2 Kings 3:16
And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches.
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(16) Make.—Right (infinitive, equivalent to an energetic imperative).

Valley.Nahal, wady, torrent-bed, gully. According to Thenius, “the brook Zered” of Deuteronomy 2:13 is meant; the present Wady el-Ahsy, (or el-Hasa) which forms the natural southern boundary of Moab, and from which several gorges lead up into the Moabite highlands. (See Isaiah 15:7.)

Full of ditches.—Literally, pits, pits. (Comp. Genesis 14:10 : “Wells, wells of bitumen.”) The pits were to gather the water, which otherwise would soon have run away in the bed of the torrent (Jeremiah 14:3-4). The style of the oracle is stamped with the liveliness and originality of historic truth.

2 Kings 3:16-17. Make this valley full of ditches — Which may receive the water and retain it, for the use of men and beasts. They that expect God’s blessings, must prepare room for them. Ye shall not see wind — Any of those winds which commonly bring rain. Seeing is here put for perceiving or feeling; the words belonging to one sense, being frequently applied to another. Neither shall ye see rain — Elijah, by prayer, obtained water from the sea and clouds: but Elisha fetches it nobody knows whence. God is not confined to second causes. Ordinarily it is by a plentiful rain that he refreshes his inheritance: but here it is done without any such means. Yet that valley shall be filled with water — That valley only, it seems, and no other place, however near or adjoining, which greatly increased the miracle.

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.Ditches - Or "pits" Jeremiah 14:3. They were to dig pits in the broad valley or wady, wherein the water might remain, instead of flowing off down the torrent course. 16. Make this valley full of ditches—capable of holding water. Which may receive the water, and hold it for the use of men and beasts.

And he said, thus saith the Lord, make this valley full of ditches. In which the allied army lay encamped, that they might be ready to receive large quantities of water, sufficient for the whole army and cattle, when it came. And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches.
16. Make this valley full of ditches] R.V. trenches. The valley was a torrent bed which in the time of rain would become suddenly flooded with the water from the steep sides, and from the watershed above. This would soon run away, and the excavations mentioned here seem to have been meant to dam up the water, and prevent its rapid escape, that so the army might be supplied for a good while if necessary.

Verse 16. - And he said, Thus saith the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches; rather, full of pits (βοθύβους, LXX.). The object was to detain the water which would otherwise have all run off down the torrent-course in a very little time. 2 Kings 3:16He then sent for a minstrel, to collect his mind from the impressions of the outer world by the soft tones of the instrument, and by subduing the self-life and life in the external world to become absorbed in the intuition of divine things. On this influence of music upon the state of the mind, see the remark on 1 Samuel 16:16, and Passavant's Untersuchungen ber den Lebens-magnetismus, p. 207 (ed. 2). - As the minstrel was playing, the hand of the Lord came upon him (והיה according to the later usage for ויהי, as in 1 Samuel 17:48, etc.; compare Ewald, 345, b., and יהוה יד as in 1 Kings 18:46), so that he said in the name of the Lord: "Make this valley full of trenches (עשׂה, inf. abs. for the imperative; for גּבים גּבים see Ges. 108, 4); for thus saith the Lord, ye will see neither wind nor rain, and this valley will be filled with water, that ye may be able to drink, and your flocks and your cattle." גּבים are trenches for collecting water (vid., Jeremiah 14:3), which would suddenly flow down through the brook-valley. This large quantity of water came on the (following) morning "by the way of Edom" (2 Kings 3:20), a heavy fall of rain or violent storm having taken place, as is evident from the context, in the eastern mountains of Edom, at a great distance from the Israelitish camp, the water of which filled the brook-valley, i.e., the Wady el Kurahy and el Ahsy (see at 2 Kings 3:9) at once, without the Israelites observing anything either of the wind, which always precedes rain in the East (Harmar, Beobb. i. pp. 51, 52), or of the rain itself. מקניכם are the flocks intended for slaughtering, בּהמתּכם the beasts of burden.
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