And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the bands of the Moabites invaded.—Rather, And troops of Moabites used to invade. They took advantage of the weakened condition of Israel to revenge the devastation of their country described in 2Kings 3:25.
At the coming in of the year.—So the Targum and the LXX. The Syriac, Vulg., and Arabic understand,” in that (or, ‘the same’) year.” The preposition bě has probably fallen out of the Hebrew text: read, běbô shānāh, “when the year came in”—i.e., in the spring. (Comp. 2Samuel 11:1.)2 Kings 13:20. Elisha died, and they buried him — In or near Samaria. The spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha, and yet he is not conveyed to heaven in a fiery chariot as Elijah was, but goes the common way of all flesh out of the world, and is visited with the visitation of all men. If God honour some above others, who yet are not inferior to them in gifts or graces, who shall find fault? May he not do what he will with his own? The bands of the Moabites invaded the land — The mentioning this, immediately on the death of Elisha, intimates, that the removal of God’s faithful prophets is a presage of judgments approaching.2 Kings 1:1. The defeat which they suffered at the hands of Jehoram and Jehoshaphat 2 Kings 3:24 did not affect their subjugation. They spread themselves into the country north of the Arnon Isaiah 16:2, and thence proceeded to make plundering expeditious year by year into Samaria, in Spring. This was the natural season for incursions, as then in Palestine the crops began to be ripe.
coming in of the year—that is, the spring, the usual season of beginning campaigns in ancient times. Predatory bands from Moab generally made incursions at that time on the lands of Israel. The bearers of a corpse, alarmed by the appearance of one of these bands, hastily deposited, as they passed that way, their load in Elisha's sepulchre, which might be easily done by removing the stone at the mouth of the cave. According to the Jewish and Eastern custom, his body, as well as that of the man who was miraculously restored, was not laid in a coffin, but only swathed; so that the bodies could be brought into contact, and the object of the miracle was to stimulate the king's and people of Israel's faith in the still unaccomplished predictions of Elisha respecting the war with the Syrians. Accordingly the historian forthwith records the historical fulfilment of the prediction (2Ki 13:22-25), in the defeat of the enemy, in the recovery of the cities that had been taken, and their restoration to the kingdom of Israel.They buried him, in or near Samaria.
At the coming in of the year; in the spring, when the fruits of the earth grew ripe.
and the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year; at the spring of the year, when there was fruit on the earth, those troops of robbers came to plunder and spoil; several of the Jewish writers observe, that in the word for "coming", is instead of and so may be rendered "in that year", in that selfsame year that Elisha died; and so read the Syriac, Arabic, and the Vulgate Latin versions.And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. And [R.V. Now] the bands of the Moabites invaded the land] If Elisha died in Samaria, and was buried in that neighbourhood, we must suppose Moab to have made great inroads upon Israel if the bands of plunderers could advance close to the royal city. Probably the great devastations of the Syrians on the east of Jordan (2 Kings 10:32-33) made it easier for the Moabites to cross the Jordan and to ravage the lands of Israel to the west of the river.
at the coming in of the year] We can see from such passages as 2 Samuel 11:1; 1 Kings 20:22; 1 Kings 20:26; 1 Chronicles 20:1; 2 Chronicles 36:10, that there was a season of the year at which alone it was usual, and perhaps, on account of the climate, possible, for an army to take the field. The general expression is ‘when the year was expired’: but this is very much the same as ‘at the coming in of another year’.Verse 20. - And Elisha died, and they buried him. There had been no burial of Elijah, who" went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2 Kings 2:11). All the more anxious, therefore, would the Israelites be to bury their second great prophet with due honor. They prepared him, no doubt, one of those excavated sepulchers which were usual at the time and in the country - a squared or vaulted chamber cut in the native rock. St. Jerome says that the place of his sepulture was near Samaria ('Epitaph. Paulae'), and this is sufficiently probable; but in the Middle Ages his grave was shown at Ruma, in Galilee (Ewald, 'Hist. of Israel,' vol. 4. p. 122, note 3). According to Josephus ('Ant. Jud.,' 9:8. § 6), his funeral was magnificent. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. It seems to be implied that this was a usual occurrence. Just as the Syrians in the days of Naaman made marauding raids into the land from time to time (2 Kings 5:2), so now the Moabites each spring made an incursion. The weakness of Israel is strongly marked by this fact, and still more by the penetration of the Moabites so deep into their country. Amos 2:1 perhaps glances at these incursions of Moab. 2 Kings 13:14. When Elisha was taken ill with the sickness of which he was to die, king Joash visited him and wept over his face, i.e., bending over the sick man as he lay, and exclaimed, "My father, my father! the chariot of Israel and horsemen thereof!" just as Elisha had mourned over the departure of Elijah (2 Kings 2:12). This lamentation of the king at the approaching death of the prophet shows that Joash knew how to value his labours. And on account of this faith which was manifested in his recognition of the prophet's worth, the Lord gave the king another gracious assurance through the dying Elisha, which was confirmed by means of a symbolical action.
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