A famine in Israel, The Shunammite obtains her land. (1-6): Read the passage.
After the long narrative about the siege of Samaria, the Shunammite woman of 4:8–37reappears. The key to understanding this new story is found in 4:13, where the woman declines Elisha’s offer of help because she has a home among her own people. In8:1–6, however, she no longer has such a home, for she has followed Elisha’s advice and avoided famine by sojourning in Philistia. – ESV Study Bible.
V. 1 … Elisha said…arise and depart with your household,….the LORD has called for a famine…. … This prophecy was told 7 years before the current situation. The famine happened soon after Elisha restored Shunammite’s son. Also, read 2 Kings 4:38. The kindness of the good Shunammite to Elisha, was rewarded by the care taken of her in famine.
V. 2…dwelt in the land of Philistines seven years … “When the famine was over, she returned out of the land of the Philistines; that was no proper place for an Israelite, any longer than there was necessity for it. Time was when she dwelt so securely among her own people.” – Mathew Henry.
We are not supposed to consider such wandering in other countries that are ungodly as a LAND OF SIN, but as THE WORLD. Philistine was a natural place that was closer for Shunammite women’s family. Our relationship to this world should be limited just for allowed time as a means of God permitted place of Survival and escaping time of hardship. Such were the places like Egypt to Abraham (Gen. 12: 10), to Israelites (Gen chs. 41 & 42, 47:4 ) which was permitted by God for 430 years.
V. 3…her house and her land… When she saw the land was grabbed by somebody, she went to appeal to the supreme judge of the Nation.
Vs. 4 & 5…king talked with Gehazi… Was Gehazi healed by this time? We don’t have a clear answer for this question. The probabilities are, 1) he was healed, 2) king did not follow the laws regarding leprosy, 3) this kind of leprosy was not considered unclean and infectious (leviticus 13:1-13).
V. 6… Restore all that was hers… The king ordered for a restoration of her property with all produce.
Elisha consulted by Hazael, Death of Benhadad. (7-15):
The house of Omri has now held the throne of Israel since 1 Kings 16:23, and in spite of Elijah’s prophecy in 1 Kings 21:21–24 about its end, one now reads of Ahab’s second apostate son holding on to his kingdom with the help of Elijah’s successor (e.g., 2 Kings 3:1–27; 6:9–10). Has Elijah sabotaged God’s plan by failing to anoint Hazael and Jehu (1 Kings 19:15–18)? It turns out that the answer is no. Hazael is now introduced, to be followed shortly by Jehu. – ESV Study Bible.
V. 7…Elisha came to Damascus… We see Elisha’s travel to Syria. He may be here by the guidance of the LORD to announce the elevation of Hazael who was supposed to be anointed by prophet Elijah.
Vs. 8 & 9…meet the man of God… It was common with non-Israelite religious people to consult with gods other than their own gods. It doesn’t mean that those people turned to the God of Israel. King Ahaziah of Israel also consulted Baal-Zabub of Ekron (2 Kings 1:2). Ahaziah was not a sincere follower of the True God of Israel. Likewise, Some nominal Christians still consult horoscope and so on. King Ben-Hadad, without knowing God’s plan, acting out God’s plan by Sending Hazael. Read 1 Kings 19:15-17.
V. 10…you shall certainly recover… Though the king will recover, he will die due to political reason.
Vs. 11 & 13…man of God wept… Elisha, with a prophetic vision, saw what Hazael would do to Israel in the future, and wept. But Hazael denied the prophecy and thought he would not do it.
Vs. 14 & 15…Hazael became king in his place… Hazael became king around 845 BC and ruled Syria for about 40 years and he was the most bitter enemies.