2 Kings 2:8
And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided here and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) His mantle.—The hairy ’addèreth, which characterised him as prophet. Zechariah 13:4, ’addèreth sē‘ār, “mantle of hair;” Syriac and Arabic, “head-dress” (wrongly).

Wrapped it together.Rolled it up. Here only. (Comp. “my substance,” or “mass,” Psalm 139:16; “blue mantles,” Ezekiel 27:24, from the same root.) LXX., εἵλησεν; Vulg., “involvit;” Syriac, “rolled it up.”

Smote the waters.—A symbolical action like that of Moses smiting the rock, or stretching out his rod over the sea. (Comp. also the use of Elisha’s staff, 2Kings 4:29.) In all these cases the outward and visible sign is made the channel of the invisible and spiritual force of faith.

They were divided hither and thither.Exodus 14:16; Exodus 14:21-22; Joshua 4:22, seq.

So that.And.

2 Kings 2:8. And smote the waters — These waters of old yielded to the ark, now to the prophet’s mantle; which to those that wanted the ark, was an equivalent token of God’s presence. When God will take his children to himself, death is the Jordan which they must pass through. And they find a way through it, a safe and comfortable way. The death of Christ has divided those waters, that the ransomed of the Lord may pass over.2:1-8 The Lord had let Elijah know that his time was at hand. He therefore went to the different schools of the prophets to give them his last exhortations and blessing. The removal of Elijah was a type and figure of the ascension of Christ, and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Elisha had long followed Elijah, and he would not leave him now when he hoped for the parting blessing. Let not those who follow Christ come short by tiring at last. The waters of Jordan, of old, yielded to the ark; now, to the prophet's mantle, as a token of God's presence. When God will take up his faithful ones to heaven, death is the Jordan which they must pass through, and they find a way through it. The death of Christ has divided those waters, that the ransomed of the Lord may pass over. O death, where is thy sting, thy hurt, thy terror!They were divided ... - The attestation to the divine mission of Elijah furnished by this miracle would tend to place him upon a par in the thoughts of men with the two great leaders of the nation named in the marginal references. 8. Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters—Like the rod of Moses, it had the divinely operating power of the Spirit. No text from Poole on this verse. And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together,.... Folded it up close together, in a position to smite with it; this is thought to be not his hairy garment, but a shorter robe, that was worn upon his shoulders; but the Greek version renders it by "melotes", and so in 2 Kings 2:14, which, according to Isidore (l), was a goat's skin, hanging down from the neck, and girt at the loins; and being thus clothed, perhaps, may be the reason of his being called an hairy man, 2 Kings 1:8,

and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither; just as Moses lifted up his rod, and the waters of the sea were divided for the Israelites:

so that they two went over on dry ground; in like manner as the Israelites did through the sea.

(l) Origin. l. 19. c. 24.

And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the {f} waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.

(f) That is, of Jordan.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. And Elijah took his mantle] In 2 Kings 1:8 the mantle was not mentioned, but the word here is the same as in Zechariah 13:4, so that there can be little doubt that the expression ‘hairy man’ above refers to the garment, and not to the head and beard.

and wrapt it together] Making thus a sort of roll or rod, and reminding us by his action of Moses, who smote with his rod the waters of the Nile (Exodus 7:17; Exodus 7:20) when they were to be turned into blood.Verse 8. - And Elijah took his mantle (the LXX. have τὸν μηλωτήν); the sheep-skin cape or capote, which covered his shoulders. And wrapped it together; rather, and rolled it up (εἴλησε, LXX.); so that it resembled in some degree a rod or staff. And [with this he] smote the waters; consciously imitating the act of Moses when he "stretched out his hand over the Red Sea" (Exodus 14:21), and divided its waters asunder. And they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. The parallelism with the miraculous acts of Moses and Joshua (Joshua 3:13) is obvious, and allowed even by those who view the acts themselves as having no historical foundation (Ewald, 'History of Israel,' vol. 4. p. 111, note, Eng. trans.). It was intended that Israel should regard Elijah and Elisha as a second Moses and Joshua, and should therefore yield them a ready obedience. If miracles are impossible, cadit quaestio; exegesis of Scripture, and even reading of Scripture, may as well be put aside. But if they are possible, and have a place in the Divine economy, here was a worthy occasion for them. The powers of the world were arrayed against the cause of true religion and so against God; the cause was about to lose its great champion and assertor, Elijah; a weaker successor was about to take his place; - without some manifest display of supernatural might the cause of religion would evidently have lost ground, perhaps have been ruined altogether. It pleased God, therefore, just at this time, to grant that signs and wonders of an extraordinary character should be done by the hands of his servants Elijah and Elisha, that a halo of mystic glory should encircle them, for the better sustentation of his own cause against his adversaries, for the exaltation and glorification of his faithful ones, and for the confusion and dismay of those who were opposed to them. Now, surely, if ever, was there a dignus vindice nodus, justifying a miraculous interposition. Elijah's Ascension to Heaven. - 2 Kings 2:1-10. Journey from Gilgal to the other side of the Jordan. - 2 Kings 2:1, 2 Kings 2:2. When the time arrived that Jehovah was about to take up His servant Elijah in a tempest to heaven, Elijah went with his attendant Elisha from Gilgal down to Bethel. בּסּערה, in the tempest or storm, i.e., in a tempestuous storm, which was frequently the herald of the divine self-revelations in the terrestrial world (vid., Job 38:1; Job 40:6; Ezekiel 1:4; Zechariah 9:14). השּׁמים is the accusative of direction. Gilgal and Bethel (Beitin, see at 1 Kings 12:29) were seats of schools of the prophets, which Elijah had founded in the kingdom of the ten tribes. It is now generally admitted that Gilgal, from which they went down to Bethel, cannot be the place of that name which was situated in the Jordan valley to the east of Jericho, but must be the Gilgal upon the mountains, the elevated Jiljilia to the south-west of Silo (Seilun, see at Joshua 8:35). On the way Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here, I pray, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel;" but Elisha declared with a solemn oath that he would not leave him. The Lord had revealed to both that the seal of divine attestation was to be impressed upon the work of Elijah by his being miraculously taken up into heaven, to strengthen the faith not of Elisha only, but also of the disciples of the prophets and of all the godly in Israel; but the revelation had been made to them separately, so that Elijah had no suspicion that Elisha had also been informed as to his being taken away. He wanted, therefore, to get rid of his servant, not "to test his love and attachment" (Vatabl.), but from humility (C. a Lap. and others), because he did not wish to have any one present to witness his glorification without being well assured that it was in accordance with the will of God.
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