Elijah, taking his leave of Elisha, divides the Jordan with his mantle, 1-8; and, granting Elisha his request, is taken up by a fiery chariot into heaven, 9-11. Elisha, dividing the Jordan with Elijah's mantle, is acknowledged his successor, 12-15. The young prophets, hardly obtaining leave to seek Elijah, cannot find him, 16-18. Elisha heals the unwholesome waters with salt, 19-22. Bears destroy the children that mocked Elisha, 23-25.
1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2 And Elijah said to Elisha, "Tarry here, I pray you, for the LORD has sent me to Beth-el." And Elisha said, "As the LORD lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you." So they went down to Beth-el. 3 And the sons of the prophets who were at Beth-el came forth to Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from your head today?" And he said, "Yes, I know it. Hold your peace."
4 And Elijah said to him, "Elisha, tarry here, I pray you, for the LORD has sent me to Jericho." And he said, "As the LORD lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you." So they came to Jericho. 5 And the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that the LORD will take away your master from your head today?" And he answered, "Yes, I know it. Hold your peace." 6 And Elijah said to him, "Tarry here, I pray you, for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan." And he said, "As the LORD lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you." And the two of them went on.
7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went and stood to view afar off. And the two of them stood by the Jordan. 8 And Elijah took his mantle and wrapped it together and smote the waters, and they were divided here and there so that the two of them went over on dry ground.
9 And it came to pass, when they had gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken away from you." And Elisha said, "I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." 10 And he said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so to you, but if not, it shall not be so." 11 And it came to pass, as they still went on and talked, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire and parted them both apart. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and he cried, "My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof." And he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and rent them in two pieces. 13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him and smote the waters and said, "Where is the LORD God of Elijah?" And when he also had smitten the waters, they parted here and there, and Elisha went over.
15 And when the sons of the prophets who were viewing at Jericho saw him, they said, "The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha." And they came to meet him and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 16 And they said to him, "Behold now, there are with your servants fifty strong men. Let them go, we pray you, and seek your master, lest perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley." And he said, "You shall not send." 17 And when they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, "Send." They sent therefore fifty men. And they sought three days, but did not find him. 18 And when they came back to him (for he tarried at Jericho), he said to them, "Did I not say to you, 'Do not go'?"
19 And the men of the city said to Elisha, "Behold, I pray you, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees, but the water is bad and the ground barren." 20 And he said, "Bring me a new cruse and put salt therein." And they brought it to him. 21 And he went forth to the spring of the waters and cast the salt in there and said, "Thus says the LORD: 'I have healed these waters. There shall not be from there any more death or barren land.'" 22 So the waters were healed to this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spoke.
23 And he went up from there to Beth-el. And as he was going up by the way, little children came forth out of the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you bald-head. Go up, you bald-head." 24 And he turned back, looked at them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came forth out of the wood and tore forty-two of the children. 25 And he went from there to mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.
Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Kings, Chapter 2[➚]