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The Last Days of Elijah

The time had come for Elijah to be taken to heaven. He went with Elisha out of Gilgal, the place where they were staying. As they were journeying, Elijah said to Elisha: "Tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel." But Elisha said: "I will not leave you." So they two went on to Bethel.

When they came to Bethel, Elijah said again to Elisha: "Tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho." But Elisha answered: "I will not leave you," and so they two came to Jericho.

When they came to Jericho, Elijah said again to Elisha: "Tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to Jordan," but Elisha answered again: "I will not leave you," and so they two went on to Jordan. When they came to Jordan there were fifty men of the sons of the prophets who stood afar off and watched them.

Elijah took his mantle and smote the waters of the river and they were divided so that the prophets went over on dry ground. When they had gone over, Elijah said to Elisha: "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken away."

Elisha looked upon his master and said: "I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me."

"You have asked a hard thing," replied Elijah, "however, if you see me when I am taken away it shall be as you ask, but if you do not see me when I am taken away, it shall not be as you ask."

As they stood and talked, behold, there came a chariot of fire and horses of fire and Elijah was caught up in the chariot and went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

When Elisha saw Elijah depart, he cried aloud: "My father, my father! the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof!" Then he saw Elijah no more and so great was his grief that he tore his clothes in pieces.

When he journeyed back to Jordan he took the mantle of Elijah and smote the waters of the river and again they parted and Elisha went over on dry ground.

When he came to the place where the sons of the prophets were, they bowed themselves before Elisha and said: "The spirit of Elijah rests upon Elisha and he is now our prophet."

When they came to Jericho, the men of that place said to Elisha: "The situation of this city is pleasant but the water is not good to drink and the ground is barren so that nothing will grow."

"Bring me a new cruse and put salt in it," replied the prophet, and they brought it to him. He then went to the spring of the waters and cast salt into the spring and said: "Thus, saith the Lord, I have healed these waters. There shall not be any more death from them or any barren land."

So the waters of Jericho were made pure and sweet and remained so according to the words of the prophet Elisha.

The prophet journeyed from Jericho up to Bethel. As he was going by the way, there came little children out of the city and mocked him. They said to the old prophet: "Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head." And Elisha turned and looked at them and called on the Lord to punish them.

There came two she-bears out of the wood and tore forty-two of the children as a punishment for making sport of the prophet of the Lord.