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1 Since Elijah did not live to anoint Hazael king of Syria himself, as he was empowered to do, 1 Kings 19:15, it was most probably now done, in his name, by his servant and successor Elisha. Nor does it seem to me otherwise but that Benhadad immediately recovered of his disease, as the prophet foretold; and that Hazael, upon his being anointed to succeed him though he ought to have staid till he died by the course of nature, or some other way of Divine punishment, as did David for many years in the like case, was too impatient, and the very next day smothered or strangled him, in order to come directly to the succession.
2 What Mr. Le Clerc pretends here, that it is more probable that Hazael and his son were worshipped by the Syrians and people of Damascus till the days of Josephus, than Benhadad and Hazael, because under Benhadad they had greatly suffered, and because it is almost incredible that both a king and that king's murderer should be worshipped by the same Syrians, is of little force against those records, out of which Josephus drew this history, especially when it is likely that they thought Benhadad died of the distemper he labored under, and not by Hazael's treachery. Besides, the reason that Josephus gives for this adoration, that these two kings had been great benefactors to the inhabitants of Damascus, and had built them temples, is too remote from the political suspicions of Le Clerc; nor ought such weak suspicions to be deemed of any force against authentic testimonies of antiquity.
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