2 Kings, Chapter 2

- ס י ט -

Elijah Is Taken Up to Heaven in a Whirlwind

Elijah prepares to be taken up to heaven from the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Elisha, his successor, infers that his master will soon leave the world and refuses to separate from Elijah on his last journey. The two travel through Bethel and Jericho and finally reach the Jordan River. Elijah crosses the river by striking the water with his cloak. He then allows his apprentice to make one final request. Elisha asks to inherit a double portion of his spirit. Elijah tells him that if he sees how he is taken up to heaven, he will know that his wish has been accepted. Soon enough, Elisha witnesses the miraculous ascent. He then picks up his master’s cloak and uses it to cross back to the other side of the Jordan River.

In Jericho, the locals ask the new prophet to heal a spring whose water causes illnesses and death. Elijah purifies it by throwing salt into it. On his way back to Bethel, a group of boys jeer at him for being bald. Elisha casts a curse on them and two bears miraculously emerge from the woods, killing the offenders. Elisha’s next stops will be Mount Carmel and Samaria. Elijah and Elisha struggle to improve the world around them. They don’t wait for miracles to happen sporadicallythey make an effort to elicit a heavenly response. 

“And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha” (2 Kings 2:1)

 “there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:11)

Realization is transforming ideas and plans into concrete results—in the same way that God has the power of creation.