BYU Studies | Come, Follow Me 2 Kings 2–7 "There Is a Prophet in Israel"

BYU Studies | Come, Follow Me 2 Kings 2–7 “There Is a Prophet in Israel”

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Come, Follow Me

2 Kings 2–7

“There Is a Prophet in Israel”

Chariots of Fire
After learning from Elijah, Elisha went on to perform many miracles and give prophecies. He fed multitudes with little bread, cured Naaman of leprosy, raised a child from the dead, and more, in acts that can be compared to the miracles of Jesus.
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Elisha learned from Elijah how to be a prophet. Elisha went on to perform many miracles and gave prophecies. He fed multitudes with little bread, he cured Naaman of leprosy, raised a child from the dead, and more, in acts that can be compared to the miracles of Jesus. 

 

“Elisha and the Children: The Question of Accepting Prophetic Succession,” Fred E. Woods, BYU Studies32, no. 3

The youths who taunted Elisha (2 Kings 2) were probably not small children but were teenagers or near twenty years old; the name “Baldhead” may well indicate that the youths were calling Elisha a usurper of prophetic authority. Such a charge needed to be met with serious consequences, and they incurred the vengeance of God.  

“‘Follow the Prophet’: Eight Principles from 1 and 2 Kings,” Ronald E. Bartholomew, Religious Educator 9, no. 1 (2008)

When Elisha was given Elijah’s mantle, he didn’t stop to see if it fit, he simply did his best to perform the work the Lord called him to do. The great woman from Shunem who invited Elisha into her home for food and rest (2 Kings 4:8) is an example to us to make room for the prophet in our lives. Elisha blessed her and her husband to have a son; when that son died, Elisha brought him back to life. The story of Naaman teaches us to trust God’s servants and obey him. The story of the Syrian army leaving food behind as they fled, giving the starving Israelites survival, tells us that prophets are also seers.

“Symbolic Action as Prophecy in the Old Testament,” Donald W. Parry, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament

In 2 Kings 13, Elisha and Joash together shoot an arrow, performing a symbolic action that described the prophecy that Joash would receive deliverance from Syria. This act is one of many in which Old Testament people used symbols as messages. 



“Elijah and Elisha,” Lenet Hadley Read, Ensign, March 1988

Elisha’s miracles can be likened to the role of Christ as our Savior. As Elisha helped Israel overcome enemies, Christ will overcome all enemies of righteousness. As Elisha multiplied oil, bread, and grain, Christ also multiplied food for survival and witnessed that he is bread of life. As Elisha restored a man to life, Christ will restore life to all.

“Naaman, Baptism, and Cleansing,” Travis T. Anderson, Ensign, January 1994

The story of Naaman the leper (2 Kings 5) stands as a type and shadow of cleansing power of repentance and baptism. Note that, in Old Testament culture, if leprosy went into remission, the leper was considered cleansed, not healed.  

“Naaman and Gehazi: A Contrast in Obedience,”Ralph W. Hardy Jr., Ensign, August 2002

Naaman was a powerful leader, and Gehazi was Elisha’s trusted servant. When Naaman was cleansed from leprosy, after initially resisting instructions, he wanted to reward Elisha, but Elisha refused. Gehazi later returned to Naaman and asked for money and clothing to help others, but he kept it for himself. Both men learned that strict obedience to the Lord is the only way. 

“Some Great Thing,” James E. Faust, Ensign, November 2001

The story of Naaman is an example to us to be diligent in small, daily obligations. 



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