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Elisha’s Final Days

Now Elisha was sick with a terminal illness; and Joash, Israel’s king, came to visit him. He cried over Elisha,

Joash quotes to the prophet Elisha’s own words to Elijah before he ascended.

Joash: My father, O my father! The chariots and riders of Israel!

Elisha: Quickly find a bow and some arrows.

Joash did as Elisha instructed and brought a bow and some arrows back to Elisha’s bedside.

Elisha: Now grip the bow tightly.

So Joash gripped the bow, and Elisha placed his hands over the king’s hands.

Elisha: Now open the window facing east.

So Joash opened the window.

Elisha: Now launch the arrow as far as you can!

So Joash drew back the bow and launched the arrow as far as he could.

Elisha: That was the Eternal’s victory arrow! You will crush the Arameans at Aphek! You will do more than just win; you will ruin them! (pausing) Here, take these arrows.

So Joash took the arrows.

Elisha: Hit the ground with them.

So Joash hit the ground three times and stood up. But the man of God became angry at this.

Elisha: You only hit the ground three times! If you had hit the ground five or six times, then you would have completely ruined the Arameans. But because you only hit the ground three times, you will only defeat Aram three times.

Elisha then died and was laid to rest.

The Moabite bandits used to storm the land every spring. It was expected by the people. During the springtime, while a group of men were out burying a man, they spied a gang of bandits approaching themThey became afraid, so they threw the dead man’s body into Elisha’s grave. As soon as the dead man’s body touched the bones of Elisha, the dead man miraculously came back to life and stood up.

This miracle, which is unlike anything else in the Bible, must have happened years after Elisha’s death if nothing is left but his bones. Obviously this demonstrates the amazing power Elisha must have had in life, if simple contact with his remains revives a dead man. The demonstration of Elisha’s power, however, is not the author’s primary intention as he records this story. This story is an illustration of what’s about to happen in Israel; a renaissance is coming through their king, Joash (2 Kings 13:14-21, The Voice).

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Categories: 2 Kings, elisha, joash
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