In Elisha and Yeshua: Parallels – Part 1, we examined seven parallels between the ministry of Elisha and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s First and Second Comings. In Part 2, we will be surveying six more parallels.
Elisha’s name means “God is salvation,” and the meaning of Yeshua’s name is “Yahweh saves” or “the LORD saves” – both names have essentially the same meanings.
For this study, I recommend that the reader take the time to read the passages listed in their entirety, as we are only able to cite the pertinent portions of Scripture with a brief summary for context. This will take longer, but the end result should be a much richer appreciation for the parallels and will also give the reader a chance to see if he or she can spot some other associations in their own study.
I will also be offering links to previous articles that may be of interest to the reader for further information on the topics covered within this study.
Let’s continue on!
The eighth parallel is going from blindness to sight – spiritually and physically.
Elisha: Seeing God’s Chariots and Horses – 2 Kings 6:13-17
As the king of Syria made his way to the man of God and surrounded the city and his house to confront the prophet, we read that Elisha’s servant only saw the enemy forces. What the servant couldn’t see was that God’s armies were very present:
“And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17).
The parallel to our Lord, of course, is His coming into the world, bringing sight to the blind – both physically and spiritually. As the promised Messiah, Jesus brought His light of life into the world, physical healing to the hurting, and spiritual healing through redemption and salvation accomplished on His cross.
Yeshua: Healing the Blind Man from Birth – John chapter 9
Jesus healed a blind man from birth on the Sabbath day, and the man was subsequently brought unto the Pharisees. The Pharisees interrogated the once blind man on his healing, and the blind man stated to them that,
“… one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25b).
The Pharisees continued, in front of the once blind man, to berate and challenge Jesus’ authority of healing on the Sabbath day, claiming they knew that He was not of God, and yet, they knew not from where He came. To which the man stood firm and declared:
“Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing” (John 9:30-33).
Extended Application: More important than being healed of physical blindness, of course, is our being healed of our spiritual blindness to sin and, ultimately, to be forgiven by God of our iniquities.
Our story continues.
The Pharisees cast the once blind man out of their presence, and Jesus, in His omniscient compassion, found him. The blind man didn’t know who the Lord was because Jesus had told him to wash in the Pool of Siloam to be healed of his blindness; therefore, Jesus wasn’t with him when he received his sight. We read of this encounter:
“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.
“And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
“Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth” (John 9:35-41).
Peter also spoke of spiritual blindness that can even affect the believer:
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins“ (2 Peter 1:3-9). (emphasis mine)
Healing from physical blindness is a miracle indeed but can never compare to the miraculous healing the man and woman of God receive when regenerated by the Holy Spirit, made whole from sin, and goes from spiritual blindness to spiritual sight that produces precious fruit for the Kingdom. All thanks be to God!
The ninth parallel is doing good to one’s enemies.
Elisha: Extending Hospitality to the Enemy Syrian Forces – 2 Kings 6:18-23
After Elisha, through the Lord, had blinded the Syrian army, he led them to the king of Israel.
“And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria.
“And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them?
“And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master.
“And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel” (2 Kings 6:20-23).
Through God’s providence and leading, Elisha showed the enemies of Israel compassion. The phrase “thou shall heap coals of fire upon his head” should certainly come to our minds in this passage of Scripture!
“If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee” (Proverbs 25:21-22).
Yeshua: Love Your Enemies – Luke 6:27-38
As always, our Lord takes everything laid out in the Old Testament Scriptures and magnifies those truths to heights that no one in their natural state could ever attain. No one, that is, that doesn’t have the Holy Spirit in their lives directing their every step.
“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you” (Luke 6:27-28).
Extended Application: Elisha’s “thou shall heap coals of fire on his head” has become “thou shall heap coals of love in his heart” from our Savior. It’s this agape love – an unconditional, passionate, and sincere love that can only come from God – that flows through the believer by the Holy Spirit that has initiated a continual progression of salvation, from generation to generation, for the past two thousand years.
As with salvation, this agape love could never be achieved by man on his own; it requires the handiwork of the Creator and Savior through His own Spirit:
“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
“We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:13-19).
(Again, this subject of loving our enemies – and forgiveness – is covered in The Challenge of Forgiveness).
The tenth parallel is God destroying His enemies on behalf of His people.
Elisha: The Lord Delivers His People from Their Enemies – 2 Kings 6:24 – 7:20
Later, Syria came to Samaria and laid siege to the city, resulting in a famine so extreme that mothers were eating their children, as prophesied by Moses (Deuteronomy 28:53).
Elisha spoke the Word of the LORD that the famine and the siege would end the next day. In the meantime, four lepers – after weighing their options – decided to go into the camp of the Syrians.
“And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there. For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us. Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life” (2 Kings 7:5-7).
We are told that when the Lord comes back to save Jerusalem and destroys His enemies, Judah will come back and fight those that drove them from their land and take the spoil of their enemies:
“And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance” (Zechariah 14:14).
Yeshua: The Lord Jesus Christ Delivers His People from The Enemy Through His Sacrifice on the Cross and Resurrection – Matthew 1:21
When Joseph found out that Mary was with child and decided to put her away privily, the angel of the LORD came to him in a dream and declared:
“Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins“ (Matthew 1:21). (emphasis mine)
Praise the Lord!!!
Extended Application: We, who believe on the Son of the living God and are alive at the rapture of the church, will be delivered from physical death. Speaking of the rapture and the resurrection of the church, Paul shared this wonderful promise to the Corinthians in the following way:
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
“The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:51-57). (emphasis mine)
Yeshua’s victory over the enemy of death, at this time in history, will deliver His bride – the church of Christ – from mortal to immortality, to be with Him forever!
And, ultimately, Satan will be defeated – never to be remembered again!
(For a study on our enemy, Satan, please see QFTBOC: What’s Satan’s Problem?).
The eleventh parallel is escaping Israel for seven years and the seven-year Tribulation.
Elisha: The Shunammite Woman and Seven Years – 2 Kings 8:1-6
“Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the Lord hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years” (2 Kings 8:1-2).
Even though the land of the Philistines was located in the Promised Land, the Israelites never conquered the coastal cities of the Philistines. Therefore, the “land of the Philistines” was considered outside of the land of Israel where this famine was to occur. This was certainly a judgment on Israel and a foreshadowing of the seven-year Tribulation – the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7).
Yeshua: The Covenant with Israel, the Antichrist, and the Many for Seven Years – Daniel 9:25-27
Daniel’s 70 7’s prophecy details the seven-year Tribulation.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:25-27).
Extended Application: The Abomination of Desolation and Fleeing of the Jews – Matthew 24:15-22
With the eleventh and twelfth parallels, we see imagery of the seven-year Tribulation.
The Shunammite woman was commanded to leave Israel because of a famine in the land. Israelites would be best served to leave Israel because of spiritual famine at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation as, midway through, the Antichrist will cause the Abomination of Desolation and proceed to kill the Jews in Jerusalem, Judah, and Israel, with a remnant escaping as exiles to the mountains of Petra/Mt. Seir in modern-day Jordan.
At the end of the seven-year Tribulation, Christ will come back and destroy His enemies, regather the outcasts of Israel, and set up His Millennial Kingdom.
We see this allusion in the restoration of the Shunammite woman’s house and land after seven years of exile:
“And it came to pass at the seven years’ end [end of the Tribulation], that the woman [Israel] returned out of the land of the Philistines [scattered throughout the nations and the mountains of Jordan in the Tribulation]: and she went forth to cry unto the king [Messiah Yeshua] for her house and for her land [the Jews, after recognizing and accepting their Messiah, will reclaim their land at the order of King Yeshua]. And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.
“And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now” (2 Kings 8:3-6). [allusions mine]
Just as the Shunammite woman was restored to her house and land after seven years, so too will the nation of Israel at Christ’s Second Coming. Then will begin the Millennial Kingdom of our Lord as Israel is restored to her land at the end of the seven-year Tribulation to fulfill all of the promises of God to His chosen people.
(For an outline and basic understanding of the Tribulation, please see Revelation 14: Tribulation Outline and An Interpretive Scenario of the Abomination of Desolation).
The twelfth parallel is weeping for Israel.
Elisha: Elisha Weeping Over the King of Syria for His People – 2 Kings 8:7-15
“And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child” (2 Kings 8:12).
Hazael, in a vision the Lord gave to Elisha, would destroy the Lord’s people in a similar way that would be carried out 40 years after Christ’s crucifixion by the Romans in 70AD. An event He prophesied below.
Yeshua: Yeshua Weeping Over Jerusalem for His People – Matthew 23:37-39
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:37-38).
“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:1-2).
Just as Jesus prophesied, Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD because of Israel’s rejection of Him as their Messiah. And just as Elisha cried over his vision of Hazael destroying his people, Yeshua cried over His people and the city of Jerusalem, knowing their soon-coming end because of their rejection of Him.
“And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:41-44).
Extended Application: Destruction of Israel by Antichrist
Hazael was also a type of Antichrist who will destroy God’s people during the middle of the Tribulation. Jesus went on to say the following, which won’t be realized until the end of the seven-year Tribulation when all the remnant of Israel will recognize and receive Him as their Messiah:
“For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:39).
Yeshua will come back to save Jerusalem – as the remnant will see Him from the mountains of Jordan and other lands – and all Israel will be saved:
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).
(For a two-part study on Antichrist’s destruction of Jerusalem, Judah, and Israel in the middle of the Tribulation and going on into the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, please see A Study of Zechariah 14:1-11 and A Study of Zechariah 14:12-21).
I reasoned that 12 would be the perfect number of parallels between Elisha and Yeshua, but then one more popped onto my radar screen. So, rather than upsetting the number 12, I elected to go with a “Bonus Parallel.”
Elisha: The Death of Elisha and a Resurrection – 2 Kings 13:20-21
We have an almost incidental note in the Scriptures regarding an amazing event:
“And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet” (2 Kings 13:20-21).
The first obvious allusion to this passage of Elisha’s bones reviving a dead man is in Ezekiel’s passage regarding Israel:
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.
“Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
“So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
“Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
“Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
“And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
This prophecy of Ezekiel is dual in nature. First is the rebirth of the nation of Israel on May 14, 1948. Second is the resurrection of Old Testament Israeli saints toward the end of the Tribulation.
(Again, for my take on how the resurrections may play out, please see Resurrections and The Marriage Supper of The Lamb).
But, in relation to Yeshua’s ministry, we have an even greater parallel.
Yeshua: Just as Elisha’s bones revived the dead man, so will Yeshua revive His church in the resurrection and the rapture of the church!
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
“Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
(For a fun exploration of possible “snapshots” of the rapture of the church in the Old Testament, please see Allusions to the Rapture in the Tanakh).
In this two-part series, we have looked at 12 parallels (and a bonus parallel) in the ministries of Elisha and Yeshua. I pray that you have found this journey to be exciting and fascinating. I encourage the reader to be on the lookout for more parallels, not only between Elisha and Messiah Jesus, but between other Biblical characters, events, and narratives with their many associations and relationships to the Son of God – for, again, there are many!!
Parallels, pictures, snapshots, patterns, symbolisms, and many other correlations point to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, within the Scriptures. Even Christ Himself said so:
“Search the scriptures… they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39).
Love, grace, mercy, and shalom in Messiah Yeshua, and Maranatha!
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