And Hazael said, Why weeps my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: their strong holds will you set on fire, and their young men will you slay with the sword, and will dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel.—Fulfilled in 2Kings 10:32-33; 2Kings 13:3-4. The cruelties enumerated here were the ordinary concomitants of warfare in that age. (Comp. Amos 1:3-4; Amos 1:13; Hosea 10:14; Hosea 13:16; 2Kings 15:16.)
Set on fire.—Literally, send into the fire (Judges 1:8).
Young men.—Chosen warriors. Dash.
Dash.—Dash in pieces.
and he answered, because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel; which he foresaw by a spirit of prophecy; and Israel being his own people, he sympathized in their calamities before they came:
their strong holds wilt thou set on fire; which should be taken by him, see 2 Kings 10:32
and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword; in battle:
and wilt dash their children; against rocks and stones, or stone walls, or upon the ground, floor, or pavement, as was usual in war (g), see Psalm 137:9,
and rip up their women with child: which was the height of barbarity and cruelty. Ben Gersom and Ben Melech interpret this of breaking down the walls of fortified cities, built strong, like hills and mountains; but this is supposed in the first clause.And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. and wilt dash their children] R.V. and wilt dash in pieces their little ones. We have no details of Hazael’s cruelty in the future, but hints of it are found. In 2 Kings 10:32 it is said ‘Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel’, and in 2 Kings 13:3 we read ‘the Lord delivered Israel into the hand of Hazael’, and in verse 22 of that chapter ‘Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz’. The special instances of cruelty mentioned in this verse were those perpetrated among all the Eastern nations of Hazael’s time, and examples are to be found in several places in Scripture. Cf. Isaiah 13:15-16; Hosea 10:14; Hosea 13:16; Nahum 3:10.Verse 12. - And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? While inwardly contemplating an act of audacious wickedness in defiance of the prophet's implied rebuke, Hazael preserves towards him outwardly an attitude of extreme deference and respect. "My lord" was the phrase with which slaves addressed their masters, and subjects their monarchs (see 2 Kings 5:3; 2 Kings 6:12, etc.). And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strongholds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child. The prophet does not intend to tax Hazael with any special cruelty, he only means to say, "Thou wilt wage long and bloody wars with Israel, in which will occur all those customary horrors that make war so terrible - the burning of cities, the slaughter of the flower of the youth, the violent death of children, and even the massacre of women in a state of pregnancy. These horrors belonged, more or less, to all Oriental wars, and are touched on in Psalm 137:9; 2 Kings 15:16; Isaiah 13:16, 18; Hosea 10:14; Nahum 3:10; Amos 1:13, etc. The wars of Hazael with the Israelites are mentioned in 2 Kings 10:32, 33; 2 Kings 13:3-7; and Amos 1:3, 4. 1 Kings 22:9), with instructions to procure for her not only the whole of her property, but the produce of the land during her absence. - For עזבה without mappiq, see Ewald, 247, d.
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