The Bible story of Elijah and Elisha is found in both books of Kings from the Old Testament. They are two of the most notable prophets from scripture helping to restore Israel in a time of wicked rulers. Elijah is initially presented in 1 Kings 17 as the seer who foretold a three-year drought in the land of Israel. At that time, Israel was ruled by corrupted Kings whose evil ways caused the drought from God upon the land. Residing in the desert, Elijah is saved by God when ravens bring him food amidst the drought that he predicted. Elijah then travels to the home of a widow and her son where God had promised to provide food until the drought has ceased.
The tale proceeds as Elijah confronts the evil king, Ahab, about being the cause of problems for the people of Israel. Elijah dares Ahab to a challenge of his deity, Baal, versus the God of Elijah at Mount Carmel. The challenge is to offer sacrifices to their own deities and see which starts a fire to show their divinity. Ahab's prophets pray for hours to Baal but nothing happens. When it is Elijah's turn he boldly soaks the sacrament with water to display his supreme trust in God to start a fire despite being wet.
After Elijah’s victory over the prophets of Baal when he called down fire from heaven, the drought ended. Rain fell, and Elijah retreated from the evil Queen Jezebel, who had sworn to kill him (1 Kings 19). Reaching Mount Horeb, Elijah heard the voice of God tell him to anoint two kings as well as Elisha as a prophet. He did this, and Elisha promptly joined him (1 Kings 19:19-21).
In 2 Kings 1, Elijah again called down fire from heaven to slay two groups of 50 men sent from King Ahaziah. The third group of men was led by a commander who pleaded for mercy and was spared retribution. Elijah went to Ahaziah and declared the king would die from his sickness, a prophecy that was soon filled.
In 2 Kings 2, Elijah and Elisha traversed the Jordan River on dry land, and Elisha, understanding that Elijah would soon pass away, asked to be blessed with a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Elijah was then carried straight into heaven by a chariot of fire. Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle and used it to cross the Jordan again on dry land. He received the double portion he had asked for and performed many miracles in Israel. Some of Elisha’s miracles were the turning of bad water into clean water (2 Kings 2:19-22), making a widow’s oil to fill many jars (2 Kings 4:1-7), and even raising a boy from the dead (2 Kings 4:32-37).
Elijah and Elisha were both very regarded by those in the “school of prophets” (2 Kings 4:38-41) as well as by the rulers of their country. Their influence led to an awakening among some of the Israelites during a dismal stage of Israel's history. Through the corrupt reigns of Ahab and Ahaziah, God trusted in Elijah and Elisha to lead the charge for righteousness.
Elijah and Elisha’s joined legacy proceeded to help Israel even after their lives. Even the New Testament talks of the anticipated return of Elijah, a role answered by John the Baptist, the precursor or the one to proclaim the arrival of the Messiah.
Read the full scripture text of Elijah and Elisha below and find related Articles, Videos, and Sermons!