Study Guide

2 Kings Joash's Arrow

Joash's Arrow

Even though Joash isn't supposed to be one of the good kings of Israel, he still manages to impress Elisha favorably. The main moment where they interact comes when Joash visits Elisha on his deathbed. Elisha tells Joash to shoot an arrow out the window, which Elisha says symbolizes Israel's impending victory over the Arameans.

Similar to his use of "the chariot of fire," William Blake's "arrows of desire" from his famous poem "And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time?" are apparently a reference to Joash's arrow. But Blake intends the arrows to symbolize creative concentration and attention—as opposed to an actual weapon of war—which he will use to fight "mental warfare" against those who are corrupting the minds of the British people.

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