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2 Kings 2Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Elijah in the Whirlwind

The time had come for the Lord to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal, and Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord is sending me on to Bethel.”

But Elisha replied, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

Then the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha and said, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?”

He said, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”

Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; the Lord is sending me to Jericho.”

But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.

Then the sons of the prophets who were in Jericho came up to Elisha and said, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?”

He said, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”

Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord is sending me to the Jordan.”

But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on.

Fifty men from the sons of the prophets came and stood facing them from a distance while the two of them stood by the Jordan. Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the waters, which parted to the right and left. Then the two of them crossed over on dry ground. After they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I can do for you before I am taken from you.”

So Elisha answered, “Please, let me inherit two shares[a] of your spirit.”

10 Elijah replied, “You have asked for something difficult. If you see me being taken from you, you will have it. If not, you won’t.”

11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire with horses of fire suddenly appeared and separated the two of them. Then Elijah went up into heaven in the whirlwind. 12 As Elisha watched, he kept crying out, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!” Then he never saw Elijah again. He took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.

Elisha Succeeds Elijah

13 Elisha picked up the mantle that had fallen off Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the mantle Elijah had dropped and struck the waters. “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” he asked. He struck the waters himself, and they parted to the right and the left, and Elisha crossed over.

15 When the sons of the prophets from Jericho who were facing him saw him, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed down to the ground in front of him.

16 Then the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Since there are 50 strong men here with your servants, please let them go and search for your master. Maybe the Spirit of the Lord has carried him away and put him on one of the mountains or into one of the valleys.”

He answered, “Don’t send them.”

17 However, they urged him to the point of embarrassment, so he said, “Send them.” They sent 50 men, who looked for three days but did not find him. 18 When they returned to him in Jericho where he was staying, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”

19 Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Even though our lord can see that the city’s location is good, the water is bad and the land unfruitful.”

20 He replied, “Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it.”

After they had brought him one, 21 Elisha went out to the spring of water, threw salt in it, and said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I have healed this water. No longer will death or unfruitfulness result from it.’” 22 Therefore, the water remains healthy to this very day according to the word that Elisha spoke.

23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking up the path, some small boys came out of the city and harassed him, chanting, “Go up, baldy! Go up, baldy!” 24 He turned around, looked at them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two female bears came out of the woods and mauled 42 of the children. 25 From there Elisha went to Mount Carmel, and then he returned to Samaria.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 2:9 Two shares is the inheritance of blessing for the firstborn son; Dt 21:17. Here Elisha is asking for the leadership role among the prophets.
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