2 Kings 1:6
And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Thou sendest.Art sending. Elijah had said, ye are going, in his question to the messengers (2Kings 1:3). (See Note on 2Kings 1:4.) Bähr is wrong in supposing the servants anxious to shift the prophet’s blame from themselves to their lord, or that Elijah had addressed them as accomplices in the king’s guilt. They had no choice but to obey the royal mandate.

2 Kings 1:6. There came a man up to meet us — Elijah was a man of such a venerable presence, and spake to them with such authority, in the name of the Lord, that they were overawed thereby, and induced to obey him rather than the king.

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. No text from Poole on this verse.

And they said unto him, there came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, go, turn again unto the king that sent you,.... King Ahaziah:

and say unto him; and then they repeated all that is said by the angel to Elijah, and he had delivered to them, 2 Kings 1:3 and which was a sufficient reason for their turning back, since they got a full answer from a man of God, of what they were to inquire of at Ekron; which was, whether the king would recover of this disease or not.

And they said unto him, There came a man up to meet us, and said unto us, Go, turn again unto the king that sent you, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, {d} Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that thou sendest to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? therefore thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.

(d) Ignorance is the mother of error and idolatry.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. There came a man up to meet] The R.V. puts ‘up’ before ‘a man’, because the Hebrew verb signifies ‘to come up’. So in A.V. in the next verse. It would appear as though the prophet had met the messengers very early in their journey while they were going down from the hill on which Samaria was built. They did not know Elijah, for he, like John the Baptist afterwards, was not one of those who were to be found in kings’ houses. And the messengers were most likely some of the persons in close attendance on the king.

Go, turn again &c.] These words are not in verse 3, but they are natural as a preface to the message there given.

that thou sendest] Elijah speaking to the messengers (verse 3) said naturally ‘that ye go’, but they put the words into a form suitable to their position as servants obeying an order. Yet we can see from some parts of the narrative which follows that some of the king’s servants were willing enough to follow where he led them.

Verse 6. - There came a man. It is not likely that the messengers did not know Elijah by sight. He was too prominent a person in the history of the time, and too remarkable in his appearance, not to have been recognized, at any rate by some of them. But they thought it best to keep back the prophet's name, and to call him simply "a man" (ish) - perhaps actuated by good will towards Elijah, perhaps by a fear for their own safety, such as had been felt by Obadiah (1 Kings 18:8-14). 2 Kings 1:6The messengers did not recognise Elijah, but yet they turned back and reported the occurrence to the king, who knew at once, from the description they gave of the habitus of the man in reply to his question, that it was Elijah the Tishbite. האישׁ משׁפּט מה: "what was the manner of the man?" משׁפּט is used here to denote the peculiarity of a person, that which in a certain sense constitutes the vital law and right of the individual personality; figura et habitus (Vulg.). The servants described the prophet according to his outward appearance, which in a man of character is a reflection of his inner man, as שׂער בּעל אישׁ, vir pilosus, hirsutus. This does not mean a man with a luxuriant growth of hair, but refers to the hairy dress, i.e., the garment made of sheep-skin or goat-skin or coarse camel-hair, which was wrapped round his body; the אדּרת (2 Kings 2:8; 1 Kings 19:13), or שׂער אדּרת (Zechariah 13:4, cf. Matthew 3:4; Hebrews 11:37), which was worn by the prophets, not as mere ascetics, but as preachers of repentance, the rough garment denoting the severity of the divine judgments upon the effeminate nation, which revelled in luxuriance and worldly lust. And this was also in keeping with "the leather girdle," עור אזור, ζώνη δερματίνη (Matthew 3:4), whereas the ordinary girdle was of cotton or linen, and often very costly.
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