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Elijah is taken up to heaven and Elisha gets his master’s gifts, then helps a widow, stays with a Shunemite woman, prophesies a son for her and later raises him from the dead, then feeds some prophets in a famine: 2 Kings 2:1−25; 2 Kings 4:1−44

Crossing a river or sea by parting the waters and walking across a dry bed must have had special significance to the Israelites: Moses did it (at the Red Sea), then Joshua, then Elijah and Elisha did it (the Jordan River). It was the sign of being a true prophet, and it was part of what led other prophets from Jericho to declare that ‘Elijah’s spirit rests upon Elisha!’.

Not surprisingly, Elisha’s first miracle (after parting the river) was at Jericho. The local prophets must have gone back into town and reported what had happened.

2 Kings 2:19-20 One day the leaders of the town of Jericho visited Elisha. ‘We have a problem, my lord,” they told him. “This town is located in pleasant surroundings, as you can see. But the water is bad, and the land is unproductive.’

Elisha’s instructions weren’t logical: he asked for a bowl of salt.

2 Kings 2:21-22 Then he went out to the spring that supplied the town with water and threw the salt into it. And he said, ‘This is what the Lord says: I have purified this water. It will no longer [be barren].’ And the water has remained pure ever since, just as Elisha said.

It would have taken some faith to watch this with respect.

Jesus did even better, of course, he turned water into wine; when he needed to cross a sea, he just walked across the top.

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