Monday, June 09, 2014

Yoash as a Metaphor for the Kingdom of Israel

In chapter 13 of Melachim B (Kings II) Yoash (Joash) king of Israel, comes to visit the prophet of Elisha on his deathbed.  Elisha asks him to fire an arrow out the window, and then to start striking the ground.  Yoash fires the arrow out the window, strikes the ground three times, and then stops.  Elisha states, “You should have struck five or six times, then you would strike the Arameans until you would annihilate them completely, but now, you shall strike the Arameans but three times.”  It seems to epitomize the travails of the prophets.  The people, even those who worshipped idols, took the prophets seriously for a short while, but there was a lack of faithfulness and follow through.  One can almost feel Yoash starting with enthusiasm, but then gradually becoming more aware of himself, thinking, “I must look ridiculous,” and stopping.  Much like the people would initially be inspired by some miracle, but then lose faith in a God they could not see, and revert to worshipping idols.

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