Jesus as Elisha

Mus Zibii

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One of the many things I always disagee with Moslems on is the verse in Surah 19 about Miriam (mother of Isa) being the sister of Aaron spoken of in the Torah. There's a million paths of apologetics to this. That its figurative, meaning she's from a tribe associated with Aaron. That she simply had a brother named Aaron herself. And the excuse supposedly given by Mahomet himself via ibn Shu'bah that people in the olden days simply referenced scripture in everyday lives to refer to one another (though no evidence for this idiom exists).

As someone who believes that legend is born of re-told legend and creative misreadings this is yet another proof of my theory. This brings me to my next question.

Many of the Islamic traditions and legends of Jesus originate in extra-biblical stories. Such as Jesus giving life to clay birds, his birth under a palm tree, his speaking at birth, Mary's life in the temple, etc. Even the trinity is interpreted wrongly after the Catholic veneration of Mary.

One tradition that I always marvelled over was the story of Jesus (looking very Shakespearean, no doubt) giving life to the skull by the grace of god. I was impressed by this story because my knowledge of the bible is focused on the NT. Then it was pointed out to me that Elisha did the same thing in the book of kings (I think). And following the Islamic tradition of reversing Jewish legend, the bones of Israel become the bones of a sinful man.

The stories of Moses, Elijah, and Elisha were clearly adapted by Christians for Jesus, but this reliance on (often Talmudic) Judaism is even more pronounced in Islam. One Christian 'libel' of Islam is that Moslems misunderstood Jews jesting about the Christians, comparing Jesus to Esau, which was adopted by Moslems as the name of Christ (I assume the meaning 'hairy' refers to Jesus looking like hippy or perhaps Edom relating to the Hadith that says he has a reddish complexion?). I wonder now if a better explanation might not be, that I'sa is an abbreviated form of Elisha.
Just a note: I attributed a vision to Elisha that belonged to Ezekiel, and no one noticed. LOL My point still stands, but...
actually, the connection between jesus/isa and esau would depend on how "isa" is spelt in arabic. in hebrew, "eisav" is spelt 'ayin-shin-vav, so it would have to be a similar spelling in arabic. perhaps mohsin could enlighten us.

there is a talmudic tradition of using "esau" or "edom" as a synonym/symbol for rome, because of edom and esau being "ruddy" or, in the case of rome, dripping red with blood. obviously, christians taking over rome (which, by the time of muhammad, they had) gives you enough evidence of nastiness for christendom to be considered as carrying on where the romans left off, so this should explain it.

talmudically, christians were referred to as "minim" (heretics) "zeidim" (informers, because they used to denounce non-christians to the romans) and a host of other derogatory names, but not as edom. edom, in the talmud, is rome and rome alone.


Ah! Very cool insight. Thanks. The more possibilities the less any one in particular seems more likely.
Interesting, but there’s another interpretation, a more clear and straiforward one, that Jesus (yasau) (peace and blessings be upon him) was just like many prophets before him.. indeed Elisha (yasaa) raised the dead, walked on water, he even resurrected after he died, yet no one worships Elisha. According to the Qur’an The Lord says i quote:”Say, We believe in GOD and what has been sent down to us and what was sent down to Ibrahim and Isma‘il and Ishaq and Ya‘qub and the tribes, and what Musa (moses) and ‘Isa (Jesus) were given, and what all the prophets were given by their Lord. We do not differentiate between any of them. We are Muslims who have submitted to Him.” (chapter al- Baqara, verse 136)