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The Prophet Elisha (lessons and Miracles)

Originally posted on April 4, 2023 @ 9:47 am

The Bible contains the story and exploits of many prophets. Prophets are the mouthpiece of God on earth and so was Elisha in the Bible. Elijah’s life was in danger after he killed the prophets of Baal and he complained to God. God asked Elijah to anoint Jehu as King of Israel, Hazael as king of Aram, and Elisha as a prophet who will take over from him.

15 The Lord said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

1 Kings 19:15-18

Elisha is one of my favourite prophets in the bible. His life showed true service and dedication to the work of God. God performed miracles through Elisha while he was alive and even after his death which is very remarkable. This article highlights lessons we can learn from him and the miracles he performed. 

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Who is Prophet Elisha in the Bible?

His name Elisha means “God is my salvation”. His father’s name is Shaphat while his mother’s name wasn’t mentioned in the bible. According to the bible, Elisha was a farmer who owned oxen which he used for ploughing his field.

He was born in Abel-Meholah, died in Samaria and the length of his ministry is estimated to have lasted for about 60 years.

Frequently asked question about Elisha

prophet elijah in the bible
His name Elisha means “God is my salvation”. Image credit: free bible image

Was prophet Elisha married?

The bible does not contain any record of the prophet’s marriage. It is generally accepted the prophet was celibate.

What killed prophet Elisha in the Bible?

According to “kings 13:14 he died of an illness which was not mentioned in the bible.

How many dead did Elisha raise?

He raised two people from the dead according to the records in the bible. He raised the son of the Shunamite woman and a young man who was to be buried (The bible did not reveal the identity of the young man).

Lessons from Elisha in the Bible

Elisha was a prophet who lived a life worthy of emulation. While studying his life I noted some lessons we can learn from his ministry.

  • Loyalty

The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”

2 kings 2:3

Elisha was very loyal to his mentor Elijah. He respected him and showed true loyalty by not abandoning him when he was about to be taken to heaven. His love for Elijah was like the love between a father and his son.

  • Sensitivity to time

 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”

2kings 2:9

 The prophet Elisha understood times and seasons, just like the sons of Issachar. He knew his master was about to be taken up, and he used the opportunity to seek something he desired from him.

  • Dedication to God (1 Kings 19:19-21)

 I believe Elisha was dedicated and sold out to God even before his call. Only a dedicated man would leave his father and mother without looking back. He showed true dedication and willingness to serve God.

  • Appreciation of kind gestures

 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?’”

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.”

2 kings 4: 13

In the story of the Shunammite woman, she provided accommodation for the prophet, intending to provide a place of refuge and comfort for him. Elisha appreciated the kind gesture and asked God to grant her greatest desire. He didn’t feel entitled to privileges because he was a prophet.

  • Love for the poor

 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

2 kings 4:2

 Elisha showed his love for the poor by having mercy on a widow, saving her from shame and the possibility of losing her sons.

  • No desire for wealth

 His service to God wasn’t to acquire wealth, and he demonstrated this by rejecting the gift brought by Naaman.

The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.

2 kings 5:16

  • Courage

 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

2 Kings 6:16

 He showed courage by standing for God at every given opportunity, boldly declaring the words he received from God without fear or favour.

  • Humility

Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?”

“I will,” Elisha replied. And he went with them.

They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees.

2 kings 6:3-4

 Elisha was humble and lowly. He didn’t discard the other prophets because he had a close relationship with God.

  • Great faith

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”

“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

2 kings 2:9-10

 Elisha showed great faith by asking for a double portion of Elijah’s anointing. It would take a man of great faith to ask for something as difficult as that.

The miracles of Elisha in the Bible

The prophet Elisha performed some astonishing miracles which stand as a testament that God is powerful and he can do great and mighty things through anyone.

prophet elisha parting the red sea
prophet elisha parting the red sea. Image Credit: Free bible images

  • Parting of the Jordan River (1 Kings 2:14)
  • Healing of the waters of Jericho (2 Kings 2:21
  • Summoning bears to maul his mockers (2 Kings 2:23-24)
  • Providing water and causing the destruction of the Moabite army (2 Kings 3:16-24)
  • Multiplying a widow’s oil to pay off her debts (2 Kings 4:1-7)
  • Raising the Shunammite woman’s son from the dead (2 Kings 4:18-37)
  • Purifying a pot of stew that had been poisoned (2 Kings 4:38-41)
  • Feeding a hundred men with only twenty loaves of bread (2 Kings 4:42-44)
  • Healing the leprosy of the Syrian commander, Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-14)
  • Causing his servant Gehazi to be struck with leprosy (2 Kings 5:20-27)
  • Recovering a lost axe head from a river (2 Kings 6:1-7)
  • Causing the Syrian army to become blind and then restoring their sight (2 Kings 6:8-23)
  • Prophecy of the end of a siege and abundance of food in Samaria (2 Kings 7:1-20)
  • Raising a man back to life after his body touched Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20-21)

 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father.

John 14:12

Finally, the story of the life of Elisha contains many lessons. I believe we can all emulate his virtues, perform more miracles and do greater exploits than him because we have Christ.

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