And he said, You have asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so unto you; but if not, it shall not be so.
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Maximus of Turin
Angels bring Elijah to heaven, then, and angels watch over Elisha on earth. What is there to wonder at if angels, who carried away the master, protected the disciple? And what is noteworthy in the fact that the deference that they showed to the father they also manifested to the son? For he is the spiritual son of Elijah; he is the inheritor of his holiness. Justifiably is Elisha called the spiritual son of Elijah because when he went up to heaven Elijah left a double spirit of his grace to him. For when Elisha was given the right to ask for whatever he wanted before Elijah would be taken from him, he asked that a double portion of Elijah might be in him. Then Elijah said, “What you have asked is hard, but so it shall be for you.” O precious inheritance in which the inheritor is left more than is possessed and the one who receives obtains more than the giver owned! Clearly this is a precious inheritance that is doubled by a kind of meritorious interest when it is transferred from father to son. Elijah, therefore, left a double portion to Elisha, although he himself had a single spirit of holiness. In a marvelous way, then, Elijah left more grace on earth than he carried with him to heaven.