The removal of Elijah was a type and figure of the ascension of Christ, and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Elijah smites the waters with his mantle; they divide, and he and Elisha pass over on dry ground, 2 Kings 2:8. 2 Kings /. And rent them in two pieces - As a sign of sorrow for having lost so good and glorious a master. This was blasphemy against God; and their punishment (for they were Beth-elite idolaters) was only proportioned to their guilt. If it was a judgment of God, it could neither be cruel nor unjust; and I contend, that the prophet had no power by which he could bring these she-bears to fall upon them. The custom continues to the present day; a lamb's skin hood or cloak is the badge which certain graduates in our universities wear; and the royal robes of kings and great officers of state are adorned with the skins of the animal called the ermine. The skins of beasts, dressed with the hair on, were formerly worn by prophets and priests as the simple insignia of their office. The pouring in of the salt was a symbolic act with which Elisha accompanied the word of … This distinction is not followed by any of the other versions; nor is the clause, et non sunt divisae, "and they divided not," expressed by the Hebrew text. They were divided hither and thither - This was a most astonishing miracle, and could be performed only by the almighty power of God. Elijah left his mantle to Elisha; as a token of the descent of the Spirit upon him; it was more than if he had left him thousands of gold and silver. Let parents that would have comfort in their children, train them up well, and do their utmost betimes to drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts. He goes to Carmel, and returns to Samaria, 2 Kings 2:25. Elijah, about to be taken up to heaven, goes in company with Elisha from Gilgal to Beth-el, 2 Kings 2:1, 2 Kings 2:2. By the manner in which Elijah and Enoch were taken from this world, God gave a glimpse of the eternal life brought to light by the gospel, of the glory reserved for the bodies of the saints, and of the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-2.html. A double portion of thy spirit be upon me - This in reference to the law, Deuteronomy 21:17; : He shall acknowledge the first-born, by giving him a Double Portion of all that he hath-the right of the first-born is his. We mistake, if we think preparation for heaven is carried on only by contemplation and acts of devotion. The act of striking the waters seems to be twice repeated in the verse, though we get rid of the second striking by rendering the second clause, when he also had smitten the waters: which has the same Hebrew words as the first, and which we translate, he mote the waters. The chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof - The Chaldee translates these words thus: "My master, my master! But were they little children? That these were soldiers, probably militia, or a selection from the militia, which served as a bodyguard to Ahab, the event sufficiently declares; and the persons that mocked Elisha were perfectly accountable for their conduct. Chapter 2. (1-8) Elijah is taken up into heaven. Many questions might be asked about this, which could not be answered. Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Complete) /. Finding the new version too difficult to understand? 1832. "But then, as they were little children, they could scarcely be accountable for their conduct; and consequently, it was cruelty to destroy them." And it came to pass, when the LORD was about to take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Now that Elijah was taken to heaven, Elisha inquired, 1. Where is the Lord God of Elijah? But the miracle here was permanent: the death of men and cattle, which had been occasioned by the insalubrity of the waters, ceased, the land was no longer barren; and the waters became permanently fit for all agricultural and domestic uses. He was engaged in serious discourse, encouraging and directing Elisha about the kingdom of God among men. Whole families, towns, and cities, sometimes have a new appearance through the preaching of the gospel; wickedness and evil have been changed into fruitfulness in the works of righteousness, which are, through Christ, to the praise and glory of God. And what will be the anguish of those parents, at the day of judgment, who witness the everlasting condemnation of their offspring, occasioned by their own bad example, carelessness, or wicked teaching! Then Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, please, for the LORD has sent me on to Bethel.” Though Elijah was gone triumphantly to heaven, yet this world could ill spare him. 20. "But was it not a cruel thing to destroy forty-two little children, who, in mere childishness, had simply called the prophet bare skull, or bald head?" What Elisha did on this occasion, getting the new cruse and throwing in the salt, was only to make the miracle more conspicuous. Let young persons be afraid of speaking wicked words, for God notices what they say. Now I suppose the objection means children from four to seven or eight years old; for so we use the word: but the original, קטנים נערים nearim ketannim, may mean young men, for קטן katon signifies to be young, in opposition to old, and is so translated in various places in our Bible; and נער naar signifies, not only a child, but a young man, a servant, or even a soldier, or one fit to go out to battle; and is so translated in a multitude of places in our common English version. (13-18) Elisha heals the waters of Jericho, Those that mocked Elisha destroyed. Prophets should make every place to which they come better for them, endeavouring to sweeten bitter spirits, and to make barren souls fruitful, by the word of God, which is like the salt cast into the water by Elisha. Took his mantle - Την μηλωτην αυτου, his sheep-skin, says the Septuagint. That extraordinary event, the translation of Elijah. 2 Kings 3. 2 Kings 2. It was evidently either accidental, or a Divine judgment; and if a judgment, God must be the sole author of it. The waters of Jordan, of old, yielded to the ark; now, to the prophet's mantle, as a token of God's presence. The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha - This was a natural conclusion, from seeing him with the mantle, and working the same miracle. "And he smote the waters, but they did not divide; and he said, Where is the God of Elijah even now? Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Let them not mock at any for defects in mind or body; especially it is at their peril, if they scoff at any for well doing.
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