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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 6

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

Verses 1-33

Elisha and the Siege of Samaria

1. The place where we dwell] The mention of the Jordan (2 Kings 6:2) suggests that these sons of the prophets dwelt near Jericho: cp. 2 Kings 2:5. Probably Elisha did not permanently abide with them, but visited them occasionally for supervision and instruction.

6. The iron did swim] The prophet’s powers were exerted to help one who was honest enough to be the more concerned for his loss because the axe was not his own.

8. The king of Syria] perhaps the Benhadad of 2 Kings 6:24 and 1 Kings 20:1.

13. Dothan] commanding a pass which crossed the ridge of Carmel (the mountain of 2 Kings 6:17).

17. Round about Elisha] cp. Psalms 34:7; Psalms 91:4; God’s servants often experience providential succour in times of danger, though they cannot confidently reckon upon protection from earthly peril. What alone is assured to them, if they continue loyal, is spiritual security.

22. Wouldest thou smite, etc.] If the king would not smite captives whom he had taken by his own valour, much less could he expect to be allowed to smite those who had been delivered into his hands by another. The prophet by preserving their lives, secured that information respecting his wonderful powers was conveyed to the Syrian king.

24. And it came to pass, etc.] This section obviously has no close connexion with the preceding, as the inconsistency between this v. and 2 Kings 6:23 shows, though Josephus explains that the king of Syria, out of fear of Elisha, abandoned his secret designs against the Israelites in favour of more open war.

25. An ass’s head] The ass being an unclean animal, its flesh would not be eaten except in times of great scarcity. Cab] a little less than 2 quarts, so that a fourth part would be about a pint. Dove’s dung] Though this is usually supposed to be a kind of pulse, yet pigeon’s dung was eaten in a siege that took place in the year 1316 a.d., probably because of the seeds it contained.

29. Boiled my son] The same kind of incident occurred in connexion with the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Lamentations 4:10: cp. also Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:52-55

31. The head of Elisha] Possibly the prophet had held out promises of relief which had not yet been realised.

32. This son of a murderer] i.e. this murderer: cp. Isaiah 1:4. Hold.. door] RV ’hold the door fast against him.’ Is not.. feet] The king, after giving orders to execute Elisha, had changed his purpose, and was hastening after the messenger to countermand his directions.

33. And he said] These words are spoken by the Icing, which should be substituted for the messenger in the first part of the v.: cp. 2 Kings 7:17. Wait] i.e. hold out in the hope of God’s intervention.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 6". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/2-kings-6.html. 1909.
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