Elijah led what we might call today a "dynamic life." He was a prophet who warned and punished the Kings of Israel for their sins. He raised a widow's son from the dead (1Kings 17:2-24). He also had a major confrontation with Israel's false prophets on Mount Carmel, which ended in the execution of 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah (1Kings 18:18-40). God even gave him the power to OUTRUN the chariot of Ahab (who also had a head start) to the entrance of Jezreel (1Kings 18:46)! After fleeing death threats from Queen Jezebel he is told to anoint two kings and make Elisha his successor (1Kings 19). After anointing Elisha as the new prophet in Israel, and a fiery chariot of God takes him away, Elisha's receives his request of a double portion of God's spirit (2Kings 2:1-12).
His service to God was such that he represented all the Old Testament prophets when Jesus was transfigured and in a vision is seen talking to him and Moses (Luke 9:28-36). John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus before his ministry began, preached in his spirit and power (John 1:19-23, Matthew 17:10-13).
Elisha, on the other hand, was a humble farmer (1Kings 19:16-19). However, he apparently knew what it meant when cast over him was his mentor's mantle, as he seems not to have questioned, except to say goodbye to his parents (verses 20-21). He then followed him until the day God took Elijah away by a chariot of fire to another location.
Dr. Smith wrote of Elisha: "In almost every respect [he] presents the most complete contrast to Elijah."
Elijah's tactic was to hit and run. He was rough shod and hairy and thundered his denunciation of kings. Elisha, however, stayed as a visitor in the homes where he went. He dressed like the people of his day and generally succored the people. After sixty years of service as a prophet of the eternal God he died in his own home (2Kings 13:14, 20). God's power, however, showed through him even after his death. For example, some men were burying a man when a gang of men appeared. They threw the body into Elisha's tomb, and when it touched his bones a miracle occurred:
"Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, HE REVIVED AND STOOD ON HIS FEET." (2Kings 13:20-21)