2 Kings 6

Study the Inner Meaning

King James Version         

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1 And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.

2 Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, go ye.

3 And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go.

4 So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.

5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.

6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.

7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.

8 Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp.

9 And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.

10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.

11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel?

12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.

13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.

14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?

16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

19 And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria.

20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.

21 And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?

22 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.

23 And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.

24 And it came to pass after this, that Ben-hadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria.

25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver.

26 And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king.

27 And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress?

28 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow.

29 So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son.

30 And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh.

31 Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day.

32 But Elisha sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master's feet behind him?

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?

← 2 Kings 5   2 Kings 7 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 2576, 2762, 3704, 4720, 5321, 7353, 9457

Apocalypse Revealed 36, 298, 437, 492

Conjugial Love 26

Heaven and Hell 76

True Christian Religion 851

The White Horse 2


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 355, 504, 637, 746, 922

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:



Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 19:11, 32:2, 3, 37:17, 41:55

Exodus 14:13, 33:15

Leviticus 26:26, 29

Numbers 22:31

Deuteronomy 28:53

Joshua 11:6

1 Samuel 3:17, 22:8, 23:22, 23

1 Kings 18:2, 19:2, 20:1, 21:19, 27, 22:1

2 Kings 2:3, 5, 7, 11, 15, 3:10, 4:30, 5:26, 6:8, 24, 17:5

2 Chronicles 28:15, 32:7

Job 2:9, 5:12, 15:13

Psalms 33:10, 37:32, 46:10

Salmenes 60:13

Psalms 125:2, 146:3

Proverbs 16:14, 19:3, 21:30, 22:12, 25:21

Isaiah 8:10

Jeremiah 11:18, 39:17

Lamentations 3:37, 39, 4:10

Ezekiel 16, 17, 8:1

Hosea 1:7

Amos 3:6

Zechariah 12:4

Matthew 17:27

Luke 22:53

John 14:18

Acts of the Apostles 13:11

Bible Word Meanings

sons of the
The sons of the Javanites,' as in Joel 3:6, signify worship in externals, separate from the internal.

prophets
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

elisha
The Bible in its literal sense – the words we see, the stories we read – is a sort of container for the divine things...

place
'A dry place,' as in Luke 11:24, signifies states of evil and falsity which are in the life of someone who does the work of...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

jordan
The river Jordan separates the land of Canaan from the lands to the east. This separation represents the division of the human mind into an internal...

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

beam
A beam signifies the falsity of evil. (Gen. 19 18; 2 Kings 6:2, 5, 6; Habakkuk 2:11; Matt. 7 3, 5). A beam of a...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

servants
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

wood
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

fell
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

master
In most cases, a "master" in the Bible refers to truth: knowledge, an understanding of the situation at hand, an understanding of the Lord's wishes,...

borrowed
If you think about it, you can see that it’s easy to “borrow” thoughts and ideas from other people – even written ideas from thousands...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

iron
'An iron pan,' as in Ezekiel 4:3, signifies the truth that was falsified and adulterated among the Jewish people.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

hand
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

Syria
'Syria,' as in Ezekiel 27:16, signifies the church regarding knowledges of truth and good.

israel
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

sent
'Being sent' everywhere signifies, in an internal sense, going forth, as in John 17:8. In similar manner, it is said of the holy of the...

pass
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

syrians
'Syria,' as in Ezekiel 27:16, signifies the church regarding knowledges of truth and good.

saved
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

twice
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

shew
'Shew' signifies instruction to the life.

none
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

my lord
Characters in the Bible will often address others using the term “my lord,” and it seems to be no more than an expression of respect....

lord
In most cases, a "master" in the Bible refers to truth: knowledge, an understanding of the situation at hand, an understanding of the Lord's wishes,...

prophet
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

words
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

send
'To send' signifies revealing.

dothan
Dothan (2 Kings 6:13) signifies the doctrinals of good and truth from the Word. Dothan (Gen. 37:17) signifies special or particular principles of doctrine.

horses
'A horse' signifies knowledges or understanding of the Word. In an opposite sense it signifies the understanding of the Word falsified by reasonings, and likewise...

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

city
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

risen
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

early
Since the sun represents the Lord, the early morning and sunrise represent a state of enlightenment, with a new and clear understanding coming after a...

compassed
To encompass, as in Genesis 19:4, signifies to be contrary, or to attack and assault with a hostile intention.

fear
The fearful signify people who have no faith.

Fear not
Fear not, as in Revelation 1:17; Daniel 10:5, 12; Matthew 17:5, 7; 28:10, etc., signifies resuscitation to life, and at the same time adoration from...

open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

opened
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

young
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

saw
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

mountain
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

Full
'To satiate' relates to the extent of a person's will, for good or evil.

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

Round about
'Round about' denotes the things most distant from the middle, or from good and truth.

down
"Down" is used many different ways in natural language, and its spiritual meaning in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Phrases like "bowing down,"...

smite
'The smitten' signify people who are oppressed by the falsities of ignorance.

people
The Bible generally uses two different terms for large groups: “people” and “nation.” When it uses the term “nation,” it is talking about a group...

smote
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

way
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

seek
The meaning of "to seek" in the Bible is pretty straightforward, but there is a bit of nuance: Swedenborg tells us that in most cases...

led
'To be led by the Lord' is to be in a state of essential liberty, blessedness, and happiness.

samaria
'Samaria,' as in Amos 4:1. 6:1, signifies the spiritual church perverted.

come
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

midst
'Middle' denotes what is primary, principal, or inmost.

father
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

sword
The three words, sword, famine and pestilence, appear in a group in 26 different Bible verses. That's not an accident. Sword, famine and pestilence describe...

bow
A bow signifies falsity of doctrine destroying truth, and spear, the falsity of evil de­stroying good. (Jer. 6:23.)

bread
The word “bread” is used two ways in the Bible. In some cases it means actual bread; in others it stands for food in general....

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

drink
Food in the Bible represents the desire for good, and water and other drinks represent the understanding and true ideas we need to recognize what...

great
The word "great" is used in the Bible to represent a state with a strong degree of love and affection, of the desire for good;...

eaten
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

drunk
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

bands
'A troop,' as in Genesis 30:11, signifies omnipotence and omniscience in the highest sense, in an internal sense, the good of faith, and in an...

land
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

after
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

ass
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

ass's
Donkeys signify the things relating to the self-intelligence of the sensual man; and camels, the things of self-intelligence in the natural man (Isa 30:6, 7.)

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

fourscore
Swedenborg tells us that 80, like 40, can represent a state of temptation, when we face and battle our desires for evil – and that...

silver
'Money' relates to truth.

dove
'A turtle dove' and 'young pigeon,' as in Genesis 15:9, represents exterior and interior spiritual things.

five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

passing
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

wall
In Lamentations 2:8-9, 'wall,' 'rampart,' 'gates,' and 'bars' signify doctrines.

Woman
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

son
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

morrow
'Tomorrow' signifies eternity.

boiled
To boil, as in Genesis 25:29, signifies to heap up.

came to pass
The phrase “it came to pass,” often also translated as “it happened,” generally indicates the end of one spiritual state and the beginning of a...

heard
Thanks to modern science, we now understand that hearing actually happens in the brain, not the ears. The ears collect vibrations in the air and...

Rent
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

clothes
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

passed
'To pass,' as in Genesis 31:52, signifies flowing in. 'To pass the night,' as in Genesis 24:54, signifies having peace. 'To pass through,' as in...

sackcloth
'Being clothed in sackcloth' signifies lamentation because of the devastation of truth in the church. 'Sackcloth,' as in Revelation 6:12, relates to destroyed good.

flesh
Flesh has several meanings just in its most obvious form. It can mean all living creatures as when the Lord talks about the flood "destroying...

stand
'To sit before Jehovah' is to be with Him, and so, it also means willing and acting from Him. 'To stand before Him,' is to...

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

elders
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

messenger
'A messenger' signifies communication.

look
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

cometh
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

shut
There are only a couple of references in the Writings to "close" used as a verb, and both stem from Amos 9:11, which talks about...

door
In a general sense, doors in the Bible represent the initial desires for good and concepts of truth that introduce people to new levels of...

feet
The foot, as in Deuteronomy 33:3, signifies an inferior principle. To set the right foot on the sea and the left on the earth, as...

behind
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

evil
'To hurt,' as mentioned in Revelation 6:6, signifies violation and profanation. 'To hurt' as mentioned in Revelation 9:4, signifies perverting the truths and goods of...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Angels and Spirits with Us
Lesson and activities explore stories of the Word about angels and spirits. How do they help us on our spiritual journey?
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15

 Chariots in the Word Crossword Puzzle
Complete a crossword on chariots in the Word by looking up references to stories in the Old ad New Testaments.
Activity | Ages 9 - 13

 Elisha Sees the Host of Angels
Coloring Page | Ages 7 - 14

 Horses and Chariots of Fire
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Naaman’s Leprosy Healed, Blinded Syrians Captured
Lesson outline provides teaching ideas with questions for discussion, projects, and activities.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 7 - 10

 Quotes: Our Guardian Angels
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 The Siege of Samaria
Activity | Ages 11 - 14

 Those Who Are with Us
Fold down a flap of paper to show what Elisha’s servant saw, then lift it up to show the angels that Elisha saw
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Those Who Are with Us
When our beliefs are attacked, we must lift our eyes to the Lord and call to mind the strong horses of spiritual understanding and the swift and flaming chariots of doctrine that are given as a protection for all who love Him.
Worship Talk | Ages 15 - 17


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