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1Now 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.”

4Eliʹjah 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.”

6Then 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.

9When 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.

Then he took hold of his own clothes and rent them in two pieces. 13And he took up the mantle of Eliʹjah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14Then he took the mantle of Eliʹjah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Eliʹjah?” And when he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other; and Eliʹsha went over.

15Now when the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho saw him over against them, they said, “The spirit of Eliʹjah rests on Eliʹsha.” And they came to meet him, and bowed to the ground before him. 16And they said to him, “Behold now, there are with your servants fifty strong men; pray, let them go, and seek your master; it may be that the Spirit of the Lord has caught him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” And he said, “You shall not send.” 17But when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, “Send.” They sent therefore fifty men; and for three days they sought him but did not find him. 18And they came back to him, while he tarried at Jericho, and he said to them, “Did I not say to you, Do not go?”

19Now the men of the city said to Eliʹsha, “Behold, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.” 20He said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21Then he went to the spring of water and threw salt in it, and said, “Thus says the Lord, I have made this water wholesome; henceforth neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.” 22So the water has been wholesome to this day, according to the word which Eliʹsha spoke.

23He went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” 24And he turned around, and when he saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. And two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys. 25From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and thence he returned to Samarʹia.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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