Daily Arts Web Nucleus


Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links

2014 August 28

Image 1: Peasant with a Wheelbarrow (1848-1852)
Jean-Francois Millet (1814-1875)
Realism Style; Barbizon School
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art


Image 2: Hazael Smothers Benhadad
Barbara Griffiths (Contemporary Artist)
Semi-Realistic Cartoon Style
Private Collection
Image Source: Barbara Griffiths


Image 3: Cavalry Engagement (1635)
Jan Asselyn (c. 1610 - 1652)
Dutch Golden Age Baroque Style
Private Collection
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art


Image 4: The Convalescent or The Casualty (1860)
Carolus-Duran (1837-1917)
Academic Style
Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art

     Explanation: 2 Kings 8 describes two incidents in the life of Elisha which directly and indirectly had an impact on several kings who are also mentioned in the chapter. I've chosen the First Illustration above to represent the restoration of all that the Shunammite woman lost. The king restored everything that her fields produced; and I am taking this to mean not only the fruits and vegetables (or their equivalent in money), but also (as in the illustration) the provender for the animals. The Second Illustration depicts the murder of Benhadad. The Third Illustration depicts a battle in a campaign for independence, such as the successful fight for independence which Edom waged against Judah. The Fourth Illustration depicts a convalescence, such as that of King Jehoram, also called Joram, of Israel. [Kings of Judah and Israel Chart]. [Chronologically and Thematically Related Scriptures: 2 Kings 4:18-37; 2 Kings 4:38; 2 Kings 4:33; 2 Kings 4:8; 2 Kings 5; 2 Chronicles 22:5-6; 2 Kings 9:14-16; 2 Chronicles 21:5, 20; 2 Chronicles 20:34; 1 Kings 22:45, 50; 2 Chronicles 21:6-11; 2 Chronicles 21:12-15; 2 Chronicles 21:16-17; 2 Chronicles 21:19-20; 2 Kings 6:24-33; 2 kings 7; 2 Kings 9:29; 2 Chronicles 22:1-6; 2 Kings 9:14-16].
     Elisha had sent the Shunammite woman, whose son he restored to life, away from Israel to avoid a seven year famine. This may have been the famine mentioned in 2 Kings 4:38. When she returned, she came to the king to get back her house and land which may have been taken by the crown or by someone else. As she came into the royal palace, the king of Israel (Joram, also called Jehoram) and Gehazi, Elisha's servant, were discussing the deeds of Elisha; and Gehazi mentioned the resurrection of the Shunammite's son. At that moment the Shunammite woman entered the court; and Gehazi pointed her out. (Gehazi may not have been a leper at this time since it would have been unusual for a leper to be in the king's court). After hearing the woman's confirmation of Gehazi's account, the king restored everything that belonged to her, including the produce of the field from the time she left until the day she returned (1-6).
     Elisha went to Damascus in Syria while the king, Benhadad was sick. When Benhadad heard that Elisha had come, he sent Hazael with many expensive presents to ask Elisha if he would recover. Elisha said that Benhadad would recover but would die by other means. And, after a long pause, he began to weep. Hazael asked why. And Elisha said that it was because Hazael was going to bring destruction and atrocities upon Israel. Hazael was shocked and asked how he could do such things as a dog would do. And Elisha told him that he would be king. When Hazael returned to Benhadad, he told the king that he would recover; but the next day he smothered Benhadad with a thick, water-soaked cloth. And Hazael took the throne (7-15).
     In the kingdom of Judah, Jehoram (also called Joram) began to reign. He was thirty-two and reigned for eight years. His wife was the daughter of Ahab, the king of Israel, and he walked in the ways of Ahab; but the LORD would not destroy him for the sake of the promises he had made to his ancestor David (16-19). During his reign Edom revolted from Judah and made a king for themselves, about 848 B.C. On the field of battle, they surrounded the king of Judah; but he broke through by night. Nevertheless, the Edomite revolt was successful; and the Edomites remained independent for hundreds of years until John Hyrcanus I (c. 175 - 104 B. C.) defeated them around 120 B. C. The rest of Jehoram/Joram's acts were written in the royal chronicles; and he was buried in Jerusalem; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead (20-24).
     Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign over Judah; and he reigned for one year. His mother was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri, king of Israel. Like his father Jehoram/Joram, he also walked in the ways of his father-in-law Ahab (25-27). He went with the King of Israel (who, like his counterpart, the previous king of Judah, bore the double name of Jehoram/Joram) to fight Hazael, king of Syria. Jehoram/Joram of Israel was wounded in that battle and Ahaziah went to visit him during his convalescence (28-29).

2 Kings 8

     1 Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. 2 And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. 3 And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land. 4 And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done. 5 And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. 6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.
     7 And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither. 8 And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease? 9 So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels' burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease? 10 And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die. 11 And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept. 12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child. 13 And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria. 14 So he departed from Elisha, and came to his master; who said to him, What said Elisha to thee? And he answered, He told me that thou shouldest surely recover. 15 And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead.
     16 And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. 17 Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the LORD. 19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah for David his servant's sake, as he promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children.
     20 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. 21 So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents. 22 Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. 23 And the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
     25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign. 26 Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel. 27 And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the LORD, as did the house of Ahab: for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab.
     28 And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramothgilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram. 29 And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

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