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Elisha is Made a Prophet

When Ahab returned to his home and told the wicked Jezebel what Elijah had done and how he had slain the prophets with the sword, Jezebel was exceedingly angry. She sent a messenger to Elijah, saying: "May the gods destroy me if I do not make your life as the life of one of the dead prophets by tomorrow about this time." This threat meant that she intended to kill Elijah if she could.

When Elijah received this message, he hastened to go to Beersheba. Leaving his servant he went a day's journey into the wilderness and sat down under a juniper tree and said to himself: "It is enough, now, O Lord; take away my life, for the wicked Jezebel pursues me and will slay me if she can find me."

Soon he fell asleep under the juniper tree. An angel appeared to him and touched him and said to him: "Elijah, arise and eat."

Elijah looked around and saw a cake baked on the coals and a cruse of oil on the ground near his head. He ate the cake and drank the water and laid down again and slept.

The angel came again the second time and touched him and said: "Elijah, arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you." Elijah awoke from his sleep and ate the cake and drank the water and then he went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights, till he came to Mount Horeb.

He entered into a cave and lived there and the word of the Lord came to him and said: "What are you doing there, Elijah?"

"I have been jealous for the Lord," replied Elijah, "and the children of Israel have forsaken His commandments and thrown down His altars and slain His prophets and I am the only one that is left and now they seek my life to take it away."

Then the Lord said: "Go forth from the cave, Elijah, and stand upon the mount," and Elijah went forth and stoop upon the mount as the Lord had directed. Then the Lord passed by and a great wind shook the mountain and broke in pieces the rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind.

After that there was a terrible earthquake and all the earth shook and split in pieces, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there came a great fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire came a still small voice and Elijah stood and listened to what the voice said to him.

When Elijah heard the small voice speaking to him he wrapped his face in his mantle and went and stood near the entrance of the cave and the still small voice said to him: "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

"I have been very jealous for the Lord," said Elijah, even as he had said before, "but the children of Israel have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and thrown down the altars and slain the prophets and I am the only one that is left and they seek my life to take it away."

Now the still small voice was the word of the Lord speaking to Elijah and it said to him: "Go on your way to the wilderness of Damascus and when you come there anoint Hazael to be king over Israel. Elisha you shall anoint to be prophet in your place after you are gone."

The Lord told Elijah not to be discouraged for there were yet seven thousand men in Israel who had not bowed their knees unto Baal, the heathen god. He promised Elijah to take care of him and told him to keep on prophesying for the Lord would take care of His own.

Then Elijah disappeared, to do as the Lord said. As he was going on his way he found Elisha plowing in a field with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and with him were eleven others, each with a yoke of oxen and Elisha was with the last yoke. When Elijah passed by and looked upon Elisha, he knew he was the man whom the Lord had chosen to be prophet.

Elijah took off his cloak or mantle which he had around him and laid it across the shoulders of Elisha and Elisha knew by this token that he was chosen to be a prophet. Elisha then left the oxen in the field and went after Elijah saying: "Let me kiss my father and my mother and then I will follow you." And Elijah told him to do so. Then Elisha took his yoke of oxen and slew them and boiled their flesh with the plowshares that he had and gave the flesh to the others to eat. Then he arose and went after Elijah and became his servant.