"When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.(2 Kings 2:9-NIV)

Can a prophet disburse (transfer) his ‘anointing’ to his disciples or offspring?

  • Hey Ben, welcome to BHSE, glad to have you with us. If you have time, please take the tour to get yourself familiar with how this site works. Thanks!hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/tour
    – sara
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 8:16
  • If one wants a double portion of the spirit of another : is that a compliment ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 8:18
  • 1
    Are you asking about later or even modern day prophets?
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


A question about the 'double portion' Kings 2:9

2 Kings 2:9 (NRSV)

9 "When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.”

In Israel at the time, a firstborn son received two parts of his father’s inheritance, the other sons each received one part, Elisha asked for two parts of Elijah’s spiritual inheritance , in others words he wanted to be Elijah's spiritual heir.

Elijah replied “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.”(verse 10) This means that only God could determine if Elisha was to be granted what he requested and secondly he had to show endurance to stay with Elijah at all times regardless, so as to see if Elijah was being taken away from him.

God grants Elisha a double inheritance of Elijah's spirit. Elisha stayed with Elijah and saw him ascended in a whirlwind into heaven ,that was God's answer to his request, He took the mantle that had fallen from him and put it on, this identified Elisha as the prophet of God. As proof of his appointment he later performed a miracle, He struck the waters of the Jordan river dividing them in two. The events that followed :

2 Kings 2:11-15

11 "As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.13 He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan."

14 "He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over. 15 When the company of prophets who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

  • Thanks for your contribution! I do believe God only can empower anybody for His mission and purpose. But here in the plain language Elisha is asking “double portion” from his spiritual father not from God.
    – Ben
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 21:34
  • 1
    @Ben, Matthew 20:21 and Mark 10:27 have examples of Jesus being asked about James and John sitting on either side of him. Jesus says that they can drink of the same cup as him, but the appointments to the thrones however had been arranged by God the Father.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 22:33
  • Thank you Michael!I agree.
    – Ben
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 22:55

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