Rebellion of Moab & Elisha

Wow, seems like Elijah was as powerful as Moses, if not more so.  He could even control the weather.

“Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab.

And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.

Ancient Samaria, which is part of the Holy Land, and the cultural heritage of the town of Sebastia.

But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?

Now therefore thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die. And Elijah departed” (2 Kgs 1:1-4).

When the messengers turned back to Ahaziah he asked why they came back and they told him what Elijah told them, which was what God told him.

“Then the king sent unto him a captain of 2 fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down” (2 Kgs 1:9).

“Elijah said to the captain, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty” (2 Kgs 1:10).

Ahaziah son of Ahab was king of Israel in Samaria in the 17th year of Jehosophat kiing of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years.

He “did evil in the eyes of the LORD, because he walked in the ways of his father and mother and in the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin

He served and worshiped Baal and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel to anger, just as his father had done” (1 Kgs 22:51-53).

Another 50 was sent and burnt up.  Another 50 was sent and the captain fell on his knees before Elijah and begged,

“And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.

Behold, there came fire down from heaven, and burnt up the two captains of the former fifties with their fifties: therefore let my life now be precious in thy sight.

And the angel of the Lord said unto Elijah, Go down with him: be not afraid of him. And he arose, and went down with him unto the king.

And he said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, is it not because there is no God in Israel to enquire of his word? therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die.

So he died according to the word of the Lord which Elijah had spoken. And Jehoram reigned in his stead in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah; because he had no son.

Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?” (2 Kgs 1:13-18).

“And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.

And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace” (2 Kgs 2:1-3).

Gilgal (Sharon) Jaljulia
The village is located on the east side of via Maris, the main ancient road from north (Damascus, Syria) and the south (Cairo, Egypt).

For thousands of years caravans have passed this village.

Even today the Israel’s main toll road (6) passes this site.

Elijah said the same thing to Elisha, but this time he was going to Jericho, but again, Elisha stayed with him.  Again, but to Jordan.

“And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.

And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.

And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away 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 it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot 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 Jordan;

Satan and Beelzebub, from the first book of ‘Paradise Lost’ by John Milton (1608-74) engraved by Charles Laplante (d.1903) c.1868 (engraving), Dore, Gustave (1832-83). 
The source for the name Beelzebub is in 2 Kgs 1:2-3, 6, 16.

Ba‘al Zəbûb is variously understood to mean “lord of the flies”or “lord of the (heavenly) dwelling”.

Originally the name of a Philistine god, Ba’al, meaning “Lord” in Ugaritic, was used in conjunction with a descriptive name of a specific god.

The Septuagint renders the name as Baalzebub and as Baal muian (“Baal of flies”), but Symmachus the Ebionite may have reflected a tradition of its offensive ancient name when he rendered it as Beelzeboul.

Scholars are divided, in regard to the god of Ekron, between the belief that zebub may be the original affix to Baal and that it is a substitute for an original zbl which, after the discoveries of Ras Shamra, has been connected with the title of “prince”, frequently attributed to Baal in mythological texts.

In addition to the intrinsic weakness of this last position, which is not supported by the versions, is the fact that it was long ago suggested that there was a relationship between the Philistine god and cults of fly or apotropaic divinities appearing in the Hellenic world, such as Zeus Apomyios or Myiagros.

It is exactly this last connection which is confirmed by the Ugaritic text when we examine how Baal affects the expulsion of the flies which are the patient’s sickness.

According to Francesco Saracino (1982) this series of elements may be inconclusive as evidence, but the fact that in relationship to Baal Zebub, the two constituent terms are here linked, joined by a function (ndy) that is typical of some divinities attested in the Mediterranean world, is a strong argument in favor of the authenticity of the name of the god of Ekron, and of his possible therapeutic activities, which are implicit in 2 Kgs 1:2-3, etc.

By the time of Jesus’ ministry the name would evolve to Beelzebub and by synonymous with Satan (Matt 12:22-28).

And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the Lordhath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.

And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not.

And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?

And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.

And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.

And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.

So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.

And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.

And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria” (2 Kgs 2:7-25).

Baal-zebub, Beel-zebub, and Beel-zebus are the same, meaning lord of the flies.  This was the name that Baal worshiped by the Philistines of Ekron.  Elijah rebuked Ahaziah for consulting this false god. 

The Hebrew use the name Baal-zebub, but the Greek use Beel-zebub.  He is the prince of the demons (Matt 1:25, 12:24; Mk 3:22; Lk 11:15, 18-19).  And is identified with Satan (Matt 12:26; Mk 3:23; Lk 11:18).

Beel-zebub signifies lord of the dwelling a meaning that is pertinent to the argument in Matt 10:25, 12:29; Mk 3:27.

The pagan people believed that the magical power of curses could be nullified either by forcing the pronouncer of the curse to retract his statement or by killing him so his curse will follow him into the netherworld (2 Kgs 1:1-4).

When the messengers turned back to Ahaziah he asked why they came back and they told him what Elijah told them, which was what God told him.

“Then the king sent unto him a captain of 2 fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down” (2 Kgs 1:9).

“Elijah said to the captain, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty” (2 Kgs 1:10).

Elisha

Elisha, son of Shaphat, was a prophet from Abel Meholah in Gilead.  He lived in the northern Kingdom of Israel during the reigns of Jehoram, Jehu, Jehoahaz and Jehoash. Elisha was Elijah’s student.

When Elijah was taken up into heaven in a fiery chariot, Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle, struck it on the waters of the Jordan River and said, “Where is the Lord the God of Elijah?” (2 Kings 2:14).  The water then parted and Elisha crossed over, thus beginning his service as a prophet of God.

Elisha, like Elijah, performed some extraordinary miracles as a prophet of God.  He brought back to life the dead son of a Shunammite woman; he cured Naaman a general from Damascus, of leprosy; he multiplied loaves of barley and ears of grain to feed a crowd of people; he caused a metal ax head to float on water; he caused an attacking Aramean army to go blind and then returned their sight; and, among other miracles, he filled large empty vessels with oil.

Elisha had a member of his company of prophets anoint Jehu to be king of Israel, and to strike down Jezebel and members of Ahab’s household, which Jehu completed.

When Elisha was on his deathbed, he prophesied to Joash, the King of Israel, that Israel will win the next three Battles with Aram.  When Elisha was being buried, the body of another man was placed in the same grave.  When the dead man’s body touched Elisha’s body, the dead man came to life and stood on his feet. (2 Kings 13:21).

The story of Elisha is found in 1 and 2 Kings.  Note: Before Elijah was taken up in the fiery chariot, he asked Elisha “what may I do for you before I am taken from you.”  Elisha asks, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit” (2 Kings 2:9).  If you count the recorded miracles in the Bible, Elijah performed eight, and Elisha performed sixteen.

The name Elisha means, “God is salvation”