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The Demise of Ben-Hadad

Betrayed By His Trusted Confidant

"Your son Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram, has sent me to ask: 'Will I recover from this illness?'" Now after hearing this, Elisha tells Hazael: "Go and say to him, 'You will certainly recover.' But the Lord has revealed to me, that he will in fact die."

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  2 Kings 8:7-15

Short Recap

In the last article, we'd learned how the Shunammite woman, the one who had treated Elisha so well, whenever the prophet would pass by her house, as he'd traveled to the city of Shunem (remember, this was a city that was located in the Issachar district.) And because of the tremendous kindness she showed towards the prophet, the Lord would eventually use Elisha to bless the woman with her very own child. Remember, she never had the pleasure, of being able to have her own child, since she was found to be barren. And on top of this, the Shunammite woman, was also at a point in her life, where she was found to be of old age.

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Nevertheless, it would be that very same Shunammite woman, who would continue to reap great rewards, behind the faithful kindness that she had earlier showed Elisha. Be that as it may, we now find Elisha going out of his way, when it came to warning the woman, about a seven year famine that was now about to hit the city of Samaria:

"Elisha had told the woman whose son he had brought back to life: 'Take your family and move to some other place, for the Lord has called for a famine on Israel that will last for seven years.'" -- 2 Kings 8:1

Notice how the passage points out that the Lord had called for the famine. And it's for this reason, it's possible, this was another judgment that was being unleashed, upon the Northern Kingdom of Israel, due to their continuous rebellion against the Lord.

Nonetheless, the Shunammite woman would take heed, to Elisha's warning, therefore leaving the area, until the famine had lifted. But to her surprise, when she had returned, she'd discovered that her property had been seized, and that it was no longer hers: "It came to pass, at the end of seven years, that the woman returned from the land of the Philistines; and she went to make an appeal to the king for her house and for her land." -- 2 Kings 8:3

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Last Article Recap:

The Continued Blessed Harvest

Notice how the passage points out, how she ended up taking her dilemma directly to the king. And fortunately for her, her dealings with Elisha would pay off again. For she would soon discover, when she had walked into the royal court, to plead her case to the king, the man that was serving as Elisha's assistant, when the prophet was constantly traveling to the city of Shunem, would now be found, working for the Israel king. And it would be this very same man, that would end up confirming everything the woman had told the king:  

"As she came in, the king was talking with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God. The king had just said, 'Tell me some stories about the great things Elisha has done.' And as Gehazi was telling the king about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life. At that very moment, the mother of the boy walked in to make her appeal to the king. 'Look, my lord!' Gehazi exclaimed. 'Here is the woman now, and this is her son; the very one that Elisha brought back to life!' So the king asked the woman: 'Is this true?' And she told him that it was. So he directed one of his officials to see to it, that everything she had lost, was restored to her; including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence." -- 2 Kings 8:4-6

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Ben-Hadad Humbles Himself

Be that as it may, we begin to move forward, when it comes to our journey. And it's at this time, we now find that on this particular day, Elisha was on his way to the capitol of Syria, which was a place that was also known as Damascus. Now we're not told the reason, why Elisha would be headed towards Syria. But what we do know, is that it would also be at this time, the Scriptures had pointed out that the Syrian king, had already fallen seriously ill, before word had reached him, that Elisha was in the city of Damascus.

Now keep in mind, there's a history when it comes to these two men. As a matter of fact, this was a type of history that was filled with nothing but war and conflict. But here we now find, the Syrian king humbling himself, for he needed to reach out to his adversary for help.

Now I want to point out that by this time, Elisha was quite popular from within the land. I mean after all, there was a time, where the prophet had blinded Ben-Hadad's whole entire army unit, the king had sent, in order to capture Elisha. And not only this, Elisha had also led that very same army unit into an ambush, that could have brought them to a very unfortunate fate. But being the man that he was, Elisha showed mercy, by sparing them. Also keep in mind, Elisha had also healed Naaman of his leprosy. Don't forget, at the time, he was Ben-Hadad's most celebrated commander.

Now we find Ben-Hadad himself, seeking Elisha's help. This is why we find him now, sending word through Hazael, one of his most trusted confidants : "The man of God has come all the way up here. Take a gift with you, and go to meet the man of God. Consult the Lord through him; ask him if I would recover from this illness?"  

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Hazael the Trusted Confidant

Nonetheless, there's very little that we know, when it comes to the man that was known as Hazael. Who knows, perhaps he came from a simple common background. But the one thing we do know, is that he had to have held a high position, from within the Syrian courts, for him to be able to have direct access to the king. And not only this, we also have to keep in mind, Hazael also had the trust of the Syrian king. And Ben-Hadad would confirm his trust, when he had selected Hazael to deliver a very important message, as the king's life hanged in the balance. Understand that this speaks volumes, when it comes to the trusted closeness of their relationship.

Be that as it may, Hazael heads out to find Elisha. But he wouldn't go empty handed, for we find him taking with him, forty camel loads of the finest gifts, that Damascus had to offer. However, Hazael's trip wouldn't last long, for we find that it didn't take him long to finally catch up with the prophet. And when he finally comes before Elisha, he tells the prophet: "Your son Ben-Hadad, the king of Aram, has sent me to ask: 'Will I recover from this illness?'"

Now after hearing this, Elisha tells Hazael: "Go and say to him, 'You will certainly recover from your illness.' But the Lord has also revealed to me that in spite of this, he will still die." Now Elisha would tell Hazael this, while he stared at him in a fixed gaze. As a matter of fact, Elisha stare at Hazael was so intense, the prophet began to weep. Elisha had wept so much, Hazael had begun to feel ashamed.

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Me? I'm Just A Mere Dog

Now after seeing this, Hazael asked Elisha: "Why is my lord weeping?" And when Elisha heard this, he responded by saying: "Because I know the harm that you will do to Israel. For you will set fire to their fortified places; kill their young men with the sword. And not only this, you will dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women." Now after hearing this, Hazael stood there, with a very shock look on his face. So after he thought for a moment, he asked the prophet: "How could your servant, a mere dog, accomplish such a feat?"

And after Hazael had asked this, Elisha responded by saying: "The Lord has shown me, that you will become king of Aram." Now after hearing this, Hazael departed from the prophet, as he headed back to give a report to Ben-Hadad the Syrian king. Now when Hazael had finally came before the king, Ben-Hadad asked him: "What did Elisha say to you." And after hearing this, Hazael replied: "He told me that you would certainly recover." But notice how Hazael wouldn't tell the king, everything that Elisha had told him. Also keep in mind, that we just learned, Elisha had told Hazael that Ben-Hadad would indeed recover from his illness; but in spite of this, he would still die.

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The Demise of Ben-Hadad

So we find that during the next day, Hazael had taken a thick cloth, and he'd soaked it in water. And after doing this, he placed the thick wet cloth, over the king's face. Then he proceeded to smother Ben-Hadad, until he had passed away. So here we find Hazael, Ben-Hadad's once trusted confidant, being the person, who ends up murdering the king. Therefore, making Hazael the new king of Syria.

Now keep in mind, Hazael's murderous actions, would bring the second phase of God's judgment against Israel, to a conclusion. For this would be the second phase from out of the three. Remember these phases dealt with the plan, that the Lord had revealed to Elijah, before he was taken up to the heavens:

"Go back the way you came, and go to the desert Damascus. When you get there, (1) anoint Hazael king over Aram. (2) Also anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, (3) and anoint Elisha, the son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah, to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael; and Elisha will put to death, any who escape the sword of Jehu. -- 1 Kings 19:15-17

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Two Phases Done : One Phase Left

Phase One Completed : This is where we find that Elijah the prophet, had now been taken by the Lord. And it would be from that point forward, where we also find, during that time, Elisha had been both promoted and confirmed by the Most High, when it came to him going from being Elijah's apprentice, to now being known, as the master prophet, Elijah's successor. 

Phase Two Completed : It was at this point, where we'd learned, Ben-Hadad had finally been removed from the Aram throne. For we now find that Ben-Hadad's most trusted confidant, Hazael, had betrayed the Syrian king by killing him. And it's for this reason, Hazael has now taken over the throne, when it comes to the Syrian Empire.

Phase Three Still In Progress : Now even though those two phases are now completed. And even though Ahab, and his oldest son Ahaziah, are now deceased. We must keep in mind that Jehoram (remember, he is the youngest, and the last of Ahab's family dynasty) still rules over the Northern Kingdom. However, if Jehoram doesn't soon produce an heir, rest assured, Ahab's descendants will be a few more steps closer, when it comes to being cutoff from the throne of Israel. Therefore putting Jehu, even closer, when it comes to being the new king of Israel.

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In The Next Upcoming Article :

Now that we've seen how Hazael had betrayed the very king that trusted him. And because of this betrayal, Hazael becomes the new Syrian king. Be that as it may, we now begin to move forward, and it's at this time, we find that the Southern Kingdom of Israel, begins to finally come on the scene. Now what does this mean, when it comes to both the Southern and Northern kingdoms? In the next article, we will soon find out.  

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Biblical Prophets - Bible Study Online

22) Elisha and the Pot of Death

23) Naaman's Leprosy

24) The Greed of Gehazi

25) The Floating Iron Axhead

26) The Fire Horse Army

27) The Siege of the Dark Famine

28) The Four Starving Lepers

29) The Shunammite's Divine Provision


31) Family Dynasties United

32) Elijah Reaches Out From Eternity

33) Jehu Is Anointed King of Israel

34) The Demise of Jehoram & Ahaziah

35) The Demise of Jezebel

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