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2 Kings 4:38-44

Context
Elisha Makes a Meal Edible

4:38 Now Elisha went back to Gilgal, while there was famine in the land. Some of the prophets were visiting him 1  and he told his servant, “Put the big pot on the fire 2  and boil some stew for the prophets.” 3  4:39 Someone went out to the field to gather some herbs and found a wild vine. 4  He picked some of its fruit, 5  enough to fill up the fold of his robe. He came back, cut it up, and threw the slices 6  into the stew pot, not knowing they were harmful. 7  4:40 The stew was poured out 8  for the men to eat. When they ate some of the stew, they cried out, “Death is in the pot, O prophet!” They could not eat it. 4:41 He said, “Get some flour.” Then he threw it into the pot and said, “Now pour some out for the men so they may eat.” 9  There was no longer anything harmful in the pot.

Elisha Miraculously Feeds a Hundred People

4:42 Now a man from Baal Shalisha brought some food for the prophet 10  – twenty loaves of bread made from the firstfruits of the barley harvest, as well as fresh ears of grain. 11  Elisha 12  said, “Set it before the people so they may eat.” 4:43 But his attendant said, “How can I feed a hundred men with this?” 13  He replied, “Set it before the people so they may eat, for this is what the Lord says, ‘They will eat and have some left over.’” 14  4:44 So he set it before them; they ate and had some left over, just as the Lord predicted. 15 

1 tn Heb “the sons of the prophets were sitting before him.”

2 tn The words “the fire” are added for clarification.

3 tn Heb “sons of the prophets.”

4 tn Heb “a vine of the field.”

5 tn Heb “[some] of the gourds of the field.”

6 tn Heb “he came and cut [them up].”

7 tc The Hebrew text reads, “for they did not know” (יָדָעוּ, yadau) but some emend the final shureq (וּ, indicating a third plural subject) to holem vav (וֹ, a third masculine singular pronominal suffix on a third singular verb) and read “for he did not know it.” Perhaps it is best to omit the final vav as dittographic (note the vav at the beginning of the next verb form) and read simply, “for he did not know.” See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 59.

8 tn Heb “and they poured out [the stew].” The plural subject is probably indefinite.

9 tn Or “and let them eat.”

10 tn Heb “man of God.”

11 tn On the meaning of the word צִקְלוֹן (tsiqlon), “ear of grain,” see HALOT 148 s.v. בָּצֵק and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 59.

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

13 tn Heb “How can I set this before a hundred men?”

14 tn The verb forms are infinitives absolute (Heb “eating and leaving over”) and have to be translated in light of the context.

15 tn Heb “according to the word of the Lord.”



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