Every good thing of Damascus - Probably, besides rich robes and precious metals, the luscious wine of Helbon, which was the drink of the Persian kings, the soft white wool of the anti-Libanus Ezekiel 27:18, damask coverings of couches Amos 3:12, and numerous manufactured articles of luxury, which the Syrian capital imported from Tyre, Egypt, Nineveh, and Babylon. Forty camels were laden with it, and this goodly caravan paraded the streets of the town, conveying to the prophet the splendid gift designed for him. Eastern ostentation induces donors to make the greatest possible show of their gifts, and each camel would probably bear only one or two articles.
Thy son Ben-hadad - A phrase indicative of the greatest respect, no doubt used at the command of Benhadad in order to dispose the prophet favorably toward him. Compare 2 Kings 6:21.
While influences for good and for evil were striving for the ascendancy, and Satan was doing all in his power to complete the ruin he had wrought during the reign of Ahab and Jezebel, Elisha continued to bear his testimony. He met with opposition, yet none could gainsay his words. Throughout the kingdom he was honored and venerated. Many came to him for counsel. While Jezebel was still living, Joram, the king of Israel, sought his advice; and once, when in Damascus, he was visited by messengers from Benhadad, king of Syria, who desired to learn whether a sickness then upon him would result in death. To all the prophet bore faithful witness in a time when, on every hand, truth was being perverted and the great majority of the people were in open rebellion against Heaven. PK 255.1
And God never forsook His chosen messenger. On one occasion, during a Syrian invasion, the king of Syria sought to destroy Elisha because of his activity in apprising the king of Israel of the plans of the enemy. The Syrian king had taken counsel with his servants, saying, “In such and such a place shall be my camp.” This plan was revealed by the Lord to Elisha, who “sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. PK 255.2
“Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not show me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.” PK 256.1Read in context »
I would ask, Shall the magical books be burned up? In the synagogue of Satan there are places of attraction where licentiousness is fostered and indulged; but the witness is there, and an unseen visitant testifies to the deeds done in darkness. In the associations of the vain, the proud, the mirthful, Satan presides, and is the chief mover in scenes of gayety. He is there in disguise. Witchcraft is going on around us on every hand, and the world and the church are under the influence of one who will lead them to do things they never dreamed of doing. Should they be informed of the deeds they will perform, they would be as much astonished as was Hazael when the prophet told him of his future course.... MYP 278.1
Every man, woman, and child that is not under the control of the Spirit of God is under the influence of Satan's sorcery, and by his words and example he will lead others away from the path of truth. When the transforming grace of Christ is upon the heart, a righteous indignation will take possession of the soul because the sinner has so long neglected the great salvation that God has provided for him. He will then surrender himself, body, soul, and spirit, to God and will withdraw from companionship with Satan, through the grace given him of God. He will, like the Ephesians, denounce sorcery, and will cut the last thread that binds him to Satan. He will leave the banner of the prince of darkness, and will come under the bloodstained banner of Prince Emmanuel. He will burn the magical books.—The Youth's Instructor, November 16, 1893. MYP 278.2Read in context »