Elijah was told to go and anoint Hazael, Jehu and Elisha. Elisha was to be the new prophet coming after Elijah. Jehu was to be the New King of Israel. And Hazael to be the new King of Syria. In these cases the prophet acts as the spokesman and agent of God. He passes along to the person being anointed, God's power and authority to carry out a particular office. That is he places a mantle or commission from God on a particular person to do a particular job.
We know that Samuel anointed Saul and David. The Kings were sometimes anointed by prophets this way. It is also common for prophets to anoint other prophets and pass along their gifts or mantles this way. What is so curious here is Hazael! What is the point of having Elijah anoint the King of Syria, the leader of Israel's enemies?
1 Kings 19:19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.
And later in 2 Kings 2, Elijah finally passes the mantle to Elisha.
2 Kings 2:
9 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;
In 2 Kings 9, Jehu is anointed. But not by Elijah, who has been taken up into heaven by then. And it's not by
Elisha either but by one of his servants.
2 Kings 9:
1 ^ And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead:
2 And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber;
3 Then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee, and tarry not.
And we read in 2 Kings 8, how Elisha anoints Hazael.
7 And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither.
8 And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease ?
9 So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels' burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Benhadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease ?
10 And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die.
11 And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept.
12 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.
13 And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou shalt be king over Syria.
Notice here that Elisha did not actually pass a mantle or physically anoint Hazael. He did however acknowledge him as the new King of Syria. And recognize that he would be carrying out judgment against Israel.
In some ways this reminds me of Moses before Pharaoh in Exodus 12, when Pharaoh says
"Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also." Exodus 12:32
So Elijah's three tasks were to raise up a new prophet, anoint a new king, and acknowledge or authorize a new enemy to execute judgment. He did not personally complete all three, his successor did some of it. Because he has left the scene before it is all completed.
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