2 Kings 2:3 MEANING

2 Kings 2:3
(3) The sons of the prophets.--See Notes on 1 Kings 20:35; 1 Samuel 10:10; 1 Samuel 19:20. There was a guild of prophets at Beth-el.

Came forth to Elisha.--Who probably walked a little way before his master, to announce his approach.

And said unto him.--The prophetic college had been divinely forewarned of Elijah's departure.

The Lord will take away . . . to day.--"To day" is emphatic. "Knowest thou that this day Jehovah is about to take away thy lord from beside thee?" The word "head" may signify self, or person, like the word "soul," and other terms. (Comp. Genesis 40:13; 1 Samuel 28:2; 2 Samuel 1:16.) Others explain "from over thy head," i.e., from his position of superiority over thee as thy master and teacher. (See 1 Kings 19:21; Acts 22:3.) Others again, but very improbably, take the words literally as a reference to Elijah's ascension, "away over thine head."

Yea, I know.--Rather, I, too, know.

Hold ye your peace.--Elisha says this, not to prevent the gathering of a crowd to witness the spectacle of Elijah's departure, nor yet to intimate that his master's modesty will be shocked by much talk of his approaching exaltation, but simply to suggest that the subject is painful both to him and to his beloved master. The Hebrew term, heh?sh-, imitates the sound, like our "hush!"

Verse 3. - The sons of the prophets that were at Bethel (On the expression, "sons of the prophets," see the comment upon 1 Kings 20:35.) The institution of the "schools of the prophets," or theological colleges where young prophets were brought up, is usually assigned to Samuel, one of whose habitual residences for a part of the year was Bethel (1 Samuel 7:16). Probably he had established a "school" there which continued to this time. Came forth to Elisha, and said unto him. The students did not venture to address the master himself, who was a person of too much dignity to be intruded on; but sought out the servant, to give him a warning of what their prophetic instinct assured them was about to happen. Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head (i.e. from his position as teacher and master) today? There was, perhaps, something a little officious and self-assertive in this question. They might have felt sure, if they had been properly modest, that Elisha would have at least as much prophetic instinct and foresight as themselves. Hence he answers them with something of rebuke: And he said, Yea, I know it - literally, I too know it - hold ye your peace; or, "Hush - do not chatter about what is so sacred; do not suppose that you are wiser than any one else; be a little modest and a little reticent."

2:1-8 The Lord had let Elijah know that his time was at hand. He therefore went to the different schools of the prophets to give them his last exhortations and blessing. The removal of Elijah was a type and figure of the ascension of Christ, and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Elisha had long followed Elijah, and he would not leave him now when he hoped for the parting blessing. Let not those who follow Christ come short by tiring at last. The waters of Jordan, of old, yielded to the ark; now, to the prophet's mantle, as a token of God's presence. When God will take up his faithful ones to heaven, death is the Jordan which they must pass through, and they find a way through it. The death of Christ has divided those waters, that the ransomed of the Lord may pass over. O death, where is thy sting, thy hurt, thy terror!And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel,.... Or the disciples of them, as the Targum; here, though a place where one of Jeroboam's calves was set up, was a school of the prophets, perhaps founded by Elijah as a nursery for religion, and a check upon the idolatry of the times:

came forth to Elisha; out of their college: and said unto him, knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head today? who was, as Abarbinel observes, the crown and glory of his head; or else this is said, as generally thought, in allusion to disciples sitting at the feet of their masters, and so they at the head of them; the rapture of Elijah was by a spirit of prophecy revealed unto them:

and he said, yea, I know it; being revealed to him in the same way:

hold your peace: not caring to continue any discourse with them on the subject, that his thoughts, which were intent upon it, might not be interrupted, and that his master might not know that he knew of it, and lest he should be snatched away from him, and he not see him, while discoursing with them.

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