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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

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Commentary on Second Kings

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8.1–6 :

A story about Gehazi telling Elisha stories to the king of Israel. The brief tale most likely describes something that occurred after the death of Elisha: ( 1 ) the king asks to be told such stories (v. 4 ) and ( 2 ) the woman whose son had been revivified petitions the king on her own, indicating that her husband is dead and that Elisha, who could act on her behalf, is not available ( 4.13 ).

1 :

The seven‐year famine may have been a period prior to and during the siege of Samaria narrated in the preceding section.

8.7–15 :

The prophecy to Hazael, delivered by Elisha, was originally a task assigned to Elijah (1 Kings 19.15–17 ).

7–9 :

Elisha's reputation as a prognosticator was well known among the Arameans, and Hazael addresses him in the name of Ben‐hadad with great respect. Ben‐hadad's inquiry of Elisha has no religious implications. As a simple consultation with an acknowledged expert, it was sim‐ ilar to Ahaziah's of Baal‐zebub (2 Kings 1.2 ).

10–13 :

Elisha does not lie, but instructs Hazael to do so. He proceeds to inform Hazael that God has foreordained his rise and even his victories over Israel.

15 :

According to what may be gleaned from inscriptions of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III, Hazael usurped the throne in Damascus after 845 but before 841 BCE.

8.16–24 :

The reign of Joram (Jehoram), king of Judah, paralleled that of his brother‐in‐law Joram, king of Israel. The author's negative evaluation of his reign cites behaviors modeled after Ahab's dynasty and attributes them directly to the king's wife.

22 :

The growing strength of Edom can be discerned by comparing the terminology in this v. with 1 Kings 22.48 , where Edomites were controlled through an acting king, and 3.9 , where an independent king who was nonetheless a vassal of Judah reigned. The independence of Edom signaled Judah's final loss of control over the central Negev and all trade through it. The rebellion of Libnah, a Levitical city on the western fringe of Judah's territory (Josh. 10.29; 21.13 ), lacks an adequate explanation.

8.25–29 :

The short reign of Ahaziah of Judah (not his dead uncle, Ahaziah of Israel) is linked to the fortunes of his living uncle Joram king of Israel. Ahaziah involved Judah in Israel's battle against the Arameans at Ramoth‐gilead in Transjordan. His death and burial are noted without the usual formulae in the middle of the account of Jehu's revolt ( 9.27–29 ).

26 :

In v. 18 , Athaliah is referred to as the daughter of Ahab, which would make her Omri's granddaughter. It is possible that the Omrides fashioned all royal descendants as “sons/daughters of Omri,” making Omri into something like what David was for the Southern Kingdom. Jehu, who killed off the Omrides, was identified as “son of Omri” on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. See also Solomon's wife, “the daughter of Pharaoh” in 1 Kings 3.1 .

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