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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 7

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-20

2 Kings 7:3 . Four leprous men. This is frequently called by the rabbins the Egyptian disease, and the law required that they should dwell alone.

2 Kings 7:6 . The kings of the Hittites. Those of Philistia, Tyre, and the Isles, as well as the Egyptians. The greatest victories which God has accorded to his church, have been effected without carnal weapons. Prayer in extremities is more efficacious than the sword. The Lord showed his righteousness in the sight of the heathen.

2 Kings 7:19 . Windows in heaven. The LXX, “cataracts in heaven,” pouring down corn as a cataract, a broken falling stream, pours down water from the superior river. Scoffing at revelation, clear in its characters, and hallowed in its operations, has often proved a sin unto death. When the Lord opened the windows of heaven in the days of Noah, the scoffers at the ark were presently washed from all the adjacent hills.


This chapter opens with a bright morning on Samaria, after a dark night, which seemed to portend destruction. It realizes the ancient proverb, that man’s extremity is sometimes God’s opportunity. The people were dying for want of food; and now the good prophet comforts them with a promise of plenty, and in one day. The courtly infidel mocked, and God in return mocked at his cries, when the people trode upon him in the gate, as Elisha had foretold. Now the good man prayed; and the moment it was dark, the Lord caused the Syrians to hear a most terrific rumbling of chariots and horses driving furiously, and just entering their camp for carnage. Terror fell upon them, and so precipitate was their retreat that they left their immense stores of provisions, spoil, and cattle behind. This host came rather with plenty to relieve, than to besiege the capital of Israel. But of all the extraordinary circumstances in this siege, the case of the four lepers is the most remarkable. Sorely pinched with hunger, and feeling the approach of death, they wisely agreed to trust the remains of an expiring life in the enemy’s hands. Let the leprous sinner reason in like manner with his own heart. If I remain in my sins, shut out from God and his people, and sentenced by the law, I shall die. But why do I fear to come to the Saviour? Surely he will show me more kindness than these lepers could possibly expect from the Syrian host. In the days of his flesh he was the lepers’ best friend; he touched and cleansed them. Surely it is more honourable, if I must perish, to die at his feet, than to perish clinging to my money, my pleasures, and the fond hopes of life, embittered by many afflictions. I will therefore, and without delay, cast my soul on his mercy. If he save me alive, I shall live with him in glory: if he spurn me, I can but die.

The unexpected and great deliverances which the Lord granted to his church and people, may at all times encourage us to expect help and salvation in one way or other from his arm; and he is still the God of the whole earth. An affecting instance of the divine care over the protestants of Ireland occurred at the time when the French attempted to land in Bantry Bay, which had it been effected, would in all probability have rendered the whole country a scene of blood, the invaders having twenty two sail of the line full of troops; but by a northern tempest they were driven out to sea. Yea, the Lord did more for Ireland by the prayer of faith, than by the force of arms. Let Zion rejoice, even in the worst of times, for the Lord God omnipotent is her sure defence.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 7". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/2-kings-7.html. 1835.
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