Elisha came down sick. It was the sickness of which he would soon die. Jehoash king of Israel paid him a visit. When he saw him he wept openly, crying, "My father, my father! Chariot and horsemen of Israel!"
Elisha told him, "Go and get a bow and some arrows." The king brought him the bow and arrows.
Then he told the king, "Put your hand on the bow." He put his hand on the bow. Then Elisha put his hand over the hand of the king.
Elisha said, "Now open the east window." He opened it. Then he said, "Shoot!" And he shot. "The arrow of God's salvation!" exclaimed Elisha. "The arrow of deliverance from Aram! You will do battle against Aram until there's nothing left of it."
"Now pick up the other arrows," said Elisha. He picked them up. Then he said to the king of Israel, "Strike the ground." The king struck the ground three times and then quit.
The Holy Man became angry with him: "Why didn't you hit the ground five or six times? Then you would beat Aram until he was finished. As it is, you'll defeat him three times only."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)