June 14 Holy Prophet Elisha

Read the Life of the Prophet Elisha here

The Holy Prophet Elisha lived in the ninth century before the Birth of Christ, and was a native of the village of Abelmaum, near Jordan. 

By the command of the Lord he was called to prophetic service by the holy Prophet Elias (July 20).

The holy prophet worked numerous miracles. He divided the waters of the Jordan, having struck it with the mantle of the Prophet Elias; he made the waters of a Jericho spring fit for drinking; he saved the armies of the kings of Israel and Judah that stood in an arid wilderness by bringing forth abundant water by his prayer; he delivered a poor widow from death by starvation through a miraculous increase of oil in a vessel.

Julian the Apostate (361-363) gave orders to burn the relics of the Prophet Elisha, Abdia (Obadiah) and John the Forerunner, but the holy relics were preserved by believers, and part of them were transferred to Alexandria.

Liturgical Hymns in Honor of the Prophet Elisha from the Menaion

Translations copyright by Br. Isaac E. Lambertsen, drawn from the Menaion of the Orthodox Church, in 12 volumes (in English), published by the St. John of Kronstadt Press, 1180 Orthodox Way, Liberty TN 37095; www.sjkp.org.  Authorized only for private devotional purposes.  Further distribution, reproduction, or incorporation into other documents is prohibited without prior permission from the publisher.  All rights reserved.

Hymns chanted unto God from the beginning, wherewith the Hymned One is hymned, resplendent in the praises of the prophets, do I sing, hymning Him Who hath glorified them, in that He is glorious.

Abandoning the plough, the prophet acquired his rank with spiritual radiance, receiving the fleece from the hand of the prophet, for he hath been glorified.

As from the beginning Thou didst know Elisha's disposition toward a higher calling, O Christ, Thou didst illumine him with the grace of prophecy, O almighty Savior, for Thou hast been glorified.

Putting away earthly attachments, thou didst serve the Spirit Who breatheth fire, conversing with ministers pleasing unto God. 

In the Spirit thou didst receive the gifts of thy teacher twofold, not having compromised his ascent by slothfulness/ 

Having stood before Elijah with lamentation and rent thy garment, thou didst part the streams of the Jordan with his mantle.

As Thou didst the waters of old, so now by grace heal thou my barren mind, through the supplications of Elisha. 

Thou wast divinely enriched by speaking of heavenly things, and by means of a bear thou didst set at nought the misbehavior of the children. 

Thou wast shown to be adorned with virginity, O glorious one, shining like a beacon from afar upon those sitting in the darkness of falsehood.

The tongue which is moved by the Spirit cannot keep silent concerning the wondrous corrections in this life, O Elisha

The stillness and meekness of thy soul hath shown thee to be a prophet, O divinely inspired Elisha, because of thy faith.

The divine action of thy discourses doth illumine me with spiritual words,  O most blessed Elisha. 

As thou standest before the Lord as one living, O Prophet Elisha, sin hath been reckoned as slain.

Once neither rain nor the spirit of the air filled the torrents, O prophet, but the wind of grace filled thy discourse with the action of the Spirit. 

As once thou didst fill a little vessel full to overflowing with oil for the woman, O Prophet Elisha, so pray thou, that divine mercy may be poured forth upon me.

Animated by faith, through thy supplication, O prophet, the honorable woman received release from barrenness in her old age, bearing goodly offspring.

With melodious songs we all hymn the wise Elisha who shone forth in the law of the Lord; for he was wholly filled with twofold forms of miracles, pouring forth streams of healings upon us. For he watereth the souls of the faithful and saveth them from misfortunes, as of old he saved the barren people; and he sweeteneth waters by means of salt, manifestly proclaiming the grace of baptism, and prayeth unceasingly for us all. 

Filled with higher wisdom, O Elisha, thou didst cry out: Blessed is the God of our fathers!

As the servant of Life, O prophet, to the dead child's mother thou didst straightway show him forth as living.

Thou didst once feed the despairing children of the prophets, rendering their destructive food harmless.

The prophet who at his command wrought purification do the children hymn, the hierarchs bless and the people exalt supremely forever.

Cleansed of dross, and held fast by desire, thou didst immaterially behold the mind of the Immaterial One; wherefore, leaping up, thou didst cry: Exalt Christ supremely for all ages!

Through grace thou didst behold things to come, and didst perceive the most precious Cross depicted in the tree, O prophet taught by God; wherefore, rejoicing, thou didst cry: Exalt Christ supremely for all ages! 

The multitude of chariots of those who surrounded thee thou didst truly bring to a halt through darkness, denouncing their mindlessness and crying aloud: Exalt Christ supremely for all ages!

Lifting up a rod of iron with a pruning staff, the prophet trained the material nature of men which had been raised up by the Cross.

Revealing the all-honorable character of the prophet, the Prince of life showed forth the resurrection of the body, raising up the dead man whose flesh was utterly bereft of breath.

In divine rest, O wondrous one, thou dost now entreat Christ, that those who ever bless thee may receive blessedness.