2 Kings 2:19
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The people of the city said to Elisha, "Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive."

New Living Translation
One day the leaders of the town of Jericho visited Elisha. "We have a problem, my lord," they told him. "This town is located in pleasant surroundings, as you can see. But the water is bad, and the land is unproductive."

English Standard Version
Now the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.”

New American Standard Bible
Then the men of the city said to Elisha, "Behold now, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad and the land is unfruitful."

King James Bible
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the men of the city said to Elisha, "Even though our lord can see that the city's location is good, the water is bad and the land unfruitful."

International Standard Version
The men who lived in the city addressed Elisha. "Look now," they said, "our city's location is good, as you have been observing, but the water springs here are bad and the land isn't sustaining crops."

NET Bible
The men of the city said to Elisha, "Look, the city has a good location, as our master can see. But the water is bad and the land doesn't produce crops."

New Heart English Bible
The men of the city said to Elisha, "Look, please, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land miscarries."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The people of the city [of Jericho] told Elisha, "This city's location is as good as you will ever find. But the water is bad, and the land cannot grow crops."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the men of the city said unto Elisha: 'Behold, we pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth; but the water is bad, and the land miscarrieth.

New American Standard 1977
Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold now, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, the seat of this city is good, as my lord sees, but the water is evil, and the ground barren.

King James 2000 Bible
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray you, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees: but the water is bad, and the ground barren.

American King James Version
And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, I pray you, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.

American Standard Version
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, we pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is bad, and the land miscarrieth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the men of the city said to Eliseus: Behold the situation of this city is very good, as thou, my lord, seest: but the waters are very bad, and the ground barren.

Darby Bible Translation
And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold now, the situation of the city is good, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is barren.

English Revised Version
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, we pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the land miscarrieth.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is bad, and the ground barren.

World English Bible
The men of the city said to Elisha, "Behold, please, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land miscarries."

Young's Literal Translation
And the men of the city say unto Elisha, 'Lo, we pray thee, the site of the city is good, as my lord seeth, and the waters are bad, and the earth sterile.'
Study Bible
Elisha Heals Jericho's Waters
18They returned to him while he was staying at Jericho; and he said to them, "Did I not say to you, 'Do not go '?" 19Then the men of the city said to Elisha, "Behold now, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad and the land is unfruitful." 20He said, "Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it." So they brought it to him.…
Cross References
2 Kings 2:18
They returned to him while he was staying at Jericho; and he said to them, "Did I not say to you, 'Do not go '?"

2 Kings 2:20
He said, "Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it." So they brought it to him.
Treasury of Scripture

And the men of the city said to Elisha, Behold, I pray you, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.

my Lord seeth

Numbers 12:11 And Aaron said to Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech you, lay not the …

1 Kings 18:7,13 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew …

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, …

the water

Exodus 7:19 And the LORD spoke to Moses, Say to Aaron, Take your rod, and stretch …

Exodus 15:23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of …

Joshua 6:17,26 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, …

1 Kings 16:34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation …

barren [heb] causing to miscarry

Exodus 23:26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in your land: …

Deuteronomy 28:2-4,11,15-18 And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you …

Hosea 9:14 Give them, O LORD: what will you give? give them a miscarrying womb …

(19-25) Elisha, as prophet, heals the waters of Jericho, and curses the scorners of Beth-el.

(19) The men of the city.--Not "the sons of the prophets," but the citizens make this trial of the prophet's miraculous powers.

The situation of this (Heb., the) city is pleasant (Heb., good).--Jericho, "the city of palms" (Deuteronomy 34:3), had a fine position, "rising like an oasis from a broad plain of sand."

The water is naught.--Heb., bad. "Naught" i.e., "naughty."

And the ground barren.--2Kings 2:21 ("from thence") shows that the waters, not the soil, were the cause of the evil complained of. "The ground," or rather, the land is here put for its inhabitants, including the lower animals; and what is said is either "the country bears dead births," or, "the country has many miscarriages" (pi'el may be either factitive or intensive). (Comp. Exodus 23:26; Malachi 3:11.) The use of different waters is said to have good and bad effects upon the functions of conception and parturition (not "a popular superstition," as Reuss suggests). "The ground is barren," or unfruitful, is therefore an incorrect translation.

Verses 19-25. - The historian passes to the record of some of Elisha's minor miracles, belonging to the time whereof he is writing, and helping to explain the position of dignity and respect which he is found to occupy in the next chapter (vers. 11-14). The miracles showed his twofold power, both to confer benefits and to punish. Verse 19. - And the men of the city - i.e. the inhabitants of Jericho; probably the civic authorities, having heard of the recent miracle - said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth. According to the unanimous voice of travelers, the situation of Jericho (now Eriha) is charming. Lying on a broad plain which is traversed by an abundant river, at the point where one of the main wadys debouched from the Judaean upland upon the low country, shaded by groves of palm trees (Deuteronomy 34:3) and fig-mulberries (Luke 19:4), the air scented with aromatic shrubs, opobalsam, myroba-lanum, and the like, facing the Orient sun, and commanding a wide prospect both across and also up and down the Ghor, with the mountains of Moab in the distance, Jericho was, no doubt, even before the miracle of Elisha, a "pleasant" place. But - there was one drawback - the water is naught, and the ground barren. Bitter and brackish springs, of which there are many in the Jordan valley, gushed forth from the foot of the mountains, and formed rivulets, which ran across the plain towards the Jordan, not diffusing health and fertility, but rather disease and barrenness. Untimely births, abortions, and the like prevailed among the cattle which were fed in the neighborhood, perhaps even among the inhabitants of the locality, and were attributed to the bitter springs, which made the land "miscarrying" (ἀτεκνουμένη, LXX.). It was the prayer of the men of Jericho that Elisha would remove this inconvenience. And the men of the city said unto Elisha,.... The inhabitants of Jericho, perceiving him to be a prophet, and endowed with a power of working miracles:

behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth; in a plain, surrounded with gardens and orchards, with vineyards, oliveyards, and groves of palm trees, and other odoriferous ones:

but the water is naught, and the ground barren; that is, that part of it where this water was, or ran, for from thence it became barren; or "caused to miscarry", as the word signifies (q); not only trees cast their fruit, which it watered, but women became abortive that drank of it, as Josephus says (r), and so cattle. Abarbinel thinks it was so from the times of Joshua, being cursed by him; but, if so, it would not have been inhabited again; rather this was owing to a new curse, upon its being rebuilt; though this might affect only a small part of the ground, not the whole, as before observed.

(q) "orbans", Montanus, Vatablus; "facit abortum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (r) De Bello Jud. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 3.2Ki 2:19-25. Elisha Heals the Waters.2:19-25 Observe the miracle of healing the waters. 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. It was an apt emblem of the effect produced by the grace of God on the sinful heart of man. 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. Here is a curse on the youths of Bethel, enough to destroy them; it was not a curse causeless, for it was Elisha's character, as God's prophet, that they abused. They bade him go up, reflecting on the taking up of Elijah into heaven. The prophet acted by Divine impulse. If the Holy Spirit had not directed Elisha's solemn curse, the providence of God would not have followed it with judgment. The Lord must be glorified as a righteous God who hates sin, and will reckon for it. Let young persons be afraid of speaking wicked words, for God notices what they say. 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. 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. 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!
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