2 Kings 13:17
Parallel Verses
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
Clarke'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


2 Kings 5:10-14 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall come again to you...

John 2:5-8 His mother said to the servants, Whatever he said to you, do it...

John 11:39-41 Jesus said, Take you away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said to him, Lord, by this time he stinks...

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.

Exodus 4:2,17 And the LORD said to him, What is that in your hand? And he said, A rod...

Judges 7:9-20 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said to him, Arise, get you down to the host; for I have delivered it into your hand...

2 Samuel 5:24 And let it be, when you hear the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then you shall bestir yourself...

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God.


1 Samuel 4:1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer...

1 Kings 20:26 And it came to pass at the return of the year, that Benhadad numbered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek, to fight against Israel.

The 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
Called to the prophetic office while Ahab was still reigning, Elisha had lived to see many changes take place in the kingdom of Israel. Judgment upon judgment had befallen the Israelites during the reign of Hazael the Syrian, who had been anointed to be the scourge of the apostate nation. The stern measures of reform instituted by Jehu had resulted in the slaying of all the house of Ahab. In continued wars with the Syrians, Jehoahaz, Jehu's successor, had lost some of the cities lying east of the
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Joshua 12:18
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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