2 Kings 2:21
(21) The spring of the waters.--Now called Aines Sultan ("the Sultan's Fountain"), a fine spring of sweet water, which irrigates the neighbouring plain.

Thus saith the Lord.--Not the prophet's own power, nor the natural virtues of the salt, but the Divine creative will was effectual to the healing of the spring.

There shall not be.--Many MSS., and all the versions, save LXX., read "and there shall not be," or, "arise."

Death.--Caused by the unwholesome water, either to the people, or to their unborn offspring.

Or barren land.--The same word as in 2Kings 2:19. Literally, and making (or, multiplying) abortion, which is apparently used as a substantive here (i.e., cause of abortion).

Unto this day.--The time when the narrative was first committed to writing.

Verse 21. - And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there. The "spring" intended is supposed to be that now called Ain-es-Sultan, "the spring of the Sultan," which is the only copious source near the site of the ancient Jericho. The modern town lies at a distance of two miles from it. Ain-es-Sultan is described as "a large and beautiful fountain of sweet and pleasant water" (Robinson, 'Researches,' vol. 2. p. 384), and as "scattering, even at the hottest season, the richest and most grateful vegetation over what would otherwise be a bare tract of sandy soft." The other springs of the neighborhood are mostly brackish. And said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence - i.e., from the waters - any more death or barren land; rather, or miscarrying.

2:19-25 Observe the miracle of healing the waters. Prophets should make every place to which they come better for them, endeavouring to sweeten bitter spirits, and to make barren souls fruitful, by the word of God, which is like the salt cast into the water by Elisha. It was an apt emblem of the effect produced by the grace of God on the sinful heart of man. Whole families, towns, and cities, sometimes have a new appearance through the preaching of the gospel; wickedness and evil have been changed into fruitfulness in the works of righteousness, which are, through Christ, to the praise and glory of God. Here is a curse on the youths of Bethel, enough to destroy them; it was not a curse causeless, for it was Elisha's character, as God's prophet, that they abused. They bade him go up, reflecting on the taking up of Elijah into heaven. The prophet acted by Divine impulse. If the Holy Spirit had not directed Elisha's solemn curse, the providence of God would not have followed it with judgment. The Lord must be glorified as a righteous God who hates sin, and will reckon for it. Let young persons be afraid of speaking wicked words, for God notices what they say. Let them not mock at any for defects in mind or body; especially it is at their peril, if they scoff at any for well doing. Let parents that would have comfort in their children, train them up well, and do their utmost betimes to drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts. And what will be the anguish of those parents, at the day of judgment, who witness the everlasting condemnation of their offspring, occasioned by their own bad example, carelessness, or wicked teaching!And he went forth unto the spring of the waters,.... The fountain from whence they flowed, the head of them:

and cast the salt in there; which was an unlikely means of making bad water good, since that makes it brackish, and not so drinkable, and what makes ground barren; but this method, contrary to nature, was taken, that the miracle might appear the greater; or, as the Jews express it, be a miracle within a miracle:

and said, thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; he did not pretend to heal them in his own name, and by his own power, but in the name and by the power of the Lord, to whom he would have it ascribed:

there shall not be from thence any more death, or barren land; or miscarrying; no more noxious and mortal diseases should be got by drinking them, nor any abortions occasioned by them in women, cattle, and fruit trees, as had been.

2 Kings 2:20
Top of Page
Top of Page