saying, “The man of God is come hither.” -> So, Elisha, who not too long ago prophesied that the siege of Syria would come to an end, and therefore, food would again be available in Samaria in abundance, with the prices of both fine flour and barley returning to normal, which did come to pass, has now left the territories of Israel and come into Syrian territories.
Now, some of you may be wondering—knowing that Father leads his prophets every step of their lives—(1) why in the world would He bring Elisha to Damascus; and (2) why would He heal Ben-hadad? We know Ben-hadad was the king who took the lives of many Israelites through all the wars which he led. So, why would Father send His prophet to the enemy, and then even let the enemy know that His prophet was there in town? Let's read and find out.
Damascus=“One of the most ancient and most important of the cities of Syria. It is situated 130 miles northeast of Jerusalem, in a plain of vast size and of extreme fertility, which lies east of the great chain of Anti-Libanus, on the edge of the desert. This fertile plain, which is nearly circular and about 30 miles in diameter, is due to the river Barada , which is probably the "Abana" of Scripture. Two other streams the Wady Helbon upon the north and the Awaj, which flows direct from Hermon upon the south, increase the fertility of the Damascene plain, and contend for the honor of representing the "Pharpar" of Scripture. According to Josephus, Damascus was founded by Uz grandson of Shem. It is first mentioned in Scripture in connection with Abraham Genesis 14:15, whose steward was a native of the place Genesis 15:2. At one time David became complete master of the whole territory, which he garrisoned with Israelites II Samuel 8:5-6. It was in league with Baasha, king of Israel against Asa I Kings 15:19; II Chronicles 16:3, and afterwards in league with Asa against Baasha I Kings 15:20. Under Ahaz it was taken by Tiglath-pileser II Kings 16:7-9, the kingdom of Damascus brought to an end, and the city itself destroyed, the inhabitants being carried captive into Assyria II Kings 16:9, with which we can compare with Isaiah 7:8 and Amos 1:5. Afterwards it passed successively under the dominion of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans and Saracens, and was at last captured by the Turks in 1516 A.D. Here the apostle Paul was converted and preached the gospel Acts 9:1-25. Damascus has always been a great centre for trade. Its present population is from 100,000 to 150,000. It has a delightful climate. Certain localities are shown as the site of those scriptural events which specially interest us in its history. Queen's Street, which runs straight through the city from east to west, may be the street called Straight Acts 9:11. The house of Judas and that of Ananias are shown, but little confidence can be placed in any of these traditions.”.
Ben-Hadad=“(Son of Hadad), the name of three kings of Damascus. BENHADAD I., King of Damascus, which in his time was supreme in Syria. He made an alliance with Asa, and conquered a great part of the north of Israel I Kings 15:18. BEN-HADAD II., son of the preceding, and also king of Damascus. Long wars with Israel characterized his reign. Sometime after the death of Ahab, Benhadad renewed the war with Israel, attacked Samaria a second time, and pressed the siege so closely that there was a terrible famine in the city. But the Syrians broke up in the night in consequence of a sudden panic. Soon after Ben-hadad fell sick, and sent Hazael to consult Elisha as to the issue of his malady. On the day after Hazael's return Ben-hadad was murdered, probably by some of his own servants II Kings 8:7-15. Ben-hadad's must have reigned some 30 years. BEN-HADAD III., son of Hazael, and his successor on the throne of Syria. When he succeeded to the throne, Jehoash recovered the cities which Jehoahaz had lost to the Syrians, and beat him in Aphek II Kings 13:17,25.”.
Syria=“Is the term used throughout our version for the Hebrew Aram , as well as for the Greek Zupia . Most probably Syria is for Tsyria, the country about Tsur or Tyre which was the first of the Syrian towns known to the Greeks. It is difficult to fix the limits of Syria. The limits of the Hebrew Aram and its subdivisions are spoken of under ARAM. Syria proper was bounded by Amanus and Taurus on the north by the Euphrates and the Arabian desert on the east, by Palestine on the south, by the Mediterranean near the mouth of the Orontes, and then by Phoenicia on the west. This tract is about 300 miles long from north to south, and from 50 to 150 miles broad. It contains an area of about 30,000 square miles. General physical features. --The general character of the tract is mountainous, as the Hebrew name Aram (from a roof signifying "height") sufficiently implies. The most fertile and valuable tract of Syria is the long valley intervening between Libanus and Anti-Libanus. Of the various mountain ranges of Syria, Lebanon possesses the greatest interest. It extends from the mouth of the Litany to Arka, a distance of nearly 100 miles. Anti-Libanus, as the name implies, stands lover against Lebanon, running in the same direction, i.e. nearly north and south, and extending the same length. [LEBANON] The principal rivers of Syria are the Litany and the Orontes. The Litany springs from a small lake situated in the middle of the Coele-Syrian valley, about six miles to the southwest of Baalbek. It enters the sea about five miles north of Tyre. The source of the Orontes is but about 15 miles from that of the Litany. Its modern name is the Nahr-el-Asi, or "rebel stream," an appellation given to it on account of its violence and impetuosity in many parts of its course. The chief towns of Syria may be thus arranged, as nearly as possible in the order of their importance: 1, Antioch; 2, Damascus; 3, Apamea; 4, Seleucia; 5, Tadmor or Palmyra; 6, Laodicea; 7, Epiphania (Hamath); 8, Samosata; 9, Hierapolis (Mabug); 10, Chalybon; 11, Emesa; 12, Heliopolis; 13, Laodicea ad Libanum; 14, Cyrrhus; 15, Chalcis; 16, Poseideum; 17, Heraclea; 18, Gindarus; 19, Zeugma; 20, Thapsacus. Of these, Samosata, Zeugma and Thapsacus are on the Euphrates; Seleucia, Laodicea, Poseideum and Heraclea, on the seashore, Antioch, Apamea, Epiphania and Emesa ( Hems ), on the Orontes; Heliopolis and Laodicea ad Libanum, in Coele-Syria; Hierapolis, Chalybon, Cyrrhus, Chalcis and Gindarns, in the northern highlands; Damascus on the skirts, and Palmyra in the centre, of the eastern desert. History. --The first occupants of Syria appear to have been of Hamitic descent --Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, etc. After a while the first comers, who were still to a great extent nomads, received a Semitic infusion, while most Probably came to them from the southeast. The only Syrian town whose existence we find distinctly marked at this time is Damascus Genesis 14:15; 15:2, which appears to have been already a place of some importance. Next to Damascus must be placed Hamath Numbers 13:21; 34:8. Syria at this time, and for many centuries afterward, seems to have been broken up among a number of petty kingdoms. The Jews first come into hostile contact with the Syrians, under that name, in the time of David Genesis 15:18; II Samuel 8:3,4,13. When, a few years later, the Ammonites determined on engaging in a war with David, and applied to the Syrians for aid, Zolah, together with Beth-rehob sent them 20,000 footmen, and two other Syrian kingdoms furnished 13,000 II Samuel 10:6. This army being completely defeated by Joab, Hadadezer obtained aid from Mesopotamia, ibid. ver. 16, and tried the chance of a third battle, which likewise went against him, and produced the general submission of Syria to the Jewish monarch. The submission thus begun continued under the reign of Solomon I Kings 4:21. The only part of Syria which Solomon lost seems to have been Damascus, where an independent kingdom was set up by Rezon, a native of Zobah I Kings 11:23-25. On the separation of the two kingdoms, soon after the accession of Rehoboam, the remainder of Syria no doubt shook off the yoke. Damascus now became decidedly the leading state, Hamath being second to it, and the northern Hittites, whose capital was Carchemish, near Bambuk , third. [DAMASCUS] Syria became attached to the great Assyrian empire, from which it passed to the Babylonians, and from them to the Persians, In B.C. 333 it submitted to Alexander without a struggle. Upon the death of Alexander, Syria became, for the first time the head of a great kingdom. On the division of the provinces among his generals, B.C. 321, Seleucus Nicator received Mesopotamia and Syria. The city of Antioch was begun in B.C. 300, and, being finished in a few years, was made the capital of Seleucus' kingdom. The country grew rich with the wealth which now flowed into it on all sides. Syria was added to the Roman empire by Pompey, B.C. 64, and as it holds an important place, not only in the Old Testament but in the New, some account of its condition under the Romans must be given. While the country generally was formed into a Roman province, under governors who were at first proprietors or quaestors, then procounsuls, and finally legates, there were exempted from the direct rule of the governor in the first place, a number of "free cities" which retained the administration of their own affairs, subject to a tribute levied according to the Roman principles of taxation; secondly, a number of tracts, which were assigned to petty princes, commonly natives, to be ruled at their pleasure, subject to the same obligations with the free cities as to taxation. After the formal division of the provinces between Augustus and the senate, Syria, being from its exposed situation among the province principis, were ruled by legates, who were of consular rank (consulares) and bore severally the full title of "Legatus Augusti pro praetore." Judea occupied a peculiar position; a special procurator was therefore appointed to rule it, who was subordinate to the governor of Syria, but within his own province had the power of a legatus. Syria continued without serious disturbance from the expulsion of the Parthians, B.C. 38, to the breaking out of the Jewish war, A.D. 66. in A.D. 44-47 it was the scene of a severe famine. A little earlier, Christianity had begun to spread into it, partly by means of those who "were scattered" at the time of Stephen's persecution Acts 11:19, partly by the exertions of St. Paul Galatians 1:21. The Syrian Church soon grew to be one of the most flourishing Acts 13:1; 15:23, 35, 41 etc. (Syria remained under Roman and Byzantine rule till A.D. 634, when it was overrun by the Mohammedans; after which it was for many years the scene of fierce contests, and was finally subjugated by the Turks, A.D. 1517, under whose rule it still remains. --ED.).”
II Kings 8:8 And the king said unto Hazael (YAH has seen; or, whom YAH sees), “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?’ ” -> After being told that Elisha was in town, Ben-hadad, who remembers what Elisha did for his General Naaman,—healing him of his leprosy in II Kings 5—Ben-hadad says to his attendant Hazael to take some gifts, and go and see Elisha and ask him if he'll inquire of YHVH as to whether he'll recover of this sickness that he has.
Several things to note here brethren: (1) Ben-hadad knows from when Naaman returned from seeing and being healed by Elisha, and more importantly his being healed by Father, Whom Father is, and he even goes so far as to have Hazael ask Elisha inquire of Father YHVH, mentioning Him by name; (2) he has to have known that Naaman returned with just about every one of the gifts he had tried to offer Elisha when he sent Naaman to be healed, that Elisha had declined payment for the miracle Father did, not him; therefore, you have to wonder why he thinks Elisha will now accept payment for inquiring of Father for him as to whether he'll recover of this sickness?; (3) being king of Syria, Ben-hadad is used to being approached by others, whether they be other kings, Heads of State, other dignitaries, of common folk; but, in any case, he is used to being approached by those bearing gifts, this is probably the reason he does indeed tell Hazael to take gifts with him when he goes to seek Elisha; and (4) back in the beginning of this Book of II Kings, in II Kings 1, king Ahaziah had injured himself when he had fallen through the latticework, and on whom did he seek as to whether he would recover, Father YHVH? Nope, if you said Father, you'd be wrong as; unlike the heathen Syrian Ben-hadad here, who is seeking Father YHVH, Ahaziah king of Israel sought baalzebub the god—lower case "g"—of Ekron, the heathen Philistines; quite ironic and moronic if you ask me.
Hazael=“A king of Damascus who reigned from about B.C. 886 to B.C. 840. He appears to have been previously a person in a high position at the court of Ben-hadad, and was sent by his master to Elisha to inquire if he would recover from the malady under which he was suffering. Elisha's answer led to the murder of Ben-hadad by his ambitious servant, who forthwith mounted the throne -15. He was soon engaged in war with the kings of Judah and Israel for the possession of the city of Ramoth-gilead. Ibid II Kings 8:28. Towards the close of the reign of Jehu, Hazael led the Syrians against the Israelites, whom he "smote in all their coasts" II Kings 10:32, thus accomplishing the prophecy of Elisha. Ibid II Kings 8:12. At the close of his life, having taken Gath, ibid II Kings 12:17 with which we can compare with Amos 6:2. He proceeded to attack Jerusalem II Chronicles 24:24, and was about to assault the city when Joash bribed him to retire II Kings 12:18. Hazael appears to have died about the year B.C. 840 II Kings 13:24, having reigned forty-six years.”.
II Kings 8:9 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 Ben-hadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, ‘Shall I recover of this disease?’ ” -> Before departing to see Elisha, Hazael does as Ben-hadad had instructed and went and gathered silver and gold and raiment and many other sundry items to take to Elisha - 40 camels worth. He then heads over to where they heard Elisha is staying and upon arriving before him; he asks Elisha whether Ben-hadad will get better or whether the disease will claim his life?
Do you recall where Syria attained most of their wealth brethren? It's recorded in Father's Word and we have already read of it, it was inI Kings 15: I Kings 15:16 And there was war between Asa (king of the House of Judah) and Baasha king of Israel all their days. -> These wars weren't really all-out wars; but, were more on the scale of feuds, border clashes, and\or skirmishes. Baasha had come into power when he murdered Jeroboam's—the first king of the House of Israel after Father had split the Nation into two separate Houses at the end of Solomon's reign—son Nadab. He was the son of Ahijah, and was descended from the Tribe of Issachar, Baasha's father Ahijah is not the same as the prophet Ahijah who was the Shilonite. Baasha will be more concerned with fighting against Jeroboam's sons than against Asa, though he will eventually come against Asa. I Kings 15:17 And Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not suffer any to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. -> We can read in II Chronicles 16:1 that during the 36th year of Asa's reign over the House of Judah, Baasha came up against Judah to fight against it, he knew he would first have to stop people from entering and\or leaving, so he fortified Ramah in order to do this. Ramah was approximately five miles north of Jerusalem, it lie within the borders of the House of Judah, and more specifically, in the Tribe of Benjamin, in other words, it was about a two hour walk from Jerusalem. What we see in this is that, Baasha is dug-in only a short distance from Asa,—not a good thing if you're Asa as—this position affords him the opportunity to stop all those who were fleeing Israel and coming to Jerusalem. This next verse is why we came here to I Kings 15. I Kings 15:18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Ben-hadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, -> What a sad and disappointing thing to read and hear of. Remember, we had read how Asa was being pleasing to Father by removing all the evil, perverse and wicked things out of Judah, therefore all he had to do was to turn to Father and ask His help, and Father would have taken care of his enemies; however, he is so affrighted by Baasha that, instead of seeking Father, Asa turns and seeks the strength of man. How does he do this? By removing all the dedicated things within the Temple of Father YHVH and giving them to Ben-hadad the king of Syria in order to pay mercenaries as protection. How sad indeed, especially considering that, we read in II Chronicles 16:8-9 that when the Ethiopians and the Lubims came up against him, Asa relied upon—in other words, put his rest in—Father. Father responded how? By delivered them into Asa's hand, "...For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.". I Kings 15:19 "There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me." -> Asa sent and told Ben-hadad that there was a covenant between the two men's fathers; therefore there should be just as strong a bond between their sons. Here, in order to shore this covenant up, I've taken the treasures out of the House of my God YHVH and have sent it to you in order show you my faith in our covenant bond. Therefore, I now ask that you break your bond with Baasha and further strengthen ours. This was a very telling verse brethren as, it showed exactly where the loyalties of the Syrians were, and it isn't in man, it's in money, for, they can be bought, they might not be cheap; but, they can at least be purchased for the right amount. This is also part of the reason Ben-hadad, every time he sends someone on a mission for him, he has them take gifts with them.
II Kings 8:10 And Elisha said unto him, “Go, say unto him, ‘Thou mayest certainly recover:’ howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die.” -> Elisha tells Hazael to tell Ben-hadad that, yes, Ben-hadad, you surely will recover from his disease; however, Elisha further told me to tell you that YHVH has also said me that, you won't live for very long after you do recover.
Back in I Kings 19:15-21 when Father had told Elijah he was to go to Syria and anoint Hazael to be king of Syria, then go and see Jehu and anoint him to be king of Israel, and then next to Elisha to anoint him to be his replacement; what Father was telling Elijah was, that Hazael would kill Ben-hadad and then become king of Syria, and Jehu would kill Ahab's son Jehoram and become king of Israel. However, before he returned Home to Father, Elijah had only completed one of the tasks, the anointing of Elisha as his replacement, the other two tasks are now about to be accomplished, and by Elisha.
Let's return now to II Kings 8.
II Kings 8:11 And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept. -> Since Elijah had only completed his first task—that of anointing Elisha as his replacement—and had not completed the other two—those of anointing Hazael king of Syria and of anointing Jehu king of Israel—before he returned Home to Father, Father laid it upon Elisha's heart and showed him what was to come to pass; and that means that knowledge came upon him as he was standing there facing Hazael; and as he was doing so, he locked his eyes steadfastly onto Hazael's and Hazael became ashamed because, he also already knew what he had planned to do,—murder Ben-hadad and set himself as king of Syria—and he now knew that Elisha knew, too.
The man of God wept=Yes, Elisha wept, not for Ben-hadad's life; but, because Father shown him what was to become of the House of Israel in the future. Of course, this was Father's punishment for their being so disobedient and rejecting Him in favor of other false gods.
II Kings 8:12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord?” And he answered, “Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.” -> Father was going to use Hazael as a attention getting or correcting force, much the same way He used the nations He brought against House of Israel during the time of the Judges whenever Israel turned away from Him; He would send those foreign nations against Israel to make them cry out to Him and return their hearts to Him. Here, time after time He send a prophet to try and get Israel to return their hearts to Him; but, they refused, so, He sent punishing forces. Had they just obeyed Him and gotten rid of or destroyed the golden calves, the groves and idols and images, things would have turned out completely different.
These destructive acts of violence by Hazael—which again are punishments on Israel by Father—are described in II Kings 10:30-33; II Kings 12:17-18; II Kings 13:1-3,22; and II Chronicles 22:1-7.
II Kings 8:13 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.” -> After hearing from Elisha what his own plans were, Hazael knew the "cat was out of the bag" so to speak; therefore, he disguises his anger by feigning humility and asks Elisha, "do you think that I am a dog? I would think of doing such a thing?" Remember though brethren, Father is in control of the enemy,—in this case Hazael—and He will bring it to pass; and, just as He can bring wrath down on those who turn against him, at the same time He also has the ability to protect His own. Those who do die by the wrath of Hazael will only be those who deserve death for their wickedness, and what is Father doing when He does this? Much the same thing He did with Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu, saying, “get here in front of Me as; I want to talk with you.”
II Kings 8:14 So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, “What said Elisha to thee?” And he answered, “He told me that thou shouldest surely recover.” -> After departing from Elisha and returning to the king's palace, Ben-hadad summons Hazael for him to tell him, i.e. Hazael to tell Ben-hadad, what Elisha said would become of the king. Hazael replied somewhat truthful as; he told Ben-hadad that Elisha said that YHVH said that he would get better and recover from his disease. What he didn't disclose was his own devious plan to murder him and set himself as king of Syria; and it won't take long until this comes to pass as; we'll be reading of it in the next verse.
II Kings 8:15 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. -> The very next morning as Ben-hadad lay sleeping, Hazael crept into his bedchamber with a closely woven or plaited cloth which was soaking wet, placed it over the sleeping Ben-hadad's face, smothering him to death.
Father used Hazael to fulfill His plan just as He used Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus in order for Him to be crucified and He uses and is going to use satan to test His children at the end of this Age. The negative part of Fathers plan is when He allows satan to do those things which are common to the ways of the devil. Father has given each of us the free-will to choose to do good or evil, and He will allow you to do those things which you do, just as he allowed Hazael to commit this vile act of murder that he did. It was to fulfill God's overall purpose, and that purpose will always be positive.
Dr. Bullinger points out in his companion notes in the side wide margin of his Companion Bible, that the inscripitions of Shalmaneser II agree with and support this accounting of what transpired here as; the name Jehu appears with Hazael's.
We change courses beginning in the next verse brethren, and now look again in on the House of Judah to see what they're up to.
8:16—II Kings 9:29 JUDAH. (Division.)
8:16-8:24 JEHORAM. (Introversion.)
II Kings 8:16 And in the fifth year of Joram (whom YAH has exalted) the son of Ahab (brother (that is, friend) of (his) father; or, uncle) king of Israel, Jehoshaphat (YHVH judged; or, whom YHVH judges)(yeh-ho-shaw-fawt') being then king of Judah, Jehoram (YHVH raised) the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. -> All this verse is saying brethren is, that, Ahab's son Joram is king over the House of Israel, while Jehoram—sometimes also called Joram—son of Jehoshaphat is king over the House of Judah; and that, Jehoshaphat's son became king sometime during the fifth year of Ahab's son. So, in other words, as previously pointed out, there is a Joram over both the House of Israel and the House of Judah at the same time.
Joram=“Son of Ahab king of Israel II Kings 8:16,25,28-29; 9:14,17,21-23,29. See also [JEHORAM 1].”.
Ahab=“Son of Omri, seventh king of Israel. He married Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal king of Tyre; and in obedience to her wishes, caused temple to be built to Baal in Samaria itself; and an oracular grove to be consecrated to Astarte, see I Kings 18:19. One of Ahab's chief tastes was for splendid architecture which he showed by building an ivory house and several cities. Desiring to add to his pleasure-grounds at Jezreel the vineyard of his neighbor Naboth, he proposed to buy it or give land in exchange for it; and when this was refused by Naboth in accordance with the Levitical law Leviticus 25:23, a false accusation of blasphemy was brought against him, and he was murdered, and Ahab took possession of the coveted fields II Kings 9:26. Thereupon Elijah declared that the entire extirpation of Ahab's house was the penalty appointed for his long course of wickedness. [ELIJAH] The execution, however, of the sentence was delayed in consequence of Ahab's deep repentance I Kings 21:1. ... Ahab undertook three campaigns against Ben-hadad II. king of Damascus, two defensive and one offensive. In the first Ben-hadad laid siege to Samaria, but was repulsed with great loss I Kings 20:1-21. Next year Ben-hadad again invaded Israel by way of Aphek, on the east of Jordan; yet Ahab's victory was so complete that Ben-hadad himself fell into his hands, but was released contrary to God's will I kings 20:22-34, on condition of restoring the cities of Israel, and admitting Hebrew commissioners into Damascus. After this great success Ahab enjoyed peace for three years, when he attacked Ramoth in Gilead, on the east of Jordan, in conjunction with Jehoshaphat king of Judah, which town he claimed as belonging to Israel. Being told by the prophet Micaiah that he would fall, he disguised himself, but was slain by "a certain man who drew a bow at a venture." When buried in Samaria, the dogs licked up his blood as a servant was washing his chariot; a partial fulfillment of Elijah's prediction I Kings 21:19, which was more literally accomplished in the case of his son II Kings 9:26.”.
Jehoshaphat=“King of Judah, son of Asa, succeeded to the throne when he was 35 years old, and reigned 25 years. His history is to be found among the events recorded in I Kings 15:24; II Kings 8:16 or in a continuous narrative in II Chronicles 17:1; II Chronicles 21:3. He was contemporary with Ahab, Ahaziah and Jehoram. He was one of the best, most pious and prosperous kings of Judah, the greatest since Solomon. At first he strengthened himself against Israel; but soon afterward the two Hebrew kings formed an alliance. In his own kingdom Jehoshaphat ever showed himself a zealous follower of the commandments of God: he tried to put down the high places and groves in which the people of Judah burnt incense, and sent the wisest Levites through the cities and towns to instruct the people in true morality and religion. Riches and honors increased around him. He received tribute from the Philistines and Arabians, and kept up a large standing army in Jerusalem. It was probably about the 16th year of his reign, when he became Ahab's ally in the great battle of Ramoth-gilead, for which he was severely reproved by Jehu II Chronicles 19:2. He built at Ezion-geber, with the help of Ahaziah, a navy designed to go to Tarshish; but it was wrecked at Ezion-geber. Before the close of his reign he was engaged in two additional wars. He was miraculously delivered from a threatened attack of the people of Ammon, Moab and Seir. After this, perhaps, must be dated the war which Jehoshaphat, in conjunction with Jehoram king of Israel and the king of Edom, carried on against the rebellious king of Moab II Kings 3:1. In his declining years the administration of affairs was placed, in the hands of his son Jehoram.”.
Jehoram=“Eldest son of Jehoshaphat, succeeded his father on the throne of Judah at the age of 32, and reigned eight years, from B.C. 893-2 to 885-4. As soon as he was fixed on the throne, he put his six brothers to death, with many of the chief nobles of the land. He then, probably at the instance of his wife Athaliah the daughter of Ahab, proceeded to establish the worship of Baal. A prophetic writing from the aged prophet Elijah II chronicles 21:12, failed to produce any good effect upon him. The remainder of his reign was a series of calamities. First the Edomites, who had been tributary to Jehoshaphat, revolted from his dominion and established their permanent independence. Next Libnah II Kings 19:8, rebelled against him. Then followed invasion by armed bands of Philistines and of Arabians, who stormed the king's palace, put his wives and all his children, except his youngest son Ahaziah, to death II Chronicles 22:1, or carried them into captivity, and plundered all his treasures. he died of a terrible disease II Chronicles 21:19,20.".
II Kings 8:17 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. -> Jehoshaphat's son was 32 when he took the throne of Judah and he died—he was murdered because he too did not do as Father instructed and destroy all the idols and images—8 years later at the age of 40.
He not only did not remove the idols and images; but, as can be read in II Chronicles 21:4, he also murdered all his brothers who could also lay claim to the throne. This was satan's design to break into the royal seed-line so as to stop Father's promises of Genesis 3:15 and II Samuel 7:16. In the recorded history of the kings i.e. in the Books of the Kings and the Chronicles Jehoshaphat made the beginning attempt when he married his son Jehoram off to Ahab's daughter Athaliah,—which we'll be reading of in the very near future—Jehoram follows this up by murdering all his brothers; then the Arabians follow up that assault of the seed-line up in II Chronicles 21:17 and II Chronicles 22:1, and Athaliah nearly completes satan's design in 22:10.
8:18 Evil-doing. Personal.
II Kings 8:18 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. -> Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram is now doing just as evil as the Ahab had, and caused the House of Israel to do. How and why did this take place? Because of whom his wife was. Remember, he was married to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel.
8:19 Evil-doing. Personal.
II Kings 8:19 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. -> Even though the two Nations are basically ruled by Ahab’s family at this time, Judah will continue to remain a separate Nation from the rest of the tribes. This happens because Father promised that it would. He Promised that He would come in the flesh, and that He would be the Light from the lineage of the kings of Judah. Jesus Christ would be that lamp and light to the world.
He promised him to give him alway a light=Though spoken and prophesied by Father over 500 years earlier, David had become “The Light,” symbolic of Israel’s Deliverance. Genesis 15:17 points directly to David in II Samuel 21:17; and I Kings 11:36, as we read in I Kings 15:4; and we can also read in Isaiah 62:1, first we’ll review: I Kings 15:4-5: I Kings 15:4 Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem: [15:5] Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite., and now Isaiah 62:1: Isaiah 62:1 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.. We can also look to the New Testament in John 8:12: John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. -> He that followeth me...shall have the light of life=This is The Divine Purpose, that we all have eternal life with our Father; sadly, however, we know that this isn't going to happen as, if none else, the 7,000 fallen angels go into the Lake of Fire on the first day of the Millennium and satan also on the last day of the Millennium during the Great White Throne satan will and all those who follow him will also be cast into the Lake of Fire. What a sad thing for Father to know, that He'll have to destroy some of His Children, He'll have to live with that memory forever; but, we who have eternal life with Him, will not.
8:20-22 Evil events. Political.
II Kings 8:20 In his days Edom (red) revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. -> We read in I Kings 22:47 that Edom didn't have a king, they only had a deputy ruling over them, and that deputy reported to the king of Judah; but, now, we're reading that they have decided they no longer want to be vassal to Judah, and feeling that Jehoram might be somewhat weak, they're displaying some backbone and standing up to Judah.
Edom="The name Edom was given to Esau, the first-born son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob, when he sold his birthright to the latter for a meal of lentil pottage. The country which the Lord subsequently gave to Esau was hence called "the country of Edom" Genesis 32:3, and his descendants were called Edomites. Edom was called Mount Seir and Idumea also. Edom was wholly a mountainous country. It embraced the narrow mountainous tract (about 100 miles long by 20 broad) extending along the eastern side of the Arabah from the northern end of the Gulf of Elath to near the southern end of the Dead Sea. The ancient capital of Edom was Bozrah (Buseireh). Sela (Petra) appears to have been the principal stronghold in the days of Amaziah II Kings 14:7. Elath and Ezion-geber were the seaports II Samuel 8:14; I Kings 9:26. (1) History. -- Esau's bitter hatred to his brother Jacob for fraudulently obtaining his blessing appears to have been inherited by his latest posterity. The Edomites peremptorily refused to permit the Israelites to pass through their land Numbers 20:18-21. For a period of 400 years we hear no more of the Edomites. They were then attacked and defeated by Saul I Samuel 14:47, and some forty years later by David II Samuel 8:13, 14. In the reign of Jehoshaphat the Edomites attempted to invade Israel, but failed II Chronicles 20:22. They joined Nebuchadnezzar when that king besieged Jerusalem. For their cruelty at this time they were fearfully denounced by the later prophets Isaiah 34:5-8; 63:1-4; Jeremiah 49:17. After this they settled in southern Palestine, and for more than four centuries continued to prosper. But during the warlike rule of the Maccabees they were again completely subdued, and even forced to conform to Jewish laws and rites, and submit to the government of Jewish prefects. The Edomites were now incorporated with the Jewish nation. They were idolaters II Chronicles 25:14, 15, 20. Their habits were singular. The Horites, their predecessors in Mount Seir, were, as their name implies, troglodytes, or dwellers in caves; and the Edomites seem to have adopted their dwellings as well as their country. Everywhere we meet with caves and grottos hewn in the soft sandstone strata.”.
II Kings 8:21 So Joram went over to Zair (small), and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents. -> The translators really fell short when trying to translate this verse from the manuscripts, they make it sound like Jehoram took all his chariots and went to Zair—many scholars believe this to be Zoar of today—and put a major whooping on Edom; however, that isn't what happened at all. Yes, Jehoram did go over to take on the Edomites; but, he only went with a few of his chariots, and he ended up finding himself surrounded by the Edomites; whereby they found the weakest link, fought their way through and fled as fast as they could all the way back to Jerusalem.
For the Edomites part, with this rebellion against Jehoram and the House of Judah, they fulfilled Genesis 27:40: Gen 27:38 And Esau said unto his father, “Hast thou but one blessing, my father? bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. [27:39] And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, “Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above; [27:40] And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck. -> That yoke is now being broken.
Zair=“A place named in II Kings 8:21 only, in the account of Joram's expedition against the Edomites. It has been conjectured that Zair is identical with Zoar.”.
II Kings 8:22 Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah (whiteness) revolted at the same time. -> The Edomites continued their rebellion to the time of this writing and at the same time that they were rebelling, the priests of Libnah also stood up and began a rebellion.
Libnah was a Levitical priest city, which was also one of the Cities of Refuge, dating all the way back to the time of Joshua 21:13. We can read in II Chronicles 24:4,7; that, sometime during his reign, Jehoram, his wife Athaliah and their sons had gone over to Libnah and “broke up” the Temple of Father YHVH, thus putting a stop to the worship of Father, they also removed all the “dedicated things” from the Temple in order to take those dedicated things and place them in the house of baal. We further read, by turning back a chapter in II Chronicles to II Chronicles 23:1, that the Levitical Priests headed by Jehoiada the Chief Priest led a rebellion, the same of which we’re reading of here in this chapter and verse in II Kings 8:22. This revolt is just the start of the rebellion and it’ll last until Athaliah—who’ll take the throne after her and Jehoram’s son Ahaziah is killed— is killed for her slaying all the seed royal, at which time young king Joash and Jehoiada the priest rebuild the Temple and re-establish the worship of Father YHVH.
Libnah=“A royal city of the Canaanites which lay in the southwest part of the Holy Land, taken by Joshua immediately after the rout of Beth-horon. It was near Lachish, west of Makkedah. It was appropriated with its "suburbs" to the priests Joshua 21:13; I Chronicles 6:57. In the reign of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat it "revolted" form Judah at the same time with Edom II Kings 8:22; II Chronicles 21:10. Probably the modern Ayak el-Menshiyeh.”.
II Kings 8:23 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? -> Why, yes they are written and recorded, and we need to turn to the Chronicles and read all that really happened, as is not recorded here in II Kings: II Chronicles 21:11 Moreover he—Jehoram—made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto. -> This is a huge part which is left out of the Kings. Because of his wife Athaliah, Jehoram re-established the grove and asherah worship and also the worship of baal in Judah, and thus caused all the people to forsake honoring, serving, and worshiping of Father YHVH. [21:12] And there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, “Thus saith the LORD God of David thy father, ‘Because thou hast not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat thy father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, [21:13] But hast walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and hast made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab, and also hast slain thy brethren of thy father's house, which were better than thyself: -> If you’ll recall, when he first took the reins of Judah, he killed every one of his brothers who would have also had a claim to the throne. Yes, Jehoram was the eldest; but, he didn’t want any of his brothers killing him in order to try and take the throne from him. This thought process was probably placed in his head from his wife Athaliah. His brothers were better than he as; they probably never would have had the thoughts of murdering him in order to take the throne from him. [21:14] Behold, with a great plague will the LORD smite thy People, and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: -> Did you notice back in verse II Chronicles 21:12 that this writing came from Elijah and not Elisha? This means that Father knew well in advance what Jehoram was going to do and therefore had His Prophet Elijah write down what was to come about for Jehoram and how he would meet his demise. [21:15] And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day.’ ” -> Jehoram will become sick in his bowels and he’ll remain sick until his bowels fall out and he dies. This is his punishment for causing all the inhabitants of Jerusalem to stop honoring, serving and worshiping Father. [21:16] Moreover the LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians, that were near the Ethiopians: [21:17] And they came up into Judah, and brake into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king's house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. -> All this happened while Jehoram was sick and he was totally helpless and powerless to stop it. The only wife and son the Philistines, the Arabians and the Ethiopians didn’t take were Athaliah and his son Jehoahaz, otherwise known as Ahaziah who we’ll be reading of by the end of this chapter II Kings 8. [21:18] And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. [21:19] And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. -> Father’s prophesy through His Prophet Elijah came to pass exactly as He prophesied.
II Kings 8:24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah (YAH has seized; or, sustained by YHVH) his son reigned in his stead. -> So, as we just read, Jehoram died when his bowels fell out. It just doesn't pay to cause the people to stop honoring, serving and worshiping Father. The only "positive" thing I can say for our current president is; that, it's a good thing for him that we are at the end of the Age, and all that he is doing is already written that all this was going to come to pass; though, I still don't think that that gives him a "free-pass," I still think he'll have to answer, just as Jehoram did as we just also read.
Ahaziah=“Fifth king of Judah, son of Jehoram and Athaliah (daughter of Ahab), and therefore nephew of the preceding Ahaziah, reigned one year. He is Galled AZARIAH in II Chronicles 22:2, probably by a copyist's error, and JEHOAHAZ II Chronicles 21:17. He was 22 years old at his accession II Kings 8:26. (his age 42, in II Chronicles 22:2 Is a copyist's error). Ahaziah was an idolater, and he allied himself with his uncle Jehoram king of Israel against Hazael, the new king of Syria. the two kings were, however defeated at Ramoth, where Jehoram was severely wounded. The revolution carried out in Israel by Jehu under the guidance of Elisha broke out while Ahaziah was visiting his uncle at Jezreel. As Jehu approached the town, Jehoram and Ahaziah went out to meet him; the former was shot through the heart by Jehu, and Ahaziah was pursued and mortally wounded. He died when he reached Megiddo.”.
8:25—II Kings 9:24 Ahaziah.
8:25—II Kings 9:24 AHAZIAH. (Alternation and Introversion.)
II Kings 8:25 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. -> As I also just pointed out Ahaziah is also known as Jehoahaz; and, he began his ruling of the House of Judah during the 12th year of his uncle Joram's reign. Joram of course was his mother's brother; so, we can see with his mother Athaliah, his grandmother Jezebel having charge over him and guiding him as they raised him, the people of Judah are only in for more of the same. I guess the only "good news," is that he'll only reign for a year before Father also calls him Home to Him. However, when he is slain, his mother will then slay all the other seed royal and make herself queen of the House of Judah and will reign for about 6 years.
II Kings 8:26 Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah (YAH has constrained; or, afflicted of YHVH), the daughter of Omri (heaping; or, pupil of YHVH) king of Israel. -> He was so wicked that Father only allowed him a year, he died when he was 23 years old. What will be the method or means that Father will use to call him Home? Let's continue reading and find out.
Athaliah=“Daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, married Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah and introduced into that kingdom the worship of Baal. After the great revolution by which Jehu seated himself on the throne of Samaria she killed all the members of the royal family of Judah who had escaped his sword II Kings 11:1. From the slaughter one infant, named Joash, the youngest son of Ahaziah, was rescued by his aunt Jehosheba wife of Jehoiada II Chronicles 23:11, the high priest II Chronicles 24:6. The child was brought up under Jehoiada's care, and concealed in the temple for six years, during which period Athaliah reigned over Judah. At length Jehoiada thought it time to produce the lawful king to the people, trusting to their zeal for the worship of God and their loyalty to the house of David. His plan was successful, and Athaliah was put to death.”.
Omri=“Originally "captain of the host" to Elah, was afterward himself king of Israel, and founder of the third dynasty. Omri was engaged in the siege of Gibbethon situated in the tribe of Dan, which had been occupied by the Philistines. As soon as the army heard of Elah's death they proclaimed Omri king. Thereupon he broke up the siege of Gibbethon and attacked Tirzah, where Zimri was holding his court as king of Israel. The city was taken, and Zimri perished in the flames of the palace, after a reign of seven days. Omri, however, was not allowed to establish his dynasty without a struggle against Tibni, whom "half the people" I Kings 16:21, desired to raise to the throne. The civil war lasted four years. Compare I Kings 16:15 with I Kings 16:23. After the defeat sad death of Tibni, Omri reigned for six years in Tirzah. At Samaria Omri reigned for six years more. He seems to have been a vigorous and unscrupulous ruler, anxious to strengthen his dynasty by intercourse and alliances with foreign states.”.
II Kings 8:27 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: for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab. -> He did everything like his father and grandfather, Jehoram and Ahab, and under the influence of his mother and grandmother, Athaliah and Jezebel. You can say he "didn't stand a chance coming out of the starting gate."
8:28 Joram, Ramoth-gilead, and Hazael.
II Kings 8:28 And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramoth-gilead (heights of Gilad); and the Syrians wounded Joram. -> He joined onto his uncle Joram and went and fought against Hazael and the Syrians in Ramoth-gilead and during the battle, the Syrians wounded Joram and he returned to Jezreel in order to heal from his wounds; however, he still later died of those wounds.
Ramoth-gilead=“One of the great fastnesses on the east of Jordan, and the key to an important district I Kings 4:13. It was the city of refuge for the tribe of Gad Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 20:8; 21:38, and the residence of one of Solomon's commissariat officers I Kings 4:13. During the invasion related in I Kings 15:20 or some subsequent incursion, this important place had seized by Ben-hadad I., king of Syria. The incidents of Ahab's expedition are well known. [AHAB] Later it was taken by Israel, and held in spite of all the efforts of Hazael who was now on the throne of Damascus, to regain it II Kings 9:14. Henceforward Ramoth-gilead disappears from our view. Eusebius and Jerome specify the position of Ramoth as 15 miles from Philadelphia (Amman ). It may correspond to the site bearing the name of Jel'ad , exactly identical with the ancient Hebrew Gilead, which is four or five miles north of es-Salt , 25 miles east of the Jordan and 13 miles south of the brook Jabbok.”.
8:29 Joram, Ramoth-gilead, and Hazael.
II Kings 8:29 And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel (YAH will sow; or, YAH soweth) of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah (a hill), 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. -> It was from this battle that the hurt would come from Hazael, which had caused Elisha to weep when he saw in the vision the carnage that would come about upon Israel. This damage is what was written of in verse v8:12 above, where many young men of Israel would be killed, and even the women in the area would be ripped open and their children killed while yet within their mother’s wombs. Even the king did not escape unharmed from that battle, there on the plains of Jezreel. Jezebel had an influence over both her son Joram and her son-in-law who ruled over Judah, and then even for a time, over her grandson who took over after the death of his father Jehoram.
Jezreel=“A city situated in the plain of the same name between Gilboa and Little Hermon, now generally called Esdraelon. [ESDRAELON] It appears in Joshua 19:18 but its historical importance dates from the reign of Ahab, who chose it for his chief residence. The situation of the modern village of Zerin still remains to show the fitness of his choice. Int he neighborhood, or within the town probably, were a temple and grove of Eastward, with an establishment of 400 priests supported by Jezebel I Kings 16:33; II Kings 10:11. The palace of Ahab I Kings 21:1; 18:46, probably containing his "ivory house" I Kings 22:39, was on the eastern side of the city, forming part of the city wall. Compare I Kings 21:1; II Kings 9:25,30,33. Whether the vineyard of Naboth was here or at Samaria is a doubtful question. Still in the same eastern direction are two springs, one 12 minutes from the town, the other 20 minutes. The latter, probably from both its size and its situation, was known as "the spring of Jezreel." With the fall of the house of Ahab the glory of Jezreel departed.”.
Ramah=“By this name in II Kings 8:29 and II Chronicles 22:6 only, is designated Ramoth-gilead.”.
To this point in this Book of the Kings, as we followed both the house of Israel and the house of Judah, they both departed from the ways of Father YHVH, and instead sought after heathen ways. This started way back in the time of Solomon's day, when he had taken all those foreign wives from Zidon, and contracted with king Hiram and the Kenites, and brought in their gods, idols and forms of worship. Each of the kings that came to the throne after Solomon became progressively worse and more evil in the eyes of Father, than their father's before them, in both Israel and Judah.
This Bible Study was written by Scott Reis and is provided in order to be used as a private Bible Study Tool. Therefore, it may be copied in whole or in part and shared for private Bible Study; however, it may not be reproduced and published as an original work.