Elisha and The Miraculous Jug of Oil (2 Kgs 4:1-7)

Yael Shemesh

Abstract


In this essay I approach the story of Elisha and the miraculous jar of oil (2 Kgs 4:1-7) through a close reading and attention to its literary genre – hagiography. The widow’s attitude toward Elisha, the miracle that Elisha performs for her, the contrast built up between Elisha and Elijah, and the parallels between Elisha and the Lord all emphasize what makes Elisha a unique figure in the Bible. Unlike other prophets, he is not described as a messenger-prophet. Instead, he is a holy man of God, endowed with supernatural powers that he uses to work miraculous deliverances for individuals and the community.

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