/i luy"sheuh/, n.1. Also, Douay Bible, Eliseus /el'i see"euhs/. a Hebrew prophet of the 9th century B.C., the successor of Elijah. II Kings 3-9.2. a male given name.[ < Heb elishua' lit., God has saved]
* * *flourished 9th century BCHebrew prophet.As the successor of Elijah, he was strongly devoted to the Mosaic tradition of Israel and a potent enemy of all foreign gods and cults. He instigated a revolt against the ruling house of Israel, the dynasty of Omri, that resulted in the death of the king and his family. Elisha's story is told in the Hebrew scriptures in the books 1 and 2 Kings.
* * *▪ Hebrew prophetalso spelled Elisaios, or Eliseus,in the Old Testament, Israelite prophet, the pupil of Elijah, and also his successor (c. 851 BC). He instigated and directed Jehu's (Jehu) revolt against the house of Omri, which was marked by a bloodbath at Jezreel in which King Ahab of Israel and his family were slaughtered.The popular traditions about Elisha (2 Kings 2–13) sketch a charismatic, quasi-ecstatic figure, very similar to Elijah. Like his mentor, Elisha was a passionate exponent of the ancient religious and cultural traditions of Israel, which both felt to be threatened by the ruling dynasty of Omri, which was in alliance with Phoenicia. (King Ahab's wife, the Tyrian princess Jezebel, was then trying to introduce the worship of Baal into Israel.) As a prophet, Elisha was a political activist and revolutionary. He led a “holy war” that extinguished the house of Omri in Jerusalem as well as in Samaria (2 Kings 9–10).Though Elisha recruited Jehu to revolt against and succeed Ahab, it was Elijah who was instructed to anoint Jehu as Israel's king (1 Kings 19:16). This is characteristic of the relationship between the two prophets; in popular estimation Elisha always remains partly in the shadow of his master. The story of the beginning of his apprenticeship (1 Kings 19:19–21) and the account in which he becomes Elijah's heir and successor (2 Kings 2:8–18) both feature the prophetic “mantle.” In the first, Elijah casts it upon his pupil; in the second, Elisha picks it up. The mantle, cultic garment of the prophet, carries connotations of power and authority.
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