GOD'S WORD® Translation
1When the LORD was going to take Elijah to heaven in a windstorm, Elijah and Elisha left Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, "Please stay here because the LORD is sending me to Bethel." Elisha answered, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not abandon you." So they went to Bethel. 3Some of the disciples of the prophets at Bethel came to Elisha. They asked him, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?" He answered, "Yes, I know. Be quiet."
4Elijah said, "Elisha, please stay here because the LORD is sending me to Jericho." Elisha answered, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not abandon you." So they went to Jericho. 5Then some of the disciples of the prophets who were in Jericho approached Elisha. They asked, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?" He answered, "Yes, I know. Be quiet." 6Elijah said to Elisha, "Please stay here because the LORD is sending me to the Jordan River." Elisha answered, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not abandon you."
7Fifty disciples of the prophets stood at a distance as Elijah and Elisha stood by the Jordan River. 8Elijah took his coat, rolled it up, and struck the water with it. The water divided to their left and their right, and the two men crossed [the river] on dry ground.
9While they were crossing, Elijah asked Elisha, "What should I do for you before I'm taken from you?" Elisha answered, "Let me inherit a double share of your spirit." 10Elijah said, "You have asked for something difficult. If you see me taken from you, it will be yours. Otherwise, it will not." 11As they continued walking and talking, a fiery chariot with fiery horses separated the two of them, and Elijah went to heaven in a windstorm. 12When Elisha saw this, he cried out, "Master! Master! Israel's chariot and horses!" When he couldn't see Elijah anymore, he grabbed his own garment and tore it in two [to show his grief]. 13Then he picked up Elijah's coat (which had fallen off Elijah), went back, and stood on the bank of the Jordan River. 14He took the coat and struck the water with it. He asked, "Where is the LORD God of Elijah?" As he struck the water, it divided to his left and his right, and Elisha crossed [the river].
15The disciples of the prophets who were at Jericho saw him from a distance. They said, "Elijah's spirit rests on Elisha!" Then they went to meet him and bowed in front of him with their faces touching the ground. 16They said to him, "There are 50 strong men here with us. Please let them go and search for your master. Maybe the LORD's Spirit lifted him up and dropped him on one of the hills or in one of the valleys." Elisha answered, "Don't send them [to look]." 17But the disciples kept urging him [to send the men] until he was embarrassed. So he said, "Send them." They sent 50 men who searched for three days without finding him. 18They returned to Elisha in Jericho, where he was waiting. He said, "Didn't I tell you not to go?"
19The people of the city [of Jericho] told Elisha, "This city's location is as good as you will ever find. But the water is bad, and the land cannot grow crops." 20Elisha said, "Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it." They brought it to him. 21He went to the spring and threw the salt into it. Then he said, "This is what the LORD says: I have purified this water. No more deaths or crop failures will come from this water." 22To this day the water is still pure, as Elisha had said.
23From there he went to Bethel. As he walked along the road, some boys came out of the city and mocked him. They said, "Go away, baldy! Go away!" 24Looking back, he saw them and cursed them in the LORD's name. Two bears came out of the woods and tore 42 of these youths apart. 25He left that place, went to Mount Carmel, and returned to Samaria.