The Last Acts of Elisha

Reading Time: 7 Minutes

Elisha stood for God in a nation whose kings were unbelievers. The kings' reigns affected Israel and the people thereof greatly. Even though the majority of Israel worshipped pagan gods there were still those who believed God and worshipped Him. Elisha was the prophet of God for that time (during the early 800s and late 700s BC).

The second to the last recorded act of Elisha was to send a messenger with a box of oil to find Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat (Omri, *see note) the son of Nimshi and anoint him king over Israel and then leave (II Kings 9).

At this time the King of Judah was influenced by the former King Ahab's household (Israel). Jehoshaphat king of Judah had named a son Jehoram just like Ahab had and Jehoram of Judah married the daughter of Ahab (a political arrangement). Jehoram was the next King of Judah in the fifth year of the reign of Jehoram (also called Joram) King of Israel and he walked in the way of the kings of Israel (II Kings 8:16-19 and II Chronicles 21:2-7). Jehoshaphat had walked with God most of the time but Jehoram rejected God and heeded his wife's counsel. This is why they were not to marry unbelievers. It draws them away from the one true God.

Jehoram King of Judah is then succeeded by his son Ahaziah in the twelfth year of Jehoram King of Israel. He reigned 1 year and did evil in the sight of the Lord for he was the son-in-law of the house of Ahab (II Kings 25-27 and II Chronicles 22:1-4). Jehoram King of Israel and Ahaziah King of Judah go to war against Syria and Jehoram was wounded. Ahaziah then travels to Jezreel to be with him.

While Ahaziah and Jehoram are in Jezreel Jehu is anointed King of Israel and given the following prophecy:

II Kings 9
:6 And he [the son of a prophet] arose,
    and went into the house;
    and he poured the oil on his head,
    and said unto him,
        Thus saith the LORD God of Israel,
            I have anointed thee king over the people of the LORD, even over Israel.
:7         And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master,
            that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets,
                and the blood of all the servants of the LORD,
                    at the hand of Jezebel.
:8         For the whole house of Ahab shall perish:
            and I will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall,
            and him that is shut up and left in Israel:
:9         And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat,
            and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah:
:10       And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel,
            and there shall be none to bury her.
    And he opened the door, and fled.

Just as God had said, Jehu cleaned house. He destroyed Jezebel the wicked wife of Ahab King of Israel (I Kings 16:30-33) who cut of the heads of the Lords prophets (chapter 18) and influenced the kingdom of Israel for many generations (II Kings 9). He destroyed the household of Ahab the evil king of Israel including all 70 sons (II Kings 10). And he also destroyed all of the Baal worshippers in Israel. Even though Jehu rid Israel of Ahab and Jezebel's influence he didn't walk with God and according to His Word but made Israel to sin. Because of this Israel had no peace at its borders.

After Jehu's reign Elisha sees two more kings over Israel, and they all did evil. Jehoahaz the son of Jehu is besieged by Syria, asks for help from God and receives it but still did not turn from his evil ways (II Kings 13:1-8). Johoahaz reigned 17 years in Israel and when he died Joash his son reigned in Israel. He reigned for sixteen years.

    II Kings 13:14 -20 records the final days of Elisha.

:14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died.
    And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him,
    and wept over his face, and said,
        O my father, my father,
        the chariot of Israel,
        and the horsemen thereof.
            [The true strength of Israel, see also II Kings 2:12
                Elisha makes this declaration of Elijah when God took him away.]

:15 And Elisha said unto him,
        Take bow and arrows.
        And he took unto him bow and arrows.
:16 And he said to the king of Israel,
        Put thine hand upon the bow.
    And he put his hand upon it:
    and Elisha put his hands upon the king's hands.
:17 And he said,
        Open the window eastward.
    And he opened it.
    Then Elisha said,
    And he shot.
    And he [Elisha] said,
        The arrow of the LORD'S deliverance,
        and the arrow of deliverance from Syria:
            for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them.
:18 And he said,
        Take the arrows.
    And he took them.
    And he said unto the king of Israel,
        Smite upon the ground.
    And he smote thrice, and stayed.
:19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said,
        Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times;
            then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it:
        whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.
:20 And Elisha died, 
    and they buried him.
    And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.

This prophecy of Elisha's comes to pass in II Kings 13:25. Joash beat the Syrians three times recovering the cities that his father Jehoahaz had lost.

Elisha was the prophet in Israel for about 60 years. After Elijah was carried away in a chariot of fire Elisha returned to cross the river Jordan. The acts of God by the hand of Elijah are recorded in II Kings as follows:

  •  He struck the waters with Elijah's mantel and they parted for him to walk through. (2:14)
  • He then healed the waters of a neighboring town (2:21)
  • He rebuked young men who taunted him (2:24)
  •  Gave water to three kings and their armies which repelled the army of Moab (3:20)
  • He provided oil for a widow so that she could have sustenance (4:1-6)
  • He gave a son to the Shunammite woman for her faithfulness (4:16, 17)
  • He raised that same son from the dead (4:35)
  •  He healed the pottage of the sons of the prophets (4:41)
  •  He multiplied food to feed a hundred men (4:43)
  • He healed Naaman (5:10)
  • Gehazi was smitten for his disobedience (5:27)
  •  He recovered an ax head (6:6)
  • He opened the eyes of his assistant so that he may see the heavenly host surrounding them (6:17)
  •  He caused a 'blindness' to come upon the Syrians that were after his life so that they could be captured and restores their sight'/understanding. (6:18-20)
  • He foretells of the Samarian blockade being lifted (7:1)
  • He tells the Shunammite woman to leave for 7 years because of a famine, when she returns her household is restored (8:1-6)
  • He instructs a son of a prophet to anoint Jehu King of Israel and sees the house of Ahab and Jezebel destroyed (9:1-10)
  • He foretells of Joash King of Israel defeating Syria three times (13:14-20)

Even though Elisha was surrounded by unbelief he believed God and stood faithful. We are also surrounded by unbelief. We can stand strong. We must know who we are. God says we are His sons and daughters. He has given us holy spirit that we may walk and talk with Him. We can walk with the power of God in our lives and have a great effect on those around us.

Elisha was not a son of God, it was not available. Jesus Christ came to restore to us the fellowship that was taken away when Adam sinned. We therefore were born into sin but have been redeemed, bought back, paid for. We no longer need to bow our head in shame before the one true God. We can hold our heads high for we are joint-heirs with Christ and have every right to call God "Abba Father", the most intimate form of salutation which only Jesus Christ could do.

 God has blessed you abundantly.



* God makes a succinct point mentioning that Jehu is the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi and than later refers to him as the son of Nimshi only. This is the first mention of Nimshi. Jehoshaphat King of Judah did not have Nimshi in his ancestry. Also, if one has someone in their heritage they are the son of-many are called the son of David even though David could have been six generations previous. According to E. W. Bullinger in the Companion Bible the Assyrian inscriptions read "Jehu the son of Omri" who was the father of Ahab King of Israel and an evil king. This makes more sense since God is talking about Israel.
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