The Prophet Elisha takes the mantle of
his master and teacher in prophecy, Eliyahu HaNavi
(Elijah the Prophet), quite literally. (II Melachim 2:13). He strikes the
waters of the Yarden (the River Jordan) with the mantle, and asks, “Where
is HaShem, the G-d of Eliyahu?” As he speaks, the waters part, as they had
for Eliyahu. “And when the ‘Sons of the Prophets’ who were in Yericho see
this, they say, ‘The spirit of Eliyahu rests on Elisha.’ ” (II Melachim
2:15) The first independent miracle performed by Elisha is when he
sweetens and purifies the waters of Yericho by adding salt to them.
In his travels, Elisha is frequently hosted by a prominent woman of Shunam, and her husband. He discovers that she is childless, and promises her that in a year, she will have a son. The infant arrives, grows to boyhood, but one day in the field is seized by a terrible pain in his head, and dies. Ultimately, in a manner similar to his master, Eliyahu, Elisha performs “Miraculous Cardio-Pulmonary Revival of the Dead.”
On another occasion, a situation arises for a great Sanctification of G-d’s Name, but is partially diminished by the greed of Gechazi, Elisha’s servant. Naaman is a great general of Aram, but he has contracted leprosy. He tries all known cures, but nothing works. Then a young Jewish girl taken into captivity by Aram, now serving the wife of Naaman, suggests to her mistress that the general seek a cure from the great Prophet of Israel, Elisha. The King of Aram urges him to go to the King of Israel, and sends a great reward. But the King, distraught at not knowing what to do, rends his clothing. Elisha hears of this and sends a message that Naaman should come to him. The great general and his entourage arrive at the house of the Prophet. Without setting a foot outside, Elisha sends a message that Naaman should bathe seven times in the Yarden. Naaman becomes enraged, for he has expected that Elisha will come out to treat him.
Moreover, he says “Are not Amana and
Parpar, rivers of Damesek, better than all the waters of Israel!?” (II
Melachim 5:12) But his servants urge him to try Elisha’s cure. He does,
and it works, “... and his flesh is restored like the flesh of a little
child, and he is clean.” (II Melachim 5:14) Naaman returns to Elisha’s
house, professes his faith in the G-d of Israel, and offers the King’s
reward to him. Elisha will take nothing. But when Naaman leaves, Gechazi
follows him and obtains part of the reward. When Gechazi returns, Elisha,
knowing what has happened, transfers Naaman’s leprosy to Gechazi.
The above graphic includes photographs that were provided by VERAfilm archives.