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What is the biblical significance of the line "My mantle I bequeath among you''?

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titir | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 25, 2012 at 3:44 PM via web

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What is the biblical significance of the line "My mantle I bequeath among you''?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 25, 2012 at 3:15 PM (Answer #1)

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The clothing of the people in the Bible is important to understand because it is referred to in many ways to describe their daily life as well as to provide symbolic meaning to what they believed in. For example, "gird up your loins" means that they would pull up their robes around their legs and fasten them to their girdle underneath when they were performing a work of labor. The mantle was a large square shawl with specific fringe attached to it that was unique to the wearer. The mantle became a symbol of prophetic authority when Elijah was taken up into heaven and his mantle fell upon Elisha. Elisha took Elijah's mantle and performed miracles with it.  This showed the people that Elisha now had authority from Elijah, who had received authority from God, to act in God's name as the prophet on the earth. So, if someone says that they give you their mantle, they are saying that they are passing on their duty and responsibility. Look up 2 Kings 2:11-14 for the passing of the mantle story with Elijah and Elisha for more information into the story.Furthermore, the word bequeath means to pass down or to dispose of personal property by last will.  Clearly, in the 2 Kings story Elijah specifically chooses Elisha as the next prophet when he gives him the his personal mantle.

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