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Elisha the prophet
The Lord takes Elijah away
1Not long before the Lord took Elijah up into heaven in a strong wind, Elijah and Elisha#2.1 Elisha: Hebrew “the man of God”. were leaving Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, “The Lord wants me to go to Bethel, but you must stay here.”
Elisha replied, “I swear by the living Lord and by your own life that I will stay with you no matter what!” And he went with Elijah to Bethel.
3A group of prophets who lived there asked Elisha, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take away your master?”
“Yes, I do,” Elisha answered. “But don't remind me of it.”
4Elijah then said, “Elisha, now the Lord wants me to go to Jericho, but you must stay here.”
Elisha replied, “I swear by the living Lord and by your own life, that I will stay with you no matter what!” And he went with Elijah to Jericho.
5A group of prophets who lived there asked Elisha, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take away your master?”
“Yes, I do,” Elisha answered. “But don't remind me of it.”
6Elijah then said to Elisha, “Now the Lord wants me to go to the River Jordan, but you must stay here.”
Elisha replied, “I swear by the living Lord and by your own life that I will never leave you!” So the two of them walked on together.
7Fifty prophets followed Elijah and Elisha from Jericho, then stood at a distance and watched as the two men walked towards the river. 8When they got there, Elijah took off his coat, then he rolled it up and struck the water with it. At once a path opened up through the river, and the two of them walked across on dry ground.
9 # Deut 21.17 After they had reached the other side, Elijah said, “Elisha, the Lord will soon take me away. What can I do for you before that happens?”
Elisha answered, “Please give me twice as much of your power as you give the other prophets, so I can be the one who takes your place as their leader.”
10“It won't be easy,” Elijah answered. “It can happen only if you see me as I am being taken away.”
11Elijah and Elisha were walking along and talking, when suddenly there appeared between them a flaming chariot pulled by fiery horses. Straight away, a strong wind took Elijah up into heaven. 12#2 King 13.14Elisha saw this and shouted, “Israel's cavalry and chariots have taken my master away!”#2.12 Israel's … away: Or “Master, you were like cavalry and chariots for the people of Israel!” After Elijah had gone, Elisha tore his clothes in sorrow.
13Elijah's coat had fallen off, so Elisha picked it up and walked back to the River Jordan. 14He struck the water with the coat and wondered, “Will the Lord perform miracles for me as he did for Elijah?” As soon as Elisha did this, a dry path opened up through the water, and he walked across.
15When the prophets from Jericho saw what happened, they said to each other, “Elisha now has Elijah's power.”
They walked over to him, bowed down, 16and said, “There are fifty strong men here with us. Please let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the Lord carried him off to some mountain or valley.”
“No,” Elisha replied, “they won't find him.”
17They kept begging until he was embarrassed to say no. He finally agreed, and the prophets sent the men out. They looked three days for Elijah but never found him. 18They returned to Jericho, and Elisha said, “I told you that you wouldn't find him.”
Elisha makes the water pure at Jericho
19One day the people of Jericho said, “Elisha, you can see that our city is in a good spot. But the water from our spring is so bad that it even keeps our crops from growing.”
20He replied, “Put some salt in a new bowl and bring it to me.”
They brought him the bowl of salt, 21and he carried it to the spring. He threw the salt into the water and said, “The Lord has made this water pure again. From now on you'll be able to grow crops, and no one will starve.”
22The water has been fine ever since, just as Elisha said.
Some boys make fun of Elisha
23Elisha left and headed towards Bethel. Along the way some boys started making fun of him by shouting, “Go away, baldy! Get out of here!”
24Elisha turned round and stared at the boys. Then he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Straight away two bears ran out of the woods and ripped to pieces forty-two of the boys.
25Elisha went up to Mount Carmel, then returned to Samaria.
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