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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary
2 Kings 7



Verse 9


‘We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace.’

2 Kings 7:9

The world now is very much the same as that city then—famine within, leprosy without. This hungry world is for ever asking—What is truth? What is the right? and, Has love no future?

I. The first of these questions is asked alike by the thinkers in India and the ignorant in Africa.—Light! more light! was the soul’s cry. And only one answer could be given: ‘Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’

II. The second question, What is the right, and how can I attain to it? is an equally conscious want.—Can your God give peace? is the cry of the weary soul. Yes; but it is peace founded on righteousness. Our Lord is first King of Righteousness, and next King of Peace.

III. Has love no future? was the third question.—Must all my loves and affections perish in the grave? No! Love has found a ransom, and that ransom is the Son of God. The Christian Church only sends out a few search-parties, instead of sending her armies to gather the spoil. Let us tell these starving millions of the bread of life.

—Canon E. A. Stuart.


‘The experience of many workers in the Master’s vineyard can furnish as strange instances as this of the co-operation of the human and the Divine in producing marvellous things. If only we are ready and receptive, who can say but God will use us too, as He was pleased to use the lepers, for great streams of blessing to others? Why, then, hold our peace? Christians all know of folk starving in soul, and of great plenty close at hand. Why, then, not speak out in the day of good tidings, and tell of the abundance?’

Verse 19-20


‘If the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?… So it fell out unto him.’

2 Kings 7:19-20

We reach in this Lesson the settlement of the issue which was raised between Elisha and the great man in the court of Jehoram. How did it end? is our question.

I. The messengers found that there was plenty and to spare in the desolated camp.—People hurried in with their hands full of plunder. God’s engagements are always justified by actual fulfilment, when men trust Him with unwavering faith.

II. But now for this fine ‘lord’: what became of him personally.—There is one small verse here, sad and serious, but necessary to the history. So we learn our lessons:

III. God’s Providence takes an unbeliever into immediate care, and puts him under surveillance the moment the issue is made.—He began to watch that courtier just as soon as Elisha left him.

IV. God’s Providence orders an unbeliever’s career, so that at the last it shall come into full exhibition.—At the gate was to be the market, the king set this noble to guard the gate.

V. God’s Providence is never set back by a witty speech.—It was supposed by some that this jovial lord put Elisha down when he laughed at him about raining provisions out of heaven. Indeed he did not; but what if he had? What good does it do to silence a minister? Does stopping a clock stop the time of sundown?

VI. God’s Providence brings sure ruin upon one who defies the grace He waits to display.—This lord’s sin was that of unbelief. How still was the gate of Samaria an hour after the good news arrived! What made it so quiet? Not a human being breathed where the food had come in. But on the ground lay the witty sceptic, dead.


‘That scoffing courtier in Samaria was one of the rationalists of his day. “Reason” showed him that the prophecy of Elisha could not be fulfilled. Not even—as he looked at it—could God bring about such a wonder as was foretold. But the rationalist did not know so much as he thought he did, albeit he knew as much as most of his successors in our day. “If the Lord should make windows in heaven”—there would be such an outpouring of blessings as we never dreamed of. But with the present number and arrangement of heavenly windows, God can supply all the blessings which we need, and all that are necessary to the keeping of His word to the uttermost. Just how the Lord can make good His promises to us, is none of our business. It is for us to hear His Word, and to rest on it. God has already windows enough to see through, and to send His gifts through. If He has promised a thing, He will find a way of doing as He has promised—windows, or no windows.’


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 2 Kings 7:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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