2 Kings 3:17
For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Ye shall not see wind.—Which in the east is the usual precursor of rain.

Yet that valley.And that wady. He says “that (hû’) valley,” meaning “the one of which I spoke” (2Kings 3:16). Contrast “this (zeh) valley,” i.e., “the one in which we are” (2Kings 3:16).

Your cattle.Miqneh: flocks and herds, as distinguished from “beasts” (bĕhēmāh), i.e., probably, beasts of burden.

3:6-19 The king of Israel laments their distress, and the danger they were in. He called these kings together, yet he charges it upon Providence. Thus the foolishness of man perverteth his way, and then his heart fretteth against the Lord, Pr 19:3. It was well that Jehoshaphat inquired of the Lord now, but it had been much better if he had done it before he engaged in this war. Good men sometimes neglect their duty, till necessity and affliction drive them to it. Wicked people often fare the better for the friendship and society of the godly. To try their faith and obedience, Elisha bids them make the valley full of pits to receive water. Those who expect God's blessings, must dig pools for the rain to fill, as in the valley of Baca, and thus make even that a well, Ps 84:6. We need not inquire whence the water came. God is not tied to second causes. They that sincerely seek for the dew of God's grace, shall have it, and by it be made more than conquerors.No rain was to fall where the Israelites and their enemies were encamped; there was not even to be that all but universal accompaniment of rain in the East, a sudden rise of wind (compare 1 Kings 18:45; Psalm 147:18; Matthew 7:25).

Cattle, and your beast - The former are the animals brought for food. The latter are the baggage animals.

17. Ye shall not see wind—It is common in the East to speak of seeing wind, from the clouds of straw, dust, or sand, that are often whirled into the air, after a long drought. Ye shall not see wind; any of those winds which commonly produce rain. And seeing is here put for perceiving or feeling, one sense for another, or for all, as Genesis 42:1: compare Acts 7:12 Exodus 20:18, and elsewhere.

For thus saith the Lord, ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see the rain,.... Neither perceive the south wind blow, which usually brings rain, nor clouds gathering in the heavens, as portending it, nor any filling from thence:

yet that valley shall be filled with water; and all the ditches dug in it:

that ye may drink, both ye and your cattle, and all your beasts; there would be such a quantity as would be enough for them all, the soldiers, the horses they rode on, and the beasts that drew their wagons.

For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. For thus saith the Lord] Both the order to dig trenches, and the promise of water are prefaced in this solemn manner. It is no order of his own which the prophet delivers.

Ye shall not see wind] The verb ‘see’ is used elsewhere of what is not visible but experienced by the other senses. So Exodus 20:18, ‘All the people saw the thunderings … and the noise of the trumpet’. After a drought wind is in the East the general precursor of rain. Cf. 1 Kings 18:41; 1 Kings 18:45.

neither shall ye see rain] The prophet’s language here implies that the cause of the coming supply of water would be rain falling elsewhere. Natural powers will bring the rain, though it shall fall at a distance from the camp, so that neither Moab nor the invading armies shall be aware of its falling.

that ye may [R.V. and ye shall] drink] Thus giving a strictly literal rendering.

your cattle] These were the animals brought with them to be killed as occasion required for food. The beasts, next mentioned, are the beasts of burden.

Verse 17. - For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see - i.e., perceive - wind, neither shall ye see rain. Wind and rain usually go together in the East, especially when there is sudden heavy rain after a time of drought. What Elisha promises is a heavy storm of wind accompanied by violent rain, which, however, will be at such a distance that the Israelites will see nothing of it, but whereof they will experience the effects when the torrent-course that separates them from the Moabite country suddenly becomes a rushing stream as the rain flows off down it. Their "pits," or trenches, will retain a portion of the water, and furnish them with a sufficient supply for their wants. It was necessary that the storm should be distant, that the Moabites might know nothing of it, and so fall under the delusion (ver. 23), which led to their complete defeat. Yet that valley shall be filled with water. Travelers tell us that, in certain circumstances, it takes but ten minutes or a quarter of an hour for a dry water-course in the East to become a raging torrent quite impassable. That ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle - i.e., the animals which you have brought with you for food - and your boasts; i.e. your beasts of burden, or baggage-animals. Animals, except camels, suffer from drought even more than men, and die sooner. The Israelites do not appear to have ever employed camels. 2 Kings 3:17He then sent for a minstrel, to collect his mind from the impressions of the outer world by the soft tones of the instrument, and by subduing the self-life and life in the external world to become absorbed in the intuition of divine things. On this influence of music upon the state of the mind, see the remark on 1 Samuel 16:16, and Passavant's Untersuchungen ber den Lebens-magnetismus, p. 207 (ed. 2). - As the minstrel was playing, the hand of the Lord came upon him (והיה according to the later usage for ויהי, as in 1 Samuel 17:48, etc.; compare Ewald, 345, b., and יהוה יד as in 1 Kings 18:46), so that he said in the name of the Lord: "Make this valley full of trenches (עשׂה, inf. abs. for the imperative; for גּבים גּבים see Ges. 108, 4); for thus saith the Lord, ye will see neither wind nor rain, and this valley will be filled with water, that ye may be able to drink, and your flocks and your cattle." גּבים are trenches for collecting water (vid., Jeremiah 14:3), which would suddenly flow down through the brook-valley. This large quantity of water came on the (following) morning "by the way of Edom" (2 Kings 3:20), a heavy fall of rain or violent storm having taken place, as is evident from the context, in the eastern mountains of Edom, at a great distance from the Israelitish camp, the water of which filled the brook-valley, i.e., the Wady el Kurahy and el Ahsy (see at 2 Kings 3:9) at once, without the Israelites observing anything either of the wind, which always precedes rain in the East (Harmar, Beobb. i. pp. 51, 52), or of the rain itself. מקניכם are the flocks intended for slaughtering, בּהמתּכם the beasts of burden.
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