The Resurrection At the Tomb of Elisha
Outlines from Sermons by a London Minister
2 Kings 13:20-21
And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.…

Several views have been taken of this incident. By some it has been regarded as a mere Hebrew myth; others have supposed that there was an inherent virtue, or life-giving power, in the bones of Elisha, and that the same power exists in the bones of all men of extraordinary goodness. From this point of view it has become a corner-stone of the doctrine of the efficacy of relics. With regard to the first, the occurrence is related as a historic fact as much as any other in the Old Testament, or as much as the raising of the daughter of Jairus in the New Testament. If it is to be rejected because it is a marvel, almost all the historical books of the Bible may be set aside for the same reason. As to the second view, experience contradicts it. We will therefore accept the fact as it stands, assuming that "it was not the prophet's bones which brought the dead to life, but the living God." Notice therefore —

I. THAT THE RESURRECTION OF A DEAD MAN THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF THE BONES OF ANOTHER MAN IS NEITHER CONTRARY TO REASON NOR TO THE TEACHING OF OTHER PARTS OF SCRIPTURE. If God gave life to man at first, it is surely in His power to restore it by any means, or without any visible means, and it is not more extraordinary than the clothing of the rod of Aaron with beauty and fruitfulness, or the dividing of the Red Sea at the outstretching of the rod of Moses. The rod was the medium, but God gave the power; the prophet's bones were the medium, the life-giving power was God's.

II. THAT SUCH A MIRACLE WAS IN KEEPING WITH THE WONDERFUL LIFE OF THE PROPHET ELISHA. He was a man raised up by God to do a special work. The whole of his public life was marked by miracles. As his predecessor, Elijah, had been honoured by a miraculous exodus from the earth, so it seems fitting that some similar mark of honour should be given to Elisha, either at the time of his death, or after it.

III. THE PROBABLE INTENTION OF THE MIRACLE. It was probably intended to revive, in the mind of Israel, hope in God as to the future of the nation. Elisha, on his dying bed, had foretold the deliverance of Israel from the yoke of Syria: their present sufferings from the Moabites would naturally discourage the heart of the people, and lead them to forget the promise, which was not yet, it may be presumed, completely fulfilled. This resurrection by means of hope in Elisha's Elisha's dead body would be the means of a resurrection of God. Suggestions:

1. God would have the dust of departed saints remind us of their holy lives.

2. The dust of the godly dead may bear witness that they are still living. Its very contrast to the body when it was animated by the living soul, seems to testify to the fact that they must still be living. We speak of the body as theirs, thereby recognising the fact of their existence. The bones are hero called Elisha's bones, suggesting, at least, his continued existence although disunited from his human body.

3. God retains His relationship with His children, even with their bodies, after they have left the world. The miracle here recorded is a proof that God was still the God of Elisha.

(Outlines from Sermons by a London Minister.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.

WEB: Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.

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