2 Kings paves the road to Kingdoms

“But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” -2 Kings 17:39

Some other key verses:

  • 2:1-2: This shows that Elijah shall be taken up into heaven by a whirlwind, and therefore, he told Elisha to stay with him, because the Lord had sent Elijah to Bethel. Elisha promised not to leave him, but to go with him.
  • 2:7-11: Elijah is seen taking the mantle, wrapping it together, smiting the waters, and they were divided – so that him and Elisha could proceed on dry ground. Elijah offered to do something for Elisha before he was to part, and Elisha requested a double portion of his spirit. Elijah acknowledge it would be difficult, but it would be dependent (on the Lord’s power?) on whether Elisha saw him afterward or not. Elijah then ascends into a whirlwind to heaven.
  • 9:30-35: Jezebel is shown here mocking in fear, for her heart was hardened against God. She planned to continue braving it, seducing others to wickedness. However, her attendants delivered her up to be put to death, and it was the end of pride and cruelty.

List of dynasties noted in 2 Kings

  • Of Israel:
    • Ahaziah
    • Joram
    • Jehu
    • Jehoahaz
    • Jehoash
    • Jeroboam II
    • Shallum
    • Menahem
    • Pekah
    • Pekahiah
    • Hoshea
    • (Zechariah was one of them, but we don’t see info on him in 2 Kings.)
  • Of Judah:
    • Jehoram
    • Ahaziah
    • Athaliah
    • Joash
    • Amaziah
    • Azariah
    • Jotham
    • Ahaz
    • Hezekiah
    • Manasseh
    • Amon
    • Josiah
    • Jehoahaz
    • Jehoiakim
    • Jehoiachin
    • Zedekiah.

Background

The authorship of 2 Kings is credited to Jeremiah. After the death of Jehoram, Jehu succeeded him and destroyed the wicked house of Ahab but not all idol worship. The restoration of the Temple took place during Joash’s reign, but later he was despised by the people for trying to buy peace by giving the Temple treasure to the Syrians. The King who was remembered “as one of Judah’s better kings” and was affected by “leprosy” was  Azariah.

Israel experienced a series of six kings in a very short period, only Menahem was not violently slain and then Israel fell into the hands of the Assyrians. During the reign of Ahaz in Judah, all manner of restoration and extension were restored, and the prophet Isaiah ministered in Jerusalem during his days. In 721 B.C. the Northern Kingdom of Israel made up of ten tribes came to an end and they were taken into captivity in the area now known as Persia.

The prophet Isaiah was at the right hand of King Hezekiah of Judah. While Sennacherib, King of Africa made war with Judah, Micah wrote his Book of the Bible. The great Babylonian Empire builder was Nebuchadnezzar II and Judah fell into his hands in 606 B.C. when Judah as a state ended. Bad Kings reigned for about 373 years, and Good Kings reigned for 383 years.

Synopsis

Second Kings, a book written by an unknown author in 560-550 BC; details the ministry of Elisha, and the continual division & multiples reigns of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. In addition, we see the single kingdom arisen as Judah after Israel’s collapse.

First, it’s best to detail the entire reign of all of the kings. Ahaziah had continued to reign in Israel, and then it was Joram. Jehoam, then Ahaziah took over the throne in Judah. Jehu was next in line for Israel, and Athaliah and Joash were next in Judah. Jehoahaz and Jehoash followed for Israel, before Amaziah took over in Judah. Then, it was Jeroboam II in Israel and Azariah in Judah. Azariah lasted for quite a while, while Israel had new reigns from Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah. After that, we see Jotham and then Ahaz in Judah, and Hoshea in Israel. After Hoshea was imprisoned, Israel had collapsed, especially when Israel was taken into captivity. The land of Israel, after that, was resettled, for Judah was now the single kingdom, which would come under the reign of Hezekiah.

Before the reign of Hezekiah is detailed, Elisha’s ministry should be detailed separately – for the things that Elisha did were part of God’s plan, of course. Elijah knew his time had come, where he would have to pass on his work to Elisha. A test was given for Elisha, who was able to pass the test. Since he knew that he was Elijah’s spiritual heir, he had to remain with Elijah to the end so that he would receive the spiritual power to carry on his work. When Elijah was supernaturally carried away, Elisha gained power from God to go and do the Lord’s work. Elisha’s first two miracles involved blessing and cursing. At Jericho, he brought healing, and at Bethel, he brought God’s curse on those who rejected his message.

Elisha continued his miracles; he helped preserve the small body of believers in Israel who remained faithful to God. The collection of stories from chapters four through six show the supernatural powers that Elisha had to help preserve this small remnant of believers. The second collection of stories in chapters six through eight deals with the part of his work, which was concerned with the judgment on the nation of Israel. In the first collection of stories, some of the things that were detailed included Elisha moving around the schools of the young prophets, where he would instruct and encourage the faithful people. Foods were scarce in one school, but God provided for them through Elisha. On another occasion, we see God’s care for the faithful shown, when a farmer had brought an offering of food that was miraculously multiplied to feed Elisha and a hundred of his followers. This was a prophetic picture of Christ’s miracles to multiply food.

Some of Elisha’s remaining work was concerned with his dealings with the rulers of Israel and Syria, because God was going to use Syria to punish Israel for its sin (in the period of the Omri dynasty). However, Elisha, first, was to teach the two nations. Elisha had repeatedly warned the Israelite king of the ambushes that were coming from Syria. When Syria’s king heard of the failings of his ambushes, he had found out Elisha was doing such things to impede the success of the ambushes.

Therefore, the Syrian king sent out capture for Elisha; however, Elisha controlled the Syrian soldiers and led them to the Israelite capital (which was Samaria). Israel’s king thought it was a good idea to just kill them, but Elisha directed him to just feed them, and then release them. Peace was temporarily restored between Syria and Israel. Elisha, later, had one final responsibility, and that was to anoint Israel’s army commander, Jehu, as king. Jehu needed to rid Israel of the entire family of Ahab and Jezebel (especially because of the Baalism spread unto Judah). That closed Elisha’s good and helpful work.

After Elisha’s work, we read of anti-Baal movements being done and other chaos that was occurring throughout Israel. Then, Hezekiah was ushered in as new king. Hezekiah ruled for quite a while, which would bring a revival and reform in Israel. However, later Hezekiah would become quite ill and then be healed, before his foolishness caused death. Babylon started increasing in power, and this brought trouble for the nation.

This would sadly usher in an evil reign for Manasseh. After the reign of Manasseh, we would see the reigns of Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, and Jehoiakim. Josiah, when he reigned, had his own revival and reformation, to which he wanted extensive repairs to be done for the temple, because it had been damaged during the reigns of Manasseh and Amon. His biggest part of reform, it seems, was that he re-established the worship of Yahweh by keeping the Passover. He also tried to control idolatry, by forcing people to remove their private gods (in their households) and prohibiting spiritism and fortune telling. However, his reforms, mainly on idolatry, were unsuccessful.

Later, God prepared Babylon as a tool to punish Judah. Judah would soon lose its independence, as Pharaoh Necho considered himself the controller of Judah, where he wouldn’t accept a king that was chosen by the people of Judah. Soon, we read about the reign of Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, before we see the fall of Jerusalem, destruction of the temple and city walls, and the final deportation of the people to Babylon.

Your guide to 1 Kings

We see in the first chapter that there is an account of the infirmities of David, as he gets older. The preparation of his son Adonijah was made to seize the throne. Bathsheba addresses the king upon this, which was in favor of her son, Solomon, to which Nathan the prophet, seconded the notion. When Solomon was confirmed to succeed in the kingdom, Nathan the prophet and Zadok the priest were commanded to anoint him, which was done with a great ceremony. The news was brought to Adonijah and his friends, which caused them to have terror in the situation, and therefore, they went away. Adonijah made a promise that he would behave well to Solomon, so he was pardoned and dismissed.

In chapter 2, we see that David gives a charge to Solomon, which was before his death, to walk in the ways of the Lord. Some instructions were also given to him concerning people that he should respect or disregard.

We see in chapter 8 the account of the introducing of the Ark into the Temple, to which the glory of the Lord would fill it. Solomon gave a speech to the people concerning the building of the Temple, as well as prayers and defining of provisions for it. He hopes the people of Israel would be blessed, so he exhorts them, and throws a feast.

We see in 1 Kings 12 the sins that Jeroboam caused for Israel involved corrupting the worship of God by instituting golden calves as objects of divine ordination. Next, he changed the place of service from Jerusalem to Bethel and Dan, so it was more convenient. After that, he appointed priests from among tribes other than Levi (which was unauthorized, because the Law did not “cover it.” Lastly, he changed the time of the Feast of Tabernacles from the seventh month, fifteenth day, to the eighth month, fifteenth day. To sum it up, Jeroboam changed the object, place, priesthood, and time of worship for Israel, which was all part of an idolatrous sin.

We see the start of the narrative of Elijah in 1 Kings 17, where there is a prophecy of Elijah that there should be want of rain for many years, and he is directed to go first to Cherith (a brook), where he should be fed by ravens. After that, he is sent to a widow, which was at Zarephath, where he, she, and her son are supported with provisions of meal and oil. The son of the woman is falling sick and dying, but then he is restored to life through Elijah.

In chapter 18, we see that Elijah has an order from the Lord to appear before Ahab, who is meeting with a servant of his named Obadiah, to which he charges him to tell his master his whereabouts, so that he can meet him. Upon meeting him, he desires that all Israel and the prophets of Baal be convened, to which he rebukes them for their idolatry, mockery, and troubling of Israel. God is the true God, as declared, on which all the prophets of Baal were slain (they killed in the name of God…how troubling that is too). Rain in great abundance was given at the prayer of Elijah.

Going forward to chapter 19, Elijah is fleeing for his life per the threats of Jezebel; however, the Lord took care of him, provided for him, and gave him strength so he could get to Horeb. The Lord appeared there and talked to him, to whom he gave instructions to anoint a king over Syria, another over Israel, and a prophet in his room. When he finds Elisha, he is to throw his mantle over Elisha, who becomes a servant.

Lastly, in chapter 21, we see Elijah meeting with Ahab in the vineyard, to which, Elijah denounced the judgments of God upon him and Jezebel for his injustice, however, Ahab humbled himself and dropped manner of evil.

1 Kings covers about 125 years of Israel’s History, from the time of Solomon to the captivity by Babylon. Adonijah was the one who wanted to be king, for he attempted to take advantage of his father, David’s debilitating condition. He marked himself as a great successor to David and had hoped to be chosen. Even Joab and Abiathar left David’s side to join Adonijah. Solomon had Adonijah put to death because he tried to take the kingdom away from him.

Choices Solomon was given for a Godly blessing

  • Wisdom
  • Long life
  • Riches
  • The lives of his enemies

What was good about Solomon choosing wisdom (which was probably what God wanted him to choose), was that God gave him the rest of the gifts. Of course, naturally speaking (in our understanding), wisdom makes the most sense; because with wisdom, you can obtain riches and long life, as well as know how to deal with your enemies. It was a “wise choice” for Solomon to choose wisdom!

The wives of Solomon became Solomon’s downfall (especially because they were strange women), because he submitted to the heathen religions that these wives were following. He went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, as well as Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. This was the appearance of evil in the site of the Lord. He even went as far as building a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of moab, for Molech as well, who was the abomination of the children of Ammon, and lastly for all his strange wives. God threatened his reign, as Solomon had fallen into idolatry.

Synopsis

First Kings, a book written by an unknown author in 560-550 BC; details the background of the reign of Solomon (David’s successor), and the division of the kingdom of Israel and Judah.

The book begins with Solomon being the successor of David as king of Israel. David was quite old, and his oldest surviving son, Solomon, established himself as king while David was still alive. Solomon worked soon to solidify his position as king. David advised Solomon of a couple things. One thing was the reminder to be faithful unto God and be obedient to His Will. The second piece of advice to Solomon was to remove/execute those who were likely to rebel against him, and then to reward those who remained loyal to him. Soon, David died. Solomon continued in his reign with wisdom, for David’s power came through war and conquest.

David had placed the Ark of the Covenant in a special tent in Jerusalem, the tabernacle, and the remainder of its articles was still at Gibeon. After being crowned king in Jerusalem, Solomon went to Gibeon for a celebration/ceremony, which was a public exhibit of his devotion to God. In celebration as well, God offered Solomon anything he wished. Solomon chose to ask for wisdom; to judge between moral rightness and wrongness, as he showed concern for God’s People. God fulfilled this request beautifully. Solomon soon began putting his wisdom to good use. Because of his wisdom, especially in administration, Solomon had fame far and near. People made collections of his proverbs and songs. People were drawn to his wisdom quite well.

His fame prospered far, but he had a big plan to focus on. That plan involved the preparation and construction of the temple. God emphasized the dynasty building to David before a temple should be built, because he wanted David’s house in order. This is the way ministers and leaders should be is to first have their house in order before they try to create a house for God. Therefore, Solomon had a great program prepared for the building of the temple. It would last for more than twenty years, and included an expensive palace, among other pricy buildings. God later reminded Solomon that the temple being built should be a blessing to him and his people only if he was obedient to God.

So, we see the construction of the temple and Solomon’s palace laid out and done. Soon, we see all the provisions being put into place, and other miscellaneous furnishings. This included carefully furnishing the ark, to be brought into the temple. Once the ark was in place, God showed the sign of His presence by filling the temple with the cloud of glory. A dedication ceremony commenced, and God demonstrated the acceptance for the sacrifices and for the temple overall. Solomon aimed and assured to keep the covenant requirements for the annual religious festivals. Scripture details other results of Solomon’s fame and wealth, before we see the downfall of Solomon. Much of his wealth had been gained through (excessive) taxing.

We soon see detailed Solomon’s downfall, which included the trouble that was brought by Solomon’s polygamy and idolatry. Through this downfall, God placed judgment on Solomon and Israel by bringing a long-lasting division between the northern and southern tribes, which would divide them into two kingdoms. God had raised adversaries against Solomon. The prophet Ahijah revealed that Jeroboam would be the next king, so Jeroboam wanted power almost immediately. This caused a ruckus between him and Solomon, so Solomon tried to kill him. When he did that, Jeroboam escaped to Egypt and stayed there until Solomon died. Once Solomon died, he would come back and seize control of the throne.

As we move along, especially with the death of Solomon, we see the judgment of division occur. Jeroboam would take over the northern kingdom, which was Israel; comprised of ten tribes. Rehoboam ruled the southern kingdom; which was Judah – two tribes comprised Judah. Throughout time, we see multiple reigns of both of these kingdoms. Abijah and Asa would be next in succession for Judah’s throne, before Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, and Ahab would rule for Israel’s throne. Ahab was important, in which he married Jezebel – who practiced Baalism. This brought official status of Baalism in Israel by Ahab. Israel’s religion was in danger, because of this.

God then intervened with a large number of miracles and judgments. The prophet Elijah was sent to announce a three-year drought through the land. This would display the powerlessness of Baal. The power of Yahweh was great, but Elijah became unpopular because of his prophecy of the drought. God’s power was then shown to be greater than Baal’s power, even in Baal’s home. This proved that faith was part of God’s blessing, not nationality, as we see in chapter seventeen. God told Elijah that Ahab (and Israel overall) had to decide whether they would follow Baal or Him.

Soon, we see detailed that Baal was defeated in a victory by God in lightning, fire, and water. People acknowledged the victory of God, and Elijah took advantage of the situation to destroy the prophets of Baal. God would then later end the drought. When Jezebel heard that Elijah killed her prophets, she threatened to kill him. Her influence over people became a great threat to Elijah, but God sustained him and enabled him to go to Mount Sinai. Elijah doubted God’s covenant with Israel, because Israel kept disobeying Him. Elijah figured that they were unaffected spiritually by the drought. But, God showed Elijah that some events (violent or not) had some use, but there would be lasting benefits only if people would listen to God’s voice in their hearts. These events (violent and spectacular) fell on Israel as punishment. But, there still needed to be people who heard from God and were faithful unto Him.

After this, Elijah returned to Israel, where Elisha showed his willingness to succeed Elijah through the killing of his oxen and then using them to provide a supper of farewell for his friends and family. Soon, we would see the death of Ahab in his fatal battle with Aram. After that, Judah welcomed in the reign of Jehoshaphat and Israel would welcome in the reign of Ahaziah. This marked the new kingdom reigns and a hopeful prosperity for Israel. A shipping line was created as a partnership between Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah, but when ships were wrecked, Jehoshaphat realized that God didn’t want him associating with the wicked Ahaziah. Ahaziah was found to worship Baal and provoking God to anger, just like his father did. This may have marked a short reign for Ahaziah for the future.

The man of double portion: Elisha the prophet

Ahab gets his way by murder and obtains Naboth’s vineyard, which brought the occasion for Elijah’s ninth and tenth miracle. There is more Syrian conflict, and Jehoshaphat desires to know God’s Will, false prophets arise, and Micaiah’s true prophecy of Israel’s defeat is heard. The death of Ahab is seen as well as the fulfilling of prophecy of the death of Jezebel, and the accession of King Ahaziah to the throne of Israel.

Jehoshaphat is made fourth King of Judah and reigns for 25 years as the second good King of Judah. Moab rebels against Israel after the death of Ahab, and Ahaziah, the King of Israel, meets with an accident. King Ahaziah takes a bad fall, is injured, and then he gets seriously sick. He sent messengers and said for them to “Go, inquire of ‘Baal-zebub,” the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.”

The Angel of the Lord speaks to Elijah and tells him to meet the messengers and predict the death of Ahaziah because of this great sin…the sin was that “he sought advice from a pagan god and not from God Jehovah.” This is the occasion for the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth miracle of Elijah. The prediction of the King of Israel’s death, fire from Heaven, and the death of 102 men.

Elisha was called from God as we see in 1 Kings 19:16-17 – to which, Elisha would be anointed as a prophet in his room (when Jehu is anointed as king over Israel), and that who escapes from the sword of Jehu then Elisha will slay. As it moves forward to verses 19-21, Elijah casts his mantle upon Elisha, and then Elisha ran after him wanting to pray for him and follow him. Elijah showed his willingness to succeed Elijah by killing his oxen and using them as a farewell dinner for his family and friends.

Elisha was tested three times as Elijah suggests he tarry at certain places while Elijah does the Lord’s work in a different place. Elisha was told to tarry at Gilgal while he (Elijah) goes to Bethel for the Lord. After that, he told Elisha to tarry at Bethel while he goes to Jericho for the Lord. Again, Elisha told to tarry at Jericho while he goes to Jordan.

Each time, Elisha’s answer was, “as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.” Elisha knew that the Lord would soon take away Elijah, however, in each of the above cities, Elisha is pestered by the “sons of the prophets” concerning Elijah’s leave. Each time, Elisha answers them, “Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.”

Elijah promised a “double-portion” of his spirit to Elisha if he sees him when he leaves. They cross the Jordan, causing the fifteenth miracle of Elijah as he swings his mantle over the waters to divide them. Elijah then tells Elisha that what he had asked is a hard thing.

Elisha received a double portion of what Elijah had promised, which was the fulfilling of another prophecy of Elijah’s. Of course, a double portion is a double blessing. Elisha wanted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit so he would be doubly blessed in life and ministry. It seems, as I have looked at the lessons, Elisha’s miracles are twice that of Elijah’s (exactly twice the amount).

The story is in 2 Kings 2:11-12, “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. 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.” When Elijah was whisked away supernaturally, Elisha knew that, in this one man, Israel doesn’t have him anymore either. However, he soon had a clear proof of the double-portion of the power imputed upon him, because soon he began miracles – as he felt the mantle placed upon him.

The miracles done by Elisha

  1. First miracle, using the mantle that Elijah gave him, he took a stride toward the Jordan and smote the waters saying, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” – to which, the waters part and he walked over on dry land. Maybe he was testing his power…?
  2. Second miracle, healing of the waters as we see in 2 Kings 2:19-22, “And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.” The waters were bitter and terrible, and he made it better and healthier to drink. This was great and helpful to the people.
  3. Third miracle, bears from the woods and irreverence cursed. Little children came out of the city and mocked Elisha, saying, “Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.” Two she bears came out of the woods and tore up 42 children.
  4. Fourth miracle involved waters filling the ditches without rain. This miracle came about from the influence of a minstrel, who played, and then the hand of the Lord came upon him.
  5. Fifth miracle involved the defeat of the Moabites. It was odd to see the Moabite King’s sacrifice, which was his eldest son, and offered him as a burnt offering upon the wall.
  6. Sixth miracle was an optical illusion, where the enemy saw the water, the sun shone upon it in the early morning, and it appeared unto them as blood.
  7. Seventh miracle, increase of the widow’s oil – this is the curse of oil that failed not. Elisha commanded the widow and her sons to gather up pots and pans (vessels), and then to go and sell the oil – afterward, paying the debt to be able to live with thee and thy children on the rest of the funds.
  8. Eighth miracle involved healing the “great woman” of Shunem of her barrenness, to which, she miraculously bore a child. This was great, and not the only time that God had done this. God had also healed many of their barrenness, so this scene shows His everlasting faithfulness.
  9. Ninth miracle, resurrection of the boy. The child of the woman of Shunem became very ill, and she sought Elisha – to which, Elisha came and lay upon the child – and the child was healed after sneezing seven times. It was great to see the Lord’s faithfulness in healing people, especially that were near death – what a blessing!
  10. Tenth miracle, pottage was healed. The sons of the prophets were having difficulty as there was drought in the land. They gathered herbs in the field and a wild vine was mixed with the herbs and the pottage became noxious, as if it were death in the pot.
  11. Eleventh miracle, bread was multiplied for 100 men – which was evident, once again, of the Lord’s provision for His People. (Just wait till later, when we see Jesus multiplying food for thousands of people.)
  12. Twelfth miracle, leprosy of Naaman healed. The strange act of dipping in the dirty river of Jordan cleansed the leper when he was obedient. That’s how you know it’s a God thing, when you try to make something clean with something that doesn’t appear to be clean (for we know faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not seen – Hebrews 11:1).
  13. Thirteenth miracle, discernment of Gehazi’s disobedience, to which, Naaman offered up riches to Elisha again after his healing. Gehazi disobeyed and accepted them to heap them upon himself. It’s no wonder a servant would become prideful, as he is in the presence of a great man like Elisha – but Gehazi needed humbling to be able to work beside Elisha further.
  14. Fourteenth miracle, leprosy of Naaman given to Gehazi. Gehazi was humbled for his pride, it seems, and reaped what he sowed.
  15. Fifteenth miracle, making iron to swim. The sons of the prophets wanted to make a larger place to live, and they were cutting wood, when the ax head flew off and fell into the water. The one using the ax said, “alas Master! For it was borrowed.” Elisha wondered where it went, so then he cut a stick and threw it into the water – where the iron ax head swam to them so much that they could retrieve it.
  16. Sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth miracles, Elisha is used by God to reveal war secrets, They said Elisha, Israel’s prophet, has knowledge of secrets that the King talked about in his bed chamber. Of course, with this in mind, they must be careful not to divulge them to the enemies – because doing so would bring despair.
  17. (See above)
  18. (See above)
  19. Nineteenth miracle, the eyes of Elisha’s servant are opened. The enemy sought to destroy Elisha, and they sent horsemen and chariots and encamped around where they thought Elisha and his servant were camped. In the morning, the servant arose to see the encampment and the servant wondered what to do. He prayed for that his servant’s eyes be opened, and then the Lord performed it through Elisha. His eyes opened and he saw a mountain full of horses and chariots of fire roundabout – as we see in Scripture.
  20. Twentieth miracle involved the blinding of the Syrian army – which helped avoid war and other issues of wars.
  21. Twenty-first miracle was the capturing of the whole Syrian army – to which, had completely disabled them from hurting His People.
  22. Twenty-second miracle was healing the Syrian army of blindness – which, I guess was a lesson to them not to bug His People.
  23. Twenty-third miracle involved Elisha having knowledge before the Kings act. We see Elisha using the gifts of knowledge and discernment given to him by God. God works miraculously through His People always, and Elisha was no different. He used the gifts of the Spirit well!
  24. Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth miracles involved the miraculous utterances. The evil kings were trying their best to dispose of Elisha, and finally the messenger of the King comes to get Elisha with plans of executing him. There was Elisha…prophesying! He uttered a foretelling of sufficient food for everybody in Samaria soon. Four lepers throw themselves upon the mercy of the Syrians. At twilight, they came into the camp and there was no man. The Lord caused the Syrians to hear the noise of the chariots and horses and the noise of a great company. They had fled in great fear because of it. The lepers did eat and drink, as well as partake of all the things and then went out to hide their treasures.
  25. (See above)
  26. Twenty-sixth miracle, the confusion of the Syrians. The lepers report to the King, and an investigation is made and is true. The Syrians have fled, leaving their riches behind. Elisha’s prophecy of plenty was fulfilled.
  27. Twenty-seventh miracle, involved 7 years of famine. Elisha talks with the “great woman” whose son was resurrected, and he tells her there is going to be a seven-year famine. He warns them to leave so they go and sojourn in the land of the Philistines for 7 years. During the 7 year leave, people took her land, so then she returns to ask the king that her land be returned unto her. Gehazi testifies to the king of the great works of Elisha, and therefore, the king assigned an officer to her so she would be returned to her land.
  28. Twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and thirtieth miracles – these were more miraculous utterances. They again were gifts given by God, which were revelation and knowledge. We see also the weeping side of the Elisha as he pronounces death upon a Syrian who plots evil against Israel.
  29. (See above)
  30. (See above)
  31. Thirty-first miracle involved the anointing of Jehu by one of Elisha’s children, the sons of the prophets. Jehu comes to the Kingdom ad King of Israel and reigns for 28 years. Elisha calls one of the children to get read and take a box of oil to Ramoth-Gilead. He is told to find Jehu and take him to the inner chamber and pour the oil on to his head and speak over him an anointing as the King over Israel. There was also inclusion into the prophecy of death for Jezebel and prediction that the house of Ahab be no more. Jehu slays Jehoram, King of Israel.
  32. Thirty-second miracle involved something done upon his death. Joash the King of Israel came down and wept upon him. Soon, Elisha said to him to take bow and arrow (Elisha helped him), then open the window eastward, and then to shoot. The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria shall smite the Syrian in Aphek till consumed. Then he said to take the arrow and smite upon the ground. When this occurred, Elisha died, and they buried him, and then the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. As they were burying, they cast a man into the sepulchre of Elisha, and when that man touched the bones of Elisha – he was revived and stood up!

Other interesting stories

Elisha enjoys such hospitality from the “great woman” of Shunem. She wanted him to come and eat, and told her husband that she thinks Elisha is truly a holy man of God, to which, she noted him passing by often, so she had asked her husband to build a little chamber on the wall. She placed a bed, table, stool, and candlestick there (which came to be the Prophet’s Chamber). One day, Elisha came by to stop and rest, traveling with his servant Gehazi, and asked Gehazi to call for the Shunammite woman. So, she came and stood before him, so he asked to do something for her because of her hospitality. She did not require anything, though. Gehazi noticed she didn’t have children, so Elisha granted a miracle that her barrenness would be healed. Later, that child became very ill, and she sought Elisha – to which, Elisha came and lay upon the child – and the child was healed after sneezing seven times.

Elisha in the New Testament is “Eliseus,” and it is found in Luke 4:27, “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.”

The death of Elisha

His death is chronicled in 2 Kings 13:14-21, where he had fallen sick. Joash the King of Israel came down and wept upon him. Soon, Elisha said to him to take bow and arrow (Elisha helped him), then open the window eastward, and then to shoot. The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria shall smite the Syrian in Aphek till consumed. Then he said to take the arrow and smite upon the ground. When this occurred, Elisha died, and they buried him, and then the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. As they were burying, they cast a man into the sepulchre of Elisha, and when that man touched the bones of Elisha – he was revived and stood up!

The man wise enough to stand up to Jezebel and godly enough to make many miracles | Elijah the prophet

After the death of Samuel, the newly formed kingdom of Israel suffered severely by the Philistines. The greatest invasion resulted in the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan – to which, David came to the throne of the tribe of Judah and finally was elevated to King over all Israel. However, in 931 BC, a division came, to which, Rehoboam was left with the smaller of the two kingdoms. In the North, Jeroboam was given the larger portion, and led the people into idolatry and pagan worship.

After 50 years of disaster and turmoil, we see Omri come to the head of the government to stop the anarchy, conquer Moab, establish a monarchy, build Samaria, and create a treaty with Syria. Ahab had become the successor to Omri. The coming of Jezebel meant more idolatry, especially in Baal worship. To please the strong-willed Jezebel, Ahab built in Samaria a temple for Baal worship, Asherah worship, and Phoenician worship.

Elijah’s name meant “Like God,” and he was given the task to be a Prophet during the era of Baal worship. This worship is of “mere power” or the worship of evil in general. In later days, the Jews designated this “Tyrian deity” the prince of devils. He also dealt with severe immorality, to which, the prophets of Yahweh were persecuted and killed. Many hid in caves for their own safety.

Jezebel then imported priests and prophets to do her bidding, to which, Elijah faced some of the darkest hours of his life. Anyway, Elijah was born and grew up in Gilead on the east of Jordan, to which, he was a Tishbite. He was described as a hairy man and one that wore a leather girdle. The New Testament states that Elijah (or Elias) was a man subject to like passions as we are even today.

Miracles done by Elijah

  1. First miracle, which appears at the court of Ahab, which announces the long drought would be broken only by God’s Word through the prophet. This was good, because it avoided any famine or furthering of famine conditions.
  2. Second miracle, he is fed by the ravens twice a day at the Brook Cherith. God intended that Elijah stay alive and be provided for, and just as the birds were provided for, the birds – by God – provided for him.
  3. Third miracle: God uses Elijah to multiply meal and oil daily. After seeing the Lord’s provision for him, he knew that God would provide for others, so God uses him to multiply for provisions.
  4. Fourth miracle, God uses him to restore the widow’s son to life. She calls Elijah a man of God. Just as Elijah did, later Elisha does a similar miracle – how glorious to see Elisha follow in the footsteps of his predecessor.
  5. Fifth miracle, on Mount Carmel there is a test as to whose God is God…to which, God answers by fire; the prophets of “Baal” are killed and rain comes in to answer Elijah’s prayer. Elijah hated idolatry, and was glad that much of it was rid of here.
  6. Sixth and Seventh miracles, we see rain and a 30 mile foot race is done, where Elijah outruns King Ahab who is driving his chariot. Elijah is equipped by the power of God, and will run the race as God empowers him!
  7. (The seventh is explained just above with sixth.)
  8. Eighth miracle, we learn of the “Juniper tree” experience, which the Juniper tree is well known of the cedar family. Elijah asks that he might die, and an Angel supernaturally strengthens him. Two times the Angel speaks to him and tells him to arise and eat, and finally the Angel speaks to him, “the journey is too great for thee.” Elijah arises and eats for the second time, and then “he went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the Mount of God.” Through this experience, he is challenged by God to return to anoint Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha.
  9. Ninth miracle, Elijah announces doom on Ahab and wicked Jezebel. Once again, Elijah sought to take care of idolatrous ways, and seeking an end to Baal.
  10. Tenth miracle, Elijah promises respite to Ahab, and God will delay punishment to the days of his son.
  11. Eleventh miracle, this is the prophecy of Elijah that pertained to the sickness and death of Jehoram.
  12. Twelfth miracle, this is the prediction or prophecy of death, the death of King Ahaziah.
  13. Thirteenth and Fourteenth miracle, this is the prophecy concerning King Ahaziah, who inquired of another god and Elijah stopped the messengers on their way to ask of their god. Elijah told them there was a God in Israel and because they found out info of the god Ekron, the King would die. They pushed in on Elijah and it resulted in fire from Heaven, which was the death of 102 men.
  14. (The fourteenth is explained just above with thirteenth.)
  15. Fifteenth miracle, we see that this is the miracle of the parting of the River Jordan as Elisha follows Elijah and the translation of Elijah is near. Elijah inquired of Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for thee” – to which, Elisha answers, “let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” Elijah promises this shall come as long as “if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.”
  16. Sixteenth miracle, this is the miracle of imparting a double portion of his own spirit upon Elisha. Elijah spends many quiet years teaching young men, especially Elisha, who would carry on the prophetic work. He is gloriously translated while Elisha looks on and receives the commission to continue the great work.

Elijah’s character

Elijah was a sturdy, virile, daring man from the wilds of Gilead. He had an iron constitution, as the text explains, an austere spirit, majestic somehow, flaming indignation, consuming zeal, and courageous nature which set him forth as a man of romance and mystery. He was strong and yet weak; a zeal so limitless with energy. He had a tremendous grip on the ways of God and he had unusual power in prayer. He hated false religions, among other idolatries. He was unselfish, merciless, and cruel in his treatment of the Baal prophets. He was on fire for God doing His Will! Overall, he was a man of prevailing prayer, a man of faith, and one of the most dramatic appearances and exits. It is said of him, “he went through history like a meteor.”

Jesus spoke of Elijah

Jesus speaks of Elijah (Elias) in Luke 4:25, “But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land.” He speaks this about Elijah after He talks about healing and other activities to do in that area that He did in another area, and He says that, “no prophet is accepted in his own country.” Palestine was filled with poor people even in times of plenty, it seemed, and therefore, there must have been large numbers of hungry people during the famine. He said that nobody sent Elijah to do miracles over there, so why should He Himself be sent or go Himself to relieve the famine? That’s what He questions in that short explanation.

The point in this Scripture is that many people had compared Jesus to Elijah and vice-versa, because of all the miracles both had conducted. They frequently referred back to Elijah and would generalize that, for example, “if this happens…why you (Jesus) don’t do as Elijah did?” Jesus was calling them out in this questioning, because He knew that He was being faithful to the Will of God, and wanted them to realize that He doesn’t want to continue to be compared to Elijah – but that, He is doing miracles as God Wills them to be done. He reflects the Father in every way and does what He sees the Father doing; therefore, His ways are perfect. However, all this explanation did was anger the people there that He was instructed, and they wanted Him thrown out.

Comparing Elijah with John the Baptist

The answer for this is recorded in Luke 1:5-7; 15-17: “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

As we see here, John the Baptist is similar to Elisha, in that; he received the spirit and power of Elijah, which would be fulfillment of the prophecy that Elijah shall come again. The Jews expected Elijah as the forerunner of the Messiah. John showed the spirit of Elijah in his clothing, in his life in general, and in his messages of repentance.

Elijah was a sign of the coming of the Lord

We see in Malachi 4:5 a prophecy, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Elijah is part of the last prophecy in the Old Testament, which concerns the return of Elijah the prophet to Earth, from Heaven, shortly before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. During this occurrence, there will be a great revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh and all of Israel will be saved because of the ministry of the “Two Witnesses.” It seems the Scripture is worded in a way that Elijah would be one of the “Two Witnesses” mentioned in Revelation 11:2-12. Some believe the second witness is Enoch, because both Enoch and Elijah did not see natural death. Some point to Moses.

We see Elijah and Moses together in Scripture during the transfiguration of Christ to Peter, James, and John his brother on the high mountain. Here is a snippet: “And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.”

Elijah and Jesus Christ compared

ElijahJesus Christ
Elijah called on God’s People to repent during a period of great unfaithfulness (1 Kings 19:14-18)Jesus announced the Kingdom of God that had come at the exact time God prepared it to do so (Mark 1:15)
Ravens were sent to care for Elijah in the desert, and an angel fed him during a 40 day journey in the wilderness (1 Kings 17:6; 19:3-8)Angels took care of Jesus while He was on a 40 day fast in the desert (Matthew 4:2; 4:11; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2)
Elijah raised from the dead a widow’s son (1 Kings 17:17-24)Jesus raised from the dead a widow’s son in Nain (Luke 7:11-15)
Elijah was able to call down fire from Heaven to rain down upon his enemies (2 Kings 1:12)Jesus refused for His disciples to call fire from Heaven to rain down upon His enemies (Luke 9:52-56)
Elijah had one disciple, Elisha, who left his oxen to follow Elijah (1 Kings 19:19-21)Jesus called 12 disciples, who left their lives at home and served and followed Jesus (Matthew 4:18-22)

Beginning the Major and Minor Prophet work studies | Introductory post

Non-Writing Prophets are prophets that are mentioned but have not written a book in the Bible – versus a Writing Prophet who has written a book in the Bible. There are major and minor ones of each, however, the more prominent Major and Minor Prophets are the ones who are Writing Prophets. A Major Prophet is described as one who contains a large amount of material. A Minor Prophet, though they are not less than the Major Prophets, they usually contain less or are shorter in length for information. All prophets, Writing and Non-Writing; Major and Minor, mattered in the development of God’s Will for His People and other lands.

Elijah was an especially prominent and important Non-Writing Prophet. He was brought into the text suddenly as Melchizedek was, and there is no mention of a father, mother, or any beginning of his days. Little is known of Elijah, and some think he was dropped out of the clouds as if a messiah would be. He grew quickly into a witness of God as a prophet, and would change a good part of history within a fraction of time, and then bestow a royal blessing before being whisked off into Heaven by a chariot of fire.

An outline of Elijah’s prophecy:

  • In 1 Kings 17:1-4, we see his first prophecy – to which, he foretells of a great drought to Ahab, so Ahab is sent to Cherith, where the ravens would feed him.
    • This would be fulfilled shortly after with a terrible famine, which revealed Elijah to be a true prophet of God
  • Another prophecy is recorded in 17:14, which relates to God’s provision during the famine for both Elijah and the poor widow who fed him. God would provide food, and then it was fulfilled (As Elijah blessed the woman’s oil and flour) by the continual provision of food out of the same container for many days.
  • Elijah helped deal with idolatrous activity, especially in 1 Kings 18-22. Elijah’s final act before his ascension to Heaven by chariot of fire was handing the mantle over to Elisha. He desired that Elisha prepare himself, being modest and humble and to hold peace. Honor would be placed on Elisha so suddenly, and Elijah sought to comfort him and bestow the magnificent blessing from God upon him.

Miriam, from the Old Testament, was a prophetess and sister of Aaron; an instructor of praise and service of God to other women. She had the Spirit of prophecy upon her, and showed it through song and dance.

  • In Exodus 15:20-21, we see her with a timbrel in hand leading other women in the same with dances, and she said to sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously – the horse and his rider are thrown into the sea.
    • She was speaking here things that she saw, and declared the glory of the Lord as a result of victory.

Elisabeth, from the New Testament, was barren, until God had chosen her to bear a child of prophecy (John the Baptist). Not much is known about her, except that she was friends with Mary, who would bear The Child of Prophecy (Jesus). One time is recorded when she met with Mary that the child (John) leapt in her womb – to which, Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. Outline of her prophecy in Luke 1:42-43: She spoke out with a loud voice to Mary saying that she was blessed among women and blessed is the fruit of her womb. In this altogether, she acknowledges the incarnation of Christ, and for Mary to be His mother.

satan is a false prophet who seeks to mislead people away from the truth. He began in Genesis in the Garden of Eden, as we see in Chapter 3. We also see much of “satan” in Job, as he is used as an accuser of Job. The object of satan is a tool of accusation to speak into people’s lives lies about them, to attempt to mislead and challenge them. That is the role of satan in everyday culture is false but prophetic devices used to lead people astray. If people are reluctant, however, to be led astray, they overcome the satan and such devices.

Moses is definitely one prophet to note. He was raised in the court of the Pharaoh of Egypt, and then led the Hebrews out of Egypt. God spoke to him in a burning bush instructing him to persuade the Pharaoh in releasing the Hebrew people. (More about Moses to come soon!)

Outline of a prophecy, found mainly in Deuteronomy 28:49-52:

  • This prophecy is given after conditions of the Covenant were listed (blessings and curses). The curses involved diseases and plagues upon the Israelites’ families, flocks, herds, and crops. If problems continued, the whole nation would go into humiliating captivity.
  • The foreign invaders would be so cruel as to make people desperate for food so much as to eat their own children. Eventually, as prophesied, the nation would be destroyed and the people would be taken captive into foreign countries.
  • When in foreign countries, they would be treated worse than animals, and would die horribly. Many would be shipped as slaves to Egypt.

John the Baptist was a good Non-Writing Prophet from the New Testament, who was a messenger and a prophet. Prophets foretold the Messiah, and John was a herald to announce Him. John was miraculously born and was the subject of prophecy – to which, he was humble and pointed people to Christ. Jesus spoke of him as well, “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” (Luke 7:28).

Peter’s admonitions on identifying the attributes of Prophets are in 2 Peter 1:20-21 and 2 Peter 3:2: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.”

Biblical Prophets should be uncompromising, which means they are not bound by the opinions of others. For they are conscious of a divine call and realize that they must speak only the Prophetic Word of God – to which, the divine compulsion must be obeyed. They stay on task no matter what and know that they have the privilege to speak, which is by access to the inner counsel of Yahweh. They have immediate contact with God, and He is the bearer of such precious secrets. They have an intense passion for truth, especially in proclaiming it. They know that God is the authority and they trust in Him to provide sound wisdom through them, in hopes that people would be admonished. They are individuals of prayer and communion, to which they must be clean and lead consecrated lives (especially good character). They are outspoken critics of evil and act as God’s agent to correct, reprove, exhort, and reveal the future to the people of God.

We see Peter talking about the presence of the Spirit in the Old Testament Prophets in 1 Peter 1:10-12, “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”

Peter speaks that they were filled with the Holy Ghost to speak such things, and then points that into our direction, as we now preach the gospel. We have the Spirit of Prophecy available to us, as he says, and this ensures that God can continue to communicate to His People overall.