2 Kings 2-2.12 (There goes Elijah!)

Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to Heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, “Tarry here, I pray you; for the Lord had 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. 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. Hold your peace.”

Elijah said to him, “Elish, tarry here, I pray you; 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. 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; hold your peace.”

Then Elijah said to him, “Tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”

But he said, “As the Lord lives, as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 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.

Then Elijah took his mantle, and rolled it up, and struck the water; and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them could go over on dry ground.

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken away from you.”

And Elisha said to him, “I pray you, let me inherit a double share of your spirit.”

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.”

And as they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into Heaven.

And Elisha saw it; and he cried, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel, and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.

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2 responses

  1. Hey, wait. Just a doggone minute. I just commented on Luke 9.1-9.6. I felt sad. I lamented the impermanence of effects of God’s work over there under Luke 9.1-9.6. Here’s a permanent effect. Elijah, poof! Gone! I’ve been scouring the earth all my life. Looking for Elijah. He must be elsewhere. I can’t find him. I’ve even tried the Edge of the Universe Café. I don’t think he’s in heaven. He’s just to fast to catch. I want him so I can torture him to get his secret elixir. Or that mantle. I want that mantle (“be careful what you ask, Jim” – I’m hearing this little voice right now – so I’ll stop).

  2. _Stalking Elijah_ [Rodger Kamenetz) is on the table a few feet from me; I got it back from a friend recently & haven't put it on the shelf yet. A good book, but doesn't say where that mantle might be. Probably you don't need it; consider Ursula LeGuin's short cautionary tale in _The Left Hand of Darkness_. Or this story. Nobody wants to lose him, but everybody knows when his chariot is leaving.

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