Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Years. Two with his son Joas, (Usher) or three. (Capellus) (Du Hamel) See ver. 10.
Days, while Joachaz lived, ver. 22. (Menochius) --- Yet Benadad only molested his son. (Calmet) --- Hazael proved a dreadful scourge in the hand of God, to punish his people, chap. viii. 12. (Haydock)
Saviour, in the person of Joas, (ver. 23.; Tostat) after the death of Joachaz, whose repentance preserved him, at least, in this world. (Haydock)
A grove, dedicated to the worship of idols. (Challoner) --- Hebrew, "and the Ascera (grove of Astarte) was standing even in Samaria." That impure worship had gained ground again, after Jehu was dead.
Floor. Amos (i. 3.) informs us, that Hazael had crushed the inhabitants of Galaad to death with iron chariots.
Valour, or personal courage, (Calmet) though he gained no complete victory. The most valiant are not always successful. (Tirinus) --- Fortiter ille facit qui miser esse potest. (Martial) (Haydock) --- Joachaz did not quite sink under his troubles. (Tirinus)
Seven. To complete the number seventeen, (ver. 1.) it ought to be "nine" ending. (Houbigant, p. 109.) See chap. xiv. 23. --- Years. If Jeroboam reigned in the 15th year of Amasias, and his father in the 37th of Joas, and not in the 39th almost complete, this king would have held dominion eighteen years. (Ibid.[Houbigant, p. 109.?])
Juda, who was the aggressor. See 2 Paralipomenon xxv. 23.
Throne, for ten years, along with his father. From this period the reign of Azarias must be dated, chap. xv. 1. (Usher) (Calmet)
The illness. Hebrew, Septuagint, and Chaldean, "of his sickness whereof he also died;" insinuating that he had been before afflicted with this infirmity. --- To him, probably in the same city of Samaria. --- Wept. See how he loved him! He was concerned for the welfare of his kingdom. (Menochius) --- Thereof. Eliseus had addressed Elias in the same terms, chap. ii. 12. (Calmet)
East, looking towards Galgaad, (Hadock) which the Syrians occupied. (Menochius) --- These actions were all significative and prophetical. The throwing of a dart was formerly the mode of declaring war. (Virgil, Æneid ix.) Justin (ii.) says, "Alexander first threw a javelin, as against a hostile country." Thus also the ancients took possession. (Varro) (V. Max. iii., &c.) The people of Andros and Chalicis, sent each a deputy to seize Acanthos, when it had been abandoned by its inhabitants. The man from Andros, perceiving the other before him, threw his dart at the gate, and it was decided that he had thus lawfully obtained possession. (Plutarch, q. Græc.; Selden, Mare. Claus. iv.) --- The action of Joas may be considered in both lights. --- Them. We do not read the particulars of this battle: but it must have been very bloody. One of the three victories (ver. 25.) of Joas was probably obtained at Aphec, (Calmet) a place memorable for the victory of Achab, over the same Syrians, 3 Kings xx. 26. (Menochius)
Still. This shewed a degree of remission. (Haydock) --- It was natural for the king to conclude, that the more he struck the earth, the greater would be his success; (Calmet) and the prophet had, perhaps, insinuated as much. (Menochius)
Angry. Septuagint, "grieved." (Haydock) --- Or seven is omitted in Hebrew and Septuagint. This text proves that God knows what would take place conditionally. (Tirinus) --- If, &c. By this it appears, that God had revealed to the prophet that the king should overcome the Syrians, as many times as he should then strike on the ground; but, as he had not, at the same time, revealed to him how often the king would strike, the prophet was concerned to see that he struck but thrice. (Challoner) --- Joas was assured that he should consume the Syrians. But this was to be understood, provided he performed this part, (Menochius; Tirinus) and that destruction was not said to be entire. (Haydock)
Buried him, near Samaria. (Menochius) --- He had been chosen by Elias sixty-eight years before, and had lived eleven with him. His perfect character is given, Ecclesiasticus xlviii. 13. His double spirit represents the plentitude of grace in Jesus Christ; as his raising the child to life, in such a wonderful manner, denotes his incarnation. The waters of Jericho made sweet, and the healing of Naaman, set before us the virtue of baptism: as the widow's oil shews the great graces which are bestowed by Christ upon his Church. The children devoured, and the Syrians struck blind, remind us of the perversity and blindness of infidels, who will not acknowledge the truth, Matthew xiii. 14. We must now see how the bones of Eliseus prophesied: 1. By raising the dead to life, as a confirmation of all his former predictions; 2. as proof of a future resurrection, of the virtue of relics, and of the influence of the saints in heaven, whose souls were formerly united to their bodies, and were filled with the Holy Spirit; (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, cat. xviii. Illum.) 3. in as much as this miracle was a figure of Christ's resurrection, who raised himself to life, and those who believe in him: (Calmet) while Eliseus, in the like state of death, had only raised another. (Haydock) (St. Max., hom. i. de pasc.) --- Same. Septuagint, Hebrew, and Syriac, "at the coming in of the year;" (Haydock) or, "the next year." (Pagnin)
Eliseus. His tomb was not in the city, but in a spacious cave, the entrance of which was secured with a stone, according to custom. This was removed in the hurry, and the corpse thrown into the same recess, which had been prepared for the remains of the prophet. Josephus ([Antiquities?] ix. 8.) relates the history in a different manner, and pretends that robbers having slain a person, threw his corpse accidentally into the tomb of Eliseus. The Rabbins tell us his name was Sellum, and that he died again immediately, because he was a wicked man, which would render the miracle, in a manner, useless. (Calmet) --- By it God honoured his servant, and convinced the Israelites that what he had so lately foretold, respecting the Syrians, would undoubtedly take place. (Menochius)
Time. Long before the captivity of Babylon, the Israelites had been led captives, to return no more in a body. Some stragglers mixed with the Jews, and inhabited the country under that appellation. It would seem that this was written before the overturning of the kingdom of Israel. (Haydock)
Israel, on the east side of the Jordan; (chap. x. 33.; Calmet) at least (Haydock) those which had been taken from his father. Jeroboam retook what had been lost by Jehu. (Menochius) --- Hence both these kings are styled saviours, ver. 5., and chap. xiv. 27. (Salien)