Part 5: Elijah and Elisha

What about Elijah and Elisha? Is Elijah one of the Two Witnesses of Revelation? What relation does Elisha have to the Two Witnesses?

Key:

  • Blue Type is for Water Miracles
  • Purple Type is for God / Heaven Miracles
  • Red Type is for Blood Miracles
  • Orange Type is for Fire Miracles
  • Yellow Type is for Resurrection Miracles
  • Green Type is for Biological Miracles
  • Brown Type is for Food Miracles
  • Black Type is for Earthquake Miracles


Elijah the prophet
is first mentioned in the Bible as "Elijah the Tishbite" (1 Kings 17:1). The name "Elijah" means "The Lord is my God".

His servant, Elisha the prophet, is introduced in 1 Kings 19:16. The name "Elisha" means "God is salvation".

For a quick summary of the lives and miracles of Elijah and Elisha, please visit this page on this website:

Miracles of Elijah and Elisha

It will open in a new window; just close that window to return to this page. The contents of that page will be referenced liberally on this page.



To answer the question of whether or not Elijah is one of the Two Witnesses of Revelation, let us begin by looking in the Book of Malachi. Malachi 4:5-6 states:

Malachi 4:5-6

“5 Look! I am sending Elijah the prophet to you, to come before the day of Yehovah [God] the Great and Feared;

6 and he will restore the hearts of fathers towards sons, and sons towards their fathers; otherwise, I will come and hit the Earth with doom.”

This passage from Malachi has long been thought to suggest that Elijah would return to Earth prior to the coming of the Christ (also called the “Messiah”). For example, Matthew 17:10 says the following:

Matthew 17:10

“And the disciples inquired of Him [Jesus], saying “Then why are the scribes saying that Elijah must come first?”

This indicates that even during the time before Jesus was killed, the scribes (students of the Bible) already taught that Elijah would come first, that is, before the coming of the Christ (the “day of Yehovah”, as it is called in Malachi).

With this in mind, it is clear that the "return" of Elijah is predicted by the Bible, in Malachi; and this understanding of this passage is confirmed by many New Testament passages: Matthew 11:7-14; Matthew 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13; and Luke 1:13-18.



And, in a very real sense, Elijah has already "returned” in his companion prophet Elisha, long before the Book of Malachi was written. Elisha served in Elijah’s special ministry after Elijah ascended to Heaven. This is first evident in the fact that God directly tells Elijah that Elisha has been chosen to replace him after Elijah's ascension into Heaven (1 Kings 19:16).

Also, when Elisha makes his request to share the spirit that is upon Elijah (2 Kings 2:9), and that request is granted to Elisha (2 Kings 2:12), then Elisha does walk in the same "spirit"--share in the same special ministry--as Elijah.


Not only does the Bible tell us this explicitly, but this can be seen in how Elisha’s life is filled with many miracles similar to those which occurred in the life of Elijah.

Miracle Comparison for Elijah and Elisha

Food (Including Drinking Water)

  • Elijah: tells the rain when to stop and start; fed by ravens; flour and oil last miraculously long; food and water satisfy for 40 days and nights
  • Elisha: detoxifies a water source, and some vegetables; trenches fill with water; small flask of oil fills miraculous number of containers; 20 loaves of bread feed 100 people, and there are leftovers; Samaria gains food from fleeing army; Shunemite woman escapes famine by heeding the orders of Elisha

Water

  • Elijah: tells the rain when to stop and start; parts the Jordan River and walks on the dry river bottom
  • Elisha: parts the Jordan River and walks on the dry river bottom; detoxifies a water source; trenches fill with water

Resurrection

  • Elijah: sees a woman’s son brought back to life
  • Elisha: sees a woman's son brought back to life; a man returns to life after his dead body falls on Elisha’s bones

Biological

  • Elijah: aided by animals (fed by ravens); prophesied a disease on a man (king of Judah); runs faster than a horse-drawn chariot
  • Elisha: aided by animals (avenged by bears); prophesied a disease on a man (Gehazi) after that man charged another man for the healing of a disease; childless woman has a child

God/Heaven

  • Elijah: stands before Yehovah (God) and watches God pass by; ascends into Heaven
  • Elisha: is able to see Elijah ascend into Heaven

(If you don't remember any of these miracles, please see Miracles of Elijah and Elisha; this page will open in a new window.)

Clearly, the spirit that was upon Elijah was also on Elisha.


So we can see from Scripture that the “return” of Elijah is God’s Will. Not only can it happen, it did happen: Elisha is an example of this "returning" of Elijah.

Let us now consider the question:

Could Elijah be one of the Two Witnesses of Revelation?

We already have a "yes" answer from the Book of Malachi, as we saw earlier. However, from the comparison of Elijah's and Elisha's miracles, we can now see that there is also another way to answer this question: a comparison of miracles.

If we compare the miracles of Elijah and Elisha with the miracles of the Two Witnesses of Revelation, we see some striking similarities:

  • The Two Witnesses have fire coming from their mouths (Revelation 11:5); Elijah called fire from the sky (1 Kings 18:36-38; 2 Kings 1:10,12).
  • The Two Witnesses stop the rain during the time of their prophesying, which is a total of 1,260 days, or approximately 3.5 years (Revelation 11:3,6); Elijah stopped the rain for 3.5 years (1 Kings 17:1 and 18:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:17).
  • The Two Witnesses have the power to turn waters into blood (Revelation 11:6); Elisha had trenches fill with water that looked like blood when viewed from a point a large distance away (2 Kings 2:22-23).
  • The Two Witnesses have the power to release plagues on Earth whenever they wish (Revelation 11:6); Elijah prophesied a plague on the king of Judah (2 Chronicles 21:15-19), and Elisha prophesied a plague on his servant Gehazi (2 Kings 5:27).
  • The Two Witnesses are resurrected after 3.5 days (Revelation 11:11); both Elijah and Elisha had resurrection miracles in their ministries (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:32-37; 2 Kings 13:20-21).
  • The Two Witnesses will hear God's Voice and ascend into Heaven (Revelation 11:12); Elijah ascended into Heaven as Elisha watched (2 Kings 2:11-12).
  • The Two Witnesses ascend the same hour as a powerful earthquake (Revelation 11:13); when Elijah stood in the Presence of God in Mount Horeb, there was an earthquake (1 Kings 19:11-12).

We now find that, not only is it God’s Will for Elijah to “return”; but that Elijah and Elisha also have had miracles in their lives that closely resemble those of the Two Witnesses.

What we discover is that Elijah, Elisha, and one of the Two Witnesses, all hold the same special ministry. All of them come to Earth in "the spirit and power of Elijah". That phrase, "the spirit and power of Elijah," comes from Scripture: it is in Luke 1:17.

There is one more person who has shared this special ministry, and who has been an "Elijah". It is time for Part 6: John the Baptist.

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