Old Testament Summary Lesson 29: "He Took Up… The Mantle of Elijah" | Israel Revealed

Old Testament Summary Lesson 29: “He Took Up… The Mantle of Elijah”

  1. The Name Elisha Means “My God Saves:” It includes the inference that it is God, not the prophet, who is the maker of miracles. Jewish thought has alternated between recognizing the power of man or the power of God. “Elisha’s prophetic powers were indeed increased after the master’s death — he performed 16 miracles compared to Elijah’s eight, and brought back to life two people to Elijah’s one.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
  2. Miracles, Natural or Supernatural? “Miracles (are) extraordinary phenomena that seem to fall outside the pattern of normal, explainable occurrences are frequently referred to in English as miracles.” “Later thinkers, for whom “the natural order” had an existence independent of God, were troubled by the question whether biblical miracles were “natural” or “supernatural,” but the Bible makes no such distinction and never questions God’s ability to do anything, by any means.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
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  4. Subject to His Control: “Having been created by God, the universe is also totally subject to His control. As a result, God can impose His will upon the workings of the natural world as He pleases (the miracles of the Bible) but He can also transfer some of His controlling power to others. This God did when He created and blessed man. Although part of the natural world, man was given dominion over it, and told that the natural world was to serve his greater interests.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
  5. Relationship to Governmental Authority: Elisha’s continued theme was that he was a servant of God, even refusing payment from Syria’s highest-ranking officer in the Land of Israel at that time. The anomaly is that the children of Israel strongly objected to the Syrian “occupying” forces. The prophet was probably teaching the same principle that Jesus taught and that has been revealed again in our day: “. . . Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:21) “We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” (Articles of Faith 11)

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