Elisha’s gift enabled him to perceive things that were normally outside of human awareness. When the king of Syria attacked Israel, Elisha knew what he was planning to do and warned the king of Israel. The king of Syria thought someone in his camp had leaked the information to the Israelites. “And he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber” (2 Kings 6:12).
The king’s servant knew about Elisha’s ability, therefore, Elisha’s reputation for revealing secrets must have been widespread. The servant’s reference to Elisha telling what was said in the king’s bedchamber implied that no place was outside of Elisha’s awareness. It is possible that Elisha could actually hear what the king was saying, but the information may have been relayed to him through some other supernatural means.
Elisha’s insight into the spiritual realm included an ability to see angelic beings and heavenly objects. When Elijah was taken up to heaven, Elisha saw what was happening (2 Kings 2:12). The chariot of fire and horses of fire were spiritual objects that the normal person could not perceive. When the king of Syria sent his army to capture Elisha, he told his servant to “fear not: for they that be with us are moe than they that be with them” (2 Kings 6:16).
Elisha was referring to the heavenly host that was camped around him and his servant. In order to alleviate his servant’s fears, “Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see, and the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17). Elisha’s servant was given a rare glimpse into the world that Elisha lived in everyday. There is no way to know for sure why he was given this opportunity, but Elisha’s servant went from being completely unaware to aware of what was going on instantaneously, as if a curtain had been pulled back from a stage.