"Famine Releaved, Discovery by Leper."
This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
Chapter seven picks up where Chapter six left off, for there is a great famine in Samaria, with the army of Syria surrounding the town of Samaria, and the king of Israel has blamed Elisha for all the problems that have fallen on Israel. The king was after Elisha's head. The famine was so bad that the people were even eating the heads of donkeys, and wild weed peas that were very bitter and turning to cannibalism for their survival. So Elisha now is going to respond to the question that the king asked him in verse (33).
II Kings 7:1 "Then Elisha said, "Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, `To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.' "
Keep in mind that there was no flour in all the city, nor was there any barley, and here Elisha is telling the king that there will be such an abundance tomorrow at this time, that it will sell on the market very cheap. When you are paying five pieces of silver for dove's dung (that bitter pea), and here Elisha is telling you that there will be more than enough tomorrow, think of what the king is going to answer him. So what he is saying is that you will be able to get twice as much for half the price then what it sold for before the famine. Remember that it was at the gate of a city were the market place was, and also were all the judging took place.
II Kings 7:2 "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 shalt not eat thereof."
This "lord" is nothing but a servant of the king, answered Elisha and said scornfully; " even if the windows of heaven opened, what you have said still would not take place." This expression was a mocking of Genesis 7:11, when "...God opened the window of heaven and brought for the flood." He said; "I suppose that you are going to have a religious miracle, and have a flood from God."
Elisha told this servant that it is going to happen, and you will see it with your own eyes, yet you will not eat of those blessings. Friend, when God says something through a prophet of his, as written in His Word, you had better not be scornful of what has been said. For what every you do to mock God, you can be assured that you will not be part of it, and your own words will come down on your own head. In most cases it can be two fold.
II Kings 7:3 "And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, "Why sit we here until we die?"
Here, four lepers are sitting in their colony just outside the gate. They are filled with leprosy covering their entire body, and there just isn't any food coming out of the gate to feed them. As they look out on the hill side from Samaria, they can see this army of Samaria, so they are starting to reason amongst themselves. These lepers knew that if they do nothing, in a matter of day they will be dead, so why not go out to see if the Syrians would feed them.
II Kings 7:4 "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 still here, we die also, Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die."
We can see from this that God will use whom ever he chooses, for He used the slave maid girl to reach Naaman for his healing, and here he uses the very lowest of humanity to go off into the enemy camp, to learn and witness the work that God had done in the night. These four lepers will cause the prophesy that Elisha spoke, to come to pass.
II Kings 7:5 "And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there."
The time that these lepers are coming to the Syrian camp was right at sundown, and as they approached the outer limits of the camp, there were no guards posted there.
II Kings 7:6 "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 Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us."
After a war is over, people go back to determine why certain things happened. This then is the reason that the Syrians left their camp in such a fright, for they thought that the Israelites had hired the Hittites and Egyptians to come and fight their war for them. However what the Syrians heard was this loud noise that sounded like massive amounts of Chariots and horses coming down on them. They knew that the king of Israel and the people were weak and starving, and that the force that they heard could not be the Israelites: so they up and ran. The Hittites were fearless people that would strike terror in any army.
God arranged this to happen, and then He placed the thought in these four leper's minds to go down there for food. These four are the ones that found out that the Syrians were gone.
II Kings 7:7 "Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life."
Take note that these men that ran for their lives were not bums, but seasoned soldiers in the Syrian army. When God decides to put fear in the heart of a person by supernatural means, he does a good job of it.
II Kings 7:8 "And when those 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 it."
When they came to the first tent, they ate and drank until they were filled, then they took up the gold and silver and went out and hid it. Then they went on to the next and next tent, until it finally dawned on them that it was not right, for their people back there in Samaria were starving to death.
II Kings 7:9 "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 the king's household."
These four lepers are raiding the camp, until their conscience bothered them. Their relatives are back in the city, and thy should have all this food and raiment. It is time to go to the king, and let him know of all the food that is here in the camp. God, through the power of the Holy Spirit placed a fear in them that if they did not do this, something would happen to them that night.
II Kings 7:10 "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 no man there, neither voice of man, but horses tied, and asses tied, and the tents as they were."
The porter of the city is the guard at the gate of the city. These four lepers told the porter all the things that they has seen, the horses tied to their posts, the tents still pitched and plenty of food within the tents, and no soldiers anywhere.
II Kings 7:11 "And he called the porters; and they told it to the king's house within."
II Kings 7:12 "And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, "I will now shew you what the Syrians have done to us. 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.' "
The king just knew in his mind that this was nothing but a trap by the Syrians, and he refuse to fall for the trap. He knew that when they left the city, the Syrians would catch them in a weakened state out in the field and kill them. Keep in mind just how bad things had gotten, for the day before the women were even eating their own children. As bad as this was, the women were even telling the king of boiling their children for food. He knew that something serious was taking place, and something had to be done quickly. Samaria had fallen into a deep state of depravity, to where their actions were going against every law of God.
II Kings 7:13 "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, (because, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it: behold, I say, they are even as all the multitude of the Israelites that are consumed:) and let us send and see."
This was about all the horses left that had not been eaten for food, and they are going to use those horses to spy out the fields around the city. The animals and the people were all dying of starvation. Their simply was no other choice but to search out the area with these five horses.
II Kings 7:14 "Then took therefore two chariot horses; and the king sent after the host of the Syrians, saying, "Go and see."
So they took the two teams of horses, four horses, and the king put his servants on the horses and sent them out into the country side to spy out the land.
II Kings 7:15 "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 messengers returned, and told the king."
These Syrians left a trail filled with all sorts of garments and vessels, in their haste to get back over the Jordan. When these servants saw what was laying before them, they went back and told the king. There was the armor and swords, and all sorts of things that fighting men would take with them, and it was scattered everywhere. As the sound of these chariots of God came closer to them they tried to run faster and faster, and as they went they removed clothing, discarding everything that would slow them down, and dropped what was in their hands and anything else that would prevent their escape.
II Kings 7:16 "And the People went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord."
The prophets that wrote this chapter recorded this message over, so that you would not miss it; "...according to the word of the Lord." God spoke it through the mouth of Elisha the day prior, in the presence of the city elders, and it came to pass exactly as God said it would. What God says in His Word always come to pass, and the more you grow to believe, the more blessings God will bring your way. We should learn to trust on God's promises completely, for when we find them in his Word, it is up to us to claim them for ourselves, and stand on them. God is faithful to His Word.
Friend, if you have a record of God's Word in your mind, and you know what is going to happen in our day, then it is up to you to believe that God will keep his Word, and those events will happen exactly as they are written. That knowledge should warn you of the seasons, of the stock market and what nations and peoples will be blessed and which will be cursed. We are living in a day today, where there is nothing hidden to us, for our generation is the generation of the fig tree, when the Jews have returned to Palestine and Jerusalem, and our generation shall not pass, until all the prophecies of the end times have been completed. Jesus told gave us this warning before His crucifixion.
Matthew 24:32 "Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
Matthew 24:33 "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors."
Matthew 24:34 "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
God's Word tells us of the wars and agreements that will go on in our generation, of the people to look out for, and the things that the elect will do. There are no secrets hidden to our generation, for those that desire to prepare themselves with the truth sealed away in their minds. God's plan is going to come to pass exactly as it is written, so who wouldn't have a good life when you know and understand the plan of God.
II Kings 7:17 "And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the People trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him."
This is the same "lord" that came to Elisha and mocked him when Elisha told him that flour and barley would be plentiful the next day. The king placed that man at the gate of the city to control who goes out into the camp of the Syrians, and who stays in the city. So there stood the man at the gate when the people got the word of the abundance of food that was out there in the enemy camp. Think of those thousands of starved people all receiving the word at the same time. That servant sitting in the gate did not have a chance, and the people ran over him, and stomped him into the ground. Yes this part of the prophecy came true also, for that "lord" or servant of the king died. He was the one that said, "I guess you are going to have the Lord open the windows of heaven." A real flood of human flesh poured right over the top of that old boy, and he lay dead at the gate.
II Kings 7:18 "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 flour for a shekel, shall be to morrow about this time in the gate of Samaria:"
That prophecy came to pass exactly as it was spoken and written.
II Kings 7:19 "And that lord answered the man of God, and said, "Now, behold, if the Lord should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be?" And he said, "Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof."
II Kings 7:20 "And so it fell out unto him: for the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died."
The lesson that we are to learn from this chapter is that God's Word comes to pass in detail exactly as it is written. The next chapter will be written prior to when this chapter took place, for it gives us a little more of the details of what took place during the seven year famine that we just witnessed part of. God is bring these things to our knowledge so that we can track the events to see that God does keep his Word.
If ever you do get confused over a matter of God's Word, always remember that God is the same yesterday, in Elisha's day; as He is today, and as he shall be all throughout eternity. God doesn't change, and you can count on His every Word to you.
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