New International Version
One of his officers answered, "Have some men take five of the horses that are left in the city. Their plight will be like that of all the Israelites left here--yes, they will only be like all these Israelites who are doomed. So let us send them to find out what happened."
King James Bible
And one of his servants answered and said, Let some take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city, (behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it: behold, I say, they are even as all the multitude of the Israelites that are consumed:) and let us send and see.
Darby Bible Translation
And one of his servants answered and said, Let some one take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city (behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it: behold, they are even as all the multitude of the Israelites that have perished), and let us send and see.
World English Bible
One of his servants answered, "Please let some take five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city. Behold, they are like all the multitude of Israel who are left in it. Behold, they are like all the multitude of Israel who are consumed. Let us send and see."
Young's Literal Translation
And one of his servants answereth and saith, 'Then let them take, I pray thee, five of the horses that are left, that have been left in it -- lo, they are as all the multitude of Israel who have been left in it; lo, they are as all the multitude of Israel who have been consumed -- and we send and see.'
2 Kings 7:13 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
And one of his servants answered - This is a very difficult verse, and the great variety of explanations given of it cast but little light on the subject. I am inclined to believe, with Dr. Kennicott, that there is an interpolation here which puzzles, if not destroys, the sense. "Several instances," says he, "have been given of words improperly repeated by Jewish transcribers, who have been careless enough to make such mistakes, and yet cautious not to alter or erase, for fear of discovery. This verse furnishes another instance in a careless repetition of seven Hebrew words, thus: -
הנשארים אשר נשארו בה הנם ככל ההמון ישראל אשר נשארו בה הנם ככל המון ישראל אשר תמי
The exact English of this verse is this: And the servant said, Let them take now five of the remaining horses, which remain in it; behold they are as all the multitude of Israel, which [remain in it; behold they are as all the multitude of Israel which] are consumed; and let us send and see.
"Whoever considers that the second set of these seven words is neither in the Septuagint nor Syriac versions, and that those translators who suppose these words to be genuine alter them to make them look like sense, will probably allow them to have been at first an improper repetition; consequently to be now an interpolation strangely continued in the Hebrew text." They are wanting in more than forty of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS. In some others they are left without points; in others they have been written in, and afterwards blotted out; and in others four, in others five, of the seven words are omitted. De Rossi concludes thus: Nec verba haec legunt Lxx., Vulg., Syrus simplex, Syrus Heptaplaris Parisiensis, Targum. They stand on little authority, and the text should be read, omitting the words enclosed by brackets, as above.
They are consumed - The words אשר תמו asher tamu should be translated, which are perfect; i.e., fit for service. The rest of the horses were either dead of the famine, killed for the subsistence of the besieged, or so weak as not to be able to perform such a journey.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
in the city [heb] in it
'Then they said one to another, We do not well; this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace; if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us; now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king's household.'--2 KINGS vii. 9. The city of Samaria was closely besieged, and suffering all the horrors of famine. Women were boiling and eating their children, and the most revolting garbage was worth its weight in silver. Four starving lepers, sitting by the gate, plucked …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Elisha's Closing Ministry
2 Kings 7:12
The king got up in the night and said to his officers, "I will tell you what the Arameans have done to us. They know we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide in the countryside, thinking, 'They will surely come out, and then we will take them alive and get into the city.'"
2 Kings 7:14
So they selected two chariots with their horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army. He commanded the drivers, "Go and find out what has happened."
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