The Holy Spirit: 1 Kings – 2 Chronicles

1 Kings – 2 Chronicles

(1Ki 18:1-15 ESV) After many days the word of the LORD came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. 3 And Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly, 4 and when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.)

We’ve seen suggestions earlier of large groups of prophets of God, and here we learn of a group of 100. We normally think that God sent the occasional prophet to announce his word, but at this time, there were evidently large schools of prophets. And these were just the ones that survived Jezebel’s purge.

(2Ki 2:9-11 ESV)  9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.”

10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.”

11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

Although the translators don’t capitalize the “S”, it seems obvious that the Holy Spirit is in mind here, as is made clear in —

(2Ki 2:14-16 ESV) 14 Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water, saying, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over. 15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho saw him opposite them, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16 And they said to him, “Behold now, there are with your servants fifty strong men. Please let them go and seek your master. It may be that the Spirit of the LORD has caught him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” And he said, “You shall not send.”

The “sons of the prophets” saw that Elisha had the spirit of Elijah because of  his ability to perform a miracle. There are a couple of odd things about this passage. First, the sons of the prophets wondered what had happened to Elijah, and so they speculated, “It may be that the Spirit of the LORD has caught him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” Of course, this is the same Elijah who outran chariots and disappeared into the wilderness!

Second, who on earth are the “sons of the prophets”? It seems likely these were a guild of prophets or even prophet apprentices. As one author notes, “[S]on of pride, sons of light, son of Belial, are Hebraisms, which denote persons possessing the qualitites of pride, of light, or of Belial, as children inherit the qualities of their ancestors.”

It appears in many places that there were schools of apprentice or junior prophets, often headed by a more powerful or experienced prophet.

(1Ch 25:1-6 ESV) David and the chiefs of the service also set apart for the service the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals. The list of those who did the work and of their duties was: 2 Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah, sons of Asaph, under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the direction of the king. 3 Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with the lyre in thanksgiving and praise to the LORD. 4 Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth. 5 All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him, for God had given Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. 6 They were all under the direction of their father in the music in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the order of the king.

God gifted several men in David’s court to prophesy to instrumental accompaniment. Evidently the power to compose and sing psalms and to play instruments is a type of prophecy.

(2Ch 24:20 ESV)  20 Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you break the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.'”

The phrase “the Spirit of God clothed” is interesting because Paul speaks of Christians being “clothed” with Christ in Galatians. In this passage, “clothed” means the Spirit gave him a message and mission from God and, evidently, the courage to announce it. We see the same expression in —

(Jdg 6:34 ESV)  34 But the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon, and he sounded the trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called out to follow him.

(1Ch 12:18 ESV) 18 Then the Spirit clothed Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said, “We are yours, O David, and with you, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to your helpers! For your God helps you.” Then David received them and made them officers of his troops.


10 Responses

  1. 1Ti 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: [so do].

    What do you think Paul was referring to in this statement.? Are we to take some stories as fact, and others as fables, if so how do we discern which is which, is it harder to believe the story of Jonah, than that of Elisha, how about Sampson vs Job. Could it be that most if not all these stories within the old testament are justifications for what humans did, “Well God told me to”

  2. clarification, what I mean is, the blood and guts god of the old testament , is not the God Jesus described is it? could it be that God got tired of being misrepresented, be the reason for Jesus Christ.?

  3. Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

    God doesn’t change; there isn’t one in the Old Testament and a different one in the New Testament. A complete careful reading of the Bible will show this to be true, but it takes time to read the Bible “in context” rather than “book, chapter, & verse”.

    If you read Revelation, you will see that it is JESUS that is coming with the wrath of God and an army of Angels to destroy the wicked…

  4. Do you actually believe the fables and genealogies that Paul told us not to heed are the things written in the Old Testament, which – he had earlier written to the Romans – are given for our learning?

    Isn’t it more likely that these were among the “old wives’ tales,” perhaps coming from an early form of gnosticism? Or, if not from there, at least from some other extra-biblical source?

    Paul (above) correctly points out the God does not change. The Gnostics, however, did say the Creator God of the Old Testament was not the Father of our Savior, but was a demiurge far removed from the purity of the true God and Father who is goodness and light.

    Jerry, CommittedToTruth.Wordpress.Com

  5. Jerry, I didn’t say what I believe, I ask a question, here is another one, what would be the difference in telling a fable in the old testament, and telling a parable, in the new to make a point.?

  6. I see God in the OT and NT as the US Marine Corps. Kill Japanese at many islands when needed in WW II, and North Koreans in Korea.
    Then the same Marines working late and sometimes all night creating and fixing toys and delivering them with a wide grin for Toys for Tots.

  7. The text does not state that the spirit of Elijah was the Holy Spirit. That comment is found in a question from onlookers. We can safely assume that God was leading His prophets, and that He did so through His Spirit, I’d think. But that is not stated exactly in the quoted text. Throughout the Old Testament it is normally stated that GOD did particular things, some of which we now may see He did through His Spirit.

    That God does not change is clearly taught. We have no reason to doubt it! We should believe it. God is LOVE and always has been so. But love causes the lover to seek to set right anything which is not right. That’s why God punished the wicked and will in the future punish justly every wrong. He selected the sons of Abraham to become His people, choosing between Ishmael and Isaac, and then made further choices.

    But God loved all His children, the bad and the good. He still does. Yes, Jesus surely WILL judge and sentence evil-doers. So must civil governors who seek to judge wisely and well. The good must be rewarded. The evil must be punished. In the end, that’s the way it will work out!

    The Old Testament knew God’s Son only through prophecy. Yet we think God’s Word may have acted even in days prior to His coming to earth in human flesh. The apostle John makes clear that all things were made through the Word even as the cosmos was formed. But during Old Testament times, most actions were done without mention of the agent who acted for God. His people knew HIM as the active agent rather than His Son or His Spirit.

  8. “God doesn’t change [per Malachi 3.6]; there isn’t one in the Old Testament and a different one in the New Testament. ”

    But what if he hasn’t changed, just that he was misrepresented before. Then it is not a change on his part. He didn’t change. Its just that what was said about him before was wrong.

    Does it really make sense that Jesus would have the ISraelites steal the land of the Canaanites and kill them all? Think about the wandering in the wilderness for 40 years because the spies gave the wrong answer. It makes more sense that the original law of Moses was like the Recabite law (look it up in the old testament) that said you must live as a nomad. So for 40 years the Israelite followed it and lived as nomads. Then they got bored and greddy and said lets change Moses’ law to say “go kill all the Canaanites and show them no mercy” and we can steal their land! And all the priests say “great idea” so they did it and blamed it on God. And now all the fundamentalists preach from the pulpit “if only the ISraelites had obeyed God and completed their genocide against the Canaanites there would be no trouble in the middle East.” What an inhuman and antichristian doctrine!

  9. Jeremiah 35:6-7 But they said, We will drink no wine: for Jonadab the son of Rechab our father commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons for ever: Neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any: but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land where ye be strangers.

    Where did Rechab get this law? This law perfectly explains the wilderness wandering of 40 years without having to resort to the “Jewish fable” of God being so mad that some spies gave an answer he didn’t like that he made the whole nation wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

  10. Laymond,

    See my earlier reply to Jerry. The notion that the God of the OT is not the God of the NT is absurd. After all, the God of the NT reveals himself as the God of the OT.

    (Act 7:2-3 ESV) 2 And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3 and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’

    (Act 3:12-15 ESV) 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.

    And it’s equally absurd to argue that Paul referred to the OT as “fables.” This is the same Paul who quoted the OT over and over to make his points and urged us to study the “scriptures,” having primary reference to the OT.

    I do accept the idea of “progressive revelation” — and that Jesus reveals God’s nature and character to us more completely than he’d been revealed before. But we have to get comfortable with the God of the OT — because he is also the God of Jesus. And that means we can’t judge God by human standards. It’s not that God is above law, but that God has vastly superior knowledge and power that mean he can make judgments we aren’t equipped to make.

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