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Bible Dictionaries

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

Hazael

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Elisha coming to Damascus, the capital of Syria, Benhadad, the reigning monarch, being then indisposed, sent Hazael, who was one of his principal officers, to wait upon the prophet, and consult him as to the issue of his disorder, 2 Kings 8:7-13 . The prophet told Hazael that certainly his master might recover, because his complaint was not mortal; yet he was very well assured that he would not recover; and, looking him steadfastly in the face, Elisha burst into tears. Surprised at this conduct, Hazael inquired the cause. "Because I know," said the prophet, "the evil that thou wilt do to 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 infants against the stones, and rip up their women with child." Hazael indignantly exclaimed, "Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great things?" Elisha merely answered, "The Lord hath showed me that thou shalt be king over Syria," 2 Kings 8:7-13 . On his return home, Hazael concealed from his master Benhadad the prophet's answer, and inspired him with hopes of recovery; but on the following day, he took effectual means to prevent it, by stifling the king with a thick cloth dipped with water; and, as Benhadad had no son, and Hazael was a man much esteemed in the army, he was, without difficulty, declared his successor, A.M. 3120. Hazael soon inflicted upon Israel all the cruelties which Elisha had foretold. For when Jehu broke up the siege of Ramoth-Gilead, and came with his army to Samaria, Hazael took advantage of his absence to fall upon his territories beyond Jordan, destroying all the land of Gilead, Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh, from Aroer to Bashan, 2 Kings 10:32 . Some years passed after this, before Hazael undertook any thing against the kingdom of Judah, it being remote from Damascus; but in the reign of Joash, the son of Jehoahaz, A.M. 3165, he besieged the city of Gath, and, having taken it, marched against Jerusalem, 2 Kings 12:17-18 . But Joash, conscious of his inferiority, bribed him at the price of all the money he could raise, to evacuate Judea, with which he for the moment complied; yet, in the following year, the army of Hazael returned, entered the territories of Judah, and the city of Jerusalem, slew all the princes of the people, and sent a valuable booty to their royal master, 2 Kings 13:22; 2 Chronicles 24:23 .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Hazael'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/wtd/h/hazael.html. 1831-2.

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