Illness of Elisha & Ben-Hadad III of Aram and Jehoash of Israel

There are a lot of wars and a lot of deaths, but it appears that nothing is accomplished.  Again I must say, nothing’s changed.  If people would stop thinking of themselves and look to You thinks would be good.

Illness of Elisha

Within the 23 years that Joash reigned over Judah, Jehoahaz, Jehu’s son, lived in Samaria and reigned for 17 years (during the time of Jesus the Hebrews never went to Samaria because the Jews lived there and the Hebrews weren’t supposed to associate with them).

Jehoahaz did evil, following the sins of Jeroboam.  God was angry with Israel and delivered them to King Hazael of Syria and his son Ben-hadad.  Jehoahaz prayed to God for help.

Jehoahaz of Israel was king of Israel and the son of Jehu (2 Kgs 10:35).

William F. Albright has dated his reign to 815 B.C. – 801 B.C., while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 814 B.C. – 798 B.C.

A stamp seal dated to the end of the 7th century B.C. has been found with the inscription “[belonging] to Jehoahaz, son of the king”.

He reigned seventeen years.

His account in 2 Kings states that he was initially faithful to Yahweh, but his people followed the religious practices of the house of Jeroboam, which included the worship of a cultic pole of Asherah in Samaria.

The kings of the Arameans, Hazael and Ben-hadad, prevailed over him, leaving him an army of 50 horsemen, 10 chariots and 10,000 foot soldiers (2 Kgs 13:1-9).

Jehoahaz besought the Lord for a deliverer to relieve Israel from Aramean oppression.

Just when that savior appeared or who he was is not determined.

But in II Kgs 13. 25, and 14. 27, Jehoahaz’s son Joash and his grandson Jeroboam II. would seem to fulfil the requirements.

It is also true that Adad-nirari III, King of Assyria (812-783 B.C.), made campaigns into the west (804-797), and on one of the incursions captured and sacked the city of Damascus, thus removing the worst enemy of Israel’s prosperity.

(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.

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.)

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.

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?” (2 Kgs 13:5-8).

Jehoahaz died and was buried in Samaria, and Joash reigned.  After his 37th year of reign Jehoahaz’s son, Jehoahaz lived in Samaria and reigned over Israel for 16 years.  And he did evil, and died and was also buried in Samaria. 

“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?” (2 Kgs 13:12). 

“Elisha became ill and Joash, king of Israel, came to him and wept, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof” (2 Kgs 13:14).

Elisha told him to get a bow and arrow and set one up to shoot.  They then went to the eastward window and the king had the bow to shoot and Elisha put his hand atop the kings and told him to shoot, and after he let the arrow go Elisha 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.

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.

Tell Aphek (Afek, Antipatris) was a gateway on the main trade route from north to south.

More than 6,000 years of successive cities have been built on the mound overlooking the springs of the Yarkon river.

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.

And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year” (2 Kgs 13:17-20).

And it came to pass, they were burying a man and they saw a band of other men so they tossed the man into Elisha’s sepulcher and when the dead man’s body touched Elisha’s he came back to live and jumped up.

“But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.

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.

So Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his stead” (2 Kgs 13:22-24).

In the second year of Joash’s reign his son Amaziah, at the age of 25, began to reign, and he reigned for 29 years.  His mother’s name was Jehoaddan and from Jerusalem. 

And he did what was right in the eyes of God, but not like David had done, but like his father Joash did.  So the high places weren’t taken down and people did burnt offerings there.

Panorama of Elisha’s Tomb
Some Muslims believe the tomb of Elisha is in Al-Awjam in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia.

The shrine was removed by the Government because such veneration is not in accordance with Wahhabi or Salafi Islam.

It had been an important landmark for many centuries during and before the Sunni Ottoman dominance of the Middle-East.

It had been a destination for pilgrims.

“But the children of the murderers he slew not: according unto that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.

Joktheel/Selah
Seizing the rock city of Petra in Edom by storm was not small feat for a king.

He slew of Edom in the valley of salt ten thousand, and took Selah by war, and called the name of it Joktheel unto this day” (2 Kgs 14:6-7).

Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.

“And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give thy daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trode down the thistle.

Thou hast indeed smitten Edom, and thine heart hath lifted thee up: glory of this, and tarry at home: for why shouldest thou meddle to thy hurt, that thou shouldest fall, even thou, and Judah with thee?

But Amaziah would not hear. Therefore Jehoash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Bethshemesh, which belongeth to Judah.

And Judah was put to the worse before Israel; and they fled every man to their tents.

Ancient Gate of the City
It appears to have had some kind of sliding door mechanism, something that rolled between those large hewn boulders.

And Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah, at Bethshemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and brake down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim unto the corner gate, four hundred cubits.

And he took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and hostages, and returned to Samaria.

Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, and his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?” (2 Kgs 14:8-15).

“And the rest of the acts of Amaziah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

The southern tip of modern Israel, ancient Elath (today Eilat) was outside the prescribed boundaries of the Promised Land for the children of Israel.

It was one of the stops on the wilderness travels (Deut 2:8).

The relationship of Elath to Ezion Geber is unclear; the Bible says that these two places were near each other by the Red Sea but the exact location of these ancient sites is still uncertain.

Now they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem: and he fled to Lachish; but they sent after him to Lachish, and slew him there.

And they brought him on horses: and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David.

And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah” (2 Kgs 14:19-21).

In the 15 years that Amaziah had been king of Judah, Jeroboam began to reign in Samaria and for 41 years.  He did evil in the sight of the Lord, but he restored the coast of Israel from entering Hamath. 

“For the Lord saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter: for there was not any shut up, nor any left, nor any helper for Israel.

And the Lord said not that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven: but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.

Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which belonged to Judah, for Israel, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

And Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zachariah his son reigned in his stead” (2 Kgs 14:26-29).

Ben-Hadad III of Aram
and Jehoash of Israel

Iron Age ruins of Samaria at the City Acropolis
Samaria was an ancient city in the Land of Israel.

It was the capital of the Kingdom of Israel in the 9th century B.C. and 8th century B.C.

The ruins of the city are located in the Samaria mountains and are under the jurisdiction of Israel National Park Authority.

During the second half of the 9th century B.C., the northern kingdom suf­fered a great deal in wars with Hazael, king of Aram.

During the reign of Jehoash (c. 798-782 B.C.), however, the tide turned. Elisha predicted that Jehoash would be victorious over the Arameans three times.

Tell al-Rimah is an archaeological site in Nineveh Province (Iraq).

Its ancient name may have been either Karana or Qattara.

The region was originally surveyed by Seton Lloyd in 1938.

The site of Tell al-Rimah was excavated from 1964 to 1971 by a British School of Archaeology in Iraq team led by David Oates.

A large temple and palace from the early second millennium B.C. were excavated, as well as a Neo-Assyrian building. Tell al-Rimah also is known for having a third millennium example of brink vaulting.

In about 800 B.C. Hazael was suc­ceeded by his son Ben-Hadad.

Being the third king with that name in the Old Testa­ment, he is usually referred to as Ben-Hadad III.

Elisha’s prophecy came true as Jehoash defeated Ben-Hadad III three times and recovered all of the cities Hazael had cap­tured from Israel (vv.24—25).

This most likely occurred after Ben-Hadad’s subjugation by the Assyrians, when the Aramean kingdom was considerably weakened.

The Tell al-Rimah Stele, an inscription that comes from Adadnirari III (king of Assyria from 810 to 783 B.C.), mentions Jehoash and apparently Ben-Hadad III.

Dis­covered in 1967 at the site of Tell al-Rimah in modern Iraq, some 40 miles (64.5 km) west of Nineveh, it is a record of Adadnirari’s cam­paign to the west in about 796 B.C.

According to the stele Adadnirari received tribute pay­ments from “Mari of Damascus,” “Joash the Samarian” and unnamed rulers of Tyre and Sidon.

Mari of Damascus is probably Ben-Hadad III; the inscription states that he sent vast amounts of silver, copper, iron and cloth­ing to Adadnirari.

Joash the Samarian is Jehoash of Israel.  The amount of tribute paid by Jehoash and the rulers of Tyre and Sidon is not mentioned, but in another stele, the “Sabaa Stele,” Adadnirari gives another account of a triumph over “Mari of Damascus,” whom he confined to Damascus and from whom he exacted an enormous amount of gold and silver.