2 Kings 7:15
And they went after them unto Jordan: and, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) In their haste.—Comp. 1Samuel 23:6; Psalm 48:6; Psalm 104:7—passages which prove that the Hebrew text is right here, and the Hebrew margin wrong.

Unto Jordan.—Not all the way to the river, which would be at least twenty miles, but in the direction of it.

7:12-20 Here see the wants of Israel supplied in a way they little thought of, which should encourage us to depend upon the power and goodness of God in our greatest straits. God's promise may be safely relied on, for no word of his shall fall to the ground. The nobleman that questioned the truth of Elisha's word, saw the plenty, to silence and shame his unbelief, and therein saw his own folly; but he did not eat of the plenty he saw. Justly do those find the world's promises fail them, who think that the promises of God will disappoint them. Learn how deeply God resents distrust of his power, providence, and promise: how uncertain life is, and the enjoyments of it: how certain God's threatenings are, and how sure to come on the guilty. May God help us to inquire whether we are exposed to his threatenings, or interested in his promises.The Syrians had fled probably by the great road which led from Samaria to Damascus through Geba, En-gannim, Beth-shean, and Aphek. It crosses the Jordan at the Jisr Mejamia, about thirty-five miles northeast of Samaria. 12-15. the king … said unto his servants, I will now show you what the Syrians have done—Similar stratagems have been so often resorted to in the ancient and modern wars of the East that there is no wonder Jehoram's suspicions were awakened. But the scouts, whom he despatched, soon found unmistakable signs of the panic that had struck the enemy and led to a most precipitate flight. In their haste, or, in their fear, or consternation, wherewith God struck them.

And they went after them unto Jordan,.... Not finding them in the camp, and knowing the rout they would take to their own land, they went as far as Jordan, over which they must pass:

and, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels which the Syrians had cast away in their haste; in their fright and flight, such of their clothes as hindered them in running; and their armour, as Josephus (c) seems rightly to understand the word used, these they threw away for quicker dispatch:

and the messengers returned and told the king: that it was as the lepers said, and what they themselves had seen.

(c) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 9. c. 4. sect. 5.)

And they went after them unto Jordan: and, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. unto Jordan] When the heaven-sent noise caused the Syrians to imagine that the Hittites from the north and the Egyptians from the south were upon them, the only safe road would be to make for the Jordan eastward and, after crossing it, to conceal themselves in the mountains on the other side.

the messengers returned] After the Jordan had been reached there could be no more doubt, there was now no fear of an enemy in ambush.

Verse 15. - And they went after them unto Jordan. The charioteers, finding the camp really empty, discovering no ambush, and coming upon abundant signs of a hasty and perturbed flight, followed upon the track of the fugitives until they reached the Jordan, probably in the vicinity of Beth-shah, which lay on the ordinary route between Samaria and Damascus. Convinced by what they saw that the Syrians had really withdrawn into their own country, they pursued no further, but returned to Samaria. And, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. Cloaks, shawls, shields, and even swords and spears, would be cast away as impedimenta - hindrances to a rapid flight. These strewed the line of the retreating army's march. And the messengers returned, and told the king. Gave a full and complete account of what they had seen. 2 Kings 7:15The king imagined that the unexpected departure of the Syrians was only a ruse, namely, that they had left the camp and hidden themselves in the field, to entice the besieged out of the fortress, and then fall upon them and press into the city. בּהשּׂדה according to later usage for בּשּׂדה (vid., Ewald, 244, a). In order to make sure of the correctness or incorrectness of this conjecture, one of the king's servants (counsellors) gave this advice: "Let them take (the Vav before יקחוּ as in 2 Kings 4:41) five of the horses left in the city, that we may send and see how the matter stands." The words, "Behold they (the five horses) are as the whole multitude of Israel that are left in it (the city); behold they are as the whole multitude of Israel that are gone," have this meaning: The five horsemen (for horses stand for horsemen, as it is self-evident that it was men on horseback and not the horses themselves that were to be sent out as spies) can but share the fate of the rest of the people of Samaria, whether they return unhurt to meet death by starvation with the people that still remain, or fall into the hands of the enemy and are put to death, in which case they will only suffer the lot of those who have already perished. Five horses is an approximative small number, and is therefore not at variance with the following statement, that two pair of horses were sent out with chariots and men. The Chethb ההמון is not to be altered, since there are other instances in which the first noun is written with the article, though in the construct state (vid., Ewald, 290, e.); and the Keri is only conformed to the following כּכל־המון. 2 Kings 7:14, 2 Kings 7:15. They then sent out two chariots with horses, who pursued the flying enemy to the Jordan, and found the whole of the road full of traces of the hurried flight, consisting of clothes and vessels that had been thrown away. The Chethb בּהחפזם is the only correct reading, since it is only in the Niphal that חפז has the meaning to fly in great haste (cf. 1 Samuel 23:26; Psalm 48:6; Psalm 104:7).
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