elisha helps kill the king

In 2 Kings, there is an interesting story in which the prophet Elisha aids in another case of divine assassination. He provokes Hazael to kill the king of Syria by telling him that Hazael would be the next king. To top this all off, Elisha tells Hazael to lie to the current king:

2Ki 8:7 Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, “The man of God has come here.”
2Ki 8:8 And the king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ”
2Ki 8:9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Shall I recover from this disease?’ ”
2Ki 8:10 And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover.’ However the LORD has shown me that he will really die.”
2Ki 8:11 Then he set his countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept.
2Ki 8:12 And Hazael said, “Why is my lord weeping?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their women with child.”
2Ki 8:13 So Hazael said, “But what is your servant—a dog, that he should do this gross thing?” And Elisha answered, “The LORD has shown me that you will become king over Syria.”
2Ki 8:14 Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?” And he answered, “He told me you would surely recover.”
2Ki 8:15 But it happened on the next day that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place.

So the king sends gifts to Elisha. Elisha tells the messenger to lie to the king. The messenger returns, lies to the king, then smothers him in the king’s sleep. And this was all by God’s design. It seems that God wanted to use Hazael to punish Israel. The text later reads:

2Ki 10:30 And the LORD said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.”
2Ki 10:31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart; for he did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin.
2Ki 10:32 In those days the LORD began to cut off parts of Israel; and Hazael conquered them in all the territory of Israel

The text states that “the LORD” began to cut off Israel. His method: Hazael conquered them. This is the same Hazael who rose to power based on the prophet Elisha’s lie and was to be anointed by God in 1 Kings 19:15. This is one example of God using lying prophets, assassination, and evil people to do his work.

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
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