Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Punishment Fits the Crime

Melachim B (Kings II) 7:1: As the Aramean siege starves the people of Shomron (Samaria, capital of Israel,) to the point that the head of a donkey sells for 40 shekels, Elisha predicts a miracle, proclaims that within one day, there will be such plenty that a measure of fine flour will cost one shekel.  The king’s officer scoffs, and Elisha prophecies that the scoffer will live to see the prophecy come true, but not benefit from it.  The next day, the Aramean army has vanished and left all their supplies on the field, and the king’s officer is trampled to death by the crowds rushing to gather up the supplies.  This is one episode that the Talmud exemplifies as God’s judgment being Midah k’neged Midah (measure for measure.)  I.e., the punishment is a direct reflection of the sin itself.


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