This section of the death of Elisha frames the long-suffering of the LORD towards wayward Israel.
A.(18) And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. (19) And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.
(20) And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. (21) And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
B. (22) But Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.
C.(23) And the LORD was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.
B’.(24) So Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his stead.
A.(25) And Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities, which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times did Joash beat him, and recovered the cities of Israel.