Wednesday, April 4, 2012

2 Kings 8 - Elijah's Commission #1 Fulfilled Through Elisha

LINK: 2 Kings 8 
Parallel passage - 2 Chronicles 21-22

BACKGROUND

Jehoram (Joram) of Israel - 2 Kings 3:1-9:25
Reigned: 852-841 BC for 12 years (brother of Ahaziah and son of Ahab)
Character: Bad mostly
He did evil in the sight of the LORD, ,though not like his father and mother; for he put away the sacred pillar of Baal . . . Nevertheless, he clung to the sins of Jeroboam . . . he did not depart from them" (2 Kings 3:2-3)
Overlap with Judah's King: Jehosphaphat (873-848 B.C.) and Jehoram (853-841 B.C.)
Manner of Death: Murdered by Jehu
Parallel Story: 2 Chronicles 22:5-7

The Shunnamite Woman in Rewind (8:1-6)

2 Kings is not written chronologically. The events of 8:1-6 must have happened before the events in 2 Kings 5 because Gehazi is still Elisha's servant and has not yet been struck with leprosy. In this story, the Shunnamite woman of 2 Kings 4:8-37 was warned by Elisha to flee to the land of the Philistines during the famine (may have been the one in 4:38). As Gehazi was telling King Joram the miraculous story of how Elisha had restored the Shunnamite woman's son to life, she walked in to beg for the restoration of her property. Joram had her property restored.

Anointing of Hazael (8:7-15)

Remember back in 1 Kings 19:8-18 when the Lord gave Elijah three anointing commissions? Do you remember who he was to anoint?

1) Hazael king of Syria
2) Jehu king of Israel
3) Elisha as his successor

Elijah only accomplished the third, but through the anointing of Elisha, the first two were fulfilled! This chapter covers commission #1.

Ben Hadad was sick and called for the prophet Elisha to find out if he would get well. Think about it: a pagan king asked to consult the LORD through one of His prophets! Maybe Namaan had something to do with this since he had probably gone back and told the king about his miraculous healing (2 Kings 5). Sadly, Elijah predicted that Ben Hadad would recover but that his messenger, Hazael, would become king of Aram and would bring harm to the Israelites. Hazael returned and killed the king. 

Hazael ruled Syria for forty-one years from 841-801 B.C. "Hazael did not come from noble stock; on one Assyrian record Shalmaneser III called him 'the son of a nobody'"(David Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia. 2 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1926-1927, 1:246). He may have been a nobody, but he was God's anointed and an instrument of God's discipline on His people for their idolatry. Stay tuned!

Two Kings of Judah (8:16-29)

Jehoram of Judah - 2 Kings 8:16-24

Reigned: 853-841 BC for 8 years alone and 5 years as co-regent with his father, Jehoshaphat

Character: Bad
Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did (for Ahab’s daughter was his wife), and he did evil in the sight of the Lord (2 Chronicles 21:5-6, NASB95).
Overlap with Israel's King:  Ahaziah (853-852 B.C.) Jehoram (Joram) (852-841 B.C.)

Manner of Death: Stricken by God

Parallel Story: 2 Chronicles 21:1-20

Family Tree of Jehoram Ahaziah Joash 
Now, we shift gears to the southern kingdom of Judah. King Jehoram (same name as the Israelite king, but the Scriptures show the Israelite king's name as Joram in order to avoid confusion) brought apostasy and judgment to Judah. He was married to Athaliah, a daughter of Ahab. Consequently, he walked in the idolatrous ways of Israel instead of like his father, Jehoshaphat. According to the parallel account in 2 Chronicles 21, he murdered his brothers and anybody who might threaten his throne. Because of God's covenant with David (2 Samuel 7), He did not destroy Judah, but revolts from Edom (The rough hills on the east side of the Arabah. Remember the people of Edom are descendants of Esau [Gen. 25:30].) and Libnah (southwest of Jerusalem near the border of Philistia) left Judah weakened. The account in 2 Chronicles 21 adds that he died of a painful disease of the intestines (21:18-19) that Elijah had prophesied (21:12-15). Jehoram reigned in co-regency with his father for 5 years (853-848 BC) and solely for 8 years (848-841 BC).

Ahaziah of Judah - 2 Kings 8:24-9:29

Reigned: 841 B.C. for 1 year

Character: Bad 
Ahaziah "walked in the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab's family" (2 Kings 8:27). 

Overlap with Israel's King: Jehoram (Joram) (853-841 B.C.)

Manner of Death: Murdered by Jehu

Parallel Story: 2 Chronicles 22:1-9

Jehoram's youngest son, Ahaziah (the other sons were taken away by the Philistines and Arabs, 2 Chronicles 21:16,17), was a bad king and only reigned one year.

At the conclusion of this chapter, Joram (King of Israel) was wounded by Hazael, the anointed king of Aram. Stay Tuned!

No REFLECTION and APPLICATION today until I sum this all up in the parallel account in 2 Chronicles. 

PRAYER


Lord, help us to learn that You are sovereign and in control of the events of kings and nations. We know that our world is in uncertain times, but we trust solely in You as our Lord and King! Amen.
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