Study Guide

2 Kings Chapter 8

Chapter 8

A Crazy Coincidence

  • Earlier in time, Elisha had advised his friend the Shunnamite woman (whose child he had resurrected from the dead) to escape the famine before it happened, to move to another place.
  • After seven years, the woman moves back to try to regain her home and land.
  • At the same time, Gehazi is telling the King of Israel (at his request) about the great things Elisha has done.
  • In the moment that he's describing how Elisha brought the Shunnamite woman's child back from the dead, she and the child walk into the king's court.
  • Gehazi is stunned and tells the king that these are the same people. The king, amazed, orders that the woman have all of her land and property restored to her.

Elisha Gets Weepy

  • King Ben-Hadad is on his deathbed. He sends a man named Hazael to go ask Elisha if he'll recover.
  • Hazael brings gifts to Elisha and asks him the question. Elisha tells Hazael to tell the king that he'll recover, but says that he knows he won't.
  • Elisha stares at Hazael until Hazael feels ashamed. Then Elisha starts to weep.
  • When Hazael asks him why he's crying, Elisha says it's because he knows the horrible things Hazael will do to Israel when he becomes the ruler: killing young men and babies and pregnant women, burning their fortresses, and so on.
  • Hazael pretends that he isn't capable of this, but Elisha says that God has shown him that he'll be the new king of Aram.
  • Hazael returns to Aram and tells the king that he'll recover. But the next day, he dips the king's bedcover in water and smothers him with it until he dies.

Just a Flesh Wound

  • Five years into King Joram's reign in Israel, Jehoshaphat's son Jehoram becomes the new king of Judah. He begins ruling at age 32 and rules for eight years.
  • He's married to Ahab's daughter and hence becomes a bad king. But God is still merciful towards Judah, because of his love for David.
  • During his reign, he has to deal with revolts by Edom and Libnah. The narrator of the story says the revolt of the Edomites still continues in his time.
  • After his death, his son Ahaziah succeeds him. He only rules for one year and begins when he's 22 years old. He's also a wicked king, given that he's Ahab's son-in-law.
  • He and the king of Israel, Ahab's son Joram, fight against Hazael (now the King of Aram). Joram gets wounded. Ahaziah visits him while he's recovering.

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