Eliyahu and the Messiah
By James McCabe
The book of M’lakhim Bet (2 Kings) is the account of the prohet Eliyahu’s (Elijah’s) final days on the Earth before his ascendence into heaven in the fiery chariot, as well as the accounts of his protégé Elisha and the many miracles performed during his ministry. Through careful study of the book of M’lakhim Bet, and the Brit Chadassa (New Testament), it is clear to see the striking parallel between the ressurection of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus Christ) and the spreading of Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and the story of Eliyahu and Elisha. The hebraic names of the two prophets, the instruction of Eliyahu to Elisha at the time of his being taken up, and the subsequent annointing of Elisha paint a clear picture for the new covenant believer of who we are in Yeshua, and what can be down in His matchless name.
Eliyahu literally means God is Yahweh. A proclaimation that the God of Eliyahu is the one true God of the universe. This supports the idea that Eliyahu is a prophetic predecessor of Yeshua. The Hebrew characters of the name Eliyahu are hyla. It is important to know that each letter in the Hebrew alphabet has distinct meanings. It is beyond the scope of this thesis to outline the intricacies of the Hebrew alphabet, so it will suffice to simply explain the letters in the word Eliyahu. a Aleph – this letter means ‘God’. l Lamed – this letter means ‘authority’. Y Yod – this letter means ‘work’. h Hey – this letter means ‘grace’. Therefore, if the word Eliyahu is a movie, the letters that form the word is the frame by frame. By putting the definitions of the letters together to form a string, it is revealed God-Authority-Work-Grace or “God’s authority works by grace”. It is by this point-of-view that the parallels to Yeshua can start to be seen. Yeshua has all of the authority of God (Matt 28:18), He was God (John 1:1), and yet His work was a work of grace (Acts 15:11).
Elisha literally means God Saves. This further supports the idea that Elisha represents the saved peoples and the apostles and the modern day disciples of Messiah Yeshua. Hebraicly, the name Elisha is spelled [Xyla. Again, letter by letter comes out the frame by frame illustration. a Aleph – this letter means ‘God’. l Lamed – This letter means ‘authority’. Y Yod- This letter means ‘work’. X Shin – This letter means ‘comsume’. [ Ayin – This letter means ‘experience’. The string of these definitions is God-Authority-Work-Consume-Experience, or “God’s authority works to consume the experience. In other words, God will consume all of the experiences of those moving in his authority.
This is made clear through the workings of those that carry the annointing of God, and those with the gifts of the spirit. Just as Eliyahu represents the Messiah Yeshua by walking and moving in power and acting as the hands of God on the earth. And just as Eliyahu ascended into heaven as Yeshua did, he left his diciple his annointing. Yeshua too through His Holy Spirit has annointed those that would keep their eyes on him to move and do God’s work.
It is now time for Eliyahu to be taken up into Heaven. He calls his diciple close to ask if there is anything he can at last do for him before the time comes that he leaves.
“And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Eliyahu said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I am taken from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so…And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof! And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of the Jordan” (2 Kings 2:9-10; 12-13)
Relate this to the time just prior to Yeshua’s crucifixion.
“Let not your heart be troubled: believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go, ye know the way…If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:1-4; 16-17)
Here we have the parallel accounts of Eliyahu and Yeshua. On the one hand we have Eliyahu telling his diciple Elisha that he is about to be taken up. Elisha asks that he receive a double portion of the annointing of Eliyahu had. Eliyahu explains to Elisha that he must watch him ascend into heaven so that the annointing will go to him. So then, Elisha sees his teacher go up in the fiery chariot and then sees the mantle fall down to the earth. Elisha tore off his clothes immediately so that he could pick up the mantle left my Eliyahu and receive his double portion. The tearing of clothes is also important to note, because of several reasons. This is a reaction signifying mourning. Elisha misses his master, and does not wish to have to go one without him. There are several dozen instances of a king tearing his clothes when he was defeated, or the tearing of the cothes while mouring the loss of a loves one. The disciples of Messiah Yeshua also mourned in the upper room after Yeshua was crucified. Again emphasizing the important parallel between the story of Eliyahu and Yeshua.
Flash forward to the time of Messiah, and He tells His disciples that He will leave them soon, and that if they love Him they will obey his commandments. He tells them that He will send the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, Ruach HaKodesh. After Yeshua’s crucifixion and ressurection, He breathes on his disciples and empowers them with the Holy Spirit. Believers are told by the Apostle Paul to crucify themselves daily (Galatians 5:24) and to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6). It is in this way, that believers tear the clothes, or their flesh, and put on the mantle of the annointing of Ruach HaKodesh, according to Yeshua’s promise.
It is at this point that Elisha received the ‘double portion’ of Eliyahu’s anointing, just as when the believer in Messiah receives the annointing of the Holy Spirit. He then goes out and begins doing the work of God. Wherever he goes and finds a need he meets it using his gifts and authority. Elisha’s words are confirmed by God, because the Lord will honor the words of His prophets. Elisha carried the annointing to execute and utilize all of the spiritual gifts outlines in the book of 1 Corinthians. He prophesys, heals the sick, raises the dead, and many other miriculous signs and wonders, and just as Elisha was empowered by God, so are the believers in Messiah, according to Matthew 10:1 “And he called unto him his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean
spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of disease and all manner of sickness” and Mark 16:17-20 “And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen”
Elisha spoke, and what he spoke because manifested. When the children came up to him and mocked him, calling him ‘baldy,’ he rebuked the children, and cursed them. Whereupon two bears came out and mauled them all. Fourty two children die because of the words out of Elisha’s mouth in the name of Adonai (2 Kings 2:23-24). It is God’s will that none would perish, but because Elisha was annointed with the double portion from God, anything that he said or did would be confirmed by God. Life and death is in the power of thr tongue, and Elisha spoke death into the lives of those children, and they reaped the seed that he planted into their lives.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father.” (John 14:12) Elisha was able to do all of the things that Eliyahu could do, and even greater ones once Eliyahu ascended to the Father in heaven. Elisha could raise the part the sea, heal the sick, raise the dead, strike people down, create oil, purify food, and a number of other things outlined in 2 Kings. All of these miracles were possible because the annointing of God rested on his shoulders, greater than the annointing of his predecessor Eliyahu. So much the more is the annointing on the believers in Messiah, because the words of His mouth in John 14:12 state clearly that those who believe could do greater things.
Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain (Matthew 17:20). While Yeshua was on the Earth, He never moved a mountain, yet He promised us that those with faith could do so. This is an example of the ‘and still greater’ annointing and the double portion that He passes to us, just as Eliyahu passed his mantle to his servant Elisha.
It isimperative to have a strong knowledge and wisdom about the Tanach. Yeshua Himself said to His generation. “And he said unto them, These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me.” (Luke 24:44). These are the stries and the prophecies and the writings that will enrich the church to better understand the Messiah. When Yeshua is studied in the context of the Tanach, His true colors are more clearly seen. His plan, His history, His life and His death are illustrated so beautifully and clearly. As shown in this parallel, it is clear to see that Eliyahu is a foreshadowing predecessor to the true Messiah Yeshua, and his student Elisha carried the gifts and the annointing that has been passed to the believers through the Ruach HaKodesh.