Saturday, December 26, 2009

112: It's a Zombie! (No, Not Jesus)

2 Kings 4-5
When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. Then he got on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy's body grew warm. Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out upon him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. -2 Kings 4:32-35

Elisha continues his miracles. He goes to a poor widow, who is about to have her son sold into slavery. She tells him that she only has a little oil. He tells her to collect all the jugs she can find and pour the oil into them. The oil doesn't run out until all the the jugs she can find are full.

Elisha then predicts that a woman will have a son, and she does. Many years later the same child complains that his head hurts. His father has a servant carry him back home. The boy sits on his mother's lap for a few hours and dies. She immediately takes the dead boy to Elisha. Elisha lays face down on the dead boy (creepy?) and they pray. The child comes back to life. Run! Haven't you seen any zombie movies? This is how it happens!

The next section is weird, it's called "Death in the Pot". Elisha goes to Gilgal where they are having a famine. He tells his servant to cook a large pot of stew. When the stew is poured, the men complain that there is "death in the pot". That bad, eh? I've heard of some bad food, but I've never heard of anything described as death in a pot. Elisha puts some flour in the pot and then it's perfectly ok. If anyone knows what's going on here let me know.

Elisha then feeds a hundred people with twenty loaves of bread, and cures a man of leprosy. This reminds me of what I've heard of Jesus. Maybe Elisha would be the Messiah if he didn't kill little kids with bears.

Oh Examiner, the crazy shit I find in you.

Apparently atheists are really becoming Christians by "hating" Christians. Tom Papitto (the person who spewed this ignorance onto the examiner) has obviously never met an atheist. He goes on to call all atheists unhappy and hateful people.

In fact, go read his article right now. Take the exact opposite of everything he says, and you'll probably have a more accurate picture of what an atheist really is. I'm seeing a strange pattern here, everyone that is crazy enough to write a piece like this also seems to have no grasp of basic grammar. His last paragraph descends into an incoherent ramble.

I was really more amused than angered. I just hope that nobody actually believes this but him.

(via The Examiner)


  1. Bryan,
    The "Death in a Pot" story is simply one more miracle that Elisha performs. The stew was poisonous from an unknown ingredient (2 Kings 4:39). Yet, Yahweh’s prophet makes it life sustaining.

    All of these miracle stories parallel Elisha's predecessor, Elijah, yet they go beyond Elijah’s (i.e. the “double portion” of the Spirit). God is providing witness after witness of his anointing on His prophet (like Moses) and His prophet’s message of return to the word/covenant. But even if someone were to rise from the dead, as apparently happened with both Elijah and Elisha, alas, the nation did not listen.

  2. One could look at the meaning of the flour in the pot as God "showing off his literary devices" once again. Yep, the flour->bread Word->Jesus thing.

    Another interpretation might suggest the power of knowledge. The site of this story is sometimes thought of as a seminary of sorts -- holy wise men in the wild bush. What do you get if you put a bunch of academics in the wild for a period of time? Out of their element without a guide, food becomes scarce and they don't have the survival skills. We're talking about bronze age/iron age here, people are still figuring out a lot of stuff. They see some gourds, they look and smell tasty (to starving academics), and turn out to actually taste awful. Maybe even gives them the runs. So Elisha's answer is to firm it up, fibre it up a bit with nourishing flour or ground up meal. (wild conjecture here, just me having fun, but come along, all right?)

    An outsider comes with gifts (the bread and so on, tithing) and so the holy wise men of Gilgal don't starve because of compassion as well as by getting their sh!t together and learning a thing or two about the wild produce of the area.

    Elisha, and God, take the opportunity to impart spiritual analogies and survival knowledge, both of which these holy wise men severely need...



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