Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Famine. God disposes of all things. (Calmet) — Famine, &c., are his executioners. (Du Hamel) — This dreadful visitation took place before the siege of Samaria, (Salien) and had even commenced when Eliseus raise the child to life; (chap. iv. 38.) so that we might translate, “Eliseus had spoken,” &c. (Calmet)
Ver. 3. Lands, which others had seized. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 4. Giezi was not yet infected; (Salien; Menochius) or if he was, (Haydock) the king spoke to him at a distance, overcoming his natural repugnance, in order to know some particulars of the life of Eliseus. (Calmet) — This he would more readily do, if Giezi had brought the glad tidings of plenty. (Tirinus) — Providence ordered that he should be present at this time, that he might bear witness to the woman. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Restore. “Restituere est possessorem facere fructusque reddere.” (Caius.) — Some think that the lands had been confiscated to the king, as being abandoned; or his authority was requisite, at least, to make the present occupiers give them up.
Ver. 7. Damascus, the territory, (ver. 8.) to announce the king’s death, and to anoint Hazael, as God had ordered Elias, 3 Kings xix. 15. (Calmet) — Sick, at the ill success of his late expedition. (Josephus) (Tirinus)
Ver. 9. Camels. It does not appear that Eliseus rejected these presents. (Menochius) — Thy son. The kings of Israel and Juda styled the prophet father, and this title was given by Christians of antiquity to bishops and priests.
Ver. 10. Tell him: Thou shalt recover. By these words the prophet signified that the king’s disease was not mortal: and that he would recover, if no violence were used. Or he might only express himself in this manner, by way of giving Hazael to understand that he knew both what he would say and do; that he would indeed tell the king he should recover, but would be himself the instrument of his death. (Challoner) — The imperative is often used for the future tense. (Gloss iii. 3.) (John ii. 19.) The present Hebrew reads, “Thou shalt not live: for,” &c., which removes the difficulty. But the Chaldean, Septuagint, Syriac, &c., agree with the Vulgate, (Calmet) as the Protestant version also does. “Thou mayst certainly recover, howbeit the Lord,” &c. (Haydock) — Lo, “not,” in the Hebrew text, seems however preferable to the marginal reading, lu, “to him.” This mistake has been sometimes made elsewhere, and ought to be carefully examined. (Kennicott, 1 Paralipomenon xi. 20.)
Ver. 11. Blush. This may be referred either to Hazael, who was astonished at the words and looks of the prophet, (Haydock) or to Eliseus. (Menochius) — Septuagint Complutensian, “and Hazael stood before his face, and he displayed the presents before him, till he blushed, and the,” &c. Though this has the appearance of a gloss, it is perhaps most conformable to the Hebrew and to an ancient Greek version. (Calmet) — Protestants, “he settled his countenance steadfastly, until he was ashamed.”
Ver. 13. A dog. He speaks with indignation, as if he could not be so brutal; (Tirinus) or he could not yet think that he should be king. (Calmet) — He afterwards proved as cruel as the prophet had signified, chap. x. 32., and Amos i. 3. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Blanket. Hebrew macber, a word which the Septuagint retain. (Haydock) — It denotes a hairy coverlet, pillow, &c. Tiberius and Frederic II met with the like fate. (Calmet) — some think that Hazael was only guilty of imprudence; (Menochius) or that Benadad killed himself; as the Hebrew might be rendered, if the sequel did not evince that his death was caused by Hazael’s malice. (Calmet) — He might pretend that the wet cloth would give Benadad refreshment. (Haydock) — But it would bring on present death, with most exquisite torture. (Tirinus) — The names of both these kings were in great veneration among the Syrians, who paid them divine honours. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] ix. 4.) — Perhaps they might not know that the latter had been guilty of such a base murder. (Haydock)
Ver. 16. Fifth. Houbigant would read “third,” p. 100. See chap. i. 17. (Haydock) — Josaphat. That is, Josaphat being yet alive, who some time before his death made his son Joram king; as David had done before by his son Solomon. (Challoner) — The words are omitted in some copies of the Septuagint (Du Hamel) and are perhaps inserted from the end of the verse. (Haydock) — Protestants, “Jehosaphat being then king,” in his 22d year. (Haydock) — Joram had been appointed viceroy in the sixteenth year of his father’s reign, and was now raised to sit on the throne with him. Thus the Scripture may be reconciled. (Calmet)
Ver. 18. Achab, Athalia. She led her husband into all wickedness. (Tirinus) (2 Paralipomenon xxi.)
Ver. 19. Light, or lamp, posterity and regal power, 3 Kings xi. 36. (Haydock)
Ver. 20. King. The one under Josaphat was dependant, chap. iii. 9., and 3 Kings xxii. 48. Thus the prediction of Jacob was verified, (Genesis xxvii. 40.; Calmet) and Joram punished. (Haydock)
Ver. 21. Seira, or Idumea, Genesis xiv. 6. — Defeated. The Syriac and Arabic explain it in a contrary sense, as the Hebrew may well signify, and the sequel seems to prove, as the Edomites became independent. Hebrew, “He rose….and attacked Edom that surrounded him, (with superior numbers) and the princes… and the people (of Israel) fled.” But the text will also bear the sense of the Vulgate, which is conformable to 2 Paralipomenon xxi. 9., which does not say the people, &c., though these words may be understood of the Edomites. Joram could not derive such advantage from his victory, as to reduce the nation under his obedience. (Calmet)
Ver. 22. Day, when Jeremias, the author, lived. (Tostat) — Lobna, a frontier town bordering on Idumea. It was a strong place assigned to the priests; but strangers had probably again taken possession of it, and caused it now to revolt. The kings of Juda had retaken it when Sennacherib laid siege to the place. See chap. xix. 8., and Josue x. 30., and xxi. 13.
Ver. 24. Slept, after a lingering and painful illness of two years’ continuance. Joram was not buried in the tomb of the other kings, nor were perfumes burnt over his corpse; (Calmet) as his memory was abhorred, 2 Paralipomenon xxi.
Ver. 25. Twelfth, more correctly than “the eleventh,” chap. ix. 29. (Houbigant)
Ver. 26. Twenty. In 2 Paralipomenon xxii. 2., we read forty, by mistake of the transcribers, as Ochozias, (Joachaz, or Azarias, 2 Paralipomenon xxi. 17.) would thus be older than his father, who died at the age of forty, 2 Paralipomenon xxi. 20. All the original versions, and many copies of the Septuagint read “twenty-two” in both passages; and those who would admit no mistake, are forced to have recourse to explanations which can give no satisfaction. De Dieu would include in the reign of Ochozias the six years of Athalia’s usurpation, and the thirteen of Joas, during his minority. Others would date from the separation of the two kingdoms, &c. But would the Holy Ghost cause the same fact to be recorded in two places in such a different manner? The best chronologists acknowledge a mistake in the Hebrew text of Paralipomenon. (Cajetan; Salien; Petau; Tirinus, &c.; Calmet) as the letters which denote these numbers are not unlike (Mariana:) c (20) might easily be exchanged for m (40.) (Haydock) — Daughter. That is, grand-daughter; for she was daughter of Achab, son of Amri, ver. 18., (Challoner) unless she was only adopted by Achab. (Worthington)
Ver. 28. Galaad. The same city had proved fatal to Achab, 3 Kings xxii. Joram took it, but received (Calmet) many wounds; so that he left Jehu to attack the citadel. The latter was anointed king, and acknowledged by the army. He immediately proceeded to Jezrahel, and put his master to death. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
After seven years famine foretold by Eliseus, the Sunamitess returning home, recovereth her lands and revenues. Eliseus foresheweth the death of Benadad, king of Syria, and the reign of Hazael. Joram’s wicked reign in Juda. He dieth, and his son, Ochozias, succeedeth him.
1 And Eliseus spoke to the woman, *whose son he had restored to life, saying: Arise, and go thou, and thy household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst find: for the Lord hath called a famine, and it shall come upon the land seven years.
2 And she arose, and did according to the word of the man of God: and going with her household, she sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days.
3 *And when the seven years were ended, the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines, and she went forth to speak to the king for her house, and for her lands.
4 And the king talked with Giezi, the servant of the man of God, saying: Tell me all the great things that Eliseus hath done.
5 And when he was telling the king how he had raised one dead to life, the woman appeared, whose son he had restored to life, crying to the king for her house and her lands. And Giezi said: My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Eliseus raised to life.
6 And the king asked the woman: and she told him. And the king appointed her an eunuch, saying: Restore her all that is hers, and all the revenues of the lands, from the day that she left the land to this present.
7 Eliseus also came to Damascus, and Benadad, king of Syria, was sick; and they told him, saying: The man of God is come hither.
8 And the king said to Hazael: Take with thee presents, and go to meet the man of God, and consult the Lord by him, saying: Can I recover of this my illness?
9 And Hazael went to meet him, taking with him presents, and all the good things of Damascus, the burdens of forty camels. And when he stood before him, he said: Thy son, Benadad, the king of Syria, hath sent me to thee, saying: Can I recover of this my illness?
10 And Eliseus said to him: Go tell him: Thou shalt recover: but the Lord hath shewed me that he shall surely die.
11 And he stood with him, and was troubled so far as to blush: and the man of God wept.
12 And Hazael said to him: Why doth my lord weep? And he said: Because I know the evil that thou wilt do to the children of Israel. *Their strong cities thou wilt burn with fire, and their young men thou wilt kill with the sword, and thou wilt dash their children, and rip up their pregnant women.
13 And Hazael said: But what am I, thy servant, a dog, that I should do this great thing? And Eliseus said: The Lord hath shewed me that thou shalt be king of Syria.
14 And when he was departed from Eliseus he came to his master, who said to him: What said Eliseus to thee? And he answered: He told me: Thou shalt recover.
15 And on the next day, he took a blanket, and pouted water on it, and spread it upon his face: and he died, and Hazael reigned in his stead.
16 In the fifth year of Joram, son of Achab, king of Israel, and of Josaphat, king of Juda, reigned Joram, son of Josaphat, king of Juda.
17 *He was two and thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.
18 And he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Achab had walked: for the daughter of Achab was his wife: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.
19 *But the Lord would not destroy Juda, for David his servant’s sake, as he had promised him, to give him a light, and to his children always.
20 *In his days Edom revolted from being under Juda, and made themselves a king.
21 *And Joram came to Seira, and all the chariots with him: and he arose in the night, and defeated the Edomites that had surrounded him, and the captains of the chariots, but the people fled into their tents.
22 So Edom revolted from being under Juda, unto this day. Then Lobna also revolted at the same time.
23 But the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the words of the days of the kings of Juda?
24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with them in the city of David, and Ochozias, his son, reigned in his stead.
25 *In the twelfth year of Joram, son of Achab, king of Israel, reigned *Ochozias, son of Joram, king of Juda.
26 Ochozias was two and twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem: the name of his mother was Athalia, the daughter of Amri, king of Israel.
27 And he walked in the ways of the house of Achab: and he did evil before the Lord, as did the house of Achab: for he was the son-in-law of the house of Achab.
28 *He went also with Joram, son of Achab, to fight against Hazael, king of Syria, in Ramoth Galaad, and the Syrians wounded Joram:
29 And he went back to be healed, in Jezrahel: because the Syrians had wounded him in Ramoth, when he fought against Hazael, king of Syria. And Ochozias, the son of Joram, king of Juda, went down to visit Joram, the son of Achab, in Jezrahel, because he was sick there.
1: 4 Kings iv. 37.
3: Year of the World 3120.
12: 4 Kings xii. 7.
17: 2 Paralipomenon xxi. 5.
19: 2 Kings vii. 16.
20: Genesis xxvii. 40.; 2 Paralipomenon xxi. 8.
21: Year of the World 3115, Year before Christ 889.
25: 2 Paralipomenon xxii. 1. — ** Year of the World 3119.
28: Year of the World 3120.