1 Kings 19:19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”

“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”

21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.


This is from the easy English site.

Elijah appointed Elisha first. Elisha was the last man that God told Elijah to appoint. In fact, Elisha would appoint the other men.

Elisha was working when Elijah appointed him. Elisha did not expect Elijah’s visit. Elisha was a wealthy farmer but he still ploughed the land. Elijah threw his coat over him. By this action, Elijah showed that Elisha would become a prophet like him. Elisha realised this immediately. The life of a prophet would be much more difficult than Elisha’s work as a wealthy farmer. Some people would hate him and they would oppose his message. But Elisha wanted to serve God. So Elisha considered this to be a wonderful opportunity. He did not hesitate. He left his oxen and he ran after Elijah. And it seems that Elisha’s sudden reaction even surprised Elijah.

Elisha asked if he could first say goodbye to his parents. Elijah did not stop him. He wanted Elisha to come with him because he genuinely wanted to come. Elisha had a meal in order to say goodbye to his family. But even at that meal, he showed that he would never return to his former occupation. He used his plough as fuel for the fire. He cooked his oxen as food for the meal. Then he went and he became Elijah’s servant.

This is from EnduringWord.com.

Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle on him: The mantle was the symbol of Elijah’s prophetic authority. This was a dramatic symbol that said, “I call upon you to join in my work as a prophet.”

“The mantle, or pallium, was the peculiar garb of the prophet, as we may learn from Zechariah 13:4; and this was probably made of skin dressed with the hair on. See also 2 Kings 1:8.” (Clarke)

What have I done to you: This question “Could mean, ‘Go back, but remember what I have done to you.’ It might be a rebuke at any delay in following.” (Wiseman)

Elijah’s reply indicates that he himself had not called Elisha; it was God’s call. Whether Elisha would follow that call was his own decision.” (Patterson and Austel)

The job, for me, from this point on, will be to keep Elijah and Elisha separate. I can remember getting their names confused the last time I read through this part of the book.

So... let me get this straight.... this is a hard working rich man who gave up everything... even used his plow to make fire to cook his oxen over to celebrate the call.... will be joining a man in a hair covered mantle as a prophet. This appears to be rare.

This is from a site titled lifehopeandtruth.com.

The time was about 150 years after King David reigned over Israel and several years after the earlier prophet Elijah had been sent to confront the nation, which had become steeped in idol worship. After being humbled by a severe drought and famine, Israel was on the path of returning to true worship.

At the end of Elijah’s lifework, a spiritual revival, however small it seemed, had begun. Be sure to read the article “Elijah the Prophet” to see how God got the attention of the nation. Elisha’s prophetic mission would now prepare Israel for further religious reforms.

Elisha was an Old Testament prophet who lived around 800 B.C., a time when God involved Himself in a very direct way with the people and the leadership of ancient Israel. Around this period, God sent at least 30 prophets, between the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah, in an effort to turn their citizens away from idolatry and other sins.

Elisha the man
God, who sees in secret, always knows all who are His, and He had earlier declared to Elijah that there were 7,000 persons in Israel who had not done homage to Baal during a very wicked time (1 Kings 19:18).

As Elijah was nearing the end of his ministry, God directed him to anoint a younger man named Elisha to take his place. Elisha, son of Shaphat, was from Abel Meholah, of the Jordan Valley (1 Kings 19:16). After a few years of training, Elisha would become God’s spokesman to the northern kingdom; and his ministry would be filled with signs and miracles, proclamations and warnings. He would become known as the prophet of peace and healing.

So this is a good man.