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2 Kings 8:10

Context
8:10 Elisha said to him, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover,’ 1  but the Lord has revealed to me that he will surely die.”

1 tc The consonantal text (Kethib) reads, “Go, say, ‘Surely you will not (לֹא, lo’) recover” In this case the vav beginning the next clause should be translated, “for, because.” The marginal reading (Qere) has, “Go, say to him (לוֹ, lo), ‘You will surely recover.” In this case the vav (ו) beginning the next clause should be translated, “although, but.” The Qere has the support of some medieval Hebrew mss and the ancient versions, and is consistent with v. 14, where Hazael tells the king, “You will surely recover.” It is possible that a scribe has changed לוֹ, “to him,” to לֹא, “not,” because he felt that Elisha would not lie to the king. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 90. Another possibility is that a scribe has decided to harmonize Elisha’s message with Hazael’s words in v. 14. But it is possible that Hazael, once he found out he would become the next king, decided to lie to the king to facilitate his assassination plot by making the king feel secure.



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