A Biblical Post

2 Kings VII discusses an incident in which the people of Israel are besieged and food prices are skyrocketing. A military officer scoffs when “a man of God” predicts that barley will soon sell for ½ shekel and fine flour for 1 shekel (very low prices).

The officer is shortly trampled to death after the populace goes out to the Arameans’ empty camp and returns en masse with the spoils — including barley and flour — and the prices of these no-longer scarce items plummet. Disbelieving God merits death; but disbelieving the possible huge negative effects on equilibrium price of a large increase in supply of something whose demand is quite inelastic is wrong too!

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  1. James says:

    Omitted facts:
    Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: ‘Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’ ” 2 So an officer on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, “Look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could this thing be?”
    And he said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.”

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  2. James says:

    (several verses later)Cont……Then that officer had answered the man of God, andsaid, “Now look, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, could such a thing be?” And he had said, “In fact, you shall see it with your eyes, but you shall not eat of it.” 20 And so it happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gate, and he died.
    —the meat of this story is of course contained in the middle section not included.

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  3. well says:

    Nice post. I strongly agree. I just saw it here http://ionicchemistry.blogspot.com

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