2 Kings 2

Elijah and Elisha go to Gilgal; Elisha wants to continue with the prophet 1
They continue; Sons of the prophets predict Elijah's departure 3
Fifty ready to watch from a distance 6
Waters divided; Elisha requests a double portion; Elijah ascends 8
Elisha picks up the mantel; fifty search for Elijah 13
Waters healed 19
Disrespect; 42 children torn 23
Prophetic office transferred
.1  And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
 2  And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.

  1 - When the Lord would take up This was after the beginning of the reign of Jehoram 2ch2105,12.
  1 - Elijah went with Elisha Literally "Elijah and Elisha went." Elisha, after his call, had been with Elijah 1ki1921. Also 2ki0311.
  1 - Down to Gilgal Probably not the city by that name in the Jordan valley near the crossing of the Jordan jos0419. The Hebrew word for "Down" means "descend." From that point everything is up. The other Gilgal near Shechem ge1206, de1130 would be modern Jiljilia in Southern Samaria, 7¼ mi. (11.8 km.) from Bethel. See pink area on Central Palestine map. They are at about the same elevation so they went down before going back up. Bethel is on a high hill.
  2 - Sent me The Lord allows the lives of his servants to be agitated by moving or other situations to keep them from becoming too settled.
  2 - I will not leave thee A lesson for us in persistence. Things may not seem to go right but we need to continue working for the salvation of souls.
.3  And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
 4  And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.
 5  And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

  3 - Take from thy head They apparently realized that a change in administration was coming.
 4 - To Jericho This would have been a normal route between the three schools of the prophets assuming that they began in the Gilgal as noted for v1 above. Illustration, Road down to Jericho
.6  And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.
.7  And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
  6 - I will not leave thee Expressed for the third time. God does not push us into service for Him. Those, like the majority of Gideon's soldiers jg0707, are not fully committed are allowed to stay behind.
  7 - Stood to view Behind Jericho was a high area where they could see the river for a great distance. I would have wanted to watch that, too. Soon we will see more re0107.
.8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
 9  And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
 10  And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
  8 - Mantle Like the rod of Moses ex0720.
  9 - Double portion Elisha was not asking for a greater gift than Elijah had but for a portion like was passed on to the firstborn son de2117. No doubt Elisha wanted the spiritual part of the birthright.
  9 - Spirit Would this gift have been the one you most wanted? We need to plead for the Holy Spirit and for purity of life making our bodies as temples for Him 1co0619.
  10 - Hard thing Not hard for the Lord je3217 but beyond the authority of Elijah.
  10 - When I am These three words are not in the Hebrew although the meaning is not much different without them.
.11  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
.12  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
Passages for which links are given often include more than one verse.
  11 - Chariot of fire  It was no doubt angels. ps06817, he0114, zc0108, zc0605, hk0308, is6615, 2ki0614, 2ki0617.
  11 - Whirlwind Or Storm. This would represent the awesome presence and action of God jb3801, na0103, is6615 linked above.
  12 - My father The one from whom the birthright blessing had been passed on.
  12 - Saw him no more Not until the resurrection. Evil angels may pretend to be loved ones who have died is0819, jb0709. Compare jb1926.
  12 - Rent them Or "tore them." Usually a symbol of grief but here showing acceptance of the Mantle of Elijah. He would need his own garment no more.
.13  He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;
 14  And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
 15  And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
  13 - Mantel Compare the earlier action of Elijah 1ki1919.
  14 - Where is the God of Elijah Not a question of doubt but of claiming the power of God to be used for His glory.
  15 - Saw him See v7.
  15 - Bowed In respect, not worship.
 16  And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
 17  And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not.
 18  And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?
  16 - Let them go The Spirit had revealed to them the departure of Elijah v3. Perhaps they also knew he would be taken up. This, however, was a strange thing. Might the wind storm have dropped him? Elisha realized that their worry indicated a lack of faith. Yet for us it confirms the truth of the story.
.19  And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.
.20  And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.
 21  And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.
 22  So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.
  19 - City Jericho, as indicated in the previous verse.
  19 - Situation ... pleasant ... but The text doesn't say what was pleasant about the city. We assume that it was better than the surrounding area.
  19 - Barren From shakol meaning "to miscarry." We get the picture of a place of a land that had failed to retain the beauty and fruitfulness of the land of promise. The land had not been this way when the Israelites had entered it long before. See a description below.
  19 - Water is naught Good water is needed for a place to live. Here it seems that the curse pronounced on the one who would rebuild the city of Jericho jos0626, 1ki1634, had fallen upon the land, too.
  20 - Salt This and the new vessel did not caust the water to become pure. The miracle was an undeserved gift, a symbol of the  spiritual water of life which all must seek who would have eternal life jn0410-15.
  21 - Spring Our spiritual life source must be pure je0213.
  A description of earlier times With joyful hearts and renewed faith in God, the victorious armies of Israel had returned from Bashan. They had already gained possession of a valuable territory, and they were confident of the immediate conquest of Canaan. Only the river Jordan lay between them and the Promised Land. Just across the river was a rich plain, covered with verdure, watered with streams from copious fountains, and shaded by luxuriant palm trees. On the western border of the plain rose the towers and palaces of Jericho, so embosomed in its palm-tree groves that it was called "the city of palm trees." Patriarchs and Prophets. p. 453.
.23  And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
.24  And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
 25  And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.
  23 - Children mocked Disrespect for both the Lord's messenger and His miracle. Children and adults need to show reverence for God's name. "Bald" means "white" in older English. The Hebrew word for "bald head" is qereqch
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