2 Kings 1:5
And when the messengers turned back to him, he said to them, Why are you now turned back?
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(5) Turned back unto him.—Unto Ahaziah, as the Syriac and Vulgate actually read. Literally, And the messengers returned unto him, and he said, &c. Though Elijah was unknown to the envoys, such a menacing interposition would certainly be regarded as’ a Divine warning, which it was perilous to disregard.

Why are ye now turned back?Why have ye returned? with emphasis on the “Why.”

2 Kings 1:5. He said, Why are ye now turned back? — Before you have been at Ekron: which he knew by their quick return. To avoid a repetition, we have no account given of the prophet’s meeting them, other than what they give of it themselves at their return.1:1-8 When Ahaziah rebelled against the Lord, Moab revolted from him. Sin weakens and impoverishes us. Man's revolt from God is often punished by the rebellion of those who owe subjection to him. Ahaziah fell through a lattice, or railing. Wherever we go, there is but a step between us and death. A man's house is his castle, but not to secure him against God's judgments. The whole creation, which groans under the burden of man's sin, will, at length, sink and break under the weight like this lattice. He is never safe that has God for his enemy. Those that will not inquire of the word of God for their comfort, shall hear it to their terror, whether they will or no.Therefore ... - As a punishment for this insult to Yahweh. 5. the messengers turned back—They did not know the stranger; but his authoritative tone, commanding attitude, and affecting message determined them at once to return. Before you have been at Ekron; which he easily knew by their quick return. And when the messengers turned back unto him,.... To Ahaziah king of Israel, as they did as soon as Elijah was gone from them; concluding from his habit, his gravity, and the authority with which he spoke, that he was a prophet of the Lord, and especially from his knowledge of them, and of what they were sent about:

he said unto them, why are ye now turned back? for, by the time they had been gone, he knew they could never have been at Ekron and returned.

And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said unto them, Why are ye now turned back?
5. And when the messengers turned back unto him, he said] More literally with R.V., And the messengers returned unto him and he said. The pronoun refers to the sick king in Samaria. They could only have gone a little way on their journey, and their early reappearance caused him some surprise.

‘The errand is soon done. The messengers are returned ere they go. Not a little were they amazed to hear their secret message from another’s mouth, neither could they choose but think: He that can tell what Ahaziah said, what he thought, can foretell how he shall speed. We have met with a greater god than we went to seek. What need we inquire for another answer?’ (Bp Hall’s Contemplations).

Why are ye now turned back?] To accord with the previous clause, render with R.V., Why is it that ye are returned?Verse 5. - And when the messengers turned back; rather, when the messengers returned; i.e. when they reached the presence of Ahaziah, he perceived at once that they could not have been to Ekron and come back in the time. He therefore inquired of them, Why are ye now turned back? "Why have ye not completed your journey?" Ahaziah walked in the way of his father and his mother, who had introduced the worship of Baal into the kingdom, and in the way of Jeroboam, who had set up the calves (cf. 1 Kings 16:30-33). - In 1 Kings 22:53 it is again expressly added, that he adored and worshipped Baal, as in 1 Kings 16:31. - With this general description of his character not only is the chapter brought to a close, but the first book of Kings also, - very unsuitably, however, since the further account of Ahaziah's reign and of his death is given in 2 Kings 1 of the following book. It would have been incomparably more suitable to commence a fresh chapter with 1 Kings 22:52, and indeed to commence the second book there also.
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