2 Kings 2:1-15
English Standard Version, Max McLean Audio Bible
Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by 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 as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he said, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5 The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take away your master from over you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know it; keep quiet.”
6 Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8 Then 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.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “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.” 10 And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.
Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. 13 And he took up the cloak of Elijah that had fallen from him and 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 water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
15 Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho saw him opposite them, they said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.
Elijah and Elisha were an amazing time recorded in the Scriptures. They had so many extraordinary things happening - there was even a group to be schooled called the Sons of the Prophets. It is referenced more during their lives, but referred to twice in the New Testament. I've heard biblical scholars say this time is the only fantasy in the Bible, when it departed from reality. Really? No. The Bible has had more archaeology uncovered in the last 100 years proving each time, the Scriptures record truth. Elijah returns to Jesus in the Transfiguration. Elijah ranks with Moses. What men of God had unusual circumstances in death in the Scriptures? Enoch, Moses, Elijah and Jesus Christ.
Elijah's last physical appearance in the Scriptures is recorded by Matthew 17; John was so overcome with what we call the Transfiguration, and Jesus asking him not to reveal it - he didn't include it in the Gospel of John, but what John saw transformed his Gospel - he only alluded to it. John called this Glory! And referred to the Glory of God 16 times to signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. Peter later wrote of seeing Elijah, in 2 Peter 1:16-21.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Scriptures repeat themselves to increase our awareness of God's Mighty Works.
Why do Elijah and Elisha have this interesting conversation if Elisha will continue with Elijah or not? Elisha was adamant not to accept Naaman's monetary gifts. Elisha spoke to his servant Gehazi about stealthy accepting money, not meant for Gehazi, and told Gehazi he had illness from the stolen goods. Elisha knew, knew, knew very well not to accept the Glory of God's works. In probability Elijah is being modest of the tremendous recognition God is giving him. Also, Elijah demonstrates some illness in his conversational style. It's creditable, because Elijah wants to bless Elisha for walking the second mile with him when only one mile was required - Elijah genuinely wants to bless Elisha, otherwise he did not have to offer a blessing.
Unlike most of Jesus' own disciples, Elisha walks with Elijah to the end - as John did. It seems rather mercenary to suggest Elisha is clinging to Elisha's coat tails only for reward. They are men of God.
How will we let this Scripture live in us today?
18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”
Father God, we are the Sons of the Prophets when we allow Your grace and hope to fill and refresh us. Help us each day to turn from our sins, large and small, that in faith we may serve You in refreshing our own lives and those around us. In Your Glory, let Your Light shine. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Chi Coltrane - Go like Elijah