2 Kings 9
An assistant prophet (young prophet / prophet's servant / son of the prophet) is sent by Elisha to anoint Jehu and say "Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee king over Israel" (verse 3). When the time comes, the prophet goes into a much more detailed message about the ensuing violence and Ahab's/Jezebel's destruction (verses 6-10).
How are we to understand the additional details? Here are some scenarios:
- Elisha gave a more detailed message, understood to be recorded in a shortened form in verse 3. This seems like the most obvious answer, but the way the passage is arranged made me wonder. It seems to emphasize the difference, or perhaps there is an explicit/implied "and so forth" in the recording of Elisha's instructions.
- The assistant prophet embellished the message. If so, on what basis? Was it with the understanding that he was altering the message or was it just a natural elaboration given the circumstances? Was it with a measure of "prophetic common knowledge" that was circulating among the [sons of the] prophets at that time (like the knowledge that God would take Elijah in 2 Kings 2).
- God spoke through the assistant prophet in the moment, delivering a message beyond what Elisha had verbalized. This perhaps was typical of how the prophets operated. This explanation seems the most likely, since the prophesy came true. If so, is there significance to the fact that the full message was hidden until the actual anointing?
How is the reader intended to understand this passage? Does the original language/literary style give any clues?