Elijah was a tremendous prophet who moved in the miraculous. He was called by God to minister during a very dark period in the history of the Israelites. Their nation had been divided into the north kingdom, which was called “Israel,” and the southern kingdom, which was called “Judah.” Ahab and Jezebel were the king and queen of the northern kingdom, and they were evil leaders who rejected God and His ways and turned the nation to the worship of Baal, the false god of a religion that even included child sacrifice. (See, for example Jeremiah 19:5). Elijah preached against them, and the nation made a turnaround during the time of his ministry.

Then, God called Elisha to be Elijah’s successor, and he became a “servant” or “attendant” to Elijah for a time. (See 1 Kings 19:16-21). Elisha apparently learned from observing Elijah; he saw how God had anointed his life with power to fulfill what he had been called to do. Therefore, when it came time for Elijah to be taken to heaven. Elisha was very bold, telling the older prophet, in effect, “I want a double portion of the anointing you have from God.” (See 2 Kings 2:9). Elijah replied, “You have asked a hard thing” (verse 10).

If you want a double portion of God’s anointing, don’t think of it as a little thing. It is a hard thing. But Elijah told Elisha that if he saw him when he left, he could have what he had asked for. Here is how that transpired:

Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle [“cloak” NIV] of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. (verses 11-13).

After receiving Elijah’s mantle, Elisha repeated what Elijah repeated what Elijah had done a little while earlier (see verse 8), to enable them both to cross the Jordan River: “Then [Elisha] took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, ‘Where is the Lord God of Elijah?’ And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over” (2 Kings 2:14).

If you count the miracles of Elijah in the Bible, you will see that there are eight. If you count the miracles of Elisha, you will find sixteen. Elisha did receive a double portion of the anointing!