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2Ki 13:1 In the twenty-third year of Joash son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria for seventeen years-
This appears to be a slight contradiction with :10, but it is not so in the LXX- which is the version the New Testament prefers to quote over the Hebrew Masoretic text.

2Ki 13:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in which he made Israel to sin. He didn’t depart from it-
At the end of Jehu's reign, God had removed 25% of Israel's territory (2 Kings 10:33). But Jehoahaz didn't repent, he refused to learn any lesson from his father's sins. We note that although Jehu had no real spirituality, he inserted the name of God in his son's name. The usage of the Divine Name in the names of the kings of Israel was the same mere tokenism with which the Name is used by effective unbelievers today. 

2Ki 13:3 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Ben Hadad the son of Hazael, continually-
He had already done this in Jehu's time (2 Kings 10:32), but as Israel had failed to learn the lesson, His anger was the more kindled. We note that Ben Hadad is a generic term for a leader of Syria, like "Pharaoh". For Hazael had murdered the Ben Hadad before him, and yet has a son who was also a Ben Hadad. 

2Ki 13:4 Jehoahaz begged Yahweh, and Yahweh listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, how that the king of Syria oppressed them-
This was the fulfilment of Elisha's words to Hazael in 2 Kings 8:12: "I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel. You will set their strongholds on fire, kill their young men with the sword, dash in pieces their little ones and rip up their women with child". The command to Elijah to anoint Hazael king over Syria (1 Kings 19:15), which Elisha fulfilled, was therefore part of God's intended judgments upon Israel for their sins. There is no specific record of Hazael doing this, but in the records of his attacks upon Israel we are therefore to assume that he did so at those times (2 Kings 10:32; 13:3,22).

2Ki 13:5 Yahweh gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel lived in their tents as before-
We note the simple love and pity of God for His children, responding to their suffering which He Himself had brought upon them in anger (:3)- even though they were impenitent (:6). We see the two conflicting aspects of God's character, His justice and His grace, His anger and His pity. They were reflected in Hosea's conflicting feelings for his sexually addicted, unfaithful wife Gomer (Hos. 11:8). The saviour was Jeroboam (2 Kings 14:27), although he was a wicked man.

2Ki 13:6 Nevertheless they didn’t depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel to sin, but walked therein. There remained the Asherah also in Samaria-
Jehu's apparent zeal to destroy Baal worship was just an excuse for the flaunting of his own power and blood lust. It was not real "zeal for Yahweh" as he proclaimed; for he destroyed Baal, but the Asherah remained. See on 2 Kings 10:28.

2Ki 13:7 For the king of Syria didn’t leave to Jehoahaz of the people any more than fifty horsemen, ten chariots and ten thousand footmen; for the king of Syria destroyed them, and made them like the dust in threshing-
The king of Israel was not supposed to have horses and chariots anyway (Dt. 17:16). So this could be read as God still seeking the repentance of Jehoahaz, trying to elicit from him true trust in Him.

2Ki 13:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did, and his might, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?-
This is the common rubric found in the histories of the kings (1 Kings 15:23; 16:5,27; 22:45; 2 Kings 10:34; 13:8,12; 14:15,28; 20:20). "His might that he showed" uses a word for "might" which has the sense of victory / achievement. But the contrast is marked with the way that David so often uses this word for "might / victory / achievement" in the context of God's "might"; notably in 1 Chron. 29:11, which the Lord Jesus places in our mouths as part of His model prayer: "Yours is the power [s.w. "might"], and the glory and the majesty". The kings about whom the phrase is used were those who trusted in their own works. It therefore reads as a rather pathetic memorial; that this man's might / achievement was noted down. But the unspoken further comment is elicited in our own minds, if we are in tune with the spirit of David: "But the only real achievement is the Lord's and not man's". All human victory and achievement must be seen in this context. The same word is used in Jer. 9:23,24: "Don’t let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might [s.w.]... but let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows Me, that I am Yahweh who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth". The glorification of human "might" is often condemned. "Their might [s.w.] is not right" (Jer. 23:10; also s.w. Jer. 51:30; Ez. 32:29; Mic. 7:16 and often).  

2Ki 13:9 Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his place-
The description of death as sleeping with fathers is clear evidence that death is seen as a sleep, unconsciousness, and not as the start of an immortal soul going to heaven or 'hell'. Good and bad, David and Solomon, are gathered together in death. The division between them will only therefore come at the resurrection of the dead, and the granting of immortality at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus.

2Ki 13:10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah, Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz began to reign over Israel in Samaria for sixteen years-
This appears to be a slight contradiction with :1, but it is not so in the LXX- which is the version the New Testament prefers to quote over the Hebrew Masoretic text.

2Ki 13:11 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh; he didn’t depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin; but he walked therein-
The note that he did not depart from those sins would reflect how the prophets had appealed to him to depart from them; but he didn't. Israel had been commanded to "not depart" from the way of Yahweh's commandments (Dt. 28:14; Josh. 1:7), but the frequent lament of the historical records is that they did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam. The Bible, especially in Proverbs, constantly reduces human moral choice to that between two ways of life and being. We constantly wish to argue that "it's not so simple" because there are grey areas. But the 'grey area' argument is what leads us so often into sin, into following the "way" of sin.

2Ki 13:12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?-
See on :8. The account occurs in 2 Kings 14:8-14 and 2 Chron. 25, but this may not be the same books of Chronicles in view which we have in our Bibles.

2Ki 13:13 Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat on his throne. Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel-
We note the use of "his throne" rather than "the throne of Yahweh". They had no sense of being kings on God's behalf. Samaria had only recently been built by Omri, Ahab’s father, so we should not imagine that there was a long line of kings already buried there.

2Ki 13:14 Now Elisha contracted a sickness of which he would die-
Evidence enough that Pentecostalism is wrong in claiming that the righteous don't due of illness and always recover.

Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said-
Joash was not a spiritual person, but he wept over Elisha as a prophet of Yahweh. For Israel had mixed Baal worship with that of Yahweh, and never rejected Yahweh totally.

My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!-
Elijah’s example clearly influenced Elisha, both in the nature of the miracles which he performed, and in how when Elisha died, he was likewise seen as “My father, the chariot of Israel, and its horsemen”, the same words used at Elijah's departure from ministry. How Elisha related to Elijah, was how people came to relate to Elisha. This is not only a neat cameo of the immense personal influence which we have upon each other; it reflects how Elisha learnt the lesson from Elijah, which we too must learn, of freely and totally absorbing ourselves in the progress of God’s Angelic, cherubic work to bring about His glory and not our own. Elisha had related to Elijah as his spiritual father, so now others were relating to Elisha in just the same way- as their spiritual father. The child had become the father, in spiritual terms. He had brought forth a spiritual child in his own image and likeness.

2Ki 13:15 Elisha said to him, Take bow and arrows; and he took to him bow and arrows-
The victory was to be through bow and arrows, not horses and chariots, which were forbidden to Israel's kings (Dt. 17:16), nor through swords. See on :17.

2Ki 13:16 He said to the king of Israel, Put your hand on the bow; and he put his hand on it. Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands-
Joash was intended to understand that this was a symbolic act, and that what he now did had God's prophetic blessing upon it through the hands of Elisha. But he failed to perceive that, and so the extent of blessing was far less than potentially it could have been. The story of wasted potentials is so frequent in the Bible, and in the lives of God's people to this day. Joash would have felt how feeble were Elisha's hands, for he was on his death bed. But those apparently feeble hands were those of God.

2Ki 13:17 He said, Open the window eastward; and he opened them. Then Elisha said, Shoot! And he shot. He said, Yahweh’s arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Syria; for you shall strike the Syrians in Aphek-
We might think that Elisha was being rather unreasonable with Joash; how was he to know what was in Elisha's mind? But the point is, Elisha expected the king to be more spiritually perceptive, to understand that they were enacting a parable of deliverance, to have grasped that those arrows were symbolic of victory over Syria. And so the lesson comes to us: we may be expected to have a greater understanding than we think reasonable of God to expect of us. "Aphek" means 'strength', so the idea was that Divine strength was to triumph over human strength. Hence the use of bows and arrows (see on  :15). This was to repeat the defeat at Aphek (1 Kings 20:26), a victory also given by faith to an unspiritual Ahab. Yahweh had earlier given victory to Syria (s.w. 2 Kings 5:1), but this was now to be reversed. Victory against Syria was to be given to Israel. Both sides were probably about equally unspiritual, but by grace God had finished trying to educate Israel through defeat at the hands of the Syrians. Now He wanted to educate them by giving the grace of undeserved victory, in the hope that would elicit their repentance. The arrow was shot eastwards toward Gilead which was then under the control of Syria, from the hands of Joash. The idea was that the victories depended upon his personal faith, and putting his hand in God's hand, represented by Elisha's hands. 

Until you have consumed them-
But :19 states clearly that Joash would not consume them (s.w.). He lacked the spiritual vision to enable this potential to come true. No specific conditions are mentioned at this point, and neither are they in many prophecies. Yet that is not to say that they are not in fact only conditionally true, and may not come true unless certain unstated conditions are fulfilled. 

2Ki 13:18 He said, Take the arrows; and he took them. He said to the king of Israel, Strike the ground; and he struck three times, and stopped-
"Ground" is the word for "land"; if 'earth' was solely meant, then another word would have been used. The same phrase is used five or six times in Exodus of the smiting of the land of Egypt with plagues. Perhaps that is the significance of the complaint that Joash ought to have struck the land five or six times (:19). The intention was that these victories would have led to not only the salvation of Israel, but their rebirth as a nation. Even at this late stage in their history, God was looking and hoping for their rebirth. See on :21.

2Ki 13:19 The man of God was angry with him and said, You should have struck five or six times. Then you would have struck Syria until you had consumed it, whereas now you shall strike Syria just three times-
See on :17,18. Elisha tells Joash to smite upon the ground with arrows; if Joash had perceived deeper what Elisha meant, he would have smitten many times and the Syrian threat would have been eliminated entirely. But he didn’t, and therefore Elijah was frustrated with him; the great potential victory was limited by a man’s lack of spiritual perception.

2Ki 13:20 Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year-
We assume Elisha died at his home in Samaria. In this case, the Moabite bands had crossed the Jordan from Gilead, which was in Syrian hands, and had boldly entered this far into Israel. The promised victory against enemies didn't seem to happen. Because Joash simply respected Elisha as a great person and liked the culture of Yahweh worship, and yet failed to live up to the huge potentials.  See on :22.

2Ki 13:21 It happened, as they were burying a man, that behold, they spied a band; and they cast the man into the tomb of Elisha. As soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet-
The band is one of the Moabite bands of :20. We see how weak Israel were at this time, for Elisha had lived in Samaria. Even near their capital, Israel were prone to such fear at the appearance of just one band of marauders. The idea of course was that there was power and potential of new life in the word of the prophets. I noted on :18 the potential for a rebirth of the people at this time. The language is later applied to the exiles in Ez. 39, who likewise could have been revived by the Spirit to stand upon their feet as a great army. But that potential was likewise wasted.

2Ki 13:22 Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz-
See on :4 for the extent of the evil done to Israel at this time. This statement seems to exemplify how the promise of potential victory against Syria wasn't realized in practice because of Israel's lack of spiritual vision.

2Ki 13:23 But Yahweh was gracious to them and had compassion on them, and had respect to them because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither did He cast them out from His presence at that time-
The implication is that a time did come when even their connection with the fathers didn't save them. The covenant which led to so much grace was broken by Israel, and God eventually accepted that. He broke the covenant with them in response to how they had themselves broken it (Zech. 11:7-14). Covenant relationship meant salvation and blessing by grace alone; for Israel were impenitent at this time. And yet they broke it and spurned it as mere history irrelevant to them, as many do today.

The presence of God may have been articulated at that time through the Angels. Angels being physically with us in our lives means that we are always in the presence of God, as they represent Him. The fact that "the Lord spoke to Moses face to face" through an Angel shows that they represent God's face, and they are also likened to the eyes of God. Even when a man is wicked in some ways , he may still have presence of the Angels in his life. Thus although Israel were wicked in the time of Jehoahaz and were therefore punished by Hazael of Syria, because of the covenant with Abraham "neither cast He them from His presence (Heb. face) as yet" (2 Kings 13:23). And therefore Jehoahaz is described as doing what was right in the sight (the eyes) of the Lord (i.e. the Angels with him), although he did not take away the high places (2 Kings 14:3-5). It seems that great stress is placed in Scripture on the Angels physically moving through space, both on the earth and between Heaven and earth, in order to fulfil their tasks, rather than being static in Heaven or earth and bringing things about by just willing them to happen. See on Gen. 18:10.

2Ki 13:24 Hazael king of Syria died; and Ben Hadad his son reigned in his place-
We note that Ben Hadad is a generic term for a leader of Syria, like "Pharaoh". For Hazael had murdered the Ben Hadad before him, and yet has a son who was also a Ben Hadad. 

2Ki 13:25 Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Ben Hadad the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Joash struck him three times, and recovered the cities of Israel
We must compare this with the statement in :22 that there was constantly oppression from Syria. The three victories were not enough to stop this, and we conclude that the huge potential available to Israel, as demonstrated by Elisha, wasn't realized. The history of God's people is such a tragic list of wasted potentials.