The Third Counter-Example: Elisha and the Syrian Army
The third counter-example is that of Elisha warning the king of Israel regarding the military movements of the king of Syria:
8 Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. 9 And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. 11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? 12 And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber.
Here, the knowledge that is given is the knowledge of an enemy leader's movements. It is conjectured that the phrase "king of Israel" was used instead of the king's proper name because this king was so odiously evil that the writer/recorder did not want to put his name into the sacred record, lest it be defiled. Again, this does not qualify as religious truth. In fact, there is no indication that this information, graciously given, even affected the king of Israel at all. It is what it appears to be: the warnings of a patriotic prophet of the LORD coming to the aid of his country and people, empowered by the Loving and Concerned God of that people.
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