ELISHA AND THE BOW
2 Kings 13:1 to 25
AFTER Jehu, his son Jehoahaz reigned in Israel. He was not only a wicked but also a weak king; and under him Israel became helpless in the hands of its enemies, Hazael, the fierce king of Syria, and his son, Ben-hadad the second. But when Jehoahaz died, his son Joash became king, and under his rule Israel began to rise again.
Elisha, the prophet, was now an old man, and very feeble, and near to death. The young king, Joash, came to see him, and wept over him, and said to him, as Elisha himself had said to Elijah, "My father, my father, you are to Israel more than its chariots and its horsemen!"
But Elisha, though weak in body, was yet strong in soul. He told King Joash to bring to him a bow and arrows, and to open the window to the east, looking toward the land of Syria. Then Elisha caused the king to draw the bow, and he placed his hands on the king's hands. And as the king shot an arrow, Elisha said, "This is the Lord's arrow of victory, of victory over Syria, for you shall smite the Syrians in Aphek, and shall destroy them."
Then Elisha told the king to take the arrows, and to strike with them on the ground. The king struck them on the ground three times, and then stopped striking. The old prophet was displeased at this, and said, "Why did you stop? You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have won as many victories over Syria; but now you shall beat the Syrians three times, and no more."
Soon after this Elisha died, and they buried him in a cave. In the spring of the next year the bands of the Moabites came upon the place just as they were burying another man, and in their haste to escape from the enemies they placed the body in the cave where Elisha was buried. When the body of this man touched the body of the dead prophet, life came to it, and the man stood up. Thus, even after Elisha was dead, he still had power.