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miraculous, he restrained his desire of cutting them off, and considering the prophet as his father and protector, he gladly submitted to his direction.
Thus Elisha, by the providence of God, gained a glorious triumph over his persecutors, and employed his advantage even like a christian. His behaviour had a natural tendency to turn their hatred against Israel into esteem, and to convert them to the worship of Israel's God. And it answered the purpose of putting an end to the intended war ; for Ben-hadad was intimidated from pursuing his design, and made no more attempts to seize the person of Elisha in the land of Israel. : !
'THE CONTINUATION OF THE HISTORY OF JÉHORAM . (OR JOŘAM) KING OF ISRAEL...
" ; } 1. From 2 Kings, Chap. vi, vii. . And it came to pass after this, that Ben-hadad king of Syria gathered all his hosts, and went up and besieged Samaria.
And there was a great famine in Samaria : and behold, they besieged it until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.
And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the ''wall, there cried a woman unto him saying, Help, my
lord, O kiog.. ' And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence
shail I help thee? out of the barn floor, or out of the - Wine-press? And the king said unto her, What: aileth --thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, "Give thy son, that we niảy eat him to-day, and we will · eat my son to-morrow. , ,
So So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.
And it came to pass when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes ; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and behold ho had sackcloth within upon his flesh.
Then he said, God do so, and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day. . . . · But Elisha sat in his house ; and the elders sat with him : and the king sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, Elisha said to the el. ders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head ! look, when the messenger cometh shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master's feet behind him?
And while he yet talked with them, behold the mes. senger came down unto him : and he said, Behold this evil is of the Lord: what! should I wait for the LORD any longer?
Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD ; thus · saith the Lord, To-morrow about this time shall a meai sure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.
Then a lord, on whose hand the king leaned, answered the man of God, and said, Behold if the Lord would: make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalenot eat thereof. . And there were four leprous men at the entering in at
the gate ; and they said one to another, Why sit we here: - until we die ? If we say, We will enter into the city,
then the famine is in the city, and we shall die, there :
and if we sit here, we die also. Now therefore come, let us fall unto the host of the Syrians : and if they saye us alive, we shall live: and if they kill us, we shall
but die.. ? . And they rose up in the twilight to go unto the camp
of the Syrians : and when they were come to the utter. most part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no : man there : . on For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hico tites and the kings of the Egyptians to come upon us.
Wherefore they arose and filed in the twilight, and : Jeft their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp, as it was, and fled for their life.
And when these lepers, came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence, also, and went and hid
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 she king's houshold.
So they came, and called unto the porter of the city : and they told them, saying, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and behold, there was po man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were.
And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within.
And the king arose in the night, and said unto his "servants, I will now shew you what - the Syrians have done to cus. They know that we be hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp, to hide themselves in the
field, saying, When they come out of the city, we shall - catch them alive, and get into the city, ': . . ad
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 sas all the multitude of the Israelites that are consumed) - and let us send and-see. ii .!',
They took therefore two chariot herses, and the king sent after the host of the Syrians saying, Gó, and see. 2. • And they went after them unto Jordan: and lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the
Syrians had cast-away in their" haste. And the messenvigers returned and told the king:
And the people went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a s. shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, accordo
ing to the word of the LORD. 'n And the king appointed the lord' on whose hand he ileaned to have the charge of the gate : and the people Extrode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of - God had said, who-spake when the king came down to
him. . And it came to pass as the man of God had spoken to
the king, saying, Two-measures of barley -for a shekel, and a measure of fine a four for a shekel, shall be to
norrow about this time in the gate of Samaria : . And that lord answered the man of God, and said, Now behold, if the LORD should make windows in hea.
. ... ., ven,
Ven, might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, chou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof."
And so it fell out unto him : for the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died.'
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The inhabitants of Samaria were reduced to the ut. most extremity of want, as we may judge from their paying the value of five pounds for an ass*s headl, and to the amount of twelve ör fifteen shillings for about three English pints of a coarse kind of corn or pulse, known then by the name of dove's dúng, which perhaps it re. sembled it appearance ; but we may form a júster" idea of the miserable state of the Samaritans, from the shocking circuinstance of a woman's eating her own child.' Jehoram, though he appears to have been moved with compassion by this incident, was not pro perly affected with the judgment which the Lord had caused to "fall on his kingdom. He did indeed, in com. pliance with the usual custom, in times of public calamity, put ‘sackcloth upon his flesh; but he did not, as the good Jehoshaphat had done, endeavour to gain pardon from the SUPREME Being, by a general fast and humiliation ; neither did he destroy the idots which still temained in the land of Israel. So far from having recourse to the prophet for his intercession with the LORD, the king vehemently protested that Ke would immediate ly put Elisha to death, as'the cause of all this distreso, repenting thắt he had followed his advice the preceding year, in sparing the Syrian army, when he had them in his power. It appears that Elisha was in expectation of directions from the LORD, what'to say to the king of Israel ; but as he did not receive any, and the case was *perfectly clear to him, he thought he might ventute;