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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 13

 

 

Verse 1

2 Kings 13:1 In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, [and reigned] seventeen years.

Ver. 1. In the three and twentieth year of Joash.] In the tenth year of his reign, the city of Carthage was built by Queen Dido, as Josephus reporteth out of the annals of the Tyrians. (a) This discrediteth Virgil’s poem of the hot affection between Dido and Aeneas, dead above two hundred years before.


Verse 2

2 Kings 13:2 And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.

Ver. 2. And he did that which was evil.] The throne of Judah had some interchanges of good princes; Israel none at all.


Verse 3

2 Kings 13:3 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all [their] days.

Ver. 3. And the anger of the Lord.] God is said to be angry at evildoers, because, as angry men use to do, he threateneth and smiteth them.


Verse 4

2 Kings 13:4 And Jehoahaz besought the LORD, and the LORD hearkened unto him: for he saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them.

Ver. 4. And Jehoahaz besought the Lord.] Affliction exciteth devotion, as blowing doth the fire; whereas rarae fumant felicibus arae. Jehoahaz was now brought very low by the Syrians, [2 Kings 13:7] else God had not been thought on or sought unto.


Verse 5

2 Kings 13:5 (And the LORD gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime.

Ver. 5. And the Lord gave Israel a saviour.] An angel, say some; the prophet Elisha, say others; or rather king Jehoash, [2 Kings 13:25] encouraged by Elisha, with promise of a threefold victory over the Syrians.


Verse 6

2 Kings 13:6 Nevertheless they departed not from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who made Israel sin, [but] walked therein: and there remained the grove also in Samaria.)

Ver. 6. Nevertheless they departed not.] Though first plagued, and then saved, yet they remained irreclaimable.

And there remained the grove.] Ahab’s grove. [1 Kings 16:33] Ballism, therefore, was not utterly abolished by Jehu.


Verse 7

2 Kings 13:7 Neither did he leave of the people to Jehoahaz but fifty horsemen, and ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen; for the king of Syria had destroyed them, and had made them like the dust by threshing.

Ver. 7. Had made them like the dust by threshing.] Grain may be broken and scattered by overmuch threshing; so was Israel by the Syrian oppression.


Verse 8

2 Kings 13:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did, and his might, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

Ver. 8. And his might.] He did what he could, (a) but to no purpose, because God was against him.


Verse 9

2 Kings 13:9 And Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his stead.

Ver. 9. And Jehoahaz slept.] See 1 Kings 16:28.


Verse 10

2 Kings 13:10 In the thirty and seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, [and reigned] sixteen years.

Ver. 10. Began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign.] Two years before his father’s death. See 2 Kings 13:1.


Verse 11

2 Kings 13:11 And he did [that which was] evil in the sight of the LORD he departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin: [but] he walked therein.

Ver. 11. And he did that which was evil.] See 2 Kings 13:2.


Verse 12

2 Kings 13:12 And the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, and his might wherewith he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

Ver. 12. And the rest of the acts.] See 1 Kings 16:27.


Verse 13

2 Kings 13:13 And Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat upon his throne: and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

Ver. 13. So Joash slept.] See 1 Kings 16:28.


Verse 14

2 Kings 13:14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.

Ver. 14. Now Elisha was fallen sick.] Being, as it is thought, above a hundred years old. That is a pious note that a reverend writer (a) maketh here: Happy is he that, after due preparation, is passed through the gates of death ere he be aware. Happy is he that, by the holy use of long sickness, is taught to see the gates of death afar off, and addresseth for a resolute passage. The one dieth like Elijah, the other like Elisha - both blessedly.

And said, O my father.] This same Elisha had said to Elijah when he was taken up, and heareth now as much ascribed to himself, as a remuneration of that his piety to his master.

The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.] i.e., Qui oratione plus potes quam omnes milites armis suis; { b} O thou who canst do more by thy prayers than all the soldiers can with their weapons of war. Elisha’s piety and his prayers were the strength of the state, as this wicked king could now acknowledge with tears, though before he had slighted him.

Virtutem incolumen odimus,

Sublatam ex oculis quaerimus invidi. ” - Horat.

Stapleton saith that he calleth Elisha "the horsemen" of Israel, because by his holy life and doctrine he led all Israel; and "the chariot," because by his virtue and prayers he preserved the people ne propter peceata Deus illos perderet, that God destroyed them not for their sins. (c) The death of such is very ominous, a forerunner of great calamities. [Isaiah 57:1]


Verse 15

2 Kings 13:15 And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.

Ver. 15. And Elisha said, Take bow and arrows.] Chria quadam tanquam signo externo victoriam praedicit: The prophet, moved by the king’s tears and profession, foretelleth victory by this outward sign:


Verse 16

2 Kings 13:16 And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand [upon it]: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands.

Ver. 16. And Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands.] To show that "the arms of his hands should be made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob," as Genesis 49:24.


Verse 17

2 Kings 13:17 And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened [it]. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed [them].

Ver. 17. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot.] The old Romans were wont to denounce war against their enemies by shooting an arrow or dart into their country, (a) Alexander the Great did the like when he first set foot in Persia, as Justin reporteth. (b)

Till they have consumed them.] Usque ad consumere, vel usque ad consummare.


Verse 18

2 Kings 13:18 And he said, Take the arrows. And he took [them]. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed.

Ver. 18. And he took them.] He is very morigerous to the prophet, as expecting good from him; only he stayed striking before he should, and that was to his loss. He should have continued smiting till the prophet had said, Enough.


Verse 19

2 Kings 13:19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed [it]: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria [but] thrice.

Ver. 19. Thou shalt smite Israel but thrice.] And this for a punishment of the king’s slackness and slothfulness in pursuing the execution of God’s vengeance on the enemies, which the prophet might foresee.


Verse 20

2 Kings 13:20 And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.

Ver. 20. And Elisha died.] Accisis corporeis viribus gloriosam exhalavit animam. Elisha was one of those few that lived and died with honour.

And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land.] Here that of Hosea, Hosea 13:1, was fulfilled: "When Ephraim spake, there was trembling, and he exalted himself in Israel: but when he offended in Baal, he died." Before, none durst budge against the name of Ephraim; but after Baal, every paltry adversary trampled upon him as a dead man. Howbeit, for their comfort and confirmation, here is a dead man raised by touching the dead body of Elisha, who had so lately promised them good success against the Syrian: "Thy dead men shall live: together with my dead body shall they arise: awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust." [Isaiah 26:19] The Hebrews (a) tell us that Amoz, the father of Isaiah the prophet, and brother of king Ahaziah, was present at Elisha’s death, and that the man raised by the touch of his body suddenly fell down dead again. But it is more likely, say expositors, that he lived and went to the king with his bearers as witnesses of this very great miracle, that he might be the better encouraged to go against the Syrians, as soon after he did.


Verse 21

2 Kings 13:21 And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band [of men]; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.

Ver. 21. He revived, and stood upon his feet.] By as true - though spiritual - a miracle it is that new life is put into a dead soul, "dead in trespasses and sins," by the touch of God’s prophets, applying thereunto the death and resurrection of the Son of God, who restored life to his own dead body, and thereby not only declared himself with power to be God blessed for ever, [Romans 1:4] but also that he quickeneth all true believers, who are united unto him by the ligament of a lively faith, as it were by a corporeal contract.


Verse 22

2 Kings 13:22 But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.

Ver. 22. All the days of Jehoahaz.] For about fifty years in all had this tyrant oppressed them. But God had promised them a saviour, viz., Joash, [2 Kings 13:5] and this much about the time that Jehoahaz had besought the Lord, who was easily entreated to pity the low condition of his people. [2 Kings 13:4]


Verse 23

2 Kings 13:23 And the LORD was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.

Ver. 23. Because of his covenant.] Whereby God had made himself a voluntary debtor to his people. Who might now well say, Non sum dignus, Domine, sed sum indigus, I am no way worthy of thy help, but I am in extreme need of it. And again, Ego admisi unde tu damnare potes me, sed non amisisti unde tu salvare potes me, (a) My destruction is of myself, but of thee is my help.


Verse 24

2 Kings 13:24 So Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his stead.

Ver. 24. So Hazael king of Syria died.] And Israel had thereupon not halcyon days only, but three signal victories.


Verse 25

2 Kings 13:25 And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities, which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times did Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of Israel.

Ver. 25. Three times did Joash beat him.] And this he had by way of recompense for his so kindly visiting Elisha in his sickness; to stir men up to kindness and respect to God’s ministers, as Wolphius here well observeth.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 13:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-13.html. 1865-1868.

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