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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



4 KINGS 8

 

CHAPTER VIII.

 

Ver. 1.  Famine.  God disposes of all things.  C. --- Famine, &c. are his executioners.  D. --- This dreadful visitation took place before the siege of Samaria, (Salien) and had even commenced when Eliseus raise the child to life; (C. iv. 38.) so that we might translate, "Eliseus had spoken," &c.  C.

 

Ver. 3.  Lands, which others had seized.  D.

 

Ver. 4.  Giezi was not yet infected; (Salien. M.) or if he was, (H.) the king spoke to him at a distance, overcoming his natural repugnance, in order to know some particulars of the life of Eliseus.  C. --- This he would more readily do, if Giezi had brought the glad tidings of plenty.  T. --- Providence ordered that he should be present at this time, that he might bear witness to the woman.  C.

 

Ver. 6.  Restore.  "Restituere est possessorem facere fructusque reddere."  Caius. --- Some think that the lands had been confiscated to the king, as being abandoned; or his authority was requisite, at least, to make the present occupiers give them up.

 

Ver. 7.  Damascus, the territory, (v. 8.) to announce the king's death, and to anoint Hazael, as God had ordered Elias, 3 K. xix. 15.  C. --- Sick, at the ill success of his late expedition.  Josephus.  T.

 

Ver. 9.  Camels.  It does not appear that Eliseus rejected these presents.  M. --- Thy son.  The kings of Israel and Juda styled the prophet father, and this title was given by Christians of antiquity to bishops and priests.

 

Ver. 10.  Tell him: Thou shalt recover.  By these words the prophet signified that the king's disease was not mortal: and that he would recover, if no violence were used.  Or he might only express himself in this manner, by way of giving Hazael to understand that he knew both what he would say and do; that he would indeed tell the king he should recover, but would be himself the instrument of his death.  Ch. -- The imperative is often used for the future tense.  Gloss iii. 3.  Jo. ii. 19.  The present Heb. reads, "Thou shalt not live: for," &c. which removes the difficulty.  But the Chal. Sept. Syr. &c. agree with the Vulgate, (C.) as the Prot. version also does.  "Thou mayst certainly recover, howbeit the Lord," &c.  H. --- Lo, "not," in the Heb. text, seems however preferable to the marginal reading, lu, "to him."  This mistake has been sometimes made elsewhere, and ought to be carefully examined.  Kennicott 1 Par. xi. 20.

 

Ver. 11.  Blush.  This may be referred either to Hazael, who was astonished at the words and looks of the prophet, (H.) or to Eliseus.  M. --- Sept. Complut. "and Hazael stood before his face, and he displayed the presents before him, till he blushed, and the," &c.  Though this has the appearance of a gloss, it is perhaps more conformable to the Heb. and to an ancient Greek version.  C. --- Prot. "he settled his countenance steadfastly, until he was ashamed."

 

Ver. 13.  A dog.  He speaks with indignation, as if he could not be so brutal; (T.) or he could not yet think that he should be king.  C. --- He afterwards proved as cruel as the prophet had signified.  C. x. 32.  Amos i. 3.  C.

 

Ver. 15.  Blanket.  Heb. macber, a word which the Sept. retain.  H. --- It denotes a hairy coverlet, pillow, &c.  Tiberius and Frederic II. met with the like fate.  C. --- Some think that Hazael was only guilty of imprudence; (M.) or that Benadad killed himself; as the Heb. might be rendered, if the sequel did not evince that his death was caused by Hazael's malice.  C. --- He might pretend that the wet cloth would give Benadad refreshment.  H. --- But it would bring on present death, with most exquisite torture.  T. --- The names of both these kings were in great veneration among the Syrians, who paid them divine honours.  Joseph. ix. 4. --- Perhaps they might not know that the latter had been guilty of such a base murder.  H.

 

Ver. 16.  Fifth.  Houbigant would read "third," p. 100.  See C. i. 17.  H. --- Josaphat.  That is, Josaphat being yet alive, who some time before his death made his son Joram king; as David had done before by his son Solomon.  Ch. --- The words are omitted in some copies of the Sept. (D.) and are perhaps inserted from the end of the verse.  H. --- Prot. "Jehosaphat being then king," in his 22d year.  H. --- Joram had been appointed viceroy in the sixteenth year of his father's reign, and was now raised to sit on the throne with him.  Thus the Scripture may be reconciled.  C.

 

Ver. 18.  Achab, Athalia.  She led her husband into all wickedness.  T.  2 Par. xxi.

 

Ver. 19.  Light, or lamp, posterity and regal power, 3 K. xi. 36.  H.

 

Ver. 20.  King.  The one under Josaphat was dependant, C. iii. 9.  3 K. xxii. 48.  Thus the prediction of Jacob was verified, (Gen. xxvii. 40.  C.) and Joram punished.  H.

 

Ver. 21.  Seira, or Idumea.  Gen. xiv. 6. --- Defeated.  The Syriac and Arab. explain it in a contrary sense, as the Heb. may well signify, and the sequel seems to prove, as the Edomites became independent.  Heb. "He rose...and attacked Edom that surrounded him, (with superior numbers) and the princes... and the people (of Israel) fled."  But the text will also bear the sense of the Vulg. which is conformable to 2 Par. xxi. 9, which does not say the people, &c. though these words may be understood of the Edomites.  Joram could not derive such advantage from his victory, as to reduce the nation under his obedience.  C.

 

Ver. 22.  Day, when Jeremias, the author lived.  Tostat. --- Lobna, a frontier town bordering on Idumea.  It was a strong place assigned to priests; but strangers had probably again taken possession of it, and caused it now to revolt.  The kings of Juda had retaken it when Sennacherib laid siege to the place.  See C. xix. 8.  Josue x. 30. and xxi. 13.

 

Ver. 24.  Slept, after a lingering and painful illness of two years' continuance.  Joram was not buried in the tomb of the other kings, nor were perfumes burnt over his corpse; (C.) as his memory was abhorred.  2 Par. xxi.

 

Ver. 25.  Twelfth, more correctly than "the eleventh."  C. ix. 29.  Houbigant.

 

Ver. 26.  Twenty.  In 2 Paral. xxii. 2, we read forty, by mistake of the transcribers, as Ochozias, (Joachaz, or Azarias, 2 Par. xxi. 17.) would thus be older than his father, who died at the age of forty.  2 Par. xxi. 20.  All the original versions, and many copies of the Sept. read "twenty-two" in both passages; and those who would admit no mistake, are forced to have recourse to explanations which can give no satisfaction.  De Dieu would include in the reign of Ochozias the six years of Athalia's usurpation, and the thirteen of Joas, during his minority.  Others would date from the separation of the two kingdoms, &c.  But would the Holy Ghost cause the same fact to be recorded in two places in such a different manner?  The best chronologists acknowledge a mistake in the Hebrew text of Paral.  (Cajet. Salien, Petau, T. &c.  C.) as the letters which denote these numbers are not unlike (Mariana:) c (20) might easily be exchanged for m (40.)  H. --- Daughter.  That is, grand-daughter; for she was daughter of Achab, son of Amri, v. 18. (Ch.) unless she was only adopted by Achab.  W.

 

Ver. 28.  Galaad.  The same city had proved fatal to Achab, 3 K. xxii.  Joram took it, but received (C.) many wounds; so that he left Jehu to attack the citadel.  The latter was anointed king, and acknowledged by the army.  He immediately proceeded to Jezrahel, and put his master to death.  H.

 

 








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