While I was researching about miracles in the Bible I stumbled upon the two prophets Elijah and Elisha and the difference of their miracles.
What is the difference between Elijah and Elisha? Elijah and Elisha differ not only in their appearance but also in the number of miracles and their time served for God. Elijah, also called “the fire prophet” ran away in fear from queen Jezebel while Elisha expressed a more passionate fighting spirit during his life.
To compare these two powerful prophets of God I will have to go into more detail. Also, I made a list of miracles and powerful events of Elijah and Elisha in chronological order further down below.
What Was The Difference Between Elijah And Elisha?
Elijah and Elisha were both powerful Prophets in the Old Testament in the time between David and the exile into Babylon while Judah and Israel were separated.
The differences between the two prophets were that Elisha was bald, while Elijah was hairy. Elisha seemed to be a more influential personality while Elijah ran away from Jezebel wanting to die. There are about 11 miracle accounts in Elijah’s life. While Elisha performed about 21 recorded miracles.
Elisha was Elijah’s successor and asked for Elijah’s double portion. Which he received after Elijah was taken up by God. Elisha then served Israel in a more powerful and influential way by even prophesying to Syrian Kings.
They both were called to be prophets in a time where Israel was not keeping God’s covenant and was even persecuting His prophets.
Why Is Elijah Called The Fire Prophet?
Elijah was the first of the two prophets and appeared on the biblical scene without much introduction or background given. You can read about Elijah in 1 Kings 17-19,21 and 2 Kings 1-2.
Elijah was called the fire prophet because he asked God to let fire rain down on 450 of king Ahab’s prophets of Baal and on 102 messengers of Ahab’s son Ahaziah. At the end of his ministry, Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind of fire.
Elijah was a prophet to the people of Israel in the time of King Ahab. Because of Ahab’s wife, Jezebel – a priestess to Baal – prophets of God were persecuted and killed in Israel.
In that time it was Elijah who asked God in a dramatic confrontation with Ahab’s prophets of Baal to let fire come down on the altar. This then led to the slaughter of the 450 prophets of Baal.
There was another occasion in which King Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, sent for Elijah but because of disrespect for him as a man of God, Elijah asked God to let fire rain down on the messengers. 102 people died by fire from heaven that day.
There is a good reason why some people call Elijah the fire prophet.
His ministry takes a turn though after Jezebel threatens to kill him. Elijah starts running away and falls into a kind of depression. He even asks God to take him so he would die.
God, however, sends him through the desert, sustains him miraculously, and reveals Himself powerfully to Elijah.
Even later on, after calling out his predecessor Elisha, it seems like Elijah never let go of the idea of giving up and being taken away by God. In the end, God takes Elijah up quite dramatically in a whirlwind of fire.
More Facts About The Bald Prophet Elisha
- Elisha was bald
- followed the call of Elijah
- Received Elijah’s double portion
- Worked about double the amount of miracles than Elijah did.
From what I can read Elisha was a completely different character compared to Elijah. You can read about him in 1 Kings 19 and 2 Kings 2-9,13.
The first obvious difference between the two prophets was actually more of a physical nature. Elisha was bald, while Elijah was quite hairy (2 Kings 1:8, 2:23).
But Elisha seemed to know or at least sense what God was doing with him.
After Elijah called Elisha, it seemed like he knew or at least senses what God was doing with him. Elisha didn’t turn around to say goodbye but he slaughtered his oxen and destroyed his equipment. It’s almost like he burned his bridges and followed the call of Elijah.
Some even suggest that Elisha came from a more wealthy background. Which makes him leaving everything behind without looking back even more significant.
Elisha seemed to have more of a pursuing fighting spirit compared to Elijah. When Elijah ordered Elisha to stay behind, he wouldn’t listen because he wanted to be with Elijah. That’s where God was after all. He recognized the anointing and power that was on Elijah and when confronted he asked for the double portion.
This double portion he definitely received. Looking at the events of how God used both prophets, Elisha seems to have had a greater impact.
His impact reached even further than just Israel. He performed more powerful, even though similar, miracles and saw more prophecies fulfilled than Elijah did.
Even after his death, God used him to bring a man back to life (see the table down below).
Miracles Of Elijah & Elisha In Chronological Order
I listed some of their miracles down below as help for comparison. As you will see I also included passages in which prophecies were fulfilled and powerful events happened. I could have listed it in a way so that it would look like Elisha had double the amount of events happening. But I didn’t.
I believe you are able to see that Elisha’s life alone was filled with a double portion of God’s power compared to Elijah’s. I believe the number of events doesn’t matter, it is the way how someone lives his life in an impactful way for God which is what matters.
|#||Miracles Of Elijah||Scripture||Miracles Of Elisha||Scripture|
|1||Ceased The Rain And Brought A Drought||1 Kings 17:1,7||Elisha Divides The Water In The River||2 Kings 2:14|
|2||Ravens Feed Elijah||1 Kings 17:4-6||Elisha Heals The Water Of Jericho||2 Kings 2:19-22|
|3||Flour And Oil Never Run Out||1 Kings 17:8-16||Elisha Curses Youth & 42 Get Killed||2 Kings 2:23-24|
|4||Elijah Revives The Widow’s Son||1 Kings 17:17-24||Elisha Decrees Water To Come||2 Kings 3:17-20|
|5||Elijah Prays Fire From Heaven||1 Kings 18:20-40||Elisha & The Widow’s Oil||2 Kings 4:1-7|
|6||Elijah Releases Rain From Heaven & Ends The Drought||1 Kings 18:41-45||Elisha Decrees A Son Be Given To The Shunammite Woman||2 Kings 4:16-17|
|7||Elijah Outruns Ahab||1 Kings 18:46||Elisha Revives The Son Of The Shunammite Woman||2 Kings 4:32-37|
|8||God’s Food And Drink Strengthens Elijah For 40 Days & Nights||1 Kings 19:8||Elisha Purifies The Pot Of Stew||2 Kings 4:38-41|
|9||Elijah Releases Fire That Consumes The First Captain And His Men||2 Kings 1:10||Food Multiplied||2 Kings 4:42-44|
|10||Elijah Releases Fire That Consumes The Second Captain And His Men||2 Kings 1:12||Naaman’s Leprosy Healed||2 Kings 5:8-14|
|11||Elijah Divides The Water In The River||2 Kings 2:8||Elisha Decrees Leprosy Over Gehazi Because Of His Greed||2 Kings 5:20-27|
|12||The Floating Ax Head||2 Kings 6:1-7|
|13||Elisha Warns The King Of Israel About The Syrians||2 Kings 6:8-9|
|14||Elisha’s Servant’s Eyes Are Opened||2 Kings 6:17|
|15||Syrians Being Blinded||2 Kings 6:18-19|
|16||Syrians Being Healed From Blindness||2 King 6:20|
|17||Syrians Flee||2 Kings 7:1,3-18|
|18||King Ben-Hadad Dies According To God’s Word||2 Kings 8:10,15|
|19||Hazael Becomes King According To God’s Word||2 King 8:11-14|
|20||Man Revived By Touching Elisha’s Dead Body||2 Kings 13:20-21|
|21||Israel Recaptures Cities From Syria According To God’s Word||2 kins 13:14-19,24-25|
What Did Elisha Ask From Elijah?
When Elijah took Elisha through the country and repeatedly asked him to stay behind, Elisha refused. I believe Elisha knew something big was up. It was confirmed by other prophets that Elijah would be taken away by God. Of course, no one knew at the time what that would mean.
So, when it came to the time that Elijah would be taken away, he asked Elisha what last thing he could do for him.
Now, I probably would have asked for one last meal together or some awesome night out or something like that.
Not so Elisha. He was tuned in with God and asked just the right thing.
Elisha asked Elijah for a double portion of his mentor’s spirit and a double portion of God’s power in his life than Elijah, the first prophet, had in his own life before.
And boy oh boy did he receive it.
I find it interesting how bold Elisha was. When he took Elijah’s mantle that was left behind, Elisha struck the water saying, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” (2 Kings 2:14). That to me seems like a bold challenge, demanding of God to show up.
But that’s what God wanted. He found the right guy for the job after all. Where Elijah was intimidated and wanted to give up, Elisha was bold and ready to even challenge God.
That’s why God was able to use Elisha in such a more powerful way.
What Does The Mantle Of Elijah Represent?
The mantle of Elijah represents “a calling to service, protection, sanctification and covenant relationship with God” and its Hebrew meaning translates to “glory” and “splendour”. (perrystone.org, blueletterbible.org).
That means, when Elijah put his mantle upon Elisha it was not only a symbolic act but also an act of faith. Elijah was basically transferring his calling, protection, and relationship with God unto Elisha.
In 2 Kings 2:13 when this mantle, this call for this special ministry in Israel is left behind, Elisha picks up the mantle as a sign of answering the call.
May we answer the call that God gives us for our lives as Elisha did.
When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are exchanging out our old lives with his renewed life He paid for on the cross. The Bible says we are a new creation in him and we have been given a new white garment or a new mantle so to speak (Revelation 3:5, 2 Corinthians 5:17).
By excepting God’s call through Jesus Christ, we are like Elisha picking up the mantle of Jesus that He left for us. So that we could fulfill His ministry on His behalf here on earth, preaching the gospel, healing the sick, and delivering the oppressed.
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