Let a double portion of your spirit be upon me. 2 Kings 2:9
Elijah taken up: 2:1-18. Elijah is taken directly into heaven by the Lord, in a chariot of fire that appears as a whirlwind. Only one other person is said to have been so taken by God (Enoch, Gen. 5:23, 24).
Elisha asks for a “double portion” of Elijah’s spirit. This is a request to be Elijah’s successor, for the heir and oldest son in a family is traditionally given a double portion of the family wealth as his inheritance. The request is granted (2:10-12). Returning from the desolate area where Elijah was transported, Elisha carries Elijah’s cloak and parts the waters of the Jordan (13-14). This is a sign to other prophets that Elisha is Elijah’s successor (cf.
9 And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” 10 So he said, You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.” 11 Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.
13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over.
Two miracles: 2:19-25. Elisha’s first 2 miracles set the tone of his ministry. When the people of Jericho appeal to him, Elisha purifies their waters. This is Elisha’s ministry of mercy. But when a number of youths (not “children” as in KJV) jeer at him and thus at God, challenging him to “go up in heaven as Elijah is supposed to have done, Elisha curses them. Two bears appear and maul 42 of the scoffers. This is Elisha’s ministry of standing up for God’s honor and in judgment of sin.
19 Then the men of the city said to Elisha, “Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren.” 20 And he said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, “Thus says the Lord: ‘I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.’ ” 22 So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.
23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!” 24 So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. 25 Then he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.