Elisha was a prophet of the northern kingdom of Israel, who was chosen by God to become the successor and disciple of Elijah. Elisha performed numerous miracles and among all of the prophets he performed the greatest amount of miracles next to Jesus Christ. Elisha's name means "God is deliverance". Elisha was a good man and a wise prophet who was very influential during the time of his ministry. Throughout his ministry he taught and heeled many people with the numerous miracles that he performed. Elisha was a farmer and was the son of Shaphat from Abel- Meholah. God told Elijah to anoint Elisha to succeed him as prophet. God explained to Elijah that Elisha would be the one who would put anyone who escaped the sword of Jehu to death. When Elijah found Elisha he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen. Elijah approached Elisha and placed his cloak around him. Elisha responded favorable to Elijah and told him that he wanted to kiss his parents goodbye before he left with him and then he would follow him. Elisha kissed his mother and father and then he slaughtered his oxen boiled the meat and offered it to the people to eat. Elisha then burned his plowing equipment and set out to become Elijah's apprentice and assistant. There are not many writings about Elisha's experiences with Elijah until right before the Lord took up Elijha to heaven. When Elijah knew that the Lord was going to take him up to heaven, he told Elisha that the Lord has sent him to Bethel. Elisha's response to Elijah was " As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you." (2 Kings 4:4) So Elisha and Elijah set off together for Bethel. Elijah then told Elisha that the Lord has now sent him to Jordan and Elisha response was the same he was not going to leave his side until the Lord took him up to heaven. When they approached the Jordan Elijah rolled up his cloak and struck the rivers waters causing the river to divide and together the two walked across on dry land. After they crossed Elijah asked Elisha what he could do for him before he was taken away and Elisha simply responded that he wanted to inherit a double portion of his spirit. Elijah told him that he could inherit a double portion of his sprit if he witnessed him being taken up to heaven, and he did. A chariot surrounded by fire appeared and a whirlwind took Elijah up to heaven, and when Elisha saw his departure he cried out "my father my father, the chariots of Israel and it's horseman". (2 Kings 2:12) This act shows how devoted Elisha was to Elijah because if he had looked away for just a moment he would have missed his departed and he would have missed his blessing. He was faithful and devoted to his mentor and to the Lord and he was now ready to take on the responsibility that Elijah had left to him. As he watched Elijah ascend up towards heaven, Elijah's mantle fell upon him, this signified that his ministry and calling was being passed to Elisha and he had in fact received the double sprit of Elijah. Elisha then went to the Jordan and stuck the waters with the mantle and the waters parted just as they did earlier for Elijah, this also had significance because it showed that Elisha had the faith and determination that was needed to carry out the calling of the Lord. Elisha had now become the new leader of the company of prophets because he had received the holy sprit of the Lord by receiving the double sprit of his beloved mentor that had fallen upon him. After Elijah had left, Elisha went to Jericho where he performed one of many miracles that he carried out during his calling. In Jericho Elisha cleansed a poisonous water supply that was causing the land to be unfruitful. Elisha asked the people to bring him a jar with salt in it and when they did he tossed the salt into the waters and said that he had purified the water in the name of the Lord and from that day forward the water remained clean and pure. Elisha did not take the credit for purifying the water; he...
References: Passage results for Elisha. 2 Kings 2 –6 Retrieved May 6, 2006 from http://www.biblegateway.com/passage
Quest Study Bible (2 Kings 2-9) copyright 2003 by Zondervan Corporation
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