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2 Kings 3:20 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And it came to pass in the morning, about the time of offering the oblation, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— It happened in the morning about the time of offering the sacrifice, that behold, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat-offering was offered, that behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass in the morning, when the oblation was offered up, that behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And it came to pass, in the morning, when the offering ascended, that lo! waters, were coming in from the way of Edom,—and the land was filled with the water.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass in the morning, at the ascending of the [morning]-present, that lo, waters are coming in from the way of Edom, and the land is filled with the waters,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And it came to pass, in the morning, when the sacrifices used to be offered, that behold, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And it came to passe in the morning when the meate offering was offered, that behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the countrey was filled with water.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And it came to pass in the morning, when the sacrifice was offered, that, behold! waters came from the way of Edom, and the land was filled with water.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And it came to pass x1961
(1961) Complement
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
in the morning, 1242
{1242} Prime
From H1239; properly dawn (as the break of day); generally morning.
when the meat offering 4503
{4503} Prime
From an unused root meaning to apportion, that is, bestow; a donation; euphemistically tribute; specifically a sacrificial offering (usually bloodless and voluntary).
was offered, 5927
{5927} Prime
A primitive root; to ascend, intransitively (be high) or active (mount); used in a great variety of senses, primary and secondary, literally and figuratively.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
that, behold, x2009
(2009) Complement
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
there came 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
water 4325
{4325} Prime
Dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively juice; by euphemism urine, semen.
by the way 1870
{1870} Prime
From H1869; a road (as trodden); figuratively a course of life or mode of action, often adverbially.
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
of m אֱדוֹם, 123
{0123} Prime
From H0122; red (see Genesis 25:25); Edom, the elder twin-brother of Jacob; hence the region (Idumaea) occuped by him.
and the country 776
{0776} Prime
From an unused root probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land).
was filled 4390
{4390} Prime
A primitive root, to fill or (intransitively) be full of, in a wide application (literally and figuratively).
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
with x854
(0854) Complement
Probably from H0579; properly nearness (used only as a preposition or adverb), near; hence generally with, by, at, among, etc.
water. 4325
{4325} Prime
Dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively juice; by euphemism urine, semen.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Kings 3:20-24

_ _ when the meat offering was offered — that is, at the time of the morning sacrifice, accompanied, doubtless, with solemn prayers; and these led, it may be, by Elisha on this occasion, as on a similar one by Elijah (1 Kings 18:36).

_ _ behold, there came water by the way of Edom — Far from the Israelitish camp, in the eastern mountains of Edom, a great fall of rain, a kind of cloudburst, took place, by which the wady was at once filled, but they saw neither the wind nor the rains. The divine interposition was shown by introducing the laws of nature to the determined end in the predetermined way [Keil]. It brought not only aid to the Israelitish army in their distress, by a plentiful supply of water, but destruction on the Moabites, who, perceiving the water, under the refulgent rays of the morning sun, red like blood, concluded the confederate kings had quarreled and deluged the field with their mutual slaughter; so that, rushing to their camp in full expectation of great spoil, they were met by the Israelites, who, prepared for battle, fought and pursued them. Their country was laid waste in the way, which has always been considered the greatest desolation in the East (2 Kings 3:24).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Kings 3:20-27

_ _ I. We have here the divine gift of both those things which God had promised by Elisha — water and victory, and the former not only a pledge of the latter, but a means of it. God, who created, and commands, all the waters, both above and beneath the firmament, sent them an abundance of water on a sudden, which did them double service.

_ _ 1. It relieved their armies, which were ready to perish, 2 Kings 3:20. And, which was very observable, this relief came just at the time of the offering of the morning sacrifice upon the altar at Jerusalem, a certain time, and universally known. That time Elisha chose for his hour of prayer (it is likely looking towards the temple, for so there were to do in their prayers when they were going out to battle and encamped at a distance, 1 Kings 8:44), in token of his communion with the temple-service, and his expectation of success by virtue of the great sacrifice. We now cannot pitch upon any hour more acceptable than another, because our high priest is always appearing for us, to present and plead his sacrifice. That time God chose for the hour of mercy to put an honour upon the daily sacrifice, which had been despised. God answered Daniel's prayer just at the time of the evening sacrifice (Daniel 9:21); for he will acknowledge his own institutions.

_ _ 2. It deceived their enemies, who were ready to triumph, into the destruction. Notice was given to the Moabites of the advances of the confederate army, to oppose which all that were able to put on armour were posted upon the frontiers, where they were ready to give the Israelites a warm reception (v. 21), promising themselves that it would be easy dealing with an army fatigued by so long a march through the wilderness of Edom. But see here,

_ _ (1.) How easily they were drawn into their own delusions. Observe the steps of their self-deceit. [1.] They saw the water in the valley where the army of Israel encamped, and conceited it was blood (2 Kings 3:22), because they knew the valley to be dry, and (there having been no rain) could not imagine it should be water. The sun shone upon it, and probably the sky was red and lowering, a presage of foul weather that day (Matthew 16:3), and so it proved to them. But, this making the water look red, their own fancies, which made them willing to believe what made for them, suggested, This is blood, God permitting them thus to impose upon themselves. [2.] If their camp was thus full of blood, they conclude, “Certainly the kings have fallen out (as confederates of different interests are apt to do) and they have slain one another (2 Kings 3:23), for who else should slay them?” And, [3.] “If the armies have slain one another, we have nothing to do but to divide the prey. Now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.” These were the gradual suggestions of some sanguine spirits among them, that thought themselves wiser and happier in their conjectures than their neighbours; and the rest, being desirous it should be so, were forward to believe it was so. Quod volumus facile credimusWhat we wish we readily believe. Thus those that are to be destroyed are first deceived (Revelation 20:8), and none are so effectually deceived as those that deceive themselves.

_ _ (2.) How fatally they thereby ran upon their own destruction. They rushed carelessly into the camp of Israel, to plunder it, but were undeceived when it was too late. The Israelites, animated by the assurances Elisha had given them of victory, fell upon them with the utmost fury, routed them, and pursued them into their own country (2 Kings 3:24), which they laid waste (2 Kings 3:25), destroyed the cities, marred the ground, stopped up the wells, felled the timber, and left only the royal city standing, in the walls of which they made great breaches with their battering engines. This they got by rebelling against Israel. Who ever hardened his heart against God and prospered?

_ _ II. In the close of the chapter we are told what the king of Moab did when he found himself reduced to the last extremity by the besiegers, and that his capital city was likely to fall into their hands. 1. He attempted that which was bold and brave. he got together 700 choice men, and with them sallied out upon the intrenchments of the king of Edom, who, being but a mercenary in this expedition, would not, he hoped, make any great resistance if vigorously attacked, and so he might make his escape that way. But it would not do; even the king of Edom proved too hard for him, and obliged him to retire, 2 Kings 3:26. 2. This failing, he did that which was brutish and barbarous; he took his own son, his eldest son, that was to succeed him, than whom nothing could be more dear to himself and his people, and offered him for a burnt-offering upon the wall, 2 Kings 3:27. He designed by this, (1.) To obtain the favour of Chemosh his god, which, being a devil, delighted in blood and murder, and the destruction of mankind. The dearer any thing was to them the more acceptable those idolaters thought it must needs be if offered in sacrifice to their gods, and therefore burnt their children in the fire to their honour. (2.) To terrify the besiegers, and oblige them to retire. Therefore he did it upon the wall, in their sight, that they might see what desperate courses he resolved to take rather than surrender, and how dearly he would sell his city and life. He intended hereby to render them odious, and to exasperate and enrage his own subjects against them. This effect it had: There was great indignation against Israel for driving him to this extremity, whereupon they raised the siege and returned. Tender and generous spirits will not do that, though just, which will drive any man distracted, or make him desperate.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Kings 3:20

The meal — offering — That is, the morning sacrifice: which doubtless was attended with the solemn prayers of God's people. At this time Elisha joined his prayers with the prayers of God's people, especially those at Jerusalem. And this time God chose to answer their prayers, and to work this miracle, that thereby he might determine the controversy between the Israelites and the Jews, about the place and manner of worship, and give a publick testimony from heaven for the Jews, and against the Israelites. God that commands all the waters both above and beneath the firmament, sent them abundance of water on a sudden.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
when the meat:

Exodus 29:39-40 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even: ... And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine [for] a drink offering.
1 Kings 18:36 And it came to pass at [the time of] the offering of the [evening] sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou [art] God in Israel, and [that] I [am] thy servant, and [that] I have done all these things at thy word.
Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I [was] speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

there came water:
This supply was altogether miraculous; for there was neither wind nor rain, nor any other natural means to furnish it.


Psalms 78:15-16 He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave [them] drink as [out of] the great depths. ... He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers.
Psalms 78:20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?
Isaiah 35:6-7 Then shall the lame [man] leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. ... And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, [shall be] grass with reeds and rushes.
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Ex 29:39. 1K 18:36. Ps 78:15, 20. Is 35:6. Dn 9:21.

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