Elijah's Ascent

2 Kings 2:1–12

Works of art by William H. Johnson, Unknown artist, and Shlomo Katz
Commentaries by Victoria Emily Jones

2 Kings 2:1–12

Bible passage (Revised Standard Version)

2 Now when the Lord was about to take Eliʹjah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Eliʹjah and Eliʹsha were on their way from Gilgal. 2And Eliʹjah said to Eliʹsha, “Tarry here, I pray you; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Eliʹsha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3And the sons of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Eliʹsha, 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.”

4 Eliʹjah said to him, “Eliʹsha, 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. 5The sons of the prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Eliʹsha, 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.”

6 Then Eliʹjah said to him, “Tarry here, I pray you; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Eliʹjah took his mantle, and rolled it up, and struck the water, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, till the two of them could go over on dry ground.

9 When they had crossed, Eliʹjah said to Eliʹsha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Eliʹsha said, “I pray you, let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” 10And 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.” 11And as they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Eliʹjah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12And Eliʹsha saw it and he cried, “My father, my father! the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And he saw him no more.