2 Kings 6:14
Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
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(14) A great host.—Of infantry. Not, however, an army but a company. (See 2Kings 6:23.)

They came by night.—So as to take the city by surprise.

6:13-23 What Elisha said to his servant is spoken to all the faithful servants of God, when without are fightings, and within are fears. Fear not, with that fear which has torment and amazement; for they that are with us, to protect us, are more than they that are against us, to destroy us. The eyes of his body were open, and with them he saw the danger. Lord, open the eyes of our faith, that with them we may see thy protecting hand. The clearer sight we have of the sovereignty and power of Heaven, the less we shall fear the troubles of earth. Satan, the god of this world, blinds men's eyes, and so deludes them unto their own ruin; but when God enlightens their eyes, they see themselves in the midst of their enemies, captives to Satan, and in danger of hell, though, before, they thought their condition good. When Elisha had the Syrians at his mercy, he made it appear that he was influenced by Divine goodness as well as Divine power. Let us not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. The Syrians saw it was to no purpose to try to assault so great and so good a man.Dothan - See the marginal reference note. It was at no great distance from Shechem. Its ancient name still attaches to a Tel or hill of a marked character (compare 2 Kings 6:17), from the foot of which arises a copious fountain. 13. Dothan—or, "Dothaim," a little north of Samaria (see on [330]Ge 37:17). No text from Poole on this verse. Therefore sent he thither horses and chariots, and a great host,.... To terrify the inhabitants from attempting to defend the prophet, but deliver him up at once:

and they came by night; that they might come upon them unawares, and their design not be discovered, so as to have timely help from Samaria, which was not far off:

and compassed the city about; that the prophet might not make his escape out of it.

Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a {f} great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

(f) Though it was nothing in man's judgment to have taken Elisha, yet the wicked doubt, and think they are never able to prepare enough power, though it be but against one or a few.

14. a great host] Greatness is comparative. Here was a company such as could be led by Elisha to Samaria, and fed easily when they reached that city. But no doubt they were formidable when employed for the capture of a single man of peace like Elisha, and they had taken up their position by night.

compassed the city about] i.e. beset all the gates, so that none could escape without their knowledge.Verse 14. - Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host; rather, and a strong force. The expression, חַיִל כָּבֵד, is used by the historical writers with a good deal of vagueness-sometimes of a really great army, sometimes merely of a large retinue (1 Kings 10:2) or of a moderate force (2 Kings 18:17). We must assign it its meaning according to the context. And they came by night, and compassed the city about. A night march was made, to take the prophet by surprise, and the city was encompassed, that it might be impossible for him to escape. Elisha's Action in the War with the Syrians. - 2 Kings 6:8-10. In a war which the Syrians carried on against the Israelitish king Joram (not Jehoahaz, as Ewald, Gesch. iii. p. 557, erroneously supposes), by sending flying parties into the land of Israel (cf. 2 Kings 6:23), Elisha repeatedly informed king Joram of the place where the Syrians had determined to encamp, and thereby frustrated the plans of the enemy. תּחנתי...אל־מקום: "at the place of so and so shall my camp be." אלמני פּלני as in 1 Samuel 21:3 (see at Ruth 4:1). תּחנות, the encamping or the place of encampment (cf. Ewald, 161, a.), is quite appropriate, so that there is no need either for the alteration into תּחבאוּ, "ye shall hide yourselves" (Then.), or into תּנחתוּ, with the meaning which is arbitrarily postulated, "ye shall place an ambush" (Ewald, Gesch. iii. p. 558), or for the much simpler alteration into לי תּחנוּ, "pitch the camp for me" (Bttcher). The singular suffix in תּחנתי refers to the king as leader of the war: "my camp" equals the camp of my army. "Beware of passing over (עבר) this place," i.e., of leaving it unoccupied, "for there have the Syrians determined to make their invasion." נחתּים, from נחת, going down, with dagesh euphon., whereas Ewald (187, b.) is of opinion that נחתּים, instead of being an intrans. part. Kal, might rather be a part. Niph. of חת, which would not yield, however, any suitable meaning. Thenius renders מעבר, "to pass by this place," which would be grammatically admissible, but is connected with his conjecture concerning תּחנתי, and irreconcilable with 2 Kings 6:10. When the king of Israel, according to 2 Kings 6:10, sent to the place indicated on account of Elisha's information, he can only have sent troops to occupy it; so that when the Syrians arrived they found Israelitish troops there, and were unable to attack the place. There is nothing in the text about the Syrians bursting forth from their ambush. הזהיר means to enlighten, instruct, but not to warn. נשׁמר־שׁם, "he took care there," i.e., he occupied the place with troops, to defend it against the Syrians, so that they were unable to do anything, "not once and not twice," i.e., several times.
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