2 Kings 3:3
Nevertheless he joined to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) He cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam.1Kings 12:28, seq., 1Kings 16:2; 1Kings 16:26.

Therefrom.—Heb., from it (a collective feminine). So in 2Kings 13:2; 2Kings 13:6; 2Kings 13:11.

3:1-5 Jehoram took warning by God's judgment, and put away the image of Baal, yet he maintained the worship of the calves. Those do not truly repent or reform, who only part with the sins they lose by, but continue to love the sins that they think to gain by.On the "evil" done by Ahab, see especially 1 Kings 16:30-34. Jehoram, warned by the fate of his brother (2 Kings 1:4 note), began his reign by a formal abolition of the Phoenician state religion introduced by Ahab - even if he connived at its continuance among the people 2 Kings 10:26-27; and by a re-establishment of the old worship of the kingdom as arranged by Jeroboam. CHAPTER 3

2Ki 3:1-3. Jehoram's Evil Reign over Israel.

1, 2. Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat—(compare 1Ki 22:51). To reconcile the statements in the two passages, we must suppose that Ahaziah, having reigned during the seventeenth and the greater part of the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, was succeeded by his brother Joram or Jehoram, in the end of that eighteenth year, or else that Ahaziah, having reigned two years in conjunction with his father, died at the end of that period when Jehoram ascended the throne. His policy was as hostile as that of his predecessors to the true religion; but he made some changes. Whatever was his motive for this alteration—whether dread of the many alarming judgments the patronage of idolatry had brought upon his father; or whether it was made as a small concession to the feelings of Jehoshaphat, his ally, he abolished idolatry in its gross form and restored the symbolic worship of God, which the kings of Israel, from the time of Jeroboam, had set up as a partition wall between their subjects and those of Judah.

The sins of Jeroboam, i.e. the worship of the calves; which all the kings of Israel kept up as a wall of partition between their subjects and those of Judah. Thus he shows that his religion was overruled by his interest and policy. Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin,.... He closely adhered to the worship of the calves set up by him:

he departed not therefrom: that being a piece of state policy, to keep up the division of the two kingdoms.

Nevertheless he cleaved unto the {b} sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.

(b) He sacrificed to the golden calves that Jeroboam had made.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam] The calf-worship was the token of Israel’s separation from Judah, and had a political significance. Other kings beside Jeroboam would feel the danger of allowing the northern people to return to the temple at Jerusalem to worship. So a king who might be disposed for religious reforms would shrink from including the suppression of the calves in his programme.

which made [R.V. wherewith he made] Israel to sin] The A.V. is inconsistent, sometimes making the relative, in this oft-recurring phrase, refer to Jeroboam, sometimes to the sin. It is clear from 1 Kings 15:26, that there, where it is first found, it must refer to the sin, and so A.V. there translates ‘wherewith he made’. The other places have been made uniform in rendering in R.V.Verse 3. - Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not there from. The maintenance of the calf-worship was, no doubt, viewed as a political necessity. If the two sanctuaries at Dan and Bethel had been shut up, the images broken, and the calf-worship brought to an end, there would, as a matter of course, have been a general flocking of the more religious among the people to the great sanctuary of Jehovah at Jerusalem; and this adoption of Jerusalem as a spiritual center would naturally have led on to its acceptance as the general political center of the whole Israelite people. Israel, as a separate kingdom, a distinct political entity, would have disappeared. Hence every Israelite monarch, even the Jehovistic Jehu, felt himself bound, by the political exigencies of his position, to keep up the calf-worship, and maintain the religious system of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. But the disciples of the prophets at Jericho were so unable to realize the fact of Elijah's translation, although it had been previously revealed to them, that they begged permission of Elisha to send out fifty brave men to seek for Elijah. פּן־נשׂאו: whether the Spirit of the Lord has not taken him and cast him upon one of the mountains, or into one of the valleys. פּן with the perfect is used "where there is fear of a fact, which as is conjectured almost with certainty has already happened," like μὴ in the sense of "whether not" (vid., Ewald, 337, b.). יהוה רוּח is not a wind sent by Jehovah (Ges.), but the Spirit of Jehovah, as in 1 Kings 18:12. The Chethb גּיאות is the regular formation from גּיא or גּיא (Zechariah 14:4); the Keri with the transposition of א and ,י the later form: גּאיות, Ezekiel 7:16; Ezekiel 31:12, etc. The belief expressed by the disciples of the prophets, that Elijah might have been miraculously carried away, was a popular belief, according to 1 Kings 18:12, which the disciples of the prophets were probably led to share, more especially in the present case, by the fact that they could not imagine a translation to heaven as a possible thing, and with the indefiniteness of the expression ראשׁך מעל לקח could only understand the divine revelation which they had received as referring to removal by death. So that even if Elisha told them how miraculously Elijah had been taken from him, which he no doubt did, they might still believe that by the appearance in the storm the Lord had taken away His servant from this life, that is to say, had received his soul into heaven, and had left his earthly tabernacle somewhere on the earth, for which they would like to go in search, that they might pay the last honours to their departed master. Elisha yielded to their continued urgency and granted their request; whereupon fifty men sought for three days for Elijah's body, and after three days' vain search returned to Jericho. עד־בּשׁ, to being ashamed, i.e., till he was ashamed to refuse their request any longer (see at Judges 3:25).

The two following miracles of Elisha (2 Kings 2:19-25) were also intended to accredit him in the eyes of the people as a man endowed with the Spirit and power of God, as Elijah had been. 2 Kings 2:19-22. Elisha makes the water at Jericho wholesome. - During his stay at Jericho (2 Kings 2:18) the people of the city complained, that whilst the situation of the place was good in other respects, the water was bad and the land produced miscarriages. הארץ, the land, i.e., the soil, on account of the badness of the water; not "the inhabitants, both man and beast" (Thenius). Elisha then told them to bring a new dish with salt, and poured the salt into the spring with these words: "Thus saith the Lord, I have made this water sound; there will not more be death and miscarriage thence" (משּׁם). משׁלּכת is a substantive here (vid., Ewald, 160, e.). המּים מוצא is no doubt the present spring Ain es Sultn, the only spring near to Jericho, the waters of which spread over the plain of Jericho, thirty-five minutes' distance from the present village and castle, taking its rise in a group of elevations not far from the foot of the mount Quarantana (Kuruntul); a large and beautiful spring, the water of which is neither cold nor warm, and has an agreeable and sweet (according to Steph. Schultz, "somewhat salt") taste. It was formerly enclosed by a kind of reservoir or semicircular wall of hewn stones, from which the water was conducted in different directions to the plain (vid., Rob. Pal. ii. p. 283ff.). With regard to the miracle, a spring which supplied the whole of the city and district with water could not be so greatly improved by pouring in a dish of salt, that the water lost its injurious qualities for ever, even if salt does possess the power of depriving bad water of its unpleasant taste and injurious effects. The use of these natural means does not remove the miracle. Salt, according to its power of preserving from corruption and decomposition, is a symbol of incorruptibility and of the power of life which destroys death (see Bhr, Symbolik, ii. pp. 325,326). As such it formed the earthly substratum for the spiritual power of the divine word, through which the spring was made for ever sound. A new dish was taken for the purpose, not ob munditiem (Seb. Schm.), but as a symbol of the renewing power of the word of God. - But if this miracle was adapted to show to the people the beneficent character of the prophet's ministry, the following occurrence was intended to prove to the despisers of God that the Lord does not allow His servants to be ridiculed with impunity.

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