2 Kings 2:5
And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said to him, Know you that the LORD will take away your master from your head to day? And he answered, Yes, I know it; hold you your peace.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Came.Drew near.

AnsweredSaid.

2 Kings 2:5. The sons of the prophets that were at Jericho — Here also was a school, where the same revelation had been made to the sons of the prophets, concerning Elijah’s removal, which had been communicated to those at Beth-el. And their thoughts, like the thoughts of the others, were wholly occupied about the extraordinary matter, and big with expectation. 2:1-8 The Lord had let Elijah know that his time was at hand. He therefore went to the different schools of the prophets to give them his last exhortations and blessing. The removal of Elijah was a type and figure of the ascension of Christ, and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Elisha had long followed Elijah, and he would not leave him now when he hoped for the parting blessing. Let not those who follow Christ come short by tiring at last. The waters of Jordan, of old, yielded to the ark; now, to the prophet's mantle, as a token of God's presence. When God will take up his faithful ones to heaven, death is the Jordan which they must pass through, and they find a way through it. The death of Christ has divided those waters, that the ransomed of the Lord may pass over. O death, where is thy sting, thy hurt, thy terror!Came forth to Elisha - It does not appear that any interchange of speech took place between "the sons of the prophets" (see the marginal reference note) and Elijah; but independent revelations had been made to the two "schools" at Bethel and Jericho 2 Kings 2:5, and also to Elisha, with respect to Elijah's coming removal.

From thy head - i. e. from his position as teacher and master. The teacher sat on an elevated seat, so that his feet were level with the heads of his pupils (compare Acts 22:3).

Hold ye your peace - i. e. "Say nothing - disturb us not. The matter is too sacred for words."

3. take away thy master from they head—an allusion to the custom of scholars sitting at the feet of their master, the latter being over their heads (Ac 22:3). No text from Poole on this verse. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho,.... For though this place was lately rebuilt under a curse to the builder, yet was blessed with a school of the prophets: whose disciples came to Elisha, and said unto him; as in 2 Kings 2:3 and to whom he made the same reply. And the sons of the prophets that were at {e} Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

(e) Not only at Bethel, but at Jericho and other places were there prophets, who had scholars, whom they instructed and brought up in the true fear of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 5. - And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him; Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today? And he answered, Yea, I know it . hold ye your peace. At Jericho, too, as well as at Bethel, there was a school of the prophets, though the two places were not more than about twenty miles apart. This would seem to imply the existence of a large number of such seminaries at this period. No doubt, when the secular power was most strongly opposed to true religion, the prophetical order had to make increased efforts to raise its numbers and multiply its schools. The prophets of Israel, it must be remembered, were, after the withdrawal of the priests and Levites (2 Chronicles 11:13, 14), the sole teachers of the people in true religion. When Ahaziah died, according to the word of the Lord through Elijah, as he had no son, he was followed upon the throne by his brother Joram, "in the second year of Joram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah." This statement is at variance both with that in 2 Kings 3:1, to the effect that Joram began to reign in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, and with that in 1 Kings 22:52, viz., that Ahaziah ascended the throne in the seventeenth year of the reign of Jehoshaphat, which lasted twenty-five years, and also with the statement in 2 Kings 8:16, that Joram of Judah became king over Judah in the fifth year of Joram of Israel. If, for example, Ahaziah of Israel died after a reign of not quite two years, at the most a year and a half, in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat; as Jehoshaphat himself reigned twenty-five years, he cannot have died till the seventh year of Joram of Israel, and his son Joram followed him upon the throne. The last of these discrepancies may be solved very simply, from the fact that, according to 2 Kings 8:16, Jehoshaphat was still king when his son Joram began to reign so that Jehoshaphat abdicated in favour of his son about two years before his death. And the first discrepancy (that between 2 Kings 1:17 and 1 Kings 3:1) is removed by Usher (Annales M. ad a.m. 3106 and 3112), Lightfoot, and others, after the example of the Seder Olam, by the assumption of the co-regency. According to this, when Jehoshaphat went with Ahab to Ramoth in Gilead to war against the Syrians, in the eighteenth year of his reign, which runs parallel to the twenty-second year of the reign of Ahab, he appointed his son Joram to the co-regency, and transferred to him the administration of the kingdom. It is from this co-regency that the statement in 2 Kings 1:17 is dated, to the effect that Joram of Israel became king in the second year of Joram of Judah. This second year of the co-regency of Joram corresponds to the eighteenth year of the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Kings 3:1). And in the fifth year of his co-regency Jehoshaphat gave up the reins of government entirely to him. It is from this point in time, i.e., from the twenty-third year of Jehoshaphat, that we are to reckon the eight years of the reign of Joram (of Judah), so that he only reigned six years more after his father's death.

(Note: Wolff indeed boldly declares that "the co-regency of Joram is a pure fiction, and the biblical historians do not furnish the slightest warrant for any such supposition" (see p. 628 of the treatise mentioned at p. 187); but he cannot think of any other way of reconciling the differences than by making several alterations in the text, and inventing a co-regency in the case of the Israelitish king Ahaziah. The synchronism of the reigns of the Israelitish kings necessarily requires the solution adopted in the text. For if Joram of Israel, who began to reign in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat and reigned twelve years (2 Kings 3:1), was slain at the same time as Ahaziah of Judah (2 Kings 9:24-27), and Ahaziah of Judah reigned about one year and his predecessor Joram about eight years, so that the two together certainly reigned fully eight years; Joram of Judah must have ascended the throne four years after Joram of Israel, i.e., in the twenty-third year of Jehoshaphat, which runs parallel to the fifty year of Joram of Israel. Consequently the twenty-five years of Jehoshaphat are to be reduced to twenty-three in reckoning the sum-total of the years embraced by the period of the kings. It is true that there is no analogy for this combination of the years of the reigns of two kings, since the other reductions of which different chronologists are fond are perfectly arbitrary, and the case before us stands quite alone; but this exception to the rule is indicated clearly enough in the statement in 2 Kings 8:16, that Joram began to reign while Jehoshaphat was (still) king. When, however, Thenius objects to this mode of reconciling the differences, which even Winer adopts in the third edition of his bibl. Real-Wצrterbuch, i. p. 539, on the ground that the reign of Joram is dated most precisely in 1 Kings 22:51 and 2 Chronicles 21:1, 2 Chronicles 21:5,2 Chronicles 21:20, from the death of Jehoshaphat, and that an actual co-regency, viz., that of Jotham, is expressly mentioned in 2 Kings 15:5, which does not render it at all necessary to carry the years of his reign into those of his father's, this appeal to the case of Jotham cannot prove anything, for the simple reason that the biblical text knows nothing of any co-regency of Jotham and Uzziah, but simply states that when Uzziah was smitten with leprosy, his son Jotham judged the people of the land, but that he did not become king till after his father's death (2 Kings 15:5, 2 Kings 15:7; 2 Chronicles 26:21, 2 Chronicles 26:23). It is indeed stated in 1 Kings 22:51 and 2 Chronicles 26:1, 2 Chronicles 26:5,2 Chronicles 26:20, that Jehoshaphat died and his son Joram became king, which may be understood as meaning that he did not become king till after the death of Jehoshaphat; but there is no necessity to understand it so, and therefore it can be very easily reconciled with the more precise statement in 2 Kings 8:16, that Joram ascended the throne during the reign of Jehoshaphat, whereas the assertion of Thenius, that the circumstantial clause יהוּדה מלך ויהושׁפט in 2 Kings 8:16 is a gloss, is not critically established by the absence of these words from the lxx, Syr., and Arabic, and to expunge them from the text is nothing but an act of critical violence.)

We have no information as to the reason which induced Jehoshaphat to abdicate in favour of his son two years before his death; for there is very little probability in the conjecture of Lightfoot (Opp. i. p. 85), that Jehoshaphat did this when he commenced the war with the Moabites in alliance with Joram of Israel, for the simple reason that the Moabites revolted after the death of Ahab, and Joram made preparations for attacking them immediately after their rebellion (2 Kings 3:5-7), so that he must have commenced this expedition before the fifth year of his reign.

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