The Lord Makes Plans to Take Elijah
1It was near the time for the Lord to take Elijah by a whirlwind up into heaven. Elijah and Elisha started to leave Gilgal.
2Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, because the Lord told me to go to Bethel.”
But Elisha said, “I promise, as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two men went down to Bethel.
3The group of prophets#2:3 group of prophets Literally, “sons of the prophets.” These were prophets and people studying to become prophets. Also in verses 5, 7, 15, 17. at Bethel came to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?”
Elisha said, “Yes, I know. Don’t talk about it.”
4Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, because the Lord told me to go to Jericho.”
But Elisha said, “I promise, as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you!” So the two men went to Jericho.
5The group of prophets at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?”
Elisha answered, “Yes, I know. Don’t talk about it.”
6Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, because the Lord told me to go to the Jordan River.”
Elisha answered, “I promise, as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you!” So the two men went on.
7There were 50 men from the group of prophets who followed them. Elijah and Elisha stopped at the Jordan River. The 50 men stood far away from Elijah and Elisha. 8Elijah took off his coat, folded it, and hit the water with it. The water separated to the right and to the left. Then Elijah and Elisha crossed the river on dry ground.
9After they crossed the river, Elijah said to Elisha, “What do you want me to do for you before God takes me away from you?”
Elisha said, “I ask you for a double share of your spirit on me.”
10Elijah said, “You have asked a hard thing. If you see me when I am taken from you, it will happen. But if you don’t see me when I am taken from you, it will not happen.”
The Lord Takes Elijah Into Heaven
11Elijah and Elisha were walking and talking together. Suddenly, some horses and a chariot came and separated Elijah from Elisha. The horses and the chariot were like fire. Then Elijah was carried up into heaven in a whirlwind.
12Elisha saw it, and shouted, “My father! My father! The chariot of Israel and his horses!#2:12 chariot … horses Or “the Chariot of Israel and his horse soldiers.” This may mean “God and his heavenly army.””
Elisha never saw Elijah again. Elisha grabbed his own clothes and tore them in two to show his sadness. 13Elijah’s coat had fallen to the ground, so Elisha picked it up. He went back and stood at the edge of the Jordan River. 14He hit the water and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” Just as Elisha hit the water, the water separated to the right and to the left! Then Elisha crossed the river.
The Prophets Ask for Elijah
15When the group of prophets at Jericho saw Elisha, they said, “Elijah’s spirit is now on Elisha!” They came to meet Elisha. They bowed very low to the ground before him. 16They said, “Look, we have 50 good men. Please let them go and look for your master. Maybe the Lord’s Spirit has taken Elijah up and dropped him on some mountain or in some valley.”
But Elisha answered, “No, don’t send men to look for Elijah!”
17The group of prophets begged Elisha until he was embarrassed. Then Elisha said, “Send the men to look for Elijah.”
The group of prophets sent the 50 men to look for Elijah. They looked three days, but they could not find him. 18So the men went to Jericho where Elisha was staying and told him. Elisha said to them, “I told you not to go.”
Elisha Makes the Water Good
19The men of the city said to Elisha, “Sir, you can see this city is in a nice place, but the water is bad. That is why the land cannot grow crops.”
20Elisha said, “Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it.”
They brought the bowl to Elisha. 21Then he went out to the place where the water began flowing from the ground. Elisha threw the salt into the water and said, “The Lord said, ‘I am making this water pure! From now on this water will not cause any more death or keep the land from growing crops.’”
22The water became pure and is still good today. It happened just as Elisha had said.
Some Boys Make Fun of Elisha
23Elisha went from that city to Bethel. He was walking up the hill to the city, and some boys were coming down out of the city. They began making fun of him. They said, “Go away, you bald-headed man! Go away, you bald-headed man!”
24Elisha looked back and saw them. He asked the Lord to cause bad things to happen to them. Then two bears came out of the forest and attacked the boys. There were 42 boys ripped apart by the bears.
25Elisha left Bethel and went to Mount Carmel and from there he went back to Samaria.