I have heard from others (Scío) the explanation of this verse and to me it seems correct. Benhadad sends Hazael to consult Elisha on whether or not he would heal from his illness. Elisha, a prophet of God, replied yes. He told him he would heal because he knew he would heal. He was not to die from this illness, even though Benhadad felt extremely sick. Nonetheless, God would then reveal to Elisha that King Benhadad would die, but not from the illness. Soon after his servant, Hazael, who would succeed him on the throne, would assassinate him.


       "And Elisha said unto him: Go, say unto him: Thou mayest certainly recover; howbeit the LORD hath showed me that he shall surely die."                                  ( II K 8: 10 )


       "And it came to pass in 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."                                                     ( II R 8: 15 )

            By what is said in verse 15, we can infer that Hazael, blinded by his ambition and awoken by what the Prophet Elisha had told him, chose not to wait for his time to come. Instead, he assassinated his friend, the king. Hazael did not want to leave any marks on the king so he suffocated him; that way his death would be attributed to his illness. He took a thick piece of cloth (like a blanket) and soaked it in water, so no air could pass through it. He then applied it on the face of the sick man, until he suffocated to death.

            In a similar form, denaturalized mothers suffocate their children by applying a pillow to their face. In that epoch, autopsies did not exist. The assassination could have inadvertently passed through the court system. The death of this sick man was expected nonetheless.

            Therefore, Elisha did not lie to Benhadad. He sent his servant to ask, "Can I be healed from this illness?" And that is the question Elisha answered. He didn't tell him that he was going to be assassinated, that was not the question.

            It is interesting to notice how the human being reacts when a certain job of dignity is given. He could have waited for him to die, but instead he "helps him" die. Something similar happened to Moses when he went to make justice for the Hebrews when he was 40 years old.

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