After his confrontation with the prophets of Baal, Elijah flees to Horeb and petitions the Lord:

“I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

In 1 Kings 19:15-18, the Lord responds to him:

“Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu. Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”

Is God's command to Elijah to appoint Elisha as his successor also a decommissioning of the Elijah from the same post? Had Elijah displeased the Lord?

1 Answer 1


It did not sound like decommissioning because Elijah still had the power of God. God was still using him and he could still perform miracles.

2 Kings 2:8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

God wanted to appoint a successor for Elijah because God intended to take him away alive shortly. There are only 2 people in the Bible who did not face death and were caught up to heaven, Enoch and Elijah. Before Elijah was taken up, he gave his last blessings to his successor Elisha by promising to give anything Elisha asked for and was granted.

2 Kings 2:9-10 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. “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

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