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Verse 1. • A measure of fine flour....for a shekel, and ing—the bazaars in the interior of the town being for the two measures of larley for a shekel.'-'That is, roughly use of the retailers and the dealers in manufactured goods. stated, a peck of fine flour for 2s. 6d. ; and two pecks of On quitting towns soon after day-break to resume our barley for the same.
journey, our attention was often arrested at the busy * In the gate of Samaria.' – This intimates that traffic at the gate in the produce which had been brought the corn was to be sold at the gate. It is still the custom from the country' over night-forming one of the numberof the East to sell corn, vegetables, cattle, and all kinds of less Scriptural associations which to the Biblical student country prodnice at the gates of towns in the early morn- enliveu the most tiresome journey in the East.
2. A lord on whose hand the king leaned?—At the present day in Western Asia, when a king walks any short distance on foot, or remains standing, it is usual for him to support himself by resting his hand upon the arm of the highest officer of state who happens to be present.
We recollect to have seen the late Turkish sultan, after alighting from his horse, walk thus supported up the steps of the mosque at Orta Khir, which he was then visiting to perform his noontide devotions in public on a Friday.
3. “ Four leprous men.'--The Jews think these were Gehazi and his three sons; and this is not impossible, though we see no evidence either for or against this notion. The law of Moses excluded lepers from the camp; and it is probable that they were afterwards, in like manner, excluded from the towns. It is difficult to understand otherwise than as hypothetical, the statement in verse 4, which seems to imply that these leprous persons were at liberty to have re-entered the town if they had so pleased. It seems that they had been recently expelled, whether on account of their leprosy, or to relieve the town from the charge of their maintenance, or else that they had for some time been living without the town as lepers, and now ceased to receive from the besieged that scauty provision with which it is probable that they had hitherto been supplied. In either case, as the enclosing lines of the Syrian army shut them in between the besiegers and the town, and prevented them from seeking their living elsewhere, there seemed no other alternative than to throw themselves upon the compassion of the Syrians.
10. · Horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were.'-Here the lepers, in describing what they found in the camp when they approached it, niention the cattle first; whereas the description of the flight of the Syrians from their camp (verse 7), mentions the horses and asses last. This is therefore one of many circumstances which we find in the pture to intimate that the ancient Oriental camps were arranged much on the same principle as at present--with the cattle outside the whole, tied by their feet to ropes or chains, extended between pegs of wood or iron driven into the ground. Thus the cattle form a sort of outer border to the camp; and this arrangement enables them to be taken abroad for forage or water, without interfering with the order of the camp, while they are the
THE SULTAN SUPPORTED,
more in readiness to be mounted and ridden off on any from his camp, leaving the fires burning, with all the tents sudden occasion that may arise. This mode of tying the and stores as they were, including plenty of provisions and cattle suggests that it would have taken more time than the strong liquors. At midnight the pasha, thinking to surterrified Syrians could afford to undo cattle thus secured, prise the sheikh, marched in silence to his camp, and, to and therefore fled without them. It is to be noticed that his great astonishment, found it compietely abandoned, only asses and horses are thus secured, apart from each and that too in such haste, that the baggage and stores other. The camels are seldom secured at all; and accord- had been left behind. Rejoicing in his bloodless success, ingly in the present text, no camels are described as being the pasha determined to stay there and refresh his soldiers. • tied.'
They soon fell to plunder, and drank so freely of the 12. • I will now shew you what the Syrians have done.' liquors, that, overcome by the fatigue of the day's march --Here we have a stratagem of war attributed to the and the fumes of the spirits, it was not long before they Syrians, several examples of which might be adduced were all in a sound sleep. Then the supposed fugitives, from the ancient and modern history of the East. The who were well informed of these proceedings, marched best perhaps is that quoted by Harmer, from the history back silently to the camp, and rushing suddenly from all of the revolt of Ali Bey; and it is the more interesting sides upon the confused and sleeping enemy, obtained an from its having been practised upon the Syrians. The easy victory over them.
They slew eight thousand of pasha of Damascus found his enemy, the sheikh Daher, their number, and the remainder, with the pasha at their encamped near the sea of Tiberias. The engagement was head, escaped with great difficulty to Damascus, leaving deferred to the next day, but during the night the sheikh all their own baggage behind them. This was what the divided his forces into three troops, and silently moved king of Israel feared.
was her's, and all the fruits of the field since 1 The Shunammite, having left her country seven years,
the day that she left the land, even until to avoid the forewarned famine, for Elisha's miracle's sahe hath her land restored by the king. 7 Hazael, 7 And Elisha came to Damascus; and being sent with a present by Ben-hadad to Elisha ut Damascus, after he had heard the prophecy, killeth
Ben-hadad the king of Syria was sick; and it his master, and succeedeth him. 16 Jehoram's was told him, saying, The man of God is wicked reign in Judah. 20 Edom and Libnah come hither. revolt. 23 Ahazial succeedeth Jehoram. 25 Aha- 8 And the king said unto Hazael, Take a ziah's wicked reign. 28 He visiteth Jehoram wounded present in thine hand, and go, meet the man at Jezreel.
of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, Then spake Elisha unto the woman, 'whose saying, Shall I recover of this disease ? son he had restored to life, saying, Arise
, and 9 So Hazael went to meet him, and took a go thou and thine houshold, and sojourn present 'with him, even of every good thing wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD of Damascus, forty camels' burden, and came hath called for a famine ; and it shall also and stood before him, and said, Thy son Bencome upon the land seven years.
hadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, say2 And the woman arose, and did after the ing, Shall I recover of this disease ? saying of the man of God: and she went with 10 And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto her houshold, and sojourned in the land of the him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howPhilistines seven years.
beit the Lord hath shewed me that he shall 3 And it came to pass at the seven years' surely die. end, that the woman returned out of the land 11 And he settled his countenance 'stedof the Philistines : and she went forth to cry fastly, until he was ashamed : and the man of unto the king for her house and for her land. God wept.
4 And the king talked with Gehazi the 12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, lord ? And he answered, Because I know I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of hath done.
Israel : their strong holds wilt thou set on 5 And it came to pass, as he was telling fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the king liow he had restored a dead body to the sword, and wilt dash their children, and life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he rip up their women with child. had restored to life, cried to the king for her 13 And Hazael said, But what, is thy house and for her land. And Gehazi said, servant a dog, that he should do this great My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this thing? And Elisha answered, The Lord is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over
6 And when the king asked the woman, Syria. she told him. So the king appointed unto 14 So he departed from Elisha, and came her a certain 'officer, saying, Restore all that to his master; who said to him, What said 1 Chap. 4. 35.
2 Or, cunuch.
3 Heb. in his hand.
4 Heb. and set it.
Elisha to thee? And he answered, He told 23 | And the rest of the acts of Joram., me that thou shouldest surely recover. and all that he did, are they not written in the 15 And it came to pass on the morrow,
book of the chronicles of the kings of that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in Judah ? water, and spread it on his face, so that he 24 And Joram slept with his fathers, and died : and Hazael reigned in his stead. was buried with his fathers in the city of
16 | And in the fifth year of Joram the David : and 'Ahaziah bis son reigned in his son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being stead. then king of Judah, 'Jehoram the son of 25 I In the twelfth year of Joram the son Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. of Ahab king of Israel did Ahaziah the son of
17 Thirty and two years old was he when Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign. he began to reigns and he reigned eight years 26 Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah in Jerusalem.
when he began to reign; and he reigned one 18 And he walked in the way of the kings year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name of Israel, as did the house of Åhab: for the was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did Israel. evil in the sight of the Lord.
27 And he walked in the way of the house 19 Yet the LORD would not destroy Judah of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the for David his servant's sake, 'as he promised Lord, as did the house of Ahab: for he was him to give him alway a "light, and to his the son in law of the house of Ahab. children.
28 | And he went with Joram the son of 20 In his days Edom revolted from Ahab to tlie war against Hazael king of Syria under the hand of Judah, and made a king in Ramoth-gilead ; and the Syrians wounded over themselves.
Joram. 21 So Joram went over to Zair, and all the 29 And king Joram went back to be healed chariots with him: and he rose by night, and in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians smote the Edomites which compassed him had given him at Ramah, when he fought about, and the captains of the chariots : and against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the people fled into their tents.
the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down 22 Yet Edom revolted from under the to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, behand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah cause he was sick. revolted at the same time. 6 Heb, reigned.
8 Heb. candie, or, lanp. 10 Heb. wherewith the Syrians had wounded.
2 Chron, 21. 4.
7 2 Sam. 7. 13.
2 Chron. 29, 1.
Verse 1.' The Lord hath called for a famine.'---We see, in the book of Ruth, that after Elimelech's family had incline to the opinion, which has been adopted by many resided ten years in the land of Moab--for the same reason commentators, that Elisha said this before the circum- which induced the Shunamiite to remain seven years in stances recorded in the two last chapters; and that now
the land of the Philistines-ard after the father and his the woman's return, after the restoration of plenty, affords two sons had died there, the surviving females retained occasion to mention the prediction which, seven years the family estate (Ruth i. 4 ; iv. 5). Some think that the before, had induced her to leave her country. The famine next of kin had seized the Shupammite's lands; and others, in the city of Samaria, which has just been recorded, that her agent had been unfaithful; but the explanation would then seem to have been a result not merely of we have given seems the most satisfactory. the siege, but of the general dearth and the consequent 4. “The king talked with Gehazi.'--Some consider this distress.
a proof that the whole transaction occurred at a still earlier 3. • To cry unto the king for her house.'--Perhaps the period than we have supposed, that is, before the visit of estates of those who left the country without permission Naaman to Elisha, and consequently before Gehazi bewere confiscated to the king. It is true that there is came a leper, particularly as he is still called the servant nothing of this in the law of Moses; but when the regal of the man of God.' This is not impossible ; but we do government was established, and the kings found that con- not think the leprosy of Gehazi, taken alone, rendered fiscation was almost the only process by which a royal such an explanation indispensably necessary. If he was demesne could be formed, they would naturally be anxious at this time a leper, there was nothing to prevent him to fix this penalty as the consequence of certain measures from speaking to the king at a proper distance, since conor offences (see the note on i Kings xxi. 15). Probably tact only, conveyed ceremonial pollution. And if lepers this, of being absent in a foreign country beyond a given were excluded from towns, it is not difficult to imagine time, might be of the number. Such a law has existed, many circumstances under which the king may have conand does exist, among different nations; and the kings of versed with him outside the town. The king might, for Israel might think themselves the more warranted in instance, in going to one of his gardens, have had his adopting it, because the evident spirit of the law of Moses attention directed to Gehazi, as one who was erewhile was to keep the nation as much as possible within its own Elisha's servant, and had been miraculously smitten with territory, apart and separate from strangers. No such leprosy; and, in his desire to be informed of the particu. law, however, existed before the time of the Kings, for we lars, may have required him to relate them on the spot, or, which is more probable, to follow him to the garden those of the largest size at Cairo will carry three bales of for the purpose. Either way, the relation of one of coffee, or fifteen hundredweight, from the town to the Elisha's miracles would naturally lead to the mention of waterside, about three miles distant. From Cairo to Suez, another, until that of the Shupammite came to be narrated, the same camels will carry ten hundredweight; and that just at the time when the woman herself appeared to space is a journey of three days. The longer the journey prefer her petition; the good providence of God directing to be undertaken, and the fewer wells to be found in the this concurrence of circumstances to establish the evidence way, the lighter are the loads. The Darfur camels are of his own power and compassion, as well as to procure distinguished for their size and great strength in bearing from the king that attention to her request, which she heavy loads; and in this latter quality they surpass ali might not otherwise have obtained.
the camels of north-eastern Africa. Those which accom9. • Forty camels burden.'—This introductory gift must pany the Darfur caravan to Egypt are seldom loaded with have been very valuable. It does not however necessarily more than four quintals. The Sennar camels generally follow that every camel carried the full load it would carry three and a half, and are not equal in size to those bear, since it is a very common practice in the East, for of Darfur.' (* Notes on the Bedouins,' p. 258.). It is a the sake of parade, to employ a far greater number of men pity that, from such various data, Burckhardt did not deand animals in the conveyance of a gift than is actually termine something of an average.. What he does say, required. It will be useful, however, to mention what is however, rather confirms our own information, which to be considered a camel's burden. This is no determinate leads us to conclude that, taking into consideration the weight, since the burden depends on various circumstances. difference of breeds and circumstances, the average of a We copy Burckhardt's statement, which we believe to be camel's burden may be stated as somewhere between six substantially correct, being corroborated by our own in- and eight hundred pounds. The camel kneels to receive formation, so far as it extends :— The common load of an its burden, and will never consent to take more than it is Arabian camel is from four to five hundred pounds upon well able to carry. The males are stronger and carry a short journey, and from three to four hundred pounds heavier loads than the females; but the latter support on a journey of considerable distance. The camels thirst better, which is a consideration of great importance employed between Djidda and Tayf, in the year 1814 or in the East. 1815, for carrying provisions to Mohammed Ali, had loads 15. · He took a thick cloth,' etc.—There is an ambiguity not exceeding 250 pounds. The well-fed and well-watered in the original, which renders it grammatically uncertain Egyptian camels are equal in strength to the Anadolian; whether it was the king himself
who ordered this to be
done, and, by this ill-advised attempt to allay the burning Bruce, speaking of the disorders common in the region of heat of his fever (supposing it a fever), gave a fatal turn the Red Sea, says:- Violent fevers, called there nedad, to his disease or that it was Hazael who did it, either make the principal figure in this fatal list, and generally under such a pretence of affording him relief, or in order terminate the third day in death. If the patient survives to murder him outright. Some prefer the first-mentioned till the fifth day, he very often recovers by drinking interpretation ; but we think that it is safest to follow the water only, and throwing a quantity of cold water upon current of ancient and modern interpretation in deciding him, even in his bed, where he is permitted to lie, without the ambiguity against Hazael. Then-supposing him di- any attempt to make him dry, or to change his bed, till rectly or indirectly the murderer-it seems that it was another deluge adds to the first.' Now, we may suppose, his object to slay the king without having any marks of that the king's disorder was not of this kind, and that violence which might lead to detection. It is evident, Hazael recommended a similar treatment with the knowfrom the circumstances of preparation, that he slew him ledge that it was calculated to produce a fatal effect; or under some pretence of assistance: and the following ex- else that the complaint was of this description and was planation furnishes what seems to us the most probable thus treated, and that Hazael took the opportunity of interpretation. It seems that what our translation calls smothering or strangling the king under pretence of 'a thick cloth'(nap makbir), means some part of the laying over him a coverlet fresh dipped in water. It bed-furniture, probably the thick quilted coverlet, or, as
must not be forgotten, that the coverlets in the East are Michaelis thinks, a gnat-curtain or net: most likely the
in general very thickly quilted with wool or cotton, as former, as a mosquito-curtain would be more likely to be blankets are unknown. And this thickness, with its great sprinkled with water than dipped into it. Now, it is the weight when soaked in water, made it the fittest instru. custom in some kinds of fever to wet the bedding, and ment for such a wicked purpose that could be found about that with good effect; while in other cases this would be
an Oriental bed. dangerous, if not fatal. With respect to the former,
the servants of the LORD, 'at the hand of
Jezebel. 1 Elisha sendeth a young prophet with instructions to anoint Jehu at Ramoth-gilead. 4 The prophet,
8 For the whole house of Ahab shall having done his message, fleeth. 11 Jehu, being made perish : and I will cut off from Ahab him king by the soldiers, killeth Joram in the field of that pisseth against the wall, and him that is Naboth. 27 Ahaziah is slain at Gur, and buried at
shut up and left in Israel : Jerusalem. 30 Proud Jezebel is thrown down out
9 And I will make the house of Ahab like of a window, and eaten by dogs.
the house of 'Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and And Elisha the prophet called one of the like the house of 'Baasha the son of Ahijah : children of the prophets, and said unto him, 10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to thine hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead : bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.
2 And when thou comest thither, look out 11 Then Jehu came forth to the servants there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? from among his brethren, and carry him to an And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and 'inner chamber;
his communication. 3 Then 'take the box of oil, and pour it on 12 And they said, It is false; tell us now. his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, have anointed thee king over Israel. Then saying, Thus saith the Lory, I have anointed open the door, and flee, and tarry not. thee king over Israel.
4. So the young man, even the young man 13 Then they hasted, and took every man the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.
his garment, and put it under him on the top 5. And when he came, behold, the captains of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, of the host were sitting; and he said, I have Jehu 'is king. an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, 14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son Unto which of all us ? *And he said, To thee, of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now O captain.
Joram had kept Ramoth-gilead, he and all 6 And he arose, and went into the house; Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria. and he poured the oil on his head, and said 15 But ®king 'Joram was returned to be unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the I have anointed thee king over the people of Syrians "ohad given him, when he fought with the LORD, even over Israel.
Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it 7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab be your minds, then "let none go forth nor thy master, that I may avenge the blood of escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezmy servants the prophets, and the blood of all reel. 1 Heb. chanber in a chamber. 9 1 Kings 19. 16. 31 Kings 21. 15. 4 1 Kings 14. 10, and 21, 21. 5 1 Kings 14. 10, and 21. 22. & i Kings 16.3. 7 Heb, reigneth. 8 Chap. 8. 29.
11 Heb. let no escaper go, &c.
9 Heb. Jchoram,
10 Heb. smote.