2 Kings 6:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float.

New Living Translation
"Where did it fall?" the man of God asked. When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it into the water at that spot. Then the ax head floated to the surface.

English Standard Version
Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float.

New American Standard Bible
Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" And when he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there, and made the iron float.

King James Bible
And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, the man of God cut a stick, threw it there, and made the iron float.

International Standard Version
The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he was shown the place, he cut off a branch, tossed it there, and made the iron axe head float.

NET Bible
The prophet asked, "Where did it drop in?" When he showed him the spot, Elisha cut off a branch, threw it in at that spot, and made the ax head float.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed Elisha the place, Elisha cut off a piece of wood. He threw it into the water at that place and made the ax head float.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the man of God said, Where did it fall? And he showed him the place. Then he cut down a stick and cast it in there and caused the iron to swim.

King James 2000 Bible
And the man of God said, Where did it fall? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in there; and the iron did float.

American King James Version
And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.

American Standard Version
And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither, and made the iron to swim.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the man of God said: Where did it fall? and he shewed him the place. Then he cut off a piece of wood, and cast it in thither: and the iron swam.

Darby Bible Translation
And the man of God said, Where did it fall? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither, and made the iron to swim.

English Revised Version
And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither, and made the iron to swim.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron floated.

World English Bible
The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" He showed him the place. He cut down a stick, threw it in there, and made the iron float.

Young's Literal Translation
And the man of God saith, 'Whither hath it fallen?' and he sheweth him the place, and he cutteth a stick, and casteth thither, and causeth the iron to swim,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

6:1-7 There is that pleasantness in the converse of servants of God, which can make those who listen to them forget the pain and the weariness of labour. Even the sons of the prophets must not be unwilling to labour. Let no man think an honest employment a burden or a disgrace. And labour of the head, is as hard, and very often harder, than labour with the hands. We ought to be careful of that which is borrowed, as of our own, because we must do as we would be done by. This man was so respecting the axe-head. And to those who have an honest mind, the sorest grievance of poverty is, not so much their own want and disgrace, as being rendered unable to pay just debts. But the Lord cares for his people in their smallest concerns. And God's grace can thus raise the stony iron heart, which is sunk into the mud of this world, and raise up affections, naturally earthly.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 6. - And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. Two natural explanations of this miracle have been attempted:

(1) that Elisha passed a piece of wood underneath the axe-head, which he could see lying at the bottom of the river, and then lifted it up to the surface (Von Gerlach);

(2) that he thrust a stick or bar of wood through the hole in the axe-head, made to receive the haft, and so pulled it out (Thenins). But both explanations do violence to the text; and we may be sure that, had either been true, the occurrence would not have been recorded. The sacred writers are not concerned to put on record mere acts of manual dexterity.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the man of God said, where fell it?.... For though endowed with a spirit of prophecy, he did not know all things, and at all times; and if he did know where it fell, he might ask this question to lead on to the performance of the miracle:

and he showed him the place; the exact place in the river into which it fell:

and he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; he did not take the old helve and throw in, but a new stick he cut off of a tree; some think he made of this another helve or handle, of the same size and measure with the other, and that this being cast in was miraculously directed and fixed in the hole of the iron at the bottom of the water, and brought it up with it; but, as Abarbinel observes, there is no need to suppose this; the wood was cast into the precise place where the iron fell, and was sent as it were to call it up to it:

and the iron did swim; it came up and appeared, and was bore on the surface of the waters; or, "and made the iron to swim" (e); which some understand of the wood cast in, as if it had some peculiar virtue in it to draw up the iron; but it was not any particular chosen wood, but what first occurred to the prophet (f); and the meaning is, that Elisha caused it to float, contrary to the nature of iron.

(e) "fecit supernatare", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (f) Vid. Friese, Dissert. de Ferro Natante, sect. 7.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6. cut down a stick, and cast it in thither—Although this means was used, it had no natural adaptation to make the iron swim. Besides, the Jordan is at Jericho so deep and rapid that there were one thousand chances to one against the stick falling into the hole of the axe-head. All attempts to account for the recovery of the lost implement on such a theory must be rejected.

the iron did swim—only by the miraculous exertion of Elisha's power.

2 Kings 6:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Axe Head Floats
5But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, "Alas, my master! For it was borrowed." 6Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" And when he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there, and made the iron float. 7He said, "Take it up for yourself." So he put out his hand and took it.
Cross References
Exodus 15:25
Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink. There the LORD issued a ruling and instruction for them and put them to the test.

2 Kings 2:21
Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, "This is what the LORD says: 'I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.'"

2 Kings 4:41
Elisha said, "Get some flour." He put it into the pot and said, "Serve it to the people to eat." And there was nothing harmful in the pot.

2 Kings 6:5
As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. "Oh no, my lord!" he cried out. "It was borrowed!"

2 Kings 6:7
"Lift it out," he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.
Treasury of Scripture

And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he showed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.

he cut down This could have no natural tendency to raise the iron and cause it to swim: it was only a sign, or ceremony, which the prophet chose to employ on the occasion.

2 Kings 2:21 And he went forth to the spring of the waters, and cast the salt …

2 Kings 4:41 But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he …

Exodus 15:25 And he cried to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when …

Mark 7:33,34 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into …

Mark 8:23-25 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; …

John 9:6,7 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of …

the iron This was the real miracle; for the gravity of the metal must otherwise still have kept it at the bottom of the river.

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