2 Kings 13:3
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days.
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2 Kings 13:3. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel — Who, knowing the only living and true God to be a spirit, an eternal mind, an infinitely wise and mighty, just and holy, and absolutely perfect Being, besides all their other sins and abominations, still continued to change the glory of this their incorruptible God into the similitude of an ox, the truth of God into a lie, and, like the nations around them, to worship the work of their own hands. There could not be a greater reproach than the two idolized calves were, to a people acquainted with the nature and attributes of God, and intrusted with his lively oracles, in which he had given them rules, of his own appointment, to direct them how to worship him. Strange it is, indeed, that in all the history of the ten tribes, we never find the least shock given to that idolatry, but, in every reign, still the calf was their god! and that notwithstanding the many and repeated judgments executed upon them to reclaim them from that senseless and stupid practice. Well might the anger of God be kindled against them! And he delivered them into the hand of Hazael — It had been the honour of Israel that they were taken under the special protection of Heaven: God himself was their defence, the shield of their help, and the sword of their excellency. But here again, as often before, we find them stripped of this glory, and exposed to the insults of all their neighbours. Surely never was any nation so often plucked and pillaged as Israel was: but this they brought upon themselves by their sins: and when they had provoked God to break down their hedge, the goodness of their land did but tempt their neighbours. So low was Israel brought in this reign, by the many depredations which the Syrians made upon them, that the militia of the kingdom, and all the force they could bring into the field, was but fifty horsemen, ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen, a despicable muster, 2 Kings 13:7. Are the thousands of Israel come to this? How is the gold become dim!

13:1-9 It was the ancient honour of Israel that they were a praying people. Jehoahaz, their king, in his distress, besought the Lord; applied himself for help, but not to the calves; what help could they give him? He sought the Lord. See how swift God is to show mercy; how ready to hear prayer; how willing to find a reason to be gracious; else he would not look so far back as the ancient covenant Israel had so often broken, and forfeited. Let this invite and engage us for ever to him; and encourage even those who have forsaken him, to return and repent; for there is forgiveness with him, that he may be feared. And if the Lord answer the mere cry of distress for temporal relief, much more will he regard the prayer of faith for spiritual blessings.All their days - literally, "all the days." Not "all the days" of the two Syrian kings, for Ben-hadad lost to Joash all the cities which he had gained from Jehoahaz 2 Kings 13:25; but either "all the days of Jehoahaz" 2 Kings 13:22, or "all the days of Hazael" - both while he led his own armies, and while they were led by his son. CHAPTER 13

2Ki 13:1-7. Jehoahaz's Wicked Reign over Israel.

1-3. Jehoahaz … reigned seventeen years—Under his government, which pursued the policy of his predecessors regarding the support of the calf-worship, Israel's apostasy from the true God became greater and more confirmed than in the time of his father Jehu. The national chastisement, when it came, was consequently the more severe and the instruments employed by the Lord in scourging the revolted nation were Hazael and his son and general Ben-hadad, in resisting whose successive invasions the Israelitish army was sadly reduced and weakened. In the extremity of his distress, Jehoahaz besought the Lord, and was heard, not on his own account (Ps 66:18; Pr 1:28; 15:8), but that of the ancient covenant with the patriarchs (2Ki 13:23).

Or rather, all his days, as it is explained, 2 Kings 13:22.

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel,.... They doing as their kings did:

and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days; the word "their" should not be supplied, since it was not true that Israel was delivered into the hands of both those kings of Syria as long as they lived; for they were delivered out of the hands of Benhadad, 2 Kings 13:25, but the word "his" should be inserted for it as to be understood of the days of Jehoahaz, see 2 Kings 13:22.

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all {b} their days.

(b) While Jehoahaz lived.

3. all their days] R.V. continually. The sense cannot be what is represented by A.V. For in the days of Benhadad (2 Kings 13:25) the son of Jehoahaz made conquests from Benhadad. Hence ‘all the days’ must mean the days of Jehoahaz, which accords with the statement of verse 22 below. So ‘continually’ must refer to the whole of this reign.

Verse 3. - And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. We know so much less of the nature of the calf-worship and of the rites which accompanied it, that we cannot to the same extent justify the Divine severity in connection with it as in connection with the Baal and Astarte cult. Still, we must remember the coarse, lewd dancing which accompanied the first calf-worship (Exodus 32:19), for which death was not thought too heavy a penalty (Exodus 32:27), and the almost universal combination of unchastity with idolatrous ceremonies, which raises a suspicion that those who frequented the shrines at Dan and Bethel were not wholly innocent of impurity. And he delivered them into the hand of Hazel King of Syria. The national sins of Israel were mostly punished in this way, by the sword of some foreign foe. Hazael had been already made an instrument for the chastisement of Jehu (2 Kings 10:32, 33). Now he was to chastise Jehoahaz still more severely. And into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, all their days; literally, all the days. Not certainly all the days of the two kings Hazael and Benhadad, for Benhadad was entirely worsted in his war with Joash (vers. 24, 25), but either all the days of Jehoahaz, or all the days that God had appointed for the duration of the calamity. It is perhaps against the former interpretation that Hazael appears to have outlived Jehoahaz (vers. 22-24); but Ben-hadad may have warred against him as his father's general (ver. 25) during his father's lifetime. 2 Kings 13:3As Jehoahaz trod in the footsteps of his forefathers and continued the sin of Jeroboam (the worship of the calves), the Lord punished Israel during his reign even more than in that of his predecessor. The longer and the more obstinately the sin was continued, the more severe did the punishment become. He gave them (the Israelites) into the power of the Syrian king Hazael and his son Benhadad כּל־היּמים, "the whole time," sc. of the reign of Jehoahaz (vid., 2 Kings 13:22); not of the reigns of Hazael and Benhadad, as Thenius supposes in direct opposition to 2 Kings 13:24 and 2 Kings 13:25. According to 2 Kings 13:7, the Syrians so far destroyed the Israelitish army, that only fifty horsemen, ten war-chariots, and ten thousand foot soldiers were left.
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