Page images

Elijah's Message


to Ahaziah.

1 Heh.. The bed,

the god of Ekron ? (4) Now therefore

but shalt surely die. (7) And he said thus saith the LORD, 1 Thou shalt not

unto them,What manner of man was he come down from that bed on which thou

which came up to meet you, and told art gone up, but shalt surely die. And

you these words ? (8) And they answered Elijah departed.

him, He was an hairy man, and girt (5) And when the messengers turned whither inouement with a girdle of leather about his loins. back unto him, he said unto them, Why down from it.

rolle i come And he said, It is Elijah the Tishbite. are ye now turned back?

(6) And they

(9) Then the king sent unto him a said unto him, There came a man up

captain of fifty with his fifty. And he to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn

went up to him: and, behold, he sat on again unto the king that sent you, and

the top of an hill. And he spake unto say unto him, Thus saith the LORD,

him, Thou man of God, the king hath Is it not because there is not a God in the manner of the said, Come down. (10) And Elijah anIsrael, that thou sendest to enquire of

swered and said to the captain of fifty, Baal-zebub the god of Ekron ? there

If I be a man of God, then let fire come fore thou shalt not come down from

down from heaven, and consume thee that bed on which thou art gone up,

and thy fifty. And there came down

2 Heb. What was

[ocr errors]

(1) Now therefore.-For this act of faithlessness, girdle, as Thenius remarks, would not be mentioned and to prove by the event that there is a God in Israel, alone. The common dress of the Bedawis is a sheep or whose oracle is unerring. (Comp. 1 Kings xviii. 24, seq.) goat's skin with the hair left on.

Thus saith.-Or, hath said. After these words Girt with a girdle of leather.-Such as only the prophetic announcement comes in rather abruptly. the poorest would wear. The girdle was ordinarily of Perhaps the verse has been abridged by the compiler, linen or cotton, and often costly. The prophet's dress and in the original account from which he drew, the was a sign of contempt for earthly display, and of words of verse 6 may have followed here, “ Go, return sorrow for the national sins and their consequences, to the king Ekron.”

which it was his function, to proclaim. (Comp. Isa. And Elijah departed.—On the Lord's errand. XX. 2.) The LXX. adds, “and said unto them,” or “told (9) Then the king sent.- Heb., And he sent. them,” which is perhaps due to a copyist's eye having With hostile intentions, as is proved by his sending wandered to the words “unto him," or unto them," soldiers, and by the words of the angel in verse 15. in next verse (Thenius).

(Comp. 1 Kings xviii. 8, xxii. 26, seq.) (5) Turned back unto him.-Unto Ahaziah, as He sat.-Was sitting. The LXX. has "Elias was the Syriac and Vulgate actually read. Literally, And sitting,” which is probably original. the messengers returned unto him, and he said, &c. A captain of fifty.-The army of Israel was Though Elijah was unknown to the envoys, such a organised by thousands, hundreds, and fifties, each of menacing interposition would certainly be regarded as which had its " captain " (sar). (Comp. Num. xxxi. a Divine warning, which it was perilous to disregard. 14, 48; 1 Sam. viii. 12.)

Why are ye now turned back ?-Why have On the top of an hill.-Rather, the hill, i.e., above ye returned ? with emphasis on the “ Why."

Samaria. Others think, Carmel, from 1 Kings xviii. 42; (6) Thou sendest.-Art sending. Elijah had said,

chap. ii. 25. ye are going, in his question to the messengers (verse 3). He spake.-LXX., " the captain of fifty spake." (See Note on verse 4.) Bähr is wrong in supposing Thou man of God.-Heb., man of the god, i.e., the servants anxious to shift the prophet's blame from the true God. (So in verses 11, 13, infra.) themselves to their lord, or that Elijah had addressed The king. - In the Hebrew emphatic, as if to say, them as accomplices in the king's guilt. They had no the king's power is irresistible, even by a man of God. choice but to obey the royal mandate.

The true God was thus insulted in the person of His (7) He said.-Spake. (See Note on verse 3.) prophet.

What manner of man ?-See margin. The Come down.-Or, Pray come down—in a tone of word mishpat here denotes the external characteristics ironical politeness (rēdah, precative). and visible peculiarities by which a man is distinguished (10) And Elijah answered and said.-So Syriac (shāphat) from his fellows. (Comp. our expressions and LXX, Heb., and spake. "sort, “ fashion," "style," and the Vulgate, “ Cujus If.—Heb., And if a man of the god I (truly be). figuræ et habitus est vir ille ? ” LXX., ý kpiois. Syriac, This “and closely connects the prophet's reply with appearance,” “ look.” Targum, vóuos.)

the captain's demand. All the versions except the (8) Answered.--Said unto.

LXX. omit it, with some Hebrew MSS. An hairy man.--Literally, a lord of hair. This Then.-Omit. might refer to length of hair and beard (so LXX., Let fire come down from heaven.-A phrase daoùs," hirsute,” “shaggy”); or to a hairy cloak or found only here and in 2 Chron. vii. 1. Ewald conmantle. The second alternative is right, because a siders this a mark of the later origin of this tradition hairy mantle was a mark of the prophetic office from about Elijah. The words “come down" are at any rate Elijah downwards. (Comp. Zech. xiii. 4, a rough appropriate, as repeating the captain's bidding to the garment ;” and Matt. iii. 4, where it is said of John prophet. Baptist—the second Elias—that “ he was clad in camel's Consume.-Eat, or devour. (Comp. 1 Kings xviii. hair,” and had "a leather girdle about his loins.") The 38.) Here, as there, Jehovah is represented as vindi


Fire from Heaven.


Elijah and the k'ing.

1 Heb., bored.

fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. (11) Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly. (12) And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. (13) And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and I fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight. (11) Behold, there came fire down from heaven,

and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight. (15) And the angel of the Lord said unto Elijah, Go down with him : be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.

(16) And he said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baal-zebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word ? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.

(17) So he died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he

B.C. 896.

cating His own cause by the means most adequate to (14) Burnt.- Eat, or devoured (verses 10, 12). the necessities of the time, viz., a manifest miracle. The two captains of the former fifties.--

(11) Again also he sent.-Although he had heard Rather, the former two captains of fifties. what had befallen his former envoys.

Therefore let my life now.- And now (i.e., this He answered.-LXX., "went up” (way-ya‘al for time) let my life. Some MSS., and LXX., Vulg., and way-ya'an), as in verses 9 and 13.

Arabic add the precative " now,” that is, “I pray,” as And said.-Heb., spake. Yet some MSS., and in verse 13 (“I pray thee " = na'). Vulgate, Syriac, Arabic, as Authorised Version.

(15) Said.-So LXX. (elte). Heb., spake. Vulgate Thus hath the king said.-Or, commanded and Arabic add " saying." (See Note on verse 3.) ('āmar).

Go down. From the mountain top into the city. Come down quickly.-"Impudentior fuit hic With him.-'Othô, later form for 'ittô, which some :... priore ; tum quia audito ejus supplicio

non resipuit, MSS. read here. tum quia auxit impudentiam addendo •Festina' (a Be not afraid of him-i.e., the captain. The Lapide). (But see Note on verse 12.)

former two, as being the willing tools of the king, (12) Said (spake) unto them.-LXX. and Syriac, might have shown their zeal by instantly slaying the "unto him,” which seems original.

prophet. (Comp. the case of the knights who murThe fire of God.-" The” is not in the Hebrew. dered St. Thomas of Canterbury.) The LXX., Vulgate, Arabic, and Targum, with some (16) And he said. Heb., spake. The LXX. adds, MSS., omit "of God.”. The phrase occurs in the sense " and Elijah said.” of lightning (Job i. 16).

Is it not because.-Omit “not." The question Consumed him and his fifty.-According to is here parenthetic, the connection of the main sentence Thenius, the story of the destruction of the captains being, Forasmuch as thou hast sent ... therefore and their companies emphasises (1) the authority pro. thou shalt not come down," &c. perly belonging to the prophet; (2) the help and pro- Off.-From, as in verses 4 and 6. The words of the tection which Jehovah bestows on His prophets.


oracle are thrice repeated verbally. captains and their men are simply conceived as in- Here, just as in other cases,” says Bähr, “Elijah struments of a will opposing itself to Jehovah, and reappears suddenly and disappears again, and no one are accordingly annihilated. These considerations, he knows whence he comes or whither he goes.” The thinks, render irrelevant all questions about the moral peculiar form of the story suggests that it was derived justice of their fate, and comparative degrees of guilt. in the first instance from oral tradition rather than (Comp. chaps. ii. 23, seq., vi. 17.)

from a written source. (13) A captain of the third fifty.-Literally, a (17, 18) Concluding remarks added by the compiler. captain of a third fifty. But verse 11, “another cap- (17) And Jehoram.-LXX. (Alex.), Syriac, and tain of fifty," and the phrase which follows here, “ the Vulgate add “his brother," an expression which has third captain of fifty," indicate the right reading, “a fallen out of the Hebrew text, owing to its resemblance third captain of fifty” (So LXX. and Vulg.)

to the next - (tahtāw, “ip his stead"). (Comp. chap. Fell.-Margin. (Comp. Isa. xlvi. 1, “ Bel boweth ii. 1, “son of Ahab.”) down.")

In the second year of Jehoram.-Vat. LXX., Besought him.-Begged favour, grace, or compas.

“ in the eighteenth year,” which is probably right. sion of him (Gen. xlii. 21; Hosea xii. 5).

(Comp. 1 Kings xxii. 52, “Ahaziah reigned over These fifty thy servants.-Or, these thy ser- Israel in ... the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat .. vants, fifty (men), laying stress on the number of lives. and he reigned two years.” Either, therefore, our

Be precious in thy sight.-Comp. Ps. lxxii. 14; present Heb. text is corrupt, or the compiler followed a 1 Sam. xxvi. 21.

different source in this place.) Thenius proposes the

[ocr errors]

Elijal and Elisha


at Beth-el.

had no son.

(18) Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the book of the chroni. cles of the kings of Israel ?

CHAPTER II.-(1) And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. (2) And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Beth-el. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy

soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So
they went down to Beth-el. (3) And the
sons of the prophets that were at Beth-
el came forth to Elisha, and said unto
him, Knowest thou that the LORD will
take away thy master from thy head to
day? And he said, Yea, I know it;
ye your peace.

(4) And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.

[ocr errors]

reading, " in the twenty-second year of Jehosha phat," The Lord hath sent me to Beth-el.-Why ? in place of “in the second year of Jehoram the son of Not merely to "see once more this holiest place in Jehoshaphat."

Israel, the spiritual centre of the kingdom of the ten (18) The acts.-Dibré, i.e., history.

tribes” (Ewald), but to visit the prophetic schools, or Which he did.-Some MSS. and the Syriac read guilds, established there, and at Gilgal and Jericho, “and all that he did,” which seems correct.

and to confirm their fidelity to Jehovah. Gilgal and The book of the chronicles of the kings.- Beth-el, as ancient Canaanite sanctuaries, were centres See Introduction, and 1 Kings xiv. 19.

of illegal worship of the God of Israel. The guilds of

the prophets may have been intended to counteract II.

this evil influence at its head-quarters (Bähr). THE CLOSE OF THE HISTORY OF ELIJAH.


As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth.SUCCEEDED BY ELISHA.

Chap. iv. 30; 1 Sam. xx. 3. A more solemn and em.

phatic oath than “ As the Lord liveth” (Judges viii. (1–18) Elijah is miraculously taken away from the 19), or “ As thy soul liveth ” (1 Sam. i. 26). Literally, earth.

By the life of Jehovah and by the life of thy soul (i.e., (1) And it came to pass

whirlwind.- of thyself, thine own life). The compiler has prefixed this heading to the following They went down.-From Gilgal. The phrase narrative by way of connection with the general thread proves that the Gilgal between the Jordan and Jericho of the history. It seems to be indicated that the event cannot be meant in verse 1. (See Josh. iv. 19, happened in the beginning of the reign of Jehoram ;

v. 10.) but see Note on 2 Chron. xxi. 12.

(3) The sons of the prophets.-See Notes on When the Lord would ake up.- When 1 Kings xx. 35; 1 Sam. x. 10, xix. 20. There was a Jehovah caused Elijah to go up, or ascend. This anti- guild of prophets at Beth-el. cipates the conclusion of the story.

Came forth to Elisha.-Who probably walked a Into heaven.—Heb., accusative of direction, as in little way before his master, to announce his approach. verse 11. The LXX. renders, ás eis töv ovpavóv, “as And said unto him.-The prophetic college had into heaven," perhaps to suggest that not the visible been divinely forewarned of Elijah's departure. heavens, but God, was the real goal of the prophet's The Lord will take away ... to day.-"To ascension.

day” is emphatic. Knowest thou that this day By a whirlwind.-In the storm.

Jehovah is about to take away thy lord from beside Gilgal.-Heb., the Gilgal, i.e., the Ring (comp. Isa. thee ?” The word “head” may signify self, or person, xxviii. 28, “wheel "), a descriptive name of more than like the word "sonl,” and other terms. (Comp. Gen. one place. Here, Gilgal in Ephraim, the present xl. 13; 1 Sam. xxviii. 2; 2 Sam. i. 16.) Others explain Jiljília, which stands on a hill south-west of Seilân • from over thy head,” i.e., from his position of supe(Shiloh), near the road leading thence to Jericho. (See riority over thee as thy master and teacher. (See Deut. xi. 30; Hosea iv. 15; Amos iv. 4.) Hosea and 1 Kings xix. 21; Acts xxii. 3.) Others again, but very Amos connect Gilgal with Bethel, as a sanctuary. It improbably, take the words literally as a reference was probably marked by a ring of stones like those at to Elijah's ascension, "away over thine head." Stonehenge and Avebury. From this spot the moun- Yea, I know.-Rather, I, too, know. tain land of Gilead, the Great Sea, and the snowy Hold ye your peace.-Elisha says this, not to heights of Hermon, were all visible; so that the prophet prevent the gathering of a crowd to witness the speccould take from thence a last look at the whole country tacle of Elijah's departure, nor yet to intimate that which had been the scene of his earthly activity. his master's modesty will be shocked by much talk of

(2) Said.-Not spake, as throughout the account in his approaching exaltation, but simply to suggest that chap. i. 2–16; a mark of different origin.

the subject is painful both to him and to his beloved Tarry here, I pray thee.—This was said, not to master, The Hebrew term, hehěshû, imitates the test Elisha's affection, nor from a motive of humility, sound, like our "hush!” that Elisha might not witness his glorious ascension, () And Elijah said.-The exact repetition of the but because Elijah was uncertain whether it was God's language of verses 2, 3 in this and the next two verses, will that Elisha should go with him. (Comp. verse 10.) appears to indicate that the narrative had originally Elisha's threefold refusal to leave him settled the been handed on by oral tradition, probably in the prodoubt. (Comp. John xxi. 15, seq.)

phetic guilds at the local sanctuaries.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Elijah Divides


the Jordan.

I Heh., in sight,

(5) And the sons of the prophets that

they were divided hither and thither, so were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said

that they two went over on dry ground. unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD

(9) And it came to pass, when they will take away thy master from thy

were gone over, that Elijah said unto head to day? And he answered, Yea, I

Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, know it; bold ye your peace.

(6) And or, ocer against. before I be taken away from thee. And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee,

Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double here; for the LORD hath sent me to

portion of thy spirit be upon me. (10) And Jordan. And he said, As the LORD

he said, "Thou hast asked a hard thing : liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not

nevertheless, if thou see me when I am leave thee. And they two went on. Heb., Thou has taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; (7) And fifty men of the sons of the pro

but if not, it shall not be so. phets went, and stood 'to view afar off :

(11) And it came to pass, as they still and they two stood by Jordan. (8) And

went on, and talked, that, behold, there Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it

appeared a chariot of fire, and horses together, and smote the waters, and

of fire, and parted them both asunder;

done hard in ask-

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

(5) Came.-Drew near.

Elisha asks to be treated as the firstborn among "the Answered.-Said.

sons of the prophets,” and so to receive twice as great (6) Said unto him.-Syriac adds, “unto Elisha ; a share of " the spirit and power” of his master as any Arabic, as verse 4, and so three MSS.

of the rest. • Let me be the firstborn among thy And he said.-LXX., "and Elisha said”-an im. spiritual sons ; " " Make me thy trne spiritual heir;" provement.

not “Give me twice as great a share of the spirit of “ Not only Elisha, the intimate companion and future prophecy as thou possessest thyself,” as many have successor of Elijah, but all the disciples of the different wrongly interpreted. The phrase, “å mouth of two,"

schools of the prophets,' have the presentiment of the seems to be a metaphor derived from the custom of loss which threatens them. The Spirit has warned serving honoured guests with double, and even greater, them all; they communicate their fears, but Elisha messes (Gen. xliii. 34). forbids them to give free course to their sorrow. А Ask what I shall do for thee ... from thee. respectful silence, a resignation not exempt from fore- -As a dying father, Elijah might wish to bless his boding, suits this condition of things. Elisha clings to spiritual son ere his departure (Gen. xxvii. 4). (Comp. his master, as though he could keep him back; the dis- verse 12 infra, “My father, my father.”) ciples follow them with their eyes. The monotony of (10) Thou hast asked a hard thing.-Because the successive scenes adds to the solemn effect of the to grant such a petition was not in Elijah's own power, total description (Reuss).

but in God's only. And therefore in the next words (7) And fifty ... went.-Now fifty had the prophet connects the fulfilment of his follower's gone.

wish with a condition depending entirely upon the Stood to view.-Taken their stand opposite, i.e., Divine will : “If thou see me when I am taken from directly opposite the place where the two were standing thee, it shall be so unto thee.” (Keil). “* If the Lord by the brink of the river, yet at some distance behind. think thee worthy to witness my departure, thou wilt They wished to see whether and how the companions be worthy to win thy boon.' Elijah thus disclaims would cross the stream at a point where there was no power to fulfil the request. At the same time, it is imford.

plied that his departure will be something exalted above (8) His mantle.-The hairy 'addèreth, which cha- the perception of ordinary men" (Thenius). racterised him as prophet. Zech. xiii, 4, 'addèreth sēʻār; When I am taken.-Literally, taken (participle "mantle of hair;” Syriac and Arabic, "head-dress pu'al, shortened form, as in Exod. iii. 2; Isa. xviii. 2). (wrongly).

(11) And it came to pass.

talked.-LiterWrapped it together.-Rolled it up. Here only ally, And it came to pass, they (emphatic) were walking (Comp. “my substance," or mass,” Ps. cxxxix. 16; a walking and talking, i.e., were going on farther “blue mantles,” Ezek. xxvii. 24, from the same root.) and farther, talking as they went. Whither they went LXX., elange; Vulg., "involvit ;” Syriac, “rolled it is not told ; probably some height of the mountains of

Smote the waters.-A symbolical action like that Gilead, Elijah's native country, was the scene of his of Moses smiting the rock, or stretching out his rod departure. (Comp. Deut. xxxiv. 5; Num. xx. 28.) over the sea. (Comp. also the use of Elisha's staff, That, behold, there appeared .. fire.chap. iv. 29.) In all these cases the outward and visible Literally, and, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire. sign is made the channel of the invisible and spiritual Rekeb is generally collective; so the Targum here. force of faith.

(Comp. chap. vi. 17: “Horses and chariots of fire They were divided hither and thither.- round about Elisha.") Exod. xiv. 16, 21, 22; Josh. iv. 22, seq.

Parted them both asunder.-Or, made parting So that.-And.

between them twain, i.e., the appearance of fiery chariots (9) I pray thee, let .. :-Literally, And (i.e., well

, and horses came between Elijah and Elisha, surroundthen) let there fall, I pray thee, a portion of two in thy ing the former as with a flaming war-host. (Comp. spirit, unto me.

chap. vi. 17.) A double portion. The expression used in Deut. Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. xxi. 7 of the share of the firstborn son, who by the -Rather, Elijah went up in the storm heavenward, or, Mosaic law inherited two parts of his father's property. perhaps, into the air. Sěřārāh, properly storm-blast; and


[ocr errors]


Elijah is


Carried to Heaven.

and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into fa EccluS. 9; 1 said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah ? heaven.

and when he also had smitten the (12) And Elisha saw it, and he cried,

waters, they parted hither and thither: •My father, my father, the chariot of Is- o ch. 13. 14. and Elisha went over. rael, and the horsemen thereof. And he

(15) And when the sons of the prophets saw him no more : and he took hold of

which were cto view at Jericho saw him, his own clothes, and rent them in two

they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest pieces. (13) He took up also the mantle

on Elisha. And they came to meet him, of Elijah that fell from him, and went e ver. 7.

and bowed themselves to the ground back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;

before him. (16) And they said unto him, (14) and he took the mantle of Elijah that

Behold now, there be with thy servants fell from him, and smote the waters, and

fifty strong men; let them go, we pray

1 Heb., lip.

2 Heb. 8008




80 storm, thunderstorm. (Comp. Ezek. i. 4, seq., where Rent them in two pieces.-From top to bottom,
Jehovah appears in a “whirlwind,” which is described in token of extreme sorrow. (For the phrase, comp.
as a great fiery cloud; and Job xxxviii. 1, where He 1 Kings xi. 30.)
answers Job "out of the whirlwind ;” and Neh. i. 3 : (13) The mantle of Elijah.-See verse 8, and comp.

The Lord hath His path in whirlwind and in storm 1 Kings xix. 19. The badge of the prophet's office was
(sēʻārāh), and the clouds are the dust of His feet.") The naturally transferred to his successor.
Hebrew mind recognised the presence and working The bank.-Literally, lip. So xeixos is used in
of Jehovah in the terrific phenomena of nature; the Greek (Herod. ii. 70).
thunder-cloud or storm-wind was His chariot, the (14) Where is the Lord God of Elijah ?-Has
thunder His voice, the lightning His arrow. (Comp. He left the earth with His prophet ? If not, let Him
Pss. xviii. 6–15, civ. 3.) We must therefore be cautious now show His power, and verify the granting of my
of taking the words before us in too literal a sense. The request (verse 9). The words are a sort of irony of
essential meaning of the passage is this, that God faith. Elisha “seeks ” Jehovah as the only source of
suddenly took Elijah to Himself, amid a grand display power. (Comp. Jer. ii. 6, 8, where the priests and
of His power in and through the forces of nature. The prophets are blamed for having recourse to idols, instead
popular conception, which we see embodied in such of asking, “ Where is Jehovah ?")
pictures as William Blake's Translation of Elijah, that And when he also had smitten.-The Hebrew
the prophet ascended to heaven in a fiery car drawn by is, also (or, even) he--and he smote. There is clearly
horses of fire, is plainly read into, rather than gathered something wrong. The LXX. does not render the
from, the sacred text.

Hebrew 'aph ', " also he," but copies the words in Went up.-Bähr may be right in asserting that Greek (appu). Keil connects them with the foregoing 'ālāh here means “ disappeared, was consumed ” (like question, " Where is Jehovah, the God of Elijah, even the German aufgehen). He compares Judges xx. 40, He?” Thenius objects that this use of aph is doubtful, “The whole city went up heavenward,i.e., was con- and supports Houbigant's correction, 'èphó, an enclitic sumed, and the Hebrew name of the burnt offering then-“Where, then, is Jehovah, the God of Elijah ? (blah). But the same phrase ( to go up to heaven") and he smote,” &c. Perhaps éphòh (where”) was the is used in Psalm cvii. 26 of a ship rising heavenward original reading : “ Where is Jehovah, the God of on the stormy waves.

Elijah? Where”-an emphatic repetition of the ques. As regards the miraculous removal of Elijah and tion. Or it may be that the words 'aph hiwayyakkeh Enoch (Gen, v. 24), Von Gerlach remarks: All such should be transposed : " and he smote,he also (like questions as whither they were removed, and where Elijah)," &c. The Vulgate has the curious rendering, they now are, and what changes they underwent in “ And with the cloak of Elias which had fallen from translation, are left uuanswered by the Scriptures.” It him, he smote the waters, and they were not divided ; may be added, that the ascension of Elijah into heaven and he said, Where is the God of Elias now also ? And is nowhere alluded to in the rest of the Bible.

he smote the waters, and they were divided,” &c. Such (12) And Elisha ... cried.-Literally, And Elisha also is the reading of the Complutensian LXX. ; but was seeing, and he (emphatic) was shouting. (Comp. the variation is simply an old attempt to account for the verse 10, “ If thou see me taken away.”)

twofold “ and he smote the waters." My father, my father.- Expresses what Elijah (15) To view.- Opposite, over against. LXX., was to Elisha. (See Note on verse 9.)

egevavtlas; Vulg., "e contra” (Deut. xxxii. 52). It The chariot (chariots-rekeb) of Israel, and is not clear whether these sons of the prophets the horsemen thereof.-Expressing what Elijah are the fifty who “ went and stood opposite afar off was to the nation. The Targum paraphrases. “My (verse 7), or not. On the whole, it seems likely that all, master, my master, who was better to Israel than the guild residing at Jericho is meant. Awaiting chariots and horsemen by his prayers.”_The personal Elisha's return, they had assembled at the river side, work and influence of a prophet like Elijah was the and witnessed the miracle, which was evidence to them truest safeguard of Israel. The force of the expressiou that Elisha was to be their future head. will be seen, if it is remembered that chariots and The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.horsemen constituted, in that age, the chief military Hath alighted, i.e., settled, rested. The proof was that arm, and were indispensable for the struggle against Elisha had just repeated his master's miracle. the Aramean states. (Comp. chaps. vii. 6, x. 2, xiii. 14; (16) And they said unto him.-After he had told 1 Kings xx. 1; Ps. xx. 7.)

them of the Assumption of Elijah (Thenius). He saw him no more. After his outcry. He Fifty strong men.-See margin. Perhaps these had seen him taken up.

« PreviousContinue »