Saturday, May 23, 2009

Striking the Ground

"Then he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, Strike on the ground. And he struck three times and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him and said, You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had destroyed it. But now you shall strike Syria down only three times. II Kings 13:18,19 Amplified

Until very recently, when I read these verses, I suspected this to be a royal set-up. I thought Elisha (on behalf of God) was asking the king to do something totally asinine: hit the floor repeatedly with a quiver of arrows. How stupid is that? The king didn't want to damage his arrows. Arrows aren't made for that kind of abuse.

Thanks to the book Manifestations & Prophetic Symbolism by John Arnott, I now realize when the instruction is taken in context with previous verses, Elisha (on behalf of God) is asking the king to strike the ground with the arrows by shooting them from his bow through the open east window. Totally obvious, Duhh.

How often do we misinterpret the Bible?

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