Then the Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents as before. 2 Kings 13:5
But the Lord was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence. 2 Kings 13:23
2 Kings 13:1-9. Jehoahaz of Israel (814-798 B.C.)
Jehoahaz succeeds his father Jehu on Israel’s throne. He continues in the religious policies established by Jeroboam (1 Kings 12), but he does turn to God for relief from the neighboring Aramaeans. The king’s prayers are answered. The “deliverer” mentioned in verse 5 is the Assyrian conqueror Adad-Nirari III, who crushes the power of Damascus in 803 B.C. This is one of many incidents in which a foreign army is used by God to discipline or deliver his people.
1 In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years. 2 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who had made Israel sin. He did not depart from them. 3 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Ben-Hadad the son of Hazael, all their days.
4 So Jehoahaz pleaded with the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for He saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them. 5 Then the Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents as before. 6 Nevertheless they did not depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, who had made Israel sin, but walked in them; and the wooden image also remained in Samaria.
2 Kings 13:10-25. Jehoash of Israel (798-782 B.C.)
Jehoash follows the religious pattern of all the kings of Israel. But there is a military resurgence toward the end of his 16 year rule. Elisha suffers his final illness in the days of Jehoash. The king is honestly conce
rned about the prophet’s coming death, for Jehoash views Elisha as his kingdom’s greatest resource: “the chariots and horsemen of Israel” (14). Toward the end of his reign, Jehoash defeats the Aramaeans. Hazael dies, and this triggers a number of Israelite military victories. Jehoash is able to push the Damascus power back and to retake a number of Israel’s border towns.
11 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. He did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, but walked in them. 12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, all that he did, and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
Elisha’s Final Prophecy and Death
14 Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, “O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!” 15 And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and some arrows.” So he took himself a bow and some arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. 17 And he said, “Open the east window”; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot”; and he shot. And he said, “The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.” 18 Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. 19 And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.”
20 Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. 21 So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. 22 And Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. 23 But the Lord was gracious to them, had compassion on them, and regarded them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not yet destroy them or cast them from His presence. 24 Now Hazael king of Syria died. Then Ben-Hadad his son reigned in his place. 25 And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz recaptured from the hand of Ben-Hadad, the son of Hazael, the cities which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times Joash defeated him and recaptured the cities of Israel.
–> The arrow of deliverance comes from the Lord. A person can live after dying and a nation can rise again after its utter defeat and disappearance from the face of the earth. Israel was scattered like dust in the wind until 1948. Only God can do that.