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ELIJAH'S CHARIOT OF FIRE
Kings i: 1, to ii: 15.
FTER 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 leave
So Elijah and Elisha walked from Jericho to the river
 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 you."
ELIJAH STRIKES THE WATER WITH HIS MANTLE
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
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.