In 1 monarchs 19 we view Elijah finds Elisha plowing v 12 yoke of oxen. What would certainly this have actually said about Elisha come the world of the time?

Note: I"m not in search of a contemporary allegorical answer around the definition of the 12 yoke of oxen, yet for an knowledge of exactly how Elisha would have been regarded at the time based upon this details (though if the civilization of the time would have understood it allegorically, the is OK)


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I"m reasonably details that 24 oxen is, well, a the majority of cow. What deserve to we learn from this? an initial and foremost, the Elisha"s family or clan to be well-off.

Let"s walk to an authority. The Anchor Yale Bible, i Kings. Web page 455:

19 He found Elisha boy of Shaphat; he to be plowing.

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The information conveys an ext than neighborhood color; Elisha"s prosaic elevator points increase the diving high quality of his selection. Cf. 1 Sam 11:5-6; Amos 7:14-15.

There were twelve groups ahead that him. The huge number of teams is typically taken as a sign of wealth; it to be this that Elisha would have actually to provide up if he were to monitor Elijah.

The whole Elisha bike is a collection of legendary stories with strong echoes in folklore all-over. Recommendation the Anchor holy bible for I and II Kings.

So you must expect to see details the are component of the art of storytelling. Some can even walk so far as to say, "tall tales."

The prompt implication the all the beef is that it"s a large deal because that Elisha to litter all this end in favor of adhering to Eliyahu. He is not some negative person with little to lose. (Though the is additionally not rich enough to obtain someone else to execute his plowing because that him.) It also suggests the he is a skillful, powerful, man. Controlling that lot ambulatory hamburger is not basic job.

You might also note two other bits of compare to fairly nearby texts. First, keep in mind that the oxen end up together a sacrificial meal. This supports the idea the they belonged come him, no to the whole town or even perhaps the clan.

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Second, note the "sons the the prophets." In the Hebrew Bible, prophets come in two flavors. There are the named prophets, who we could think the as varying from Jonah to Jeremiah along part axis the seriousness. Then there room the nameless boy of the prophets. They take trip around, they it seems ~ to engage in glossolalia and related practices. They room marginal characters in society. Presenting Elisha together this story presents him very firmly makes him a person of substance, no at every like among them.