9 Oct. 2 Kings 13:14-21

9 Oct.  The death of Elisha

“At this time Elisha became sick. Before he died, Jehoash king of Israel went to Elisha and cried for him. Jehoash said, ‘My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and their horsemen!’”

“Elisha said to Jehoash, ‘Take a bow and arrows.’ So he took a bow and arrows. Then Elisha said to him, ‘Put your hand on the bow.’ So Jehoash put his hand on the bow. Then Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.”

“Elisha said, ‘Open the east window.’ So Jehoash opened the window. Then Elisha said, ‘Shoot’, and Jehoash shot. Elisha said, ‘The LORD’s arrow of victory over Aram! You will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you destroy them.’”

“Elisha said, ‘Take the arrows.’ So Jehoash took them. Then Elisha said to him, ‘Strike the ground.’ So Jehoash struck the ground three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him. ‘You should have struck five or six times!’ Elisha said. ‘Then you would have struck Aram until you had completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.’”

“Then Elisha died and was buried.”

“At that time groups of Moabites would rob the land in the springtime. Once as some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a group of Moabites coming. The Israelites threw the dead man into Elisha’s grave. When the man touched Elisha’s bones, the man came back to life and stood on his feet.”

          (2 Kings 13:14-21)

 

 

Jehoahaz was succeeded by his son Jehoash as King of Israel in 797BC. He turned away from the LORD and waged war against Amaziah, King of Judah.

During the reign of Jehoash, the prophet Elisha died. When the king heard that Elisha was sick, he visited Elisha in order to receive a last blessing from him before he died.

Elisha told Jehoash to take a bow and arrow and shoot the arrow through an open window. Elisha placed his hands on the king’s hands as he shot the arrow. Elisha then prophesied that Jehoash would successfully defeat the Arameans.

Elisha then asked the king to strike the ground. Jehoash struck the ground three times. Elisha prophesied again. As Jehoash had struck the ground three times, he would defeat the Arameans three times, but no more.

After the visit from the king, Elisha died, and was buried. As a postscript, we are then told an anecdote about a later burial which shows how Elisha’s bodily remains were held in great esteem and were believed to have miraculous properties. We’re told that, when a burial party saw a group of Moabite raiders approaching, the man they were burying was hastily thrown into Elisha’s grave. To their amazement, in proximity to Elisha’s remains, the man came back to life and stood up! The veneration of saint’s bones during the Christian era is a continuation of the belief in the miraculous powers of a holy person’s bodily remains.

The photo (by Bukvoed) shows ancient remains at the site of Samaria in Shomron National Park.

You can read more about King Jehoash’s campaign against King Amaziah of Judah @ https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/32-the-divided-kingdom-amp-journey-into-exile/pharoah-shoshenk-i-rescues-israel/


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