June 14, 2018

What Sirach Said About Elisha the Prophet

Below is an excerpt from the Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Joshua ben Sirach, also known as Ecclesiasticus, chapter 48:12-16:

Elijah was covered by the whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit.* In his time, he didn’t tremble before any ruler, and no one oppressed him. Nothing was too great for him, and in death his body prophesied.** During his life, he performed wonders, and in death his accomplishments were marvelous.

In spite of these things, the people didn’t change their hearts and lives, and they didn’t turn from their sins until they were torn away from their land and scattered over the whole earth. The people who remained were few in number, but they had a ruler from the house of David. Some of them did what pleased God, but others sinned even more.


* The Hebrew (with help of the Syriac) adds: "He performed twice as many signs and marvels with every word from his mouth."

** Hebrew says "he did wonders."