6:1-7. Elisha. Residence, &c.

P  j  1,2. Sons of the prophets. Proposals.
    k  3,4. Elisha. Consent.
   j  5. Son's of prophets. Accident.
    k  6,7. Elisha. Miracle.

801-788 B.C.

2 Kings 6)

1 And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with you is too narrow for us.
2 Let us go, we pray you, to Jordan, and take from that place every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go all you.

3 And the one, Be content, I pray you, and go with your servants. And he answered, I will go.
4 So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down logs (cp. Heb. nazar. v.6).

xder 5 But as the one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water (Heb. "iron" put for the axe head made of iron. Cp. v.6 where the fig. is translated literally): and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.

6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a helve (not the same word as v.3. Heb. kazab = to cut evenly: i.e. shape or size evenly. Occurs on here and Song.4:2 ["even shorn"]), and cast [it] in to that place; and the iron did swim (= made him see the iron: by causing it to rise to the surface. Elisha's 12th miracle [2:15]. The spiritual application is thus put by Jown Newton: - "Not one concern of our is small if we belong to Him; To teach us this, the Lord of all once made the iron to swim").
7 Therefore said he, Take [it] up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.

8-23. War with Syria.

O  l  8-12. King of Syria. Hostility.
    m  13,14. Elisha. Baffling.
     n  15-17. Eyes of servant opened.
     n  18. Eyes of Syrians closed.
    m  19. Elisha. Leading.
   l  20-23. King of Israel. Benevolence.

8 Then the king of Syria (probably Ben-hadad of v.24. 1 Kings 20:10) warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place [shall be] my camp.
9 And the man of God sent to the king of Israel (Jehoram), saying, Beware that you pass not such a place; for to that place the Syrians are come down.
10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said to them, Will you all not show me which of us [is] for the king of Israel?
12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: for Elisha (i.e. "[the fact is] that"), the prophet that [is] in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speaks in your bedchamber.

13 And he said, Go and spy where he [is], that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, [he is] in Dothan.
14 Therefore sent he to that place horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

15 And when attendant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his young man said to him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that [be] with us [are] more than they that [be] with them.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray You, open his eyes (Elisha's 13th miracle [2:15].), that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw (= saw clearly): and, behold, the mountain [was] full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha (cp. Ps.34:7; 91:4).

18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, Smite this people, I pray You, with blindness. (Elisha's 14th miracle [2:15]. 1 of 9 instances of persons so afflicted. See Gen.19:11) And He smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

19 And Elisha said to them, This [is] not the way, neither [is] this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you all seek. (so he did) And (or, So) he led them to Samaria.

20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, the Lord, open the eyes of these [men] (Elisha's 15th miracle [2:15]), that they may see. And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, [they were] in the midst of Samaria.
21 And the king of Israel said to Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite [them]? shall I smite [them]?
22 And he answered, You shall not smite [them]: would you smite those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.
23 And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the marauding bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel (quite different from the organized host of v.24).

6:24 7:20. Famine in Samaria.

R  A  6:24-33. Famine suffered.
    B  7:1,2. Prediction of supply.
   A  7:3-15. Famine. Relieved.
    B  7:16-20. Prediction. Supplies received.

24-33. Famine. Suffered.

A  o  24,25. Origin. Second cause.
    p  26-29. Effects. Experienced.
     q  30. King's mourning.
    p  31. Effects. Threatening.
   o  32,33. Origin. First cause.

24 And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host (this was organized war, in contrast with the free-booting irregular bands of v.23), and went up, and besieged Samaria.
25 And there was a great famine in Samaria (1 of 13 recorded in Scripture. See Gen.12:10): and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head (this was unclean food) was [sold] for fourscore [shekels] of silver (= *approx. 3 3/4 lbs), and the fourth part of a cab (1 pint) of dove's dung (a Euphemism is included in the official Massoretic text as being substituted for this indelicate expression, the word meaning "decayed leaves". Whichever is the meaning, it was always highly valuable as manure, especially to force growth during dearth) for five [pieces] of silver (2 1/2 oz.).

26 And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman to him, saying, Help, my lord, O king.
27 And he said, If the Lord do not help you (Heb. reads "Let not Yehovah help you", as in the A.V. marg. The R.V. "No, let Yehovah help you", is contrary to the normal sense of this negative. Ginsburg suggests that 'al [not] is an abbreviation for 'im l'o, which is the exact equivalent for the A.V. text), from which place shall I help you? out of the barn-floor, or out of the wine-press?
28 And the king said to her, What ails you? And she answered, This woman said to me (1 of the 10 deaths occasioned by women. See Judg.4:21), Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.
29 So we boiled my son (cp. Deut.28:53), and did eat him: and I said to her on the next day, Give your son, that we may eat him: and she has hid her son.

30 And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, [he had] sackcloth within upon his flesh.

31 Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day.

32 But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and [the king] sent a man from before him: but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See you all how this son of a murderer has sent to take away my head? look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door (or, hold the door fast against him): [is] not the sound of his master's feet behind him?
33 And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down to him (as in Sept. and Syr. In 1 Sam. 11:4. the case was reversed. The Massarah informs us that the aleph was wrongly inserted, making it read messenger in stead of "kings". The king must have followed on his heels, for Elisha addressed him directly in 7:1,2. Cp. 7:17): and he said, Behold, this breaking up [is] of Yehovah; why should I wait for The Lord any longer? (these are the words of the king.)

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