And it came to pass on the next day, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead.
All Commentaries on 2 Kings 8:15 Go To 2 Kings 8
Ephrem The Syrian
“Go, say to him, ‘You shall certainly recover;’ but the Lord has shown me that he shall certainly die.” These were the words of Elisha to the king, who asked him, “Will I live after this illness?” But it seems that they do not agree with the truth of the events, and not even with each other. However, after the words reported above in the story of the prophet Micah, it is evident that they do not cancel each other out or contradict each other. In fact, both prophets answer in the same manner, and the words of their reply pursue the same aim in the fact that they announce to their interlocutor good and death at the same time. But in the reply of Micah a particular aspect must be considered, that is, the fact that Ahab could not escape from death, because he so ardently and savagely wanted to go to the war, which was the real cause of his fall.
But the case of Ben-hadad is quite different: it would have been easy for him to get rid of his illness, because it was not serious or fatal. He would have recovered from his illness, as Elisha had said to him and as Ben-Hadad had asked him by saying, “Will I live after my illness?” However, he died in a natural course but by a hostile means: he was misled by Hazael, his ambassador, the one who spread the bed cover on his master, killed him and reigned in his place, as Elisha had predicted.