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Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Elisha as a Type of Christ

Jericho: Elisha is appointed as Elijah's successor, with a double portion of his spirit. . . . 2 Kings 2:9-15 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. [10] 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. [11] 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. [12] 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. [13] He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; [14] 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. [15] 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. (KJV)

Jesus, working in Elisha, made him a miracle worker.

Elisha performed the most miracles in the Old Testament
Elisha received a double portion of the Elijah's prophetic spirit, and performed twice as many miracles as Elijah.

(1) Parting of the Jordan (2 K.2:14)
(2) Healing of the waters (2 K.2:21)
(3) Curse of the she bears (2 K.2:24)
(4) Filling of the valley with water (2 K.3:17)
(5) Deception of the Moabites with the valley of blood (2 K.3:22)
(6) Miracle of the vessels of oil (2 K.4:4)
(7) Prophecy that the Shunammite woman would have a son (2 K.4:16)
(8) Resurrection of the Shunammite's son (2K.4:34)
(9) Pottage rendered harmless (2 K.4:38-41)
(10) Loaves increased to feed 100 men (2 K.4:42-44)
(11) Healed Naaman's leprosy (2 K.5:9-14)
(12) Perception of Gehazi's transgression (2 K.5:26)
(13) Cursing Gehazi with leprosy (2 K.5:27)
(14) Floating of the axe head (2 K.6:6)
(15) Prophecy of the Syrian battle plans (2 K.6:9)
(16) Vision of the chariots (2 K.6:17)
(17) Smiting the Syrian army with blindness (2 K.6:18)
(18) Restoring the sight of the Syrian army (2 K.6:20)
(19) Prophecy of the end of the great famine (2 K.7:1)
(20) Prophecy that the scoffing nobleman would see, but not partake of the abundance (2 K.7:1-2)
21) Deception of the Syrians with the sound of chariots (2 K.7:6)
(22) Prophecy of the seven-year famine (2 K.8:1)
(23) Prophecy of Benhadad's untimely death (2 K.8:10)
(24) Prophecy of Hazael's cruelty to Israel (2 K.8:12)
(25) Prophecy that Jehu would smite the house of Ahab (2 K.9:7)
(26) Prophecy that Joash would smite the Syrians at Aphek (2 K.13:17)
(27) Prophecy that Joash would smite Syria thrice but not consume it (2 K.13:19)
(28) Resurrection of the man touched by his bones (2 K.13:21)

Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall
come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

Elisha is often referred to by the Bible commentators as a forerunner of Jesus. His marvelous works are easily recognized as proceeding from the SAME Spirit that inspired Jesus, and his gentleness and simplicity are paralleled only by those of our Great Master. It is not hard to see in Elisha the incarnation of Christ Jesus. Jesus was the antitype (true) where Elisha was a foreshadowing (type, picture) of Christ.

Elisha was a 'type' of Christ . . . meaning a picture of the supreme I AM of Man. Elisha telling Naaman to wash in the Jordan seven times, has lessons for us. Our center of light has been dimmed by sin. Sin has also been given a sevenfold classification: pride, anger, lust, covetousness, envy, gluttony, sloth. The great purifying river of life must wash away these sins and their leprosy in the body.

The Calling of Elisha

Scripture does not describe for us Elijah's journey from Horeb to Abel Meholah . . . a journey of almost 300 miles; most of it, probably was on foot. Elijah underwent this long journey in obedience to God, to carry out one of the three assignments the Lord had given him . . . the anointing of Elisha. This is the only one of the three commands that Elijah actually carried out himself.

It is important that Elisha was called as a prophet by Elijah. The Lord normally called Old Testament prophets directly, without other people being involved. That is how the Lord called Samuel (1 Sam 3). Amos tell us that he was called away from the sheep by the Lord Himself (Amos 7:15). Isaiah tells us of how the Lord called him as a prophet (Isa. 6:8). The same for Ezekiel (Eze.2:3). Elisha's being called by/through Elijah is the only place that an Old Testament prophet was called and anointed to his office through another prophet.

WHY?? Why did the Lord call Elisha through Elijah? Personally, I think the Lord wanted to comfort and strengthen Elijah. Remember Elijah's complaint: I stand all alone as a servant of the Lord (1 K.19:14). The calling of Elisha was proof that Elijah's work would continue; proof that God's covenant work continues; proof that God's grace never ends and that He does NOT abandon His people . . . no matter how sinful they may be.

When God used Elijah to call Elisha, He was reminding Elijah that prophets and kings are simply instruments in the Hands of God. Instruments the Lord sovereignly calls and uses only as long as it pleases Him to do so. God can cancel an assignment at any time or even give it to someone else. This does not mean that God's Work ceases. It means that God's Work ALWAYS gets done, but in a different way or by a different person.

Elijah arrived at Abel Meholah at plowing time. He saw twelve yoke of oxen plowing the fields of the farmer Shaphat. He found Elisha behind the twelfth pair. This many oxen plowing probably means Shaphat was rich farmer and that Elisha probably stood to inherit quite a bit of property from his father (1 K.19:19-21).

Elijah went up to Elisha "and cast his mantle upon him." Even though Elijah did not speak a single word, Elisha knew immediately what this meant, and left all and followed Elijah.

The casting of Elijah's cloak over Elisha means Elisha had now been anointed as Elijah's prophetic heir. When the office of high priest was transferred from Aaron to Eleazar, Eleazar was dressed in the garments of Aaron (Num. 20:26). In the Old Testament period a prophet's cloak was highly distinctive . . . some sort of hairy garment . . . and was widely recognized as a symbol of office (1 Sam. 28:14; Zech. 13:4). By casting his mantle upon Elisha, Elijah was proclaiming him his prophetic heir.

It is so clear that Elisha was being called by the Lord. Elijah did NOT ask or beg. There was NO discussion. Nothing is said. There didn't have to be, because it is a call from the Lord. Elisha's call was NOT something that he had to think over or even pray about. Quite simply . . . Elisha knew!

Many commentators have drawn a parallel between the calling of Elisha and the calling of Christ's disciples. The calling of Elisha is seen as a "type" of the later callings (Mat.4:20; 9:9; Mk.2:14). There is a similarity between the calling of Elisha and the calling of the disciples. Both were given a radical demand: "Follow me." Both were expected to leave everything behind and follow at once. They did!

But, there is a big difference as well. Elisha was called to be Elijah's successor as Israel's prophet. Christ did NOT call successors; He called only followers. Elijah could only call one servant to succeed him, but Christ could call many followers. And too, Christ is much greater than Elijah; He is the Word become flesh; He is King and God; He alone can lay total claim to man. Elijah, can lay no claim on Elisha; all he can do is claim Elisha for the Lord and in the Name of the Lord.

The calling of Elisha, is NOT a type of the calling of Christ's disciples . . . but Elisha is a type of the Christ. He is a shadow of the Reality that was to come. Even the name "Elisha" foreshadows Christ. "Elisha" means "my God saves." The name "Jesus" means "Saviour."

ALL of God's TRUE children are called by the Lord. Whatever the calling, we are to respond in faith, in obedience and willingly, to the best of our ability. Elisha was obedient to what the Lord Jesus said to His disciples and followers: Matthew 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (KJV) . . . In giving up everything in order to accept the calling of the Lord as prophet, Elisha was showing he did not place father or mother or anything else above God. Our response must be like Elisha's response. We must NOT allow family ties to interfere with our service to the Lord.

Elisha was also obedient to another statement of the Lord Jesus to His disciples and followers: Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (KJV) . . . Elisha left the plow, the oxen and never looked back.

Elijah had worried that he was the only prophet left. But, he was privileged to call Elisha as his own successor. Elisha's was willing to leave father and mother and everything else! He was willing to leave the past and fix his eye on the Kingdom of God. That was proof to Elijah that the work of the Lord would continue.

The Double Portion

Whatever Elisha may have done together with Elijah while he remained on Earth, Elisha's testimony and work began AFTER Elijah was raptured into Heaven. Their last journey together is full of spiritual importance.

2 Kings 2:9-12 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. [10] 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. [11] 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. [12] 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. (KJV) . . . There was a condition imposed upon Elisha. "If thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so." Elisha DID see what happened! Elijah's mantle fell from him as he departed. Elisha took it up, and tore his own clothes in two pieces. We must put off in order to put on. We must be stripped in order to be rightly clothed.

Elisha now possesses tremendous spiritual power. He turned back towards Jordan, "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" (2 Kings 2:13) Elijah was gone, but God was still there! We all need faith in God. Israel failed when Moses went up on the mount (Ex. 32:1). The Church has also failed in its faith. God is ALWAYS with His people. If anyone moves, it it NOT God! It is US!

Types of Christ in the Old Testament

Type of Israel, Jonah

Types . . . Eve Bride of Christ

Types of Christ's Death, Coats of Skin

Types of Christ's Death, Old Testament Sacrifices

Types of Christ's Death, Tabernacle

Types of Christ, Adam

Types of Christ, David

Types of Christ, Elijah

Types of Christ, Elisha

Types of Christ, Examples

Types of Christ, Isaac

Types of Christ, Job

Types of Christ and His Resurrection, Jonah

Types of Christ, Joseph

Types of Christ, Melchezidek

Types of Christ, Moses

Types of Christ, the Pillar of Cloud and Fire

Types of Christ, Samson

Types of Christ, the Rock

Types of Christ, the Brazen Serpent

Types of Christ, the Exodus

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