2 Kings 2:21
And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(21) The spring of the waters.—Now called Aines Sultân (“the Sultan’s Fountain”), a fine spring of sweet water, which irrigates the neighbouring plain.

Thus saith the Lord.—Not the prophet’s own power, nor the natural virtues of the salt, but the Divine creative will was effectual to the healing of the spring.

There shall not be.—Many MSS., and all the versions, save LXX., read “and there shall not be,” or, “arise.”

Death.—Caused by the unwholesome water, either to the people, or to their unborn offspring.

Or barren land.—The same word as in 2Kings 2:19. Literally, and making (or, multiplying) abortion, which is apparently used as a substantive here (i.e., cause of abortion).

Unto this day.—The time when the narrative was first committed to writing.

2 Kings 2:21-22. He went forth unto the spring, and cast the salt in there — If the salt had been a proper remedy for the brackishness of these waters and the barrenness of the land, what could so small a quantity have done, and especially as cast into the fountain? For a fountain quickly works out any thing cast into it. But Elisha only used it as a sign of God’s power, which was to produce the effect, and to render the operation of that power more conspicuous. Therefore he says, Thus saith the Lord God, I have healed these waters — He himself; the new cruise and the salt were no more than mere instruments, or channels through which God was pleased to convey this healing virtue. There shall not be from thence any more death — Hurt or danger, to man or beast, by drinking the water. So the waters were healed unto this day — There is a fountain at this very day, toward the west of Jericho, which rises about three quarters of a league above the town in the way to Jerusalem, and, yielding a great deal of water, very excellent in its kind, runs along and fructifies the plain: and many authors speak of the extraordinary fruitfulness and pleasantness of the country hereabouts, after this time. See Josephus, Bell. Jud., book 5, cap. 4.

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 spring of the waters - The spring intended is probably that now called Ain-es-Sultan, which is not much more than a mile from the site of the ancient town. It is described as a large and beautiful fountain of sweet and pleasant water. The springs issuing from the eastern base of the highlands of Judah and Benjamin are to this day generally brackish. 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]. Cast the salt in there; which was in itself idle and ineffectual, considering both the quality of salt, and the small quantity of it, and the place where it was put, the fountain, which quickly works out any thing which is put into it; see Leviticus 11:36; but was only used as a sign of God’s presence and power, which did the thing: compare Exodus 15:25 2 Kings 4:41 6:6.

Any more death, i.e. hurt or danger, as death is oft used, {as 2 Corinthians 11:23} to men or beasts, by drinking of it, as formerly.

And he went forth unto the spring of the waters,.... The fountain from whence they flowed, the head of them:

and cast the salt in there; which was an unlikely means of making bad water good, since that makes it brackish, and not so drinkable, and what makes ground barren; but this method, contrary to nature, was taken, that the miracle might appear the greater; or, as the Jews express it, be a miracle within a miracle:

and said, thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; he did not pretend to heal them in his own name, and by his own power, but in the name and by the power of the Lord, to whom he would have it ascribed:

there shall not be from thence any more death, or barren land; or miscarrying; no more noxious and mortal diseases should be got by drinking them, nor any abortions occasioned by them in women, cattle, and fruit trees, as had been.

And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast {m} the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.

(m) Thus God gave him power, even contrary to nature, to make the water profitable for man's use, which before was hurtful.

21. Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters] The prophet by his words carries the thought away from the sign to the thing signified, the power of God exerted at the prayer of the prophet. We cannot suppose, though no mention is made of it, that the healing was attempted without a calling upon God.

any more death or barren land] R.V. or miscarrying. The R.V. thus conforms to its rendering of verse 19, and gives a wider sense than that conveyed by the A.V. This is to be preferred because the root of the word applies in the first instance rather to deprivation of children than to sterility of soil.

Verse 21. - And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there. The "spring" intended is supposed to be that now called Ain-es-Sultan, "the spring of the Sultan," which is the only copious source near the site of the ancient Jericho. The modern town lies at a distance of two miles from it. Ain-es-Sultan is described as "a large and beautiful fountain of sweet and pleasant water" (Robinson, 'Researches,' vol. 2. p. 384), and as "scattering, even at the hottest season, the richest and most grateful vegetation over what would otherwise be a bare tract of sandy soft." The other springs of the neighborhood are mostly brackish. And said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence - i.e., from the waters - any more death or barren land; rather, or miscarrying. 2 Kings 2:21But the disciples of the prophets at Jericho were so unable to realize the fact of Elijah's translation, although it had been previously revealed to them, that they begged permission of Elisha to send out fifty brave men to seek for Elijah. פּן־נשׂאו: whether the Spirit of the Lord has not taken him and cast him upon one of the mountains, or into one of the valleys. פּן with the perfect is used "where there is fear of a fact, which as is conjectured almost with certainty has already happened," like μὴ in the sense of "whether not" (vid., Ewald, 337, b.). יהוה רוּח is not a wind sent by Jehovah (Ges.), but the Spirit of Jehovah, as in 1 Kings 18:12. The Chethb גּיאות is the regular formation from גּיא or גּיא (Zechariah 14:4); the Keri with the transposition of א and ,י the later form: גּאיות, Ezekiel 7:16; Ezekiel 31:12, etc. The belief expressed by the disciples of the prophets, that Elijah might have been miraculously carried away, was a popular belief, according to 1 Kings 18:12, which the disciples of the prophets were probably led to share, more especially in the present case, by the fact that they could not imagine a translation to heaven as a possible thing, and with the indefiniteness of the expression ראשׁך מעל לקח could only understand the divine revelation which they had received as referring to removal by death. So that even if Elisha told them how miraculously Elijah had been taken from him, which he no doubt did, they might still believe that by the appearance in the storm the Lord had taken away His servant from this life, that is to say, had received his soul into heaven, and had left his earthly tabernacle somewhere on the earth, for which they would like to go in search, that they might pay the last honours to their departed master. Elisha yielded to their continued urgency and granted their request; whereupon fifty men sought for three days for Elijah's body, and after three days' vain search returned to Jericho. עד־בּשׁ, to being ashamed, i.e., till he was ashamed to refuse their request any longer (see at Judges 3:25).

The two following miracles of Elisha (2 Kings 2:19-25) were also intended to accredit him in the eyes of the people as a man endowed with the Spirit and power of God, as Elijah had been. 2 Kings 2:19-22. Elisha makes the water at Jericho wholesome. - During his stay at Jericho (2 Kings 2:18) the people of the city complained, that whilst the situation of the place was good in other respects, the water was bad and the land produced miscarriages. הארץ, the land, i.e., the soil, on account of the badness of the water; not "the inhabitants, both man and beast" (Thenius). Elisha then told them to bring a new dish with salt, and poured the salt into the spring with these words: "Thus saith the Lord, I have made this water sound; there will not more be death and miscarriage thence" (משּׁם). משׁלּכת is a substantive here (vid., Ewald, 160, e.). המּים מוצא is no doubt the present spring Ain es Sultn, the only spring near to Jericho, the waters of which spread over the plain of Jericho, thirty-five minutes' distance from the present village and castle, taking its rise in a group of elevations not far from the foot of the mount Quarantana (Kuruntul); a large and beautiful spring, the water of which is neither cold nor warm, and has an agreeable and sweet (according to Steph. Schultz, "somewhat salt") taste. It was formerly enclosed by a kind of reservoir or semicircular wall of hewn stones, from which the water was conducted in different directions to the plain (vid., Rob. Pal. ii. p. 283ff.). With regard to the miracle, a spring which supplied the whole of the city and district with water could not be so greatly improved by pouring in a dish of salt, that the water lost its injurious qualities for ever, even if salt does possess the power of depriving bad water of its unpleasant taste and injurious effects. The use of these natural means does not remove the miracle. Salt, according to its power of preserving from corruption and decomposition, is a symbol of incorruptibility and of the power of life which destroys death (see Bhr, Symbolik, ii. pp. 325,326). As such it formed the earthly substratum for the spiritual power of the divine word, through which the spring was made for ever sound. A new dish was taken for the purpose, not ob munditiem (Seb. Schm.), but as a symbol of the renewing power of the word of God. - But if this miracle was adapted to show to the people the beneficent character of the prophet's ministry, the following occurrence was intended to prove to the despisers of God that the Lord does not allow His servants to be ridiculed with impunity.

2 Kings 2:21 Interlinear
2 Kings 2:21 Parallel Texts

2 Kings 2:21 NIV
2 Kings 2:21 NLT
2 Kings 2:21 ESV
2 Kings 2:21 NASB
2 Kings 2:21 KJV

2 Kings 2:21 Bible Apps
2 Kings 2:21 Parallel
2 Kings 2:21 Biblia Paralela
2 Kings 2:21 Chinese Bible
2 Kings 2:21 French Bible
2 Kings 2:21 German Bible

Bible Hub

2 Kings 2:20
Top of Page
Top of Page