8:1 Sojourn - In any convenient place out of the land of Israel. The Lord, and c. - Hath appointed to bring a famine. This expression intimates, that all afflictions are sent by God, and come at his call or command. Seven years - A double time to the former famine under Elijah, which is but just, because they were still incorrigible under all the judgments of God, and the powerful ministry of Elisha.
8:3 Her house - Which having been forsaken by her, were possessed by her kindred.
8:4 Gehazi the servant - Formerly his servant. The law did not forbid conversing with lepers, but only dwelling with them.
8:8 Enquire of the Lord, and c - In his health he bowed down in the house of Rimmon; but now he tends to enquire of the God of Israel. Among other instances of the change of mens minds by affliction or sickness, this is one; that it often gives them other thoughts of God's ministers, and teacheth them to value those whom they before hated and despised.
8:9 Thy son - He who before persecuted him as an enemy, now in his extremity honours him like a father.
8:10 Howbeit - Here is no contradiction: for the first words contain an answer to Benhadad's question, shall I recover? To which the answer is, thou mayest, notwithstanding thy disease, which is not mortal. The latter words contain the prophet's addition to that answer, which is, that he should die, not by the power of his disease, but by some other cause.
8:11 He settled - The prophet fixed his eyes upon Hazael. Until - 'Till Hazael was ashamed, as apprehending the prophet discerned something of an evil and shameful nature in him.
8:13 A dog - So fierce, barbarous, and inhuman. King - And when thou shalt have power in thy hand, thou wilt discover that bloody disposition, and that hatred against God's people, which now lies hid from others, and possibly from thyself.
8:15 Spread it - So closely, that he choaked him therewith.
8:16 Jehoram - Jehoram was first made king or vice - roy, by his father divers years before this time, at his expedition to Ramoth - Gilead, which dominion of his, ended at his father's return. But now Jehoshaphat, being not far from his death, and having divers sons and fearing some competition among them, makes Jehoram king the second time, as David did Solomon upon the like occasion.
8:18 He walked - After his father's death. The daughter - Athaliah. This unequal marriage, though Jehoshaphat possibly designed it as a means of uniting the two kingdoms under one head, is here and elsewhere noted, as the cause both of the great wickedness of his posterity, and of those sore calamities which befel them. No good could be reasonably expected from such an union. Those that are ill matched are already half - ruined.
8:19 Alway - Until the coming of the Messiah: for so long, and not longer, this succession might seem necessary for the making good of God's promise and covenant made with David. But when the Messiah, was once come, there was no more need of any succession, and the scepter might and did without any inconvenience depart from Judah, and from all the succeeding branches of David's family, because the Messiah was to hold the kingdom forever in his own person, though not in so gross a way as the carnal Jews imagined. A light - A son and successor.
8:29 Ramah - The same place with Ramoth, or Ramoth - Gilead.