2 Kings 13:23
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.
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(23) And the Lord was gracious.—The verse is a remark of the compiler’s, as is evident from the style, the reference to the Covenant, and the expression “as yet,” or rather, until now—i.e., the day when he was writing, and when the northern kingdom had finally perished.

Had respect.Turned.

2 Kings 13:23. The Lord had compassion, and would not destroy them as yet — The several expressions, of nearly the same import, used in this verse, call upon us to admire the triumphs of divine goodness in the deliverance of such a provoking people. He foresaw they would destroy themselves at last; but, as yet, he would reprieve them, and give them space to repent. The slowness of God’s processes against sinners must be construed to the advancement of his mercy, not the impeachment of his justice. Neither cast them from his presence as yet — From the land of Canaan, to which the peculiar presence of God, and his public and solemn worship, were now confined.

13:20-25 God has many ways to chastise a provoking people. Trouble comes sometimes from that point whence we least feared it. The mention of this invasion on the death of Elisha, shows that the removal of God's faithful prophets is a presage of coming judgments. His dead body was a means of giving life to another dead body. This miracle was a confirmation of his prophecies. And it may have reference to Christ, by whose death and burial, the grave is made a safe and happy passage to life to all believers. Jehoash was successful against the Syrians, just as often as he had struck the ground with the arrows, then a stop was put to his victories. Many have repented, when too late, of distrusts and the straitness of their desires.The writer regards the captivity of Israel as God's "casting them out of His sight" (see 2 Kings 17:18, 2 Kings 17:20); and notes that this extreme punishment, though deserved, was by God's mercy not allowed to fall on them as yet. 20, 21. Elisha died—He had enjoyed a happier life than Elijah, as he possessed a milder character, and bore a less hard commission. His rough garment was honored even at the court.

coming in of the year—that is, the spring, the usual season of beginning campaigns in ancient times. Predatory bands from Moab generally made incursions at that time on the lands of Israel. The bearers of a corpse, alarmed by the appearance of one of these bands, hastily deposited, as they passed that way, their load in Elisha's sepulchre, which might be easily done by removing the stone at the mouth of the cave. According to the Jewish and Eastern custom, his body, as well as that of the man who was miraculously restored, was not laid in a coffin, but only swathed; so that the bodies could be brought into contact, and the object of the miracle was to stimulate the king's and people of Israel's faith in the still unaccomplished predictions of Elisha respecting the war with the Syrians. Accordingly the historian forthwith records the historical fulfilment of the prediction (2Ki 13:22-25), in the defeat of the enemy, in the recovery of the cities that had been taken, and their restoration to the kingdom of Israel.

From his presence, i.e. from the land of Canaan, to which the presence and public and solemn worship of God was confined.

And the Lord was gracious to them,.... To Israel, notwithstanding their apostasy from him, and the idolatry of the calves they were guilty of:

and had compassion on them; being in oppression and distress:

and had respect unto them; looked upon them with an eye of pity and mercy:

because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; made so long ago he still remembered:

and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet; or suffered them to be carried captive into another land, as he afterwards did in the times of Hoshea.

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 {m} yet.

(m) That is, until their sins were come to a full measure and there was no more hope of amendment.

23. And [R.V. But] the Lord was gracious unto them] Cf. for the sentiment, Malachi 3:6, ‘I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’

as yet] The writer of Kings was living at the time of the captivity. He therefore knew that the grace and compassion had been shewn in vain, and that the kingdom of Israel had at last been utterly destroyed.

Verse 23. - And the Lord was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them. Even in his wrath God, thinketh upon mercy." While he was still punishing Israel by the sword of Hazael, he was yet careful not to make a full end, not to allow the affliction to proceed too far. He still preserved the nation, and kept it in being. And had respect unto them - i.e. "considered them - kept them in his mind - did not permit them to slip out of his recollection" - because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God's covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was a covenant of mercy. By it he had pledged himself to multiply their seed, to be their God, and the God of their seed after them, and to give to their seed the whole land of Canaan for an everlasting possession (Genesis 17:4-8, etc.). This covenant bound him to extend his protection over the people of Israel so long as they had not utterly and entirely cast off their allegiance (comp. 2 Kings 17:7-18). And would not destroy them. They were "persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:9). The national life might seem to hang by a thread, but the thread had not snapped. Neither east he them from his presence as yet. The writer has it in his mind that ultimately they were cast away, rejected, removed out of God's sight (2 Kings 17:18, 20, 23); but it was not "as yet" - there was still an interval of a century, or a little more, before the blow fell, and the nation of the ten tribes ceased to exist. 2 Kings 13:23The prophecy which Elisha uttered before his death is here followed immediately by the account of its fulfilment, and to this end the oppression of the Israelites by Hazael is mentioned once more, together with that turn of affairs which took place through the compassion of God after the death of Hazael and in the reign of his son Benhadad. לחץ is a pluperfect: "Hazael had oppressed" (for the fact itself compare 2 Kings 13:4 and 2 Kings 13:7). For the sake of the covenant made with the patriarchs the Lord turned again to the Israelites, and would not destroy them, and did not cast them away from His face עתּה עד ("till now"), as was the case afterwards, but delivered them from the threatening destruction through the death of Hazael. For in the reign of his son and successor Benhadad, Joash the son of Jehoahaz took from him again (ויּשׁב is to be connected with ויּקּה) the cities which he (Hazael) had taken from Jehoahaz in the war. These cities which Hazael had wrested from Jehoahaz were on this side of the Jordan, for Hazael had conquered all Gilead in the time of Jehu (2 Kings 10:32-33). Joash recovered the former from Benhadad, whilst his son Jeroboam reconquered Gilead also (see at 2 Kings 14:25).
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