2 Kings 7

1 Elisha said, “Hear the LORD’s word. the LORD says, ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.’” 2 Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, “Behold, if the LORD made windows in heaven, could this thing be?” He said, “Behold, you will see it with your eyes, but will not eat of it.” 3 Now there were four leprous men at the entrance of the gate. They said to one another, “Why do we sit here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘We will enter into the city,’ then the famine is in the city, and we will die there. If we sit still here, we also die. Now therefore come, and let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they save us alive, we will live; and if they kill us, we will only die.” 5 They rose up in the twilight, to go to the camp of the Syrians. When they had come to the outermost part of the camp of the Syrians, behold, no man was there. 6 For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians to hear the sound of chariots, and the sound of horses, even the noise of a great army; and they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us.” 7 Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their donkeys, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life. 8 When these lepers came to the outermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and ate and drink, and carried away silver, gold, and clothing, and went and hid it. Then they came back, and entered into another tent, and carried things from there also, and went and hid them. 9 Then they said to one another, “We aren’t doing right. Today is a day of good news, and we keep silent. If we wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come, let’s go and tell the king’s household.” 10 So they came and called to the city gatekeepers; and they told them, “We came to the camp of the Syrians, and, behold, there was no man there, not even a man’s voice, but the horses tied, and the donkeys tied, and the tents as they were.” 11 He called the gatekeepers; and they told it to the king’s household within. 12 The king arose in the night, and said to his servants, “I will now show you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry. Therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive, and get into the city.’” 13 One of his servants answered, “Please let some people take five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city. Behold, they are like all the multitude of Israel who are left in it. Behold, they are like all the multitude of Israel who are consumed. Let us send and see.” 14 Therefore they took two chariots with horses; and the king them sent out to the Syrian army, saying, “Go and see.” 15 They went after them to the Jordan; and behold, all the path was full of garments and equipment which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. The messengers returned, and told the king. 16 The people went out and plundered the camp of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the LORD’s word. 17 The king appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to be in charge of the gate; and the people trampled over him in the gate, and he died as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him. 18 It happened as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, “Two seahs of barley for a shekel, and a seah of fine flour for a shekel, shall be tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria”; 19 and that captain answered the man of God, and said, “Now, behold, if the LORD made windows in heaven, might such a thing be?” and he said, “Behold, you will see it with your eyes, but will not eat of it.” 20 It happened like that to him; for the people trampled over him in the gate, and he died.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–2

Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity of making his own power to be glorious: his time to appear for his people is when their strength is gone. Unbelief is a sin by which men greatly dishonour and displease God, and deprive themselves of the favours he designed for them. Such will be the portion of those that believe not the promise of eternal life; they shall see it at a distance, but shall never taste of it. But no temporal deliverances and mercies will in the end profit sinners, unless they are led to repentance by the goodness of God.

Verses 3–11

God can, when he pleases, make the stoutest heart to tremble; and as for those who will not fear God, he can make them fear at the shaking of a leaf. Providence ordered it, that the lepers came as soon as the Syrians were fled. Their consciences told them that mischief would befall them, if they took care of themselves only. Natural humanity, and fear of punishment, are powerful checks on the selfishness of the ungodly. These feelings tend to preserve order and kindness in the world; but they who have found the unsearchable riches of Christ, will not long delay to report the good tidings to others. From love to him, not from selfish feelings, they will gladly share their earthly good things with their brethren.

Verses 12–20

Here see the wants of Israel supplied in a way they little thought of, which should encourage us to depend upon the power and goodness of God in our greatest straits. God’s promise may be safely relied on, for no word of his shall fall to the ground. The nobleman that questioned the truth of Elisha’s word, saw the plenty, to silence and shame his unbelief, and therein saw his own folly; but he did not eat of the plenty he saw. Justly do those find the world’s promises fail them, who think that the promises of God will disappoint them. Learn how deeply God resents distrust of his power, providence, and promise: how uncertain life is, and the enjoyments of it: how certain God’s threatenings are, and how sure to come on the guilty. May God help us to inquire whether we are exposed to his threatenings, or interested in his promises.

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