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Hebrew In Israel | Father and Honour – Learn Torah

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In the book of Kings the text gives us the following description of a lament Elisha called out after Elijah was taken away:

וֶאֱלִישָׁע רֹאֶה, וְהוּא מְצַעֵק אָבִי אָבִי רֶכֶב יִשְׂרָאֵל וּפָרָשָׁיו, וְלֹא רָאָהוּ, עוֹד; וַיַּחֲזֵק, בִּבְגָדָיו, וַיִּקְרָעֵם, לִשְׁנַיִם קְרָעִים

Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”  And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two. 2Kings 2:12

Elisha calls out as a sign of mourning over the loss of his mentor and calls him “Father”.  The same is done when Elisha dies and the king also calls him Father.  Though we are looking at two different types of leaders, the shared form of lamenting can teach us about the practice at the time.


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