2 Kings 6:5
But as one was felling a beam, the ax head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(5) But.—Heb., and it came to pass, the one was felling the beam. Not necessarily “the one” of 2Kings 6:3, but the one (whoever it was) to whom the mishap occurred, as presently related.

The ax head fell.—Heb., and as for the iron, it fell. The subject of the verb is made prominent by being put first in the accusative. It is thus implied that something happened to the iron. Perhaps, however, it is better to consider that the particle, which usually marks the object of the verb, in cases like the present has its etymological meaning of “something” (’eth being regarded as equivalent to yath, and so to yēsh). (See Winer, Chaldäische Grammatik, ed. Fischer.)

Master!My lord, Elisha. He instinctively appeals to Elisha for help.

For it was borrowed.—Heb., and that one was borrowed. Vulg., “et hoc ipsum mutuo acceperam.”

2 Kings 6:5. The axe-head fell — The iron fell from the wood. Alas, master, for it was borrowed! — He was the more concerned, both because he was now compelled to be idle and useless to them in the common work, and because it was his friend’s loss, who was now likely to suffer for his kindness in lending him the axe; for though justice obliged him to restore it, his poverty rendered him unable.6:1-7 There is that pleasantness in the converse of servants of God, which can make those who listen to them forget the pain and the weariness of labour. Even the sons of the prophets must not be unwilling to labour. Let no man think an honest employment a burden or a disgrace. And labour of the head, is as hard, and very often harder, than labour with the hands. We ought to be careful of that which is borrowed, as of our own, because we must do as we would be done by. This man was so respecting the axe-head. And to those who have an honest mind, the sorest grievance of poverty is, not so much their own want and disgrace, as being rendered unable to pay just debts. But the Lord cares for his people in their smallest concerns. And God's grace can thus raise the stony iron heart, which is sunk into the mud of this world, and raise up affections, naturally earthly.The ax head - literally, as in the margin. The Jews used iron for the heads of axes at a very early date (see Deuteronomy 19:5). They probably acquired a knowledge of the smelting process in Egypt, where iron was employed at least from the time of the third Rameses. 5. it was borrowed—literally, "begged." The scholar's distress arose from the consideration that it had been presented to him; and that, owing to his poverty, he could not procure another. The ax head fell into the water; the iron fell from the wood.

Alas, master! for it was borrowed: he was the more concerned, partly because he was now forced to be idle and useless to them in the common work; and partly because it was his friend’s loss, who now was likely to suffer for his kindness; and as justice obliged him to restore it, so his poverty disenabled him from it. But as one was felling a beam,.... Cutting down a tree, or a branch of it:

the axe head fell into the water: into the waters of Jordan; or "the iron" (d), the iron part of it, with which the wood was cut; that flew off from the helve into the water:

and he cried, and said, alas, master! for it was borrowed: it grieved him to lose his axe, because he could do no more work, and the more because it was not his own, but he had borrowed it of his neighbour; and still more, because, as it seems, he was poor, and not able to pay for it, which, being of an honest disposition, gave him distress.

(d) "ferrum", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.

But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.
5. a beam] The Hebrew noun has the article, the force of which may be ‘his beam’, that one to which he was specially devoting himself.

the axe head] Literally ‘the iron’. The word is the same as in verse 6. But the iron part of the hatchet is the head.

it was borrowed] When the whole society were to turn wood-cutters, it was not likely that axes would be in readiness for every one. This man had borrowed his, and was, as a good man would be, more troubled about its loss than if it had been his own.Verse 5. - But as one was felling a beam - i.e. a tree, to make it into a beam - the axe-head; literally, the iron. We see from Deuteronomy 19:5 that the Hebrews made their axe-heads of iron as early as the time of Moses. They probably learnt to smelt and work iron in Egypt. Fell into the water. The tree must have been one that grew close to the river's edge. As the man hewed away at the stem a little above the root, the axe-head flew from the haft, into which it was insecurely fitted, and fell into the water. The slipping of an axe-head was a very common occurrence (Deuteronomy 19:5), and ordinarily was of little consequence, since it was easily restored to its place. But now the head had disappeared. And he cried, and said, Alas, master! - rather, Alas, my master! or, Alas, my lord! - for it was borrowed; rather, and it was a borrowed one. The words are part of the man's address to Elisha. He means to say, "It is no common misfortune; it is not as if it had been my own axe. I had borrowed it, and now what shall I say to the owner?" There is no direct request for help, but the tone of the complaint constitutes a sort of silent appeal. But when he entered his master's presence again, he asked him, "Whence (comest thou), Gehazi?" and on his returning the lying answer that he had not been anywhere, charged him with all that he had done. הלך לבּי לא, "had not my heart gone, when the man turned from his chariot to meet thee?" This is the simplest and the only correct interpretation of these difficult words, which have been explained in very different ways. Theodoret (οὐχὶ ἡ καρδία μου ἦ μετὰ σοῦ) and the Vulgate (nonne cor meum in praesenti erat, quando, etc.) have already given the same explanation, and so far as the sense is concerned it agrees with that adopted by Thenius: was I not (in spirit) away (from here) and present (there)? הלך stands in a distinct relation to the הלך לא of Gehazi. - וגו האת: "is it time to take silver, and clothes, and olive-trees, and vineyards, and sheep and oxen, and servants and maidens?" i.e., is this the time, when so many hypocrites pretend to be prophets from selfishness and avarice, and bring the prophetic office into contempt with unbelievers, for a servant of the true God to take money and goods from a non-Israelite for that which God has done through him, that he may acquire property and luxury for himself?
2 Kings 6:5 Interlinear
2 Kings 6:5 Parallel Texts

2 Kings 6:5 NIV
2 Kings 6:5 NLT
2 Kings 6:5 ESV
2 Kings 6:5 NASB
2 Kings 6:5 KJV

2 Kings 6:5 Bible Apps
2 Kings 6:5 Parallel
2 Kings 6:5 Biblia Paralela
2 Kings 6:5 Chinese Bible
2 Kings 6:5 French Bible
2 Kings 6:5 German Bible

Bible Hub

2 Kings 6:4
Top of Page
Top of Page