Elijah goes to heaven
1Now the LORD was going to take Elijah up to heaven in a windstorm, and Elijah and Elisha were leaving Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, because the LORD has sent me to Bethel.”
But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives and as you live, I won’t leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
3The group of prophets from Bethel came out to Elisha. These prophets said to Elisha, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?”
Elisha said, “Yes, I know. Don’t talk about it!”
4Elijah said, “Elisha, stay here, because the LORD has sent me to Jericho.”
But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives and as you live, I won’t leave you.” So they went to Jericho.
5The group of prophets from Jericho approached Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master away from you today?”
He said, “Yes, I know. Don’t talk about it!”
6Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, because the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.”
But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives and as you live, I won’t leave you.” So both of them went on together. 7Fifty members from the group of prophets also went along, but they stood at a distance. Both Elijah and Elisha stood beside the Jordan River. 8Elijah then took his coat, rolled it up, and hit the water. Then the water was divided in two! Both of them crossed over on dry ground. 9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “What do you want me to do for you before I’m taken away from you?”
Elisha said, “Let me have twice your spirit.”
10Elijah said, “You’ve made a difficult request. If you can see me when I’m taken from you, then it will be yours. If you don’t see me, it won’t happen.”
11They were walking along, talking, when suddenly a fiery chariot and fiery horses appeared and separated the two of them. Then Elijah went to heaven in a windstorm.
12Elisha was watching, and he cried out, “Oh, my father, my father! Israel’s chariots and its riders!” When he could no longer see him, Elisha took hold of his clothes and ripped them in two.
Elisha succeeds Elijah
13Then Elisha picked up the coat that had fallen from Elijah. He went back and stood beside the banks of the Jordan River. 14He took the coat that had fallen from Elijah and hit the water. He said, “Where is the LORD, Elijah’s God?” And when he hit the water, it divided in two! Then Elisha crossed over.
15The group of prophets from Jericho saw him from a distance. They said, “Elijah’s spirit has settled on Elisha!” So they came out to meet him, bowing down before him. 16“Look,” they told him, “there are fifty strong men among us, your servants. Please let them go and search for your master. Perhaps the LORD’s spirit has picked him up and put him down on some mountain or in some valley.”
Elisha said, “Don’t send them.” 17They insisted until he became embarrassed and said, “Okay, send them.” So they sent fifty men who searched for three days. But they couldn’t find Elijah. 18When these men returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”
19The citizens said to Elisha, “As you can see, sir, this city is in a good location, but the water is bad, and the land causes miscarriages.”
20He said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put some salt in it.” They did so. 21Elisha then went out and threw salt into the spring. He said, “This is what the LORD has said: I have purified this water. It will no longer cause death and miscarriage.” 22The water has stayed pure right up to this very day, in agreement with the word that Elisha spoke.
Elisha and the bears
23Elisha went up from there to Bethel. As he was going up the road, some young people came out of the city. They mocked him: “Get going, Baldy! Get going, Baldy!” 24Turning around, Elisha looked at them and cursed them in the LORD’s name. Then two bears came out of the woods and mangled forty-two of the youths. 25From there Elisha went to Mount Carmel and then back to Samaria.