Thursday, February 06, 2020

Matthew Poole on the king's speech in 2 Kings 6:33

2 Kings 6:33 And while he yet talked with them, behold, the messenger came down unto him: and he said, Behold, this evil is of the LORD; what should I wait for the LORD any longer?

I was preaching last Sunday on 2 Kings 6 and was struck by the Puritan exegete Matthew Poole’s interpretation of the words of the king’s messenger, the king's speech let's call it, to the prophet Elisha, after the king (likely Jehoram, though he is unnamed) had seen the despair of his besieged people (the terrible account of the woman who boiled and ate her son in vv. 28-29) and threatened the life of the prophet (v. 31).

Here is Poole’s interpretation of the king’s message:

This evil; this dreadful famine, which is now so extreme that women are forced to eat their own children.

Is of the LORD; he hath inflicted it (and for aught that I see) he will not remove it. Thus he lays all the blame upon God, not, as he ought, upon his own and his mother’s wickedness, which provoked God, who doth not willingly afflict, to send his heavy judgment upon him.

What should I wait for the LORD any longer? Thou biddest me wait upon God for help; but I perceive I may wait long enough before deliverance comes; I am weary with waiting, I can wait no longer.


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