2 Kings 5:2
And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
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(2) The Syrians.—Heb., Aram, the word rendered “Syria” in 2Kings 5:1.

By companies.—Or, in troops, referring to a marauding incursion made at some time prior to the events here recorded.

Brought away captive . . . a little maid.—Comp. the reference in Joel 3:6 to the Phœnician traffic in Jewish slaves.

2 Kings 5:2. The Syrians had gone out by companies — Making inroads into the land of Israel, to rob and plunder, after the manner of those times. And had brought away captive a little maid — The providence of God so ordering it for very important reasons. And she waited on Naaman’s wife — Was preferred into Naaman’s family, where she published Elisha’s fame, to the honour of Israel and Israel’s God.5:1-8 Though the Syrians were idolaters, and oppressed God's people, yet the deliverance of which Naaman had been the means, is here ascribed to the Lord. Such is the correct language of Scripture, while those who write common history, plainly show that God is not in all their thoughts. No man's greatness, or honour, can place him our of the reach of the sorest calamities of human life: there is many a sickly, crazy body under rich and gay clothing. Every man has some but or other, something that blemishes and diminishes him, some allay to his grandeur, some damp to his joy. This little maid, though only a girl, could give an account of the famous prophet the Israelites had among them. Children should be early told of the wondrous works of God, that, wherever they go, they may talk of them. As became a good servant, she desired the health and welfare of her master, though she was a captive, a servant by force; much more should servants by choice, seek their masters' good. Servants may be blessings to the families where they are, by telling what they know of the glory of God, and the honour of his prophets. Naaman did not despise what she told, because of her meanness. It would be well if men were as sensible of the burden of sin as they are of bodily disease. And when they seek the blessings which the Lord sends in answer to the prayers of his faithful people, they will find nothing can be had, except they come as beggars for a free gift, not as lords to demand or purchase.No peace had been made on the failure of Ahab's expedition 1 Kings 22:1-36. The relations of the two countries therefore continued to be hostile, and plundering inroads naturally took place on the one side and on the other. 2-5. a little maid—who had been captured in one of the many predatory incursions which were then made by the Syrians on the northern border of Israel (see 1Sa 30:8; 2Ki 13:21; 24:2). By this young Hebrew slave of his wife, Naaman's attention was directed to the prophet of Israel, as the person who would remove his leprosy. Naaman, on communicating the matter to his royal master, was immediately furnished with a letter to the king of Israel, and set out for Samaria, carrying with him, as an indispensable preliminary in the East, very costly presents. Gone out by companies; making inroads into the land of Israel to rob and plunder, after the manner of those times. See 1 Samuel 30:8 2 Kings 13:21 24:2.

She waited on, Heb. was before, i.e. stood before her, or ministered to her. Compare Deu 1:38. And the Syrians had gone out by companies,.... Not regular troops, but a sort of banditti of robbers, which made excursions into the land of Israel, to plunder and carry off what booty they could:

and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; for boys and girls were a part of the booty of such robbers, whom they could sell for money, see Joel 3:1. Jarchi and Kimchi say she was a girl of Naaron, a city so called:

and she waited on Naaman's wife; being either made a present of to the general by those plunderers, or was bought by him of them for his wife's service.

And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.
2. had gone out by companies] R.V. in bands. The idea is of plundering parties, who made forays upon their neighbours. So we have in 2 Kings 6:23, ‘The bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel’, and in 2 Kings 13:20, ‘The bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year’. The LXX. has μονόζωνοι, in the sense of ‘girt up’, ‘lightly equipped’, ‘ready for warfare’.

a little maid] These marauders carried away captives as well as spoil. The phrase ‘waited on’, which follows, is literally ‘was before’. Servants are said, when in their service, to ‘stand before’ their masters. See below, verse 25.Verse 2. - And the Syrians had gone out by companies; or, in marauding bands. No peace had been made after Ahab's expedition against Ramoth-Gilead. Hostilities, therefore, still continued upon the borders, where raids were frequent, as upon our own northern border in mediaeval times. And had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid. The marauding expeditions of ancient times had for one of their main objects the capture of slaves. In Africa wars are still carried on chiefly for this purpose. And she waited on Naaman's wife. Either Naaman had led the expedition, and this particular captive had been assigned to him in the division of the booty, or she had merely passed into his possession by purchase, and thus become one of his wife's attendants. The extremely bitter flavour of the fruit so alarmed the pupils of the prophets when they began to eat of the dish, that they cried out, "Death in the pot," and therefore thought the fruit was poison. If eaten in any large quantity, colocynths might really produce death: vid., Dioscorid. iv. 175 (178).
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