Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 21 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Anselm of Canterbury
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

What is the difference between Elijah and Elisha?

ELIJAH,ELISHA

Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 06/15/18

These Old Testament prophets are frequently confused with each other.

There are many names of important figures in the Old Testament, and often they can be confusing. For example, in the Book of Kings there are two prophets who have a very similar name.

In most modern English translations they are called Elijah and Elisha, while older translations may refer to them as Elias and Eliseus. Either way, sometimes it can be hard to know who they are and what separates them from each other.

Here is a very brief rundown of who they were and specific stories that help put them into context.

Elijah

The prophet Elijah is first found in 1 Kings 17 and was God’s messenger to the kings of Israel, specifically, Ahab, Ahaziah and Joram. He is well known for reviving a widow’s son who had died (1 Kings 17:17-24), and for challenging the priests of Baal to a contest on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-40).

He was a man devoted to prayer and heard the voice of God on Mount Horeb in a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:9-14). When the time of his life ended on earth, he was seen taken up to Heaven “in a whirlwind” and passed on his ministry to Elisha (2 Kings 2:1).

Elisha

The successor to Elijah, the prophet Elisha is first mentioned in 1 Kings 19:16. He becomes a disciple of Elijah after he is seen plowing and Elijah places his mantle on him (1 Kings 19:19). Elisha leaves everything to follow Elijah and learn how to be like him. Elisha was the messenger of God during the reigns of Jehu, Jehoahaz and Jehoash in Israel.

After Elijah was taken up to Heaven, Elisha received a “double portion” of his spirit (2 Kings 2:9). This led to Elisha performing twice as many miracles as Elijah. One of his first miracles was taking the mantle of Elijah and striking the water, making it part in two (2 Kings 2:14). Many of his miracles were similar to what Elijah performed, including the miraculous multiplication of a widow’s jar of oil (2 Kings 4:1-7). When he died, a man was cast into his grave and was miraculously revived after touching the bones of Elisha (2 Kings 13:21).


MOSES,STATUE,TEN COMMANDMENTS

Read more:
Are holy men and women of the Old Testament considered saints?

Tags:
Bible
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
KIDS,WATERMELON,BEACH
Cerith Gardiner
New study shows that these 2 childhood habits make you a happier ...
2
EUCHARIST
Philip Kosloski
5 Fascinating facts about Jesus in the Eucharist
3
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
4
MASS
Philip Kosloski
5 Essential things used at Mass and their symbolism
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
The lasting lesson from the late Prince Philip
7
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.