|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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!
Verse 20. - And he said, Bring me a new cruse. Impurity must be cleansed by means that are wholly clean and pure. The prophet called for an absolutely new cruse, one that had been put to no use at all, and therefore could not have been defiled. And put salt therein. Salt, which physically would be most unapt to heal an unwholesome stream already holding too much salt in solution, is selected doubtless as emblematic of purity, being that by which corruption is ordinarily prevented or stayed. Under the Law every offering was to be purified by salt (Leviticus 2:13). The same symbolism is still employed under the gospel (see Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:49; Luke 14:34). And they brought it to him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he said, bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein,.... One that had never been used, that it might not be thought that the virtue was owing to anything that had been, or was, put into it:
and they brought it to him; the pot with the salt in it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein—The noxious qualities of the water could not be corrected by the infusion of salt—for, supposing the salt was possessed of such a property, a whole spring could not be purified by a dishful for a day, much less in all future time. The pouring in of the salt was a symbolic act with which Elisha accompanied the word of the Lord, by which the spring was healed [Keil].
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