Generational Transference in the Bible: The Prophets

Generational Transference Passing

Generational transference of ministry leadership is evident in the examples and writings of the Prophets. For instance, in Isaiah, the image of the Suffering Servant involves the fulfillment of freedom and salvation for a never-ending succession of generations.[1] Jeremiah reprimands a particular generation that failed to accept the transference of faith and ministry from their forefathers.[2]   The prophet Joel suggested that as one generation learns the stories of God’s actions from their elders, they then have the responsibility to tell the next generation.[3]   In this way, Elijah and Elisha exhibited a successful transference of ministry leadership.  God had told Elijah to intentionally anoint Elisha as his successor.[4]  Reciprocally, the younger Elisha intentionally agreed to partner with Elijah as “his attendant.”[5] Elisha showed loyalty and trust towards Elijah.[6]  Finally, when the day of succession took place, Elijah simply gave Elisha his cloak, as a symbol that his leadership authority had been transferred to this next generation leader.  During the symbolic moment, Elijah earnestly and respectfully asked for the recognized permission to continue in the way of ministry that Elijah had so faithfully walked.[7]


[1] Isaiah 53:10-12; 54:1-3

[2] Jeremiah 2:31

[3] Joel 1:3

[4] 1 Kings 19:16

[5] 1 Kings 19:19-21

[6] 2 Kings 2:1-6

[7] 2 Kings 2:9-10

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