Kings II 6

1 And David again gathered all the young men of Israel, about seventy thousand.
2 And David arose, and went, he and all the people that were with him, and some of the rulers of Juda, on an expedition , to bring back thence the ark of God, on which the name of the Lord of Host who dwells between the cherubs upon it is called.
3 And they put the ark of the Lord on a new waggon, and took it out of the house of Aminadab who lived on the hill, and Oza and his brethren the sons of Aminadab drove the waggon with the ark.
4 And his brethren went before the ark.
5 And David and the children of Israel playing before the Lord on well-tuned instruments mightily, and with songs, and with harps, and with lutes, and with drums, and with cymbals, and with pipes.
6 And they come as far as the threshing floor of Nachor: and Oza reached forth his hand to the ark of God to keep it steady, and took hold of it; for the ox shook it out of its place.
7 And the Lord was very angry with Oza; and God smote him there: and he died there by the ark of the Lord before God.
8 And David was dispirited because the Lord made a breach upon Oza; and that place was called the breach of Oza until this day.
9 And David feared the Lord in that day, saying, How shall the ark of the Lord come in to me?
10 And David would not bring in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to himself into the city of David: and David turned it aside into the house of Abeddara the Gethite.
11 And the ark of the Lord lodged in the house of Abeddara the Gethite three months, and the Lord blessed all the house of Abeddara, and all his possessions.
12 And it was reported to king David, saying, The Lord has blessed the house of Abeddara, and all that he has, because of the ark of the Lord. And David went, and brought up the Ark of the Lord from the house of Abeddara to the city of David with gladness.
13 And there were with him bearing the ark seven bands, and for a sacrifice a calf and lambs.
14 And David sounded with well-tuned instruments before the Lord, and David clothed with a fine long robe.
15 And David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of a trumpet.
16 And it came to pass as the ark arrived at the city of David, that Melchol the daughter of Saul looked through the window, and saw king David dancing and playing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.
17 And they bring the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place in the midst of the tabernacle which David pitched for it: and David offered whole-burnt-offerings before the Lord, peace-offerings.
18 And David made an end of offering the whole-burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, and blessed the people in the name of the Lord of Hosts.
19 And he distributed to all the people, even to all the host of Israel from Dan to Bersabee, both men and women, to every one a cake of bread, and a joint of meat, and a cake from the frying-pan: and all the people departed every one to his home.
20 And David returned to bless his house. And Melchol the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and saluted him, and said, How was the king of Israel glorified to-day, who was to-day uncovered in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the dancers wantonly uncovers himself!
21 And David said to Melchol, I will dance before the Lord. Blessed the Lord who chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to make me head over his people, even over Israel: therefore I will play, and dance before the Lord.
22 And I will again uncover myself thus, and I will be vile in thine eyes, and with the maid-servants by whom thou saidst that I was not had in honour.
23 And Melchol the daughter of Saul had no child till the day of her death.

Kings II 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

The sons of the prophets enlarge their habitations, Iron made to swim. (1-7) Elisha discloses the counsels of the Syrians. (8-12) Syrians sent to seize Elisha. (13-23) Samaria besieged, A famine, The king sends to slay Elisha. (24-33)

Verses 1-7 There is that pleasantness in the converse of servants of God, which can make those who listen to them forget the pain and the weariness of labour. Even the sons of the prophets must not be unwilling to labour. Let no man think an honest employment a burden or a disgrace. And labour of the head, is as hard, and very often harder, than labour with the hands. We ought to be careful of that which is borrowed, as of our own, because we must do as we would be done by. This man was so respecting the axe-head. And to those who have an honest mind, the sorest grievance of poverty is, not so much their own want and disgrace, as being rendered unable to pay just debts. But the Lord cares for his people in their smallest concerns. And God's grace can thus raise the stony iron heart, which is sunk into the mud of this world, and raise up affections, naturally earthly.

Verses 8-12 The king of Israel regarded the warnings Elisha gave him, of danger from the Syrians, but would not heed the warnings of danger from his sins. Such warnings are little heeded by most; they would save themselves from death, but will not from hell. Nothing that is done, said, or thought, by any person, in any place, at any time, is out of God's knowledge.

Verses 13-23 What Elisha said to his servant is spoken to all the faithful servants of God, when without are fightings, and within are fears. Fear not, with that fear which has torment and amazement; for they that are with us, to protect us, are more than they that are against us, to destroy us. The eyes of his body were open, and with them he saw the danger. Lord, open the eyes of our faith, that with them we may see thy protecting hand. The clearer sight we have of the sovereignty and power of Heaven, the less we shall fear the troubles of earth. Satan, the god of this world, blinds men's eyes, and so deludes them unto their own ruin; but when God enlightens their eyes, they see themselves in the midst of their enemies, captives to Satan, and in danger of hell, though, before, they thought their condition good. When Elisha had the Syrians at his mercy, he made it appear that he was influenced by Divine goodness as well as Divine power. Let us not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. The Syrians saw it was to no purpose to try to assault so great and so good a man.

Verses 24-33 Learn to value plenty, and to be thankful for it; see how contemptible money is, when in time of famine it is so freely parted with for any thing that is eatable! The language of Jehoram to the woman may be the language of despair. See the word of God fulfilled; among the threatenings of God's judgments upon Israel for their sins, this was one, that they should eat the flesh of their own children, ( Deuteronomy 28:53-57 ) . The truth and the awful justice of God were displayed in this horrible transaction. Alas! what miseries sin has brought upon the world! But the foolishness of man perverts his way, and then his heart frets against the Lord. The king swears the death of Elisha. Wicked men will blame any one as the cause of their troubles, rather than themselves, and will not leave their sins. If rending the clothes, without a broken and contrite heart, would avail, if wearing sackcloth, without being renewed in the spirit of their mind, would serve, they would not stand out against the Lord. May the whole word of God increase in us reverent fear and holy hope, that we may be stedfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. more according to the
  • [b]. the calf.
  • [c]. for his rashness.
  • [d]. omits the negative, but still differs from the Hebrew.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 6

In this chapter are recorded other wonders of Elisha, as causing iron to swim, 2Ki 6:1-7 having knowledge of the secret counsels of the king of Syria, which he disclosed to the king of Israel, 2Ki 6:8-12 smiting the Syrian army with blindness sent to take him, and which he led into the midst of Samaria, 2Ki 6:13-23, and the chapter is closed with an account of the siege of Samaria, and a sore famine in it, 2Ki 6:24-33.

Kings II 6 Commentaries