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2 Kings 2:19 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, we pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is bad, and the land miscarrieth.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city [is] pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water [is] naught, and the ground barren.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold now, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad and the land is unfruitful.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city [is] pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water [is] bad, and the ground barren.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold now, the situation of the city is good, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is barren.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Lo! we pray thee, the situation of the city, is good, as, my lord, seeth,—but, the waters, are bad, and, the land, apt to miscarry.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And the men of the city say unto Elisha, 'Lo, we pray thee, the site of the city [is] good, as my lord seeth, and the waters [are] bad, and the earth sterile.'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And the men of the city said to Eliseus: Behold the situation of this city is very good, as thou, my lord, seest: but the waters are very bad, and the ground barren.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And the men of the city said vnto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city [is] pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water [is] nought, and the ground barren.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And the men of the city said to Elisha{gr.Elisaie}, Behold, the situation of the city [is] good, as [our] lord sees; but the waters [are] bad, and the ground barren.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city [is] pleasant, as my adon seeth: but the water [is] naught, and the ground barren.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And the men y582
[0582] Standard
אֱנוֹשׁ
'enowsh
{en-oshe'}
From H0605; properly a mortal (and thus differeing from the more dignified H0120); hence a man in general (singly or collectively). It is often unexpressed in the English Version, especially when used in apposition with another word.
x376
(0376) Complement
אִישׁ
'iysh
{eesh}
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
of the city 5892
{5892} Prime
עִיר
`iyr
{eer}
From H5782 a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch) in the widest sense (even of a mere encampment or post).
said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
l` אֱלִישָׁע, 477
{0477} Prime
אֱלִישָׁע
'Eliysha`
{el-ee-shaw'}
Contracted for H0474; Elisha, the famous prophet.
Behold, x2009
(2009) Complement
הִנֵּה
hinneh
{hin-nay'}
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
I pray thee, x4994
(4994) Complement
נָא
na'
{naw}
A primitive particle of incitement and entreaty, which may usually be rendered I pray, now or then; added mostly to verbs (in the imperative or future), or to interjections, occasionally to an adverb or conjugation.
the situation 4186
{4186} Prime
מוֹשָׁב
mowshab
{mo-shawb'}
From H3427; a seat; figuratively a site; abstractly a session; by extension an abode (the place or the time); by implication population.
of this city 5892
{5892} Prime
עִיר
`iyr
{eer}
From H5782 a city (a place guarded by waking or a watch) in the widest sense (even of a mere encampment or post).
[is] pleasant, 2896
{2896} Prime
טוֹב
towb
{tobe}
From H2895; good (as an adjective) in the widest sense; used likewise as a noun, both in the masculine and the feminine, the singular and the plural (good, a good or good thing, a good man or woman; the good, goods or good things, good men or women), also as an adverb (well).
as x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
my n אֲדוֹן 113
{0113} Prime
אָדוֹן
'adown
{aw-done'}
From an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, that is, controller (human or divine).
seeth: 7200
{7200} Prime
רָאָה
ra'ah
{raw-aw'}
A primitive root; to see, literally or figuratively (in numerous applications, direct and implied, transitively, intransitively and causatively).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
but the water 4325
{4325} Prime
מַיִם
mayim
{mah'-yim}
Dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively juice; by euphemism urine, semen.
[is] naught, 7451
{7451} Prime
רָע
ra`
{rah}
From H7489; bad or (as noun) evil (naturally or morally). This includes the second (feminine) form; as adjective or noun.
and the ground 776
{0776} Prime
אֶרֶץ
'erets
{eh'-rets}
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
barren. 7921
{7921} Prime
שָׁכֹל
shakol
{shaw-kole'}
A primitive root; properly to miscarry, that is, suffer abortion; by analogy to bereave (literally or figuratively).
z8764
<8764> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 685
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Kings 2:19

_ _ 2 Kings 2:19-25. Elisha heals the waters.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Kings 2:19-25

_ _ Elisha had, in this respect, a double portion of Elijah's spirit, that he wrought more miracles than Elijah. Some reckon them in number just double. Two are recorded in these verses — a miracle of mercy to Jericho and a miracle of judgment to Bethel, Psalms 101:1.

_ _ I. Here is a blessing upon the waters of Jericho, which was effectual to heal them. Jericho was built in disobedience to a command, in defiance to a threatening, and at the expense of the lives of all the builder's children; yet, when it was built, it was not ordered to be demolished again, nor were God's prophets or people forbidden to dwell in it, but even within those walls that were built by iniquity we find a nursery of piety. Fools, they say, build houses for wise men to dwell in. Here the wealth of the sinner provided a habitation for the just. We find Christ at Jericho, Luke 19:1. Hither Elisha came, to confirm the souls of the disciples with a more particular account of Elijah's translation than their spies, who saw at a distance, could give them. Here he staid while the fifty men were searching for him. And, 1. The men of Jericho represented to him their grievance, 2 Kings 2:19. God's faithful prophets love to be employed; it is wisdom to make use of them during the little while that their light is with us. They had not applied to Elijah concerning the matter, perhaps because he was not so easy of access as Elisha was; but now, we may hope, by the influence of the divinity-school in their city, they were reformed. The situation was pleasant and afforded a good prospect; but they had neither wholesome water to drink nor fruitful soil to yield them food, and what pleasure could they take in their prospect? Water is a common mercy, which we should estimate by the greatness of the calamity which the want or unwholesomeness of it would be. Some think that it was not all the ground about Jericho that was barren and had bad water, but some one part only, and that where the sons of the prophets had their lodgings, who are here called the men of the city. 2. He soon redressed their grievance. Prophets should endeavour to make every place they come to, some way or other, the better for them, endeavouring to sweeten bitter spirits, and to make barren souls fruitful, by the due application of the word of God. Elisha will heal their waters; but, (1.) They must furnish him with salt in a new cruse, 2 Kings 2:20. If salt had been proper to season the water, yet what could so small a quantity do towards it and what the better for being in a new cruse? But thus those that would be helped must be employed and have their faith and obedience tried. God's works of grace are wrought, not by any operations of ours, but in observance of his institutions. (2.) He cast the salt into the spring of the waters, and so healed the streams and the ground they watered. Thus the way to reform men's lives is to renew their hearts; let those be seasoned with the salt of grace; for out of them are the issues of life. Make the tree good and the fruit will be good. Purify the heart and that will cleanse the hands. (3.) He did not pretend to do this by his own power, but in God's name: Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters. He is but the instrument, the channel through which God is pleased to convey this healing virtue. By doing them this kindness with a Thus saith the Lord, they would be made the more willing hereafter, to receive from him a reproof, admonition, or command, with the same preface. If, in God's name, he can help them, in God's name let him teach and rule them. Thus saith the Lord, out of Elisha's mouth, must, ever after, be of mighty force with them. (4.) The cure was lasting, and not for the present only: The waters were healed unto this day, 2 Kings 2:22. What God does shall be for ever, Ecclesiastes 3:14. When he, by his Spirit, heals a soul, there shall be no more death nor barrenness; the property is altered: what was useless and offensive becomes grateful and serviceable.

_ _ II. Here is a curse upon the children of Bethel, which was effectual to destroy them; for it was not a curse causeless. At Bethel there was another school of prophets. Thither Elisha went next, in this his primary visitation, and the scholars there no doubt welcomed him with all possible respect, but the townsmen were abusive to him. One of Jeroboam's calves was at Bethel; this they were proud of, and fond of, and hated those that reproved them. The law did not empower them to suppress this pious academy, but we may suppose it was their usual practice to jeer the prophets as they went along the streets, to call them by some nickname or other, that they might expose them to contempt, prejudice their youth against them, and, if possible, drive them out of their town. Had the abuse done to Elisha been the first offence of that kind, it is probable that it would not have been so severely punished. But mocking the messengers of the Lord, and misusing the prophets, was one of the crying sins of Israel, as we find, 2 Chronicles 36:16. Now here we have, 1. An instance of that sin. The little children of Bethel, the boys and girls that were playing in the streets (notice, it is likely, having come to the town of his approach), went out to meet him, not with their hosannas, as they ought to have done, but with their scoffs; they gathered about him and mocked him, as if he had been a fool, or one fit to make sport with. Among other things that they used to jeer the prophets with, they had this particular taunt for him, Go up, thou bald head, go up, thou bald head. It is a wicked thing to reproach persons for their natural infirmities or deformities; it is adding affliction to the afflicted; and, if they are as God made them, the reproach reflects upon him. But this was such a thing as scarcely deserved to be called a blemish, and would never have been turned to his reproach if they had had any thing else to reproach him with. It was his character as a prophet that they designed to abuse. The honour God had crowned him with should have been sufficient to cover his bald head and protect him from their scoffs. They bade him go up, perhaps reflecting on the assumption of Elijah: “Thy master,” they say, “has gone up; why dost not thou go up after him? Where is the fiery chariot? When shall we be rid of thee too?” These children said as they were taught; they had learned of their idolatrous parents to call foul names and give bad language, especially to prophets. These young cocks, as we say, crowed after the old ones. Perhaps their parents did at this time send them out and set them on, that, if possible, they might keep the prophet out of their town. 2. A specimen of that ruin which came down upon Israel at last, for misusing God's prophets, and of which this was intended to give them fair warning. Elisha heard their taunts, a good while, with patience; but at length the fire of holy zeal for God was kindled in his breast by the continued provocation, and he turned and looked upon them, to try if a grave and severe look would put them out of countenance and oblige them to retire, to see if he could discern in their faces any marks of ingenuousness; but they were not ashamed, neither could they blush; and therefore he cursed them in the name of the Lord, both imprecated and denounced the following judgment, not in personal revenge for the indignity done to himself, but as the mouth of divine justice to punish the dishonour done to God. His summons was immediately obeyed. two she-bears (bears perhaps robbed of their whelps) came out of an adjacent wood, and presently killed forty-two children, 2 Kings 2:24. Now in this, (1.) The prophet must be justified, for he did it by divine impulse. Had the curse come from any bad principle God would not have said Amen to it. We may think it would have been better to have called for two rods for the correction of these children than two bears for the destruction of them. But Elisha knew, by the Spirit, the bad character of these children. He knew what a generation of vipers those were, and what mischievous enemies they would be to God's prophets if they should live to be men, who began so early to be abusive to them. He intended hereby to punish the parents and to make them afraid of God's judgments. (2.) God must be glorified as a righteous God, that hates sin, and will reckon for it, even in little children. Let the wicked wretched brood make our flesh tremble for fear of God. Let little children be afraid of speaking wicked words, for God notices what they say,. Let them not mock any for their defects in mind or body, but pity them rather; especially let them know that it is at their peril if they jeer God's people or ministers, and scoff at any for well-doing. Let parents, that would have comfort in their children, train them up well, and do their utmost betimes to drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts; for, as bishop Hall says, “In vain do we look for good from those children whose education we have neglected; and in vain do we grieve for those miscarriages which our care might have prevented.” Elisha comes to Bethel and fears not the revenges of the bereaved parents; God, who bade him do what he did, he knew would bear him out. Thence he goes to Mount Carmel (2 Kings 2:25), where it is probable there was a religious house fit for retirement and contemplation. Thence he returned to Samaria, where, being a public place, this father of the prophets might be most serviceable. Bishop Hall observes here, “That he can never be a profitable seer who is either always or never alone.”

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Kings 2:19

Barren — Either it was so originally, at least, as to that part of the city where the college of the prophets was: or, it became so from the curse of God inflicted upon it, when Hiel rebuilt it. However, upon the prophet's care, it grew exceeding fruitful, and therefore is commended for its fertility in later writers.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
my Lord seeth:

Numbers 12:11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
1 Kings 18:7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, [Art] thou that my lord Elijah?
1 Kings 18:13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD'S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water?
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

the water:

Exodus 7:19 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and [that] there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in [vessels of] wood, and in [vessels of] stone.
Exodus 15:23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they [were] bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.
Joshua 6:17 And the city shall be accursed, [even] it, and all that [are] therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that [are] with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.
Joshua 6:26 And Joshua adjured [them] at that time, saying, Cursed [be] the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest [son] shall he set up the gates of it.
1 Kings 16:34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest [son] Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.

barren:
Heb. causing to miscarry,
Exodus 23:26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.
Deuteronomy 28:2-4 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. ... Blessed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
Deuteronomy 28:11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
Deuteronomy 28:15-18 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: ... Cursed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
Hosea 9:14 Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
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Ex 7:19; 15:23; 23:26. Nu 12:11. Dt 28:2, 11, 15. Jsh 6:17, 26. 1K 16:34; 18:7, 13. Ho 9:14. 1Ti 5:17.

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