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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Kings 13

Verse 5

2 Kings 13:5. The Lord gave Israel a saviour The LXX and Arabic render this a deliverance; which, as no particular person is specified, seems a preferable version: see 2 Kings 13:17.

Verse 19

2 Kings 13:19. And the man of God was wroth Whether Joash before this interview with Elisha was acquainted or not with the nature of those parabolic actions, whereby the prophets were accustomed to represent future events, he could not but perceive, by the comment which Elisha made upon the first arrow that he shot, which he calls the arrow of deliverance from Syria, 2Ki 13:17 that this was a symbolical action, and intended to prefigure his victories over that nation; and therefore, as the first action of shooting was a kind of prelude to the war, he could not but understand further, even though the prophet had said nothing to him, that this second action, of striking the ground with the arrow, was to portend the number of victories he was to obtain; but then, if we may suppose with the generality of interpreters, that the prophet had apprised him beforehand that such was the symbolical intent of what he now put him upon, that the oftener he smote upon the ground, the more would be the victories which his arms should obtain; that this was the decree of heaven; and that thus, in some measure, his success in war was put into his own power; the king's conduct was utterly inexcusable, if, diffident of the prophet's promise, and considering the great strength of the kings of Syria more than the power of God, he stopped his hand after he had smote thrice; supposing that the prediction would never have been fulfilled, had he gone on, and smote upon the earth oftener. Upon the whole therefore, the prophet had just reason to be offended at the king for not believing in GOD, who had done so many signal miracles in favour of the Israelites; for not believing in Him, who, according to his own acknowledgment, had been a constant defender of the state, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof, 2Ki 13:14 and now, in his dying hours, was full of good wishes and intentions for his country. See Le Clerc and Patrick.

Verse 21

2 Kings 13:21. And it came to pass, &c.— The life of Elisha was one continued train of miracles. The writer of Ecclesiasticus speaks thus concerning him: The spirit of Elijah rested upon Elisha; whilst he lived, he was not moved with the presence of any prince, neither could any bring him into subjection: nothing could overcome him, and after his death his body prophesied. He did wonders in his life, and at his death his works were marvellous. There was no innate power in the bones of Elisha to produce so wonderful an effect: it was the immediate work and operation of God himself; who was thus willing to give his people a proof not only of the divine mission of his prophet, and of his own immediate presence among them, but also of that future resurrection from the dead, which is fully revealed to us in the gospel. Calmet remarks, that this is further a symbol and a prophesy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ; with this difference, and a mighty one it is, that Elisha raised a dead body without raising himself, while Jesus Christ not only raised himself, but gives life to all those who believe in him.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Kings 13". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/2-kings-13.html. 1801-1803.