2 Kings 2

1 factum est autem cum levare vellet Dominus Heliam per turbinem in caelum ibant Helias et Heliseus de Galgalis
2 dixitque Helias ad Heliseum sede hic quia Dominus misit me usque Bethel cui ait Heliseus vivit Dominus et vivit anima tua quia non derelinquam te cumque descendissent Bethel
3 egressi sunt filii prophetarum qui erant Bethel ad Heliseum et dixerunt ei numquid nosti quia hodie Dominus tollat dominum tuum a te qui respondit et ego novi silete
4 dixit autem Helias ad Heliseum sede hic quia Dominus misit me in Hiericho et ille ait vivit Dominus et vivit anima tua quia non derelinquam te cumque venissent Hierichum
5 accesserunt filii prophetarum qui erant in Hiericho ad Heliseum et dixerunt ei numquid nosti quia hodie Dominus tollet dominum tuum a te et ait et ego novi silete
6 dixit autem ei Helias sede hic quia Dominus misit me ad Iordanem qui ait vivit Dominus et vivit anima tua quia non derelinquam te ierunt igitur ambo pariter
7 et quinquaginta viri de filiis prophetarum secuti sunt qui et steterunt e contra longe illi autem ambo stabant super Iordanem
8 tulitque Helias pallium suum et involvit illud et percussit aquas quae divisae sunt in utramque partem et transierunt ambo per siccum
9 cumque transissent Helias dixit ad Heliseum postula quod vis ut faciam tibi antequam tollar a te dixitque Heliseus obsecro ut fiat duplex spiritus tuus in me
10 qui respondit rem difficilem postulasti attamen si videris me quando tollor a te erit quod petisti si autem non videris non erit
11 cumque pergerent et incedentes sermocinarentur ecce currus igneus et equi ignei diviserunt utrumque et ascendit Helias per turbinem in caelum
12 Heliseus autem videbat et clamabat pater mi pater mi currus Israhel et auriga eius et non vidit eum amplius adprehenditque vestimenta sua et scidit illa in duas partes
13 et levavit pallium Heliae quod ceciderat ei reversusque stetit super ripam Iordanis
14 et pallio Heliae quod ceciderat ei percussit aquas et dixit ubi est Deus Heliae etiam nunc percussitque aquas et divisae sunt huc atque illuc et transiit Heliseus
15 videntes autem filii prophetarum qui erant in Hiericho de contra dixerunt requievit spiritus Heliae super Heliseum et venientes in occursum eius adoraverunt eum proni in terram
16 dixeruntque illi ecce cum servis tuis sunt quinquaginta viri fortes qui possint ire et quaerere dominum tuum ne forte tulerit eum spiritus Domini et proiecerit in uno montium aut in una vallium qui ait nolite mittere
17 coegeruntque eum donec adquiesceret et diceret mittite et miserunt quinquaginta viros qui cum quaesissent tribus diebus non invenerunt
18 et reversi sunt ad eum at ille habitabat in Hiericho dixitque eis numquid non dixi vobis nolite ire
19 dixerunt quoque viri civitatis ad Heliseum ecce habitatio civitatis huius optima est sicut tu ipse domine perspicis sed aquae pessimae sunt et terra sterilis
20 at ille ait adferte mihi vas novum et mittite in illud sal qui cum adtulissent
21 egressus ad fontem aquarum misit in eum sal et ait haec dicit Dominus sanavi aquas has et non erit ultra in eis mors neque sterilitas
22 sanatae sunt ergo aquae usque ad diem hanc iuxta verbum Helisei quod locutus est
23 ascendit autem inde Bethel cumque ascenderet per viam pueri parvi egressi sunt de civitate et inludebant ei dicentes ascende calve ascende calve
24 qui cum se respexisset vidit eos et maledixit eis in nomine Domini egressique sunt duo ursi de saltu et laceraverunt ex eis quadraginta duos pueros
25 abiit autem inde in montem Carmeli et inde reversus est Samariam

2 Kings 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

Elijah divides Jordan. (1-8) Elijah is taken up into heaven. (9-12) Elisha is manifested to be Elijah's successor. (13-18) Elisha heals the waters of Jericho, Those that mocked Elisha destroyed. (19-25)

Verses 1-8 The Lord had let Elijah know that his time was at hand. He therefore went to the different schools of the prophets to give them his last exhortations and blessing. The removal of Elijah was a type and figure of the ascension of Christ, and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Elisha had long followed Elijah, and he would not leave him now when he hoped for the parting blessing. Let not those who follow Christ come short by tiring at last. The waters of Jordan, of old, yielded to the ark; now, to the prophet's mantle, as a token of God's presence. When God will take up his faithful ones to heaven, death is the Jordan which they must pass through, and they find a way through it. The death of Christ has divided those waters, that the ransomed of the Lord may pass over. O death, where is thy sting, thy hurt, thy terror!

Verses 9-12 That fulness, from whence prophets and apostles had all their supply, still exists as of old, and we are told to ask large supplies from it. Diligent attendance upon Elijah, particularly in his last hours, would be proper means for Elisha to obtain much of his spirit. The comforts of departing saints, and their experiences, help both to gild our comforts and to strengthen our resolutions. Elijah is carried to heaven in a fiery chariot. Many questions might be asked about this, which could not be answered. Let it suffice that we are told, what his Lord, when he came, found him doing. He was engaged in serious discourse, encouraging and directing Elisha about the kingdom of God among men. We mistake, if we think preparation for heaven is carried on only by contemplation and acts of devotion. The chariot and horses appeared like fire, something very glorious, not for burning, but brightness. By the manner in which Elijah and Enoch were taken from this world, God gave a glimpse of the eternal life brought to light by the gospel, of the glory reserved for the bodies of the saints, and of the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. It was also a figure of Christ's ascension. Though Elijah was gone triumphantly to heaven, yet this world could ill spare him. Surely their hearts are hard, who feel not, when God, by taking away faithful, useful men, calls for weeping and mourning. Elijah was to Israel, by his counsels, reproofs, and prayers, better than the strongest force of chariot and horse, and kept off the judgments of God. Christ bequeathed to his disciples his precious gospel, like Elijah's mantle; the token of the Divine power being exerted to overturn the empire of Satan, and to set up the kingdom of God in the world. The same gospel remains with us, though the miraculous powers are withdrawn, and it has Divine strength for the conversion and salvation of sinners.

Verses 13-18 Elijah left his mantle to Elisha; as a token of the descent of the Spirit upon him; it was more than if he had left him thousands of gold and silver. Elisha took it up, not as a sacred relic to be worshipped, but as a significant garment to be worn. Now that Elijah was taken to heaven, Elisha inquired, 1. After God; when our creature-comforts are removed, we have a God to go to, who lives for ever. 2. After the God that Elijah served, and honoured, and pleaded for. The Lord God of the holy prophets is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; but what will it avail us to have the mantles of those that are gone, their places, their books, if we have not their spirit, their God? See Elisha's dividing the river; God's people need not fear at last passing through the Jordan of death as on dry ground. The sons of the prophets made a needless search for Elijah. Wise men may yield to that, for the sake of peace, and the good opinion of others, which yet their judgment is against, as needless and fruitless. Traversing hills and valleys will never bring us to Elijah, but following the example of his holy faith and zeal will, in due time.

Verses 19-25 Observe the miracle of healing the waters. Prophets should make every place to which they come better for them, endeavouring to sweeten bitter spirits, and to make barren souls fruitful, by the word of God, which is like the salt cast into the water by Elisha. It was an apt emblem of the effect produced by the grace of God on the sinful heart of man. Whole families, towns, and cities, sometimes have a new appearance through the preaching of the gospel; wickedness and evil have been changed into fruitfulness in the works of righteousness, which are, through Christ, to the praise and glory of God. Here is a curse on the youths of Bethel, enough to destroy them; it was not a curse causeless, for it was Elisha's character, as God's prophet, that they abused. They bade him "go up," reflecting on the taking up of Elijah into heaven. The prophet acted by Divine impulse. If the Holy Spirit had not directed Elisha's solemn curse, the providence of God would not have followed it with judgment. The Lord must be glorified as a righteous God who hates sin, and will reckon for it. Let young persons be afraid of speaking wicked words, for God notices what they say. Let them not mock at any for defects in mind or body; especially it is at their peril, if they scoff at any for well doing. Let parents that would have comfort in their children, train them up well, and do their utmost betimes to drive out the foolishness that is bound up in their hearts. And what will be the anguish of those parents, at the day of judgment, who witness the everlasting condemnation of their offspring, occasioned by their own bad example, carelessness, or wicked teaching!

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates, how that Elisha accompanied Elijah to several places, and on the other side Jordan Elijah was taken up from him to heaven, which occasioned great lamentation in him, 2Ki 2:1-12, but having the mantle of Elijah, he divided the waters of Jordan, and passed over, 2Ki 2:13,14, and the sons of the prophets at Jericho, perceiving the spirit of Elijah on him, showed him great respect, and proposed sending men to seek his master, which they did in vain, 2Ki 2:15-18, when he healed the waters at Jericho, at the request of the men of it, 2Ki 2:19-22, and the chapter is concluded with the destruction of forty two children at Bethel by bears, who mocked him, 2Ki 2:23,24.

2 Kings 2 Commentaries

The Latin Vulgate is in the public domain.