Nature's laws reversed: the iron made to swim
The sons of the prophets
must enlarge their dwelling-place, and Elisha, who
consents to go with them, secures them from the results
of their negligence by reversing the laws of nature.
I know not if we should
seek here for anything beyond the general character of
the miracle, or find a type in the fact that Jordan is in
question. So far as Jordan has a typical meaning, that
meaning is abiding. It means death. The house built with
that which was taken thence, and the power of the stream
overcome and destroyed by the piece of wood cast into it,
by means of which that which was beyond hope and lost was
rescued from it, easily suggest a typical meaning. I dare
not say positively that it is the mind of the Spirit; and
we must not give way to imagination.
Elisha, the captor
of a host, teaches God's unceasing care
Elisha preserves Israel
after this from the attacks of their powerful enemies.
The king of Syria seeking to take Elisha prisoner, it is
Elisha, on the contrary, who captures the whole host that
came to seize him, thus teaching his blind servant, who
had eyes and saw not, the unfailing care with which the
Almighty constantly surrounds His own people.
After having taught the
enemy the power of Israel's God, and the folly of
attacking His people when the messenger of His covenant
is with them, Elisha lets the Syrians go; and these men
come no more into the land of Israel.
All these miracles
sufficiently characterise Elisha's ministry. The poor
comforted, the Gentiles healed, Israel delivered and
protected, the election blessed, Israel and their
unfaithful king set aside as regards the prophet's
testimonyall this we find in it. These miracles are
more numerous than Elijah's. The burden which weighed
upon Elijah's heart had no place in Elisha's; and
therefore he sought relief neither in judgment upon the
evil, nor in withdrawing from a useless labour.