30 Kings in 220 years:
When the children of Israel migrated to Palestine from Egypt, they established their empire. Palestine was dived into two big states. The southern state had its name after Judah and the northern was Called Israel, which lasted for 220 years and in this period it had thirty rulers. Elisha was designated as prophet in the era of Ahab.
Elisha had a very graceful, attractive and digniﬁed personality. He had a good taste for dresses so he remained well dressed, with his hair properly made up. He carried a staff in his hand. By nature he was a simple and carefree person. In daytime he worked as farmer in the fields and in the night he remained occupied in his worships.
He was trained by Elijah (Elyas) and was appointed his successor. It is said that once Elijah, on his way to Damascus after spending his time in worshipping in a cave of Mount Horab, saw Elisha plowing in a ﬁeld of Abel Mahola. He put his sheet of cloth as a token of his blessings on Elisha’s shoulders. After this happening, Elisha left his home, farming and his town and remained with Elijah for seven years, who imparted spiritual training to him. When he returned to people after undergoing a rigorous training of austere spiritual exercises, he got engaged in preaching and serving people. He used to visit people, from town to town for spreading the word of God.
And Ishmael and Elisha, and Jonas, and Lut.' and We gave them favor above the nations.
(S: 6, V: 86)
And commemorate Ishmael, Elisha, and Zulkifl Each of them was of the company of the Good.
(S: 38, V:48)
Many miracles performed by Elisha have been reported in the 2"d Book of Kings, in the Old Testament. Once the people of the city said to Elisha that situation of the city is pleasant but the water of the spring is not and it causes the ground barren. And, he said, “Bring me a new bowl and put salt therein.” They brought it to him and he went to the spring of waters and cast the salt in there and said, “Thus says the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be any more deaths or barren lands from thence.”
Once a woman approached him lamenting, that her husband had died and the creditors want to take her two sons as bondmen. He asked her, “Do you have anything in the house?”
She said, “Thy hand-maid had -nothing save a pot of oil.”
He told her to go and borrow empty vessels from all her neighbors and behind the closed-doors start pouring that oil into those vessels, sell that oil and pay the debts and live the rest of her life in prosperity.
The women did as she was told and paid all her debts and lived with ease.
When he passed to Shunem, a rich lady beseeched him to eat and rest at her residence. She even made a small room for him to stay there. Once he asked her through his servant Gehazi, what could he do for her to acknowledge her services for him? The lady replied that she enjoyed her life but she is not blessed with any child. Elisha ‘said to her, “In the next spring season “will embrace your son.” And, the woman was blessed with a son in the next spring season as Elisha had predicted. When the child grew, he went with his father to the ﬁelds, where he had headache and died. The mother put him in Elisha’s room and ran out for the man of God; Elisha, who was in Mount Carmel at that time. Upon reaching him, she fell upon his feet and beseeched him for the life of her son. He gave his staff to Gehazi and told him to go to Shunem and lay his staff upon the face of the child. But this did not work. Then, Elisha went there and closed the door of the room and prayed to God. The child sneezed seven times and was restored to life.
After this Elisha went to Gilgal. There was dearth of food in that land. Elisha told his servant to set on a great pot and seethe pottage for them. Some brought vegetables from the ﬁelds, which had few wild gourds and they shred them too in the pot. When they sat to eat they thought it to be poisonous, for it was bitter, Elisha told them to bring some flour and put it in the pot. It corrected the meal and they ate it heartily.
Once a man from Baal-Sallisaw brought few breads of barley and few ears of corn for Elisha. He told his servant to give it to people that they may eat. He wondered and said, “What should I set this before these one hundred men.” He said, “Thus says the Lord, they shall eat and shall leave thereof.” So he set it before them and they did eat and left thereof, according to his words.
Nauman, the captain of the king of Syria was suffering from leprosy. His maidservant mentioned about Elisha to him. In those days Elisha was in Samaria. Nauman came to him with few of his men. Elisha told him to go and wash in River Jordan seven times. Nauman couldn’t believe this and went away enraged. But one of his comrades advised him to act upon the suggestion and see. So he dipped himself seven times in the River Jordan and he was cured of his disease.
Nauman brought valuable giﬁs for Elisha. Elisha refused to take them but his servant Gehazi was tempted and took those things without his master’s permission. When Elisha asked him he lied to him. Elisha cursed Gehazi and his descendants, and he left from his presence a leper as white as snow.
Once people, who had no proper place to reside, sought permission to go to Jordan. When he allowed them they insisted him to go with them. When they reached Jordan and they started cutting the wood for the construction of their houses. One of them dropped his axe in the river. He pleaded Elisha to help him in getting his axe recovered, because he had borrowed that axe from another person and he was not able to compensate him. Elisha asked him to point that place where he had dropped the axe and then took a branch of a tree and put it in the water. The axe surfaced and the man recovered it.
Elisha, using his spiritual powers, helped the king of Israel many times. During the war of Israel with Syria, he used to inform the king of Israel about the strategy of the invaders and his guidance helped them to win the battles. When it happened time and again, the king of Damascus started thinking about ﬁnding the spy in his ranks. He expressed his doubt before his counselors. One of them said, No that was not the case, Elisha; a prophet in the Israeli army helps them and tells them all that you say privately. So he thought of killing Elisha and sent an army of horses and chariots that besieged the city. When Elisha’s servant saw the army in the morning, he expressed his concern. Elisha said, “Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” Then he prayed to God, “Lord I pray Thee to open the eyes of the young man.” And he saw that the mountain was full of army of angels on horses and chariots of ﬁre around Elisha.
When the Syrian army came down to him, he prayed for them to be blind. And God smote them with blindness as Elisha had supplicated. Elisha told them that that was not the way and he would take them to the man they were after. He led them to Samaria. Then Elisha said, “Lord open the eyes of these men that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes and they saw in themselves in center of Samaria. The king of Israel sought permission to attack them but Elisha forbade him and said,” You should not smite them, would you kill those whom you take captives? Set bread and water before them that they may eat and drink and let them go to their master.”
Soon after this incident Ben-Hadad, king of Syria gathered all his forces and besieged Samaria. The siege was very tight and it prolonged that there was great famine in the city.
According to the Old Testament, in that famine a head of an ass was sold for eighty sliver coins. People started man-eating. This situation has been described in these words of Old Testament.
“And, as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him saying, Help, my lord, O king. And he said, “If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee?” And the king said unto her, “What ails thee?” And she answered, “This woman said to me, give thy son that we eat him today and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son and did eat him and I said to her the next day, give us your son that we may eat him and she has hid him.”
When the king heard the words of the woman, he rent his clothes and said in aggrieved voice, “God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha, the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day.
Elisha sat in his house with elders, before the messenger of the king could approach him, he said, “ See ye this son of Murderer has sent to take away my head? When the messengers comes shut the door and hold him fast at the door; is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?’ And, while he yet talked with them, the messenger came down unto him, Elisha said, “Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus says He, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine ﬂour be sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel in the gate of Samaria’, The messenger did not believe him and said, “If the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?” And he said, “Behold, thou shall see it with your very own eyes but shall not eat thereof.”
On the other hand, the Lord made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of a large army of chariots, horses and they thought that the king of Israel had sought the help of Hittites and Egyptians and they ﬂed for their life leaving their camp as it is. Four lepers passed by the camp and seeing it empty entered and ate to their satisfaction. Then they informed the king. The king sent his men to verify the news, who immediately confirmed that the Syrians have gone leaving their camp full of provisions and gold and silver. He appointed the duty of the same messenger, which he had sent for Elisha, to control the mob. But the hungry people broke away and he was killed in the stampede. Thus, prophesy of Elisha was once again fulﬁ led to every word of it. That man did see the selling of a measure of fine flour for one shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel but he couldn’t have anything to eat for himself.
King of Israel requested Elisha to pray for the strength of hi5 rule and his conquest over Syrians. He instructed him to throw an arrow using his how; his aimed towards east and let the arrow go. Elisha said, “This was for your conquest over Syria. Then he said him to hit the ground with his arrows. He struck the ground three times and stopped. Elisha said, “You should have struck six or seven times. If you had done so you would have ﬁnished the Syrians but now you would kill them for three times.
In spite of all his efforts and display of his supernatural powers of prophesying, when Elisha noticed that his people were not ready to quit their norms and did not follow him towards the straight path leading towards God, he prayed to God that he did not want to live any more amongst them and that He may allow him to come to Him forever. His prayer was acceded to and he breathed his last in the era of Johash. He was buried in his native town.
After his demise, after some time, people wanted to bury one of their dead in his grave. When the dead body touched the remains of the prophet, the dead revived to life.
Satan runs through the blood of men. If a man does not want to get rid of him and turns rebellious against God following the Satan, God puts a seal on the heart and hearing of such a person and covers his eyes with a veil and he cannot believe Oneness of God, in spite of seeing the signs demonstrated by Him.
Elisha performed many miracles using the powers that God had bestowed upon him but his people did not acknowledge his teachings and they kept on refuting the blessing of God and stubbornly followed the ways of rebellion and disobedience. His people had drowned so deep in the sins that such a kind prophet had to beseech God to take him. And, thus his people changed the blessing of God into His wrath and their misfortune and adversity.
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