2 Kings 2

Elijah goes up to heaven

1 The Lord was now ready to take Elijah up to heaven in a storm of wind. At this time, Elijah and Elisha were travelling from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, because the Lord has sent me to Bethel.’ But Elisha replied, ‘I will not leave you. I promise that, as surely as the Lord lives and as surely as you also live.’

So they went down to Bethel together. 3 A group of prophets lived at Bethel. They came out to Elisha and they asked him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?’ Elisha replied, ‘Yes, I do know that, but do not talk about it now.’

4 Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, because the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ But Elisha replied, ‘I will not leave you. I promise that, as surely as the Lord lives and as surely as you live.’

So they went to Jericho together. 5 A group of prophets lived in Jericho. They went out to Elisha and they asked him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?’ Elisha replied, ‘Yes, I do know that, but do not talk about it now.’

6 Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, because the Lord has sent me to the Jordan river.’ But Elisha replied, ‘I will not leave you. I promise that, as surely as the Lord lives and as surely as you live.’

So they continued to travel together. 7 50 men who belonged to the group of prophets went and they stood near the Jordan river. They were standing not far away from Elijah and Elisha. They watched what happened. 8 Elijah took off his coat. He rolled it up and he hit the water with it. The water became separate to the left side and to the right side. Elijah and Elisha went across the river on dry ground.

9 After they had crossed the river, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘The Lord will soon take me away from you. What do you want me to do for you before that happens?’ Elisha replied, ‘Please let me have twice as much of your spirit.’ 10 Elijah said, ‘You have asked a difficult thing. But watch carefully when God takes me from you. If you see it happen, you will receive that spirit. If you do not see me, you will not receive it.’

11 So they walked along and they talked together. Suddenly a chariot that was burning with fire appeared. The horses that pulled it were also burning with fire. The chariot went between Elijah and Elisha. Elijah went up to heaven in a storm of wind. 12 When Elisha saw this, he shouted, ‘My father! My father! You are riding in Israel's chariot! Israel's men are riding on the horses!’

2:12Elisha calls Elijah his father because he was his master and his teacher as a prophet. Like a firstborn son, he wanted to receive twice as much of Elijah's spirit.

After that, Elisha could not see Elijah again. He took hold of his own clothes and he tore them into pieces because he was very upset. 13 He picked up Elijah's coat that had fallen off. He went and he stood on the shore of the Jordan river. 14 He took Elijah's coat and he hit the water with it. He said, ‘Now is the Lord, Elijah's God, with me?’ When he hit the water with Elijah's coat, the water became separate, to the left side and to the right side. Elisha went across the river.

15 The group of prophets from Jericho were standing not far away. They saw what happened. They said, ‘The spirit that gave power to Elijah is now with Elisha.’ They went to meet Elisha. They bent down low to the ground to respect him. 16 They said to him, ‘Please, sir! We are your servants. We have 50 strong men with us. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord has carried him away. Maybe it has dropped him somewhere on a mountain or in a valley.’ But Elisha replied, ‘No. Do not send them to look for him.’

2:16the Spirit or the wind.

17 But the prophets asked him many times to do this. Elisha was too ashamed to refuse. So he said, ‘Send them to look.’ They sent 50 men who looked for Elijah for three days. But they did not find him. 18 When they returned, Elisha was waiting for them in Jericho. He said to them, ‘I told you not to go and look for Elijah.’

Elisha shows that he has God's authority

19 One day, the leaders in Jericho said to Elisha, ‘Please listen to us, sir. You can see that our city is in a good place. But the water here is bad. The land does not give us good crops.’ 20 Elisha said, ‘Bring a new bowl to me with some salt in it.’ So they brought it to him. 21 Then Elisha went out to the city's spring of water. He threw the salt into it. He said, ‘This is what the Lord says: “I have made this water clean again. It will no longer cause people to die. The land will no longer be useless for crops.” ’

22 Since that time, the water has always been pure. This is what Elisha had said would happen.

23 Elisha went from Jericho to Bethel. While he travelled along the road, some boys came out of the town. They laughed at Elisha. They shouted at him, ‘Bald man, move on! Go away, you bald man!’ 24 Elisha turned around and he looked at them. He asked the Lord to punish them. Two bears came out from the forest. They tore 42 of the boys in pieces.

25 Then Elisha travelled to Mount Carmel. From there, he returned to Samaria.