The prophet Elisha was sick with a fatal disease, and as he lay dying, King Jehoash of Israel went to visit him. "My father, my father!" he exclaimed as he wept. "You have been the mighty defender of Israel!" 1
"Get a bow and some arrows," Elisha ordered him. Jehoash got them,
and Elisha told him to get ready to shoot. The king did so, and Elisha placed his hands on the king's hands.
Then, following the prophet's instructions, the king opened the window that faced toward Syria. "Shoot the arrow!" Elisha ordered. As soon as the king shot the arrow, the prophet exclaimed, "You are the Lord's arrow, with which he will win victory over Syria. You will fight the Syrians in Aphek until you defeat them."
Then Elisha told the king to take the other arrows and strike the ground with them. The king struck the ground three times, and then stopped.
This made Elisha angry, and he said to the king, "You should have struck five or six times, and then you would have won complete victory over the Syrians; but now you will defeat them only three times."