This is from the blog Bulletins from Baxter:
When Elijah draped his mantle over the shoulders of Elisha, Elisha startled Elijah as much as Elijah startled Elisha!
By now Elijah might have been expected to be shockproof. He had battled victoriously with the 400 prophets of Baal and he had fled a woman’s wrath. The Juniper Tree Experience was fresh behind him. But there God had laid three unusual duties upon him. One –anoint a new king in Syria and another in Israel and “Anoint Elisha to be prophet in your place.”
When Elijah reached the farm where Elisha was plowing, he went out into the field and in a very significant but simple ceremony, he draped his old leather mantle over the shoulder of Elisha. Elisha immediately grasped the significance –he had been chosen to succeed Elijah.
What surprises God has in store for those who minister in his service. I don’t know what Elijah thought would happen there that day, but he seemed a bit surprised that his action was taken so seriously.
Elisha wanted only to go and say his goodbyes. Elijah cried, “Go back again, for what have I done to you.”
Elisha did an astounding thing: he killed the oxen he was using to plow. He boiled their flesh for food WITH THE YOKES BEING THE FIREWOOD! Then he fed the gathered people. Even Simon Peter did not burn his boat! He just left it. Elisha built immediate finality into his decision.
That’s the key to Elisha’s coming success, he made a one-hundred-percent-decision when he surrendered to God’s plans for him. It is no wonder he later received a “double portion of Elijah’s spirit.” BL