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Abelmeholah

Abelmeholah (also rendered Abel-meholah or Abel Meholah), from the Hebrew place name pronounced aw-bale-meck-oh-law, means meadow of dancing. It got its name from its location in a verdant plain in The Jordan Valley near the Jordan River. In the actual Hebrew, "Jordan" is pronounced yar-dane which means descender i.e. the waters of the Jordan River descend southward from the river's source in the mountains north of Israel, through The Sea Of Galilee (the surface of which is about 685 feet below the level of The Mediterranean Sea) ending into the Dead Sea, also known as The Salt Sea (the surface of which is nearly 1,300 feet below the level of the Mediterranean). Abel-meholah is best-known to Bible History as the home town of the prophet Elisha.

"Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah"

In the time of The Judges, Gideon routed the Midianite army that then "fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah":

The Jordan River

"So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of The Lord, and of Gideon. And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled.

And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and The Lord set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath. And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites. And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan." (Judges 7:19-24 KJV)

Near the time his retirement, Elijah was becoming weary i.e. "he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life." He was instead miraculously empowered to fast forty days and forty nights, something that only two others are recorded in the Scriptures to have done (see The Forty Day Fasts).

"But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.

And the angel of The Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God. And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of The Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?" (1 Kings 19:4-9 KJV)

Nevertheless, The Lord decided that Elijah had fulfilled his time of service; Elijah was instructed to appoint his successor, Elisha of Abelmeholah.

"And The Lord said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room." (1 Kings 19:15-16 KJV)

As always, Elijah obeyed The Lord; Elijah "cast his mantle" upon Elisha.

"So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee.

And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?

And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him." (1 Kings 19:19-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: When Elijah was taken away by a "chariot of fire," where did he go?
See Where Did Elijah Go?


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