Elisha (/ɪˈlaɪʃə/; Hebrew: אֱלִישָׁע, Modern: ʼElišaʻ, Tiberian: ʼĔlîšāʻ, "My God is salvation", Greek: Ἐλισ[σ]αῖος, Elis[s]aîos or Ἐλισαιέ, Elisaié) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a wonder-worker. Also mentioned in the New Testament and the Quran, Elisha is venerated as a prophet in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Amongst new religious movements, Bahá'í writings refer to him by name. His name is commonly transliterated into English as Elisha via Hebrew, Eliseus via Greek and Latin, or Alyasa via Arabic, and Elyesa via Turkish. He is said to have been a disciple and protégé of Elijah, and after Elijah was taken up in a chariot of fire, he gave Elisha a double portion of his power and he was accepted as the leader of the sons of the prophets. Elisha then went on to perform twice as many miracles as Elijah.
Elisha raising the Shunammite's Son, early 1900s Bible Card illustration
Elisha's story is related in the Book of Kings in the Hebrew Bible (in Judaism, part of the Nevi'im). According to this story, he was a prophet and a wonder-worker of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who was active during the reign of Joram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Jehoash (Joash). Elisha was the son of Shaphat, a wealthy land-owner of Abel-meholah; he became the attendant and disciple of Elijah.
His name first occurs in the command given to Elijah to anoint him as his successor. After learning in the cave on Mount Horeb, that Elisha, the son of Shaphat, had been selected by Yahweh as his successor in the prophetic office, Elijah set out to find him. On his way from Sinai to Damascus, Elijah found Elisha "one of them that were ploughing with twelve yoke of oxen". Elisha delayed only long enough to kill the yoke of oxen, whose flesh he boiled with the wood of his plough. Elijah went over to him, threw his mantle over Elisha's shoulders, and at once adopted him as a son, investing him with the prophetic office. Elisha accepted this call about four years before the death of Israel's King Ahab. For the next seven or eight years Elisha became Elijah's close attendant until Elijah was taken up into heaven. During all these years we hear nothing of Elisha except in connection with the closing scenes of Elijah's life.
After he had shared this farewell repast with his father, mother, and friends, the newly chosen prophet "went after Elijah, and ministered unto him." He went with his master from Gilgal to Bethel, to Jericho, and thence to the eastern side of the Jordan, the waters of which, touched by the mantle, divided, so as to permit both to pass over on dry ground. Elisha then was separated from Elijah by a fiery chariot, and Elijah was taken up by a whirlwind into Heaven.
Before Elijah was taken up into the whirlwind, Elisha asked to "inherit a double-portion" of Elijah's spirit. Some scholars see this as indicative of the property inheritance customs of the time, where the oldest son received twice as much of the father's inheritance as each of the younger sons. In this interpretation Elisha is asking that he may be seen as the "rightful heir" and successor to Elijah. Critics of this view point out that Elisha was already appointed as Elijah's successor earlier in the narrative and that Elisha is described as performing twice as many miracles as Elijah. In this interpretation the "double-portion" isn't merely an allusion to primacy in succession, but is instead a request for greater prophetic power even than Elijah. Much of this confusion comes from translations which incorrectly translate the phrase as a "double portion" while in Hebrew Elisha asks for "two thirds of a portion" of the prophetic spirit that imbued Elijah.
By means of the mantle let fall from Elijah, Elisha miraculously recrossed the Jordan, and Elisha returned to Jericho, where he won the gratitude of the people by purifying the unwholesome waters of their spring and making them drinkable.
Before he settled in Samaria, Elisha passed some time on Mount Carmel. When the armies of Judah, Israel and Edom, then allied against Mesha, the Moabite king, were being tortured by drought in the Idumean desert, Elisha consented to intervene. His double prediction regarding relief from drought and victory over the Moabites was fulfilled on the following morning. When a group of boys (or youths) from Bethel taunted the prophet for his baldness, Elisha cursed them in the name of Yahweh and two female bears came out of the forest and tore forty-two of the boys.
He became noted in Israel, and for six decades (892–832 BC) held the office of "prophet in Israel". He is called a patriot because of his help to soldiers and kings.
Elisha cleansed the infected waters of Jericho which were considered to be a cause of miscarriages and fatalities. To relieve a prophet's widow importuned by a harsh creditor, Elisha so multiplied a little oil as to enable her, not only to pay her debt, but to provide for her family needs. There is a Jewish tradition, or legend, that the woman's husband was Obadiah, the servant of King Ahab, who hid 100 prophets in two caves. To reward the rich lady of Shunem for her hospitality, he obtained for her from Yahweh, at first the birth of a son, and subsequently the resurrection of her child, who had died. To nourish the sons of the prophets pressed by famine, Elisha changed a pottage made from poisonous gourds into wholesome food. He fed a hundred men with twenty loaves of new barley, leaving some left over, in a story which is comparable with the miracles of Jesus in the New Testament. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges notes that the focus of this narrative does not dwell "on the increase of the bread by a miracle, and we are left to accept the result as either brought about in that way, or by the appetites of the men being satisfied with a small quantity."
Elisha cured the Syrian military commander Naaman of leprosy but punished his own servant Gehazi, who took money from Naaman. Naaman, at first reluctant, obeyed Elisha, and washed seven times in the River Jordan. Finding his flesh "restored like the flesh of a little child", the general was so impressed by this evidence of God's power, and by the disinterestedness of His Prophet, as to express his deep conviction that "there is no other God in all the earth, but only in Israel." Elisha allowed Naaman to continue in the service of the Syrian king and therefore be present in the worship of Rimmon in the Syrian temple. In the Christian tradition, Jesus referred to Naaman's healing when he said, "And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian."
Elisha's public political actions included repeatedly saving King Jehoram of Israel from the ambushes planned by Benhadad, ordering the elders to shut the door against the messenger of Israel's ungrateful king, bewildering with a strange blindness the soldiers of the Syrian king, making iron float to relieve from embarrassment a son of a prophet, confidently predicting the sudden flight of the enemy and the consequent cessation of the famine, and unmasking the treachery of Hazael.
Other miracles Elisha accomplishes include the recovery of an axe fallen into the waters of the Jordan. He administered the miracle at Dothan, half-way on the road between Samaria and Jezreel. At the siege of Samaria by the king of Syria, Elisha prophesied about the terrible sufferings of the people of Samaria and their eventual relief.
Elisha then journeyed to Damascus and prophesied that Hazael would be king over Syria. Mindful of the order given to Elijah, he directs one of the sons of the prophets to anoint Jehu, the son of Jehoshaphat, as king of Israel, and commissions him to cut off the house of Ahab. The death of Jehoram, pierced by an arrow from Jehu's bow, the ignominious end of Jezebel, the slaughter of Ahab's seventy sons, proved how faithfully executed was the Divine command. After predicting to Jehoash his victory over the Syrians at Aphek, as well as three other subsequent victories, ever bold before kings, ever kindly towards the lowly, "Elisha died, and they buried him."
While Elisha lay on his death-bed in his own house, Jehoash of Israel, the grandson of Jehu, came to mourn over his approaching departure, and uttered the same words as those of Elisha when Elijah was taken away, indicating his value to him: "My father, my father! the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof". Jehoash assists Elisha to fire an arrow eastwards from the window of his room, predicting as it lands:
Elisha predicts three successful battles over the Arameans, but no absolute victory. 2 Kings 13:25 records three victories of Joash whereby cities lost to the Arameans, probably on the west bank of the Jordan, were regained.
The touch of his corpse later served to resuscitate a dead man. A year after Elisha's death and burial (or, in the following spring) a body was placed in his grave. As soon as the body touched Elisha's remains the man "revived, and stood up on his feet".
He is venerated as a saint in a number of Christian Churches. His feast day is on June 14, on the Eastern Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic liturgical calendars (for those churches which use the traditional Julian calendar, June 14 falls on June 27 of the modern Gregorian calendar). John of Damascus composed a canon in honor of Elisha, and a church was built at Constantinople in his honor.
In Western Christianity he is commemorated in the calendar of saints of the Carmelites, a Catholic religious order, following a decree of the Carmelite General Chapter of 1399. He is also commemorated as a prophet in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Both calendars also celebrate him on June 14. Both the Orthodox and Roman Catholics believe that he was unmarried and celibate.
Julian the Apostate (361–363) gave orders to burn the relics of the prophets Elisha, Obadiah and John the Baptist, who were buried next to each other in Sebastia, but they were rescued by the Christians, and part of them were transferred to Alexandria. Today, the relics of Elisha are claimed to be among the possessions of the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great in Scetes, Egypt.
Elisha (Arabic: اليسع, Al-Yasaʿ) is venerated as a prophet in all of Islam, and is also honored by Muslims as the prophetic successor to Elijah (Arabic: Ilyās = Greek: Elias). Elisha is mentioned twice in the Quran as a prophet, and is mentioned both times alongside fellow prophets. According to the Quran, Elisha is exalted "above the rest of creation" (Arabic: فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى ٱلْعَالَمِين faḍḍalnā ʿalā l-ʿālamīna) and is "among the excellent" (Arabic: مِنَ ٱلْأَخْيَار mina ’l- akhyāri). Although the Quran does not give any details about Elisha's life, later Muslim tradition fleshed out Elisha's narrative through consulting the Hebrew Bible. Sources that identify Elisha with al-Khidr cite the strong relationship between al-Khidr and Elijah in Islamic tradition.
Some Muslims believe the tomb of Elisha is in Al-Awjam in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia. The shrine was removed by the Saudi Government because such veneration is not in accordance with the Wahhabi or Salafi reform movement dominant in Saudi Arabia. It had been an important landmark for many centuries during and before the Sunni Ottoman rule of the Middle-East, and had been a very popular pilgrimage destination for Muslims of all sects throughout the pre-modern period. A shrine of Elisha is also present in the Eğil district of Diyarbakir Province, Turkey.
Elisha Archibald Manning III (born May 19, 1949) is a former American football quarterback who played professionally for 13 seasons in the National Football League (NFL). He played in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints from 1971 to 1982, and for short stints with the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings. In college, he played for the Ole Miss Rebels football team at the University of Mississippi, and was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Manning is the father of Cooper Manning, former quarterback Peyton Manning, and current New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Peyton and Eli have each won two Super Bowls.Elisha Cook Jr.
Elisha Vanslyck Cook Jr. (December 26, 1903 – May 18, 1995) was an American stage, film and television character actor who often specialized in roles as "cowardly villains and neurotics." He is perhaps best remembered for his portrayal of Wilmer in the 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon and the futile efforts made by his character to intimidate Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) in the film. Cook's acting career spanned more than 60 years, with roles in productions such as The Big Sleep, Shane, The Killing, House on Haunted Hill, and Rosemary's Baby.Elisha Cuthbert
Elisha Ann Cuthbert (born November 30, 1982) is a Canadian actress and model. She played Kim Bauer in the series 24, Darcie Goldberg in the 2003 college comedy Old School, Danielle in the 2004 teen comedy film The Girl Next Door, and Carly Jones in the 2005 remake of House of Wax. She currently plays Abby Phillips in the Netflix Original Series The Ranch. In 2013, Maxim magazine named her "TV's most beautiful woman".At the age of 14, Cuthbert made her feature film debut in the 1997 family-drama Dancing on the Moon. Her first major lead role came in the 1998 drama film Airspeed (No Control) alongside Joe Mantegna. In 2001, she starred in the movie Lucky Girl, in which she received her first award, the Gemini Awards, but her career began in earnest in the 2000s when she played Kim Bauer, daughter of Jack Bauer in the action series 24. Subsequently, Cuthbert appeared in the lead role in the films The Quiet (2005) and Captivity (2007).
From 2011 to 2013, Cuthbert starred as Alex Kerkovich in the three seasons of the ABC comedy Happy Endings.Elisha Dyer Jr.
Elisha Dyer Jr. (November 29, 1839 – November 29, 1906) was a Rhode Island politician who was 45th Governor of Rhode Island from 1897 to 1900. He was the son of Elisha Dyer, Governor of Rhode Island from 1857 to 1859.Elisha Embree
Elisha Embree (September 28, 1801 – February 28, 1863) was a U.S. Representative from Indiana.
Born in Lincoln County, Kentucky, Embree moved to Indiana in 1811 with his father, who settled in Knox (now Gibson) County, near where Princeton was subsequently located.
He received limited schooling.
He engaged in agricultural pursuits.
He studied law.
He was admitted to the bar in 1836 and commenced practice in Princeton, Indiana.
Circuit judge for the fourth circuit of Indiana 1835–1845.
He was nominated as the Whig candidate for Governor of Indiana in 1849, but declined, preferring to run for Congress.
Embree was elected as a Whig to the Thirtieth Congress (March 4, 1847 – March 3, 1849).
He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1848 to the Thirty-first Congress.
He resumed the practice of law and also interested in farming.
He died in Princeton, Indiana, February 28, 1863.
He is interred in Warnock Cemetery.Elisha Gray
Elisha Gray (August 2, 1835 – January 21, 1901) was an American electrical engineer who co-founded the Western Electric Manufacturing Company. Gray is best known for his development of a telephone prototype in 1876 in Highland Park, Illinois. Some recent authors have argued that Gray should be considered the true inventor of the telephone because Alexander Graham Bell allegedly stole the idea of the liquid transmitter from him, although Gray had been using liquid transmitters in his telephone experiments for more than two years previously. Bell's telephone patent was upheld in numerous court decisions.
Gray is also considered to be the father of the modern music synthesizer, and was granted over 70 patents for his inventions. He was one of the founders of Graybar, purchasing a controlling interest in the company shortly after its inception.Elisha Hunt Allen
Elisha Hunt Allen (January 28, 1804 – January 1, 1883) was an American congressman, lawyer and diplomat, and judge and diplomat for the Kingdom of Hawaii.Elisha Kent Kane
Elisha Kent Kane (February 3, 1820 – February 16, 1857) was an American explorer, and a medical officer in the United States Navy during the first half of the 19th century. He was a member of two Arctic expeditions to rescue the explorer Sir John Franklin.
He was present at the discovery of Franklin's first winter camp, but he did not find out what had happened to the fatal expedition.Elisha Levy
Elisha Levy (Hebrew: אלישע לוי; born on 18 November 1957 in Jerusalem) is a retired Israeli footballer and currently a manager.Elisha Litchfield
Elisha Litchfield (July 12, 1785 Canterbury, Windham County, Connecticut – August 4, 1859 Cazenovia, Madison County, New York) was an American merchant and politician from New York.Elisha M. Pease
Elisha Marshall Pease (January 3, 1812 – August 26, 1883) was a Texas politician. He served as the fifth and 13th governor of Texas.Elisha Otis
Elisha Graves Otis (August 3, 1811 – April 8, 1861) was an American industrialist, founder of the Otis Elevator Company, and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails.Elisha Scott
Elisha Scott (24 August 1893 – 16 May 1959) was a Northern Irish football goalkeeper who most notably played for Liverpool from 1912 to 1934 (still holding the record as their longest-serving player).Elisha Taylor House
The Elisha Taylor House is a historic private house located at 59 Alfred Street in Midtown Detroit, Michigan, within the Brush Park district. The house was designated a Michigan State Historic Site in 1973 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Since 1981, it has served as a center for art and architectural study, known as the Art House.Elisha ben Abuyah
Elisha ben Abuyah (Hebrew: אלישע בן אבויה) (spelled variously, including Elisha ben Avuya) was a rabbi and Jewish religious authority born in Jerusalem sometime before 70 CE. After he adopted a worldview considered heretical by his fellow Tannaim and betrayed his people, the rabbis of the Talmud refrained from relating teachings in his name and referred to him as the "Other One" (אחר, Acher). In the writings of the gaonim this name appears as "Achor" ("backwards"), because Elisha was considered to have "turned backwards" by embracing heresy.Fess Parker
Fess Elisha Parker, Jr. (born F.E. Parker; August 16, 1924 – March 18, 2010), was an American film and television actor best known for his portrayals of Davy Crockett in the Walt Disney 1954–1955 TV miniseries, which aired on ABC, and as Daniel Boone in an NBC television series from 1964 to 1970. He was also known as a winemaker and resort owner-operator.Ishmael ben Elisha ha-Kohen
For the 3rd-generation Tanna sage, see Rabbi Ishmael (ben Elisha). For the 3rd-century Tanna sage, see Ishmael ben Jose.
Ishmael ben Elisha ha-Kohen (Hebrew: רבי ישמעאל בן אלישע כהן גדול, "Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha Kohen Gadol", lit. "Rabbi Ishmael ben (son of) Elisha [the] Kohen Gadol (High priest)"; sometimes in short Ishmael ha-Kohen, lit. "Ishmael the Priest") was one of the prominent leaders of the first generation of the Tannaim.
Jewish tradition describes his father as High Priest in the Second Temple of Jerusalem, though no High Priest by the name Elisha is historically known.Ishmael was also one of the Ten Martyrs, along with Shimon ben Gamliel. Ishmael's tomb is located in the Druze village of Sajur in the Upper Galilee.Jim Folsom
James Elisha Folsom Sr. (October 9, 1908 – November 21, 1987), commonly known as Jim Folsom or Big Jim Folsom, was an American politician who served as the 42nd governor of the U.S. state of Alabama, having served from 1947 to 1951, and again from 1955 to 1959.Rabbi Ishmael
Rabbi Yishmael ben Elisha (Hebrew: רבי ישמעאל בן אלישע), often known as Rabbi Yishmael and sometimes given the title "Ba'al HaBaraita" (Hebrew: בעל הברייתא), was a rabbi of the 1st and 2nd centuries (third generation of tannaim).
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