|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:7-15 Among other changes of men's minds by affliction, it often gives other thoughts of God's ministers, and teaches to value the counsels and prayers of those whom they have hated and despised. It was not in Hazael's countenance that Elisha read what he would do, but God revealed it to him, and it fetched tears from his eyes: the more foresight men have, the more grief they are liable to. It is possible for a man, under the convictions and restraints of natural conscience, to express great abhorrence of a sin, yet afterwards to be reconciled to it. Those that are little and low in the world, cannot imagine how strong the temptations of power and prosperity are, which, if ever they arrive at, they will find how deceitful their hearts are, how much worse than they suspected. The devil ruins men, by saying they shall certainly recover and do well, so rocking them asleep in security. Hazael's false account was an injury to the king, who lost the benefit of the prophet's warning to prepare for death, and an injury to Elisha, who would be counted a false prophet. It is not certain that Hazael murdered his master, or if he caused his death it may have been without any design. But he was a dissembler, and afterwards proved a persecutor to Israel.
Verse 11. - And he settled his countenance steadfastly - literally, and he settled his countenance and set it; i.e. Elisha fixed on Hazael a long and meaning look - until he - i.e. Hazael - was ashamed; i.e. until Hazael felt embarrassed, and his eyes fell It may be gathered that the ambitious courtier had already formed a murderous design against his master, and understood by the peculiar gaze which the prophet fixed upon him that his design was penetrated. And the man of God wept. There flashed on the prophet's mind all the long series of calamities which Israel would suffer at the hands of Syria during Hazael's reign, and he could not but weep at the thought of them (see the next verse).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he settled his countenance steadfastly,.... Refrained himself as much as possible, that he might not weep, as some Jewish writers interpret it; or, as others, he turned his face on one side, and covered it with his hands, that Hazael might not see him weep; or rather he set his face on Hazael, and looked at him so wistly:
until he was ashamed; that is, Hazael; the prophet looked him out of countenance:
and the man of God wept; at the thought of what calamities the man before him, he looked on, would be the cause of in Israel, as the following words show.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. he settled his countenance stedfastly until he was ashamed—that is, Hazael. The steadfast, penetrating look of the prophet seemed to have convinced Hazael that his secret designs were known. The deep emotions of Elisha were justified by the horrible atrocities which, too common in ancient warfare, that successful usurper committed in Israel (2Ki 10:32; 13:3, 4, 22).
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