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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 13

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-25

Chapter 13

Now we're going to move north again to the reign of Jehoahaz over Israel in chapter thirteen. So up in Israel, Jehu has died and his son Jehoahaz begins to reign over Israel there in Samaria, and he reigned for seventeen years.

And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD ( 2 Kings 13:2 ),

Now, I told you before that Israel did not have one decent king. Of every king of Israel, it is declared, "He did evil in the sight of the Lord." Not one of them followed after the Lord. How tragic.

continued in the sins of Jeroboam [the first king who had led the people away from Jehovah to the worship of the calves.] And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, he delivered them into the hand of Hazael the king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad who was the son of Hazael. And Jehoahaz sought the LORD, and the LORD hearkened unto him: for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria was oppressing them. (And the LORD raised up a saviour for Israel, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel began to dwell in their own cities, their own tents, as beforetime. Nevertheless they did not depart from their sins, but they walked in them: and there remained the grove, [the place of pagan worship] in the city of Samaria.) ( 2 Kings 13:2-6 ).

And so the people were really cut down. And the death of Jehoahaz is recorded in verse eight.

The rest of his deeds are in the books of the chronicles of the kings of Israel ( 2 Kings 13:8 ).

Now we're going to come back. We have his death recorded, but we're going to come back to Jehoahaz in chapter fourteen. So try and hold that in your mind. We get his death here, but as we get back to Amaziah because Amaziah related to Jehoahaz, we'll come back to Jehoahaz.

And the rest of the acts of Joash [who is also Jehoahaz], and all that he did, the fighting against Amaziah king of Judah, are written in the books of the chronicles of the king of Israel ( 2 Kings 13:12 ).

We don't have that in the Chronicles, but we will have more of that in the next chapter.

Now we turn to Elisha and the death of Elisha.

Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father! the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof ( 2 Kings 13:14 ).

So this is what is called parenthetical. We're still... Joash is still king. We already reported his death, but now we're recording about Elisha. And he is... he came down when Elisha was sick. Now this to me is interesting. As far as the Old Testament is concerned, two men stand out as having great faith for miracles. One is Elijah and the other is Elisha. As Elisha was or... as Elijah was ready to be caught up into heaven, he said to Elisha, "What do you want?" He said, "I like a double portion of the Spirit that is upon me." He said, "If you see me when I go, it will be granted. If you don't, then it won't be granted." So Elisha was there, and he saw Elijah caught up into heaven. And his life was a life of miracles. Marvelous miracles of God were wrought by this man Elisha. A man of great faith. But this particular verse of scripture, "Now Elisha fell sick of this sickness whereof he died."

Let me tell you something; people of great faith get sick. People of tremendous faith die. And it is folly to believe that sickness or death results from a lack of faith or commitment to God. Sickness and death happen to everybody. But there are always those who are trying to sell snake oil. From the days of the early prairie. The cure-all. From bunions to earaches. And there always seems to be someone offering the spiritual snake oil or the panacea or the cure-all to all of the problems that a Christian faces. And these panaceas are offered to people and they go through various stages. When they are offered, you know, the book is written and all you have to do is praise the Lord. And if you just praise the Lord for anything and everything, then that's going to be a cure-all, once you learn to really praise the Lord. It's all going to work out smoothly, you know. All of these people and all these horrible problems, until they begin to praise the Lord for the problem, and once they start praising the Lord, the problem went away.

Let me tell you something. There are some problems you can praise the Lord for from now to eternity, and they're not going to go away. And I think it's absolute idiocy to praise the Lord for some of the things that happen. My uncle died as an alcoholic, oh, praise the Lord! No, that's tragic that he should die an alcoholic. But people are offering these cure-alls. Enough faith, you never need to be sick. Enough faith, you'll always be prosperous. And the spiritual cure-alls that are offered. And they go for a while, but soon there are people who try it and it doesn't work and then all of a sudden as they share their failure, they find that other people have experienced the same failures. They've been praising the Lord for a long time, nothing's happening to their situation and they've been believing; nothing's happened. Who really can understand the ways of God?

I will frankly confess I don't understand the ways of God. Now don't let that surprise you. If I stood up here and told you I understood the ways of God, then I would be a first-class liar. Any man tells you, "Well, I understand the ways of God," he doesn't know what he's talking about. And he is contradicting God because God said, "My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts" ( Isaiah 55:8 , Isaiah 55:9 ). For "my ways are beyond your finding out" ( Romans 11:33 ).

And I frankly confess I do not know the mysteries of God. I do not know why God allows certain beautiful Christians to be sick. I do not know why God allows many beautiful Christians to suffer. I do not know why many beautiful Christians are in prison in Siberia and in China and been tortured for their faith. I do not know why James was beheaded and Peter was crucified upside down. And Paul was beheaded and the early disciples all suffered martyrdom, because they believed God just as much as any of these pseudo prophets today. And if God wanted us to all be wealthy and prosperous and all, then He would have declared it plainly in the Scripture, and there would be a consistency to it within the Christian body.

It's a tragedy the way that these doctrines have proliferated through the country. People so anxious to believe. Let me tell you something, these doctrines haven't really had an effect upon the Siberian Christians yet. If you went up there and said, "Hey, you know, God wants you all to be prosperous and wealthy. You all ought to be driving Cadillacs up here." And yet, because of the hardships, they have been forced to a much deeper commitment than we even dream about. Their commitment to Christ caused them the slavery that they experience in Siberia. And there are thousands of Christians enslaved in Siberia today because they dare to proclaim their faith and commitment to Jesus Christ.

I wonder just how strong the commitment would be if God began to take away some of the Cadillacs. Well, He has actually. That's the problem with this thing; it's beginning to die out, thank God. Because too many people who went out on the basis on this and began to charge their Cadillacs and their caviar and all, and when the bills came due, they didn't have enough faith to pay them.

"Elisha was fallen sick of the sickness whereof he died." It doesn't mean that God doesn't love you. It doesn't mean that God is opposed to you. It doesn't mean that you've done something wrong and God is punishing you because you are sick. It isn't a sign of second-class spiritual development or growth. The best of God's children get sick. And it is tragic to lay that kind of a thing on, "Well, there's something wrong in your life or you know, if you only had enough faith." Or you know, "Just confess your sin, whatever you've been doing, and God will heal you." We'll be getting to the book of Job soon and we'll learn about this kind of doctrine.

So he came to Elisha who was there really sort of on his deathbed.

And Elisha said to the king Joash, Take your bow and your arrows. And he said, Put your hand in your bow and draw back. And Elisha put his hands upon the king's hand. He said, Now open the window towards the east. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance, the deliverance from Syria: for you will smite the Syrians in Aphek, until you have consumed them. He said, Now take your arrows. And he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, Now smite the arrows on the ground. And the king smote the arrows on the ground three times. And Elisha became upset, he said, Why did you just strike three times; why didn't you smite five or six times; because then you would have utterly consumed the Syrians: but now you will only defeat them three times. So Elisha died, and they buried him. And at this time the Moabites began to send their bands into the land, [sort of marauding bands]. [And there were there was a man who had died and as they were getting ready to bury him, they saw this band of Moabites coming in; and so they just dropped the guy into the grave and began to ran], and they dropped him into the grave where Elisha was buried: and when this [guy's] body hit the bones of Elisha, he came to life, and stood up ( 2 Kings 13:15-21 ).

That to me is interesting and exciting. Such power in Elisha that even the bones there in the grave, this guy's body hitting them, the guy comes back to life.

Hazael the king of Syria was harassing Israel during the whole time of Jehoahaz. But the LORD was gracious, had compassion on them, and respect, because of his covenant with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and he would not destroy them, neither cast him out of his presence as yet. So Hazael the king of Syria died; Benhadad his son reigned in his stead. And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Benhadad the cities, which had been taken from Jehoahaz his father by war. And three times Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of Israel ( 2 Kings 13:22-25 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Kings 13". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-kings-13.html. 2014.
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