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What is the significance of 2 Kings 13:3–5?

The Lord judged the Israelites by allowing them to be oppressed by King Hazael of Aram (vs. 3). “But Jehoahaz entreated the Lord, and the Lord heeded him; for he saw the oppression of Israel, how the king of Aram oppressed them. Therefore the Lord gave Israel a savior, so that they escaped from the hand of the Arameans.”

In the light of Jehoahaz’s prayer and the severity of Hazael’s oppressive treatment of Israel, God reversed his judgment. This verse, like many others, shows how God graciously alters his plans as a result of prayer and in the light of changing circumstances (cf. Jonah 4:2; Joel 2:13–14). Such flexibility makes sense only if the future is partly open and not exhaustively settled in God’s mind.

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