2 Kings 6:22
New International Version
"Do not kill them," he answered. "Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master."

New Living Translation
"Of course not!" Elisha replied. "Do we kill prisoners of war? Give them food and drink and send them home again to their master."

English Standard Version
He answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.”

Berean Study Bible
“Do not kill them,” he replied. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and then return to their master.”

New American Standard Bible
He answered, "You shall not kill them. Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master."

King James Bible
And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

Christian Standard Bible
Elisha replied, "Don't kill them. Do you kill those you have captured with your sword or your bow? Set food and water in front of them so they can eat and drink and go to their master."

Contemporary English Version
"No!" Elisha answered. "You didn't capture these troops in battle, so you have no right to kill them. Instead, give them something to eat and drink and let them return to their leader."

Good News Translation
"No," he answered. "Not even soldiers you had captured in combat would you put to death. Give them something to eat and drink, and let them return to their king."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Elisha replied, "Don't kill them. Do you kill those you have captured with your sword or your bow? Set food and water in front of them so they can eat and drink and go to their master."

International Standard Version
But he replied, "No! You're not to kill them! Would you execute those whom you've taken captive at the point of a sword or with your bow? Give them food and water so they can eat and drink. Then send them back to their master!"

NET Bible
He replied, "Do not strike them down! You did not capture them with your sword or bow, so what gives you the right to strike them down? Give them some food and water, so they can eat and drink and then go back to their master."

New Heart English Bible
He answered, "You shall not strike them. Would you strike those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Elisha answered, "Don't kill them. Do you kill everyone you take captive in combat? Give them food and water. Let them eat and drink. Then let them go back to their master."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And he answered: 'Thou shalt not smite them; hast thou taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow those whom thou wouldest smite? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.'

New American Standard 1977
And he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them; would thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and return to their master.

King James 2000 Bible
And he answered, You shall not slay them: would you slay those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

American King James Version
And he answered, You shall not smite them: would you smite those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

American Standard Version
And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And he said, Thou shalt not smite them, unless thou wouldest smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow: set bread and water before them, and let them eat and drink, and depart to their master.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said: Thou shalt not kill them: for thou didst not take them with thy sword, or thy bow, that thou mayst kill them: but set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said, Thou shalt not smite [them]: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

English Revised Version
And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldst thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

World English Bible
He answered, "You shall not strike them. Would you strike those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master."

Young's Literal Translation
And he saith, 'Thou dost not smite; those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow art thou smiting? set bread and water before them, and they eat, and drink, and go unto their lord.'
Study Bible
Elisha Captures the Blinded Arameans
21And when the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “My father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?” 22“Do not kill them,” he replied. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and then return to their master.” 23So the king prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. And the Aramean raiders did not come into the land of Israel again.…
Cross References
Romans 12:20
On the contrary, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head."

Deuteronomy 20:11
If they accept your offer of peace and open their gates, all the people there will become forced laborers to serve you.

2 Chronicles 28:8
Then the Israelites took 200,000 captives from their kinsmen--women, sons, and daughters. They also carried off a great deal of plunder and brought it to Samaria.

2 Chronicles 28:15
Then the men who were designated by name arose, took charge of the captives, and provided from the plunder clothing for the naked. They clothed them, gave them sandals and food and drink, anointed their wounds, and put all the feeble on donkeys. So they brought them to Jericho, the City of Palms, to their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria.

Proverbs 25:21
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

Treasury of Scripture

And he answered, You shall not smite them: would you smite those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

wouldest

Deuteronomy 20:11-16
And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee…

2 Chronicles 28:8-13
And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria…

thy sword

Genesis 48:22
Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

Joshua 24:12
And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow.

Psalm 44:6
For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

set bread

Proverbs 25:21,22
If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: …

Matthew 5:44
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Romans 12:20,21
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head…







Lexicon
“Do not
לֹ֣א (lō)
Adverb - Negative particle
Strong's Hebrew 3808: Not, no

kill them,”
תַכֶּ֔ה (ṯak·keh)
Verb - Hifil - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5221: To strike

he replied.
וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

“Would you
אַתָּ֣ה (’at·tāh)
Pronoun - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 859: Thou and thee, ye and you

kill
מַכֶּ֑ה (mak·keh)
Verb - Hifil - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5221: To strike

those
הַאֲשֶׁ֥ר (ha·’ă·šer)
Pronoun - relative
Strong's Hebrew 834: Who, which, what, that, when, where, how, because, in order that

you have captured
שָׁבִ֛יתָ (šā·ḇî·ṯā)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7617: To transport into captivity

with your own sword
בְּחַרְבְּךָ֥ (bə·ḥar·bə·ḵā)
Preposition-b | Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2719: Drought, a cutting instrument, as a, knife, sword

or bow?
וּֽבְקַשְׁתְּךָ֖ (ū·ḇə·qaš·tə·ḵā)
Conjunctive waw, Preposition-b | Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7198: A bow, for, shooting, the iris

Set
שִׂים֩ (śîm)
Verb - Qal - Imperative - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7760: Put -- to put, place, set

food
לֶ֨חֶם (le·ḥem)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3899: Food, bread, grain

and water
וָמַ֜יִם (wā·ma·yim)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4325: Water, juice, urine, semen

before them,
לִפְנֵיהֶ֗ם (lip̄·nê·hem)
Preposition-l | Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 6440: The face

that they may eat
וְיֹֽאכְלוּ֙ (wə·yō·ḵə·lū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 398: To eat

and drink
וְיִשְׁתּ֔וּ (wə·yiš·tū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 8354: To imbibe

and then return
וְיֵלְכ֖וּ (wə·yê·lə·ḵū)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Conjunctive imperfect - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1980: To go, come, walk

to
אֶל־ (’el-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 413: Near, with, among, to

their master.”
אֲדֹנֵיהֶֽם׃ (’ă·ḏō·nê·hem)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 113: Sovereign, controller
(22) Thou shalt not.--Or, thou must not.

Wouldest thou smite . . . thy bow?--The Hebrew order is, "An quos ceperis gladio et arcu percussuruses?" (Comp. Genesis 48:22.) Elisha says, "These men are virtually prisoners of war, and therefore are not to be slain in cold blood."

The LXX., Targum, Syriac, and Vulg., ignore the interrogative particle. The Targum and Syriac render, "Lo those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword, &c., thou dost (or mayst) kill." (Comp. Deuteronomy 20:13.) The Vulg., "neque enim cepisti eos, ut percutias," and the Arabic, "Didst thou take them captive with thy sword, &c., that thou shouldest slay them?" come to the same thing. These renderings are interesting, as they make Elisha deny the king's right of disposal of these prisoners of Jehovah. The purpose of the miracle would have been frustrated by killing the Syrians. That purpose was to force their king and them to acknowledge the might of the true God.

Verse 22. - And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them. The prophet has no doubt. His prohibition is absolute. These prisoners, at any rate, are not to be slain. "The object of the miracle," as Keil says, "would have been frustrated, if the Syrians had been slain. For the intention was to show the Syrians that they had to do with a prophet of the true God, against whom no human power could be of any avail, that they might learn to fear the Almighty God" ('Commentary on 2 Kings,' p. 3.27, Eng. trans.). There was also, perhaps, a further political object. By sparing the prisoners and treating them with kindness, it might be possible to touch the heart of the King of Syria, and dispose him towards peace. Wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? rather, Wouldest thou be smiting those, etc.? i.e. "Wouldest thou, in smiting these persons, be smiting those whom thou hadst made prisoners in war, so as to be able to justify thy conduct by Deuteronomy 20:13? No; thou wouldest not. Therefore thou shalt not smite them." Set bread and water before them. "Bread" and "water" stand for meat and drink generally. Elisha bids Jehoram entertain the captive Syrians hospitably, and then send them back to Benhadad. That they may eat and drink, and go to their master. 6:13-23 What Elisha said to his servant is spoken to all the faithful servants of God, when without are fightings, and within are fears. Fear not, with that fear which has torment and amazement; for they that are with us, to protect us, are more than they that are against us, to destroy us. The eyes of his body were open, and with them he saw the danger. Lord, open the eyes of our faith, that with them we may see thy protecting hand. The clearer sight we have of the sovereignty and power of Heaven, the less we shall fear the troubles of earth. Satan, the god of this world, blinds men's eyes, and so deludes them unto their own ruin; but when God enlightens their eyes, they see themselves in the midst of their enemies, captives to Satan, and in danger of hell, though, before, they thought their condition good. When Elisha had the Syrians at his mercy, he made it appear that he was influenced by Divine goodness as well as Divine power. Let us not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. The Syrians saw it was to no purpose to try to assault so great and so good a man.
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