Elisha
Overview
 
Elisha is a prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

 mentioned in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 and the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

. His name is commonly transliterated into English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as Elisha via Hebrew, Eliseus via Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, or Alyasa via Arabic.
Elisha was a prophet of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who was active during the reign of Joram
Jehoram of Israel
Jehoram was a king of the northern Kingdom of Israel. He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel.According to , in the fifth year of Joram of Israel, Jehoram became king of Judah, when his father Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, indicating a co-regency...

, Jehu
Jehu
Jehu was a king of Israel. He was the son of Jehoshaphat, and grandson of Nimshi.William F. Albright has dated his reign to 842-815 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 841-814 BC...

, Jehoahaz
Jehoahaz of Israel
Jehoahaz of Israel was king of Israel and the son of Jehu . William F. Albright has dated his reign to 815 BC – 801 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 814 BC – 798 BC. A stamp seal dated to the end of the 7th century BC has been found with the inscription "[belonging] to Jehoahaz, son of the...

, and Jehoash
Jehoash of Israel
Jehoash , whose name means “Yahweh has given,” was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the son of Jehoahaz. He was the 12th king of Israel and reigned for 16 years. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 801 BC – 786 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 798 BC – 782 BC...

 (Joash).

Elisha was the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah
Abel-meholah
Abel-meholah was the birthplace and residence of the prophet Elisha. It is located near where the Wady el-Maleh merges into the Jordan River, south of Bethshean. Here Elisha was found at his plough by Elijah on his return up the Jordan valley from Horeb . It is now called 'Ain Helweh.Attribution...

; he became the attendant and disciple of Elijah (1 Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

 19:16–19), and after Elijah was taken up into the whirlwind, he was accepted as the leader of the sons of the prophets, and became noted in Israel.
Encyclopedia
Elisha is a prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

 mentioned in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 and the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

. His name is commonly transliterated into English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 as Elisha via Hebrew, Eliseus via Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, or Alyasa via Arabic.

Biblical biography

Elisha was a prophet of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who was active during the reign of Joram
Jehoram of Israel
Jehoram was a king of the northern Kingdom of Israel. He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel.According to , in the fifth year of Joram of Israel, Jehoram became king of Judah, when his father Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, indicating a co-regency...

, Jehu
Jehu
Jehu was a king of Israel. He was the son of Jehoshaphat, and grandson of Nimshi.William F. Albright has dated his reign to 842-815 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 841-814 BC...

, Jehoahaz
Jehoahaz of Israel
Jehoahaz of Israel was king of Israel and the son of Jehu . William F. Albright has dated his reign to 815 BC – 801 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 814 BC – 798 BC. A stamp seal dated to the end of the 7th century BC has been found with the inscription "[belonging] to Jehoahaz, son of the...

, and Jehoash
Jehoash of Israel
Jehoash , whose name means “Yahweh has given,” was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the son of Jehoahaz. He was the 12th king of Israel and reigned for 16 years. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 801 BC – 786 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 798 BC – 782 BC...

 (Joash).

Elisha was the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah
Abel-meholah
Abel-meholah was the birthplace and residence of the prophet Elisha. It is located near where the Wady el-Maleh merges into the Jordan River, south of Bethshean. Here Elisha was found at his plough by Elijah on his return up the Jordan valley from Horeb . It is now called 'Ain Helweh.Attribution...

; he became the attendant and disciple of Elijah (1 Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

 19:16–19), and after Elijah was taken up into the whirlwind, he was accepted as the leader of the sons of the prophets, and became noted in Israel. He possessed, according to his own request, "a double portion" of Elijah's spirit (2 Kings
Books of Kings
The Book of Kings presents a narrative history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of his successor Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years...

 2:9); and for sixty years (892–832 BC) held the office of "prophet in Israel" (2 Kings 5:8).

When a group of children from Bethel
Bethel
Bethel was a border city described in the Hebrew Bible as being located between Benjamin and Ephraim...

 taunted the prophet for his baldness, Elisha cursed them in the name of God and two female bears came out of the forest and mauled 42 of them (2 Kings 2:23–25).

His name first occurs in the command given to Elijah to anoint him as his successor (1 Kings 19:16). After learning, in the cave on Mount Horeb
Mount Horeb
Mount Horeb, Hebrew: , Greek in the Septuagint: , Latin in the Vulgate: , is the mountain at which the book of Deuteronomy in the Hebrew Bible states that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God. It is described in two places as the Mountain of God or perhaps Mountain of the gods...

, that Elisha, the son of Shaphat, had been selected by God as his successor in the prophetic office, Elijah set out to make known the Divine will. On his way from Sinai
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

 to Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, 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 very wood of his plough. He went over to him, threw his mantle over Elisha's shoulders, and at once adopted him as a son, investing him with the prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

ic office. Elisha accepted this call about four years before the death of Israel's King Ahab
Ahab
Ahab or Ach'av or Achab in Douay-Rheims was king of Israel and the son and successor of Omri according to the Hebrew Bible. His wife was Jezebel....

. For the next seven or eight years Elisha became Elijah's close attendant until Elijah was taken up into heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

. 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 "followed Elijah and ministered to him". (1 Kings 19:8–21) He went with his master from Gilgal to Bethel
Bethel
Bethel was a border city described in the Hebrew Bible as being located between Benjamin and Ephraim...

, to Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

, 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. He then beheld Elijah taken up by a whirlwind into heaven. By means of the mantle let fall from Elijah, Elisha miraculously recrossed the Jordan, and so won from the prophets at Jericho the recognition that "the spirit of Elijah hath rested upon Elisha" (2 Kings 2:1–15). He won the gratitude of the people of Jericho for healing its barren ground by adding salt to its waters.

Before Elijah was taken up into the whirlwind, Elisha asked to "inherit a double-portion" of Elijah's spirit. This is 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. For example, if a man had three sons, his property was divided into fourths. Each son received one-fourth, with the oldest receiving two-fourths (twice as much as the others). In this instance with Elijah, Elisha is not asking to become twice as powerful as Elijah, but that he may be seen as the "rightful heir" to the work of the Lord that Elijah had done.

Before he settled in Samaria, the Prophet passed some time on Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel
Mount Carmel ; , Kármēlos; , Kurmul or جبل مار إلياس Jabal Mar Elyas 'Mount Saint Elias') is a coastal mountain range in northern Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea towards the southeast. Archaeologists have discovered ancient wine and oil presses at various locations on Mt. Carmel...

 (2 Kings 2:25). When the armies of Judah, Israel and Edom, then allied against Mesha
Mesha
King Mesha of Moab was a king of Moabites around the 9th century BC, known most famous for writing the Mesha stela.The books of Samuel record that Moab was conquered by David and retained in the territories of his son Solomon . Later, King Omri of Israel reconquered Moab after Moab was lost...

, the Moab
Moab
Moab is the historical name for a mountainous strip of land in Jordan. The land lies alongside much of the eastern shore of the Dead Sea. The existence of the Kingdom of Moab is attested to by numerous archeological findings, most notably the Mesha Stele, which describes the Moabite victory over...

ite 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 (2 Kings 3:4–24).

Personal and political work

Elisha's work within Israel involved two areas: personal and political. He tried to be accessible to the people and interceded in moments of crisis. He is termed a patriot, as he had involvement in helping soldiers and kings.

Personal

That Elisha inherited the wonder-working power of Elijah is shown throughout the whole course of his life. To relieve the widow importuned by a hard creditor, Elisha so multiplied a little oil as to enable her, not only to pay her indebtedness, but to provide for her family needs (2 Kings 4:1–7). To reward the rich lady of Shunam for her hospitality, he obtained for her from YHWH, at first the birth of a son, and subsequently the resurrection of her child (2 Kings 4:8–37). To nourish the sons of the prophets pressed by famine, Elisha changed into wholesome food the pottage made from poisonous gourds (2 Kings 4:38–41). By the cure of Naaman, who was afflicted with leprosy, Elisha, little impressed by the possessions of the Syrian general, whilst willing to free King Joram from his perplexity, principally intended to show "that there is a prophet in Israel". Naaman, at first reluctant, obeyed the Prophet, and washed seven times in the 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" (2 Kings 5:1–19). In the Christian
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 tradition, Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 referred to this event 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" (Luke 4:27).

Political

In punishing the avarice of his servant Gehazi
Gehazi
Gehazi, Geichazi, or Giezi is a figure found in the Tanakh Books of Kings. He was Elisha's servant. He appears in connection with the history of the Shunammite and of Naaman the Syrian...

 , in repeatedly saving King Jehoram of Israel
Jehoram of Israel
Jehoram was a king of the northern Kingdom of Israel. He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel.According to , in the fifth year of Joram of Israel, Jehoram became king of Judah, when his father Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, indicating a co-regency...

 from the ambushes planned by Benhadad
Hadadezer
Hadadezer ; also known as Adad-Idri and possibly the same as Bar-Hadad II ; Ben-Hadad II , was the king of Aram Damascus at the time of the battle of Qarqar against the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III in 853 BCE. He and Irhuleni of Hamath led a coalition of eleven kings at Qarqar...

 , in ordering the elders to shut the door against the messenger of Israel's ungrateful king (2 Kings 6:25–32), in bewildering with a strange blindness the soldiers of the Syrian king (2 Kings 6:13–23), in making iron float to relieve from embarrassment a son of a prophet (2 Kings 6:1–7), in confidently predicting the sudden flight of the enemy and the consequent cessation of the famine (2 Kings 7:1–20), in unmasking the treachery of Hazael
Hazael
Hazael was a court official and later an Aramean king who is mentioned in the Bible. Under his reign, Aram-Damascus became an empire that ruled over large parts of Syria and Palestine....

 (2 Kings 8:7–15), Elisha proved himself a divinely appointed Prophet of the one true God, whose knowledge and power he was privileged to share.
After Elijah's departure, Elisha returned to Jericho
Jericho
Jericho ; is a city located near the Jordan River in the West Bank of the Palestinian territories. It is the capital of the Jericho Governorate and has a population of more than 20,000. Situated well below sea level on an east-west route north of the Dead Sea, Jericho is the lowest permanently...

, and there healed the spring of water by casting salt
Salt
In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of cations and anions so that the product is electrically neutral...

 into it (2 Kings 2:21).

Elisha is next encountered in Scripture when he asks for a fall of rain
Rain
Rain is liquid precipitation, as opposed to non-liquid kinds of precipitation such as snow, hail and sleet. Rain requires the presence of a thick layer of the atmosphere to have temperatures above the melting point of water near and above the Earth's surface...

 when the army of Jehoram
Jehoram of Israel
Jehoram was a king of the northern Kingdom of Israel. He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel.According to , in the fifth year of Joram of Israel, Jehoram became king of Judah, when his father Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, indicating a co-regency...

 was faint from thirst (2 Kings 3:9–20). Other miracles Elisha accomplishes include multiplying the poor widow's jar of oil (4:1–7), restoring to life the son of the woman of Shunem
Shunem
Shunem is a small village mentioned in the Bible. It was located in the tribe of Issachar, to the north of Jezreel and south of Mount Gilboa .Shunem is where:*The Philistines encamped when they came against Saul, the first king of Israel;...

 (4:18–37), and multiplying the twenty loaves of new barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

 into a sufficient supply for a hundred men (4:42–44). During the military incursions of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 into Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Elisha cures Naaman
Naaman
Naaman was a commander of the armies of Ben-Hadad II in the time of Joram, king of Israel. He is mentioned in of the Tanakh. According to the narrative, he was afflicted with tzaraath...

 the Syrian of his leprosy
Leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

 (5:1–27), punishes his servant Gehazi
Gehazi
Gehazi, Geichazi, or Giezi is a figure found in the Tanakh Books of Kings. He was Elisha's servant. He appears in connection with the history of the Shunammite and of Naaman the Syrian...

 for his falsehood and his greed, and recovers an axe lost in the waters of the Jordan (6:1–7). He administered the miracle at Dothan
Dothan (ancient city)
Dothan was a city located at north of Shechem, and about 100 km north of Hebron. Eusebius places it 12 miles to the north of Sebaste...

, half-way on the road between Samaria
Samaria
Samaria, or the Shomron is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank.- Etymology :...

 and Jezreel
Jezreel Valley
-Etymology:The Jezreel Valley takes its name from the ancient city of Jezreel which was located on a low hill overlooking the southern edge of the valley, though some scholars think that the name of the city originates from the name of the clan which founded it, and whose existence is mentioned in...

, and 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 (2 Kings 6:24–7:2).

Elisha then journeyed to Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 and prophesied that Hazael
Hazael
Hazael was a court official and later an Aramean king who is mentioned in the Bible. Under his reign, Aram-Damascus became an empire that ruled over large parts of Syria and Palestine....

 would be king over Syria (2 Kings 8:7–15); thereafter he directs one of the sons of the prophets to anoint Jehu
Jehu
Jehu was a king of Israel. He was the son of Jehoshaphat, and grandson of Nimshi.William F. Albright has dated his reign to 842-815 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 841-814 BC...

, the son of Jehoshaphat
Jehoshaphat
Jehoshaphat was the fourth king of the The Kingdom of Judah, and successor of his father Asa. His children included Jehoram, who succeeded him as king...

, king of Israel, instead of Ahab.
Mindful of the order given to Elijah (1 Kings 19:16), Elisha delegated a son of one of the prophets to quietly anoint Jehu
Jehu
Jehu was a king of Israel. He was the son of Jehoshaphat, and grandson of Nimshi.William F. Albright has dated his reign to 842-815 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 841-814 BC...

 King of Israel, and to commission him to cut off the house of Ahab
Ahab
Ahab or Ach'av or Achab in Douay-Rheims was king of Israel and the son and successor of Omri according to the Hebrew Bible. His wife was Jezebel....

 (2 Kings 9:1–10). The death of Joram
Jehoram of Israel
Jehoram was a king of the northern Kingdom of Israel. He was the son of Ahab and Jezebel.According to , in the fifth year of Joram of Israel, Jehoram became king of Judah, when his father Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, indicating a co-regency...

, pierced by an arrow from Jehu's bow, the ignominious end of Jezabel, the slaughter of Ahab's seventy sons, proved how faithfully executed was the Divine command (2 Kings 9:11–10:30). After predicting to Joash
Jehoash of Israel
Jehoash , whose name means “Yahweh has given,” was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the son of Jehoahaz. He was the 12th king of Israel and reigned for 16 years. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 801 BC – 786 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 798 BC – 782 BC...

 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" (2 Kings 13:14–20).

While Elisha lies on his death-bed in his own house (2 Kings 13:14–19). Joash
Jehoash of Israel
Jehoash , whose name means “Yahweh has given,” was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the son of Jehoahaz. He was the 12th king of Israel and reigned for 16 years. William F. Albright has dated his reign to 801 BC – 786 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 798 BC – 782 BC...

, the grandson of Jehu, comes to mourn over his approaching departure, and utters 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."

The very touch of his corpse served to resuscitate a dead man. "In his life he did great wonders, and in death he wrought miracles" (Ecclesiasticus, xlviii, 15). After his death, a dead body was laid in Elisha's grave a year after his burial. No sooner does it touch Elisha's remains than the man "revived, and stood up on his feet" (2 Kings 13:20–21).

Veneration

He is venerated
Veneration
Veneration , or veneration of saints, is a special act of honoring a saint: an angel, or a dead person who has been identified by a church committee as singular in the traditions of the religion. It is practiced by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic, and Eastern Catholic Churches...

 as a saint
Saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

 in a number of Christian Churches. His feast day is on June 14, on the Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, and Eastern Catholic liturgical calendars
Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar
The Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar describes and dictates the rhythm of the life of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Associated with each date are passages of Holy Scripture, Saints and events for commemoration, and many times special rules for fasting or feasting that correspond to the day of...

 (for those churches which use the traditional Julian Calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

, June 14 falls on June 27 of the modern Gregorian Calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

). St. John of Damascus composed a canon
Canon (hymnography)
A canon is a structured hymn used in a number of Eastern Orthodox services. It consists of nine odes, sometimes called canticles or songs depending on the translation, based on the Biblical canticles. Most of these are found in the Old Testament, but the final ode is taken from the Magnificat and...

 in honor of the Prophet Elisha, and a church was built at Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 in his honor.

In Western Christianity
Western Christianity
Western Christianity is a term used to include the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church and groups historically derivative thereof, including the churches of the Anglican and Protestant traditions, which share common attributes that can be traced back to their medieval heritage...

 he is commemorated on the Carmelite religious order
Religious order
A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. The order is composed of initiates and, in some...

's calendar of saints. He is also commemorated as a prophet on the Calendar of Saints
Calendar of Saints (Lutheran)
The Lutheran Calendar of Saints is a listing which details the primary annual festivals and events that are celebrated liturgically by some Lutheran Churches in the United States. The calendars of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod are from the...

 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, celibate.

Julian the Apostate
Julian the Apostate
Julian "the Apostate" , commonly known as Julian, or also Julian the Philosopher, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 and a noted philosopher and Greek writer....

 (361–363) gave orders to burn the relic
Relic
In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial...

s of the prophets Elisha, Obadiah
Obadiah
Obadiah is a Biblical theophorical name, meaning "servant of Yahweh" or "worshipper of Yahweh." It is related to "Abdeel", "servant of God", which is also cognate to the Arabic name "Abdullah". Turkish name Abdil or Abdi. The form of Obadiah's name used in the Septuagint is Obdios; in Latin it is...

 and John the Baptist
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

, but they were rescued by the Christians, and part of them were transferred to Alexandria. Today, the relics of the prophet Elisha are claimed to be among the possessions of the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great
Monastery of Saint Macarius the Great
The Monastery of Saint Macarius is a Coptic Orthodox monastery located in Wadi El Natrun, Beheira Governorate, about 92 km north west of Cairo, and off the highway between Cairo and Alexandria.-Ancient History:...

 in Scetes, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

In Islam

Elisha is also mentioned in the Qur'an as a prophet. He is seen by Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s to be the prophetic successor to Elijah, known in Islam as Ilyas. Elisha is mentioned twice in the Qur'an as a prophet, and is mentioned both times alongside fellow prophets:

Ibn Kathir
Ibn Kathir
Ismail ibn Kathir was a Muslim muhaddith, Faqih, historian, and commentator.-Biography:His full name was Abu Al-Fida, 'Imad Ad-Din, Isma'il bin 'Umar bin Kathir, Al-Qurashi, Al-Busrawi...

 traces Elisha's genealogy through his father, in Islamic tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

 named Ukhtub, back to the lineage of Aaron
Aaron
In the Hebrew Bible and the Qur'an, Aaron : Ααρών ), who is often called "'Aaron the Priest"' and once Aaron the Levite , was the older brother of Moses, and a prophet of God. He represented the priestly functions of his tribe, becoming the first High Priest of the Israelites...

. In the various Stories of the Prophets
Qisas Al-Anbiya
The "Qasas Al-Anbiya" or Stories of the Prophets is any of various collections of tales adapted from the Quran and other Islamic literature, closely related to exegesis of the Qur'an. One of the best-known is that composed by Kisa'i in either the 6th or the 13th century; others include the Ara'is...

compilations in Islamic literature
Islamic literature
Islamic literature is literature written with an Islamic perspective, in any language.The most well known fiction from the Islamic world was The Book of One Thousand and One Nights , which was a compilation of many earlier folk tales told by the Persian Queen Scheherazade...

, Elisha's story is often grouped with that of his contemporary Elijah. The historian Hasan of Basra
Hasan of Basra
Hasan Al-Basri , , was a well-known Sunni preacher, theologian, and scholar of Islam who was born in 642 from Persian parents. Brought up in the house of Umm Salama, Hasan met many companions of Muhammad including, it is said, seventy of the warriors who fought in the Battle of Badr...

 said:

Muslims believe that Elijah was directed by God
God in Islam
In Islamic theology, God is the all-powerful and all-knowing creator, sustainer, ordainer, and judge of the universe. Islam puts a heavy emphasis on the conceptualization of God as strictly singular . God is unique and inherently One , all-merciful and omnipotent. According to the Islamic...

 to appoint Elisha as the succeeding prophet before vanishing into the protection of God. The narrative of Elisha in Muslim tradition is similar to that in the Hebrew Bible. Muslim scholars believe Elisha that prophesied through the reign of four kings: Joram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Jehoash but that Israel refused to hear his words.

There is also "the tomb of the prophet Elisha" in Aloujam in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. Reports from the city of Aloujam say that the shrine was removed by the authorities, because it is not in accordance with Sunni Islam, although in ancient times people used to visit it from afar.

See also

  • Biblical narratives and the Qur'an
  • Legends and the Qur'an
  • Prophets of Islam
    Prophets of Islam
    Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

  • Stories of The Prophets
    Stories of The Prophets
    Stories of The Prophets or Qasas al-anbiya is a famous work of Islamic literature, written by the Muslim scholar Ibn Kathir. In the book, Kathir has compiled all accounts of information regarding various prophets and messengers through Islamic history...


External links

– Animated depiction of the life of Elisha
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