图书图片
PDF
ePub

sent them away, and they went to their master. So the basse of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.f

Benhadad, however, having gathered all his host, reinra the country, and besieged Samaria so closely, that there a a great famine, and an ass's head was sold for fourscore piena of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung fort' pieces of silver.

Highly excited by the agonizing representation of a won who had consented to boil her son to prolong her own lif: Jehoram who had so lately submitted respectfully to the zu thority of Elisha, now suddenly swore,|| God do so and * also to me, if the head of Elisha, the son of Shaphat, stis stand on him this day.

Whilst Elisha sat in his house with the elders, a messen arrived from the king; but aware of his murderous purpose." he ordered the door to be shut till Jehoram arrived hinge when the prophet thus addressed him. Hear ye the word Jehovah; thus saith Jehovah, To-morrow about this tis

* That is, the land of Israel was no longer infested with the ** datory bands of Syria—it does not mean that the Syrians did invade again. Scot and A. Clarke in loco.

+ 2 Kings, vi. 18—23. # This very evil Moses had foretold should come upon they forsook God. -Deut. xxviii. 53–57. The same evil caine epat this wretched people, when besieged by Nebuchadnezzar.Exos v.10. And again, when Titus besieged Jerusalem. Jos. vol. il 207. and A. Clarke in loco, and on Matt. xxiv. 19.

§ 2 Kings, vi. 23. || Either Elisha had denounced this judgment upon Jehoram to his sins, or Jehoram supposed that it was sent in answer 10 bar prayers; or he thought the prophet could help him if he would; * he blamed him for inducing him to dismiss the Syrian army, when it his power; or perhaps Elisha had counselled him, in the names Jehovah, to hold out the siege, and that he should be deliveres. Scot in loco.

1 2 Kings, vi. 26–31. ** 2 Kings, vi. 32.

BIRL

Tout they do not appear to have been watching the Syrian army, These besieged, and certain that from the diseased and proscribed

hall a measure of fine four be sold for a shekel, and two leasures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.*

To this merciful intimation, which ought to have filled their cearts with joy and gratitude, an infidel courtier, on whose

rand the king leaned, tauntingly remarked, “ Behold, if raalehovah would make windows in heaven, might this thing of a cada - se ?” And Elisha said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine

yes, but shalt not eat thereof. f izing Di Pursuant to this promise, Jehovah had made the host of the want yrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even wberitzd so the noise of a great host; and they said one to another, Lo,

Sthe king of Israel hath bired against us the kings of the Hitaba , the se'tites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.

Wherefore they arose and Aed in the twilight, and left their se with the tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it

was, and fied for their life. I

It would seen that neither Jehoram nor his courtiers, bad ined him. H? placed any reliance upon the prophet's declaration, at least

and were most likely immersed in the sleep of infidelity and despair. In the city, however, there were four lepers, who from their melancholy situation, were necessarily suffering, if possible, more severely than the other inhabitants.

These unhappyll men, aware of the desperate state of the

[ocr errors]

se of bis

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

by Nebuchas red Jerusia tri. ,

condition in which they were themselves, they must necessarily be amongst the first victims to the famine and distress

which prevailed, consulted together whether they could poso perioade sibly be worse off if they gave themselves up to the Syrians, * 2 Kings, vii. 1. + 2 Kings, vii. 2. | 2 Kings, vii. 6, 7.

Lev. xiii. 45, 46. || It is supposed that the lepers who gave information of the Syri. ans' retreat, were Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, and his three sons. Ans. Bayley in 2 Kings, viii. 4.

ild help kia

ss the Spritet jelled him, 19

lat be shock me

* ? Kings

, ride

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

who might nevertheless spare them on account of their ab state. Having come to this determination they rose up to the entering in of the gate in the twilight, and proceed towards the Syrian camp; and to their great surprise >> versed it through and through without finding a siç enemy.

As it may be imagined, their first object was to relies their own hunger and thirst, and take possession of some the treasures which the frightened host had left behind the but they also recollected that it was their duty to give is mediate intelligence to their countrymen and sovereign, they returned to the city and informed the porter, who se word to the palace. *

The king having arisen, and it being still night, and reou lecting, most probably, the late plan of the Syrian monarch: laying ambushes for him, he fully expected that was his preses object. At the suggestion of one of his courtiers Jeharus sent two horsemen to reconnoitre, who baving followed march of the Syrian host unto the river Jordan, returned and reported to their sovereign that all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their baste. At this intelligence the besieged sallied forth and spoiled the tents of the Syrians, so that a measure of fine flour was sad for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, accord ing to the word of Jehovah.t

But the glory of God having been vindicated, and his ser vant justified, it was still proper that the open scoffer and infidel should be signally punished; and, therefore, the king having appointed that infidel lord to the charge of the gate, as a post of honour and confidence, the pressure of the throng soon overpowered him, and he was trod to death by

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

* 2 Kings, xii. 3-11.
† 2 Kings, vii. 12—16. vii. 1.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

the previsto abuse the power and trust thou hast reposed in him, and will take
kas trods away thy life. He (Benhadad) might live for all his sickness, but

JEGORI.
care tes se crowd; he saw indeed the plenty with his eyes, but he

[ not thereof. *
Benhadad the king of Syria being confined with sickness,
d hearing that Elisha the prophet was arrived at Damascus,
nt Hazael his chief officer to him with a present,t to in-
uire whether he should recover of his disease. To this
quiry Elisha said, “Go say unto him, Thou mayest cer-
inly recover : howbeit Jehovah hath shewed me that he
jall surely die.” And he settled his countenance stedfastly,
itil he was ashamed; and the man of God wept.& Upon
azael's inquiry why he wept, the prophet replied,

Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children
f Israel : their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their

oung men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash t beint heir children, and rip up their women with child.” And an of the Lazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should sportation to this great thing ? || And Elisha answered, Jehovah hath e of his chewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.

On his return, this high minded lord who pretended to be
horror struck, at being supposed capable of the crimes and
cruelties which Elisha had foretold, first deceived his
sovereign with a deliberate falsehood, by telling him that the
prophet bad assured him he should recover; and almost

2 Kings, vii. 17—20. vij. 2.
† Sufficient to load forty camels, 2 Kings, viii. 9.
Say thou certainly will not recover, for Jehovah, &c. This is
the textual reading, and seems to be preferable to that of the margin,
70, and the Vulgate. A Bayley in loco. “ That is, God has not de-

termined thy death, nor will it be a necessary consequence of the disease he charged by which thou art now afflicted: but this wicked man (Hazael) will thou wilt put an end to his life." A. Clarke.

2 Kings, viii. 10, 11. || See note p. 604.
1 2 Kings, viii. 12, 13. 1 Kings, xix. 15.

[ocr errors]

пе ГТА.

[ocr errors]

indicando

the opet

1 .

immediately afterwards, taking advantage of that freedom access which the confidential situation he held procured assassinated his master, by spreading a thick wet clothe his face, and, thereupon, usurped the throne of Syria.

We are not exactly informed upon what occasion the broke out, between Hazael and Jehoram; but as in the is of Benhadad, both nations had been anxious to obts possession of Ramoth Gilead; so now Jehoram had wees that city from the Syrian monarch, and placed a gas there; in which he had been assisted by Abaziah, king Judah; but having been severely wounded, he returned 1 Jezreel to be healed, leaving, as it would seem, Jehu, the s of Nimshi, in the command of his army.t

Whilst Jehoram thus lay sick, Elisha sent one of the goes prophets with a box of oil to Ramoth, in order to an Jehu ;# with directions when he had anointed him, open the door, and flee, and not to tarry. So the pers man, even the young man the prophet, went to Rabe Gilead. And when he came, behold, the captains of t host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to the O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And said, To thee, O captain. And he arose, and went into the house ; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto his Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, I have anointed the king over the people of Jehovah, even over Israel. And the shalt smite the house of Abab thy master, that I may avers the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the

* 2 Kings, viii. 14, 15. + 2 Kings, viii. 28, 29. ix. 14, 15. 2 Chron. xxii. 5, 6. In another place he is called the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimski 2 Kings, ix. 2.

2 Kings, ix. 1—3. This commission had been originally gire to Elijah, (1 Kings, xix. 16.) and it is rather remarkable no commes tator seems to have noticed that circumstance.

« 上一页继续 »