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2 KINGS CHAPTER 13
Jehoahaz king of Israel followeth the sin of Jeroboam; is oppressed by Hazael; and relieved by prayer, 2 Kings 13:1-9.
Joash his son suceedeth him in the kingdom, and in his idolatry, 2 Kings 13:10-13.
Elisha prophesieth to Joash three victories over the Syrians, and dieth: Joash’s lamentation, 2 Kings 13:14-19.
A year after the Moabites invading the land, a dead man being cast into Elisha’s sepulchre, is restored to life, 2 Kings 13:20,2 Kings 13:21.
Hazael dieth, and Joash recovereth the cities which had been taken from his father, 2 Kings 13:22-25.
Began to reign, Heb. reigned; which is put for began to reign, 2 Kings 3:1; 2 Kings 8:16,2 Kings 8:25; 2 Kings 12:1.
Or rather, all his days, as it is explained, 2 Kings 13:22.
The Lord hearkened unto him; not for his sake, for God regards not the prayers of the wicked and impenitent, Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 1:28; Proverbs 15:8; but for other reasons, expressed below, 2 Kings 13:23.
He saw, i.e. he observed it with care and compassion.
The oppression of Israel; his chosen and once beloved people. He now helps them, because of his former and ancient kindness to them.
The king of Syria oppressed them, to wit, very grievously, as it is expressed, 2 Kings 13:7. So that he helped them not for their own sakes, but because of the rage of their enemies, and their blasphemies, which doubtless accompanied it. See Deuteronomy 32:27; Psalms 12:4.
A saviour; either Elisha, below, 2 Kings 13:14; or rather, Jehoash, the son of this Jehoahaz, below, 2 Kings 13:25, and Jeroboam his son, 2 Kings 14:25.
In their tents, as beforetime; in peace and security, not only in their strong cities, but even in their tents in the fields.
Which Ahab had planted for the worship of Baal, 1 Kings 16:32, and which should have been destroyed, Deuteronomy 7:5.
Neither did he, i.e. the king of Syria, 2 Kings 13:4, with which this verse is to be joined; 2 Kings 13:5,2 Kings 13:6 being put within a parenthesis, as it is in our translation. But this verse may be translated otherwise, Although he (either the king of Syria, 2 Kings 13:4, or the Lord, 2 Kings 13:5, to whom judgments are oft ascribed, even when wicked men are the instruments of executing it) had not left, &c. And so it may be joined with the next foregoing verse, as a great aggravation of their impenitency, and obstinate continuance in their idolatry, notwithstanding such terrible judgments, which in all reason should have driven them from it. Leave of the people, i.e. of his army, or men of war, as the following words evince.
Had made them like the dust by threshing, i.e. had broken and ground them to dust, or powder, as the corn is many times broken by threshing.
His might; for though his success was not good, he showed much personal valour and courage; which is noted to intimate that the Israelites were not conquered, because of the baseness and cowardice of their king, but merely from the righteous and dreadful judgment of God, who was now resolved to reckon with them for their filthy apostacy.
By which, compared with 2 Kings 13:1, it may be gathered that Jehoahaz had two or three years before his death made his son Jehoash king with him; which is very probable, because he was perpetually in the state of war, and consequently in danger of an untimely death, and because he was a man of valour, as is implied here, 2 Kings 13:12, and declared 2 Chronicles 25:0.
Wept over his face; not for any true love and respect to him, for then he would have followed his counsel, in forsaking the calves, and returning to the Lord; but for his own and the kingdom’s inestimable loss in him.
The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof: see 2 Kings 2:12.
Eastward; either towards Syria, which lay north-eastward from the land of Israel; or towards the Israelites’ land beyond Jordan, which lay eastward from Canaan, and which was now possessed by the Syrians. Either way this arrow is shot against the Syrians, as a token what God intended to do against them.
In Aphek; not in the city, but in the territory of it, where it seems there was a great battle to be fought between the Israelites and Syrians. Of Aphek, see 1 Samuel 4:1; 1 Samuel 29:1; 1 Kings 20:30, though it is possible there might be several cities of that name. Or, as in Aphek, i.e. thou shalt smite them as they were smitten in the city and territory of Aphek, i.e. utterly destroy them; see 1 Kings 20:26,1 Kings 20:29,1 Kings 20:30; the particle as being oft understood, as hath been formerly and frequently proved.
Till thou have consumed them, i.e. the Syrians; not all that people, but their armies, or at least that which was to be at Aphek, where a dreadful battle was to be fought. Or if this be meant of all the Syrian armies, this is to be understood conditionally, if he did not hinder it by his unbelief or neglect, signified in the following verses.
Smite upon the ground: the former sign portended victory, and this was to declare the number of the victories.
Quest. Wherein was Jehoash’s fault, or why was the prophet angry with him?
Answ. The prophet himself did not yet know how many victories Jehoash should obtain against the Syrians, but God had signified to him that he should learn that by the number of the king’s strokes. And he was angry with him, not simply because he smote only thrice, but because by his unbelief and idolatry he provoked God so to overrule his heart and hand that he should smite but thrice, which was a token that God would assist him no further; although his smiting but thrice might proceed either from his unbelief or negligence. For by the former sign, and the prophet’s comment upon it, he might clearly perceive that this also was intended as a sign of his success against the Syrians, and therefore he ought to have done it frequently and vehemently.
They buried him, in or near Samaria.
At the coming in of the year; in the spring, when the fruits of the earth grew ripe.
As they were burying, or, were about to bury, as that particle is oft used in the Hebrew tongue.
They spied a band of men coming towards them, but at some distance.
They cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha; not daring to carry the dead corpse further to the place appointed for his burial, they made use of the next burying-place, where Elisha was buried, and there they removed some stone, or opened some door, and hastily flung down their dead corpse there.
The man, i.e. the man’s dead body, or the coffin in which he was put.
Touched the bones of Elisha; which might easily be, the coffin and linen in which Elisha’s body was put, and the flesh of his body, being now consumed; for this was some considerable time after his death.
He revived, and stood up on his feet; which miracle God wrought there, partly, to do honour to that great prophet, and that by this seal he might confirm his doctrine, and thereby confute the false doctrine and worship of the Israelites; partly, to strengthen the faith of Joash, and of the Israelites, in his promise of their success against the Syrians; and partly, in the midst of all their calamities, to comfort such Israelites as were Elisha’s followers with the hopes of that eternal life whereof this was a manifest pledge, and to awaken the rest of that people to a due care and preparation for it.
From his presence, i.e. from the land of Canaan, to which the presence and public and solemn worship of God was confined.
According to the prediction above, 2 Kings 13:19.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 13". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany