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2 Kings 2

Elijah Taken Up to Heaven

1 Shortly before the LORD took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal, 2 and Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me on to Bethel.”

But Elisha replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”

So they went down to Bethel.

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

“Yes, I know,” he replied. “Do not speak of it.”

4 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me on to Jericho.”

But Elisha replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”

So they went to Jericho.

5 Then the sons of the prophets at Jericho came up to Elisha and said, “Do you know that the LORD will take your master away from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” he replied. “Do not speak of it.”

6 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.”

But Elisha replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.”

So the two of them went on.

7 Then a company of fifty of the sons of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing Elijah and Elisha as the two of them stood by the Jordan. 8 And Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up, and struck the waters, which parted to the right and to the left, so that the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

9 After they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken away from you?”

“Please, let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

10 “You have requested a difficult thing,” said Elijah. “Nevertheless, if you see me as I am taken from you, it will be yours. But if not, then it will not be so.”

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire with horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up into heaven in a whirlwind.

12 As Elisha watched, he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And he saw Elijah no more. So taking hold of his own clothes, he tore them in two.

13 Elisha also picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah, and he went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the waters. “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” he asked.

And when he had struck the waters, they parted to the right and to the left, and Elisha crossed over.

Elisha Succeeds Elijah

15 When the sons of the prophets who were facing him from Jericho saw what had happened, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed down to the ground before him.

16 “Look now,” they said to Elisha, “we your servants have fifty valiant men. Please let them go and search for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has taken him up and put him on one of the mountains or in one of the valleys.”

“Do not send them,” Elisha replied.

17 But when they pressed him to the point of embarrassment, he said, “Send them.”

And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find Elijah.

18 When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”

Elisha Heals the Waters of Jericho

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

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

So they brought it to him, 21 and Elisha went out to the spring, cast the salt into it, and said, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I have healed this water. No longer will it cause death or unfruitfulness. a’ ”

22 And the waters there have been healthy to this day, according to the word spoken by Elisha.

Elisha Mocked

23 From there, Elisha went up to Bethel, and as he was walking up the road, a group of boys b came out of the city and jeered at him, chanting, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”

24 Then he turned around, looked at them, and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD.

Suddenly two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.

25 And Elisha went on to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

 

Footnotes:

21 a Or barrenness
23 b Or some small youths or some insignificant young men ; similarly in verse 24

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