2 Kings 2:14
And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted here and thither: and Elisha went over.
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(14) Where is the Lord God of Elijah?—Has He left the earth with His prophet? If not, let Him now show His power, and verify the granting of my request (2Kings 2:9). The words are a sort of irony of faith. Elisha “seeks” Jehovah as the only source of power. (Comp. Jeremiah 2:6; Jeremiah 2:8, where the priests and prophets are blamed for having recourse to idols, instead of asking, “Where is Jehovah?”)

And when he also had smitten.—The Hebrew is, also (or, even) he—and he smote. There is clearly something wrong. The LXX. does not render the Hebrew ‘aph hû’ “also he,” but copies the words in Greek (αφφω). Keil connects them with the foregoing question, “Where is Jehovah, the God of Elijah, even He?” Thenius objects that this use of ‘aph is doubtful, and supports Houbigant’s correction, ’ēphô, an enclitic then—“Where, then, is Jehovah, the God of Elijah? and he smote,” &c. Perhaps ’êphōh (“where”) was the original reading: “Where is Jehovah, the God of Elijah? Where?”—an emphatic repetition of the question. Or it may be that the words ’aph hû’ wayyakkeh should be transposed: “and he smote—he also (like Elijah),” &c. The Vulgate has the curious renderings, “And with the cloak of Elias which had fallen from him, he smote the waters, and they were not divided; and he said, Where is the God of Elias now also? And he smote the waters, and they were divided,” &c. Such also is the reading of the Complutensian LXX.; but the variation is simply an old attempt to account for the twofold “and he smote the waters.”

2 Kings 2:14. And said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? — Who at Elijah’s request divided these waters, and is able to do it again. But according to this translation, two words are left out, namely, אŠ הוא, aph-hu. The clause literally rendered is, Where is the Lord God of Elijah, even He? which a learned foreigner interprets thus; that Elisha having asked this question, Where is? &c., answers himself in the two last words, aph-hu, yea, he is yet in being. Abarbinel expounds them, Though Elijah be not here, yet his God is. The servant is wanting, but not the Lord. The blessed God is still present, and will supply his place. And when he also had smitten the water’s, they parted hither and thither — As when Elijah smote them with the same mantle, which they both used, as Moses did his rod, not imagining that there was any inherent virtue in it, or at all trusting therein; but using it as a mere sign of the presence and power of God, in which alone they confided to work this wonder. Thus Elijah’s last miracle was Elisha’s first, and the disciple began where his master left off, taking up and carrying on the same blessed work of witnessing for God against idols and idolaters.2:13-18 Elijah left his mantle to Elisha; as a token of the descent of the Spirit upon him; it was more than if he had left him thousands of gold and silver. Elisha took it up, not as a sacred relic to be worshipped, but as a significant garment to be worn. Now that Elijah was taken to heaven, Elisha inquired, 1. After God; when our creature-comforts are removed, we have a God to go to, who lives for ever. 2. After the God that Elijah served, and honoured, and pleaded for. The Lord God of the holy prophets is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; but what will it avail us to have the mantles of those that are gone, their places, their books, if we have not their spirit, their God? See Elisha's dividing the river; God's people need not fear at last passing through the Jordan of death as on dry ground. The sons of the prophets made a needless search for Elijah. Wise men may yield to that, for the sake of peace, and the good opinion of others, which yet their judgment is against, as needless and fruitless. Traversing hills and valleys will never bring us to Elijah, but following the example of his holy faith and zeal will, in due time.Where ... - Some prefer, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah, even he? And when he had smitten, etc." Or, according to others, "now when he, etc." Elisha's smiting of the waters seems to have been tentative. He was not sure of its result. Hence, the form of his invocation - "Where is the Lord God of Elijah? Is He here - i. e. - with me, or is He not?" Answered by the event, he appears never subsequently to have doubted. 14-18. smote the waters—The waving of the mantle on the river, and the miraculous division of the waters consequent upon it, was an evidence that the Lord God of Elijah was with him, and as this miracle was witnessed by the scholars of the prophets from Jericho, they forthwith recognized the pre-eminence of Elisha, as now the prophet of Israel. Where is the Lord God of Elijah? who at Elijah’s request divided these waters, and is as able to do it again; and hath given me his spirit and office; and therefore I humbly beg, and confidently expect, his assistance in this matter.

They parted; but these words after

Where is the God of Elijah? are by many rendered otherwise, and that agreeably to the Hebrew, even himself? or, even the same? (which words they join with the former, as an emphatical addition, or repetition, which is usual in fervent prayers. But they may be rendered without an interrogation, thus, Surely he, is, to wit, here present, and ready to help me. Or, Surely he is the same, to wit, to me, that he was to Elijah, as able and willing to work for me as for Elijah. Then the following words they render, as they are in the Hebrew,) and he smote the water, and it was divided. By which repetition it may seem that he smote it twice, and that at the first smiting the success did not answer his desire and expectation; which God so ordered, partly to keep him in a modest and humble sense of his own insufficiency, that he might not be puffed up with the great gifts which he had now received; compare 2 Corinthians 12:7; and partly to stir him up to a more lively exercise of faith and prayer, which followed God’s denial or suspension of his help, as it is here expressed; which also was attended with desired success. And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters,.... He wrapped it together, as Elijah had done, and smote the waters in like manner, to make trial whether he had the same spirit and power conferred on him:

and said, where is the Lord God of Elijah? let him appear now, and show his power as he did by him; he knew the mantle would not do without the Lord, and the exertion of his might:

and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither; as when Elijah smote them. The words "aph-hu", rendered "he also", is left untranslated by the Septuagint, and is interpreted by Theodoret (n) "hidden". They stand immediately after "the God of Elijah", and may be rendered, "yea he", even he himself; meaning not Elijah, as if he was inquired after, or was present and smote the waters; but rather, as we and others, Elisha, even he also smote the waters; though some take it to be the name of God, as "Hu" was, and is with the Arabs to this day; see Gill on Isaiah 43:13. Athanasius (o) interprets it of God, "Appho"; and so Elisha calls him by his title and attribute, "Aph-hu": but the words may be an answer to the prophet's question, "where is the Lord God of Elijah?" here he is, even he himself, in the faith of which the water, being smitten, parted; and with this agrees Abarbinel's note on the text; the meaning is, though we are deprived of Elijah, yet not of the providence of God; and though the servant is wanting, the Lord or master is not; for even he, the blessed God, is in his room, and his excellency is as it was before; which sense is approved of by Frischmuth (p).

and Elisha went over; the river Jordan, as on dry land.

(n) Apud Flamin. Nobil. in loc. So Suidas in voce (o) De Commun. Essent. Patris, &c. vol. 1. p. 374. See Weemse of the Moral Law, l. 1. c. 7. p. 162. (p) Dissert. de Eliae Nomine, &c. sect. 11, 12.

And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
14. and smote the waters] He acts upon the faith that he would receive from God the power which he had desired. He is in a degree to represent Elijah and therefore he acts as Elijah had done. After these words the Complutensian text of the LXX. gives καὶ οὐ διῃρέθη, ‘and they were not divided’. This is represented also in the Vulgate ‘percussit aquas et non sunt divisæ’. To explain this it has been said that at first Elisha took the mantle, and wrapping it together smote the waters, without any words, expecting the virtue to make itself apparent at once. When no effect was thus produced he then called upon Jehovah and the waters parted asunder. As there is no warrant in any Hebrew text for the words added in the Greek and Latin it is needless to point out that the above explanation is of no authority.

Where is the Lord God [R.V. the God] of Elijah?] The question does not imply any doubt of God’s presence, of which Elisha had so lately seen a manifestation; but should rather be explained as an entreaty for His power to shew itself and give a foretaste of the spirit of Elijah which had been promised. ‘As if he had said: Lord God, it was thy promise to me by my departed master, that if I should see him in his last passage, a double portion of his spirit should be upon me. I followed him with my eyes in that fire and whirlwind; now therefore, O God, make good thy gracious word unto thy servant: make this the first proof of the miraculous power wherewith thou shalt endow me. Let Jordan give the same way to me as it gave to my master’ (Bp Hall).

But at this point there is a difficulty in the Hebrew text. Immediately following the question just noticed come two words אַף־הוּא which the Massoretic pointing connects with what follows, and which the A.V. (and many later authorities) renders by ‘he also’. The next word in the Hebrew=‘and he smote’. It is apparent at once that the collocation ‘he also and he smote’ can only by an act of some violence be rendered ‘and when he also had smitten’. But if the Massoretic text be adhered to, this is the only solution, and it has been retained in the text of the R.V. by the rule which fixed the accepted text as that which was to be translated. On the margin however the Revisers give ‘the God of Elijah, even He?’ thus combining the two Hebrew words which cause the difficulty with the first portion of the sentence, and continuing ‘And when he had smitten &c.’ This, though not without some awkwardness, for אַף־הוּא nowhere else is found in the sense of ‘even he’, yet seems better than the solution of the A.V. The LXX. merely transliterated the difficult words by ἀφφώ, and some interpreters of the Greek have treated this as a mysterious name of Jehovah, placed in apposition with ‘the God of Elijah’. There is another Hebrew word אֵפוֹא = now, which in 2 Kings 10:10 the LXX. represents in the same way by ἀφφώ. Hence some have proposed that that word should be read here, and so the Massoretic pointing preserved. This would be rendered ‘Where is now the Lord God of Elijah?’ The margin of R.V. though not free from difficulty seems the rendering to be preferred.

they parted [R.V. were divided] hither and thither] The word is the same as in verse 8. By this the Lord confirmed the promise made to Elisha by Elijah, and shewed that the spirit of the master had been bestowed on the disciple.Verse 14. - And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him; and smote the waters - imitated, i.e., the action of Elijah (ver. 8), as Elijah had imitated the action of Moses at the passage of the Red Sea - and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? The present Hebrew text reads, "Where is the Lord God of Elijah, even he?" the last two words being emphatic; but the emphasis scarcely appears to be needed. Hence the translators have very generally detached the two words from Elisha's question, and, attaching them to the succeeding clause, have rendered it, And when he also had smitten the waters; but the position of the van conjunctive, after אַף־הוּא and before יַכֶּה, makes this division of the clauses impossible. It has therefore been proposed by some to read אֵפוא, "now," for אַף־הוּא, "even he" (Houbigant, Thenius, Schultz, Botteher, Dathe), and to translate, "Where now is the Lord God of Elijah?" Is he still here, with me, or has he withdrawn himself from earth with his prophet, and left me alone to my own unaided strength? This gives a good meaning, but is perhaps too bold a change. The LXX. had evidently our present Hebrew text before them, and, as they could make nothing of it, transcribed it into Greek characters, Ποῦ ὁ Θεὸς Ηλιοὺ ἀφφώ; they parted hither and thither: and Elisha wont over. God showed, i.e., that he was still with Elisha by enabling him to repeat Elijah's last miracle, and thus gave him an assurance that he would be with him thenceforth An his prophetic ministry. When they reached the Jordan, Elijah took his prophet's cloak, rolled it up (גּלם, ἁπ. λεγ. convolvit), and smote the water with it; whereupon the water divided hither and thither, so that they both passed through on dry ground. The cloak, that outward sign of the prophet's office, became the vehicle of the Spirit's power which works unseen, and with which the prophet was inspired. The miracle itself is analogous to the miraculous dividing of the Red Sea by the stretching out of Moses' rod (Exodus 14:16, Exodus 14:21); but at the same time it is very peculiar, and quite in accordance with the prophetic character of Elijah, Moses, the leader of the people, performed his miracles with his shepherd's crook, Elijah the prophet divided the river with his prophet's mantle.
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