2 Kings 2

2 Kings 2 has Elijah leaving the scene. Elijah asks Elisha to stay put while he was going on to Bethel.  But Elisha says no. “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you”.  Elisha has no intention of missing Elijah’s last days.  So they went down to Bethel. The local prophets ask Elisha “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you”?  Of course he does and says “Yes, I know it; keep quiet”.  He doesn’t want to create a stir.  So they repeat this as Elijah going also to Jericho and the Jordan.  At the edge of the Jordan River, “Elijah took his cloak and rolled it up and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground”.

It’s his last days and Elijah asks Elisha what he would like as a parting gift.  “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me”.  That was a huge but very wise ask, similar to what Solomon had asked for earlier.  Elijah says it will happen but Elisha had to see him ascend.  Then there were “chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them”.  But Elisha saw it and watched as Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

Elisha “saw him no more”.  He was gone for good.  So “he took the cloak of Elijah….struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over”.  That was sort of the test to see if he in fact had received Elijah’s powers.  And he had.  “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha”.  The torch has been passed and while others thought Elijah still had to be around somewhere, their search party came back empty handed as Elijah truly had been taken up to heaven.

Elisha is put to the test as in one of the cities “the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful”.  It has been bad for some time.  So Elisha asks for a new bowl, and put salt in it and threw salt in it.  He said “I have healed this water” and it was now good.  As he went on down the road, a group of young boys began jeering at him.  “Go up, you baldhead”.  That was a bad choice as Elisha got a bit upset and “he cursed them in the name of the Lord….two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys”.  It’s obvious you don’t want to mess with a prophet that has the kind of power that Elijah and now Elisha has.


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