2 Kings 8:3
And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry to the king for her house and for her land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) At the seven years’ end.—Omit the.

She went forth.—From Shunem to Samaria.

For her house and for her land.—Literally, with regard to her house, &c. She found them in the possession of strangers. The State may have occupied the property as abandoned by its owner; or, as is more likely, some neighbouring landowner may have encroached upon her rights. She therefore appealed to the king.

2 Kings 8:3. She went to cry unto the king for her house and land — Which, having been forsaken by her, were possessed by her kindred or others, who probably had obtained a grant of them from the king, and now intended to keep possession of them. 8:1-6 The kindness of the good Shunammite to Elisha, was rewarded by the care taken of her in famine. It is well to foresee an evil, and wisdom, when we foresee it, to hide ourselves if we lawfully may do so. When the famine was over, she returned out of the land of the Philistines; that was no proper place for an Israelite, any longer than there was necessity for it. Time was when she dwelt so securely among her own people, that she had no occasion to be spoken for to the king; but there is much uncertainty in this life, so that things or persons may fail us which we most depend upon, and those befriend us which we think we shall never need. Sometimes events, small in themselves, prove of consequence, as here; for they made the king ready to believe Gehazi's narrative, when thus confirmed. It made him ready to grant her request, and to support a life which was given once and again by miracle.During the Shunammite's absence in Philistia, her dwelling and her grain-fields had been appropriated by some one who refused to restore them. She therefore determined to appeal to the king. Such direct appeals are common in Oriental countries. Compare 2 Kings 6:26; 2 Samuel 14:4; 1 Kings 3:16. 3. she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land—In consequence of her long-continued absence from the country, her possessions were occupied by her kindred, or had been confiscated by the crown. No statute in the law of Moses ordained that alienation. But the innovation seems to have been adopted in Israel. Which having been forsaken by her, were possessed by her kindred, or others, who had obtained them from the king, and now intended to keep the possession of them. And it came to pass, at the seven years end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines,.... Either hearing that the famine was over, or believing that it was, the time being expired the prophet fixed for it:

and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house, and for her land; which her nearest relations in her absence had seized upon, as heirs to them; or those in whose hands she had intrusted them refused, upon her return, to deliver them to her; or the king's officers had seized upon them for him, as forfeited to the crown by her going out of the land without leave; and now she needed a friend to speak for her to the king, which, in time past, she had no occasion for, and thought she never should, see 2 Kings 4:13.

And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth {b} to cry unto the king for her house and for her land.

(b) That is, to complain of them who had taken her possessions while she was absent.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. she went forth to cry unto the king] She had reached Shunem, and found her land in other hands. It may be that some encroaching neighbour had entered on the untenanted property, or it may have been seized for the king as being deserted of its owner. In either case the king is the person to be appealed to, and to the court she makes her way.Verse 3. - And it earns to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines. She stayed no longer than she could help. Her own land, where she could have the ministrations of a "man of God" (2 Kings 4:23), was dear to her; and no sooner had the famine abated than she returned to it. And she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land. During her prolonged absence, some grasping neighbor had seized on the unoccupied house and the uncultivated estate adjoining it, and now refused to restore them to the rightful owner. Widows were especially liable to such treatment on the part of greedy oppressors, since they were, comparatively speaking, weak and defenseless (see Isaiah 10:2; Matthew 23:14). Under such circumstances the injured party would naturally, in an Oriental country, make appeal to the king (comp. 2 Samuel 14:4; 1 Kings 3:16; 2 Kings 6:26, etc.). When the returning messengers reported this, the people went out and plundered the camp of the Syrians, and this was followed by the consequent cheapness of provisions predicted by Elisha. As the people streamed out, the unbelieving aide-de-camp, whom the king had ordered to take the oversight at the gate (הפקיד, to deliver the oversight) for the purpose of preserving order in the crowding of the starving multitude, was trodden down by the people, so that he died, whereby this prediction of Elisha was fulfilled. The exact fulfilment of this prediction appeared so memorable to the historian, that he repeats this prophecy in 2 Kings 7:18-20 along with the event which occasioned it, and refers again to its fulfilment.
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