The woman of Shunem sets Elisha up with a table, a chair, a menorah - and a bed. The first three are clearly linked with temple furniture, but a bed? I submit that the bed is an altar, and hence the boy laid on the bed and revived is a new Isaac, Elisha a new Abraham who is father of the remnant, the woman of Shunem a new Sarah. Dittos for Elijah, who also lays a dead boy on the bed, identifies with him in his death, and revives him. Idolatrous kings go up to their beds and never come down again (2 Ki 1), but the altar/bed of the prophets transfigures to new life.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

Loading...