Elisha’s Double Portion

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What is the secret of the “Double Portion Anointing?” Good question. I think this study can shed some light on the subject. There are many different interpretations on the matter in both the pursuit of scriptural insight and its application in our lives.

Most instances include the seeker asking someone they deem anointed praying for them to receive a double portion of the anointing that they in turn will walk in. It is like asking someone for their mantle, or Superman for his cape. This comes from the encounter in 2 Kings 2:9-11:

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

10He said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if yousee me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”

11As they were going along and talking, behold, there appeareda chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven.

I have heard people say that when someone asks them for a double portion that they feel sorry for them because of all that they had gone through to attain to the “level” of revelation and anointing that they are walking in. In one sense I feel that the term “double portion” is overused and abused. Many go from place to place and from minister to minister asking them all for double of what the minister is walking in. I do applaud them for their hunger but I think that further understanding of what they are asking would come from a study of the text they are so eagerly quoting. I admit that I used to do the same thing. The attitude, however, is not entirely wrong, that desire to “share” in the same Spirit another has with the Lord. As the Body of Christ, this kind of fellowship is vital to our growing together and become one body in one Spirit (Eph 4:4).

In his book From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire, Michael Brown points out that Elijah wanted the inheritance of the firstborn.

According to Deuteronomy 21:15-17, if a man had two sons, instead of splitting the inheritance fifty-fifty, he had to divide it into three parts, giving two thirds to the firstborn (the “double portion”) and one third to the second born son. Most people have mistakenly believed that the double portion meant “twice as much”; it simply means “double share.”

So what’s the big deal? It’s a matter of spiritual realism. We can’t give something we don’t have naturally or spiritually. We can’t impart double anointings.1

The main emphasis that I perceive Brown points out here is that this passage does not refer to someone laying hands on you, and you instantly receiving twice as much anointing as the person praying for you. It is a share of inheritance. Instead of one share, he wanted double–the right of a firstborn.

So what does this “share” consist of? What was Elisha to receive as an inheritance, besides an old coat? Walter Brueggemann in his 1 & 2 Kings commentary illustrates:

…Elijah grants Elisha one last wish. His request is bold and prompt, a “double share” of Elijah’s spirit. The “double share” is one more portion than is normally distributed. The phrasing is odd because “double share” refers to something quantifiable, but Elijah asked for rûah, for the force and vitality, energy and authority of Elijah, none of which is quantifiable. He asked to be invested with Elijah’s power as a prophet.2

So Elisha’s request is an inheritance in the Spirit. He wanted a double share of that which was on Elijah as an inheritance, the same way a firstborn son would receive a double share of the natural inheritance.

This is a continuation of an article I wrote called Searching for Elijahs. (There is also an audio message on it called Where are the Elijahs?) In that teaching I described who Elijah was and the power he walked in. This reveals the significance of Elisha receiving Elijah’s mantle to become the new prophetic voice to Israel, walking in even greater power than Elijah. It follows that if Elijah couldn’t give something greater–or twice as much as he had to Elisha–then how was this possible? Because Elisha experienced Elijah’s ministry and relationship with God, and then he began his own.

Just as it took a lifetime for Elijah to come to the place where he was taken to heaven–a lifetime to attain to that “level” of revelation–it was vital for Elisha to see him and experience that revelation with him, so Elisha could start where Elijah left off. Elijah’s ministry culminated with the same revelation that began Elisha’s ministry. If we see him when he leaves we will start where he left off, just as the disciples did with Jesus.

The point is that though we may not be able to receive double portion anointings from people we can receive revelations in which they have spent their lives for and apply that knowledge and revelation to our lives. Instead of starting over for ourselves, we start at the level they leave at. I like to call it “The Fellowship of Revelations.”

If my friend is playing a video game and gets to level 50, then stops and says “its your turn”, you don’t have to start back at level 1. Even though he did all the work, you get to start at level 50.

As I mentioned in Searching for Elijahs, I believe that this is the reason the spirit of Elijah is coming again in the last days.

Behold I am going to sent you Elijah the prophet before the coming great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse. Malachi 4:5-6

The Father’s heart is for generation to raise up generation to raise up generation. Revivals often stop because the generations are at odds with each other. This leaves the rebellious younger generation starting over instead of picking up where the stubborn older generation left off. When the generations finally come together, the world will shake. Imagine an entire generation of Elijahs raising up and entire generation of Elishas!

I reconsidered these things because recently at a church meeting the Lord gave me a prophetic word for a friend. I described to her how God was going to use her to do things in the Spirit. Others have been there but she would go after them and apply what she learned in a new way as if she had better technology. This opened up my spirit to new revelation on the transfer between Elijah and Elisha.

The culmination and application for us in this specific sense is this: Over the course of life God reveals things to people. In the ministry of the kingdom we share what God shows us with others. These may be things that have taken our whole lives to comprehend. The cool thing is that we did not just do it for ourselves. The entire body benefits. Others can take our revelation and run with it (Habakkuk 2:2).

Then the LORD answered me and said,
Record the vision
And inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run.

Not saying I am anyone, but it took at least 5 years of prayer and study for the Elijah and Elisha revelation in my life in order for me to come to the place where I can share it in this article.

What is the double portion anointing? I believe it is the fact that we inherit what previous generations had, and then we can add that to our own anointing like pouring fuel on a fire.

This opened up my eyes to whole new perception into the ascension of Jesus. He gathered the disciples together and said:

For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now…  but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Acts 1:5, 1:8-9

The disciples saw Jesus ascend to heaven and were instructed to go to Jerusalem and wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They were to await their mantle. The same way that Elijah left Elisha his mantle, Jesus was sending the Holy Spirit to His disciples.

After Elisha had received Elijah’s mantle, the sons of the prophets declared “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” (2 Ki 2:15) They recognized the same anointing. A similar thing happened to the disciples after they were baptized in the Holy Spirit:

Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

Just as the revelation did not leave with Elijah, it did not leave with Jesus either. They both left their mantles to the next generation. What the disciples spent the last few years of their lives watching Jesus do, He was now calling and empowering them to do. And not only that, He was calling them to do even greater things, because now they would have full capacity to relate to him in the Holy Spirit and not just physically.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. (John 14:12)

Their foundation, their starting place was everything they had seen Jesus do. They were to inherit a double portion as well. This was the platform for them to start their ministry. This was the platform for them to impact the Earth.

I believe that everything we discussed gives us awesome insight into understanding the verses that I want to leave us with. This is my prayer for this study and hope for us all. I feel these verses encompass everything I have tried to share:

18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might

20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:18-21)

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  1. Michael L. Brown, From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire: America on the Edge of Revival, (Shippensburg: Destiny Image 1997), p 156. []
  2. Walter Brueggemann, Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, (Macon: Smyth &  Helwys Publishing, 2000), p 295. []