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Elisha raising the Shunammite's Son, from an early 20th century Bible Card

Elisha lived from about 700 to 663 BCE. Without any warning or training, he was suddenly appointed the successor to the prophet and miracle-worker Elijah when Elijah threw his garment onto him (1 Kings 19.19-21, 2 Kings 2.13). This is not the only unexpected ordination in human history, but it is the only one recorded in the Bible.

His first act of magic was to part the waters of the Jordan River again (2 Kings 2.14). He cured the tainted water of Jericho (2 Kings 2.20-22). After Elisha was teased by two children, he cursed them and two bears came from the forest and “tore” (mauled) 42 children (2 Kings 2.23-25). (Many are under the impression that the children were slain, but the Bible does not support this. However, Jewish teachers have long been troubled by this story.) Like Elijah, Elisha produced an endless supply of oil for a destitute widow (2 Kings 4.2-6).

On another occasion, the prophet foretold that his hostess would have a child; this came to pass (2 Kings 4.26-17). Years later, the child died; after failing to heal him telepathically, Elisha resurrected the dead boy in person (2 Kings 4.29-35). He telepathically detected the betrayal of a servant and punished him and his descendants with leprosy (2 Kings 5.25-27). Elisha demonstrated remote viewing (2 Kings 6.8-12; 6.32), foretold the future several more times (2 Kings 7.1-2; 16-20; 8.10; 12; 13.19, 25) and, even in death, his bones have the power to resurrect a dead man (2 Kings 13.21). Elisha is often portrayed balding and dressed in a long robe and mantle.

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