2 Kings 2:20
And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) A new cruse.Vessel; either dish, bowl, or cup (çĕlōhîth); only here. (Comp. çĕlāhôth, 2Chronicles 35:16 : and the Targum, (çĕlûhîthā.) A new one, because the holy purpose demanded an instrument uncontaminated by use. (Comp. Numbers 19:2; 2Samuel 6:3.)

Salt.—As an antiseptic, an appropriate sacramental medium of the Divine influence which was to expel the corruption of the spring.

2 Kings 2:20. And he said, Bring me a new cruise — He says new, partly that there might be no ground of suspicion that the cure was wrought by the natural virtue of any thing which was or had been in the cruise before, but only by God’s power; and partly that there might be no legal pollution in it which might offend God, and hinder his miraculous operation by it. And put salt therein — A most improper remedy; for salt naturally makes waters brackish, and lands barren, Hereby therefore he intended to show, that the change desired was to be effected, not by any natural means, but solely by the divine power, which could work either without means or against them. Thus Christ anointed the eyes of a blind man with clay, when he was going to restore him to sight, that he might show that no natural cause was concerned in his cure; clay, according to its natural effect, being more likely to injure his eyes than benefit them.2:19-25 Observe the miracle of healing the waters. Prophets should make every place to which they come better for them, endeavouring to sweeten bitter spirits, and to make barren souls fruitful, by the word of God, which is like the salt cast into the water by Elisha. It was an apt emblem of the effect produced by the grace of God on the sinful heart of man. Whole families, towns, and cities, sometimes have a new appearance through the preaching of the gospel; wickedness and evil have been changed into fruitfulness in the works of righteousness, which are, through Christ, to the praise and glory of God. Here is a curse on the youths of Bethel, enough to destroy them; it was not a curse causeless, for it was Elisha's character, as God's prophet, that they abused. They bade him go up, reflecting on the taking up of Elijah into heaven. The prophet acted by Divine impulse. If the Holy Spirit had not directed Elisha's solemn curse, the providence of God would not have followed it with judgment. The Lord must be glorified as a righteous God who hates sin, and will reckon for it. Let young persons be afraid of speaking wicked words, for God notices what they say. Let them not mock at any for defects in mind or body; especially it is at their peril, if they scoff at any for well doing. Let parents that would have comfort in their children, train them up well, and do their utmost betimes to drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts. And what will be the anguish of those parents, at the day of judgment, who witness the everlasting condemnation of their offspring, occasioned by their own bad example, carelessness, or wicked teaching!The "new cruse" and the "salt" are evidently chosen from a regard to symbolizm. The foul stream represents sin, and to cleanse it emblems of purity must he taken. Hence, the clean "new" dish previously unused, and thus untainted; and the salt, a common Scriptural symbol of incorruption (see Leviticus 2:13; Ezekiel 43:24; Matthew 5:13, etc.). 20. Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein—The noxious qualities of the water could not be corrected by the infusion of salt—for, supposing the salt was possessed of such a property, a whole spring could not be purified by a dishful for a day, much less in all future time. The pouring in of the salt was a symbolic act with which Elisha accompanied the word of the Lord, by which the spring was healed [Keil]. A new cruse; partly that there might be no ground of suspicion that the cure was wrought by any natural virtue of any thing which was or had been in the cruse before, but only by God’s power; and partly that there might be no legal pollution in it which might offend God, and hinder his miraculous operation by it.

Put salt therein; a most improper remedy; for salt naturally makes waters brackish, and lands barren. Hereby therefore he would show that this was effected solely by the Divine power, which could work either without means, or against them. And he said, bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein,.... One that had never been used, that it might not be thought that the virtue was owing to anything that had been, or was, put into it:

and they brought it to him; the pot with the salt in it.

And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein] The purity and freshness of the vessel were to typify the purification wrought upon the spring. Salt too is significant of preservation and purity. We are not however to think of this as the means whereby the healing was wrought, but only as an outward sign to point to the work which was supernaturally performed. The old word ‘cruse’ = a cup, is akin to the more modern ‘cruet’ and ‘crucible’, and occurs before in the A.V. (1 Kings 14:3).Verse 20. - And he said, Bring me a new cruse. Impurity must be cleansed by means that are wholly clean and pure. The prophet called for an absolutely new cruse, one that had been put to no use at all, and therefore could not have been defiled. And put salt therein. Salt, which physically would be most unapt to heal an unwholesome stream already holding too much salt in solution, is selected doubtless as emblematic of purity, being that by which corruption is ordinarily prevented or stayed. Under the Law every offering was to be purified by salt (Leviticus 2:13). The same symbolism is still employed under the gospel (see Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:49; Luke 14:34). And they brought it to him. Return 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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