After G-d figured out that Elijah the prophet didn’t understand what is the correct way to believe in him and to be his prophet, it's written in the Hebrew Bible-
"וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֵלָיו, לֵךְ שׁוּב לְדַרְכְּךָ מִדְבַּרָה דַמָּשֶׂק; וּבָאתָ, וּמָשַׁחְתָּ אֶת-חֲזָאֵל לְמֶלֶךְ--עַל-אֲרָם. וְאֵת יֵהוּא בֶן-נִמְשִׁי, תִּמְשַׁח לְמֶלֶךְ עַל-יִשְׂרָאֵל; וְאֶת-אֱלִישָׁע בֶּן-שָׁפָט מֵאָבֵל מְחוֹלָה, תִּמְשַׁח לְנָבִיא תַּחְתֶּיךָ. וְהָיָה, הַנִּמְלָט מֵחֶרֶב חֲזָאֵל--יָמִית יֵהוּא; וְהַנִּמְלָט מֵחֶרֶב יֵהוּא, יָמִית אֱלִישָׁע"
"The LORD said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus, and when you have arrived, you shall anoint Hazael king over Aram; And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint king over Israel; And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall come about, the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha shall put to death"(1 Kings 19:15-17)
As a Biblical Hebrew teacher, this passage for me is a masterpiece. G-d firstly speaks with Elijah about two leaders that will be kings, Hazael and Jehu. Only after that, he tells Elijah that he won't continue to be a prophet, without telling him that he is too zealous- he tells him- Elisha is going to be in your place.
When Elijah met Elisha he threw his mantle over him. If you'll learn the Biblical Hebrew you will find out that the mantle is a sign of power that the leader or the prophet had, and if he lost it, he isn't the leader anymore. Let us enjoy the beautiful verses-
"וַיֵּלֶךְ מִשָּׁם וַיִּמְצָא אֶת-אֱלִישָׁע בֶּן-שָׁפָט, וְהוּא חֹרֵשׁ, שְׁנֵים-עָשָׂר צְמָדִים לְפָנָיו, וְהוּא בִּשְׁנֵים הֶעָשָׂר; וַיַּעֲבֹר אֵלִיָּהוּ אֵלָיו, וַיַּשְׁלֵךְ אַדַּרְתּוֹ אֵלָיו. וַיַּעֲזֹב אֶת-הַבָּקָר, וַיָּרָץ אַחֲרֵי אֵלִיָּהוּ, וַיֹּאמֶר אֶשְּׁקָה-נָּא לְאָבִי וּלְאִמִּי, וְאֵלְכָה אַחֲרֶיךָ; וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ לֵךְ שׁוּב, כִּי מֶה-עָשִׂיתִי לָךְ. וַיָּשָׁב מֵאַחֲרָיו וַיִּקַּח אֶת-צֶמֶד הַבָּקָר וַיִּזְבָּחֵהוּ, וּבִכְלִי הַבָּקָר בִּשְּׁלָם הַבָּשָׂר, וַיִּתֵּן לָעָם, וַיֹּאכֵלוּ; וַיָּקָם, וַיֵּלֶךְ אַחֲרֵי אֵלִיָּהוּ--וַיְשָׁרְתֵהוּ."
"So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him. He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” So he returned from following him, and took the pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the implements of the oxen, and gave it to the people and they ate. Then he arose and followed Elijah and ministered to him."(1 Kings 19:19-21)
According to Elijah's behavior, we can figure out his difficulties. It's wasn't easy to be fired by G-d. He threw the mantle at Elisha, maybe because he is desperate, but when Elisa approached him, he said to him – go back. Even at the beginning of 2 Kings 2, which is one of the greatest chapters in the Bible, we can see this attitude to Elisha, as written:
"וַיְהִי, בְּהַעֲלוֹת יְהוָה אֶת-אֵלִיָּהוּ, בַּסְעָרָה, הַשָּׁמָיִם; וַיֵּלֶךְ אֵלִיָּהוּ וֶאֱלִישָׁע, מִן-הַגִּלְגָּל. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ אֶל-אֱלִישָׁע שֵׁב-נָא פֹה, כִּי יְהוָה שְׁלָחַנִי עַד-בֵּית-אֵל, וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלִישָׁע, חַי-יְהוָה וְחֵי-נַפְשְׁךָ אִם-אֶעֶזְבֶךָּ; וַיֵּרְדוּ, בֵּית-אֵל. ... וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אֵלִיָּהוּ אֱלִישָׁע שֵׁב-נָא פֹה, כִּי יְהוָה שְׁלָחַנִי יְרִיחוֹ, וַיֹּאמֶר, חַי-יְהוָה וְחֵי-נַפְשְׁךָ אִם-אֶעֶזְבֶךָּ; וַיָּבֹאוּ, יְרִיחוֹ.... וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אֵלִיָּהוּ שֵׁב-נָא פֹה, כִּי יְהוָה שְׁלָחַנִי הַיַּרְדֵּנָה, וַיֹּאמֶר, חַי-יְהוָה וְחֵי-נַפְשְׁךָ אִם-אֶעֶזְבֶךָּ; וַיֵּלְכוּ, שְׁנֵיהֶם"
" And it came about when the LORD was about to take up Elijah by a whirlwind to heaven, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here please, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you… Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to Jericho. ” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you. ” So they came to Jericho… Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan. ” And he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on."(2 Kings 2, 1-2,4,6)
In Gilgal , Beth-El and Jericho, Elijah wants to say goodbye, but Elisha wants to stay with his master until the last second! The persistence of Elisha brought Elijah to understand that as he was dedicated to G-d, Elisha is devoted to him as written "the two of them went on". I do hope that from these two characters we will learn what is devotion and how we shouldn't be zealous towards people or to an idea- only for knowledge of the holy Language- Hebrew!
Have a great week, Eli
P. S- The first Webinar in February will revolve around this beautiful chapter. I hope to see all of you there. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us!