My Dear Elisha,

If you are reading this parchment, I have already passed beyond the great veil that separates Man from G-d, the Lowly from the Holy, the Accursed Peanut from the Divine Dark Chocolate M&M. Or I have accidentally left it in my robe and you have happened upon it during our annual Delousing of the Vestments. Six of one, half a tribe of goats of the other. Bygones. I shall assume the former.

As the newly minted and recently mantled chief prophet of G-d, your daily existence will be unlike that of any of your family, friends or neighbors. Especially Pavel the sackcloth vendor. Though you have been a faithful assistant to me these many years – especially in the wingman department at the bi-weekly pre-Sabbath hoedowns – I suspect there are still some areas that need clarification.

First, you have asked to be blessed with a double portion of my spirit. Technically, I am unsure of how to split my portion, let alone double it. I was unaware that my spirit even had portions. I always surmised it to be quasi-gelatinous in form, not unlike the royal spare chariot wheel that once graced King Ahab’s midsection. Nonetheless, G-d has revealed to me that you will, if you’re paying attention, receive such a portion. Along with a double-shot of my gout. Sorry, them’s the breaks. Perhaps that nice widow in Zarephath could knit you some compression stockings. Raising her son from the dead’s got to be worth something, am I right?

Now, not only will you inherit my metaphorical mantle of prophetic proficiency, I am also going to bequeath you my favorite mantel. I realize that, because I’m a “summer” and you’re a “winter,” its color is a bit too magenta for your – how shall I put this – complex complexion, but still, wear it with pride. And your nice sandals. Not those dung-colored ones you got from that traveling Ninevite, Buster Crocs. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, do not take it to Meshach’s One Week Martinizing. Unless you want your mantle turned into a miniskirt. Your lower calves are not for public consumption.

Being a prophet of G-d can be physically draining. What with the running from royalty, hiding in the hinterlands, taunting false prophets, yadda yadda. Sure, I may have had a help from some PEDs (performance-enhancing dispensations), but it wasn’t all spiritual goofballs and joy juice. Given your proclivity for extreme napping, I suggest you start slowly with Glutes of Papyrus. Or just use my trainer. Name’s Jack LaLanne. He’s getting up there in years, but he’ll give you wash-rock abs in no time.

It’s not much, but I am granting you deed to the Smite Shack. What it lacks in roominess it makes up for in charm, if you equate charm with mutton musk. While such a small abode would normally be quite easy to maintain, your frequent travels and associated fleeings might lead to some unsightly buildup. Yes, of the goat variety. Not to worry. Simply invite a few prophets of Baal over for some unleavened scones and wait for G-d to rain down his vengeful fire upon them. He consumes the prophets and the grime, but leaves the scones lightly toasted. He is G-d of the gaps and the snacks. Selah.

From time to time you will find it necessary to smite someone. Be they false prophet, wicked royalty or unscrupulous beard trimmer, some people require a full face-shot of fury from the Lord. But do not trample out those grapes of wrath on your own, Elisha. Nay. You must petition G-d to render His judgment upon the wicked, the immoral and the lazy with a razor. Just be sure you request a proper smiting. Petitions to have someone “besmitten” will eventually lead to your appearing on “Tishbe COPS” with a crying Jezebel while sporting a stained under-mantle. Not cool.

Finally, I bring up the subject of whirlwinds. G-d has revealed to me that, instead of passing away peacefully while reading “Strong’s Annotated Papyri” or choking on a pastrami and rye from Katz’s New Canaan Deli, I am to be taken up to heaven in a whirlwind. How this is a good thing is beyond my mortal comprehension, but I assure you I will be doubly undergirded on that day, my friend. As for you, I advise that you stand well back, don’t cross the streams and make sure to catch a double portion of whatever comes your way. Assuming the double undergirding held strong.

Your mentor and friend,

Elijah

P.S. People will undoubtedly confuse our names for millennia to come. I suggest changing yours to something snappy. Like Frodo.

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