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Jehoahaz’s Reign over Israel
1 In the twenty-third year of the reign of Judah’s King Joash son of Ahaziah, Jehu’s son Jehoahaz became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria#map For location see Map2-B1; Map4-D3; Map5-E2; Map6-A4; Map7-C1. for seventeen years. 2 He did evil in the sight of#tn Heb “in the eyes of.” the Lord. He continued in#tn Heb “walked after.” the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who had encouraged Israel to sin; he did not repudiate those sins.#tn Heb “he did not turn aside from it.” 3 The Lord was furious with#tn Heb “and the anger of the Lord burned against.” Israel and handed them over to#tn Heb “he gave them into the hand of.” King Hazael of Syria and to Hazael’s son Ben Hadad for many years.#tn Heb “all the days.”
4 Jehoahaz asked for the Lord’s mercy#tn Heb “appeased the face of the Lord.” and the Lord responded favorably,#tn Heb “and the Lord heard.” for he saw that Israel was oppressed by the king of Syria.#tn Heb “for he saw the oppression of Israel, for the king of Syria oppressed them.” 5 The Lord provided a deliverer#sn The identity of this unnamed “deliverer” is debated. For options see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 143. for Israel and they were freed from Syria’s power.#tn Heb “and they went from under the hand of Syria.” The Israelites once more lived in security.#tn Heb “and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as before.” 6 But they did not repudiate#tn Heb “they did not turn away from.” the sinful ways of the family#tn Heb “house.” of Jeroboam, who encouraged Israel to sin; they continued in those sins.#tc Heb “in it he walked.” The singular verb (הָלַךְ, halakh) is probably due to an error of haplography and should be emended to the plural (הָלְכּוּ, halÿku). Note that a vav immediately follows (on the form וְגַם, vÿgam). There was even an Asherah pole#tn Or “an image of Asherah”; ASV, NASB “the Asherah”; NCV “the Asherah idol.”sn Asherah was a leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles. These were to be burned or cut down (Deut 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4). standing in Samaria. 7 Jehoahaz had no army left#tn Heb “Indeed he did not leave to Jehoahaz people.” The identity of the subject is uncertain, but the king of Syria, mentioned later in the verse, is a likely candidate. except for fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers. The king of Syria had destroyed his troops#tn Heb “them,” i.e., the remainder of this troops. and trampled on them like dust.#tn Heb “and made them like dust for trampling.”
8 The rest of the events of Jehoahaz’s reign, including all his accomplishments and successes, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel.#tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Jehoahaz, and all which he did and his strength, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Israel?” 9 Jehoahaz passed away#tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.” and was buried#tn Heb “and they buried him.” in Samaria. His son Joash replaced him as king.
Jehoash’s Reign over Israel
10 In the thirty-seventh year of King Joash’s reign over Judah, Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria#map For location see Map2-B1; Map4-D3; Map5-E2; Map6-A4; Map7-C1. for sixteen years. 11 He did evil in the sight of#tn Heb “in the eyes of.” the Lord. He did not repudiate#tn Heb “turn away from all.” the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin; he continued in those sins.#tn Heb “in it he walked.” 12 The rest of the events of Joash’s#sn Jehoash and Joash are alternate forms of the same name. reign, including all his accomplishments and his successful war with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel.#tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Joash, and all which he did and his strength, [and] how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Israel?” 13 Joash passed away#tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.” and Jeroboam succeeded him on the throne.#tn Heb “sat on his throne.” Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
Elisha Makes One Final Prophecy
14 Now Elisha had a terminal illness.#tn Heb “Now Elisha was ill with the illness by which he would die.” King Joash of Israel went down to visit him.#tn Heb “went down to him.” He wept before him and said, “My father, my father! The chariot#tn Though the noun is singular here, it may be collective, in which case it could be translated “chariots.” and horsemen of Israel!”#sn By comparing Elisha to a one-man army, the king emphasizes the power of the prophetic word. See the note at 2:12. 15 Elisha told him, “Take a bow and some arrows,” and he did so.#tn Heb “and he took a bow and some arrows.” 16 Then Elisha#tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity. told the king of Israel, “Aim the bow.”#tn Heb “Cause your hand to ride on the bow.” He did so,#tn Heb “and he caused his hand to ride.” and Elisha placed his hands on the king’s hands. 17 Elisha#tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity. said, “Open the east window,” and he did so.#tn Heb “He opened [it].” Elisha said, “Shoot!” and
he did so.#tn Heb “and he shot.” Elisha#tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity. said, “This arrow symbolizes the victory the Lord will give you over Syria.#tn Heb “The arrow of victory of the Lord and the arrow of victory over Syria.” You will annihilate Syria in Aphek!”#tn Heb “you will strike down Syria in Aphek until destruction.” 18 Then Elisha#tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity. said, “Take the arrows,” and he did so.#tn Heb “and he took [them].” He told the king of Israel, “Strike the ground!” He struck the ground three times and stopped. 19 The prophet#tn Heb “man of God.” got angry at him and said, “If you had struck the ground five or six times, you would have annihilated Syria!#tn Heb “[It was necessary] to strike five or six times, then you would strike down Syria until destruction.” On the syntax of the infinitive construct, see GKC 349 §114.k. But now, you will defeat Syria only three times.”
20 Elisha died and was buried.#tn Heb “and they buried him.” Moabite raiding parties invaded#tn Heb “entered.” the land at the beginning of the year.#tc The MT reading בָּא שָׁנָה (ba’ shanah), “it came, year,” should probably be emended to בְּבָּא הַשָּׁנָה (bÿba’ hashanah), “at the coming [i.e., ‘beginning’] of the year.” See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 148. 21 One day some men#tn Heb “and it so happened [that] they.” were burying a man when they spotted#tn Heb “and look, they saw.” a raiding party. So they threw the dead man#tn Heb “the man”; the adjective “dead” has been supplied in the translation for clarity. into Elisha’s tomb. When the body#tn Heb “the man.” touched Elisha’s bones, the dead man#tn Heb “he”; the referent (the dead man) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Otherwise the reader might think it was Elisha rather than the unnamed dead man who came back to life. came to life and stood on his feet.
22 Now King Hazael of Syria oppressed Israel throughout Jehoahaz’s reign.#tn Heb “all the days of Jehoahaz.” 23 But the Lord had mercy on them and felt pity for them.#tn Or “showed them compassion.” He extended his favor to them#tn Heb “he turned to them.” because of the promise he had made#tn Heb “because of his covenant with.” to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He has been unwilling to destroy them or remove them from his presence to this very day.#tn Heb “until now.” 24 When King Hazael of Syria died, his son Ben Hadad replaced him as king. 25 Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash took back from#tn Heb “from the hand of.” Ben Hadad son of Hazael the cities that he had taken from his father Jehoahaz in war. Joash defeated him three times and recovered the Israelite cities.
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