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2 Kings Chapter Six


2 Kings 6 Outline of Contents

The Floating Ax Head (v. 1~7)

The Blinded Syrians Captured (v. 8~23)

Syria Besieges Samaria in Famine (v. 24~33)

New King James Version (NKJV)



In this chapter are recorded other wonders of Elisha, as causing iron to swim, 2 Kings 6:1 having knowledge of the secret counsels of the king of Syria, which he disclosed to the king of Israel, 2 Kings 6:8 smiting the Syrian army with blindness sent to take him, and which he led into the midst of Samaria, 2 Kings 6:13, and the chapter is closed with an account of the siege of Samaria, and a sore famine in it, 2 Kings 6:24.


2 Kings 6:1  And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us.

   YLT  1And sons of the prophet say unto Elisha, `Lo, we pray thee, the place where we are dwelling before thee is too strait for us;

And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha,.... Or the disciples of the prophets, as the Targum:

behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us: their numbers were so increased, that there was not room enough for them in the house they dwelt in with the prophet; which increase was owing, the JewsF26T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 107. 2. say, to the departure of Gehazi last mentioned, who was a bad man, and used the disciples so ill, that they could not stay in the college; but, when he was gone, they flocked in great numbers; but rather it was owing to the very instructive ministry and wonderful miracles of Elisha: the place where the prophet and his disciples now dwelt seems to be Gilgal, 2 Kings 4:38.


2 Kings 6:2  2 Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.” So he answered, “Go.”

   YLT  2let us go, we pray thee, unto the Jordan, and we take thence each one beam, and we make for ourselves there a place to dwell there;' and he saith, `Go.'

Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan,.... Which, according to JosephusF1Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 4. , was fifty furlongs, or upwards of six miles, distant from Gilgal:

and take thence every man a beam; by cutting down the trees that grew there; for Mr. Maundrell saysF2Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 82,83. , the banks of Jordan are beset with bushes and trees, which are an harbour for wild beasts; and another travellerF3Sandys's Travels, l. 3. p. 110. observes, that it is shadowed on both sides with poplars, alders, &c. and who speaks of their cutting down boughs from the trees when there:

and let us make us a place there where we may dwell: near the banks of Jordan, which they might choose for the seclusion and pleasantness of the situation, or because Elijah was taken up to heaven near it, as Abarbinel thinks; from whence it appears that these scholars were far from living an idle life; for they were not only trained up in useful learning, but were employed in trades and manufactures, to which they had been brought up, and knew how to fell timber, and build houses:

and he answered, go ye; he gave them leave, without which they did not choose to do anything.


2 Kings 6:3  3 Then one said, “Please consent to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.”

   YLT  3And the one saith, `Be pleased, I pray thee, and go with thy servants;' and he saith, `I -- I go.'

And one said, be content, I pray thee, and with thy servants,.... Or be pleased to go with us; he begged it as a favour, that, being awed by his presence, they might preserve peace and order, and have his advice as to the spot of ground to erect their edifice on, and might be protected by him from harm and mischief by men or wild beasts:

and he answered, I will go; he consented to it, knowing perhaps before hand that he should have an opportunity of working a miracle there, as he did.


2 Kings 6:4  4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.

   YLT  4And he goeth with them, and they come in to the Jordan, and cut down the trees,

So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. Trees which grew upon the banks of it, to build their house with, at least for the rafters and flooring of it, supposing the walls to be built of stone.


2 Kings 6:5  5 But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed.”

   YLT  5and it cometh to pass, the one is felling the beam, and the iron hath fallen into the water, and he crieth and saith, `Alas! my lord, and it asked!'

But as one was felling a beam,.... Cutting down a tree, or a branch of it:

the axe head fell into the water: into the waters of Jordan; or "the iron"F4הברזל "ferrum", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. , the iron part of it, with which the wood was cut; that flew off from the helve into the water:

and he cried, and said, alas, master! for it was borrowed: it grieved him to lose his axe, because he could do no more work, and the more because it was not his own, but he had borrowed it of his neighbour; and still more, because, as it seems, he was poor, and not able to pay for it, which, being of an honest disposition, gave him distress.


2 Kings 6:6  6 So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float.

   YLT  6And the man of God saith, `Whither hath it fallen?' and he sheweth him the place, and he cutteth a stick, and casteth thither, and causeth the iron to swim,

And the man of God said, where fell it?.... For though endowed with a spirit of prophecy, he did not know all things, and at all times; and if he did know where it fell, he might ask this question to lead on to the performance of the miracle:

and he showed him the place; the exact place in the river into which it fell:

and he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; he did not take the old helve and throw in, but a new stick he cut off of a tree; some think he made of this another helve or handle, of the same size and measure with the other, and that this being cast in was miraculously directed and fixed in the hole of the iron at the bottom of the water, and brought it up with it; but, as Abarbinel observes, there is no need to suppose this; the wood was cast into the precise place where the iron fell, and was sent as it were to call it up to it:

and the iron did swim; it came up and appeared, and was bore on the surface of the waters; or, "and made the iron to swim"F5יצף "fecit supernatare", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. ; which some understand of the wood cast in, as if it had some peculiar virtue in it to draw up the iron; but it was not any particular chosen wood, but what first occurred to the prophetF6Vid. Friese, Dissert. de Ferro Natante, sect. 7. ; and the meaning is, that Elisha caused it to float, contrary to the nature of iron.


2 Kings 6:7  7 Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it.

   YLT  7and saith, `Raise to thee;' and he putteth forth his hand and taketh it.

Therefore said he, take it up to thee,.... This the prophet said to the man that had lost it:

and he put out his hand, and took it; it being on the top of the water within his reach.


2 Kings 6:8  8 Now the king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, “My camp will be in such and such a place.”

   YLT  8And the king of Aram hath been fighting against Israel, and taketh counsel with his servants, saying, `At such and such a place [is] my encamping.'

Then the king of Syria warred against Israel,.... Proclaimed war against him; on what account, or how long it was after Naaman his general came with a letter of recommendation from him to the king of Israel, and had his cure, is not said:

and took counsel with his servants; his privy counsellors, or the general officers of his army:

saying, in such and such a place shall be my camp; in some covered hidden place, as the Targum; where he would lie encamped waiting in ambush, to fall upon the king of Israel unawares, as he and his forces should pass that way; the place, no doubt, was named by the king of Syria, though not recorded by the historian; or, as the words may be rendered:

the place of such and such a man; for, as Ben Melech observes, "peloni almoni" are used of persons whose names are either unknown or concealed.


2 Kings 6:9  9 And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there.”

   YLT  9And the man of God sendeth unto the king of Israel, saying, `Take heed of passing by this place, for thither are the Aramaeans coming down;

And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel,.... That is, Elisha sent to him: saying:

beware that thou pass not such a place: not go to it, but avoid it, and pass another way:

for thither the Syrians are come down: are hidden, as the Targum; lie covered at the bottom of the hill, so as not to be seen.


2 Kings 6:10  10 Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice.

   YLT  10and the king of Israel sendeth unto the place of which the man of God spake to him, and warned him, and he is preserved there not once nor twice.

And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him, and warned him of,.... Sent spies thither to see whether the Syrians were there or not, and whether it was truth the man of God told him; for he had no hearty respect for the prophet, though he had been so serviceable to him:

and saved himself there, not once, nor twice; escaped the snares the king of Syria laid for him, not once, nor twice only, but many times.


2 Kings 6:11  11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?”

   YLT  11And the heart of the king of Aram is tossed about concerning this thing, and he calleth unto his servants, and saith unto them, `Do ye not declare to me who of us [is] for the king of Israel?'

Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing,.... There was as it were a storm in his breast, as the word signifies; he was like a troubled sea, tossed with tempests, exceeding uneasy in his mind, fretting at the disappointment he met with time after time:

and he called his servants, and said unto them, will ye not show me which of us is for the king of Israel? he suspected that some one of his counsellors was in the interest of the king of Israel, and betrayed his secrets to him, which was the cause of his disappointments.


2 Kings 6:12  12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”

   YLT  12And one of his servants saith, `Nay, my lord, O king, for Elisha the prophet, who [is] in Israel, declareth to the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in the inner part of thy bed-chamber.'

And one of his servants said, none, my lord, O king,.... He believed everyone of his counsellors were true and faithful to him:

but Elisha the prophet, that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber; what is said in the most private place, and in the most secret manner: this man had heard much of Elisha, by Naaman, very probably; or perhaps he had attended him in his journey to Israel for a cure, and so might have personal knowledge of Elisha, and be acquainted with the affair of Gehazi; from whence he concluded, that he, who had the thoughts of men revealed to him, had knowledge of their words and counsels, though ever so secret; see Ecclesiastes 10:20.


2 Kings 6:13  13 So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.” And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in Dothan.”

   YLT  13And he saith, `Go ye and see where he [is], and I send and take him;' and it is declared to him, saying, `Lo -- in Dothan.'

And he said, go, and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him,.... But how could he expect to take him, who could give the king of Israel such intelligence of his designs against him, that he might escape his snares?

and it was told him, saying, behold, he is in Dothan; a city in the tribe of Manasseh, not far from Shechem; see Genesis 37:17.


2 Kings 6:14  14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city.

   YLT  14And he sendeth thither horses and chariot, and a heavy force, and they come in by night, and go round against the city.

Therefore sent he thither horses and chariots, and a great host,.... To terrify the inhabitants from attempting to defend the prophet, but deliver him up at once:

and they came by night; that they might come upon them unawares, and their design not be discovered, so as to have timely help from Samaria, which was not far off:

and compassed the city about; that the prophet might not make his escape out of it.


2 Kings 6:15  15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”

   YLT  15And the servant of the man of God riseth early, and goeth out, and lo, a force is surrounding the city, and horse and chariot, and his young man saith unto him, `Alas! my lord, how do we do?'

And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth,.... Either out of his master's house, or out of the city upon some business to be done early in the morning; this was not Gehazi, but a new servant:

behold, an host compassed the city, both with horses and chariots; which he could see at the door of his master's house, the city being built upon an eminence; or which he perceived, as soon as he came out of the gates of the city, or was about so to do:

and his servant said unto him; Elisha being with him; or else he returned to his master on the sight of such an army, and not being able to go forward:

alas, my master! how shall we do? to get out of the city, and through this host, and proceed on our intended journey; and if he understood that the intention of this formidable host was to take his master, his concern might be the greater; and the more as he was a new servant, and not so well acquainted with his master's being possessed of a power of doing miracles.


2 Kings 6:16  16 So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

   YLT  16And he saith, `Fear not, for more [are] they who [are] with us than they who [are] with them.'

And he answered, fear not, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. Meaning the legions of angels that encamped around them.


2 Kings 6:17  17 And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

   YLT  17And Elisha prayeth, and saith, `Jehovah, open, I pray Thee, his eyes, and he doth see;' and Jehovah openeth the eyes of the young man, and he seeth, and lo, the hill is full of horses and chariots of fire, round about Elisha.

And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see,.... Not the eyes of his body, which were not shut nor blinded, but the eyes of his mind; or, in other words, grant him a vision, represented in so strong a light, as to remove his fears:

and the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw; he had a vision of angels:

and, behold, the mountain; on which the city was built, or one near it:

was full of horses and chariots of fire; angels in this form, as in 2 Kings 2:11, and these were

round about Elisha; being round about the city where he was; or rather so in the vision it was represented to the young man, he saw his master surrounded with horses and chariots of fire, in the utmost safety.


2 Kings 6:18  18 So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

   YLT  18And they come down unto it, and Elisha prayeth unto Jehovah, and saith, `Smite, I pray Thee, this nation with blindness;' and He smiteth them with blindness, according to the word of Elisha.

And when they came down to him,.... The Syrian army, from the hill on which they were first seen, who came down from thence to the bottom of the hill on which the city stood; and whither Elisha came out, in order both to meet them, and proceed on his journey to Samaria:

Elisha prayed unto the Lord, and said, smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness; or "blindnesses"F7בסנורים "in caecitatibus", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. ; with great blindness, such as the men of Sodom were smitten with; the same word is here used as of them, Genesis 19:11.

and he smote them with blindness, according to the word of Elisha; not in such manner that they could discern no object, for then they could not have followed Elisha; but their sight was so altered, that they knew not the objects they saw; they appeared quite otherwise to them than they were; they saw the city, but knew it not to be the same, and Elisha, but knew him not to be the man of God, though they might have some in the host that knew him personally.


2 Kings 6:19  19 Now Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” But he led them to Samaria.

   YLT  19And Elisha saith unto them, `This [is] not the way, nor [is] this the city; come after me, and I lead you unto the man whom ye seek;' and he leadeth them to Samaria.

And Elisha said unto them, this is not the way, neither is this the city,.... Which is an answer to some questions of the Syrians; as, whether this was the way to find the prophet Elisha, and this the city in which he was to be found? and he answers most truly, though ambiguously, that the way they were in, and in which should they proceed, was not the way, nor this the city, in which he was to be found, because he was come out of it, and was going to Samaria:

follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek; as he did: but he led them to Samaria: whither he was going, they being still under that sort of blindness with which they were smitten; otherwise they would have known the country better than to have been led thither.


2 Kings 6:20  20 So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria!

   YLT  20And it cometh to pass, at their coming in to Samaria, that Elisha saith, `Jehovah, open the eyes of these, and they see;' and Jehovah openeth their eyes, and they see, and lo, in the midst of Samaria!

And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see,.... So as to know where they were:

and the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw, and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria; the gates being thrown open for them, and they led into the very heart of the city; for, no doubt, Elisha sent his servant before, to acquaint the king of Israel with what he was doing; who got a sufficient number of armed men to enclose them, and fall upon them, when put into his hands, as appears by what follows.


2 Kings 6:21  21 Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?

   YLT  21And the king of Israel saith unto Elisha, at his seeing them, `Do I smite -- do I smite -- my father?'

And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them,.... The Syrian army thus in his hands:

my father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them? he speaks with great reverence and respect to the prophet, whom at other times he neglected and despised; and the repetition of his words shows the eagerness of his mind to fall upon his enemy when they where at a disadvantage.


2 Kings 6:22  22 But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.”

   YLT  22And he saith, `Thou dost not smite; those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow art thou smiting? set bread and water before them, and they eat, and drink, and go unto their lord.'

And he answered, thou shalt not smite them,.... For they were not his, but the prophet's captives, or rather the Lord's:

wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? when soldiers are made prisoners of war, it is contrary to humanity, to the laws of nature and nations, to kill them in cold blood, and much more those who were taken not by his sword and bow, but by the power and providence of God:

set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master; the king of Syria, and report the miracles wrought, and the good usage they met with, when in the hand of an enemy, fed and let go; which would be more to the glory of the God of Israel, and more agreeable to the character of a king of Israel, reckoned merciful, and more serviceable to the civil good of the land of Israel, as well as more to the honour of the prophet and true religion, see Romans 12:20.


2 Kings 6:23  23 Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel.

   YLT  23And he prepareth for them great provision, and they eat and drink, and he sendeth them away, and they go unto their lord: and troops of Aram have not added any more to come in to the land of Israel.

And he prepared great provision for them,.... Or a great feast, as the Targum; so obedient was he to the prophet's orders:

and when they had eaten and drank; and refreshed themselves, which they needed, having marched all night and that morning from place to place:

he sent them away; that is, the king of Israel dismissed them:

and they went to their master; the king of Syria, but without the prophet Elisha they were sent to fetch:

so the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel; not as yet, or for some time; or rather the sense is, that the Syrians came not any more in small bodies, as troops of robbers making excursions, and carrying off booty in a private manner, and by surprise; but afterwards came with a large army in an open hostile manner, as follows.


2 Kings 6:24  24 And it happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria.

   YLT  24And it cometh to pass afterwards, that Ben-Hadad king of Aram gathereth all his camp, and goeth up, and layeth siege to Samaria,

And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host,.... Still retaining a grudge and enmity against Israel, and not at all softened by the kind and humane treatment his forces had met with, when in the hands of Israel; and finding he could do nothing in a secret way, by ambush, mustered all his forces together, to try what he could by open war:

and went up, and besieged Samaria; Jehoram king of Israel not being able to stop him till he came to his capital, which he laid close siege to.


2 Kings 6:25  25 And there was a great famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver.

   YLT  25and there is a great famine in Samaria, and lo, they are laying siege to it, till the head of an ass is at eighty silverlings, and a forth of the cab of dovesdung at five silverlings.

And there was a great famine in Samaria,.... No care, perhaps, having been taken to lay up stores against a siege:

and, behold, they besieged it until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver; shekels, as the Targum explains the word in the next clause, which amounted to about nine or ten pounds of our money; a great price for the head of such a creature, by law unclean, its flesh disagreeable, and of that but very little, as is on an head:

and the fourth part of a cab of doves' dung for five pieces of silver; some of the Jewish writers sayF8R. Jonah in Ben Melech, Kimchi & Abarbinel in loc. , this was bought for fuel, which was scarce: Josephus saysF9Antiqu. l. 9. c. 4. sect. 4. , for salt, and so Procopious Gazaeus, and Theodoret; others, for dunging the lands, which is the use of it in PersiaF11Universal History, vol. 5. p. 90. for melons; neither of which are probable; most certainly it was for food; but as doves' dung must be not only disagreeable, but scarce affording any nourishment, something else must be meant; some have thought that the grains found in their crops, or in their excrements, undigested, and picked out, are meant; and others, their crops or craws themselves, or entrails; but BochartF12Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 1. c. 7. col. 44, &c. is of opinion, that a sort of pulse is meant, as lentiles or vetches, much the same with the kali or parched corn used in Israel, see 1 Samuel 17:17 and a recent travellerF13Shaw's Travels, p. 140. observes, that the leblebby of the Arabs is very probably the kali, or parched pulse, of the Scriptures, and has been taken for the pigeons' dung mentioned at the siege of Samaria; and indeed as the "cicer" (a sort of peas or pulse) is pointed at one end, and acquires an ash colour by parching, the first of which circumstances answers to the figure, the other to the usual colour of pigeons' dung, the supposition is by no means to be disregarded: a "cab" was a measure with the Jews, which held the quantity of twenty four egg shells; according to GodwinF14Moses & Aaron, B. 6. c. 9. , it answered to our quart, so that a fourth part was half a pint; and half a pint of these lentiles, or vetches, or parched pulse, was sold for eleven or twelve shillings.


2 Kings 6:26  26 Then, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!”

   YLT  26And it cometh to pass, the king of Israel is passing by on the wall, and a woman hath cried unto him, saying, `Save, my lord, O king.'

And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, &c. To spy out the motion and situation of the enemy, and to give orders for the annoyance of them, and to see that his soldiers did their duty:

there cried a woman to him, saying, help, my lord, O king; desired his assistance and help in a cause depending between her and another woman.


2 Kings 6:27  27 And he said, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?”

   YLT  27And he saith, `Jehovah doth not save thee -- whence do I save thee? out of the threshing-floor, or out of the wine-vat?'

And he said, if the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee?.... Mistaking her meaning, as if she prayed him to relieve her hunger; the margin of our Bible is, "let not the Lord save thee"; and so some understand it as a wish that she might perish; and so JosephusF15Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 9. c. 4. sect. 4.) , that being wroth, he cursed her in the name of God:

out of the barn floor, or out of the winepress? when neither of them afforded anything; no corn was to be had from the one, nor wine from the other, no, not for his own use, and therefore how could he help her out of either?


2 Kings 6:28  28 Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’

   YLT  28And the king saith to her, `What -- to thee?' and she saith, `This woman said unto me, Give thy son, and we eat him to-day, and my son we eat to-morrow;

And the king said unto her, what aileth thee?.... His passion subsiding, or pitying her as in distress, and supposing that there might be something particular and pressing in her case:

and she answered:

this woman said unto me; who was now with her, and to whom she pointed:

give thy son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow; and this was agreed to between them, that first one should be eaten, and then the other, and that they should feed upon one as long as it would last, and then on the other; for it is not to be limited precisely to a day and tomorrow.


2 Kings 6:29  29 So we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.”

  YLT  29and we boil my son and eat him, and I say unto her on the next day, Give thy son, and we eat him; and she hideth her son.'

So we boiled my son, and did eat him,.... Thus what was predicted, by way of threatening, began to be accomplished, Deuteronomy 28:53; see Gill on Deuteronomy 28:53, and of which there were other instances of a like kind at the siege of Jerusalem, both by Nebuchadnezzar and Vespasian:

and I said unto her on the next day; after her child had been wholly ate up:

give thy son, that we may eat him; according to agreement:

and she hath hid her son; either to save him alive, or to eat him herself alone.


2 Kings 6:30  30 Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he tore his clothes; and as he passed by on the wall, the people looked, and there underneath he had sackcloth on his body.

   YLT  30And it cometh to pass, at the king's hearing the words of the woman, that he rendeth his garments, and he is passing by on the wall, and the people see, and lo, the sackcloth [is] on his flesh within.

And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes,.... At the horror of the fact reported, and through grief that his people were brought into such distress through famine:

and he passed by upon the wall; returning to his palace:

and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth upon his flesh; which, in token of humiliation for averting the calamities he was under, he had put there before, and now was seen through the rending of his clothes.


2 Kings 6:31  31 Then he said, “God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!”

   YLT  31And he saith, `Thus doth God do to me, and thus He doth add -- if it remain -- the head of Elisha son of Shaphat -- upon him this day.'

Then he said, God do so and more also to me,.... He swore and made dreadful imprecations:

if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day; imputing the sore famine to him, because he had foretold it, and did not pray for the removal of it, as he might; and perhaps had advised and encouraged the king to hold out the siege, which had brought them to this extremity, and therefore was enraged at him.


2 Kings 6:32  32 But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man ahead of him, but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent someone to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?”

   YLT  32And Elisha is sitting in his house, and the elders are sitting with him, and [the king] sendeth a man from before him; before the messenger doth come unto him, even he himself said unto the elders, `Have ye seen that this son of the murderer hath sent to turn aside my head? see, at the coming in of the messenger, shut the door, and ye have held him fast at the door, is not the sound of the feet of his lord behind him?'

And Elisha sat in his house,.... In Samaria:

and the elders sat with him; not the elders of the city, or the magistrates thereof, but his disciples, as Josephus saysF16Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 9. c. 4. sect. 4.) , the eldest of them, whom he admitted to greater familiarity and converse with him:

and the king sent a man from before him; to execute what he had sworn should be done that day to the prophet:

but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, see ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? which he knew by a spirit of prophecy, and spoke of it before the executioner came; he calls Joram the son of a murderer, because of his mother Jezebel, who killed Naboth, and the prophets of the Lord, and to which his father Ahab also consented, and therefore might be so called too; and he intimates hereby that he was of the same temper and disposition, and as the above oath, and his orders, showed:

look when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door; and not suffer him to come in:

is not the sound of his master's feet behind him? that is, of Joram king of Israel, who followed the messenger, either to listen and hear what the prophet would say unto him; or repenting of his order, as JosephusF17Ibid. thinks, he followed him to prevent the execution.


2 Kings 6:33  33 And while he was still talking with them, there was the messenger, coming down to him; and then the king said, “Surely this calamity is from the Lord; why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”

   YLT  33He is yet speaking with them, and lo, the messenger is coming down unto him, and he saith, `Lo, this [is] the evil from Jehovah: what -- do I wait for Jehovah any more?'

And while he yet talked with them,.... Elisha with the elders:

behold, the messenger came down unto him; sent by the king:

and he said; either the messenger in the king's name, or rather the king, who was at his heels, and came to the door before the messenger was let in, who was detained; and therefore it is most probable the king went in first; for that was the intention of Elisha in holding the messenger, not to save his own life, but that the king, who was following, might hear what he had to say; and whom he advised to wait for the Lord, and his appearance, for deliverance: in answer to which he said:

behold, this evil is of the Lord, what should I wait for the Lord any longer? this calamity is from him, and he is determined upon the ruin of my people, and there is no hope; this he said as despairing, and so resolving to hold out the siege no longer.


──John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible