2 Kings, Chapter 6

- נ י ת -

Elisha and the Floating Ax Head

Elisha and his followers settle by the estuary of the Jordan River. As they start chopping wood to build a house, one of the prophets accidentally drops his borrowed ax into the water and cries out. Elisha throws a stick into the river and the ax immediately comes afloat. This story is further proof that human initiative is a precondition for miracles. The Arameans plan to ambush the Israelite forces and Elisha reveals their location to Joram, king of Israel. When his attack fails, the king of Aram is certain that there is a spy among his men. One of his officers tells him it was Elisha’s work. Elisha miraculously renders them blind and leads them to Samaria. When they arrive, the king of Israel decides to release them in order to send a message of humility and reconciliation.

The Arameans besiege Samaria yet again. A terrible famine strikes, the cost of food soars, and the king has no solution. When asked for food, he cynically tells his people that he has no winepress or threshing floor from which to supply them grain or wine. Upon hearing of a harrowing instance in which women ate their own children, he realizes that he needs Elisha. Death is both a physical and spiritual condition. We must overcome our negative energies in order to spread and empower our light. When we do not resist the forces tying us to a self-centered lifestyle, we undergo a process of slow inner death.

 “Until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver” (2 Kings 6:25)

 “And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress?” (2 Kings 6:27)

Like faith, certainty is knowing, without a doubt, that we are creations of God and that all we experience is good.