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The Second Book of Kings: Chapter 2

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Elijah and Elisha. 1When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, he and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.* 2“Stay here, please,” Elijah said to Elisha. “The LORD has sent me on to Bethel.” “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,” Elisha replied, “I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel, 3where the guild prophets went out to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD will take your master from over you today?” “Yes, I know it,” he replied. “Keep still.”

4Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, please, Elisha, for the LORD has sent me on to Jericho.” “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,” Elisha replied, “I will not leave you.” 5They went on to Jericho, where the guild prophets approached Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD will take your master from over you today?” “Yes, I know it,” he replied. “Keep still.”

6Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here; the LORD has sent me on to the Jordan.” “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live,” Elisha replied, “I will not leave you.” And so the two went on together. 7Fifty of the guild prophets followed, and when the two stopped at the Jordan, stood facing them at a distance. 8Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up and struck the water, which divided, and both crossed over on dry ground. e Ex 14, 16. 22 .

Elisha Succeeds Elijah. 9When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask for whatever I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of your spirit.”* 10“You have asked something that is not easy,” he replied. “Still, if you see me taken up from you, your wish will be granted; otherwise not.” f Nm 11, 17. 25 . 11As they walked on conversing, a flaming chariot and flaming horses came between them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. g Gn 5, 24; 1 Mc 2, 58; Acts 1, 9 . 12When Elisha saw it happen he cried out, “My father!* my father! Israel's chariots and drivers!” But when he could no longer see him, Elisha gripped his own garment and tore it in two. h 2 Kgs 13, 14; Sir 48, 9. 12 .

13Then he picked up Elijah's mantle which had fallen from him, and went back and stood at the bank of the Jordan. i 1 Kgs 19, 19 . 14Wielding the mantle which had fallen from Elijah, he struck the water in his turn and said, “Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” When Elisha struck the water it divided and he crossed over.

15The guild prophets in Jericho, who were on the other side, saw him and said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They went to meet him, bowing to the ground before him. 16“Among your servants are fifty brave men,” they said. “Let them go in search of your master. Perhaps the spirit of the LORD has carried him away to some mountain or some valley.” “Do not send them,” he answered. j 1 Kgs 18, 12 . 17However, they kept urging him, until he was embarrassed and said, “Send them.” So they sent the fifty men, who searched for three days without finding him. 18When they returned to Elisha in Jericho, where he was staying, he said to them, “Did I not tell you not to go?”

Healing of the Water. 19Once the inhabitants of the city complained to Elisha, “The site of the city is fine indeed, as my lord can see, but the water is bad and the land unfruitful.” 20“Bring me a new bowl,” Elisha said, “and put salt into it.” When they had brought it to him, 21he went out to the spring and threw salt into it, saying, “Thus says the LORD, ‘I have purified this water. Never again shall death or miscarriage spring from it.’ ” 22And the water has stayed pure even to this day, just as Elisha prophesied.

The Prophet's Curse. 23 *From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. “Go up, baldhead,” they shouted, “go up, baldhead!” 24The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two she‐bears came out of the woods and tore forty‐two of the children to pieces.

25From there he went to Mount Carmel, and thence he returned to Samaria.

Notes:

e: Ex 14, 16. 22 .

f: Nm 11, 17. 25 .

g: Gn 5, 24; 1 Mc 2, 58; Acts 1, 9 .

h: 2 Kgs 13, 14; Sir 48, 9. 12 .

i: 1 Kgs 19, 19 .

j: 1 Kgs 18, 12 .

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