2 Kings 7:11
And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) And he called the porters.—Rather, And the porters called. The verb in the Hebrew is singular,and may be used impersonally: “And one called, viz., the warders.” But the LXX., Targum, Arabic, and some Hebrew MSS., read the plural. The Syriac has, “And the porters drew near, and told the house of the king.”

And they told it.—The king’s palace may have been near to the ramparts. If not, the sentries at the gate shouted their news to other soldiers near them, who conveyed it to the palace. The word “within” seems to indicate the former. (The Authorised Version, which is Kimchi’s rendering, cannot be right, because in that case the Hebrew verb would require the preposition “unto,” as in 2Kings 7:10.)

7:3-11 God can, when he pleases, make the stoutest heart to tremble; and as for those who will not fear God, he can make them fear at the shaking of a leaf. Providence ordered it, that the lepers came as soon as the Syrians were fled. Their consciences told them that mischief would befall them, if they took care of themselves only. Natural humanity, and fear of punishment, are powerful checks on the selfishness of the ungodly. These feelings tend to preserve order and kindness in the world; but they who have found the unsearchable riches of Christ, will not long delay to report the good tidings to others. From love to him, not from selfish feelings, they will gladly share their earthly good things with their brethren.They called unto the porter ... and told them - The word "porter" is used like our "guard" and the meaning here is, not that the lepers called to any particular individual, but that they roused the body of men who were keeping guard at one of the gates. 10. horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were—The uniform arrangement of encampments in the East is to place the tents in the center, while the cattle are picketed all around, as an outer wall of defense; and hence the lepers describe the cattle as the first objects they saw. The porters; either his fellow porters of the city; or rather, the porters or guards of the gate of the king’s house. And he called the porters,.... The porter of the city called to the porters of the king's palace:

and they told it to the king's house within; to some of his domestic servants within the palace, and they reported it to the king.

And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. And he called] i.e. the one who was nearest and received the news did so. The singular corresponds to the singular ‘porter’ in verse 10. But there is a various reading here in the Hebrew, which the R.V. places on the margin, ‘the porters called’.

and they told it to the king’s house [R.V. household] within] The R.V. renders as in verse 9. We are to understand that one of the number of the watchmen was detached to convey the news. They would not all leave their posts.Verse 11. - And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within; rather, and the porters (or, gate-keepers) called out and told it, etc. יִקְרָא may be a plural before its subject; or the true reading may be יִקְרְאוּ, which is found in some manuscripts. "Four men were before the gate as lepers," or at the gateway, separated from human society, according to the law in Leviticus 13:46; Numbers 5:3, probably in a building erected for the purpose (cf. 2 Kings 15:5), just as at the present day the lepers at Jerusalem have their huts by the side of the Zion gate (vid., Strauss, Sinai u. Golgatha, p. 205, and Tobler, Denkbltter aus Jerus. p. 411ff.). These men being on the point of starvation, resolved to invade the camp of the Syrians, and carried out this resolution בּנּשׁף, in the evening twilight, not the morning twilight (Seb. Schm., Cler., etc.), on account of 2 Kings 7:12, where the king is said to have received the news of the flight of the Syrians during the night. Coming to "the end of the Syrian camp," i.e., to the outskirts of it on the city side, they found no one there. For (2 Kings 7:6, 2 Kings 7:7) "the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots and horses, a noise of a great army," so that, believing the king of Israel to have hired the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians to fall upon them, they fled from the camp in the twilight אל־נפשׁם, with regard to their life, i.e., to save their life only, leaving behind them their tents, horses, and asses, and the camp as it was. - The miracle, by which God delivered Samaria from the famine or from surrendering to the foe, consisted in an oral delusion, namely, in the fact that the besiegers thought they heard the march of hostile armies from the north and south, and were seized with such panic terror that they fled in the greatest haste, leaving behind them their baggage, and their beasts of draught and burden. It is impossible to decide whether the noise which they heard had any objective reality, say a miraculous buzzing in the air, or whether it was merely a deception of the senses produced in their ears by God; and this is a matter of no importance, since in either case it was produced miraculously by God. The kings of the Hittites are kings of northern Canaan, upon Lebanon and towards Phoenicia; חתּים in the broader sense for Canaanites, as in 1 Kings 10:29. The plural, "kings of the Egyptians," is probably only occasioned by the parallel expression "kings of the Hittites," and is not to be pressed.
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