2 Kings 8: New Leaders

2 Kings 8 discusses the succession of kings in both Judah and Syria.


2 Kings 8 discusses the succession of kings in both Judah and Syria.

Benhadad and Hazael

Benhadad, the king of Syria falls ill and sends Hazael (whom God told Elijah would be the next king of Syria) to speak with Elisha. Elisha tells Hazael that Benhadad will recover from his illness. An uncomfortable staring match follows and ends with Elisha weeping. When Hazael asks what is the matter, Elisha reveals the horror that Hazael will inflict on Israel as the next king.

Hazael passes on the message that the illness would not kill Benhadad, but after delivering the message, he kills him himself. It is unknown if he had been planning to usurp power all along or if Elisha's message gave him the idea. Nonetheless, we know that it was in God's plan for Hazael to gain the throne at some point.


Jehoram of Judah begins his independent reign during the 5th year of Jehoram of Israel. This means he reigned 7 years with his father. Jehoram reigned another 8 years independently from the time he was 32. Jehoram of Judah was not God fearing and followed the ways of Ahab. He even takes Ahab's daughter as a wife. During Jehoram's reign, Edom rebels against Israel. It is unclear who won the battle, but Jehoram is not able to stamp out rebellion amongst the Edomites. When he dies, his son Ahaziah regins.

Ahaziah (Judah)

Ahaziah of Judah takes over during Jehoram of Israel's 12th year. Ahaziah was only 22 years old when he took the throne. Like his father, he takes after the corrupt leaders of Israel. Its interesting that the corrupt leaders if Judah share names with kings from Israel.

Ahaziah's Mother

Ahaziah's mother is listed as Athaliah, the daughter of Omri in 2 Kings 8:26. However, we are told that Ahaziah's father, Jehoram married Ahab's daughter. One might conclude that Jehoram had multiple wives—a reasonable assumption. A simpler solution would be that the author was reminding us that Athaliah was of the house of Omri (he started that lineage). The Bible always refers to grandfathers as simply someone's father.[1]


  1. Athaliah. BibleHub; visited 2017

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