When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face1 and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left,2 and now they are trying to kill me too."
The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael3 king over Aram.
Also, anoint4 Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha5 son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah6 to succeed you as prophet.
Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael,7 and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.818
Yet I reserve9 seven thousand in Israel--all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed10 him."
So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak11 around him.
Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. "Let me kiss my father and mother good-by,"12 he said, "and then I will come with you." "Go back," Elijah replied. "What have I done to you?"
So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen13 and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.14