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Elisha's Crossings

The area where John the Baptist lived and baptized was along the Jordan River adjacent to Jericho (see John's 'Place of Springs' and The Prophet Of The Judean Wilderness). John was The Elijah To Come for that time, so it's interesting that the original Elijah was also active in that area of the Jordan, as was Elisha - the assistant of Elijah who succeeded him in his prophetic ministry. Centuries earlier, the Israelites crossed into their promised land through the Jordan, in that same area, near Jericho (see also What Actually Made The Walls of Jericho Fall?).

"The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha"

Just before he left for a peaceful retirement (see Where Did Elijah Go?), Elijah provided an object lesson for parting of the waters (see also The Walls Of Water, Why Through The Sea? and Passed Over On Dry Ground). Elijah and Elisha crossed the miraculously-divided Jordan on dry ground.

The Jordan River

"2:1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind [again, see Where Did Elijah Go?], that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2:2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel.

And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth [see Where Is Your Soul?], I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.

2:3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day?

And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

2:4 And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho.

And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho [see also Hiel's Lesson At Jericho and Jesus In Jericho].

2:5 And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day?

And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

2:6 And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan.

And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.

2:7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. 2:8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.

2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.

And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

2:10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.

2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 2:12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces." (2 Kings 2:1-12 KJV)

Later, Elisha, by means of "the spirit of Elijah," parted the waters of the Jordan, just like Elijah did before him.

"2:13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 2:14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

2:15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 2:16 And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley.

And he said, Ye shall not send.

2:17 And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not. 2:18 And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?" (2 Kings 2:13-18 KJV)

Fact Finder: Elisha asked Elijah for "a double portion of thy spirit." What was he actually asking for?
See The Spirit and Power of Elijah


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