My Assessment here spawns out of this Related Question: In 2 Kings 8:11 was it Hazael or Elisha who settled his countanance stedfastly?
I'm trying to imagine/visualize how Elisha's vision of Hazel's future destiny is gradually revealed in real time for both Elisha and for Hazel. Also, I'm trying to understand the psychological/mental/spiritual state and/or ongoing thought process of the relevant biblical characters involved.
In 1 Kings 19:15, God commands Elijah, who is Elisha's predecessor, to anoint Hazel king over Aram
( 1 Kings 19:15 ) (NASB1995)
15 The Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram;
Since it's important to keep in mind the chronologically order of events.
- It was first revealed to Elijah that God wanted him to anoint Hazael to be king over Aram. Therefore, it is important to note that Hazael knew that he would be king of Aram at some point in time in the future, but at the time of Elijah's anointing, it is very likely that Hazael did Not know how/when he would be king of Aram, and under what circumstances he would be made king of Aram.
(2 Kings 8:9-12) KJV
9 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, Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease? 10 And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the Lord hath shewed me that he shall surely die. 11 And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept. 12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
(2 Kings 8:9-12) NASB1995
9 So Hazael went to meet him and took a gift in his hand, even every kind of good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ loads; and he came and stood before him and said, “Your son Ben-hadad king of Aram has sent me to you, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’” 10 Then Elisha said to him, “Go, say to him, ‘You will surely recover,’ but the Lord has shown me that he will certainly die.” 11 He [d]fixed his gaze steadily on him until he was ashamed, and the man of God wept. 12 Hazael said, “Why does my lord weep?” Then he [e]answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the sons of Israel: their strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill with the sword, and their little ones you will dash in pieces, and their women with child you will rip up.”
Now there might be some debate as to who was gazing at whom, and who was ashamed. However, I believe that Hazel was the one who became ashamed.
- The next revelation by Elisha, who is Elijah's successor, was that king Ben-hadad of Aram's health would recover, but then he strangely says that king Ben-hadad would certainly die.
This sudden contrasting change of fortune in the revelation may indicate something sinister would occur.
(2 Kings 8:10) (NASB1995)
.....“Go, say to him, ‘You will surely recover,’ but the Lord has shown me that he will certainly die.”.....
- Since Hazel was already:
a) given the partial revelation by Elijah based on 1 Kings 19:15 that Hazel would be king of Aram at some point in time in the future,
b) and then given this second revelation by Elisha that king Ben-hadad of Aram have a sudden change of fortune by dying even though his health recovered,
Hazel's then starts to think in a sinister manner that something unfortunate will happen to king Ben-hadad of Aram like an assassination/murder, and furthermore Hazel shows that he himself is ashamed because at that very moment Hazel thinks that he himself will instigate said assassination/murder
- As Hazel shows that he is feeling ashamed, Elisha's thoughts are somewhat in-synchronized with Hazel's thoughts because as we continue to read 2 Kings 8:9-12, Elisha is aware of Hazel's sinister intentions, and Elisha takes it a step further by revealing what Hazel will violently and viciously attack God's Israelite people group.
Please feel free to comment on this assessment, and possibly provide further insight.
As you read through (2 Kings 8:9-12), if you think about it, it is very interesting to think about how God gradually, slowly and possibly gracefully reveals Godly insight & Godly understanding and Wisdom to Elisha. One could sort of think about what was going on in Elijah's mind as Godly knowledge was revealed bit by bit to Elisha interlaced with how Elisha processes each bit of knowledge before receiving the next bit of Godly knowledge-- like a sonar operator/sonarman on a submarine who is gradually listening for important sounds.