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CHAPTER 8 Sep. 3 
A Divinely Arranged Coincidence
Now Elisha had spoken to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise and go, you and your household, and stay for a while wherever you can; for Yahweh has called for a famine. It shall also come on the land seven years. 2The woman arose, and did according to the word of the man of God. She went with her household, and lived in the land of the Philistines seven years. 3It happened after the seven years, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines. Then she went forth to plead to the king for her house and for her land. 4Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God saying, Please tell me all the great things that Elisha has done. 5It happened, as he was telling the king how he had restored to life him who was dead, that the woman whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life. 6When the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed to her a certain officer saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.
The Death of Ben Hadad
7Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben Hadad the king of Syria was sick. It was told him saying, The man of God has come here. 8The king said to Hazael, Take a present in your hand, and go, meet the man of God, and inquire of Yahweh by him, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ 9So 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 Ben Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’ 10Elisha said to him, Go, tell him, ‘You shall surely recover;’ however Yahweh has shown me that he shall surely die. 11He settled his gaze steadfastly on him, until he was ashamed. Then the man of God wept. 12Hazael said, Why do you weep, my lord? He answered, Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel. You will set their strongholds on fire, kill their young men with the sword, dash in pieces their little ones and rip up their women with child. 13Hazael said, But what is your servant, is he a dog, that he should do this awful thing? Elisha answered, Yahweh has shown me that you will be king over Syria. 14Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, What did Elisha say to you? He answered, He told me that you would surely recover. 15It happened on the next day, that he took a thick cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died. Then Hazael reigned in his place. 
Jehoram Becomes King
16In the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being king of Judah then, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. 17He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign. He reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab; for he had the daughter of Ahab as wife. He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh. 19However, Yahweh would not destroy Judah, for David His servant’s sake, as He promised him to give to him a lamp for his children always. 20In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. 21Then Joram passed over to Zair, and all his chariots with him. He rose up by night, and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, and the captains of the chariots; and the people fled to their tents. 22So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. 23The rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 24Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place. 25In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. 26Twenty-two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri king of Israel. 27He walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did the house of Ahab; for he was the son-in-law of the house of Ahab. 28He went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram. 29King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.


8:5 There are no coincidences in the lives of those with whom God is working; there is meaning attached to events, and perceiving this will preserve us from the sense of meaninglessness and pointlessness which afflicts so many unbelievers.
8:9 Even unbelievers in their extremity try to turn to God; there is in all people some level of conscience toward God, a sense of their need for Him, however deeply buried it is. The task of preaching is to reach down through their defences and connect with that sense.
8:10 Here we see how God is aware of multiple possible futures. To see individuals time and again messing up what He has made potentially possible must be so sad for Him (see too Mt. 11:21,22).