Study Guide

2 Kings Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

Two Scoops of Spirit

  • God has decided to bring Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. He tells his future successor and disciple, Elisha, that God is sending him to Bethel, and Elisha insists on coming along.
  • They meet a company of prophets in Bethel, who know that Elijah is going to be taken by God. After Elisha insists on going further, they meet a company of prophets in Jericho who predict the same thing.
  • Finally, they come to the Jordan with fifty men from the company of prophets. Elijah, like Moses, parts the river with his staff and passes over to the other side with Elisha.
  • Elisha asks Elijah for a double-share of his spirit. Elijah says this is tough, but if Elisha can see him going up to heaven, he'll receive the double-share.
  • The whirlwind comes down and a chariot of fire with horses of fire appears.
  • Elisha sees him ascend and then takes off his own clothes, tearing them in two. He puts on Elijah's cloak, which had fallen off (indicating he's the successor).
  • He takes his staff and parts the Jordan, demonstrating he's received his double-share of Elijah's spirit. Then he crosses back.

No, Yogi—That's Not a Picnic Basket!

  • The other prophets see that Elijah's spirit is now in Elisha. They want to know if they can look for Elijah, thinking the whirlwind set him down elsewhere. Elisha says it's pointless, but they insist. So he says go ahead.
  • Later they return and Elisha—in an "I told you so" moment—says he told them they wouldn't find anything.
  • Elisha travels to a city where the people say the water is bad and impure. Elisha pours some salt in the town spring, saying God has healed it. From that day on, it's pure, Dasani-style water.
  • In a less benevolent miracle, Elisha encounters a crowd of boys who call him a "Baldhead" and mock him. He calls down a curse from God, and two she-bears come and maul and kill forty-two of the boys. Eesh.
  • Elisha continues on to Samaria by way of Mount Carmel.

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