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2 Kings 8:13

    2 Kings 8:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And Hazael said, But what, is your servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD has showed me that you shall be king over Syria.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And Hazael said, But what is thy servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, Jehovah hath showed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And Hazael said, How is it possible that your servant, who is only a dog, will do this great thing? And Elisha said, The Lord has made it clear to me that you will be king over Aram.

    Webster's Revision

    And Hazael said, But what is thy servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, Jehovah hath showed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.

    World English Bible

    Hazael said, "But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?" Elisha answered, "Yahweh has shown me that you will be king over Syria."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And Hazael said, But what is thy servant, which is but a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Kings 8:13

    But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great things - I believe this verse to be wrongly interpreted by the general run of commentators. It is generally understood that Hazael was struck with horror at the prediction; that these cruelties were most alien from his mind; that he then felt distressed and offended at the imputation of such evils to him; and yet, so little did he know his own heart, that when he got power, and had opportunity, he did the whole with a willing heart and a ready hand. On the contrary, I think he was delighted at the prospect; and his question rather implies a doubt whether a person so inconsiderable as he is shall ever have it in his power to do such great, not such evil things; for, in his sight, they had no turpitude. The Hebrew text stands thus: כי מה עבדך הכלב כי יעשה הדבר הגדול הזה ki mah abdecha hakkeleb, ki yaaseh haddabar haggadol hazzeh? "But, what! thy servant, this dog! that he should do this great work!" Or, "Can such a poor, worthless fellow, such a dead dog, [ὁ κυων ὁ τεθνηκως, Sept.], perform such mighty actions? thou fillest me with surprise." And that this is the true sense, his immediate murder of his master on his return fully proves. "Our common version of these words of Hazael," as Mr. Patten observes, "has stood in the front of many a fine declamation utterly wide of his real sentiment. His exclamation was not the result of horror; his expression has no tincture of it; but of the unexpected glimpse of a crown! The prophet's answer is plainly calculated to satisfy the astonishment he had excited. A dog bears not, in Scripture, the character of a cruel, but of a despicable animal; nor does he who is shocked with its barbarity call it a Great deed." - David Vindicated.

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Kings 8:13

    But what, is thy servant a dog? - This is a mistranslation, and conveys to the English reader a sense quite different from that of the original. Hazael's speech runs thus - "But what is thy servant, this dog, that he should do this great thing?" He does not shrink from Elisha's words, or mean to say that he would be a dog, could he act so cruelly as Elisha predicts he will. On the contrary, Elisha's prediction has raised his hopes, and his only doubt is whether so much good fortune ("this great thing") can be in store for one so mean. "Dog" here, as generally (though not always) in Scripture, has the sense of "mean," "low," "contemptible."