Vv 1-6: "It appears that 'a great woman' of Shechem had
befriended the prophet, finding him and his servant, from time to time, as they
passed by that place, food and lodging. In return for this he sends her a
message: 'Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to
be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of
the host?' (2Ki 4:13) Now we should have gathered from previous passages in
Elisha's history, that Jehoram, who was then king of Israel, was not one with
whom he was upon such terms as this proposition to the Shunammite implies.
Jehoram was the son of Ahab, his old master Elijah's enemy, and apparently no
friend of his own; for when the three kings, the king of Israel, the king of
Judah, and the king of Edom, in their distress for water, in their expedition
against Moab, wished to inquire of the Lord through Elisha, his answer to the
king of Israel was, 'As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely,
were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would
not look toward thee, nor see thee' (2Ki 3:14). What, then, had occurred in the
interval betwixt this avowal, and his proposal to the Shunammite to use his
influence in her favour at court, which had changed his position with respect to
the king of Israel? It may be supposed that it was the sudden supply of water,
which he had furnished these kings with, by God's permission, thus saving the
expedition; and the defeat of the enemy, to which it had been instrumental (2Ki
3:16,17). This would naturally make Elisha feel that the king of Israel was
under obligations to him and that he could ask a slight favour of him without
seeming to sanction the character of the man by doing so. And this solution of
the case appears to be the more probable, from Elisha coupling the 'captain of
the host' with the king; as though his interest was equally good with him too,
which he might reasonably consider it to be, when he had done the army such
signal service; and it is further confirmed by another incident related of this
same Shunammite in a subsequent chapter. For having fled from the seven years'
famine into another country, she lost her house and land in her own, on which
she appealed to king Jehoram. Accordingly, 'the king talked with Gehazi, the
servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things
Elisha hath done' (2Ki 8:4). Elisha having now, no doubt, actually recommended
her case to the king. And when Gehazi had named some of these miracles, 'the
king appointed to her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers'; so
that the event shows that Elisha on the former occasion had not miscalculated
his powers, or the grounds on which he might challenge the king's favours"
A FAMINE IN THE LAND THAT WILL LAST SEVEN YEARS:
Exactly twice the length of the drought in the days of Elijah (Jam 5:17). A
review of the Scriptural record suggests that Elisha's ministry lasted twice the
length of Elijah's, and that he performed twice as many miracles as Elijah. Is
this a fulfilment of the request of Elisha (2Ki 2:9), where he asked for a
double portion of Elijah's spirit?
AND STAYED IN THE LAND OF THE PHILISTINES: The lowlands
would not be so subject to a drought.
TO BEG FOR HER HOUSE AND LAND: Possibly squatters had
now moved in, and refused to leave.
Vv 4-6: A direct example of how God works through
circumstances for the benefit of those that love him (Rom 8:31). It is a direct
example of the truth of the words: "When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD,
he makes even his enemies live at peace with him" (Pro 16:7).
"A sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous" (Pro
Had Naaman's healing and conversion (2Ki 5) improved relations
between the two countries?
HE SAID TO HAZAEL: Having heard of Naaman (2Ki
HAZAEL: "El hath seen, or foreseen."
YOU WILL CERTAINLY RECOVER: Left to its own course, the
disease would not prove fatal.
HE STARED AT HIM WITH A FIXED GAZE UNTIL HAZAEL FELT
ASHAMED: Elisha read his mind -- he knew of the plotting, and Hazael shrank
from his stares.
THEN THE MAN OF GOD BEGAN TO WEEP: Because he saw
Hazael's terrible judgments upon Israel?
RIP OPEN THEIR PREGNANT WOMEN: Cp 2Ki 2:23,24 and Lev
19:28, where God "prohibits the ritual slitting of the womb of expectant women
to deliver them to the Syrian god at whose hand the victims were supposed to
believe the land had been invaded. The abortion was a dedication to the invading
god. This is referred to in 2Ki 8:12 (and Amos, etc), where the same Heb word is
translated 'rip' " (AG, Tes 54:306).
The fulfillment of this prophecy begins immediately,
demonstrating the sort of man Hazael was: he went straight home and killed the
king, starting his reign of terror. This is a terrible thing, but let us be sure
not to stand on a pedestal and consider ourselves above such behavior. How many
of us can truthfully say that at no point in our lives have we denied someone
something in order to get what we want ourselves? However detached from our
experience these stories are, there is always the potential for a humbling
ZAIR: Mt Seir in Edom?
TUCK YOUR CLOAK INTO YOUR BELT: 'Prepare yourself for a