Elijah goes to heaven
1The LORD was ready to take Elijah up to heaven in a strong wind. This was while Elijah and Elisha were going away from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here because the LORD has sent me to Bethel.’ But Elisha replied, ‘I will not leave you. This is as true as the fact that the LORD and you are both alive.’ So they went down to Bethel. 3A group of prophets were at Bethel. They came out to Elisha and they asked him, ‘Do you know that the LORD will take your master from you today?’ ‘Yes, I do know’, said Elisha. ‘But do not talk about it.’
4Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here because the LORD has sent me to Jericho.’ But Elisha replied, ‘I will not leave you. This is as true as the fact that the LORD and you are both alive.’ So they went to Jericho. 5A group of prophets were at Jericho. They went out to Elisha and they asked him, ‘Do you know that the LORD will take your master from you today?’ ‘Yes, I do know’, said Elisha. ‘But do not talk about it.’
6Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here because the LORD has sent me to the river Jordan.’ But Elisha replied, ‘I will not leave you. This is as true as the fact that the LORD and you are both alive.’ So they continued to walk together. 750 men, from the group of prophets, went and stood near the river Jordan. They were not far away from where Elijah and Elisha were standing. The prophets could see them. 8Elijah took off his coat. He rolled it up. He hit the water with it. The water went to the right side and to the left side. They both crossed the river on dry ground.
9After they had crossed the river, Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Tell me this. What can I do for you before the LORD takes me from you?’ Elisha replied, ‘Let me have twice the amount of your spirit.’ 10‘You have asked a difficult thing’, said Elijah. ‘But watch when God takes me from you. If you can see me, it will be yours. If you cannot see me it will not be yours.’ 11So they walked along and they talked together. Then, a chariot that seemed to be on fire appeared. Horses were pulling it. It went between them. Elijah went up to heaven in a strong wind. 12Elisha saw this. He shouted, ‘My father! My father! These are the chariots and the men on horses of Israel!’ Then Elisha did not see Elijah again. He took off his own clothes and he tore them into pieces. 13He picked up the coat that had dropped from Elijah. He went and he stood on the edge of the river Jordan. 14Then he took the coat that Elijah had dropped. He hit the water with it. And he said, ‘I want the LORD, the God of Elijah, to do something for me.’ When he hit the water, it went to the right side and to the left side. He crossed the river.
15The group of prophets from Jericho watched this. They said, ‘The spirit of Elijah is now on Elisha.’ And they went to meet Elisha. They bent down in front of him. 16And they said to him, ‘Look! We are your servants. There are 50 strong men with us. Let them go and look for your master. Maybe the Spirit of the LORD has lifted him up. Maybe it has put him on a mountain or in a valley.’ ‘No’, Elisha replied. ‘Do not send them.’ 17But they asked him many times. So he was too ashamed to say ‘no’. So he said, ‘Send them.’ And they sent 50 men. They looked for Elijah for three days, but they did not find him. 18Elisha was staying in Jericho. When they returned to Elisha, he said to them, ‘I told you that you should not go to look for Elijah.’
19The men in the city (Jericho) said to Elisha, ‘Look, our master. You can see that this city is in a good place. But its water is bad and the land does not make good plants.’ 20Elisha said, ‘Bring to me a new dish. Put salt into it.’ So they brought it to him. 21Then Elisha went out to the bad water. He threw the salt into it. He said, ‘This is what the LORD is saying. “I have made this water clean. It will never cause people to die again. The land will never give bad plants again.” ’ 22The water has been good to this day. This is what Elisha had said.
23From there, Elisha went up to Bethel. While he walked along the road, boys came out of the town. They laughed at Elisha. ‘Go up, you bald man!’ they said. ‘Go up, you bald man!’ 24Elisha turned and he looked at them. He prayed that the LORD would do something bad to them. Then, two bears (wild animals) came out from the forest. They hurt 42 of the boys. 25Then Elisha went to the mountain called Carmel. From there, he returned to Samaria.