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2 Kings 1:1-8

Context
Elijah Confronts the King and His Commanders

1:1 After Ahab died, Moab rebelled against Israel. 1  1:2 Ahaziah fell through a window lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria 2  and was injured. He sent messengers with these orders, 3  “Go, ask 4  Baal Zebub, 5  the god of Ekron, if I will survive this injury.”

1:3 But the Lord’s angelic messenger told Elijah the Tishbite, “Get up, go to meet the messengers from the king of Samaria. Say this to them: ‘You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are on your way to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub the god of Ekron. 6  1:4 Therefore this is what the Lord says, “You will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die!”’” So Elijah went on his way.

1:5 When the messengers returned to the king, 7  he asked them, “Why have you returned?” 1:6 They replied, 8  “A man came up to meet us. He told us, “Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: “You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are sending for an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. 9  Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die.”’” 1:7 The king 10  asked them, “Describe the appearance 11  of this man who came up to meet you and told you these things.” 1:8 They replied, 12  “He was a hairy man 13  and had a leather belt 14  tied around his waist.” The king 15  said, “He is Elijah the Tishbite.”

1 sn This statement may fit better with the final paragraph of 1 Kgs 22.

2 map For location see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

3 tn Heb “and he sent messengers and said to them.”

4 tn That is, “seek an oracle from.”

5 sn Apparently Baal Zebub refers to a local manifestation of the god Baal at the Philistine city of Ekron. The name appears to mean “Lord of the Flies,” but it may be a deliberate scribal corruption of Baal Zebul, “Baal, the Prince,” a title known from the Ugaritic texts. For further discussion and bibliography, see HALOT 261 s.v. זְבוּב בַּעַל and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 25.

6 tn Heb “Is it because there is no God in Israel [that] you are going to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron?” The translation seeks to bring out the sarcastic tone of the rhetorical question.

7 tn Heb “to him.”

sn The narrative is elliptical and telescoped here. The account of Elijah encountering the messengers and delivering the Lord’s message is omitted; we only here of it as the messengers report what happened to the king.

8 tn Heb “said to him.”

9 tn Heb “Is it because there is no God in Israel [that] you are sending to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron?” The translation seeks to bring out the sarcastic tone of the rhetorical question. In v. 3 the messengers are addressed (in the phrase “you are on your way” the second person plural pronoun is used in Hebrew), but here the king is addressed (in the phrase “you are sending” the second person singular pronoun is used).

10 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Heb “What was the manner…?”

12 tn Heb “said to him.”

13 tn Heb “an owner of hair.” This idiomatic expression indicates that Elijah was very hairy. For other examples where the idiom “owner of” is used to describe a characteristic of someone, see HALOT 143 s.v. בַּעַל. For example, an “owner of dreams” is one who frequently has dreams (Gen 37:19) and an “owner of anger” is a hot-tempered individual (Prov 22:24).

14 tn Heb “belt of skin” (i.e., one made from animal hide).

15 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.



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