2 Kings 7:1-16 . ELISHA PROPHESIES INCREDIBLE PLENTY IN SAMARIA.
1. Hear ye the word of the Lord--This prediction, though uttered first to the assembled elders, was intimated to the king's messengers, who reported it to Jehoram ( 2 Kings 7:18 ).
To-morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, &c.--This may be estimated at a peck of fine flour for a dollar, and two pecks of barley at the same price.
in the gate of Samaria--Vegetables, cattle, all sorts of country produce, are still sold every morning at the gates of towns in the East.
2. a lord on whose hand the king leaned--When an Eastern king walks or stands abroad in the open air, he always supports himself on the arm of the highest courtier present.
if the Lord would make windows in heaven--The scoffing infidelity of this remark, which was a sneer against not the prophet only, but the God he served, was justly and signally punished (see 2 Kings 7:20 ).
3. there were four leprous men--The account of the sudden raising of the siege and the unexpected supply given to the famishing inhabitants of Samaria, is introduced by a narrative of the visit and discovery, by these poor creatures, of the extraordinary flight of the Syrians.
leprous men at the entering in of the gate--living, perhaps, in some lazar house there ( Leviticus 13:4-6 , Numbers 5:3 ).
5. they rose up in the twilight--that is, the evening twilight ( 2 Kings 7:12 ).
the uttermost part of the camp of Syria--that is, the extremity nearest the city.
6, 7. the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots--This illusion of the sense of hearing, whereby the besiegers imagined the tramp of two armies from opposite quarters, was a great miracle which God wrought directly for the deliverance of His people.
8-11. these lepers . . . did eat and drink--After they had appeased their hunger and secreted as many valuables as they could carry, their consciences smote them for concealing the discovery and they hastened to publish it in the city.
10. horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were--The uniform arrangement of encampments in the East is to place the tents in the center, while the cattle are picketed all around, as an outer wall of defense; and hence the lepers describe the cattle as the first objects they saw.
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.
2 Kings 7:17-20 . THE UNBELIEVING LORD TRODDEN TO DEATH.
17. the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned,--&c. The news spread like lightning through the city, and was followed, as was natural, by a popular rush to the Syrian camp. To keep order at the gate, the king ordered his minister to keep guard; but the impetuosity of the famishing people could not be resisted. The lord was trodden to death, and Elisha's prophecy in all respects accomplished.