New International Version
"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."
King James Bible
And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
Darby Bible Translation
and said, Open the window eastward. And he opened [it]. And Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, An arrow of Jehovah's deliverance, even an arrow of deliverance from the Syrians; and thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou hast consumed [them].
World English Bible
He said, "Open the window eastward;" and he opened it. Then Elisha said, "Shoot!" and he shot. He said, "Yahweh's arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Syria; for you shall strike the Syrians in Aphek, until you have consumed them."
Young's Literal Translation
and saith, 'Open the window eastward;' and he openeth, and Elisha saith, 'Shoot,' and he shooteth; and he saith, 'An arrow of salvation to Jehovah, and an arrow of salvation against Aram, and thou hast smitten Aram, in Aphek, till consuming.'
2 Kings 13:17 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Open the window eastward - This was towards the country beyond Jordan, which Hazael had taken from the Israelites.
The arrow of - deliverance from Syria - That is, As surely as that arrow is shot towards the lands conquered from Israel by the Syrians, so surely shall those lands be reconquered and restored to Israel.
It was an ancient custom to shoot an arrow or cast a spear into the country which an army intended to invade. Justin says that, as soon as Alexander the Great had arrived on the coasts of Iona, he threw a dart into the country of the Persians. "Cum delati in continentem essent, primus Alexander jaculum velut in hostilem terram jacit." - Just. lib. ii.
The dart, spear, or arrow thrown, was an emblem of the commencement of hostilities. Virgil (Aen. lib. ix., ver. 51) represents Turnus as giving the signal of attack by throwing a spear: -
Ecquis erit mecum, O Juvenes, qui primus in hostem?
En, ait: et jaculum intorquens emittit in auras,
Principium pugnae; et campo sese arduus infert.
"Who, first," he cried, "with me the foe will dare?"
Then hurled a dart, the signal of the war.
Servius, in his note upon this place, shows that it was a custom to proclaim war in this stay: the pater patratus, or chief of the Feciales, a sort of heralds, went to the confines of the enemy's country, and, after some solemnities, said with a loud voice, I wage war with you, for such and such reasons; and then threw in a spear. It was then the business of the parties thus defied or warned to take the subject into consideration; and if they did not, within thirty days, come to some accommodation, the war was begun.
Thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek - This was a city of Syria, and probably the place of the first battle; and there, it appears, they had a total overthrow. They were, in the language of the text, consumed or exterminated.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
The arrow This was a symbolical action, indicative of the deliverance of Israel from Syria. It was an ancient custom to shoot an arrow or cast a spear into a country before the commencement of hostilities.
LibraryThe Spirit of Power
'And Elisha said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands.'--2 KINGS xiii. 16. This is part of one of the strangest narratives in the Old Testament. Elisha is on his deathbed, 'sick of the sickness' wherewith he 'should die.' A very different scene, that close sick-chamber, from the open plain beyond Jordan from which Elijah had gone up; a very different way of passing from life by wasting sickness than by fiery …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Elisha's Closing Ministry
the king of Aphek one the king of Lasharon one
1 Kings 20:26
The next spring Ben-Hadad mustered the Arameans and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel.
2 Kings 13:16
"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.
2 Kings 13:18
Then he said, "Take the arrows," and the king took them. Elisha told him, "Strike the ground." He struck it three times and stopped.
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