2 Kings 6:33
And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the LORD; what should I wait for the LORD any longer?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33) Yet talked.Was still speaking.

The messenger.—Ewalďs correction, “the king” (melek for maľāk), is certainly right. In the rapid progress of the story, the arrival and momentary exclusion of the messenger is understood. The approach of the king may have been seen from the upper part of Elisha’s house.

Came down.Was coming down, to the prophet’s house, from the ramparts. (Comp. 2Kings 5:24.)

And he said.—That is, the king said.

Behold, this evil is of the Lord.—Rather, Behold, such (this) is the distress from Jehovah. Things have come to this pitch by the will of Jehovah.

What (rather, why) should I wait for the Lord any longer?—As I have hitherto done, at your persuasion. Why should I not now surrender to the Syrians, and slay the prophet who has so long deluded me with vain hopes?

2 Kings 6:33. While he yet talked with them, the messenger came — Namely, to the door, where we are to understand he was stopped that he could not come at the prophet till the king came. And he said, Behold, this evil, &c. — Either the messenger said this in the king’s name and words, or rather the king himself, who, though not here named, may be presumed to be present, both by the prophet’s prediction of his speedy coming, and by the presence of the lord, on whose hand the king leaned, 2 Kings 7:2. This evil — This dreadful famine, which is now so extreme, that women are forced to eat their own children; is of the Lord — He hath inflicted it, and, for aught I see, he will not remove it. All penal evil is of the Lord as the first cause and sovereign judge: and this we ought to apply to particular cases: if all evil, then this evil which we are groaning under. Whoever are the instruments, God is the principal agent. What should I wait for the Lord any longer? — Thou biddest me wait upon God for help; but I perceive I may wait long enough before deliverance comes: I am weary with waiting, I can wait no longer.

6:24-33 Learn to value plenty, and to be thankful for it; see how contemptible money is, when in time of famine it is so freely parted with for any thing that is eatable! The language of Jehoram to the woman may be the language of despair. See the word of God fulfilled; among the threatenings of God's judgments upon Israel for their sins, this was one, that they should eat the flesh of their own children, De 28:53-57. The truth and the awful justice of God were displayed in this horrible transaction. Alas! what miseries sin has brought upon the world! But the foolishness of man perverts his way, and then his heart frets against the Lord. The king swears the death of Elisha. Wicked men will blame any one as the cause of their troubles, rather than themselves, and will not leave their sins. If rending the clothes, without a broken and contrite heart, would avail, if wearing sackcloth, without being renewed in the spirit of their mind, would serve, they would not stand out against the Lord. May the whole word of God increase in us reverent fear and holy hope, that we may be stedfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labour is not in vain in the Lord.The messenger - It has been proposed to change "messenger" into "king," the two words being in Hebrew nearly alike, and the speech with which the chapter ends being considered only suitable in the mouth of the king, whose presence is indicated in 2 Kings 7:2, 2 Kings 7:17. Others think that the words "and the king after him" have fallen out of the text.

Came down - The messenger came down from off the wall to the level of the streets.

Behold this evil ... - Jehoram bursts into the prophet's presence with a justification of the sentence 2 Kings 6:31 he has pronounced against him. "Behold this evil - this siege with all its horrors - is from Yahweh - from Yahweh, Whose prophet thou art. Why should I wait for Yahweh - temporize with Him - keep as it were, on terms with Him by suffering thee to live - any longer? What hast thou to say in arrest of judgment?"

32. But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him—The latter clause of 2Ki 6:33, which contains the king's impatient exclamation, enables us to account for the impetuous order he issued for the beheading of Elisha. Though Jehoram was a wicked king and most of his courtiers would resemble their master, many had been won over, through the prophet's influence, to the true religion. A meeting, probably a prayer-meeting, of those was held in the house where he lodged, for he had none of his own (1Ki 19:20, 21); and them he not only apprised of the king's design against himself, but disclosed to them the proof of a premeditated deliverance. Unto him, to wit, to the door, where also we are to understand that he was held fast, that he could not come at the prophet till the king came, as the prophet had commanded them to do.

He said; either, first, The messenger, in the king’s name and words. Or, secondly, The king himself, who, though not here named, may be presumed to be present, both by the prophet’s prediction of his speedy coming, and by the presence of the lord on whose hand the king leaned, 2 Kings 7:2. This evil; this dreadful famine, which is now so extreme that women are forced to eat their own children.

Is of the Lord; he hath inflicted it, and (for aught that I see) he will not remove it. Thus he lays all the blame upon God, not, as he ought, upon his own and his mother’s wickedness, which provoked God, who doth not willingly afflict, to send this heavy judgment upon him.

What should I wait for the Lord any longer? thou biddest me wait upon God for help; but I perceive I may wait long enough before deliverance comes; I am weary with waiting, I can wait no longer.

And while he yet talked with them,.... Elisha with the elders:

behold, the messenger came down unto him; sent by the king:

and he said; either the messenger in the king's name, or rather the king, who was at his heels, and came to the door before the messenger was let in, who was detained; and therefore it is most probable the king went in first; for that was the intention of Elisha in holding the messenger, not to save his own life, but that the king, who was following, might hear what he had to say; and whom he advised to wait for the Lord, and his appearance, for deliverance: in answer to which he said:

behold, this evil is of the Lord, what should I wait for the Lord any longer? this calamity is from him, and he is determined upon the ruin of my people, and there is no hope; this he said as despairing, and so resolving to hold out the siege no longer.

And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the LORD; what {r} should I wait for the LORD any longer?

(r) So the wicked fall into a rage and desperation, if they do not find a quick remedy for their afflictions.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
33. while he yet talked with them] He had hardly explained his knowledge and his wish before action became necessary. The messenger arrived, and we must understand that the king also arrived immediately afterwards, and so the execution of Elisha was stayed, and Jehoram was shewn to be in some degree penitent for his hasty threat.

and he said] The words which follow must be the words of the king. He has reached Elisha’s house and countermanded his first order. Now his thought is of what shall be done next. The people are at the direst extremity, and God, who has allowed this evil to come upon the nation, gives His prophet no message of relief. In this conviction he is of the mind that Samaria shall be surrendered. Hence his language, ‘This evil is of the Lord’ and He allows it to continue, ‘why should I wait for the Lord any longer?’

Verse 33. - And while he yet talked with them - i.e., while Elisha yet talked with the elders, endeavoring probably to persuade them to stop the messenger - behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said. The narrative is very compressed and elliptical. Some suppose words to have fallen out (as וחמלך אחריו after אליו); but this is unnecessary. The reader is expected to supply missing links, and to understand that all happened as Elisha had predicted and enjoined - that the messenger came, that the elders stopped him, and that the king shortly arrived. The king was, of course, admitted, and, being admitted, took the word, and said, Behold, this evil is of the Lord; what - rather, why - should I wait for the Lord any longer? Jehoram had, apparently, to some extent repented of his hasty message, and had hurried after his messenger, to give Elisha one further chance of life. We must understand that they had been in communication previously on the subject of the siege, and that Elisha had encouraged the king to "wait for" an interposition of Jehovah. The king now urges that the time for waiting is over; matters are at the last gasp; "this evil" this terrible suffering which can no longer be endured - "is of the Lord," has come from him, is continued by him, and is not relieved. What use is there in his "waiting" any longer? Why should he not break with Jehovah, behead the lying prophet, and surrender the town? What has Elisha to say in reply?



2 Kings 6:33The elders of the city were assembled together in Elisha's house, probably to seek for counsel and consolation; and the king sent a man before him (namely, to behead the prophet); but before the messenger arrived, the prophet told the elders of the king's intention: "See ye that this son of a murderer (Joram, by descent and disposition a genuine son of Ahab, the murderer of Naboth and the prophets) is sending to cut off my head?" and commanded them to shut the door against the messenger and to force him back at the door, because he already heard the sound of his master's feet behind him. These measures of Elisha, therefore, were not dictated by any desire to resist the lawful authorities, but were acts of prudence by which he delayed the execution of an unrighteous and murderous command which had been issued in haste, and thereby rendered a service to the king himself. - In 2 Kings 6:33 we have to supply from the context that the king followed close upon the messenger, who came down to Elisha while he was talking with the elders; and he (the king) would of course be admitted at once. For the subject to ויּאמר is not the messenger, but the king, as is evident from 2 Kings 7:2 and 2 Kings 17. The king said: "Behold the calamity from the Lord, why shall I wait still further for the Lord?" - the words of a dispairing man, in whose soul, however, there was a spark of faith still glimmering. The very utterance of his feelings to the prophet shows that he had still a weak glimmer of hope in the Lord, and wished to be strengthened and sustained by the prophet; and this strengthening he received.
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