|* II Kings 7
II Kings 7 is a continuation of II Kings 6; whereas, the Capital City of House of Israel, Samaria, is on the midst of a major famine. This famine is happening because Father sent king Ben-Hadad II of Syria to besiege the city in order to try and get king Jehoram's attention, to turn him away from honoring, serving and worshiping false gods and idols, and causing his people to do the same.
In II Kings 6 we read that this famine was so bad; that, the head of a mule was selling for 80 pieces of silver and a quarter of a quart of dove's dung was selling for 5 pieces of silver. It had even gotten so bad that, two women who had been friends, were no longer so because, one woman had proposed to the second that, since they were so hungry, in order to stave off their hunger, they boil the second woman's son and eat him; and then, the next day they would boil the first woman's son and eat him. The second woman agreed to the proposal, slew her son and boiled him, and the two ate his dead carcass; however, on the next day when they were to boil and eat the first woman's son, she hid him in order to not kill her son. This angered the second woman and when she saw the king out and about in his kingdom shortly thereafter, she cried out to him bewailing what had happened. This angered the king and the Chapter closed with Jehoram going to see Father's prophet Elisha in order to slay him, as he—Jehoram—had sworn to the people of Samaria that he would do so. See, in Jehoram's mind this entire famine was Elisha and Father YHVH'S fault and not his own; and, by killing Elisha, the famine would end and things would improve in Israel.
This chapter opens with Jehoram arriving at Elisha's door and Elisha addressing the king.
With that introduction being said, let's go to Father and ask Him for His Blessings on our Study of His Word: "Father, we come to you right now to thank you for inviting us to Your table in order that we might be able to partake of and receive Your Spiritual Meat, and Father, as we prepare to dine on the sustenance which sustains our inner man, we ask that You O LORD open our ears and eyes, that we might be able to hear and see your Truths, open our hearts and minds and prepare us in order that we may receive Your Truth. We Pray for Your understanding of Your Word, we seek Your knowledge in Your Word and most importantly Father, we Pray for and desire Your Wisdom from Your Word, in Jesus' Precious name we Pray, thank You Father, Amen."
I Kings 22:51-II Kings 8:15 ISRAEL. (Introversion.)
II Kings 3:1-8:18 Joram.
II Kings 6:24-7:20 Famine. Miraculous supplies.
II Kings 6:24-7:20 FAMINE IN SAMARIA. (Alternation.)
II Kings 7:1 Prediction of supply.
II Kings 7:1 Then Elisha said, “Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, ‘To morrow about this time shall a measure (a "se'ah," in Hebrew, or about 1 peck) of fine flour be sold for a shekel (about 10 Greek drams, or about 3.41 grams), and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria (watch mountain; or, watch station).’ ” -> Elisha is replying to Jehoram who—if you'll recall from the last verse from the previous chapter—said to him, ""Behold, this evil is of the LORD; what should I wait for the LORD any longer?";" and, what is transpiring here; is, that, he is telling Jehoram that by this time tomorrow, both fine flour and barley will be plentiful enough to where both their prices plummet back down to their normal prices, and will be available for sale in abundance in the market, or in other words, at the gate of the city, which was also where court was held.
Samaria=“This city is situated 30 miles north of Jerusalem and about six miles to the northwest of Shechem, in a wide basin-shaped valley, six miles in diameter, encircled with high hills, almost on the edge of the great plain which borders upon the Mediterranean. In the centre of this basin, which is on a lower level than the valley of Shechem, rises a less elevated hill, with steep yet accessible sides and a long fiat top. This hill was chosen by Omri as the site of the capital of the kingdom of Israel. He "bought the hill of Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of the owner of the hill, Samaria" I Kings 16:23,24. From the time of Omri's purchase, Samaria retained its dignity as the capital of the ten tribes, and the name is given to the northern kingdom as well as to the city. Ahab built a temple to Baal there I kings 16:32,33. It was twice besieged by the Syrians, I kings 20:1, II Kings 6:24-27; II Kings 6:20, but on both occasions the siege was ineffectual. The possessor of Samaria was considered facto king of Israel II Kings 15:13, 14. Samaria was taken after a siege of three years, by Shalmaneser king of Assyria II Kings 18:9, 10, and the kingdom of the ten tribes was put an end to. Some years afterward the district of which Samaria was the centre was repeopled by Esarhaddon. Alexander the Great took the city, killed a large portion of the inhabitants, and suffered the remainder to set it at Shechem. He replaced them by a colony of Syro-Macedonians who occupied the city until the time of John Hyrcanus, who took it after a year's siege, and did his best to demolish it entirely. It was rebuilt and greatly embellished by Herod the Great. He called it Sebaste=Augusta, after the name of his patron, Augustus Caesar. The wall around it was 2 1/2 miles long, and in the centre of the city was a park 900 feet square containing a magnificent temple dedicated to Caesar. In the New Testament the city itself does not appear to be mentioned; but rather a portion of the district to which, even in older times it had extended its name Matthew 10:5; John 4:4,5. At this clay the city is represented by a small village retaining few vestiges of the past except its name, Sebustiyeh, an Arabic corruption of Sebaste. Some architectural remains it has, partly of Christian construction or adaptation, as the ruined church of St. John the Baptist, partly, perhaps, traces of Idumaean magnificence, St. Jerome, whose acquaintance with Palestine imparts a sort of probability to the tradition which prevailed so strongly in later days, asserts that Sebaste, which he invariably identifies with Samaria was the place in which St. John the Baptist was imprisoned and suffered death. He also makes it the burial-place of the prophets Elisha and Obadiah.”.
7:2 Prediction of supply.
II Kings 7:2 Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, “Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?” And he said, “Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.” -> After hearing what Elisha said to king Jehoram concerning Father restoring the food supplies so that there would no longer be a famine, one of the king's servants upon whom the Jehoram rested his hand, replied quite contemptuously to Elisha, saying in effect that, "even if Father opened the windows of heaven, what you have said Elisha, still would not come to pass." This servant’s expression was a mocking of Genesis 7:11, which reads: Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. -> This servant was saying to Elisha, "I suppose that you are going to have some sort of a religious miracle, and have a flood of food from YHVH?"
After being spoken to so disdainfully, Elisha replied to this servant of the king’s that, “it’s going to happen, and you will even witness it with your own two eyes; however, you will not eat any of those Blessings from Father.” Brethren, when Father says something through one of His prophets, as written in His Word, you can take it to the bank that it will come to pass exactly as Father said it would. Never, I say again, never mock our Father, otherwise your own words will come back down upon your own head, and in most cases, it’ll be two-fold.
We change direction beginning in the next verse, leaving off in this discourse between Elisha and king Jehoram, and now turn our attention to four leprous men who are also enduring this famine in Samaria.
7:3-15 Famine. Relieved.
7:3-15 FAMINE RELIEVED. (Division.)
7:3-11 Discovery by lepers.
7:3-11 DISCOVERY BY LEPERS. (Alternation.)
II Kings 7:3 And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, “Why sit we here until we die? -> These four men were just outside the city gate in their leprous camp starving; remember, being unclean, lepers were not allowed in the city. So, they’re sitting there just looking at each other and trying to decide what to do concerning their current situation; when, one of the men said to the other three, “what are we just sitting here dying of starvation for.”
Leprous=From the Smith's Bible Dictionary “The predominant and characteristic form of leprosy in the Old Testament is a white variety, covering either the entire body or a large tract of its surface, which has obtained the name of Lepra mosaica . Such were the cases of Moses, Miriam, Naaman and Gehazi Exodus 4:6; Numbers 12:10; and II Kings 5:1,27, and with which we can compare with Leviticus 13:13. But, remarkably enough, in the Mosaic ritual diagnosis of the disease Leviticus 13:1 and Leviticus 14:1, this kind, when overspreading the whole surface, appears to be regarded as "clean" Leviticus 13:12,13,16,17. The Egyptian bondage, with its studied degradations and privations, and especially the work of the kiln under an Egyptian sun, must have had a frightful tendency to generate this class of disorders. The sudden and total change of food, air, dwelling and mode of life, caused by the exodus, to this nation of newly-emancipated slaves, may possibly have had a further tendency to produce skin disorders, and severe repressive measures may have been required in the desert-moving camp to secure the public health or to allay the panic of infection. Hence it is possible that many, perhaps most, of this repertory of symptoms may have disappeared with the period of the exodus, and the snow-white form, which had pre-existed, may alone have ordinarily continued in a later age. The principal morbid features are a rising or swelling, a scab or baldness, and a bright or white spot Leviticus 13:2. But, especially a white swelling in the skin, with a change of the hair of the part from the natural black to white or yellow Leviticus 13:3,4,10,25,30, or an appearance of a taint going "deeper than the skin," or, again, "raw flesh" appearing in the swelling Leviticus 13:10,14,15, was a critical sign of pollution. The tendency to spread seems especially to have been relied on. A spot most innocent in other respects, if it "spread much abroad," was unclean; whereas, as before remarked, the man so wholly overspread with the evil that it could find no further range was on the contrary "clean" Leviticus 13:12,13. These two opposite criteria seem to show that whilst the disease manifested activity, the Mosaic law imputed pollution to and imposed segregation on the suffered, but that the point at which it might be viewed as having run its course was the signal for his readmission to communion. It is clear that the leprosy of Levi 13,14 means any severe disease spreading on the surface of the body in the way described, and so shocking of aspect, or so generally suspected of infection, that public feeling called for separation. It is now undoubted that the "leprosy" of modern Syria, and which has a wide range in Spain, Greece and Norway, is the Elephantiasis graecorum . It is said to have been brought home by the crusaders into the various countries of western and northern Europe. It certainly was not the distinctive white leprosy, nor do any of the described symptoms in Levi 13 point to elephantiasis. "White as snow" II Kings 5:27, would be a inapplicable to elephantiasis as to small-pox. There remains a curious question as regards the leprosy of garments and houses. Some have though garments worn by leprous patients intended. This classing of garments and house-walls with the human epidermis, as leprous, has moved the mirth of some and the wonder of others. Yet modern science has established what goes far to vindicate the Mosaic classification as more philosophical than such cavils. It is now known that there are some skin diseases which originate in an acarus, and others which proceed from a fungus. In these we may probably find the solution of the paradox. The analogy between the insect which frets the human skin and that which frets the garment that covers it --between the fungous growth that lines the crevices of the epidermis and that which creeps in the interstices of masonry --is close enough for the purposes of a ceremonial law. It is manifest also that a disease in the human subject caused by an acarus or by a fungus would be certainly contagious, since the propagative cause could be transferred from person to person. (Geikie in his "Life of Christ" says: "Leprosy signifies smiting , because it was supposed to be a direct visitation of Heaven. It began with little specks on the eyelids and on the palms of the hands, and gradually spread over different parts of the body, bleaching the hair white wherever it showed itself, crusting the affected parts with shining scales, and causing swellings and sores. From the skin it slowly ate its way through the tissues, to the bones and joints, and even to the marrow, rotting the whole body piecemeal. The lungs, the organs of speech and hearing, and the eyes, were attacked in turn, till at last consumption or dropsy brought welcome death. The dread of infection kept men aloof from the sufferer; and the law proscribed him as above all men unclean. The disease was hereditary to the fourth generation." Leprosy in the United States. --The Medical Record , February, 1881, states that from the statistics collected by the Dermatological Society it appears that there are between fifty and one hundred lepers in the United States at present. Is modern leprosy contagious? --Dr. H.S. Piffard of New York, in the Medical Record , February, 1881, decides that it is in a modified degree contagious. "A review of the evidence led to the conclusion that this disease was not contagious by ordinary contact; but it may be transmitted by the blood and secretions. A recent writer, Dr. Bross, a Jesuit missionary attached to the lazaretto at Trinidad, takes the ground that the disease in some way or other is transmissible. It is a well-established fact that when leprosy has once gained for itself a foothold in any locality, it is apt to remain there and spread. The case of the Sandwich Islands illustrates the danger. Forty years ago the disease did not exits there; now one-tenth of the inhabitants are lepers." This is further confirmed by the fact stated by Dr. J. Hutchinson, F.R.S., that "We find that nearly everywhere the disease is most common on the seashore, and that, when it spreads inland, it generally occurs on the shores of lakes or along the course of large rivers." Leprosy as a type of sin. -- "Being the worst form of disease, leprosy was fixed upon by God to be the especial type of sin, and the injunctions regarding it had reference to its typical character." It was (1) hereditary; (2) contagious; (3) ever tending to increase; (4) incurable except by the power of God; (5) a shame and disgrace; (6) rendering one alone in the world; (7) deforming, unclean; (8) "separating the soul from God, producing spiritual death; unfitting it forever for heaven and the company of the holy, and insuring its eternal banishment, as polluted and abominable"; and (9) another point is referred to by Thompson (in "The Land and the Book"): "Some, as they look on infancy, reject with horror the thought that sin exists within. But so might any one say who looked upon the beautiful babe in the arms of a leprous mother. But time brings forth the fearful malady. New-born babes of leprous parents are often as pretty and as healthy in appearance as any; but by and by its presence and workings become visible in some of the signs described in the thirteenth chapter of Leviticus." --ED.)”, and now from the Easton's Bible Dictionary “(Heb. tsara'ath, a "smiting," a "stroke," because the disease was regarded as a direct providential infliction). This name is from the Greek lepra, by which the Greek physicians designated the disease from its scaliness. We have the description of the disease, as well as the regulations connected with it, in Leviticus 13; 14; Numbers 12:10-15, etc. There were reckoned six different circumstances under which it might develop itself, (1) without any apparent cause Leviticus 13:2-8; (2) its reappearance Leviticus 13:9-17; (3) from an inflammation Leviticus 13:18-28; (4) on the head or chin Leviticus 13:29-37; (5) in white polished spots Leviticus 13:38-39; (6) at the back or in the front of the head Leviticus 13:40-44. Lepers were required to live outside the camp or city Numbers 5:1-4; 12:10-15, etc.. This disease was regarded as an awful punishment from the Lord II Kings 5:7; II Chronicles 26:20. (See Miriam Numbers 12; Gehazi II Kings 5:21-27; and Uzziah II Chronicles 26:19.) This disease "begins with specks on the eyelids and on the palms, gradually spreading over the body, bleaching the hair white wherever they appear, crusting the affected parts with white scales, and causing terrible sores and swellings. From the skin the disease eats inward to the bones, rotting the whole body piecemeal." "In Christ's day no leper could live in a walled town, though he might in an open village. But wherever he was he was required to have his outer garment rent as a sign of deep grief, to go bareheaded, and to cover his beard with his mantle, as if in lamentation at his own virtual death. He had further to warn passers-by to keep away from him, by calling out, 'Unclean! unclean!' nor could he speak to any one, or receive or return a salutation, since in the East this involves an embrace." That the disease was not contagious is evident from the regulations regarding it Leviticus 13:12; Leviticus 13:13; Leviticus 13:26; II Kings 5:1. Leprosy was "the outward and visible sign of the innermost spiritual corruption; a meet emblem in its small beginnings, its gradual spread, its internal disfigurement, its dissolution little by little of the whole body, of that which corrupts, degrades, and defiles man's inner nature, and renders him unmeet to enter the presence of a pure and holy God" (Maclear's Handbook O.T). Our Lord cured lepers Matthew 8:2,3; Mark 1:40-42. This divine power so manifested illustrates his gracious dealings with men in curing the leprosy of the soul, the fatal taint of sin.”.
II Kings 7:4 If we say, ‘We will enter into the city,’ then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.” -> So, they're sitting in the leprous camp contemplating what to do, and their thought process is somewhere along these lines: enter into Samaria, which—being lepers—they're forbidden to do, and also, even if they break the rules and enter into the city, if the famine is still proceeding forth, then, they'll die; and if they just sit in the leprous camp, they'll die; so, they throw themselves at the mercy of the Syrian army and if the army doesn't outright kill, then they'll live and be fed, however, if the Syrian army kills them, it'll be a quick death, rather than a slow agonizing death.
7:5-8 Discovery. Made.
II Kings 7:5 And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria (the highland), behold, there was no man there. -> Their minds are made up and the decision is made, they'll throw themselves at the mercy of the Syrians; so, just after dusk they pick themselves up and head on out to the camp of the Syrian army; however, once they arrive at the camp, much to their surprise—which, as we'll see in a little bit, will turn to joy—they find that there are no guards posted at the perimeter and upon their entering into the camp, it is completely deserted.
How did it come to be that this camp was abandoned? Because Father made it so in order that He bring His Plan and His Will to pass. He’ll use the very lowest of humanity—these four lepers—to go off and seek refuge in the enemy camp where they'll be eyewitnesses to the work which He has done; then, these four lepers will go and tell the Israelites of their discovery.
Syria=“Is the term used throughout our version for the Hebrew Aram , as well as for the Greek Zupia . Most probably Syria is for Tsyria, the country about Tsur or Tyre which was the first of the Syrian towns known to the Greeks. It is difficult to fix the limits of Syria. The limits of the Hebrew Aram and its subdivisions are spoken of under ARAM. Syria proper was bounded by Amanus and Taurus on the north by the Euphrates and the Arabian desert on the east, by Palestine on the south, by the Mediterranean near the mouth of the Orontes, and then by Phoenicia on the west. This tract is about 300 miles long from north to south, and from 50 to 150 miles broad. It contains an area of about 30,000 square miles. General physical features. --The general character of the tract is mountainous, as the Hebrew name Aram (from a roof signifying "height") sufficiently implies. The most fertile and valuable tract of Syria is the long valley intervening between Libanus and Anti-Libanus. Of the various mountain ranges of Syria, Lebanon possesses the greatest interest. It extends from the mouth of the Litany to Arka, a distance of nearly 100 miles. Anti-Libanus, as the name implies, stands lover against Lebanon, running in the same direction, i.e. nearly north and south, and extending the same length. [LEBANON] The principal rivers of Syria are the Litany and the Orontes. The Litany springs from a small lake situated in the middle of the Coele-Syrian valley, about six miles to the southwest of Baalbek. It enters the sea about five miles north of Tyre. The source of the Orontes is but about 15 miles from that of the Litany. Its modern name is the Nahr-el-Asi, or "rebel stream," an appellation given to it on account of its violence and impetuosity in many parts of its course. The chief towns of Syria may be thus arranged, as nearly as possible in the order of their importance: 1, Antioch; 2, Damascus; 3, Apamea; 4, Seleucia; 5, Tadmor or Palmyra; 6, Laodicea; 7, Epiphania (Hamath); 8, Samosata; 9, Hierapolis (Mabug); 10, Chalybon; 11, Emesa; 12, Heliopolis; 13, Laodicea ad Libanum; 14, Cyrrhus; 15, Chalcis; 16, Poseideum; 17, Heraclea; 18, Gindarus; 19, Zeugma; 20, Thapsacus. Of these, Samosata, Zeugma and Thapsacus are on the Euphrates; Seleucia, Laodicea, Poseideum and Heraclea, on the seashore, Antioch, Apamea, Epiphania and Emesa ( Hems ), on the Orontes; Heliopolis and Laodicea ad Libanum, in Coele-Syria; Hierapolis, Chalybon, Cyrrhus, Chalcis and Gindarns, in the northern highlands; Damascus on the skirts, and Palmyra in the centre, of the eastern desert. History. -- The first occupants of Syria appear to have been of Hamitic descent --Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, etc. After a while the first comers, who were still to a great extent nomads, received a Semitic infusion, while most Probably came to them from the southeast. The only Syrian town whose existence we find distinctly marked at this time is Damascus Genesis 14:15; 15:2, which appears to have been already a place of some importance. Next to Damascus must be placed Hamath Numbers 13:21; 34:8. Syria at this time, and for many centuries afterward, seems to have been broken up among a number of petty kingdoms. The Jews first come into hostile contact with the Syrians, under that name, in the time of David Genesis 15:18; II Samuel 8:3,4,13. When, a few years later, the Ammonites determined on engaging in a war with David, and applied to the Syrians for aid, Zolah, together with Beth-rehob sent them 20,000 footmen, and two other Syrian kingdoms furnished 13,000 II Samuel 10:6. This army being completely defeated by Joab, Hadadezer obtained aid from Mesopotamia, ibid. ver. 16, and tried the chance of a third battle, which likewise went against him, and produced the general submission of Syria to the Jewish monarch. The submission thus begun continued under the reign of Solomon I Kings 4:21. The only part of Syria which Solomon lost seems to have been Damascus, where an independent kingdom was set up by Rezon, a native of Zobah I Kings 11:23-25. On the separation of the two kingdoms, soon after the accession of Rehoboam, the remainder of Syria no doubt shook off the yoke. Damascus now became decidedly the leading state, Hamath being second to it, and the northern Hittites, whose capital was Carchemish, near Bambuk , third. [DAMASCUS] Syria became attached to the great Assyrian empire, from which it passed to the Babylonians, and from them to the Persians, In B.C. 333 it submitted to Alexander without a struggle. Upon the death of Alexander, Syria became, for the first time the head of a great kingdom. On the division of the provinces among his generals, B.C. 321, Seleucus Nicator received Mesopotamia and Syria. The city of Antioch was begun in B.C. 300, and, being finished in a few years, was made the capital of Seleucus' kingdom. The country grew rich with the wealth which now flowed into it on all sides. Syria was added to the Roman empire by Pompey, B.C. 64, and as it holds an important place, not only in the Old Testament but in the New, some account of its condition under the Romans must be given. While the country generally was formed into a Roman province, under governors who were at first proprietors or quaestors, then procounsuls, and finally legates, there were exempted from the direct rule of the governor in the first place, a number of "free cities" which retained the administration of their own affairs, subject to a tribute levied according to the Roman principles of taxation; secondly, a number of tracts, which were assigned to petty princes, commonly natives, to be ruled at their pleasure, subject to the same obligations with the free cities as to taxation. After the formal division of the provinces between Augustus and the senate, Syria, being from its exposed situation among the province principis, were ruled by legates, who were of consular rank (consulares) and bore severally the full title of "Legatus Augusti pro praetore." Judea occupied a peculiar position; a special procurator was therefore appointed to rule it, who was subordinate to the governor of Syria, but within his own province had the power of a legatus. Syria continued without serious disturbance from the expulsion of the Parthians, B.C. 38, to the breaking out of the Jewish war, A.D. 66. in A.D. 44-47 it was the scene of a severe famine. A little earlier, Christianity had begun to spread into it, partly by means of those who "were scattered" at the time of Stephen's persecution Acts 11:19, partly by the exertions of St. Paul Galatians 1:21. The Syrian Church soon grew to be one of the most flourishing Acts 13:1; 15:23, 35, 41 etc. (Syria remained under Roman and Byzantine rule till A.D. 634, when it was overrun by the Mohammedans; after which it was for many years the scene of fierce contests, and was finally subjugated by the Turks, A.D. 1517, under whose rule it still remains. --ED.).”
II Kings 7:6 For the LORD* had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, “Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.” -> So, sometime during the night prior to these 4 leprous men arriving at the Syrian camp, Father caused some of His children, i.e., the Syrians,—by putting it in their minds—to hear the sound of many horses and chariots, and a vast army charging toward their camp, and out of fear for their lives, they scattered into the wind thinking that Jehoram had hired both the Hittites and the Egyptians to come and wage war against them; and when the 4 leprous men arrived, they found the camp completely deserted.
*=“This is one of the 134 places wherein the sopherim inserted, or substituted “Adonai” for YHVH. Adonai is the LORD in His relation to the earth; and as carrying out His purposes of blessing in the earth. With this limitation it is almost equivalent to YHVH. Indeed, it was from an early date so used, by associating the vowel points of the word YHVH with Adon, thus converting Adon into Adonai. A list of 134 passages where this was deliberately done is preserved and given in the Massorah (107-115) see Dr. Bullinger's Companion Bible Appendix 32. I have indicated these by printing the word like YHVH—LORD—but, adding an asterisk, thus: LORD*. See also Dr. Bullinger's Companion Bible Appendix 30.”.
The Kings of the Hittites=The Hittites were divided into several tribes, each with its own king or chief. Their empire extended from the Euphrates to Asia Minor. The Assyrian monuments speak of twelve tribes existing about this time. The Smith's Bible Dictionary has this to say concerning the Hittites “(Descendants of Heth), the nation descended from Cheth (Authorized Version HETH), the second son of Canaan. Abraham bought from the "children of Heth" the field and the cave of Machpelah, belonging to Ephron the Hittite. 'They were then settled at the town which was afterwards, under its new name of Hebron, to become one of the most famous cities of Palestine, and which then bore the name of Kir-jath-arba Genesis 23:19; 25:9. When the Israelites entered the promised land, we find the Hittites taking part against the invader, in equal alliance with the other Canaanite tribes Joshua 9:1; 11:3..
The king of the Egyptians=The same monuments also speak during this date of a large number of names associated with Egypt. The Smith's Bible Dictionary has this to say concerning the Egyptians and Egypt “ (Land of the Copts ), a country occupying the northeast angle of Africa. Its limits appear always to have been very nearly the same. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by Palestine, Arabia and the Red Sea, on the south by Nubia, and on the west by the Great Desert. It is divided into upper Egypt --the valley of the Nile --and lower Egypt, the plain of the Delta, from the Greek letter; it is formed by the branching mouths of the Nile, and the Mediterranean Sea. The portions made fertile by the Nile comprise about 9582 square geographical miles, of which only about 5600 is under cultivation. --Encyc. Brit. The Delta extends about 200 miles along the Mediterranean, and Egypt Isaiah 520 miles long from north to south from the sea to the First Cataract. NAMES. The common name of Egypt in the Bible is "Mizraim." It is in the dual number, which indicates the two natural divisions of the country into an upper and a lower region. The Arabic name of Egypt --Mizr-- signifies "red mud." Egypt is also called in the Bible "the land of Ham" Psalms 105:23,27, with which we can compare with Psalms 78:51. -- A name most probably referring to Ham the son of Noah -- and "Rahab," the proud or insolent: these appear to be poetical appellations. The common ancient Egyptian name of the country is written in hieroglyphics Kem, which was perhaps pronounced Chem. This name signifies, in the ancient language and in Coptic, "black," on account of the blackness of its alluvial soil. We may reasonably conjecture that Kem is the Egyptian equivalent of Ham. GENERAL APPEARANCE, CLIMATE, ETC. -- The general appearance of the country cannot have greatly changed since the days of Moses. The whole country is remarkable for its extreme fertility, which especially strikes the beholder when the rich green of the fields is contrasted with the utterly bare, yellow mountains or the sand-strewn rocky desert on either side. The climate is equable and healthy. Rain is not very unfrequent on the northern coast, but inland is very rare. Cultivation nowhere depends upon it. The inundation of the Nile fertilizes and sustains the country, and makes the river its chief blessing. The Nile was on this account anciently worshipped. The rise begins in Egypt about the summer solstice, and the inundation commences about two months later. The greatest height is attained about or somewhat after the autumnal equinox. The inundation lasts about three months. The atmosphere, except on the seacoast, is remarkably dry and clear, which accounts for the so perfect preservation of the monuments, with their pictures and inscriptions. The heat is extreme during a large part of the year. The winters are mild, -- from 50 degrees.”.
II Kings 7:7 Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. -> Father had put the noise of the horses and chariots into the minds of the Syrian army and before dust had even settled over the mountain tops, they fled for their lives leaving all their animals tied where they were, their fires burning, and all their equipment in their wake. These Syrian soldiers who ran for their lives were not common folk; but, hardened, seasoned warriors; but, as we see, when Father decides to put fear in the heart of a person by supernatural means, He does a darn fine job of it.
After a war is over, historians love to go back in order to try and determine why certain things transpired the way they had. I’m sure those who tried to discover why these men fled, never actually found their answer; but, it is recorded here in Father’s Word that the reason that the Syrians left their camp in such a fright, was because they thought that the Israelites had hired other armed forces to come and assist in their fight with Syria. However, what the Syrians heard was this loud noise which sounded like huge amounts of Chariots and horses coming down upon them. They thought that the king of Israel and his people were weak and starving, and therefore the force which they heard just could not be the Israelites, it had to have been some other force; and in a sense, they were correct.
II Kings 7:8 And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it. -> Finding the camp empty, these four men decide to check out the tents in order to see what kind of things the Syrians left behind, and what do they find? Much silver, gold, and raiment; and, more importantly for them, food and water. So, they take care of the immediate need of eating and drinking, and then start the process of stashing the silver, gold, and articles of clothing. After cleaning out the first tent and moving to the next, and the next.
II Kings 7:9 Then they said one to another, “We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household.” -> It finally dawns on one of them—think again of Father putting it in their mind—that; maybe their keeping this all for themselves isn't quite right, after all, they too have relatives back in Samaria; so, maybe they better go and notify their Israelite masters of their discovery. So, they probably put some of the silver, gold, and raiment back in each of the tents they had completely emptied, and then taken just a little from every tent in the camp in order that they still have their desired quantity, and then went and told the guards in Samaria, thus fulfilling Elisha's prophesy of having enough food whereas both fine flour and barley be available in quantity that it will be back at their normal prices.
7:10 Discovery. Reported.
II Kings 7:10 So they came and called unto the porter of the city: and they told them, saying, “We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were. -> After stashing what they wanted, they then returned to Samaria, stood at the gate and called out to the porter, or Head Gate Guard, and told him to notify whoever he needed to notify of their discovery of finding the Syrian camp completely deserted.
7:11 Discovery. Reported.
II Kings 7:11 And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within. -> After being told of the discovery of and by the four lepers, the Head Guard then sends a messenger to tell the kings Guards in order that they in turn can tell the king.
This is truly good news, and Jehoram should be pleased, first off because he should see with his own eyes that Father does exist and is on His throne and watching over Israel; secondly, that His prophesy through His prophet Elisha is coming to pass exactly as prophesied; and thirdly because his kingdom will no longer be suffering from this famine. However, Jehoram will not accept what he hears with his own ears, and will instead think that the Syrian army is laying a trap for him and Israel.
II Kings 7:12 And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, “I will now shew you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we be hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city.’ ” -> After being given the good news, Jehoram rejects it. Think about that statement for a moment brethren: Jehoram was given "The Good News" and he rejected it; how many people today hear "The Good News - The Gospel" and like Jehoram, they too reject it?
So, anyway, after hearing that the Syrians have completely deserted their camp leaving behind, animals, food, clothing, precious metals and fresh water. The king just knew in his mind that this was nothing more than a trap set by the Syrians, and he that the Syrians knew that because of their siege of Samaria everybody was starving to death, but Jehoram refused to fall for their trap. He knew that when he, his army, and all the starving people fled Samaria in order to go and collect what the Syrians had left behind; then, the Syrians would catch them out in the plain, away from their fortified city within its walls, and in their weakened state, they would slay them all. It didn't matter to Jehoram how bad things had gotten; that the day before the women were even boiling and eating their own children for food, he wasn't going to "fall for their trap."
II Kings 7:13 And one of his servants answered and said, “Let some take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city, (behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it: behold, I say, they are even as all the multitude of the Israelites that are consumed:) and let us send and see.” -> After telling his servants that he would not fall for the Syrians trap; one of his servants then asks Jehoram to allow somebody to take 5 of their starving horses and horsemen and go to the Syrian camp and check things out. After all, what harm would be done by taking 5 of the starving animals, surely the Syrians won't want them and they aren't hearty enough to eat.
That are left...Israelites=These words are not in many of the Codices, or the Septuagint, the Syriac, or the Vulgate; hence, their being in the parenthesis.
II Kings 7:14 They took therefore two chariot horses; and the king sent after the host of the Syrians, saying, “Go and see.” -> Figuring that the servants thought process was sound, Jehoram relented and told his men to take two teams of horses with their chariots and go and spy out the Syrian camp, to also put men up on the wall to watch and see if their passage was safe, or whether the Syrians were waiting for them and then killing them when they were out in the open.
II Kings 7:15 And they went after them unto Jordan (descender): and, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king. -> When the Syrians fled their camp, they had left everything which was not upon their physical body; and now, as these Israelites chariots are hot on their trail, we and they are discovering that the Syrians have now even discarded what they were wearing in order to flee in more haste. There was armor and swords, and all sorts of things which a fighting man would wear and take with him; but now, here was a trail of it scattered all over the place, and when the Israelites saw all that was laying before them, they sent some of their men back to tell their king of their discovery that this was not a trap, the Syrians were fleeing in terror for their lives, and there was a trail of their discarded equipment all the way to the Jordan River.
For the Syrian's part, as the sound of the Israelites chariots—whom the Syrians believed were the Chariots of God—came closer to them, they tried to run even more fast in order to get as far away from them as they could; and, as they went, they were stripping off and discarding everything which would slow them down and prevent their escape.
Jordan=“The one river of Palestine, has a course of little more than 200 miles, from the roots of Anti-Lebanon to the head of the Dead Sea. (136 miles in a straight line. --Schaff.) It is the river of the "great plain" of Palestine --the "descender," if not "the river of God" in the book of Psalms, at least that of his chosen people throughout their history. There were fords over against Jericho, to which point the men of Jericho pursued the spies Joshua 2:7, with which we can compare with Judges 3:28. Higher up where the fords or passages of Bethbarah, where Gideon lay in wait for the Midianites Judges 7:24, and where the men of Gilead slew the Ephraimites Judges 12:6. These fords undoubtedly witnessed the first recorded passage of the Jordan in the Old Testament Genesis 32:10. Jordan was next crossed, over against Jericho, by Joshua Joshua 4:12,13. From their vicinity to Jerusalem the lower fords were much used. David, it is probable, passed over them in one instance to fight the Syrians II Samuel 10:17;17:22. Thus there were two customary places at which the Jordan was fordable; and it must have been at one of these, if not at both, that baptism was afterward administered by St. John and by the disciples of our Lord. Where our Lord was baptized is not stated expressly, but it was probably at the upper ford. These fords were rendered so much more precious in those days from two circumstances. First, it does not appear that there were then any bridges thrown over or boats regularly established on the Jordan; and secondly, because "Jordan overflowed all his banks all the time of harvest" Joshua 3:15. The channel or bed of the river became brimful, so that the level of the water and of the banks was then the same. (Dr. Selah Merrill, in his book "Galilee in the Time of Christ" (1881), says, "Near Tarichaea, just below the point where the Jordan leaves the lake (of Galilee), there was (in Christ's time) a splendid bridge across the river, supported by ten piers." --ED.) The last feature which remains to be noticed in the scriptural account of the Jordan is its frequent mention as a boundary: "over Jordan," "this" and "the other side," or "beyond Jordan," were expressions as familiar to the Israelites as "across the water," "this" and "the other side of the Channel" are to English ears. In one sense indeed, that is, in so far as it was the eastern boundary of the land of Canaan, it was the eastern boundary of the promised land Numbers 34:12. The Jordan rises from several sources near Panium (Banias ), and passes through the lakes of Merom (Huleh) and Gennesaret. The two principal features in its course are its descent and its windings. From its fountain heads to the Dead Sea it rushes down one continuous inclined plane, only broken by a series of rapids or precipitous falls. Between the Lake of Gennesaret and the Dead Sea there are 27 rapids. The depression of the Lake of Gennesaret below the level of the Mediterranean Isaiah 653 feet, and that of the Dead Sea 1316 feet. (The whole descent from its source to the Dead Sea Isaiah 3000 feet. Its width varies from 45 to 180 feet, and it is from 3 to 12 feet deep. -Schaff.) Its sinuosity is not so remarkable in the upper part of its course. The only tributaries to the Jordan below Gennesaret are the Yarmuk (Hieromax) and the Zerka (Jabbok). Not a single city ever crowned the banks of the Jordan. Still Bethshan and Jericho to the west, Gerasa, Pella and Gadara to the east of it were important cities, and caused a good deal of traffic between the two opposite banks. The physical features of the Ghor, through which the Jordan flows, are treated of under PALESTINE.”.
7:16-20 Prediction. Supplies received.
II Kings 7:16 And the People went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD. -> After hearing that the Syrians were not laying a trap for them, Jehoram told his people it was safe, they therefore ventured outside the safety of the city walls, went over to the Syrian camp and looted it.
Every man took his fill and even after doing so, there was enough flour and barley so that, Father's prophesy through His prophet in verse v7:1 "Thus saith the LORD, ‘To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.’" came to pass exactly as He said it would. However, there was a second portion to this prophesy, which has not—just yet—come to pass; though, it will in the next verse.
II Kings 7:17 And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the People trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him. -> This lord upon whom Jehoram leaned upon is the same one who had sarcastically replied to Elisha when Elisha prophesied this, that: "if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?”."
His doubt and derision was not only directed toward Elisha; but toward Father Himself, to which Elisha replied, you will see this come to pass; however, you will not partake thereof. Sure enough, as he stood in the gate at the entering in of the camp the starving people just trampled him knocking him down and then walking all over him and killing him in the process, in order to get to the food they so desperately desired. This reminds me of the foolish idiots there past couple of years who on "black Friday" trample over each other at the entering in to Walmart in order to get the desired Christmas gift they want. Such sadness at Walmart; however, for this "lord" he brought this upon himself for mocking Father.
II Kings 7:18 And it came to pass as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be to morrow about this time in the gate of Samaria:” -> Father's prophesy coming to pass exactly as He stated it: both fine flour and barley again in abundance and their prices returning to normal.
II Kings 7:19 And that lord answered the man of God, and said, “Now, behold, if the LORD should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?” And he said, “Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.” -> The lord saw all the food and he was put in charge of divvying it out; however, when the flood of people rushed at him to get to the food, they over ran him and killed him.
II Kings 7:20 And so it fell out unto him: for the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died. -> He did see all the food, did see the prices return to normal; but, he never got to partake of any of it. Father's Word coming to pass as always.
This Chapter closed exactly as it opened, focusing on Father, His Prophet and a lord who mocked Him. It's never a good thing to mock Father, and He has stated in His Word, "touch not mine anointed." He becomes very angry when you mess with things which are precious to Him, and that includes His prophets, His people, and those who honor, love, serve, and worship Him, and this servant of Ben-hadad's learned that first hand.
This Bible Study was written by Scott Reis and is provided in order to be used as a private Bible Study Tool. Therefore, it may be copied in whole or in part and shared for private Bible Study; however, it may not be reproduced and published as an original work.