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2 Kings 8:7 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Elisha came to Damascus. Now Ben-hadad king of Aram was sick, and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben-hadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told to him, saying, The man of God hath come hither.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben-Hadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him saying, The man of God is come hither.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And Elisha came into Damascus, when Ben-hadad king of Syria, was sick,—and it was told him, saying, The man of God hath come as far as this place.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Elisha cometh in to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram is sick, and it is declared to him, saying, 'The man of God hath come hither.'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Eliseus also came to Damascus, and Benadad, king of Syria was sick; and they told him, saying: The man of God is come hither.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Elisha came to Damascus, and Benhadad the king of Syria was sicke, and it was tolde him, saying, The man of God is come hither.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Elisha{gr.Elisaie} came to Damascus; and the king of Syria the son of Hadad{gr.Ader} was ill, and they brought him word, saying, The man of God is come hither.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Elisha came to Dammaseq; and Ben Hadad the king of Aram was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of Elohim is come hither.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And l` אֱלִישָׁע 477
{0477} Prime
Contracted for H0474; Elisha, the famous prophet.
came 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
to Damm$ek דַּמָּשֶׂק; 1834
{1834} Prime
Of foreign origin; Damascus, a city of Syria.
and Ben Ha בֶּן־הֲדַד 1130
{1130} Prime
From H1121 and H1908; son of Hadad; Ben Hadad, the name of several Syrian kings.
the king 4428
{4428} Prime
From H4427; a king.
of rm אֲרָם 758
{0758} Prime
From the same as H0759; the highland; Aram or Syria, and its inhabitants; also the name of a son of Shem, a grandson of Nahor, and of an Israelite.
was sick; 2470
{2470} Prime
A primitive root (compare H2342, H2490); properly to be rubbed or worn; hence (figuratively) to be weak, sick, afflicted; or (causatively) to grieve, make sick; also to stroke (in flattering), entreat.
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
and it was told 5046
{5046} Prime
A primitive root; properly to front, that is, stand boldly out opposite; by implication (causatively), to manifest; figuratively to announce (always by word of mouth to one present); specifically to expose, predict, explain, praise.
<8714> Grammar
Stem - Hophal (See H8825)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 178
him, saying, 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
The man 376
{0376} Prime
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
of lhm אֱלֹהִים 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
is come 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
hither. 2008
{2008} Prime
From H2004; hither or thither (but used both of place and time).
(5704) Complement
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Kings 8:7-8

_ _ 2 Kings 8:7-15. Hazael kills his master, and succeeds him.

_ _ Elisha came to Damascus — He was directed thither by the Spirit of God, in pursuance of the mission formerly given to his master in Horeb (1 Kings 19:15), to anoint Hazael king of Syria. On the arrival of the prophet being known, Ben-hadad, who was sick, sent to inquire the issue of his disease, and, according to the practice of the heathens in consulting their soothsayers, ordered a liberal present in remuneration for the service.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Kings 8:7-15

_ _ Here, I. We may enquire what brought Elisha to Damascus, the chief city of Syria. Was he sent to any but the lost sheep of the house of Israel? It seems he was. Perhaps he went to pay a visit to Naaman his convert, and to confirm him in his choice of the true religion, which was the more needful now because, it should seem, he was not out of his place (for Hazael is supposed to be captain of that host); either he resigned it or was turned out of it, because he would not bow, or not bow heartily, in the house of Rimmon. Some think he went to Damascus upon account of the famine, or rather he went thither in obedience to the orders God gave Elijah, 1 Kings 19:15, “Go to Damascus to anoint Hazael, thou, or thy successor.”

_ _ II. We may observe that Ben-hadad, a great king, rich and mighty, lay sick. No honour, wealth, or power, will secure men from the common diseases and disasters of human life; palaces and thrones lie as open to the arrests of sickness and death as the meanest cottage.

_ _ III. We may wonder that the king of Syria, in his sickness, should make Elisha his oracle.

_ _ 1. Notice was soon brought him that the man of God (for by that title he was well known in Syria since he cured Naaman) had come to Damascus, 2 Kings 8:7. “Never in better time,” says Ben-hadad. “Go, and enquire of the Lord by him.” In his health he bowed in the house of Rimmon, but now that he is sick he distrusts his idol, and sends to enquire of the God of Israel. Affliction brings those to God who in their prosperity had made light of him; sometimes sickness opens men's eyes and rectifies their mistakes. This is the more observable, (1.) Because it was not long since a king of Israel had, in his sickness, sent to enquire of the god of Ekron (2 Kings 1:2), as if there had been no God in Israel. Note, God sometimes fetches to himself that honour from strangers which is denied him and alienated from him by his own professing people. (2.) Because it was not long since this Ben-hadad had sent a great force to treat Elisha as an enemy (2 Kings 6:14), yet now he courts him as a prophet. Note, Among other instances of the change of men's minds by sickness and affliction, this is one, that it often gives them other thoughts of God's ministers, and teaches them to value the counsels and prayers of those whom they had hated and despised.

_ _ 2. To put an honour upon the prophet, (1.) He sends to him, and does not send for him, as if, with the centurion, he thought himself not worthy that the man of God should come under his roof. (2.) He sends to him by Hazael, his prime-minister of state, and not by a common messenger. It is no disparagement to the greatest of men to attend the prophets of the Lord. Hazael must go and meet him at a place where he had appointed a meeting with his friends. (3.) He sends him a noble present, of every good thing of Damascus, as much as loaded forty camels (2 Kings 8:9), testifying hereby his affection to the prophet, bidding him welcome to Damascus, and providing for his sustenance while he sojourned there. It is probable that Elisha accepted it (why should he not?), though he refused Naaman's. (4.) He orders Hazael to call him his son Ben-hadad, conforming to the language of Israel, who called the prophets fathers. (5.) He puts an honour upon him as one acquainted with the secrets of heaven, when he enquires of him, Shall I recover? It is natural to us to desire to know things to come in time, while things to come in eternity are little thought of or enquired after.

_ _ IV. What passed between Hazael and Elisha is especially remarkable.

_ _ 1. Elisha answered his enquiry concerning the king, that he might recover, the disease was not mortal, but that he should die another way (2 Kings 8:10), not a natural but a violent death. There are many ways out of the world, and sometimes, while men think to avoid one, they fall by another.

_ _ 2. He looked Hazael in the face with an unusual concern, till he made Hazael blush and himself weep, 2 Kings 8:11. The man of God could outface the man of war. It was not in Hazael's countenance that Elisha read what he would do, but God did, at this time, reveal it to him, and it fetched tears from his eyes. The more foresight men have the more grief they are liable to.

_ _ 3. When Hazael asked him why he wept he told him what a great deal of mischief he foresaw he would do to the Israel of God (2 Kings 8:12), what desolations he would make of their strong-holds, and barbarous destruction of their men, women, and children. The sins of Israel provoked God to give them up into the hands of their cruel enemies, yet Elisha wept to think that ever Israelites should be thus abused; for, though he foretold, he did not desire the woeful day. See what havock war makes, what havock sin makes, and how the nature of man is changed by the fall, and stripped even of humanity itself.

_ _ 4. Hazael was greatly surprised at this prediction (2 Kings 8:13): What, says he, Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? This great thing he looks upon to be, (1.) An act of great power, not to be done but by a crowned head. “It must be some mighty potentate that can think to prevail thus against Israel, and therefore not I.” Many are raised to that dominion which they never thought of and it often proves to their own hurt, Ecclesiastes 8:9. (2.) An act of great barbarity, which could not be done but by one lost to all honour and virtue: “Therefore,” says he, “it is what I shall never find in my heart to be guilty of: Is thy servant a dog, to rend, and tear, and devour? Unless I were a dog, I could not do it.” See here, [1.] What a bad opinion he had of the sin; he looked upon it to be great wickedness, fitter for a brute, for a beast of prey, to do than a man. Note, It is possible for a wicked man, under the convictions and restraints of natural conscience, to express great abhorrence of a sin, and yet afterwards to be well reconciled to it. [2.] What a good opinion he had of himself, how much better than he deserved; he thought it impossible he should do such barbarous things as the prophet foresaw. Note, We are apt to think ourselves sufficiently armed against those sins which yet we are afterwards overcome by, as Peter, Matthew 26:35.

_ _ 5. In answer to this Elisha only told him he should be king over Syria; then he would have power to do it, and then he would find in his heart to do it. Honours change men's tempers and manners, and seldom for the better: “Thou knowest not what thou wilt do when thou comest to be king, but I tell thee this thou wilt do.” Those that are little and low in the world cannot imagine how strong the temptations of power and prosperity are, and, if ever they arrive at them, they will find how deceitful their hearts were and how much worse than they suspected.

_ _ V. What mischief Hazael did to his master hereupon. If he took any occasion to do it from what Elisha had said the fault was in him, not in the word. 1. He basely cheated his master, and belied the prophet (2 Kings 8:14): He told me thou shouldst certainly recover. This was abominably false; he told him he should die (2 Kings 8:10), but he unfairly and unfaithfully concealed that, either because he was loth to put the king out of humour with bad news or because hereby he might the more effectually carry on that bloody design which he conceived when he was told he should be his successor. The devil ruins men by telling them they shall certainly recover and do well, so rocking them asleep in security, than which nothing is more fatal. This was an injury to the king, who lost the benefit of this warning to prepare for death, and an injury to Elisha, who would be counted a false prophet. 2. He barbarously murdered his master, and so made good the prophet's word, 2 Kings 8:15. He dipped a thick cloth in cold water, and spread it upon his face, under pretence of cooling and refreshing him, but so that it stopped his breath, and stifled him presently, he being weak (and not able to help himself) or perhaps asleep: such a bubble is the life of the greatest of men, and so much exposed are princes to violence. Hazael, who was Ben-hadad's confidant, was his murderer, and some think, was not suspected, nor did the truth ever come out but by the pen of this inspired historian. We found this haughty monarch (1 Kings 20) the terror of the mighty in the land of the living, but he goes down slain to the pit with his iniquity upon his bones, Ezekiel 32:27.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Deuteronomy 33:1 And this [is] the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.
1 Kings 13:1 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.


Genesis 14:15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which [is] on the left hand of Damascus.
1 Kings 11:24 And he gathered men unto him, and became captain over a band, when David slew them [of Zobah]: and they went to Damascus, and dwelt therein, and reigned in Damascus.
Isaiah 7:8 For the head of Syria [is] Damascus, and the head of Damascus [is] Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people.


2 Kings 6:24 And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria.
1 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 Benhadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,
1 Kings 20:1 And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and [there were] thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.
1 Kings 20:34 And [Benhadad] said unto him, The cities, which my father took from thy father, I will restore; and thou shalt make streets for thee in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria. Then [said Ahab], I will send thee away with this covenant. So he made a covenant with him, and sent him away.

The man of God:

2 Kings 1:9-10 Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down. ... And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I [be] a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
2 Kings 2:15 And when the sons of the prophets which [were] to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
2 Kings 6:12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that [is] in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

is come:

Judges 16:2 [And it was told] the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed [him] in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.
Acts 17:6 And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;
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Gn 14:15. Dt 33:1. Jg 16:2. 1K 11:24; 13:1; 15:18; 20:1, 34. 2K 1:9; 2:15; 6:12, 24. Is 7:8. Ac 17:6.

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