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Today we were given a new revelation: “Strike the ground.” It is a reference to 2 Kings 13:18,
18 Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times and stopped.
This event took place just before Elisha died. (2 Kings 13:20). Joash, the king of Israel, took the arrows and struck the ground three times. This meant that he would defeat the Syrians (Arameans) three times and recover the cities of Israel that the Syrians had taken in previous years. However, he should have struck the ground five or six times in order to give Israel total victory. Hence, the task remained incomplete and would have to be completed at a later time.
That time is now. We intend to finish what Joash started. This no longer applies to the modern nation of Syria (as far as we know). Syria was a prophetic precursor to Assyria, which conquered Israel and deported them, beginning Israel’s long captivity. Today, as we near the final end of that captivity, Assyria is now Mystery Babylon. Deliverance is fast approaching.
Two Kings Named Joash
The story in 2 Kings 13 can be quite confusing, because “Joash, the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah” (2 Kings 13:1) ruled at the same time as “Joash, the king of Israel” (2 Kings 13:14). Actually, the Israelite Joash (also known as Jehoash) came to the throne in the 37th year of the Judahite king Joash. So no doubt the king of Judah was older than the king of Israel.
Perhaps the king of Israel was often called Jehoash in order to distinguish him from the king of Judah. Yet the king of Israel was called Jehoash in 2 Kings 13:10, but Joash in 2 Kings 13:12 and 14. He was the son of Jehoahaz (2 Kings 13:9), whereas the other Joash, king of Judah, was the son of Ahaziah (2 Kings 13:1).
The confusion is eased a bit when 2 Kings 13:13 gives an account of both of their deaths,
13 So Joash slept with his fathers [in Jerusalem], and Jeroboam sat on his throne; and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
They did not die in the same year, of course, but Scripture distinguishes their burial places as well as their successors. Joash of Judah was succeeded by his son Amaziah. After reigning over Israel for sixteen years, Joash of Israel died and was succeeded by his son Jeroboam II (2 Kings 14:16), who was named after the first king of Israel (Jeroboam) who had set up the golden calves in Bethel and Dan (1 Kings 12:26, 28, 29).
Joash, king of Judah, reigned 39 years and died in the second year of Joash, king of Israel (2 Kings 14:1).
Elisha had a very long ministry, starting in the reign of King Ahab of Israel (1 Kings 19:19). He died during the reign of Joash (Jehoash) of Israel. He ministered for about 50 years during the reigns of Ahab, Ahaziah, Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Joash/Jehoash.
Elisha must have had a close relationship with Israel’s Joash, because we read in 2 Kings 13:14,
14 When Elisha became sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash the king of Israel came down to him and wept over him and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!”
This is a puzzling statement, first of all because Joash was not a righteous king. The biblical account of his reign says in 2 Kings 13:11,
11 He did evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not turn away from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel sin, but he walked in them.
In other words, Joash did not remove the golden calves, built by Jeroboam I, but “walked in them.” That is, he continued to confirm the golden calves as the official gods of Israel. Yet he “wept over him,” when Elisha was dying.
Secondly, why did Joash say, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!”? Of all the words that Scripture would record about their last conversation, why would this be the most important thing to tell us? It appears that Joash believed that Elisha would be taken to heaven in the same manner that his predecessor Elijah was taken to heaven in 2 Kings 2:11, 12,
11 As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. 12 Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw Elijah no more…
Did Joash have the same vision that Elisha did when Elijah ascended to heaven? That hardly seems likely, but Scripture does not tell us. It just seems odd that Elisha’s statement when he saw the ascension of Elijah would be repeated at the time of his death. We know that Elisha was buried in a grave (2 Kings 13:20, 21), because later, when a dead man came in contact with his bones, he came back to life. This was Elisha’s 16th miracle, and it was done after his death.
When Joash came to weep over Elisha and to make reference to Elijah’s ascension, we read in 2 Kings 13:15-17,
15 Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he took a bow and arrows. 16 Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” And he put his hand on it, then Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. 17 He said, “Open the window toward the east,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” And he shot. And he said, “The Lord’s arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Aram; for you will defeat the Arameans at Aphek until you have destroyed them.”
Here we see how God would use even an ungodly king as a proxy for Elisha. The king shot “the arrow of victory” in proxy for the prophet himself. That is why the prophet “laid his hands on the king’s hands.” The king did the work, but it was attributed to Elisha, who was too weak to shoot the arrow by himself.
God seems to have no problem working with ungodly people. We often think that God would never work with unrighteous people, or even speak through them, but in Scripture (and in my own personal observation over the years) I have seen how God is not hindered by the works or character of the ungodly. Neither does He need believers to carry out His plan. He works with everyone with ease and with no hesitation.
Nonetheless, the work done physically by Joash was actually a work of “victory” by Elisha. In other words, Elisha was victorious at the end of his life—an overcomer, if you will. The physical arrow represented spiritual arrows. Physical arrows are physical children (Psalm 127:4). God’s arrows are the children of God, pictured as lightning. When lightning strikes, it creates thunder, which represents the voice (word) of God coming through His children (Job 40:9).
Striking the Ground
Today’s revelation to “Strike the ground” is an obvious sign of Elisha. However, it can hardly be near the end of the Elisha ministry. We are only at the start of the second half of Elisha’s ministry. So it seems more probable that the timing represents the end of the Elijah portion, especially since the Scriptures bring up the words spoken when Elijah ascended.
The first eight miracle-signs of Elisha were done under the single portion of the anointing of Elijah, who himself performed eight miracle-signs. So it seems that we are finally coming to an end to the long transition from Elijah to Elisha, which we have been in since July 2010.
Wow, has it really been 12 years?
At any rate, actual events, as well as signs, confirm this view, telling me that 2023 is going to be a big year. It is the Year of Provision (in the midst of famine) that began November 14, 2022. This has been a big week, but we are now coming into the Christmas season, so I don’t think we will be able to do much until after the first of the year.
The king of Israel struck the earth only 3 times, which was inadequate and could only result in three temporary victories. We are called to pick up where Joash left off and finish the work that he started, so that Mystery Babylon can be fully overthrown, never to arise again.
I do not yet have any specific instructions from the Lord, so I will have to pray about it further to see what to do in this regard.