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2 Kings 7:3 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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?
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why do we sit here until we die?
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate, and they said one to another, Why do we abide here until we die?
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Now there were, four men, lepers, at the entrance of the gate,—and they said one to another—Why are, we, sitting here until we are dead?
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And four men have been leprous, at the opening of the gate, and they say one unto another, 'What—we are sitting here till we have died;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Now there were four lepers, at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another: What mean we to stay here till we die?
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And there were foure leprous men at the entring in of the gate: and they saide one to another, Why sit wee here vntill we die?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And there were four leprous men by the gate of the city: and one said to his neighbour, Why sit we here until we die?
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [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?

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And there were x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
four 702
{0702} Prime
אַרְבַּע
'arba`
{ar-bah'}
The second form is the masculine form; from H7251; four.
leprous 6879
{6879} Prime
צָרַע
tsara`
{tsaw-rah'}
A primitive root; to scourge, that is, (intransitively and figuratively) to be stricken with leprosy.
z8794
<8794> Grammar
Stem - Pual (See H8849)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 194
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.).
at the entering in 6607
{6607} Prime
פֶּתַח
pethach
{peh'-thakh}
From H6605; an opening (literally), that is, door (gate) or entrance way.
of the gate: 8179
{8179} Prime
שַׁעַר
sha`ar
{shah'-ar}
From H8176 in its original sense; an opening, that is, door or gate.
and they 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
one 376
{0376} Prime
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.).
to 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.
another, 7453
{7453} Prime
רֵעַ
rea`
{ray'-ah}
From H7462; an associate (more or less close).
Why x4100
(4100) Complement
מָּה
mah
{maw}
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
sit 3427
{3427} Prime
יָשַׁב
yashab
{yaw-shab'}
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
we x587
(0587) Complement
אֲנַחְנוּ
'anachnuw
{an-akh'-noo}
Apparently from H0595; we.
here x6311
(6311) Complement
פֹּה
poh
{po}
Probably from a primitive inseparable particle פּ p (the second form; of demonstrative force) and H1931; this place (French, iši), that is, here or hence.
until x5704
(5704) Complement
עַד
`ad
{ad}
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
we die? 4191
{4191} Prime
מָמוֹת
muwth
{mooth}
A primitive root; to die (literally or figuratively); causatively to kill.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Kings 7:3

_ _ there were four leprous men — The account of the sudden raising of the siege and the unexpected supply given to the famishing inhabitants of Samaria, is introduced by a narrative of the visit and discovery, by these poor creatures, of the extraordinary flight of the Syrians.

_ _ leprous men at the entering in of the gate — living, perhaps, in some lazar house there (Leviticus 13:4-6; Numbers 5:3).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Kings 7:3-11

_ _ We are here told,

_ _ I. How the siege of Samaria was raised in the evening, at the edge of night (2 Kings 7:6, 2 Kings 7:7), not by might or power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts, striking terror upon the spirits of the besiegers. Here was not a sword drawn against them, not a drop of blood shed, it was not by thunder or hailstones that they were discomfited, nor were they slain, as Sennacherib's army before Jerusalem, by a destroying angel; but, 1. The Lord made them to hear a noise of chariots and horses. The Syrians that besieged Dothan had their sight imposed upon, 2 Kings 6:18. These had their hearing imposed upon. For God knows how to work upon every sense, pursuant to his own counsels as he makes the hearing ear and the seeing eye, so he makes the deaf and the blind, Exodus 4:11. Whether the noise was really made in the air by the ministry of angels, or whether it was only a sound in their ears, is not certain; which soever it was, it was from God, who both brings the wind out of his treasures, and forms the spirit of man within him. The sight of horses and chariots had encouraged the prophet's servant, 2 Kings 6:17. The noise of horses and chariots terrified the hosts of Syria. For notices from the invisible world are either very comfortable or very dreadful, according as men are at peace with God or at war with him. 2. Hearing this noise, they concluded the king of Israel had certainly procured assistance from some foreign power: He has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians. There was, for aught we know but one king of Egypt, and what kings there were of the Hittites nobody can imagine; but, as they were imposed upon by that dreadful sound in their ears, so they imposed upon themselves by the interpretation they made of it. Had they supposed the king of Judah to have come with his forces, there would have been more of probability in their apprehensions than to dream of the kings of the Hittites and the Egyptians. If the fancies of any of them raised this spectre, yet their reasons might soon have laid it: how could the king of Israel, who was closely besieged, hold intelligence with those distant princes? What had he to hire them with? It was impossible but some notice would come, before, of the motions of so great a host; but there were they in great fear where no fear was. 3. Hereupon they all fled with incredible precipitation, as for their lives, left their camp as it was: even their horses, that might have hastened their flight, they could not stay to take with them, 2 Kings 7:7. None of them had so much sense as to send out scouts to discover the supposed enemy, much less courage enough to face the enemy, though fatigued with a long march. The wicked flee when none pursues. God can, when he pleases, dispirit the boldest and most brave, and make the stoutest heart to tremble. Those that will not fear God he can make to fear at the shaking of a leaf.

_ _ II. How the Syrians' flight was discovered by four leprous men. Samaria was delivered, and did not know it. The watchmen on the walls were not aware of the retreat of the enemy, so silently did they steal away. But Providence employed four lepers to be the intelligencers, who had their lodging without the gate, being excluded from the city, as ceremonially unclean: the Jews say they were Gehazi and his three sons; perhaps Gehazi might be one of them, which might cause him to be taken notice of afterwards by the king, 2 Kings 8:4. See here, 1. How these lepers reasoned themselves into a resolution to make a visit in the night to the camp of the Syrians, 2 Kings 7:3, 2 Kings 7:4. They were ready to perish for hunger; none passed through the gate to relieve them. Should they go into the city, there was nothing to be had there, they mist die in the streets; should they sit still, they must pine to death in their cottage. They therefore determine to go over to the enemy, and throw themselves upon their mercy: if they killed them, better die by the sword than by famine, one death than a thousand; but perhaps they would save them alive, as objects of compassion. Common prudence will put us upon that method which may better our condition, but cannot make it worse. The prodigal son resolves to return to his father, whose displeasure he had reason to fear, rather than perish with hunger in the far country. These lepers conclude, “If they kill us, we shall but die;” and happy they who, in another sense, can thus speak of dying. “We shall but die, that is the worst of it, not die and be damned, not be hurt of the second death.” According to this resolution, they went, in the beginning of the night, to the camp of the Syrians, and, to their great surprise, found it wholly deserted, not a man to be seen or heard in it, 2 Kings 7:5. Providence ordered it, that these lepers came as soon as ever the Syrians had fled, for they fled in the twilight, the evening twilight (2 Kings 7:7), and in the twilight the lepers came (2 Kings 7:5), and so no time was lost. 2. How they reasoned themselves into a resolution to bring tidings of this to the city. They feasted in the first tent they came to (2 Kings 7:8) and then began to think of enriching themselves with the plunder; but they corrected themselves (2 Kings 7:9): “We do not well to conceal these good tidings from the community we are members of, under colour of being avenged upon them for excluding us from their society; it was the law that did it, not they, and therefore let us bring them the news. Though it awake them from sleep, it will be life from the dead to them.” Their own consciences told them that some mischief would befal them if they acted separately, and sought themselves only. Selfish narrow-spirited people cannot expect to prosper; the most comfortable advantage is that which our brethren share with us in. According to this resolution, they returned to the gate, and acquainted the sentinel with what they had discovered (2 Kings 7:10), who straightway brought the intelligence to court (2 Kings 7:11), and it was not the less acceptable for being first brought by lepers.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

2 Kings 7:3

And there were four leprous men at the (e) entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?

(e) For it was commanded in the law that they should dwell apart, and not among their brethren, (Leviticus 13:46).

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
four leprous:

2 Kings 5:1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, [but he was] a leper.
2 Kings 8:4 And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.
Leviticus 13:46 All the days wherein the plague [shall be] in him he shall be defiled; he [is] unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp [shall] his habitation [be].
Numbers 5:2-4 Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: ... And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the LORD spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel.
Numbers 12:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in [again].

Why:

2 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.
Jeremiah 8:14 Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD.
Jeremiah 27:13 Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?
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Lv 13:46. Nu 5:2; 12:14. 2K 5:1; 7:4; 8:4. Jr 8:14; 27:13.

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