2 Kings 2:15
And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) To view.Opposite, over against. LXX., ἐξ ἐναντίας; Vulg., “e contra” (Deuteronomy 32:52). It is not clear whether these sons of the prophets are the fifty who “went and stood opposite afar off” (2Kings 2:7), or not. On the whole, it seems likely that all the guild residing at Jericho is meant. Awaiting Elisha’s return, they had assembled at the river side and witnessed the miracle, which was evidence to them that Elisha was to be their future head.

The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha.Hath alighted, i.e., settled, rested. The proof was that Elisha had just repeated his master’s miracle.

2 Kings 2:15. And bowed themselves to the ground before him — In token of their reverence for and subjection to him, as Elijah’s successor, the father of the prophets, and their master and teacher. They had been trained up in the schools; Elisha was taken from the plough: yet, when they perceive that God is with him, and that this is the man whom he delights to honour, they readily submit to him as their head and father, as the people did to Joshua when Moses was dead. “Those that appear to have God’s Spirit and presence with them, ought to have our esteem and best affections, notwithstanding the meanness of their extraction and education.”

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. Or, as it is in the Hebrew, And the sons of the prophets who lived in Jericho saw him over against them, from some hill where they stood at a convenient distance to observe the event, 2 Kings 2:7.

They said, Heb. and they said, either by revelation; or rather, by the visible effects of it which they saw.

They bowed themselves to the ground; thereby testifying their reverence and subjection to him as Elijah’s successor, and their master and teacher.

And when the sons of the prophets, which were to view at Jericho, saw him,.... Who went out from thence towards Jordan, to have a sight if they could of the assumption of Elijah; these, when they saw Elisha come over Jordan, the waters being parted by him:

they said, the spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha; or he has the same power and spirit to work miracles as he had, which they discerned by his dividing the waters of Jordan with his mantle:

and they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him; in reverence of him as their master, in the room of Elijah.

And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The {i} spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

(i) The Spirit of prophecy was given to him as it was to Elijah.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. which were to view at Jericho] R.V. which were at Jericho over against him. See above on verse 7. They were in a position from which they could see him, and he might see them.

bowed themselves to the ground] Thus expressing their acknowledgement of him as their head, and the divinely appointed successor of Elijah. ‘It was not the outside of Elijah which they had wont to stoop unto with so much veneration; it was his spirit, which since they now find in another subject, they entertain with equal reverence. No envy, no emulation raiseth up their stomachs against Elijah’s servant; but where they see eminent graces, they are willingly prostrate’ (Bp Hall).

Verse 15. - And when the sons of the prophets, which were to view at Jericho (see ver. 7), saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah cloth rest on Elisha. It is not quite clear upon what grounds the sons of the prophets came to this conclusion. Probably they had seen the passage of the Jordan by the two prophets, the disappearance of Elijah, and the return of Elisha across the stream in a way which they may have suspected to be miraculous. But the Jordan is four or five miles distant from the city of Jericho, and their apprehension of the various circumstances would be incomplete, and more or less vague. Perhaps there was something in Elisha's appearance and expression of countenance which impressed them, and appeared to them to mark his exaltation to a higher dignity and spiritual position. And they came to meet him; and bowed themselves to the ground before him; thus acknowledging him for their master, as they had been wont to acknowledge Elijah. 2 Kings 2:15Return of Elisha to Jericho and Bethel, and his First Miracles. - 2 Kings 2:14, 2 Kings 2:15. Having returned to the banks of the Jordan, Elisha smote the water with Elijah's mantle, saying, "Where is Jehovah the God of Elijah, yea He?" and the water divided hither and thither, so that he was able to go through. אף־הוּא, which the lxx did not understand, and have simply reproduced in Greek characters, ἀφφώ, is an emphatic apposition, "yea He," such as we find after suffixes, e.g., Proverbs 22:19; and אף is only a strengthened גּם, which is more usual when emphatic prominence is given to the suffix (vid., Ges. 121, 3). The Masoretic accentuation, which separates it from the preceding words, rests upon a false interpretation. There is no need either for the alteration proposed by Ewald, 362, a., of אף into אך, "he had scarcely smitten the water," especially as not a single analogous example can be adduced of the use of הוּא אך followed by a Vav consec.; or for the conjecture that the original reading in the text was אפוא (Houb., Bttch., Then.), "where is now the God of Elijah?" which derives no critical support from the ἀφφώ of the lxx, and is quite at variance with Hebrew usage, since אפוא generally stands immediately after איּה, when it serves to strengthen the interrogation (vid., Judges 9:38; Job 17:15; Isaiah 19:12; Hosea 13:10). This miracle was intended partly to confirm Elisha's conviction that his petition had been fulfilled, and partly to accredit him in the eyes of the disciples of the prophets and the people generally as the divinely appointed successor of Elijah. All the disciples of the prophets from Jericho saw also from this that the spirit of Elijah rested upon Elisha, and came to meet him to do homage to him as being now their spiritual father and lord.
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