2 Kings 3:14
And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Before whom I stand.—As a minister. (Comp. 1Kings 17:1; 1Kings 18:15.)

Surely.—Kî (for); used as in 2Kings 3:10 (“I cry, alas!” “I thus swear,” for, &c.). Jehoshaphat is accepted because of his faithful dependence on Jehovah (2Kings 3:11). Jehoram still maintained or tolerated the cultus of Bethel and Dan. (See 2Kings 3:3.)

Regard the presence.—Literally, lift the face. (Comp. Genesis 19:21; Genesis 32:21.)

2 Kings 3:14. Were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat — Whom I reverence and love for his piety, and therefore for his sake will inquire of the Lord for you all. It is good being with those who possess God’s favour and the love of his people. Wicked men often fare the better for the friendship and society of good men.

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.Jehoram's humility in seeking 2 Kings 3:12 instead of summoning Elisha, does not save him from rebuke. His reformation 2 Kings 3:2 had been but a half reformation - a compromise with idolatry.

Nay: for the Lord hath called ... - The force of this reply seems to be - "Nay, reproach me not, since I am in a sore strait - and not only I, but these two other kings also. The Lord - Yahweh - is about to deliver us into the hand of Moab. If thou canst not, or wilt not help, at least do not reproach."

13, 14. What have I to do with thee? &c.—Wishing to produce a deep spirit of humility and contrition, Elisha gave a stern repulse to the king of Israel, accompanied by a sarcastic sneer, in bidding him go and consult Baal and his soothsayers. But the distressed condition, especially the imploring language, of the royal suppliants, who acknowledged the hand of the Lord in this distress, drew from the prophet the solemn assurance, that solely out of respect to Jehoshaphat, the Lord's true servant, did he take any interest in Jehoram. Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, whom I reverence and love for his virtue and piety.

Elisha said, as the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand,.... Whose minster and prophet he was, to whom he prayed, and whose service he was ready to perform:

surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah; revere him not only as a king, but as a pious prince, and a worshipper of the true God:

I would not look toward thee, nor see thee; give him no countenance at all, pay no regard to his request, not so much as to look at him in a civil way; but turn away his face from him with contempt and disdain, as unworthy to be conversed with by a prophet of the Lord.

And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would {k} not look toward thee, nor see thee.

(k) God suffers his word to be declared to the wicked because of the godly that are among them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. As the Lord of hosts liveth] Probably the use of this expression is due to the circumstances. Jehovah, set before the Jews as the Lord of the armies both of heaven and of earth, would be fitly spoken of by this title at this time. There were three armies together all reduced to the greatest straits, and brought to sue for help to the prophet of the Lord. It was a fit opportunity for pointing out that though armies may be gathered, yet the issue of their undertaking is in His hands alone. He is the living God, all others are no gods.

were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat] Thus the prophet continues the same thought. Jehovah, the Lord of hosts, is specially the protector of His people. When they are in danger, and cry to Him, He heareth them. And the prophet is the representative of God. Jehoshaphat joins in the appeal, and for his sake mercy is extended to the less deserving also.

I would not look toward thee, nor see thee] There is no sense employed with less labour to the possessor than that of sight. Hence the expression here used implies that Elisha would not have made the faintest effort for Jehoram’s sake alone.

Verse 14. - And Elisha said, As the Lord of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it not that I regard the presence of Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, I would not look toward thee, nor see thee. Jehoshaphat's conduct had not been blameless; he had twice incurred the rebuke of a prophet for departures from the line of strict duty - once for "helping the ungodly" Ahab at Ramoth-Gilead (2 Chronicles 19:2); and a second time for "joining himself with Ahaziah to make ships to go to Ophir" (2 Chronicles 20:36; comp. 1 Kings 22:48). Even now he was engaged in an expedition which had received no Divine sanction, and was allied with two idolatrous monarchs. But Elisha condones these derelictions of duty in consideration of the king's honesty of purpose and steady attachment to Jehovah, which is witnessed to by the authors both of Kings (1 Kings 22:43; 2 Kings 3:11) and Chronicles (2 Chronicles 17:3-6; 2 Chronicles 19:4-11; 2 Chronicles 20:5-21, etc.). He "regards the presence of Jehoshaphat," and therefore consents to return an answer to the three kings, and announce to them the mode of their deliverance. The adjuration wherewith he opens his speech is one of great solemnity, only used upon very special occasions (see 1 Kings 17:1; 2 Kings 5:16), and adds great force to his declaration. 2 Kings 3:14In order still further to humble the king of Israel, who was already bowed down by the trouble, and to produce some salutary fruit of repentance in his heart, Elisha addressed him in these words: "What have I to do with thee? Go to the (Baal-) prophets of thy father and thy mother! Let them help thee." When Joram replied to this in a supplicatory tone: על, no, pray (as in Ruth 1:13), i.e., speak not in this refusing way, for the Lord has brought these three kings - not me alone, but Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom also - into this trouble; Elisha said to him with a solemn oath (cf. 1 Kings 17:1): "If I did not regard Jehoshaphat, I should not look at thee and have respect to thee," i.e., I should not deign to look at thee, much less to help thee.
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