The Double Portion

Travis West

READ : 2 Kings 2:1-18
Romans 8:14-17

Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit. (v. 9 NIV)

My uncle is an expert baker, and his particular specialty is pies. Believe me, not a holiday goes by that I’m not thankful for this unmerited blessing! As I wait in the dessert line, I eagerly look ahead to see if a brother or cousin has taken the last piece of whatever I’m in the mood for that day. And when I finally arrive at the table, it’s not uncommon for me to plead with my aunt to give me, if not the double portion of my uncle’s baking spirit, at least a double portion of his apple pie!

That’s the sort of thing we think of when we read about the “double portion.” But this is to misunderstand our story. When Elisha asked for a “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit, he was not asking for twice as much spirit as Elijah had. Rather, this phrase has to do with inheritance. Fathers would divide their property equally among all their sons but would add an extra “portion.” So if they had four sons, they would divide their property into five shares. The eldest son would get the “double portion,” to which he was entitled by birth.

So Elisha doesn’t ask Elijah for twice as much divine power as he had. He’s asking Elijah to consider him his eldest son and to give him the inheritance set apart for the heir. We too have received the “double portion” of God’s Spirit and are co-heirs with Christ!


Thank you for the double portion of your Spirit.