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2 Kings 4:42-44 – The Feeding of the One Hundred


Elisha ministers to a situation of inadequacy.


The first fruits of the harvest were traditionally brought to the priest, not to a prophet (Deuteronomy 18:3-4). Perhaps this means that the people viewed Elisha "the man of God" as more worthy than their apostate king and his priests (1 Kings 12:28-31). The inadequate supply of food, specifically barley, for the feeding of many people, the command to feed them, and the multiplication of the food with some left over suggest that this story of Elisha's miraculous provision lies behind the Gospel narratives of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, the only miracle of Jesus recorded by all four evangelists (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10b-17; John 6:1-15). Inadequacy need not hinder the mission.

2 Kings 4:42-44

Elisha Feeds One Hundred Men

42 A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat.’ 43But his servant said, ‘How can I set this before a hundred people?’ So he repeated, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the Lord, “They shall eat and have some left.” 44He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.

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