The Lord Makes Plans to Take Elijah
1 It was near the time for the LORD to take Elijah by a whirlwind up into heaven. Elijah and Elisha started to leave Gilgal.
2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, because the LORD told me to go to Bethel.”
But Elisha said, “I promise, as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two men went down to Bethel.
The group of prophets*
at Bethel came to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the LORD will take your master away from you today?”
Elisha said, “Yes, I know. Don’t talk about it.”
4 Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, because the LORD told me to go to Jericho.”
But Elisha said, “I promise, as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you!” So the two men went to Jericho.
5 The group of prophets at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the LORD will take your master away from you today?”
Elisha answered, “Yes, I know. Don’t talk about it.”
6 Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, because the LORD told me to go to the Jordan River.”
Elisha answered, “I promise, as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you!” So the two men went on.
7 There were 50 men from the group of prophets who followed them. Elijah and Elisha stopped at the Jordan River. The 50 men stood far away from Elijah and Elisha. 8 Elijah took off his coat, folded it, and hit the water with it. The water separated to the right and to the left. Then Elijah and Elisha crossed the river on dry ground.
9 After they crossed the river, Elijah said to Elisha, “What do you want me to do for you before God takes me away from you?”
Elisha said, “I ask you for a double share of your spirit on me.”
10 Elijah said, “You have asked a hard thing. If you see me when I am taken from you, it will happen. But if you don’t see me when I am taken from you, it will not happen.”
The Lord Takes Elijah Into Heaven
11 Elijah and Elisha were walking and talking together. Suddenly, some horses and a chariot came and separated Elijah from Elisha. The horses and the chariot were like fire. Then Elijah was carried up into heaven in a whirlwind.
Elisha saw it, and shouted, “My father! My father! The chariot of Israel and his horses!†
Elisha never saw Elijah again. Elisha grabbed his own clothes and tore them in two to show his sadness. 13 Elijah’s coat had fallen to the ground, so Elisha picked it up. He went back and stood at the edge of the Jordan River. 14 He hit the water and said, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” Just as Elisha hit the water, the water separated to the right and to the left! Then Elisha crossed the river.
The Prophets Ask for Elijah
15 When the group of prophets at Jericho saw Elisha, they said, “Elijah’s spirit is now on Elisha!” They came to meet Elisha. They bowed very low to the ground before him. 16 They said, “Look, we have 50 good men. Please let them go and look for your master. Maybe the LORD’S Spirit has taken Elijah up and dropped him on some mountain or in some valley.”
But Elisha answered, “No, don’t send men to look for Elijah!”
17 The group of prophets begged Elisha until he was embarrassed. Then Elisha said, “Send the men to look for Elijah.”
The group of prophets sent the 50 men to look for Elijah. They looked three days, but they could not find him. 18 So the men went to Jericho where Elisha was staying and told him. Elisha said to them, “I told you not to go.”
Elisha Makes the Water Good
19 The men of the city said to Elisha, “Sir, you can see this city is in a nice place, but the water is bad. That is why the land cannot grow crops.”
20 Elisha said, “Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it.”
They brought the bowl to Elisha. 21 Then he went out to the place where the water began flowing from the ground. Elisha threw the salt into the water and said, “The LORD said, ‘I am making this water pure! From now on this water will not cause any more death or keep the land from growing crops.’ ”
22 The water became pure and is still good today. It happened just as Elisha had said.
Some Boys Make Fun of Elisha
23 Elisha went from that city to Bethel. He was walking up the hill to the city, and some boys were coming down out of the city. They began making fun of him. They said, “Go away, you bald-headed man! Go away, you bald-headed man!”
24 Elisha looked back and saw them. He asked the LORD to cause bad things to happen to them. Then two bears came out of the forest and attacked the boys. There were 42 boys ripped apart by the bears.
25 Elisha left Bethel and went to Mount Carmel and from there he went back to Samaria.