Now a days it is fairly rare to make a phone call to a business without being told that the call may be recorded for all sorts of reasons. Businesses react slightly differently when you tell them that you are recording them just to make sure that there is an accurate record of what has been said.
Prior to this the main way of proving what was said (or happened) was when it was said in front of witnesses or having pictures taken on the event. An image snapped with ones phone is common place, but before cameras were readily available it was an artist who sketched or painted what they saw. An example of this is documented here
Going back in time even more somebodies ring/seal was often the sign that they had the authority of that person. They used the ring to make decisions. This then led to people having their ring fingers cut off (with the ring still on the finger) as a witness to prove that they had been usurped. In more extreme cases the head was cut off and paraded around.
Going back in time even more in Deuteronomy 17:6 Jewish law requires two or more witnesses to an event before it can result in Judgement (in this case the capital crime). So when Elijah was travelling around and had 50 prophets following him they made pretty good witnesses.
In 2 King 2 v7 it describes how they watched Elijah and Elisha (his apprentice/understudy) go up to the River Jordan and Elijah touches it with his cloak and the waters divided so he and Elisha could cross the river on dry ground.
It does not record how large the river was at that time but I think it is fair to say that it was not a stream, but a river. Elijah and Elisha go on and Elisha witnesses Elijah being taken up to heaven in a whirlwind, during which he drops his cloak.
Elisha picks up Elijah's cloak and walks back to the river Jordan where the prophets are still waiting on the far side. I am sure they are wondering how is he going to get back across the river. But Elisha
picked up Elijah's cloak that had fallen from him, returned to the shore of the Jordan, and stood there. He took Elijah's cloak—all that was left of Elijah!—and hit the river with it, saying, "Now where is the God of Elijah? Where is he?"
When he struck the water, the river divided and Elisha walked through. - from verse 15 The guild of prophets from Jericho saw the whole thing from where they were standing. They said, "The spirit of Elijah lives in Elisha!" They welcomed and honored him. From the message version.
The prophets were the witness to the fact that Elisha now had been granted similar powers by God to that of Elijah.
You can read more about this period of Elijah's time on earth in our studies on him and the relevant sections of the Bible this time being main 2 King 2 here
Dyslexic doodles on photography, food (growing, cooking & of course eating), faith and other fascinating things. This is a personal blog expressing my views.