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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE OLD TESTAMENT



4 KINGS 7

 

CHAPTER VII.

 

Ver. 1.  A stater.  It is the same as a sicle or shekel.  Ch. --- As it is in Heb. and Sept. --- Bushel, or "measure," H. above 9 pints. --- Gate, where the market place commonly was.  C.

 

Ver. 2.  Lords.  Heb. shalish, "an officer" of the first rank, Ex. xiv. 7.  Sept. tristathV, which Josephus explains of one who "commands a third part of the army."  C. --- Flood-gates.  If corn should fall with the same abundance as water does from the cataracts of the Nile; or, Heb. "if the Lord should make windows," &c. to pour it down, (C.) could it possibly be so cheap?  M. --- Thereof.  Thus his incredulity was punished, v. 17.  Salien. --- Reason must not pretend to reach the power of God, but ought to believe what he says.  W.

 

Ver. 3.  Lepers.  They were excluded from society, though the laws of religion were ill observed in Israel.  The Rabbins say, these four were Giezi and his three sons.  C. --- But this is without foundation, (H.) as Giezi was not yet a leper.  C. viii. 5. --- Salien places that judgment two years later.  H.

 

Ver. 5.  Evening.  Heb. "twilight." --- First part, where the advanced guard should be, or the nearest tents.

 

Ver. 6.  Hethites.  Sept. "Chetteans."  Joseph. "the islands" of Cyprus, &c.  He seems to have read Cethim in the text, as they peopled Cyprus.  C. --- See Jer. ii. 10.  M. --- These Hethites seem to have dwelt in the stony Arabia, (Judg. i. 26.) or in Syria.  H. --- Solomon had connexions with them, 3 K. x. 29.  C. --- Angels made the noise of a mighty army, and probably appeared, as they had done to Giezi.  C. vi. 17.  T.

 

Ver. 9.  Crime, and punished.  Heb. "iniquity shall find us."  Citizens are bound to give notice of what may tend to the common good.  C. --- Court.  Not in person, but by means of others.  M.

 

Ver. 10.  Tied to the mangers, or rather by the hind-legs, as it is still the custom in the East.  Xenop. Anab. iii. Martyr legat. Babyl.

 

Ver. 13.  Consumed, for food.  M. --- Sept. "Let them take five of the horses left.  Those which are left here, behold they are to all the remaining multitude of Israel, and let us send them."  They have read in a different manner from the present Heb. which has, "Let them take five of the horses there remaining; behold they are like all the multitude of Israel who are lost; let us send them."  Arab. "Let us send thither five horsemen who remain; if they escape, we shall look upon them as those Israelites who continue alive; if they perish, they well be numbered with the other Israelites who are dead."  Both horses and horsemen were dreadfully lean, and they could not expect a better fate than those already consumed by famine.  C. --- The truth of the report ought at least to be fully ascertained.  By following the timid advice of the king no prospect of redress appeared.  At last the king consented to send two horsemen.  H.  Sept. v. 14.  Jun. &c.

 

Ver. 14.  Horses.  Heb. "chariot horses," or two chariots with (each) two horses, as it was customary to go to war, and to travel on chariots.  C.

 

Ver. 17.  Gate, to prevent confusion and accidents, (Josephus) or to guard against any return of the enemy.  M.

 

 








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