2 Kings 3:20
And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) When the meat offering was offered.—Comp. 1Kings 18:29; 1Kings 18:36. A more exact definition of the time. The reckoning by hours was unknown before the captivity. According to the Talmud, the morning sacrifice was offered in the Temple the moment it became light. (Ewald assumes that “the meat offering” was offered on this occasion in the camp.) That help came to the distressed army just at the hour of morning worship was a striking coincidence. (This allusion to the law of Exodus 29:38, seq., may be an indirect hit at the northern kingdom.)

There came water.Water was coming from the way (direction) of Edom. It would seem that a sudden storm of rain had fallen on the mountains of Seir, at some distance from the camp (Josephus says at a distance of three days’ march); and the water found its natural outlet in the dry wady. Reuss thinks this explanation “superfluous,” in the face of “the author’s intention to describe a miracle;” but there are different kinds of miracle, and, in the present instance, the miraculous element is visible in the prophet’s prediction of the coming help, and in the coincidence of the natural phenomena with the needs of the Israelites. (Comp. 2Kings 7:1-2, seq.) [This statement seems to preclude also the naturalistic explanation founded on the meaning of the Arabic name of the locality. Hisyun, hasyun, hasan, mean water which gathers on a hard bottom under the sand in certain localities, and which the Arabs get at by scooping holes in the ground. See Lane, Arab. Eng. Lex. s.v.]

2 Kings 3:20. In the morning when the meat-offering was offered — That is, at the time of the morning sacrifice, which doubtless was attended with the solemn prayers of God’s people. At this time Elisha joined his prayers with the prayers of God’s people, especially those at Jerusalem. And this time God chose to answer their prayers, and to work this miracle, that thereby he might determine the controversy between the Israelites and the Jews, about the place and manner of worship, and give a public testimony from heaven for the Jews, and against the Israelites. God, that commands all the waters both above and beneath the firmament, sent them abundance of water on a sudden. 3:20-27 It is a blessing to be favoured with the company of those who have power with God, and can prevail by their prayers. A kingdom may be upheld and prosper, in consequence of the fervent prayers of those who are dear to God. May we place our highest regard upon such as are most precious in his account. When sinners are saying Peace, peace, destruction comes upon them: despair will follow their mad presumption. In Satan's service and at his suggestion, such horrid deeds have been done, as cause the natural feelings of the heart to shudder; like the king of Moab's sacrificing his son. It is well not to urge the worst of men to extremities; we should rather leave them to the judgment of God.When the meat offering was offered - i. e. about sunrise, when the morning sacrifice was offered. Compare 1 Kings 18:29.

There came water by the way of Edom - The Wady-el-Ahsy drains a considerable portion of northern Edom. Heavy rain had fallen during the night in some part of this tract, and with the morning a freshet of water came down the valley, filling the pits.

20-24. when the meat offering was offered—that is, at the time of the morning sacrifice, accompanied, doubtless, with solemn prayers; and these led, it may be, by Elisha on this occasion, as on a similar one by Elijah (1Ki 18:36).

behold, there came water by the way of Edom—Far from the Israelitish camp, in the eastern mountains of Edom, a great fall of rain, a kind of cloudburst, took place, by which the wady was at once filled, but they saw neither the wind nor the rains. The divine interposition was shown by introducing the laws of nature to the determined end in the predetermined way [Keil]. It brought not only aid to the Israelitish army in their distress, by a plentiful supply of water, but destruction on the Moabites, who, perceiving the water, under the refulgent rays of the morning sun, red like blood, concluded the confederate kings had quarrelled and deluged the field with their mutual slaughter; so that, rushing to their camp in full expectation of great spoil, they were met by the Israelites, who, prepared for battle, fought and pursued them. Their country was laid waste in the way, which has always been considered the greatest desolation in the East (2Ki 3:24).

When the meat-offering was offered, i.e. the morning sacrifice; of which Exodus 29:39,40, which doubtless was attended with the solemn prayers of God’s people, as the evening sacrifice unquestionably was, Acts 3:1, there being the same reason for substance for both times. At this time Elisha joined his prayers with the prayers of God’s people, especially those at Jerusalem, as Elijah had done at a like time, 1 Kings 18:29; and this time God chose to answer his and their prayers, and to work this miracle, that thereby he might determine the controversy between the Israelites and the Jews, about the place and manner of worship, and give a public testimony from heaven for the Jews, and against the Israelites.

There came water; miraculously produced out of some rock or vein of the earth.

By the way of Edom; from those parts which were towards Edom. And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered,.... At Jerusalem; which always went along with the daily burnt offering of the lamb, which might not indeed be offered before break of day, yet quickly after; for no sacrifice could be offered before that; see Gill on Exodus 29:39,

that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom; not from the heavens, but it may be out of some rock, rolling along on the earth from the hills and mountains, down into the valleys, where the armies were:

and the country was filled with water; all round about them. Who has not heard of the "thundering" legion, as it was called by the Emperor M. Aurelius, who, when the army under him was about to engage with the Germans and Sarmatians, and sadly distressed with thirst, fell down on their knees and prayed, upon which a large shower of rain came down to the refreshment of the army, and thunder bolts, which annoyed and put the enemy to flight (i)? at the battle of the Romans with Jugurtha, a sudden and unexpected shower of rain fell, to the refreshment of the Romans, in intolerable thirst (k).

(i) Euseb. Hist. Eccl. l. 5. c. 5. Orosii Hist. l. 7. c. 15. p. 120. (k) Orosii Hist. l. 5. c. 15. p. 77.

And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. when the meat offering was offered] R.V. about the time of offering the oblation. The term meat offering has become misleading to modern English readers, because it would now imply that flesh of some kind formed a part of the offering; whereas the oblation [minchah] here spoken of consisted (see Leviticus 2:1) of fine flour, oil and frankincense. Hence R.V. has rendered the word very frequently ‘meal offering’, and in some places as here, where there was no need to be specific, by ‘oblation’. The time of the offering was as soon as possible after day-dawn. In a similar manner the time selected by Elijah (1 Kings 18:36) for offering his prayer to God on Carmel was at the time of the offering of the evening oblation. Thus in both cases God’s intervention was linked to the worship at Jerusalem. ‘Elijah fetched down his fire at the hour of the evening sacrifice, Elisha fetched up his water at the hour of the morning sacrifice. God gives respect to His own hours for the encouragement of our observation. If His wisdom hath set us any peculiar times, we cannot keep them without a blessing’ (Bp Hall).

by the way of Edom] The fall of rain, to which the supply of water was due, would thus be unknown to the Moabites even more than to the Israelites. Josephus describes the rain as having fallen in abundance at a distance of three days’ journey (Ant. IX. 3. 2).Verse 20. - And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered - i.e. about sunrise, which was the time of the morning sacrifice - that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom. The Wady-el- Ahsy drains a portion of Southern Moab, and also a considerable tract of Northern Edom. The nocturnal storm had burst, not in the Moabite country, where it would have attracted the attention of the Moabites, but in some comparatively distant part of the Idumaean territory, so that the Moabites were not aware of it. Josephus says that the storm burst at a distance of three days' journey from the Israelite camp ('Ant. Jud.,' 9:3. § 2); but this can only be his conjecture. And the country was filled, with water. By "the country" (ha-arets) must be meant here the bed or channel of the water-course. This was suddenly filled with a rushing stream, which, however, rapidly ran off, leaving the water-course dry, excepting where the pits had been made by the Israelites. But this supply was ample for the army. In 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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