02 Hazael

02. Hazael and Jehu

860 BC

Elijah said, “The Lord named your son as my replacement. Far more than a mere servant.”

“Hadn’t realized,” Elisha’s Father said. [BEATi]

Elisha’s mother scooted closer to her husband.ii

Elisha turned his back to the fire [maybe bring in its heat?] and clamped both hands over his mouth. Replacement? With a word he had shut off the rain. And with another, opened the sky. The man looked peaceful enough sitting by the fire, but when the rain fell on Mount Carmel, he had slit the throats of four hundred fifty prophets of Baal. Sew sleeves on his robe maybe. Or pour water on his hands. But replace the Goatskin Kid? No. [Nice! I like this thought GG.]

Elijah squinted across the fire. “Your son seems mature, wise for his years. How old is he?”

“This boy will see his thirteenth summer next new moon,” Mother said.[Good way to bring in his age, but throughout chapter one, I was seeing him older. GG] [SS I didn’t realize he was so young. ] [John For some reason I thought Elijah would be older, more senior and statesman-like ]

Elijah clapped a hand on his knee while he shared a direct glance with his brother. “In my opinion, and I see my older brother agrees, your son should remain with his parents, ready to act the moment the Lord speaks.”

Elisha’s parents beamed.iii [what do? Unhappy.iv] [What is Elisha’s reaction? GG]

After breakfast in the morning, the Shaphat family walked Elijah and Nathanv across the field and paused at the entrance to the village path.

“One moment, sir. A word with your son.” Elijah turned his back to the family and sidled up to Elisha. “The Lord gave me two assignments of a sensitive nature.”

Elisha raised both eyebrows. “Sensitive?”

“Danger to your family.” [fearvi]

Elisha’s eyes snapped open and zeroed in on his mother and father behind Elijah.

With a wave of his fingers, Elijah pulled Elisha’s gaze off his mother and father and backed him deeper into the village path. He jutted his chin toward Nathan. “I have not told my own brother. Simply hearing either assignment would put him in danger. Say ‘No’viiviii right now, and I will perform these tasks on my own.”

Elisha glanced at his mother and father waiting in the field. If he said No, they would be safe from his blunders. But he would miss his chance at greatness. [used?ix] [vs. The choice was clear. Keep his parents safe from his blunders. Or be available for great deeds.]

Elijah followed his eyes. “You must not tell them.”

“I understand.” x xi

[So either delete the previous line or move this up to join it.] Elisha trembled but set his jaw. “I accept the assignments.”

Elijah’s nakedxii eyebrows flashed up and held. “On the mountain, the Lord said, ‘Anoint Hazael in Damascus king of Syria. And anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel.’ Exact words. During any regime change, heads roll off shoulders. Best to keep your distance.”

The blood drained from Elisha’s face. [POV how would he know?] “Wh-when, sir?”

“The timing is up to the Lord, so keep your ears open.”

Elisha gave a curt nod. “Very well. Um… I’m your servant. Shall I…?”

“Not my servant. The Lord said you are my replacement.”

Elisha lowered his head. This conversation was ending too soon. They hadn’t discussed where to hide or how to run.

He bounced his glance from Elijah to Nathan. How could he talk an older brother into coming with him to keep him on the right track?xiii xiv

Enough. [ what?xv]

The Lord gave Mother the dream and sent Elijah with his cloak. The Lord thought he [Elishaxvi] would survive. He would learn on the go. xvii xviii

Elijah strode over to Elisha’s father and pointed him toward distant Gilead. “You are welcome at the Tishbe vineyard.” He turned back to Elisha. “You don’t need a special invitation. Once you’re on the Gilead plateau, head for Jabesh and ask for Tishbe Wines.”

While Elisha and his mother beamed at Elijah, Elisha’s father clasped his forearm. “The Lord go with you.”

259 BC

p. 257 “You have a visitor.”


Elisha dashed past Rockam and landed with both feet spraying gravel onto Elijah’s toes. “Reporting for duty, sir.”

p. 258 “So, no nudges…?”

p. 267 This Old House

268 kill?

269 “I should listen at home.”

iI think an action beat would work really well here, since it’s the start of a chapter. Something to show what’s going on in the scene. John

iiTo reiterate a previous comment, I do think it would save you a lot of words (the repetition of Elisha’s name, in particular) to just call them Mother and Father, if you wanted to try that route. It would also be a step closer/deeper into Elisha’s POV. Becca

iiiMaybe use a different verb here since this was used in the previous chapter as well. Or use a different verb in the other occurrence, if you think it fits better here. Becca

ivWhat did Elisha do (from what he thought above about later, maybe he wasn’t too happy?) Erma

vUsing names {Nathan} saves words and is more direct, since we’ve already been given his name (and your readers will know him from Elijah’s book, if they’ve read that one as well!) becca

viiNo – Becca


ixErma So, is that what Elisha wanted – greatness? I think this was mentioned earlier too. Did he want to be used by God? ????

xJoin this to next paragraph?***

xiFor a back-and-forth conversation, especially with their names looking so similar, I’d suggest keeping each character’s actions within their own line so readers can follow the back-and-forth motion of the dialogue from one line to the next. Becca

xii***scanty? Skimpy?***

xiiiI like this paragraph a lot! Becca

xivJohn That last section between the two of them was very effective.

xvOf what? Doubting? Worrying? Vascilating?

xviIf you don’t specify this, it sounds like it is still Elijah

xviiGreat display of his faith!

xviii John Excellent, really effective inner thought that shows his character and his resolve very clearly.

xix When does Gehazi join him?

What does this mean? “I dwell among my own people.” 2 kings. 4. The Shunamite woman

Why did their names have to sound so much alike?

Made it quick to compare.

Oh, he poured water on the hands Of Elijah.

Thinks he’s boring second rate tag along.

Never ever compare with Elijah

Closed and opened the sky.

Told king Ahab whats what.

Mt Horeb.

Chariot of Fire.

And that chariot was still going.

Elisha check the sky over Jerusalem. Elijah had not re-appeared.

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