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The Old Testament > 2 Kings > Chapter 2
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 Lexical notes
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 Verse 9: Double portion
According to the Word Biblical Commentary, in asking for a double portion, "Elisha is asking for the status as rightful heir to the prophetic leaders's role. The phrase indicates twice as much as any other heir, not double the amount Elijah had." (Cf. Deut 21:17.)
Nachman Levine (see reference below) discusses a further meaning building on a Midrashic tradition claiming that Elijah did eight miracles whereas Elisha did sixteen. Levine argues that "Elisha's miracles not only double Elijah's but seem to parallel and multiply them in their themes, elements and language." Levine points to "keys of the womb, the grave and the rains . . . (life, death, and the sustaining of live)." For example, Elijah provided oil for a widow and her son until it rained (1 Kgs 17:13-16) whereas Elisha provided not only enough oil to sustain a widow and her multiple sons but there was also enough left over to sell (2 Kgs 4:1-7). Levine's other examples are more complex.
Note also that Elijah's drought lasts 3.5 years (1 Kgs 17:1; 18:1; Luke 4:25; James 5:17) whereas Elisha's drought lasts 7 years (2 Kgs 8:1).
 Related links
 Verse 9
- Double portion. See Nachman Levine's article "Twice as Much of Your Spirit: Pattern, Parallel and Paronomasia in the Miracles of Elijah and Elisha" in Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, v. 85 (1999), pp. 25-46.