The Story of Elisha

As Elijah rose from the earth he let his cloak fall on Elisha. And Elisha went down to the Jordan, and took the cloak and struck the waves, and they stood up on each side, so that he went across dry shod. And it was made known to all the seers and wise men that Elisha had been called to fill Elijah’s place, and he gave proof that the Lord was with him.

As Elisha went from Jericho to Bethel, some young folks ran out and made fun of him, and cried, Go up, thou bald head! Go up, thou bald head!

Elisha turned back, and asked the Lord to take them in hand. So the Lord sent two great bears out of the wood, and they fell on the children and tore over twoscore of them.

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where a rich woman dwelt. And she bade him come in and eat. And as oft as he went that way, he made it a rule to stop and take the food and drink she set out for him.

And she had a room built for him on the side of her house, and put a bed and a chair in it, that he might go in and out as he chose, and have a place to rest in.

And one day when he was in this room, he sent for the woman to come to him. And he said to her, What can I do to pay thee for all thy kind care of us? Shall I speak to the king for thee? She said there was no need, that she sought no pay, and then left the room.

Elisha said to his man, What is there that I can do for her?

And the man said, She has no child.

And Elisha said, Call her. And she came back and stood at the door. And when the man of God told her that she should have a son, she thought he did not speak the truth.

And the word of the Lord came true, for in less than a year she had a son.

And the child grew up, and went out one day to the field to see the men reap the corn. And while he was there he felt sick, and cried out to his father, My head! my head!

And his father said to a lad, Take the boy home to his mother. And she took him, and he sat in her lap till noon, and then died. And she took the boy to Elisha’s room, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and then went out and shut the door.

Then she sent for one of the young men, and had him bring an ass to the door, and she got on the ass, and bade the man drive as fast as he could till she told him to stop.

She went till she came near Mount Carmel. And Elisha saw her, and sent Gehazi out to meet her, and to ask her if it was well with her and with the child. And she said to him, It is well.

But when she came to Elisha she fell at his feet, and Gehazi drew near to push her from the man of God.

But Elisha said, Touch her not. She is in great grief, and the Lord has hid it from me and not told me of it.

And the woman said, Did I ask thee for a son? Then he knew that the boy was dead.

Then Elisha said to Gehazi, Take my staff, and go thy way with all speed. Stop to speak to no one. And lay my staff on the face of the child.

And the mother of the child said, As the Lord lives, I will not leave thee. And Elisha rose and went with her, while Gehazi ran on ahead. And he laid the staff on the face of the child, but the child did not speak nor hear. And he ran out to meet Elisha and to tell him the lad did not wake.

And when Elisha came to the house he found the child dead, and laid on his bed. So he went in the room and shut the door, and prayed to the Lord.

Then he got on the bed, and lay on the child till his flesh grew warm. Then he left the room for awhile to walk up and down, and when he went back he lay on the child till its breath came back, and it gave signs of life.

And he sent for the mother. And when she came to the room he said, Take up thy son. And she fell at the feet of Elisha, with thanks too deep for words, and then took her son in her arms and went out.

There was a man in Syria, who took charge of all the troops that went to war with the king. This man’s name was Naaman, and he had done brave deeds, for which he held high rank, and was much thought of. But this man fell ill, and none but those of his own house would go near him. And there was no cure for him. But his wife had a maid to wait on her. And this maid said that if Naaman would go to Elisha she was sure that he would cure him.

And Naaman came down to Samaria with a note from his own king to the king of Israel. When the king of Israel read the note he was very wroth, and said, Am I God that I can bring the dead to life? For he thought that it was but a trick to bring on a war.

When Elisha heard that the king rent his clothes, he sent word to have Naaman come to him.

And Naaman drove up in fine style, and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. And Elisha sent word to him to bathe at the Jordan seven times, and he would be made well.

This put Naaman in a rage, for he thought that Elisha would come out to him and call on the name of God, and touch him so as to heal him.

And he said, Are there not streams in Damascus in which I can bathe and be made well? And he went off in a rage.

But some of his men drew near, and said, My lord, if he had bid thee do some great thing wouldst thou not have done it? Why not then do as he says, and wash and be clean?

And Naaman gave heed to their words and went down to the Jordan. And he took seven baths, and then his flesh grew as soft and pink as the flesh of a child, and health and strength came back to him. And Naaman went back to Elisha’s house, he and all his men, and he said, Now I know there is no God in all the earth but the God of Israel.

Now the time drew near when Elisha was to die. And the king, Joash, came to see him as he lay sick in bed.

And Elisha said, Take the bow and the darts. And the king took them. And Elisha said, Put thy hands on the bow. And the king did so, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. Then Elisha said, Throw wide the east window. And when this was done he said shoot. And the king shot; and Elisha told him that he should set Israel free from its foes.

Then he said to the king, Take the darts. And he took them. And Elisha said, Strike them on the ground. And the king struck them on the ground three times, and no more.

And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldst have struck five or six times, for then thou wouldst have laid the Syrians low, now thou shalt smite them but three times.

And Elisha died, and was laid in the ground. And one day as some of the folks went out with a dead man to lay him in the grave that was dug for him, they saw a band of thieves from the land of Moab and did not dare to go on. So they put the dead man in the grave where Elisha lay. And as soon as the corpse touched the bones of Elisha the man came to life and stood on his feet.

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