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provided for the ascent. The beds are laid here at night, and it serves as a sitting place by day, being rather a modification of the divan than what we should call a bedstead. We imagine that either this, or the simple divan, or the bedstead mentioned in the note referred to above, must be understood, whenever a bed is mentioned, as to imply that it was elevated above the ground.

8. “ An hairy man, and yirt with a girdle of leather.”—It is generally agreed that the hairiness refers not to Elijah personally, but to his mantle ; and that this mantle of hair and girdle of leather formed the cheap and humbler attire which the prophets usually wore. In like manner the great anti-type of Elijah, John the Baptist, had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins” (Matt. iii. 4). Strong and broad girdles of leather are still much in use among the nomade tribes and the artizans and husbandmen of Western Asia. See the notes on 1 Sam. x. 5; and 2 Sam. iii. 31.

no

CHAPTER II.

ped it together, and smote the waters, and

they were divided hither and thither, so that | Elijah, taking his leave of Elisha, with his man. tle divideth Jordan, 9 and, granting Elishahis they two went over on dry ground.

9 | And it came to pass, when they were request, is taken up by a fiery chariot into heaven. 12 Elisha, dividing Jordan with Elijah's mantle, gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask is acknowledged his successor.

16 The young

what I shall do for thee, before I be taken prophets, hardly obtaining leave to seek Elijah, away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray could not find him. 19 Élisha with salt healeth thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be the unwholesome waters. 23 Bears destroy the children that mocked Elisha.

upon me.

10 And he said, ?Thou hast asked a hard And it came to pass, when the LORD would thing : nevertheless, if thou see me when I am take up Elijah into heaven by a whirl- taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; wind, that Elijah went with Elisha from but if not, it shall not be so. Gilgal.

11 And it came to pass, as they still went 2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared here, I pray thce; for the Lord hath sent a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and me to Beth-el. And Elisha said unto him, parted them both asunder; and 'Elijah went As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, up by a whirlwind into heaven. I will not leave thee. So they went down 12 | And Elisha saw it, and he cried, to Beth-el.

*My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, 3 And the sons of the prophets that were and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him at Beth-el came forth to Elisha, and said more: and he took hold of his own unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will clothes, and rent them in two pieces. take away thy master from thy head to day? 13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah And he said, Yea, I know it'; hold ye your that fell from him, and went back, and stood peace.

by the 'bank of Jordan; 4 And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry 14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent fell from him, and smote the waters, and me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah ? liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not and when he also had smitten the waters, leave thee. So they came to Jericho. they parted hither and thither: and Elisha 5 And the sons of the prophets that were

went over. at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto 15 And when the sons of the prophets him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take which were to view at Jericho saw him, they away thy master from thy head to day? And said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elihe answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your sha. And they came to meet him, and bowed peace.

themselves to the ground before him. 6 And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I 16 9 And they said unto him, Behold - pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me now, there be with thy servants fifty 'strong

to Jordan. And he said, As the Lord liveth, men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. thy master : lest peradventure the Spirit of And they two went on.

the Lord hath taken him up, and cast him 7 And fifty men of the sons of the pro- upon 'some mountain, or into some valley. phets went, and stood 'to view afar off: and And he said, Ye shall not send. they two stood by Jordan.

17 And when they urged him till he was 8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrap- ashamed, he said, Send. They sent thereHeb, in sight, or over against Heb. Thou hast done hard in asking.

Chap. 13, 14,

> Heb. lip. 7 Heb, sons of strength. 8 Heb. one of the mountuins,

8 Ecclas. 48. 9. 1 Mac, 2. 53,

6 Verse 7.

fore fifty men: and they sought three days, 22 So the waters were healed unto this but found him not.

day, according to the saying of Elisha which 18 And when they came again to him, he spake. (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto 23 | And he went up from thence unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not? Beth-el: and as he was going up by the

19 | And the men of the city said unto way, there came forth little children out of Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald but the water is naught, and the ground head. 'barren.

24 And he turned back, and looked on 20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, them, and cursed them in the name of the and put salt therein. And they brought it LORD. And there came forth two she bears to him.

out of the wood, and tare forty and two chil21 And he went forth unto the spring dren of them. of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and 25 And he went from thence to mount said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed Carmel, and from thence he returned to Sathese waters; there shall not be from thence maria. any more death or barren land.

Heb. causing to miscarry.

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Verse 22. “ The waters were healed unto this day.—Perhaps we ought not to expect to find this spring now. Referring the reader to the note on 1 gs xvi. 34, may observe that near the ruins which Mr. Buckingham guesses to be those of Jericho, the long-continued drought had dried up the streams and torrents, so that he could say nothing with regard the peculiar qualities of any of the fountains in the neighbourhood. For the same reason, the plain was there parched and barren. The mere existence of the ruins, however, with the broken aqueducts, proved that the place was properly supplied with water. At the same time, however, there was a fine stream flowing by the village of Rihhah, and fertilizing its neighbourhood, as mentioned in the note to which we have referred. This is one circumstance rather in farour of the supposition that Rihhah was really Jericho. It is remarkable that Josephus, in mentioning this spring, says that it arose near the old city, by which he seems to imply that there was a new city, which might lead to the supposition that Rihhah may have been the old city, and that more westward the new one, which existed in our Saviour's time, as improved by Herod. It is certain that this stream (which rises to the west of Rihhah, but not so far west as the ruins mentioned by Buckingham) is that which is usually considered as the fountain sweetened by Elisha. There is no better description of it than that which Maundrell gives:-“ Turning down into the plain, we passed by a ruined aqueduct, and a convent in the same condition, and in about a mile's riding came to the fountain of Elisha; so called, because miraculously purged from its brackishness by that prophet, at the request of the men of Jericho. Its waters are at present received in a basin, about nine or ten paces long, and five or six broad : and from thence issuing out in good plenty, divide themselves into several small streams, dispersing their refreshment between this and Jericho, and rendering it exceeding fruitful. Close by the fountain grows a large tree, spreading into boughs over the water.” ("Journey,' p. 80, 2nd edit.)

23. Little children.”—The term is the same which Solomon applies to himself when not much, if any thing, less than twenty years of age (1 Kings iii. 7), and which is elsewhere applied to young but full grown men. The translation "little children” is therefore calculated to give a wrong impression, of which ignorant infidelity has not failed to take advantage. They were doubtless profane young men, of the city where the golden calf was worshipped, well enough able to know what they were about ; but who, nevertheless, poured forth not merely, or principally, expressions of personal contempt to Elisha, but of derision at the translation of Elijah, when they thus abusively told him to "go up" after bis master. Their act therefore did not incur the fearful punishment which followed, merely as an act of disrespect to the prophet, but also as a grievous insult to the power and majesty of God. Búld head." —See the note on Levit. xiii. 20. The word here is op, which, as explained in that note, expresses that sort of baldness on the hind part of the head which the Orientals consider ignominious, which baldness in front is not.

CHAPTER III.

I will go up: 'I am as thou art, my people

as thy people, and my horses as thy horses. 1 Jehoram's reign. 4 Mesha rebelleth. 6 Jehoram,

8 And he said, Which way shall we go with Jehoshaphat, and the king of Edom, being distressed for want of water, by Elisha obtaineth up? And he answered, The way through water, and promise of victory, 21 The Moabites, the wilderness of Edom. deceived by the colour of the water, coming to 9 So the king of Israel went, and the king spoil, are overcome. 27 The king of Moab, by of Judah, and the king of Edom: and they sacrificing the king of Edom's son, raiseth the fetched a compass of seven days' journey: siege.

and there was no water for the host, and for Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to the cattle 'that followed them. reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth 10 And the king of Israel said, Alas! that year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and the Lord hath called these three kings toreigned twelve years.

gether, to deliver them into the hand of 2 And he wrought evil in the sight of the Moab! LORD; but not like his father, and like his 11 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not mother: for he put away the 'image of Baal here a prophet of the LORD, that we may that his father had made.

enquire of the Lord by him? And one of 3 Nevertheless he cleaved unto the sins the king of Israel's servants answered and of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which made said, Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat, Israel to sin; he departed not therefrom.. which poured water on the hands of Elijah.

4 And Mesha king of Moab was a sheep- 12 And Jehoshaphat said, The word of master, and rendered unto the king of Israel the Lord is with him. So the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom thousand rams, with the wool.

went down to him. 5 But it came to pass, when 'Ahab was 13 And Elisha said unto the king of Isdead, that the king of Moab rebelled against rael, What have I to do with thee? get thee the king of Israel.

to the prophets of thy father, and to the pro6.1 And king Jehoram went out of Sa- phets of thy mother. And the king of Israel maria the same time, and numbered all Is- said unto him, Nay: for the Lord hath called rael.

these three kings together, to deliver them 7 And he went and sent to Jehoshaphat into the hand of Moab. the king of Judah, saying, The king of Moab 14 And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts hath rebelled against me: wilt thou go with liveth, before whom I stand, surely, were it me against Moab to battle? And he said, I not that I regard the presence of Jehosha

1 Heb. statue,

? Chap. lol.

3 1 Kings 22. 4.

* Heb. at their feet.

221

ye

phat the king of Judah, I would not look to- | ing, and the sun shone

ing, and the sun shone upon the water, and ward thee, nor see thee.

the Moabites saw the water on the other side 15 But now bring me a minstrel. And it as red as blood : came to pass when the minstrel played, that 23 And they said, This is blood : the kings the hand of the LORD came him. are surely "slain, and they have smitten one

16 And he said, Thus saith the Lord, another : "now therefore, Moab, to the spoil. Make this valley full of ditches.

24 And when they came to the camp of 17 For thus saith the LORD, Yc shall not Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that Moabites, so that they fled before them: valley shall be filled with water, that ye may but 'they went forward smiting the Moabdrink, both ye, and your cattle, and your

cattle, and your ites, even in their country. beasts.

25 And they beat down the cities, and on 18 And this is but a light thing in the every good piece of land cast every man his sight of the LORD: he will deliver the Moab- stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the ites also into your hand.

wells of water, and felled all the good trees: 19 And shall smite every fenced city, only in Kir-haraseth left they the stones and every

choice city, and shall fell every thereof; howbeit the slingers went about it, good tree, and stop all wells of water, and and smote it. Ómar every good piece of land with stones. 26 | And when the king of Moab saw

20 And it came to pass in the morning, that the battle was too sore for him, he took when the meat offering was offered, that, with him seven hundred men that drew behold, there came water by the way of swords, to break through even unto the king Edom, and the country was filled with water. of Edom: but they could not.

21 [ And when all the Moabites heard 27 Then he took his eldest son that should that the kings were come up to fight against have reigned in his stead, and offered him them, they gathered all that were able to for a burnt offering upon the wall. And ' put on armour, and upward, and stood in there was great indignation against Israel: the border.

and they departed from him, and returned 22 And they rose up early in the morn- to their own land. * Heb. grieve. 6 Hebo were cried together. 7 Heb. gird himself with a girdle. 8 Heb. destroyed. Or, they smote in it even smiting.

10 Heb, until he left the stones thereof in Kir-haraseth, Verse 4. “ An hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool."— It was and is a custom in the East for tributes and taxes to be paid in that kind of produce or property with which the tributary country, or taxed district, is most abundantly supplied. Indeed, this may be set down as a universal practice in all times and countries, however remote from each other, until those relations are formed which afford such facilities for turning goods into money as render it more convenient, even to the tribute-payer, to discharge his obligations in coin. The pericd is not exceedingly remote when the grants from Parliament to our own kings were paid in wool. The progress seems to be _" First, live stock and raw produce; then, manufactured goods; and lastly, money.” At this day the king of Persia receives the tribute of his provinces in all three modes, according to their respective circumstances. Those whose wealth consisted in cattle, like the king of Moab, could only, when unfavourably circumstanced for commerce, satisfy with the produce of their flocks and herds the demands made upon them. We could quote many illustrations of this usage, but must content ourselves with one or two. The first is that given by Strabo, who states that the Cappadocians paid a yearly tribute to the Persians of 1500 horses, 2000 mules, and 50,000 sheep. We find another in the account given by Alvarez, of the tribute paid by the kingdom of Goiame to the emperor of Abyssinia : and as it strikes us as very illustrative on the general subject, including the mode of collection and presentation, we shall be more particular with it. The description is quite in conformity with Oriental customs in general; and probably with those of Israel in particular, for the strong analogy between the usages of the Abyssinians and those which the Bible describes has been remarked by most travellers, particularly by Bruce and Salt. The emperor (“ Prester-John") sent a proper officer (the grand Betudete) to the capital of Goiame to receive the annual tribute, which consisted of 3500 mules, 3000 horses, 3000 bassuti (a very valuable sort of rug or carpet), and above 300 pieces of a kind of cotton cloth. We copy the rest in the words of Alvarez (as in Purchas, p. 1103). “I myself was at the presenting of this tribute and saw it all; and it was after this manner. The Betudete came on foot, naked from the girdle upward, with a cord tyed about his head,” (Does this illustrate the “ropes upon their heads” of 1 Kings xx. 32?) " and coming within audience of the tent of the Prete (em peror), he said three times this word in short space, 'Abeto, abelo, abelo! which signifieth · Lord:' and answer was made him but twice in his language, “Who art thou? Who art thou?' and he said, "I which call, am the least of thy house, which saddles thy mule, and tieth up thy cattle, and do other business which thou hast commanded me; and I bring thee that which thou hast enjoined me. And this was spoken three times ; which being ended, a voice was heard, saying, 'Come, come forward.' And he, coming near, did reverence before the tent, and passed by. After him came the horses, one after another, all led by the head by servants. The first thirty were saddled, and in very good order, and the rest which followed were dear of (i.e. would have been dear at) two drachmes of gold, and many were not worth one drachm apiece, and I saw them afterward sold for less. After these hackneys came the mules in like order, to wit, thirty were saddled, fair, and in good order; the rest were little young mulets like those hackneys... and they passed by as the Betudete and horses had done. After these came the cloths called bassuti, and one man could carry but one of them, they were so weighty. After the bassuti, passed the cloths made up in fardels, and one man carried ten of them: and there were about 3000 men that carried bassuti, and 3000 men that carried those other cloths; and all these are of the kingebum of Goiame, which are bound to bring this tribule. After these cloths

came ten men, each of them bearing a charger upon his head, made like unto those wherein they do eat, and were covered with green and red sindall. After these had passed, came all the men of the Betudete, which passed by one after another, as he himself had passed. In these platters was the gold put, which was commanded to be borne unto his lodging, with the rest of the tribute. In this procession were spent about ten hours, that is to say, from morniny until mening.". This very instructive passage illustrates many allusions in Scripture; and so exactly are the details in unison with usages which are, and always have been prevalent throughout the East, that we are quite satisfied that the tributes, taxes, and gifts, were presented to the Hebrew kings very much in the manner here described.

11. “ Which poured water on the hands of Elijah.”—This was the act of an attendant or disciple; and it was so much his established duty, that the mere mention of it sufficed to indicate the relation in which Elisha had stood to Elijah. It is also an indication that the Hebrews were accustomed to wash their hands in the manner which is now universal in the East, and which, whatever may be thought of its convenience, is unquestionably more refreshing and cleanly than washing in the water as it stands in a basin—which is a process regarded by the Orientals with great dislike. The hands are therefore held over a basin, the use of which is only to receive the water which has been poured upon the hands from the jug or ewer which is held above them. This cannot very conveniently be managed without the aid of a servant or some other person, who approaches with the ewer in his right hand and the basin in his left ; and when the hands have been placed in a proper position over the basin, which he continues to hold, lets fall a stream of water upon them from the ewer, suspending it occasionally to allow the hands to be soaped or rubbed together. No towel is offered, as every one dries his hands in his handkerchief, or however else he pleases. The water is usually tepid, and always so after a meal, in order to clear the grease contracted by eating with the hands. In the East, the basin, which, as well as the ewer, is usually of tinned copper, has commonly a sort of cover, rising in the middle and sunk into the basin at the margin, which being pierced with holes allows the water to pass through, thus concealing it after it has been defiled by use. The ewer has a long spout, and a long narrow neck, with a cover, and is altogether not unlike our coffee pots in general appearance: it is the same which the Orientals use in all their ablutions. It is evident that a person cannot conveniently thus wash his own hands without assistance. If he does, he is obliged to fix the basin, and to take up and lay down the ever several times, changing it from one hand to the other. Therefore a persou never does so except when alone. If he has no servant, he asks some bystander to pour the water upon his hands, and offers a return of the obligation, if it seems to be required. Houbigant has spoiled the point of the text by translating," who gave water to the hands of Elijah," as if he merely served him with water; and Boothroyd, although he knew the literal meaning, has chosen to give an explanation instead of a version--"who attended upon Elijah."

17. “ Ye shall not see wind.”—This may strike us as an odd expression ; but it is easily understood by a reference to the fact, that in the East the presence of wind is strongly and painfully, manifested even to the eye, during a dry season, by the vast quantities of dust and stubble which are whírled into the air, which they greatly darken.

[graphic]

Oriental Ewer and Basin.

CHAPTER IV.

upon her and upon her sons, who brought 1 Elisha multiplieth the widow's oil. 8 He giveth the vessels to her; and she poured out. a son to the good Shunammite. 18 He raiseth 6 And it came to pass, when the vessels agan her dead son. 38 At Gilgal he healeth the were full, that she said unto her son, Bring deadly pottage. 42 He satisfieth an hundred men

me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There with twenty loaves.

is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. Now there cried a certain woman of the wives 7 Then she came and told the man of of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, say-God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay ing, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thy "debt, and live thou and thy children of thou knowest that thy servant did fear the the rest. LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto 8 | And sit fell on a day, that Elisha him my two sons to be bondmen.

passed to Shunem, where was a great wo2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall man;

and she constrained him to eat bread. I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath he turned in thither to eat bread. not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. 9 And she said unto her husband, Behold

3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels now, I perceive that this is an holy man of abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty God, which passeth by us continually. vessels; 'borrow not a few.

10 Let us make a little chamber, I pray 4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt thee, on the wall; and let us set for him shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh thou shalt set aside that which is full. to us, that he shall turn in thither. 5 So she went from him, and shut the door 11 And it fell on a day, that he came 10r, scant mola s Or, creditor. 8 Heb. there was a day. • Heb, laid. Sold on him.

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