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Elisha telling Joash to fire arrows......seems passive-aggressive?

Discussion in 'Christian Scriptures' started by MercyandFaith, Sep 12, 2019 at 11:06 AM.

  1. MercyandFaith

    MercyandFaith Newbie

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    So I've been thinking about the passage in II Kings where Elisha tells Joash, king of Israel, to fire arrows out the window, saying that the arrows symbolize victory over Syria. Joash fires 3 arrows, then stops, and Elisha gets angry, telling him that this means he will only defeat Syria three times.

    Doesn't this seem a bit........passive-aggressive? How was Joash supposed to know that each arrow represented one victory? Most normal people in fact might have interpreted Elisha's "shoot" command to mean that they should only fire one arrow. It seems a bit manipulative or passive-aggressive for Elisha to deliberately sit on the facts this way and then only reveal things afterwards, when it's too late to go back on things.

    It would be somewhat like as if I were to say, "Can you get me some paper?" and then you give me five sheets of paper, and I say, "Oh, what a pity, I was going to give you a hundred dollars per sheet. If you had given me ten sheets, you would have had a thousand dollars, but now you only get $500."
     
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  2. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    There are 2 different commands here, one to shoot and one to strike the arrows on the ground.

    The issue here isn't with the arrow fired. After the arrow was fired Elisha explained what the arrows and striking the ground symbolized, so the king was aware. The king's response was half-hearted at best. He probably thought the sick old prophet was delusional. In other words Elisha was upset that, although the king was obedient, he didn't take the prophetic command seriously.
     
  3. Chadrho

    Chadrho exercises by pushing his luck Supporter

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    Yes, it seems a bit much. But, then again, this is Elisha. Don't call him "Baldy!' or you'll get mauled by a bear (2 Kings 2:23-24).

    To be honest, I read the OT through the lens of Jesus Christ and the love he taught us. If it doesn't line up with that, then I don't take it as a suggestion for how I should live, nor do I take it as speaking definitively of the character of God. If the fullness of God dwelled in him, then he is the standard for understanding God, as well as for understanding how I should live (Colossians 2:9).

    Having said all that, I will now wait for the condemnations and corrections. :)
     
  4. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    You made me curious, and while there are details....there is a real message, which isn't the details. They only serve that message.

    15 Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.

    17 “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”

    18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. 19 The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”

    -----------------

    At first I thought 'Elisha must have been clearly wanting him to continue and the king wasn't paying attention' -- but that fleeting idea isn't the real message.

    It's only and entirely about faith. For example, with faith, you march around Jericho for 7 entire days, even though nothing seemed to be happening at all for 6 days (nothing!), but nevertheless with faith you continue...

    Faith is the deciding factor for success or failure. Life or death.

    You could even accurately say most all of the stories are stories about faith -- having faith, or failing to, and then what happens because of that.
     
  5. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    Maybe 3 verses 5 ... was symbolic of using/calling on the full power of God ... thereby only partially defeating them instead of totally defeating them ????
     
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