GOD TAKES ELIJAH INTO PHYSICAL HEAVENS
1 The time came for Jehovah to take Elijah up into the physical heavens the sky in a whirlwind. Elijah and Elisha set out from Gilgal,
2 and on the way Elijah said to Elisha: »Stay here for Jehovah has ordered me to go to Bethel.« But Elisha answered: »I swear by my loyalty to the living God Jehovah and to you that I will not leave you.« So they went on to Bethel.
3 A group of prophets who lived at Bethel asked Elisha: »Do you know that Jehovah is going to take your master away from you today?« »Yes, I know,« Elisha answered. »But let us not talk about it.«
4 Then Elijah said to Elisha: »Stay here for Jehovah has ordered me to go to Jericho.« But Elisha answered: »I swear by my loyalty to the living God Jehovah and to you that I will not leave you.« So the two of them went on to Jericho.
5 A group of prophets who lived at Jericho went to Elisha and asked him: »Do you know that Jehovah is going to take your master away from you today?« »Yes, I know,« Elisha answered. »But let us not talk about it.«
6 Then Elijah said to Elisha: »Stay here for Jehovah has ordered me to go to the Jordan River.« But Elisha answered: »I swear by my loyalty to the living God Jehovah and to you that I will not leave you.« So they went on,
7 and fifty of the prophets followed them to the Jordan. Elijah and Elisha stopped by the river. The fifty prophets stood a short distance away.
8 Then Elijah took off his cloak. He rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided, and he and Elisha crossed to the other side on dry ground.
9 Elijah said to Elisha: »Tell me what you want me to do for you before I am taken from you.« Elisha answered: »Let me receive a double share of your spirit power.«
10 »That is a difficult request to grant,« Elijah replied. »But you will receive it if you see me as I am being taken away from you. If you do not see me, you will not receive it.«
11 They kept talking as they walked. Then suddenly a chariot of fire pulled by horses of fire came between them. Elijah was taken up into the physical heaven the sky by a whirlwind.
12 Elisha saw it and cried out to Elijah: »My father, my father! Mighty defender of Israel! You are gone!« He never saw Elijah again. In grief Elisha tore his cloak in two.
13 He picked up Elijah's cloak that had fallen from him. He returned to stand by the bank of the Jordan.
14 Elisha struck the water with Elijah's cloak and said: »Where is Jehovah, the God of Elijah?« Then he struck the water again, and it divided, and he walked over to the other side.
15 The fifty prophets from Jericho saw him and said: »The power of Elijah is on Elisha!« So they went to meet him and bowed down before him.
16 They said: »There are fifty of us here. We are all strong men. Let us go and look for your master. Maybe the Spirit of Jehovah has carried him away and left him on some mountain or in some valley.« Elisha answered: »You must not go.«
17 They insisted until he gave in and let them go. The fifty of them went and looked high and low for Elijah for three days. But they did not find him.
18 Then they returned to Elisha. He waited at Jericho. He said to them: »Did I tell you not to go?«
19 Men from Jericho went to Elisha and said: »You may know that this is a fine city but the water is bad and causes miscarriages.«
20 He ordered them: »Put some salt in a new bowl and bring it to me.« They brought it to him,
21 and he went to the spring, threw the salt in the water, and said: »This is what Jehovah says: I make this water pure. It will not cause any more deaths or miscarriages.«
22 That water has been pure ever since, just as Elisha said it would be.
23 Elisha left Jericho to go to Bethel. On the way some boys came out of a town and taunted and made fun of him. They shouted: »Get out of here, baldy!«
24 Elisha turned around and glared at them. He cursed them in the name of Jehovah. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the boys to pieces.
25 Elisha traveled to Mount Carmel and later returned to Samaria.