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    Elishas Profile in the Book of Kings: The Double Agent

    By: Keith Bodner

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    Elishas Profile in the Book of Kings uses the tools of literary criticism to read the Elisha narrative as an integral component of the Deuteronomistic History compiled in the aftermath of the Babylonian invasion and destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.From his investiture in 1 Kings 19 to his final cameo in 2 Kings 13, Elisha the prophet has one of the most extensively-narrated careers in Israels royal history. During a particularly dark and contested era where the corrupt northern kings hold sway, Elisha enters the ideological battleground and boldly raises his voice and performs remarkable signs to stem the tide of injustice and religious inconstancy. Empowered by a double portion of his master Elijahs spirit, Elisha is a double agentwho continues the task of dismantling the Omride dynasty. Moving between the international stage and more domestic locales, Elisha travels widely and interacts with a host of characters from virtually every socio-economic category, visiting foreign capitals and cities under siege as well as wealthyhomes and obscure villages. With actions that range from feeding a multitude to mind-reading and raising the dead, Elishas performance eclipses that of his master and ensures a lasting place in ancient Israels prophetic heritage.

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