Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
STUDY 3: LAST RELATED ACTS OF ELIJAH AND ELISHA
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
2 Kings 2: 12-14
LET us now describe Elisha’s seven activities at and after the separation of Elijah and Elisha, in 2 Kings 2: 12-14:
“Elisha saw it”
(1.) Elisha’s first activity is found in the expression, “Elisha saw it.” The word “it” is in italics, which proves that it has no corresponding word in the Hebrew text. The inserted word should be him, that is, Elijah; and the word saw should have been rendered recognize. Therefore, the expression should read, “Elisha recognized him [Elijah].” Keeping in mind what Elijah told Elisha (2 Kings 2: 10) what the condition was that the latter must fulfill to receive the blessings of his successorship to Elijah, we see that Elisha did fulfill this condition – he did recognize Elijah up to and during the separation.
The antitype shows that this feature of the type was fulfilled in the experiences of each individual while undergoing the separation process. In every case, before the break became complete, the Elisha class recognized the separating brethren (the Elijah class), during the period of the separation process.
“My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.”
(2.) The second thing Elisha did at the separation was to cry out: “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.” The cry, “My father, my father” implies a recognition of, and a statement of surprise, sorrow and discussion. This typifies the surprise and sorrow which the Society friends felt and expressed at, and the discussions which they held over the fact that those who had been, as it were, the leaders of the Church, should act in a way which the Society friends mistakenly thought was wrong, and which they thought was leading the separating brethren into the Lord’s disfavor.
The second thought in Elisha’s exclamation was: “the chariot of Israel,” that is, the W. T. B. & T. Society. This feature of the type represents the recognition of, the surprise and sorrow at, and the discussion of the Society among its loyal supporters. The events beginning with the summer of 1917 were associated with such surprise and sorrow at, and recognition and discussion of the Society.
The third thought in Elisha’s exclamation is, “and the horsemen thereof.” Understanding horsemen to represent leaders of secular or religious doctrines, and the typical horsemen to represent the three directors of the Society as advocates of the supposedly legal, but actually illegal doctrines previously described, this expression indicates a recognition and discussion of, surprise at, and sorrow at, and for these brothers. The Society friends were surprised and saddened at the trials in which these brothers were involved; but they persisted in discussing and in recognizing them as the leaders who should be followed, because they controlled “the channel.”
“And he saw him no more”
(3.) Elisha’s third activity is expressed in the statement, “And he [Elisha] saw [recognized] him no more.” The Hebrew word in this verse and in verse 10 for recognize is raah, which means to acknowledge, to sympathize, to cooperate with. The implication is that Elisha knew of Elijah’s presence in the earth after his whirlwind experience, but that he did not want to be subject to Elijah as he previously had been.
This was fulfilled in the antitype by the leaders and the adherents of the Society disfellowshipping the so-called “Opposition” brethren.
“And he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.”
(4.) Elisha’s fourth activity was his rending his clothes into two pieces. Clothing in the symbols of the Bible represents our graces of heart and mind (Colossians 2: 12, 13) (1 Peter 1: 5). To rend one’s clothes would represent doing violence to one’s graces, and to rend them in twain would represent such gross violence done to one’s graces as to tear them in twain, and thus to expose one’s double-mindedness (James 1: 8).
Elisha’s action seems to find an antitype in the violence to Truth, Justice and Love committed by the leader of the Society and his supporters against the so-called “Opposition.” Garments also represent official powers, therefore, a secondary antitype of Elisha’s rending his garments was antitypical Elisha giving up his office as servant to antitypical Elijah in preparation to his taking the mouthpieceship to the public.
“He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him”
(5.) Elisha’s fifth activity was his seizing the mantle that fell from Elijah. The five Board members, by permitting J.F. Rutherford to have his own way, and declining to bring up a lawsuit, let “the mantle” fall from them – let the powers typed by the mantle slip from their control, and thus from the control of the Elijah class, whose representatives in the exercise of this power they were. The result was that antitypical Elisha, in the Society leaders as their representatives, secured to himself the power to be God’s mouthpiece to Nominal Spiritual Israel.
“And smote the waters”
(6.) Elisha’s sixth activity is that he smote the Jordan. This types antitypical Elisha laying hold of certain features of the Truth, of the controllership of the work, of parts of the appropriate Truth literature, of parts of the pertinent branches of the work and of the necessary finances; and using them to reprove those who claimed Divine right, and their supporters, they sentenced their institutions to destruction and them to dismissal from office and to punishment for their wrong doing. The conservatives and radicals in Christendom were by this smiting increasingly separated.
“And Elisha went over.”
(7.) Elisha’s seventh activity was his crossing the river. His passing completely over represents his antitype finishing the smiting work. The “Great Drive” in which the Society people engaged in, beginning about October 1, 1917, and ending about May 1, 1918, is the antitype of Elisha smiting the Jordan – the second smiting of Jordan.
(to be continued)