← Back

Why was it wrong for the king to strike the ground only three times?


2 Kings 13:19

LS1910 - 19 L'homme de Dieu s'irrita contre lui, et dit: Il fallait frapper cinq ou six fois; alors tu aurais battu les Syriens jusqu'à leur extermination; maintenant tu les battras trois fois.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 05 2017 Mini Samuel Bourassa

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
My opinion (from the reading of the entire passage involved) is that Elisha had already told King Joash that the arrow that Elisha had directed the king to shoot in 2 Kings 13:15-17 was the arrow of victory over Syria.

If the king had received this assurance of his victory with the proper faith, it 
would have resulted in a righteous zeal or eagerness on his part that would have led to him subsequently (in 2 Kings 13:18) striking the ground with the arrows more times than he did. The fact that he did so only three times was indicative of the limited amount of dedication and confidence that he had with regard to the fight against Syria (even though he had been told by the prophet that God was ordaining his victory), and Elisha subsequently made this clear to him.

I am reminded in this regard of the account of Jesus using a whip to drive the moneychangers from the temple (John 2:13-17), and His disciples therefore thinking of the verse (Psalm 69:9) that Jesus was fulfilling by His action. It was this same kind of consuming zeal that Joash should have felt, and that he should also have exhibited by his actions.

December 06 2017 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Great question, Samuel!

Elisha is angry that Jehoash struck the floor only three times instead of five or six times. Now the king will have only three victories over Aram instead of total victory. H. Wilminton

When Elisha told King J to take the remaining arrows and strike the ground with them, he didn’t have the spiritual understanding he needed to make the most of it. Had he been a faithful worshipper of the living God, he would have seen the truth, but he was blind like the dead idols he worshipped (Ps. 115:3–8). Shooting one arrow guaranteed victory, but the number of times he smote the ground determined how many victories God would give him.


For whatever reason, the prophet had given him an instruction, and he had held back. He quit long before he ever should have.


May 04 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining