New Defender's Study Bible Notes
6:1 too strait for us. It would seem that these prophets needed a larger “school” where they could study under Elisha for the prophetic ministry.
6:6 the iron did swim. This is another miracle of creation—not of matter, but of energy, analogous to Christ walking on the water. At the word of Elisha, spoken in faith, and to meet a special need, God created some kind of anti-gravitational force, superseding the law of energy conservation, enabling the iron axe-head to rise to the surface of the water.
6:13 he is in Dothan. Although Dothan is only mentioned here and in Genesis 37:17 (as the place where Joseph located his brothers), archaeologists have found almost a dozen occupation levels there; it evidently existed as an inhabited town for over two thousand years.
6:16 are more. There exists “an innumerable company of angels,” whose very purpose in God’s creation is to serve as “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 12:22; 1:14), all of whom “excel in strength, that do His commandments, hearkening unto the voice of His word” (Psalm 103:20). When we are in the will of God, “greater is he that is in [us], then he that is in the world” (I John 4:4).
6:17 chariots of fire. Elijah had been taken into heaven by just one of these “horses and chariots of fire” (II Kings 2:11).
6:19 to the man. God not only blinded the soldiers of Syria, but gave them such pliability of thought that they willingly followed the instructions of Elisha. The latter did not lie to the Syrians, for he did indeed lead them to himself, revealing himself to them once he was in Israel’s capital city of Samaria, where the forces of king Jehoram were encamped.
6:23 great provision. Instead of having the Israelite army slay the surrounded Syrians, Elisha “killed them with kindness,” as it were, giving them a banquet and sending them all home unharmed. This made such as impression that the Syrians left them alone for a season—but only for a season.
6:24 Ben-hadad. This was a second Ben-hadad (compare I Kings 20:1), and the events of this passage (II Kings 6:24–7:16) probably took place several years after those of I Kings 20:8-23.
6:29 eat him. This unspeakable deed of cannibalistic infanticide illustrates the depths of depravity to which human beings can descend when they have more concern for their own needs than concern for the Lord. It was actually a fulfillment of God’s prophetic warning: “The tender and delicate woman among you,...her eye shall be evil toward...her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them...in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates” (Deuteronomy 28:56, 57).
6:31 head of Elisha. King Jehoram assumed Elisha was responsible for their predicament, since he had refused to destroy the Syrian army when they had the chance (II Kings 6:22). Also it may be that Elisha had warned Jehoram of the coming siege if Jehoram did not repent and lead his people in national repentance.
6:32 son of a murderer. Jehoram was the son of Ahab, who not only had murdered Naboth, but allowed Jezebel to slaughter many of the Lord’s prophets.
6:33 wait for the LORD any longer. This is evidently a message from King Jehoram, still unwilling to repent and, assuming that the Lord would not save them unless he did. He was about to decide he would have to surrender to the Syrians.