Elijah in the Whirlwind
1The time had come for the Lord to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal, 2and 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.
3Then 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.”
4Elijah 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.
5Then 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.”
6Elijah 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.
7Fifty men from the sons of the prophets came and stood observing them at a distance while the two of them stood by the Jordan. 8Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, and struck the water, which parted to the right and left. Then the two of them crossed over on dry ground. 9When 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 of your spirit.”
10Elijah replied, “You have asked for something difficult. If you see me being taken from you, you will have it. If not, you won’t.”
11As 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. 12As Elisha watched, he kept crying out, “My father, my father, the chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
Elisha Succeeds Elijah
When he could see him no longer, he took hold of his own clothes, tore them in two, 13picked up the mantle that had fallen off Elijah, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He took the mantle Elijah had dropped, and he struck the water. “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” he asked. He struck the water himself, and it parted to the right and the left, and Elisha crossed over.
15When the sons of the prophets from Jericho who were observing 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.
16Then the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Since there are fifty 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.”
17However, they urged him to the point of embarrassment, so he said, “Send them.” They sent fifty men, who looked for three days but did not find him. 18When they returned to him in Jericho where he was staying, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”
19The men of the city said to Elisha, “My lord can see that even though the city’s location is good, the water is bad and the land unfruitful.”
20He replied, “Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it.”
After they had brought him one, 21Elisha went out to the spring, 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.’” 22Therefore, the water still remains healthy today according to the word that Elisha spoke.
23From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking up the path, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, chanting, “Go up, baldy! Go up, baldy!” 24He 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 forty-two of the children. 25From there Elisha went to Mount Carmel, and then he returned to Samaria.