Elisha lived almost 3,000 years ago and became a prophet through Elijah, who asked him to become part of his ‘prophetic team’. A prophet is someone who God has asked to let people know what he is going to do in the future.

Elisha was especially blessed by God. No Old Testament character did more miracles, except Moses. Elijah was so impressed with the young Elisha that he thought Elisha would make twice as much impact on Israel as he had done! 2 Kings 2:15 tells us what some other prophets thought about Elisha, “Elijah's spirit rests upon Elisha!” (New Living Translation)

Elisha is often confused with Elijah, because their names look and sound very similar. Also they did many of the same things – crossing the river Jordan on dry ground, feeding a widow, raising sons from the dead, telling kings to ‘get right with God’! But they were also different. Elisha seemed less likely to get discouraged, never complained nor ran away when the going got tough.

Elisha is probably most famous for healing a Syrian general called Naaman of a terrible skin condition. He asked him to wash seven times in the river Jordan as a test of his faith. Naaman thought this was a bit strange and decided to give up and go back home. Fortunately his servants persuaded him to give it a go – so he swallowed his pride and ducked under the water seven times. He was completely cured!

This incident led Naaman to a strong faith in God... and confirmed what a great prophet Elisha was. To the very end of his life, Elisha was doing God’s work. Nearly 1,000 years later, Jesus was still talking about Elisha and his amazing life of faith!