1When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha had set out from Gilgal.
set out from Gilgal: Gilgal means “circle of standing stones”. There are several places called Gilgal in the Tanakh.
2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel.” “As the Lord lives and as you live,” said Elisha, “I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
So they went down to Bethel: Bethel means “house of G-d”.
3Disciples of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?” He replied, “I know it, too; be silent.”
Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today: G-d or the spirit of the Holy G-d had informed the disciples that this was Elijah’s last day. It does not appear that Elijah knew.
I know it, too; be silent: Elisha also knows this is Elijah’s last day and no one is supposed to tell Elijah. The lord said to Moses “You shall die on the mountain that you are about to ascend, and shall be gathered to your kin, as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his kin” (Deut. 32/50 Tanakh) and “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there, in the land of Moab, at the command of the Lord. He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, near Beth-peor; and no one knows his burial place to this day” (Deut 34/5-6 Tanakh).
4Then Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.” “As the Lord lives and as you live,” said Elisha, “I will not leave you.” So they went on to Jericho. 5The disciples of the prophets who were at Jericho came over to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?” He replied, “I know it, too; be silent.”
6Elijah said to him, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.” “As the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you,” he said, and the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the disciples of the prophets followed and stood by at a distance from them as the two of them stopped at the Jordan. 8Thereupon Elijah took his mantle and, rolling it up, he struck the water; it divided to the right and left, so that the two of them crossed over on dry land.
his mantle: Heb. ‘addereth, a large over-garment. This word is used of Elijah’s mantle which was probably a sheepskin. It appears to have been his only garment, a strip of skin or leather binding it to his loins. ‘Addereth twice occurs with the epithet “hairy” (biblestudytools.com).
he struck the water; it divided to the right and left, so that the two of them crossed over on dry land: This passage is symbolic of heaven and the Jewish people. God said “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters, Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament….”and “God called the firmament Heaven…”. And God said “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear…”. (Genesis 1/6-9 Holy Bible). This verse associates “waters” of the unseen realm of God with the waters of the earth. The dry land is heaven. There is no water in Heaven which divides the waters from the waters.
9As they were crossing, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” Elisha answered, “Let a double portion* of your spirit pass on to me.”
Let a double portion*: *Translators note: Lit. “two-thirds”; of Zech. 13.8. 8Throughout the land—declares the Lord—Two-thirds shall perish, shall die, And one-third of it shall survive. Zech. 13/8 Tanakh JPS 1985.
of your spirit pass on to me: How is a double portion of spirit two thirds of a spirit? That is a question and it is also the answer to how Elijah is identified when he returns with the angel of the covenant of sin forgiveness of the Jewish people. I am the Lord’s righteous servant of Isaiah 53 upon whom “The spirit of the Lord shall alight…” (Isaiah 11/2). The spirit of the Holy G-d who is a person has come to me, and it can be inferred from this passage he had come to Elijah. It is the only way to reconcile a double portion with a two thirds portion of the spirit of Elijah. Where the person of the spirit is so is the person of the Holy G-d, whose person is also of spirit. They are always together. That would be two persons of spirit with my spirit, or three persons within and without one man. They are in me and I am in them, but all three are separate and distinct never forming a one. Elijah, who worked many of the same miracles as Jesus is taken to Heaven and now Elisha takes up his mantle and begins performing the same miracles. And the power of all miracles is G-d who is inseparable from the person of the spirit and now they are with Elisha. Two thirds of the three persons of spirit that were within and without Elijah alighting upon and within Elisha, with the one-third that is Elijah in Heaven. The “double” of G-d and the spirit of the Holy G-d being “two-thirds” of the total spirit within and without Elijah.
10“You have asked a difficult thing,” he said. “If you see me as I am being taken from you, this will be granted to you; if not, it will not.” 11As they kept on walking and talking, a fiery chariot with fiery horses suddenly appeared and separated one from the other; and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “Oh, father, father! Israel’s chariots and horsemen!” When he could no longer see him, he grasped his garments and rent them in two.
Oh, father, father! Israel’s chariots and horsemen: Elijah does not simply disappear as Enoch and Moses did. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, for God took him. (Genesis 5/24 Tanakh JPS 1985); Moses disappears buried by G-d and no one knew where; and Elijah is carried to heaven with witnesses of his body disappearing.
13He picked up Elijah’s mantle, which had dropped from him; and he went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14Taking the mantle which had dropped from Elijah, he struck the water and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” As he too struck the water, it parted to the right and to the left, and Elisha crossed over.
Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?: Elisha is the only person in the Tanakh to refer to G-d as the G-d of Elijah.
As he too struck the water, it parted to the right and to the left, and Elisha crossed over: This account of the River Jordan parting does not say that Elisha crossed over on dry land. Elisha did cross over on dry land when he was with Elijah. This account could mean the Elisha had to spend time in Gehinnom after he died because in heaven the waters are separated by dry land.
15When the disciples of the prophets at Jericho saw him from a distance, they exclaimed, “The spirit of Elijah has settled on Elisha!” And they went to meet him and bowed low before him to the ground.
The spirit of Elijah has settled on Elisha!: Like the spirit of G-d alighting upon the twig of the stump of Jesse in Isaiah 11/2 the spirit of G-d was with Elijah and is now settled on, resting and dwelling with Elisha.
16They said to him, “Your servants have fifty able men with them. Let them go and look for your master; perhaps the spirit of the Lord has carried him off and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” “Do not send them,” he replied.
Do not send them: Elisha had more information about the disappearance of Elijah than the disciples of the prophets and he was standing next to Elijah when he disappeared.
17But they kept pressing him for a long time, until he said, “Send them.” So they sent out fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him.
who searched for three days: Three like forty are symbolic numbers in the Tanakh. Three is a perfect amount of a short time and forty is a perfect amount of a long time.
18They came back to him while he was still in Jericho; and he said to them, “I told you not to go.”
19The men of the town said to Elisha, “Look, the town is a pleasant place to live in, as my lord can see; but the water is bad and the land causes bereavement.” 20He responded, “Bring me a new dish and put salt in it.” They brought it to him; 21he went to the spring and threw salt into it. And he said, “Thus said the Lord: I heal this water; no longer shall death and bereavement come from it!”
And he said, “Thus said the Lord: I heal this water; no longer shall death and bereavement come from it!”: There is no account of the Lord saying this directly or indirectly by His spirit to Elisha as Elisha was speaking to the men of the town. That is because the Lord and His spirit are with Elisha and are directing what he says and does just as they did with Elijah doing the Lords bidding at the sacrifice of the bulls with the Baal prophets.
22The water has remained wholesome to this day, in accordance with the word spoken by Elisha.
23From there he went up to Bethel. As he was going up the road, some little boys came out of the town and jeered at him, saying, “Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!”
Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!: Elisha is on the way to Bethel which means house of G-d. Chet in Biblical Hebrew refers to an ancient Amorite mourning practice, a way of expressing grief. Karcha means a bald spot, where you would intentionally tear out the hair of your head above the place between your eyes, as a way of expressing terrible, terrible grief. The Torah prohibits this; Loh tasimu karcha bein eineichem la’meit – do not create these bald spots on your heads for the dead. Banim atem laHashem Elokeichem – take care of yourselves, you’re the children of G-d. This indicates that Elisha will have soul cleansing time in Gehinnom (She’ol) for tearing his hair out over the death of Elijah and why when he crossed back over the parted River Jordan it does not say on dry land (heaven). Elijah was taken directly to heaven. His soul cleansing occurred while he still lived. And that can only be done in G-d’s power.
24He turned around and looked at them and cursed them in the name of the Lord. Thereupon, two she-bears came out of the woods and mangled forty-two of the children.
two she-bears came out of the woods and mangled forty-two of the children: Judaism does not believe in the concept of coincidence. Although it sounds more like a story for entertainment than an actual event.
25He went on from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.