Elijah's Chariot of Fire
Elijah and Elisha
Kings i: 1, to ii:
the death of Ahab, his son Ahaziah reigned for only
two years as king of Israel He fell out of a window
in his palace, and was injured so that he died; and
as he had no son, his brother, Jehoram, became king
in his place.
The work of Elijah, the prophet, was now ended, and
the Lord was about to take him up to heaven. Elijah
and Elisha went together to a place called Gilgal,
not the place beside the river Jordan where the army
of Israel was encamped under Joshua (see Part
Second, Stories Two and Three), but another place of
the same name among the mountains, not far from
Bethel. And Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here, I
pray you, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel."
Elisha knew that Elijah would be taken from him very
soon, and he said, "As surely as the Lord lives, and
as your soul lives, I will not leave you."
So Elijah and Elisha walked together to Bethel. At
Bethel were living many worshippers of the Lord, who
were called "sons of the prophets," because they
followed the teaching of the prophets, and some of
them became prophets themselves. These men came to
Elisha, and said to him, "Do you know that the Lord
will take away your master from you very soon?"
And Elisha answered them, "Yes, I know it; but hold
your peace; do not speak of it."
And at Bethel Elijah said to Elisha again, "Elisha,
stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho." But
Elisha answered him, "As surely as the Lord lives,
and as your soul lives, I will not leave you."
So Elijah and Elisha walked together down the steep
road from Bethel to Jericho. And at Jericho the
followers of the prophets came to Elisha, and said
to him, "Do you know that the Lord will take your
master away from you to-day?"
And he answered them, "Yes, I know it; but hold your
peace, and say nothing." And Elijah said to him
again, "Stay here at Jericho, I pray you, for the
Lord has sent me to the river Jordan."
But Elisha said to Elijah once more, "As surely as
the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not
So Elijah and Elisha walked from Jericho to the
river Jordan, about five miles. About fifty men of
the sons of the prophets who lived at Jericho
followed them at a distance When they came to the
bank of Jordan, Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped
it together, and struck the waters. Then the waters
were divided on each side, and a path was made
across the river; and the two prophets walked across
on dry ground. And as they walked, Elijah said, "As
what I shall do for you, before I am taken away from
Elisha answered him, "All that I ask is that your
spirit shall come upon me in greater power than
comes upon any other man."
And Elijah said to him, "You have asked a great
blessing; and if you see me when I am taken away, it
shall come to you; but if you do not see me, it
shall not come"
And as they still went on, and talked, suddenly a
chariot of fire and horses of fire came between
them, and parted them; and Elijah went up in a
whirlwind on the fiery chariot to heaven.
And Elisha saw him going up toward heaven, and he
cried out, "O my father, my father, the chariot of
Israel, and the horsemen thereof!"
He meant that in losing Elijah the kingdom had lost
more than an army of chariots and horsemen. After
this he saw Elijah no more; but he caught up the
mantle of Elijah which had fallen from him. With the
mantle he struck the waters of Jordan, saying,
"Where now is the Lord God of Elijah?"
And as he struck the water with Elijah's mantle it
parted on either side, and Elisha walked across the
Jordan. The sons of the prophets who were standing
near the river had not seen Elijah go up; but now
they saw Elisha walking through the river alone, and
they felt that God had taken Elijah away. They said,
"The spirit of Elijah now rests upon Elisha," and
they came to meet him, and bowed down before him as
their chief. So Elijah was taken away, but Elisha
stood in his place as the Lord's prophet.
Elijah and Elisha