2Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, Stay here; for the Lord has 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. 3The company of prophets* who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you? And he said, Yes, I know; keep silent.
4 Elijah said to him, Elisha, stay here; 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 company of prophets* who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you? And he answered, Yes, I know; be silent.
6 Then Elijah said to him, Stay here; 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 company of prophets* also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you. Elisha said, Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit. 10He responded, You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not. 11As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12Elisha kept watching and crying out, Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen! But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011