Wednesday Wanderings: Elijah and Elisha

This week’s readings have mainly covered the lives of Elijah and Elisha, including the various kings they lived under. These two men of God are an interesting pair in the Old Testament, and are probably the best known part of Israelite history after David and Solomon.

In keeping with the spirit of the Wednesday Wanderings posts, I’m not going to elaborate greatly on Elijah and Elisha here. You can find them in 1 Kings and 2 Kings (a sermon here touches on them, as well). Here are, instead, a mix of questions and observations:

  • Elisha managed to be safe from the Arameans by going to Alabama? 2 Kings 6:13 says he was in Dothan.
  • In that passage of 2 Kings 6:8-23, there is the occurrence of Elisha’s servant being enabled to see the Army of God in the hills. This is one of those events that make Biblical interpretation and application interesting. Why? Is it normative or was this a one-time event? Should we expect to see the Army of God at times?
  • 2 Kings 8:10 has God’s prophet telling Hazael to lie to Ben-Hadad. That’s odd.
  • When I took Hebrew, one area that caught my attention was 1 Kings 19:12, where the textbook suggested that our traditional “God’s voice is a still small whisper” is not correct. We take that concept from here, but the authors suggest that the Voice of God should be understood as a clear voice over, in, and among the sounds of the fire and wind. Why? Because God never speaks without clarity. It was interesting enough to stick with me, but I don’t recall the exact terminology.
  • Micaiah gets too little credit (2 Chronicles 18)
  • I’m not sure what to do, ethically, with stories like 2 Kings 1. Do the fifties and their commanders deserve to die? What is up with that?
  • Elisha’s request for the “double portion” from Elijah is the request to inherit as the primary son. This ties in with the concept of the “sons of the prophets” as those who preach/teach God’s Word to the people at the time. Elisha desires to attain to the high level of leadership.
  • This also communicates to us that leadership is not bad, nor is ambition if that ambition is to serve the Lord, or to be the first at risk. Take that under consideration.
  • 2 Kings 9:20 reminds me of many youth ministers… “He drives like a madman!”
  • Jehu’s treachery in accomplishing a good purpose in 2 Kings 10 is unjustifiable: there is no right understanding that the ends always justify the means. God is as concerned with the means of our obedience as the ends.

There’s so much more here than we usually take note of in our reading. Don’t neglect it.

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