What is the Meaning of the Floating Axe Head in the Bible?

            In 2 Kings there is a story about Elisha the Prophet. He was the prophet who got the double portion of anointing from Elijah. Elijah had a school of the prophets. And now Elisha was continuing to teach them. Elisha was teaching more of his disciples and they needed more room to stay in. They decided to go down and build a new building so they could meet together. This was similar to what we have today, a church building.

            As they are working and chopping wood one of the men swung and lost the axe head. This went straight into the water. As it landed the man said, “Oh no, my lord! It was borrowed!” (2 Kings 6:5). Elisha asks him, “Where did it fall?” then he showed him where it was lost (2 Kings 6:6). Elisha then cuts a stick and throws it in the water and made the iron float (2 Kings 6:6)! “Lift it out,” Elisha told him, and this man picked it up.

            Out of all the things to put in the Bible this was put in the Bible. Yet this is here because God cares about us. I’m sure this man could have blamed others for his mistake. Yet instead of looking at who to blame, they sought out a solution. In a crisis situation, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is, getting them help is what matters.

            The water represents life, sometimes it is up and sometimes it is down. Yet when we place the cross into our life, we will see the lost things found. We will see miracles take place! It’s time to believe again. If God cares about an axe, how much more does He care for you and I?

            When Hagar was cast out of the land of Abraham, she was in need of help. She began to be filled with grief and sorrow as she looked at her young boy. She wanted to provide for him, yet her water in her container was dry. God took care of her. As she was filled with tears, God spoke to her by an Angel. The Lord caused her to look up and she saw a well in front of her. This was the second time that God did that for her. The first time was when she ran away while pregnant. God did something similar and showed her a well. The first time is when she called God El Roi, this is the Hebrew name of God for, “the God who Sees me”.

            Isaiah 43:18-19 tells us, “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing…” (NKJV). Jesus has been resurrected out of death and into life. In Baptism we are like the axe head. We are lost and unable to save ourselves. We need a miracle. It is God who picks us up out of the water and saves us.

This story teaches us that God cares about the little things. An axe being lost is not going to alter the universe. It’s not going to solve the world’s problems. Yet this story reminds us that God is the God who sees. He is El Roi (the God who sees me)! When you have lost something, go to him. When you are in need of restoration, go to him!


  1. In those days one little axe head was important to the man who lost it.
    you wrote Caleb “The axe was even borrowed, which I read as suggesting our lives aren’t our own …”
    It is not that it was merely borrowed, rather it was a VERY EXPENSIVE TOOL, which the worker who borrowed it would have to pay for.
    That is why the worker was greatly concerned, he probably did not the money to pay for the lost tool!
    Yes this shows us that God cares about us, but that He cares about every “litle thing” in our lives … when a single hair falls from our heads God takes NOTIVE of it, He makes an IMPORTANT NOTE to Himself about every thing in all of Creation.
    This event was recorded to show to us that God is INFINITE, Omniscient, Ambi-Present and … the He knew from Before the Beginning to ATER the END of Time everything which ever has happened to everything that will happen; and God knows all things at this very moment in creation.
    He is God and we are not, His Wisdom is without limit and that His mercy endureth forever.
    There is always more than we know, it is why we must never lean upon our own understanding: His ways are far above our ways.

  2. I have noticed that in many, perhaps all Biblical miracles where a person is beneficiary of a miracle, (s)he seems to always being given something specific to do, usually of a menial nature which obviously God could have done, but let for mortal to do. A few of the dozens of examples of that I’ve stumbled across are: Peter when awakened by angel in prison is told to get up, put on your shoes and cloak; Peter’s mother in law when cured of fever got up and began waiting on Jesus and the others; lame man healed by Jesus to get up, take our bed and go home; disciples after Jesus fed 5,000 told to served the groups of 50 and then told to pick up the 12 baskets of leftovers; shepherds after hearing angelic symphony told to go into town and spread the news; Peter after being shown prophetic vision of blanket with unclean animals to eat told to go find the Gentiles to compare stories; Saul who became Paul told to go into Damascus, led by the hand to be taught, to study, to be baptized; disciples told to go into Jerusalem and prepare the Lord”’s last supper; Moses told to carry the tablets down the mountain; Mary Magdalene told to go tell the disciples and also go tell the half-brothers of Jesus’ resurrection; disciples after ascension told to go into Jerusalem and await the Spirit; the sons of the prophet who had his borrowed axe-head fly into the Jordan River told to pick it up after it miraculously floated; woman at the well asked to provide water to Jesus; Peter (or Andrew?) told to put fetch denarius by fishing to pay temple tax; Naaman to dip in Jordan River; Elijah told to run down mountain ahead of Ahab’s chariot; Elijah told by the angel to eat and sleep and to go to the Mount where Moses had experienced presence of God; The list goes on and on. ONE LESSON I draw from that continuing observation is we all have a job to do, even if God could do it for us. We give of our means, we pray to God, we sings songs of praise . . . because it gives God good feeling; but, also it enriches us spiritually.

  3. Greetings.. Reading that article gave me big time insight on that ax head. I understand it so much better now. It wasn’t about how to fix an ax head, it was about life, thee water is life JESUS is LIFE , it’s about being saved and helps us from drowning like that ax head did. I loved the honesty when he said, “it was borrowed”. The moral of the story . We need to be saved, no matter what the circumstances are. Well thats what I got out of the article. Thank you and congrats on your first Book. GOD BLESS. I hope I didn’t congratulate the wrong person. Oh boy 😣 🙂

    1. I interpreted the stick as an image of Christ, and the axe head as an image of man, and the river as “life.”

      The “man/axe” which was naturally set toward working against the “tree/Christ” lost its purpose and sank to the depths (of “life”). But “Christ”/a part of the very “tree” previously being worked against, is the same that resurrects the axe/man from the depths of “life” into a renewed purpose.

      The axe was even borrowed, which I read as suggesting our lives aren’t our own, regardless of Christ’s work in it. Yet, despite that, and despite us even working AGAINST Christ, He will still save us from drowning in life.

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