2 Kings 3:12
And Jehoshaphat said, The word of the LORD is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat.—All the versions except the Targum add, “the king of Judah.” Jehoshaphat said what follows either on the ground of Elijah’s reputation, or because the news of Elisha’s succession had already reached Judah.

The proper names, Shaphat and Jehoshaphat, are identical (He judgeth, i.e., Jah judgeth). (Comp. Ahaz and Jehoahaz.)

Went down to him.—From the royal tents, which were probably pitched on an eminence, so as to overlook the camp. The three kings go to consult the prophet as persons of ordinary station might do. This shows the estimation in which he was held. Keil says they were humbled by misfortune.

2 Kings 3:12. The word of the Lord is with him — He is a true prophet, and the Lord declares his will by him. Undoubtedly he had been informed how Elijah had chosen him his successor; how he had attended him till he was taken up into heaven, and what wonders he had already done. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, &c., went down to him — To his tent, which was either in the camp or not far from it. They did not send for him, but went to him, that by paying him this respect, and thus honouring him, they might engage him to give them his utmost assistance.3:6-19 The king of Israel laments their distress, and the danger they were in. He called these kings together, yet he charges it upon Providence. Thus the foolishness of man perverteth his way, and then his heart fretteth against the Lord, Pr 19:3. It was well that Jehoshaphat inquired of the Lord now, but it had been much better if he had done it before he engaged in this war. Good men sometimes neglect their duty, till necessity and affliction drive them to it. Wicked people often fare the better for the friendship and society of the godly. To try their faith and obedience, Elisha bids them make the valley full of pits to receive water. Those who expect God's blessings, must dig pools for the rain to fill, as in the valley of Baca, and thus make even that a well, Ps 84:6. We need not inquire whence the water came. God is not tied to second causes. They that sincerely seek for the dew of God's grace, shall have it, and by it be made more than conquerors.A prophet of the Lord - i. e. of Yahweh. It was necessary to inquire thus definitely, as there were still plenty of prophets who were only prophets of Baal 2 Kings 3:13.

Here is Elisha - Jehoram appears to have been ignorant of his presence with the host, and one of his "servants," or officers, answered Jehoshaphat's inquiry.

Which poured water - An act signifying ministration or attendance (compare John 13:5 ff).

11. which poured water on the hands of Elijah—that is, was his servant—this being one of the common offices of a servant. The phrase is used here as synonymous with "a true and eminent prophet," who will reveal God's will to us. The word of the Lord is with him; we may inquire the mind of God by him, for he is a true prophet; which Jehoshaphat might easily understand, because being a good man, and a great favourer of the Lord’s prophets, he would diligently inquire, and many persons would be ready to inform him, of all things of that nature, and, amongst others, of Elijah’s calling of Elisha by casting his prophetical mantle over him, 1 Kings 19:19, and of Elijah’s translation and Elisha’s substitution in his place, and of the proof of it, 2 Kings 2:8,14.

Down to him; to his tent; which was either in the camp, or not far from it; for he went along with the army by the impulse of God’s Spirit for this very occasion. They did not send for him, but went to him, that by giving him this honour they might more effectually engage him to give them his utmost assistance; and because they had heard that he was a man of a rugged temper and carriage, who therefore was to be sweetened, and so disposed to pity and relieve them. And Jehoshaphat said, the word of the Lord is with him,.... To give them an answer, which he concluded from his being a servant and disciple of Elijah, whom he succeeded in his office, and of whom he had, doubtless, heard; and from his following the camp, and being in it, which he easily imagined was not to fight, but to assist by his advice and counsel, and by his prophecies, as there might be occasion for them:

so the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him; descended from their chariots, and went to the tent in the camp where he was; they did not send for him to come to them, but, in honour of him, went to him themselves.

And Jehoshaphat said, {g} The word of the LORD is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

(g) He is able to instruct us what God's will is in this point.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. is with him] This expression seems to imply a more than ordinary participation of the divine Spirit. The more usual phrase is ‘The word of the Lord came to’ (cf. Genesis 15:1; 1 Samuel 15:10 &c.). And even the ‘sons of the prophets’ recognized that Elijah and after him Elisha were preeminently endowed with gifts from God.

went down to him] Such a man was not to be lightly summoned, and at such a crisis all reverence would be shewn to one on whose words it seemed that the chance of relief greatly depended. It may be that the phrase ‘go down’ is used here also because the tents of the kings would stand above the host. Josephus tells us that the tent of Elisha was outside the camp, which is very improbable. Bp Hall remarks here: ‘It was news, to see three kings going down to the servant of him who ran before the chariot of Ahab. Religion and necessity have both of them much power of humiliation. I know not whether more. Either zeal or need will make a prophet honoured’.Verse 12. - And Jehoshaphat said, The word of the Lord is with him; that is, "he is a true prophet; he can tell us the will of God." It is impossible to say how Jehoshaphat had acquired this conviction. Elijah's selection of Elisha to be his special attendant (1 Kings 19:19-21) was no doubt generally known, and may have raised expectations that Elisha would be the next great prophet. Jehoshaphat may have heard of the miracles recorded in 2 Kings 2. At any rate, he appears to have been firmly convinced of Elisha's prophetic mission, and to have accepted him as the authorized exponent of God's will at the time. So the King of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the King of Edom went down to him. Prophets were commonly summoned into the king's presence, or, if they had a message to him, contrived a meeting in some place where they knew he would be. That the kings should seek Elisha out and visit him was a great sign both of the honor in which he was held, and also of the extent to which they were humbled by the danger which threatened them. The statement concerning the rebellion of the Moabites, which has already been mentioned in 2 Kings 1:1, is repeated here, because it furnished the occasion for the expedition about to be described. Ahaziah had been unable to do anything during his short reign to renew the subjugation of Moab; Joram was therefore anxious to overtake what had been neglected immediately after his ascent of the throne. He went to Samaria ההוּא בּיּום, at that time, namely, when he renewed his demand for the tribute and it was refused (Thenius), and mustered all Israel, i.e., raised an army out of the whole kingdom, and asked Jehoshaphat to join in the war, which he willingly promised to do (as in 1 Kings 22:4), notwithstanding the fact that he had been blamed by prophets for his alliance with Ahab and Ahaziah (2 Chronicles 19:2 and 2 Chronicles 20:37). He probably wished to chastise the Moabites still further on this occasion for their invasion of Judah (2 Chronicles 20), and to do his part by bringing them once more under the yoke of Israel, to put it out of their power to make fresh incursions into Judah.
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