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Elisha and a Foreign King

In this story, a king's servant hears the word of God and uses it in a very bad way.

And Elisha came to Damascus. And Benhadad the king of Syria was sick, and it was told him, saying, “The man of God is come here.”

And the king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand; and go, meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, 'Shall I recover of this disease?'”

So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels' burden, and came and stood before him and said, “Your son Benhadad, king of Syria, has sent me to you, saying, 'Shall I recover of this disease?'”

And Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, 'You may certainly recover.' Howbeit the LORD has showed me that he shall surely die.”

And he settled his countenance steadfastly until he was ashamed; and the man of God wept.

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.”

And Hazael said, “But what is your servant, a dog, that he should do this great thing?”

And Elisha answered, “The LORD has showed me that you shall be king over Syria.”

So he departed from Elisha and came to his master; who said to him, “What said Elisha to you?”

And he answered, “He told me that you should surely recover.”

And it came to pass on the morrow that he took a thick cloth and dipped it in water and spread it on his face so that he died. And Hazael reigned in his stead.

(2 Kings 8:7-15)

Words that may be new
burden: load, something carried
certainly: surely
countenance: the look on someone's face
dash: an old way of saying to smash or to throw down and break (Today this word usually means "to move quickly."
depart: to leave
disease: sickness, illness
evil: very bad
howbeit: a word telling us that things will be different than what we think; however
inquire: to ask
morrow: the next day
present: a gift, something that one person gives to another without getting money
recover: to get well from a sickness. The word can also mean to get something back.
reign: to act as king; to rule
strong hold: a safe place for war fighters
surely: we know something will really happen; truly
weep; to cry with tears

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