The multiplication of the barley loaves (2 Kings 4:42-4:44)

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

Along came a man from Baal-shalishah with food for the man of God. There was 20 barley loaves and fresh ears of grain. This is the only mention of Baal-shalishah in the biblical literature, so that it is hard to locate. Obviously the use of Baal in the name indicates that it might be from Baal territory. Anyway, Elisha tells his servant to feed 100 people with this food. The servant objected saying that it was not enough. Elisha repeated his command to feed them. There would be some left over because Yahweh has commanded it. Thus we have a mini-multiplication of the loaves that will reappear in the gospels about Jesus.

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