eign of Jehoahaz. (1-9) Jehoash, king of Israel, Elisha
dying. (10-19) Elisha's death, The victories of Jehoash. (20-25)
Verses 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.
Verses 10-19: Jehoash, the king, came to Elisha, to receive his dying
counsel and blessing. It may turn much to our spiritual
advantage, to attend the sick-beds and death-beds of good men,
that we may be encouraged in religion by the living comforts
they have from it in a dying hour. Elisha assured the king of
his success; yet he must look up to God for direction and
strength; must reckon his own hands not enough, but go on, in
dependence upon Divine aid. The trembling hands of the dying
prophet, as they signified the power of God, gave this arrow
more force than the hands of the king in his full strength. By
contemning the sign, the king lost the thing signified, to the
grief of the dying prophet. It is a trouble to good men, to see
those to whom they wish well, forsake their own mercies, and to
see them lose advantages against spiritual enemies.
Verses 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.