2 Kings 4:39
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New International Version
One of them went out into the fields to gather herbs and found a wild vine and picked as many of its gourds as his garment could hold. When he returned, he cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were.

New Living Translation
One of the young men went out into the field to gather herbs and came back with a pocketful of wild gourds. He shredded them and put them into the pot without realizing they were poisonous.

English Standard Version
One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were.

Berean Study Bible
One of them went out to the field to gather herbs, and he found a wild vine from which he gathered as many wild gourds as his garment could hold. Then he came back and cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were.

New American Standard Bible
Then one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, for they did not know what they were.

King James Bible
And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.

Christian Standard Bible
One went out to the field to gather herbs and found a wild vine from which he gathered as many wild gourds as his garment would hold. Then he came back and cut them up into the pot of stew, but they were unaware of what they were.

Contemporary English Version
One of them went out into the woods to gather some herbs. He found a wild vine and picked as much of its fruit as he could carry, but he didn't know that the fruit was very sour. When he got back, he cut up the fruit and put it in the stew.

Good News Translation
One of them went out in the fields to get some herbs. He found a wild vine and picked as many gourds as he could carry. He brought them back and sliced them up into the stew, not knowing what they were.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
One went out to the field to gather herbs and found a wild vine from which he gathered as many wild gourds as his garment would hold. Then he came back and cut them up into the pot of stew, but they were unaware of what they were.

International Standard Version
Somebody went out into the fields to grab some herbs, found a wild vine, and gathered a lap full of wild gourds, which he came and sliced up into the stew pot, but nobody else knew.

NET Bible
Someone went out to the field to gather some herbs and found a wild vine. He picked some of its fruit, enough to fill up the fold of his robe. He came back, cut it up, and threw the slices into the stew pot, not knowing they were harmful.

New Heart English Bible
One went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered of it wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of stew; for they did not recognize them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
One of them went into the field to gather vegetables and found a wild vine. He filled his clothes with wild gourds. Then he cut them into the pot of stew without knowing what they were.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage; for they knew them not.

New American Standard 1977
Then one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, for they did not know what they were.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And one went out into the field to gather herbs and found a wild vine and gathered his lap full of wild grapes and came and shred them into the pot of pottage, for they knew them not.

King James 2000 Bible
And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.

American King James Version
And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.

American Standard Version
And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage; for they knew them not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And one went out into the field to gather wild herbs: and he found something like a wild vine, and gathered of it wild gourds of the field, and filled his mantle, and coming back he shred them into the pot of pottage, for he knew not what it was.

Darby Bible Translation
Then one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it his lap full of wild colocynths, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage; for they did not know them.

English Revised Version
And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.

Webster's Bible Translation
And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.

World English Bible
One went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered of it wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of stew; for they didn't recognize them.

Young's Literal Translation
And one goeth out unto the field to gather herbs, and findeth a vine of the field, and gathereth of it gourds of the field -- the fulness of his garment -- and cometh in and splitteth them into the pot of pottage, for they knew them not;
Study Bible
Elisha Purifies the Poisonous Stew
38When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the sons of the prophets were sitting at his feet, he said to his attendant, “Put on the large pot and boil some stew for the sons of the prophets.” 39One of them went out to the field to gather herbs, and he found a wild vine from which he gathered as many wild gourds as his garment could hold. Then he came back and cut them up into the pot of stew, though no one knew what they were. 40And they poured it out for the men to eat, but when they tasted the stew they cried out, “There is death in the pot, O man of God!” And they could not eat it.…
Cross References
Genesis 25:29
One day, while Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the field and was famished.

1 Kings 6:18
The cedar paneling inside the temple was carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; not a stone could be seen.

2 Kings 4:38
When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the sons of the prophets were sitting at his feet, he said to his attendant, "Put on the large pot and boil some stew for the sons of the prophets."

2 Kings 4:40
And they poured it out for the men to eat, but when they tasted the stew they cried out, "There is death in the pot, O man of God!" And they could not eat it.

Treasury of Scripture

And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.

a wild vine

Isaiah 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done …

Jeremiah 2:21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then …

Matthew 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father has …

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any …

wild gourds The word () from {peka}, in Chaldee, to burst, and in Syriac, to crack, thunder, is generally supposed to be the fruits of the coloquintida, or colocynth; whose leaves are large, placed alternately, very much like those of the {vine}, whence it might be called a {wild vine}: the flowers are white, and the fruit of the gourd kind, of the size of a large apple, and when ripe, of a yellow colour, and a pleasant and inviting appearance. It ranks among vegetable {poisons}, as all intense bitters do; but, judiciously employed, it is of considerable use in medicine. It is said that the fruit, when ripe, is so full of wind that it bursts, and throws its liquor and seeds to a great distance: and if touched, before it breaks of itself, it flies open with an explosion, and discharges it fetid contents in the face of him who touched it.







(39) Herbs.--A rare word. (See Isaiah 26:19.) The Targum renders "greens." The LXX. retains the Hebrew word; the Syriac and Arabic render "mallows." Thenius thinks that ?????, the reading of the LXX., points to another word derived from a different root, and meaning "to pluck," so that the word would denote legumina.

A wild vine.--Vulg., "quasi vitem silvestrem," i.e., a running plant, like a vine.

Wild gourds.--In 1Kings 6:18 a related word is used to describe one of the decorations of the Temple ("knops").

Wild gourds, or cucumbers (cucumeres agrestes, or asinini), are oval in shape, and taste bitter. Their Hebrew name (paqq�'oth) is expressive of the fact that when ripe they are apt to burst upon being touched. If eaten they act as a violent purgative. They were mistaken on the present occasion for edible gourds, a favourite food of the people (Numbers 11:5). The Vulg. renders "colocynth," or coloquintida, a plant of the same family, bearing large orange-like fruits, which are very bitter, and cause colic (cucumis colocynthi, L.). Keil supposes this to be the "wild vine" intended.

They knew them not.--And so did not stop the young man from his shredding.

Verse 39. - And one went out into the field to gather herbs. One of the sons of the prophets, probably, went out into the neighboring country, and looked about for any wild fruits or vegetables that he could see anywhere. And found a wild vine. Not a wild grape vine (Vitis labrusea), the fruit of which would have been harmless, but some cucurbitaceous plant, with tendrils, and a growth like that of the vine. And gathered thereof wild gourds. The exact kind of gourd is uncertain. Recent critics have mostly come to the conclusion that the vegetable intended is the Cucumis agrestis or Ecbalium elaterium, the "squirting cucumber" of English naturalists. This is a kind of gourd, the fruit of which is egg-shaped, has a bitter taste, and bursts when ripe at a slight touch, squirting out sap and seeds. The main ground for this conclusion is etymologieal, פַקֻּעֹת being derived from פקע, "to crack" or "split." Another theory, and one which has the ancient versions in its favor, identifies the "gourd" in question with the fruit of the colocynth, which is a gourd-like plant that creeps along the ground, and has a round yellow fruit of the size of a large orange. This fruit is exceedingly bitter, produces colic, and affects the nerves. His lap full; as many as he could carry in the sinus, or large fold, of his beged, or shawl. And came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not; i.e. the sons of the prophets, who stood by and saw them shred into the pot, did not recognize them, or did not know that they were unwholesome. And one went out into the fields to gather herbs,.... To put into the pottage, the gardens affording none in this time of dearth; or, however, being scarce, were at too great a price for the sons of the prophets to purchase them; and therefore one of them went out into the field to gather what common herbs he could:

and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full; thought to be the same with coloquintida, the leaves of which are very like to a vine, of a very bitter taste, and a very violent purgative, which, if not remedied, will produce ulcerations in the bowels, and issue in death; some think the white brier or white vine is meant, the colour of whose berries is very inviting to look at, but very bitter and ungrateful, and it vehemently purges (b); the Arabs call a sort of mushroom that is white and soft by this name (c), but cannot be meant here, because it has no likeness to a wild vine:

and came and shred them into the pot of pottage; cut or chopped them small, and put them into the pot:

for they knew them not; what they were, the nature and virtue of them, being unskilful in botany.

(b) Vid. Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 3. p. 605, 859. (c) Golius, col. 1817. 39. went out into the field to gather herbs—Wild herbs are very extensively used by the people in the East, even by those who possess their own vegetable gardens. The fields are daily searched for mallow, asparagus, and other wild plants.

wild vine—literally, "the vine of the field," supposed to be the colocynth, a cucumber, which, in its leaves, tendrils, and fruit, bears a strong resemblance to the wild vine. The "gourds," or fruit, are of the color and size of an orange bitter to the taste, causing colic, and exciting the nerves, eaten freely they would occasion such a derangement of the stomach and bowels as to be followed by death. The meal which Elisha poured into the pot was a symbolic sign that the noxious quality of the herbs was removed.

lap full—The hyke, or large cloak, is thrown loosely over the left shoulder and fastened under the right arm, so as to form a lap or apron.4:38-44 There was a famine of bread, but not of hearing the word of God, for Elisha had the sons of the prophets sitting before him, to hear his wisdom. Elisha made hurtful food to become safe and wholesome. If a mess of pottage be all our dinner, remember that this great prophet had no better for himself and his guests. The table often becomes a snare, and that which should be for our welfare, proves a trap: this is a good reason why we should not feed ourselves without fear. When we are receiving the supports and comforts of life, we must keep up an expectation of death, and a fear of sin. We must acknowledge God's goodness in making our food wholesome and nourishing; I am the Lord that healeth thee. Elisha also made a little food go a great way. Having freely received, he freely gave. God has promised his church, that he will abundantly bless her provision, and satisfy her poor with bread, Ps 132:15; whom he feeds, he fills; and what he blesses, comes to much. Christ's feeding his hearers was a miracle far beyond this, but both teach us that those who wait upon God in the way of duty, may hope to be supplied by Divine Providence.
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Alphabetical: a and came cloak cut did field fields filled fold for found from full gather gathered gourds He herbs his into it its knew know lap no not of One out pot returned sliced some stew the them Then they though to up vine went were what When wild

OT History: 2 Kings 4:39 One went out into the field (2Ki iiKi ii ki 2 kg 2kg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
2 Kings 4:38
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