Asked in Religion & SpiritualityThe Bible
Why did Elijah throw his mantle on Elisha in the bible?
June 24, 2017 1:44PM
It was a token of the "transfer of God's Power: His Holy Spirit" from Elijah to Elisha [from one generation to the next] as to who would be the new leader among the sons of the prophets.
"...the group of prophets from Jericho came to Elisha and asked him, 'Did you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?' 'Quiet!' he answered again. 'Of course I know it.'" (II Kings 2:1 NLT New Living Translation)
"...Elijah said to Elisha, 'What can I do for you before I am taken away?' And Elisha replied, 'Please LET ME BE YOUR RIGHTFUL SUCCESSOR.'
'You have asked a difficult thing,' Elijah replied. 'If you see me when I am taken from you, then you will get your request. But if not, then you won't.'" (verses 9-10)
"When the group of prophets from Jericho saw what happened, they exclaimed, 'ELISHA HAS BECOME ELIJAH'S SUCCESSOR!' And they when to meet him and BOWED DOWN BEFORE HIM." (verse 15)
Matthew Henry says:
"...Elijah left his mantle to Elisha; as a token of the descent of the Spirit upon him; it was more than if he had left him thousands of gold and silver. Elisha took it up, not as a sacred relic to be worshipped, but as a significant garment to be worn...".
The significance wasn't lost on the prophets who recognized their new leader; but due to their lack of God's Spirit within them, they [and we all] still have much to learn about Faith and God:
"...The sons of the prophets made a needless search for Elijah. Wise men may yield to that, for the sake of peace, and good opinion of others, which yet their judgment is against, as needless and fruitless. Traversing hills and valleys will never bring us to Elijah, but following the example of his holy Faith and Zeal will, in due time." (Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary: SECOND KINGS 2...)