Ben Hadad, Hazael, Elisha, Hazael, Ben-Hadad

Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Aram was ill. When the king was told, “The man of God has come all the way up here,” he said to Hazael, “Take a gift with you and go to meet the man of God. Consult the LORD through him; ask him, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’ ” Hazael went to meet Elisha, taking with him as a gift forty camel-loads of all the finest wares of Damascus. He went in and stood before him, and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to ask, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’ ” Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will certainly recover.’ Nevertheless, the LORD has revealed to me that he will in fact die.” 2 Kings 8:7-10

The king of Aram is ill. He sends his servant Hazael to go to Elisha and ask him if the king will recover from his illness. Elisha’s reply is somewhat puzzling. Tell him he will recover, but he will in fact die? There is a more as God reveals to Elisha, who shares it with Hazael, that Hazael will bring harm to the Israelites. He will set fire to their fortified places, kill their young men, dash their little children to the ground, and rip open their pregnant women. Hazael is puzzled, and asks Elisha how he, a servant, a ”mere dog” would accomplish such a feat? The Lord has showed Elisha that Hazael would become king of Aram. When Hazael returned to the king, he kills the king and succeeds him as king. The Lord used King Hazael to oppress Israel because of the sins the king of Israel caused the people to turn from the Lord. When the king turned and sought the Lord’s favor, the Lord listened to him and provided a deliverer against Aram. In a bit of irony, after Hazael dies, his son named Ben Hadad succeeds him as king.