2 Kings Chapter 2: Elijah’s Journey and TranslationDec 27th, 2009 | By admin | Category: 1 & 2 Kings, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)
2 Kings Chapter 2: Elijah’s Journey and Translation
2 Kings 2:1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
Elijah was given the information in Gilgal that it was God’s purpose for him to be taken up into heaven by a whirlwind, for his earthly career was ending. God would remove him from Elisha’s “head”; that is, Elijah, the one over (or superior to) Elisha, would be removed (verse 3).
However, Elijah was not taken away, so he “went with Elisha from Gilgal.” We find subsequently that there were at least four stops, the first stop being Gilgal.
2 Kings 2:2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Beth-el. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Beth-el.
Elijah advised Elisha to tarry at Gilgal while he went on to Bethel, but Elisha said he would not leave Elijah. Therefore, he accompanied Elijah, and they both went down to Bethel, the second stop.
Elisha’s expression, “As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee,” reminds us of Ruth’s words to her mother-in-law. When Naomi was going to leave Moab and return to Israel after the death of her husband and two sons, she advised the two Moabite women who were married to her sons to go back to their homes. She appreciated their kindness but felt they should stay in their own country where they would be more apt to find new husbands.
Ruth replied that she would not leave Naomi and thus accompanied her to Israel.
2 Kings 2:3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Beth-el came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head today? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
Q: Is it significant that the sons of the prophets are not mentioned until Bethel? They are not in the picture at Gilgal.
A: We do not know.
The sons of the prophets who were in a school at Bethel came forth to Elisha and said, “Don’t you know that God will take away Elijah, your master, from off your head today?” How unusual that all the sons of the prophets had been informed of the expectation, as well as Elisha, who said, “Yes, I know it.” The details are not supplied as to how the expectation was known.
What in the antitype indicates that they would be aware of the imminence of the departure of the Elijah class? Current events will become so conspicuous that they will know the time is drawing close for the completion of the Elijah class, the Church, the Little Flock. As Jesus said, “When [you see] these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption [deliverance] draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).
Q: Jesus said in John 3:13, “No man hath ascended up to heaven,” so where was Elijah taken?
A: Elijah was taken up into the sky by a whirlwind. When Hebrews 11 enumerates certain Ancient Worthies who died, Enoch is stated as an exception in verse 5: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him.” Since Elijah is not mentioned in that listing, he can also be an exception. The Pastor surmised that Elijah was taken to the same place where Enoch had previously been translated. How interesting that Enoch, a person from the world before the Flood, and Elijah, a person from the present evil world, both received a translation!
Q: Are there several heavens in Scripture?
A: Yes, heaven can be (1) the literal heaven, or atmosphere, about the earth; (2) the symbolic ecclesiastical heaven, the Christian world; (3) the spirit realm; and (4) the heaven above all heavens, or God’s residence. By comparing Scripture with Scripture, we know that Elijah did not go up to God’s heaven.
2 Kings 2:4 And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho.
Elijah again told Elisha to tarry: “Wait here in Bethel, for God has sent me to Jericho.” Elisha gave the same reply, “As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee.” Thus they both went on to Jericho, the third stop.
2 Kings 2:5 And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head today? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
Again the sons of the prophets, but this time the ones at Jericho, said to Elisha, “Don’t you know that God will take away your master from off your head today?” The word “today” means “soon,” “at any moment”—that the event was imminent.
2 Kings 2:6 And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the LORD hath sent me to Jordan. And he said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on.
When nothing happened, Elijah told Elisha to tarry at Jericho, for God had sent him on to Jordan. Elisha insisted on accompanying Elijah to the next (or fourth) stop.
2 Kings 2:7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
Fifty sons of the prophets went and stood on a hill so that they could see Elijah and Elisha “afar off,” in the distance, standing at the Jordan River. From their vantage point, the sons of the prophets would be able to see Elijah and Elisha cross the Jordan River when the waters parted.
The account does not say whether the 50 sons of the prophets were from Jordan or Jericho.
However, it is likely that these 50 were different sons of the prophets. Either way they represent a class that was aware of the expected soon departure of the Church at Bethel and Jericho.
Q: At Bethel and Jericho, the sons of the prophets spoke directly with Elisha, face to face. At Jordan, they viewed events from a distance. Wouldn’t this distinction be significant in the antitype? Perhaps world conditions will be such that the “sons of the prophets” class will not fraternize as closely at that time because of fear? Surely they will not be in close proximity to the smiting.
A: That could be, for the sons of the prophets did not go to the Jordan River. We had not thought of the separation in that light, but it sounds reasonable. By inference, Elisha had to be in hearing distance of the sons of the prophets at Bethel and Jericho in order to parry the question “Don’t you know that Elijah is to be taken today?”
2 Kings 2:8 And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
At Jordan, Elijah took his mantle, folded it up, and smote the waters of the river with it. The mantle represents the authority of the Word of God.
Comment: For “wrapped it together,” the RSV and the NIV have “rolled it up.” The suggestion is that Elijah gave a compact, specific message.
Reply: Yes, the message will be condensed, to the point, and strong.
Q: Could the smiting message be the seventh plague (Rev. 16:17)?
A: It is not the seventh plague per se, but there is the possibility that those doing the smiting have an awareness of the seventh plague. Other pictures will dovetail at that time, coming to a focal point in prophecy at a certain event at the end of the age.
Q: Is there a relationship between the smiting and Moses’ holding up his rod at the Red Sea?
A: Of course Moses did not smite the waters, but his rod, like the mantle, was a symbol of authority. Specifically, Elijah’s mantle was a symbol of the authority of God’s Word. Its being compact indicates a strong message with enough power to divide the waters of the river Jordan.
God’s Word is a message, but being wrapped together makes it a condensed message. Stated another way, the mantle, the Word of God, will give the feet members the authority to preach a strong, condensed message.
The dividing of the waters was literal with both Moses and Elijah, but the antitype will be symbolic. The word Jordan means “judged down,” and the message will affect the “waters,” that is, the peoples, as shown in Revelation 17:15, “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where [upon which] the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” A world church will be affected, namely, the Catholic Church. Elijah’s strong message will become known to the public, and its effect will be to divide public opinion “hither and thither,” to the right and to the left. In other words, some will be for the message, and some will be against it. Some will be sympathetic, and some will be unsympathetic. The smiting message will cause a division of public sentiment.
Elijah “smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.” The fact that Elijah and Elisha went over dry-shod suggests the waters parted, as did the Red Sea with Moses.
Q: In crossing the river Jordan, did Elijah and Elisha go over to the east side where the 2 ½ tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh were?
A: Yes. Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, and the stopping place at the Jordan River were on the Israeli (west) side, so Elijah and Elisha would have crossed over to the east.
Q: Is there any significance to the number 50, which keeps coming up? 2 Kings 2:7,16,17 mentions 50 sons of the prophets. 2 Kings 1:9-14 tells that King Ahaziah sent three captains, each with a group of 50, on three different occasions to apprehend Elijah. 1 Kings 18:4,13 says that Obadiah hid two groups of 50 prophets in a cave and fed them bread and water to save their lives.
A: Similarly, when Jesus miraculously fed the multitudes with bread, he had them sit down in companies. Regimenting the 4,000 and the 5,000 in groups of 50 and 100 showed orderliness (Mark 6:35-41). Jehovah is a God of order. Apparently, the sons of the prophets lived together in communes, and here the suggestion is that if the number exceeded 50, the community of prophets got too large. Then another school of the prophets was established in another area.
2 Kings 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
When Elijah and Elisha arrived on the east side of the Jordan River, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken away from you.” Elisha replied, “Let a double [equal] portion of your spirit be upon me.” As here, the word “double” sometimes means a similar, or duplicate, portion. For example, if an actor gets sick, his double takes his place, meaning one like the actor, a duplicate. Therefore, Elisha wanted a portion of the Holy Spirit equal to Elijah’s; he wanted that same power and privilege.
Comment: It is interesting that Elijah had to prompt Elisha to ask for the similar portion of the Holy Spirit.
2 Kings 2:10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
In response to Elisha’s request, Elijah said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, you will receive the similar portion if you see me go; otherwise, it shall not be so.” In other words, Elisha had to be alert and stay close to Elijah. Up until the last minute, when the chariot and horses of fire parted them, Elijah and Elisha were together, walking side by side in their journey.
Comment: The foolish virgins asked the wise virgins for oil but did not get it until they had gone to the marketplace of hard experience (Matt. 25:1-13).
Reply: That is right. By familiarizing ourselves with the context here in 2 Kings, we begin to see a remarkable similarity with other pictures in the Bible of the last chapter of the Church’s experience in the present life.
2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
Notice that Elijah and Elisha went on for a little while and talked. At the three earlier stops, there was no mention of talking. Now Elisha was communicating and had a close rapport with Elijah.
Suddenly “a chariot [singular] of fire, and horses [plural] of fire … [appeared and] parted them both asunder.” The chariot (a means of conveyance) and the horses came between Elijah and Elisha and separated them, resulting in Elijah’s being taken “up by a whirlwind into heaven.”
In the antitype, the “chariot” is the coming church-state organization, and the “horses” are “fiery” (troublous) doctrines. Some debate whether Elijah went up into heaven in a chariot of fire or in a whirlwind. In a sense, the debate would be splitting hairs, but certainly the chariot of fire was instrumental in separating Elijah from Elisha and had the result of Elijah’s being taken up in a whirlwind. Whether Elijah went up into heaven with or without the chariot of fire, it would seem that the whirlwind is the correct view. In the antitype, the persecuting experience and being faithful unto death will be the means of the feet members’ going off the earthly scene; the persecution will result in Elijah’s translation to heaven.
There are multiple times of trouble. The symbolic “whirlwind” is the Church’s time of trouble. Next will come mystic Babylon’s time of trouble and then the Great Company’s time of trouble, in which they will wash their robes white in the blood of the Lamb.
Review and Antitype
The Pastor gave the four places, or stops, date fulfillments when the Church expected to be translated. Thus he saw that the locations represented dates. However, the completion of the Church did not occur at any of these dates.
Gilgal = 1874
Bethel = 1878
Jericho = 1881
Jordan = 1914
These four places do represent dates, but they are later dates, as the following reasoning shows.
1. Elijah’s life pictures the Church sequentially and chronologically from 539 on. If the earlier time periods indicate dates (such as 3 1/2 years being 1,260 days, or the years from 539 to 1799), and if Mount Horeb, a place name, is the date 1914, then the place names here also represent dates—later dates in sequence.
2. At these four dates, the Church expected to receive its change. However, only in 1914 did a significant number expect to go, for World War I seemed to be an event marking the time for the rapture—much as Christians at the French Revolution thought 1799 marked the end of the Church. But very few expected the Church to be complete in 1878 and 1881. And in 1874, the seventh messenger had not even been selected, let alone alerted to Jesus’ invisible return, so there was no expectation of the Church’s change at this date. And the Millerite movement expected 1844, which was even further back. We can read in the Reprints that the Pastor
thought he would be changed in 1878, but the movement was just getting started, so any others were very small in number. But 1914 was a great disappointment. Then the Pastor suggested that possibly 1918 was the year the Church would be raptured. Therefore, one reason we think the dates for the four stops are subsequent to 1914 is the difficulty in seeing that the Church expected to be taken in all four dates the Pastor suggested.
When we consider Elijah’s life as a chronogram, the dates begin to sort out. The 1,260 days when Elijah was in the wilderness ended in the year 1799. The next significant date was Elijah’s one-day journey from Beer-sheba into the wilderness on his journey to Mount Horeb, or Sinai.
Before getting to Mount Horeb, he had two sleeps under a tree and two meals. After the first sleep, he was given food; then he slept again and was awakened and given a more substantial meal. On the strength of that second meal, Elijah journeyed 40 days/years to Mount Horeb, the Christian destination, and many thousands thought the change of the Church would take place in 1914. But at Mount Horeb (Sinai), Elijah was instructed to go to Damascus to do three anointings, and several things have already happened subsequent to Sinai (see 1 and 2 Kings).
Thus far we have 1,260 days, one day, the first awakening in 1829, the Millerite movement with a cake and a cruse of water from 1829 to 1844, the second sleep until 1874, and the 40-year Harvest until 1914 at Mount Horeb. After that, after 1914, Elijah picked up Elisha, and they went to Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho, and Jordan. A third sleep is shown in the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, and that sleep was subsequent to the disappointment of 1914 when the Church was not taken. Ever since 1914, there has not been the diligence in studying future events—that is, not until very recently, relatively speaking—and that interest is due to current events.
There is evidence, or proof, that the sleep of the wise and foolish virgins was subsequent to 1914. The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins begins, “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
And five of them were wise, and five were foolish” (Matt. 25:1,2). However, Matthew 24 concludes with the faithful and wise servant, who feeds the household of faith, and also an evil servant, who beats his fellow servants. In the next chapter, where Jesus was having the same discussion on the Mount of Olives, is the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. It is interesting that Elisha came into the picture after Mount Horeb (Sinai), that is, after 1914. Of course there was a Great Company class earlier, but in this dispensational setting, Elijah pictures the wise and Elisha is a secondary class. Elisha was like a valet and a companion, but he was not on the level of Elijah, who was a prophet. Thus both the Elijah-Elisha picture and the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins continue after 1914. In fact, 1914 starts the Ten Virgins Parable.
The point is that the four places, or stops, can be advanced to four dates when a significant number expected the rapture, as follows:
1. Gilgal = 1918 = “wheel” or “revolution.” There was a turning over, or turmoil, in the movement after the Pastor died. The Johnsonites, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Pastoral Bible Institute, and the Stand Fast movement all sprang up, with some emphasizing earthly hopes.
2. Bethel = 1925 = “house of God.” At that date, the Society had the name of the Truth movement, for the Judge took over when the Pastor died—he kept the building and changed the teachings. He also had a mansion built in California, and it was expected that in 1925 the Ancient Worthies would be resurrected. A miscalculation of the Jubilee cycles as a 49-year period, not 50 years, gave this date.
3. Jericho = 1954 = “new moon.” In the lunar calendar, there was a new moon every 29 days. If we add 1925 + 29, the sum is 1954, hence a confirmation of the date. This date was a prominent Bible Student expectation based on an error in calculating the decree of Cyrus.
4. Jordan = 1994 = “judged down.” If this date is correct, based on the 120-year parallel of Noah, much is likely to happen then, including witness work and the change of the feet members.
When the waters parted and Elijah and Elisha crossed the river Jordan to the other side, Elijah asked, “What shall I do for you, Elisha?” They went on just a little way, and then Elijah was translated. We suggested that the Church might be complete in the latter part of 1994.
Q: What is the antitypical significance of going over on dry ground?
A: Elijah’s message, which will be one of notoriety, will tell the true condition of Christendom.
Circumstances will arise to show the shallowness, the emptiness, and the lack of real spirituality in the nominal system. Its false claims will be exposed, and its union with the state will be called spiritual harlotry, for, as the Apostle James said, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” (James 4:4). In the workplace, the Christian has to associate with other employees, but he should make a barrier against having close friends in the world because they have completely different concepts and are pleasureoriented.
Their thinking would pollute, downgrade, and lead the Christian astray. Therefore, for the church to join hands with the state is completely wrong.
Back to the question. Elijah’s going over dry-shod means that the smiting message will be given in relative peace. Similarly, there was a momentary period of popularity before John the Baptist’s beheading and before Jesus’ apprehension leading to his crucifixion. Shortly after the crossing of Jordan, Elijah was translated—suddenly! His translation harmonizes with the closing of the door in the Ten Virgins Parable. Then “they that were ready went in with him [Jesus] to the marriage: and the door was shut” (Matt. 25:10). When the last members of the Little Flock go beyond the veil, they will not tarry in earth’s atmosphere but will go in to the marriage.
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17). From the “air,” earth’s atmosphere, they will go to the marriage.
Q: Mark 13:35 mentions four watches: even, midnight, cockcrow, and morning. Do these dates dovetail with the four dates in the Elijah picture—1918, 1925, 1954, and possibly 1994? The feet members will be taken in the last, or fourth, watch.
The “sons of the prophets” are an unconsecrated class that show an interest—but not as much interest as Elisha (the Great Company), who are not in the category of Elijah. The word “sons,” or children, indicated a family relationship back there, and of course the sons of Israel’s prophets knew what their fathers were teaching. In the antitype, the sons of the prophets would be family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc., who show interest. And the term “sons of the prophets” would include the Holy Remnant, handpicked Jews who will live through Jacob’s Trouble. As time goes on, the Holy Remnant will get more and more interested, wondering if the nation of Israel will perish. Especially when the last invasion takes place and Israel is not winning, the Holy Remnant will search their own hearts and seek forgiveness from God for wrongs done. This heart attitude will help bring them to Jesus. They will be like doves and go into the clefts of the rock and mourn. The Holy Remnant will become very introspective about what is going on and their relationship to God, and they will survive the trouble.
Comment: As presented in the Song of Solomon study, the fifth chapter confirms that the “sons of the prophets” will become Israelites, that is, the Holy Remnant. A transformation will take place when the Great Company witnesses to them after the Little Flock is off the scene. At first, the “watchmen” will be hostile, but then they will begin to inquire of the Great Company. The Holy Remnant are specifically addressed at the end of the chapter.
Reply: Yes, based on individual zeal and hunger at the end of the age, the Lord will greatly accelerate one’s understanding of God’s Word.
2 Kings 2:12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
When Elisha saw Elijah go up into heaven in a whirlwind, he cried, “My father, my father,” indicating that he recognized Elijah as his superior. Elisha continued, “The chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof!” What is the significance of the rest of his exclamation?
Comment: If the chariot is considered to be the coming church-state system, then Israel would picture the nominal Church. Thus it will be the chariot of nominal spiritual Israel. The “horses” are the doctrines, and the “horsemen” are the proponents of those doctrines. The chariot will be the conveyance for the spiritual change of the feet members.
Reply: Indirectly the chariot will act as an escort, or aid, to change Elijah from the earth to the spirit realm. Some who crucified Jesus thought they were doing God a favor, and in a sense, they were, for Jesus had to die as the Ransom for the world. Jesus’ persecution eventuated in his deliverance, for he had to leave the earth to receive his inheritance for his faithfulness. Thus the suffering resulted in a blessing to Jesus, the Church, and the world—to be seen in its fullness in due time.
As evidenced by his exclamation in the type, Elisha had an immediate sensation of loss when Elijah was translated. “My father, my father” indicates that Elijah was like a patriarch in Elisha’s eyes.
In the antitype, the chariot can be considered from two standpoints. (1) As the conveyance to take the Church home, it was a chariot of blessing—as being of the Lord. (2) But from the earthly perspective, the enemy seemed to be triumphing. The feet members will get their change through persecution and death as a result of their faithfulness.
But there is another aspect of Elisha’s situation to consider. The change of Elijah was expected to some extent. At Bethel and Jericho, Elisha accompanied Elijah, expecting the latter to be taken off his “head”; that is, Elisha knew that Elijah would be providentially lifted and taken from him in some manner. Consider that previously, several times in his life, Elijah had been translated. For example, when the storm was coming, he ran ahead of Ahab’s chariot (1 Kings 18:44-46). And a comment was made during Elijah’s ministry about his being taken from one place and put down in another (1 Kings 18:9-12). The report would come that Elijah was at one place, but when Ahab tried to apprehend him, the prophet was at another place because the Lord had translated him. Hence the idea of Elijah’s being translated was not necessarily unusual. We think, therefore, that Elisha knew there would be a translation, but he did not know exactly how it would happen. He knew that Elijah would be taken off his head—that Elijah would not just be removed but would be lifted up, or elevated, above his head. Then Elisha would be prophet in Elijah’s stead.
This explanation helps us to understand the antitype, for as we get nearer and nearer the change of the feet members, it will be known that persecution will occur and be instrumental in that change. However, how that information will be acted upon—and how soon—will possibly determine who is of the Elijah class and who is of the Elisha class. Both classes know there will be a division at the end of the age, and as we get closer to that time, the details will keep clarifying in view of historical events. Certain details in the study of prophecy have clarified considerably since the Pastor’s day.
The change of the feet members will be recognized as imminent but indefinite as to the exact moment, as shown by Elijah’s response to Elisha’s request. When Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken away,” Elisha replied, “Let a similar portion of your spirit be upon me.” Elijah’s answer was, “You have asked a hard thing, but if you see me go, you will receive a duplicate portion of the Holy Spirit [that is, Elijah’s mantle of authority].” All along, both of them knew that at some point, the separation and change would occur, but as they went from place to place, it did not happen. Finally, Elijah was translated, and those of the Elisha class who were alert discerned what had happened. Thus the antitype for the setting here in 2 Kings 2 shows general agreement and expectation that Elijah’s change will come, but with the exact moment not being known, the consecrated live expectantly at the end of the age.
Comment: When Elisha asked for the double portion, it seems significant that Elijah had to initiate the conversation. This shows a lack, or a slackness, in the Elisha class because they do not act of their own volition. Elisha should have run to Elijah and pleaded with him: “Give me a like portion of your spirit!”
Reply: In other words, the Elijah class will stimulate the interest of the Elisha class.
Comment: In regard to why Elisha called Elijah “my father,” a Reprint article said that Elisha had been Elijah’s close servant for more than ten years and that their relationship was like father and son. Therefore, the request for the “double portion” was like asking for the double portion of a firstborn son. The request would have been along worldly lines.
Reply: Personally, we do not feel that is the answer because the same expression is used later, and certainly the explanation would not fit there (2 Kings 13:14).
Q: Why were the words “my father” repeated?
A: The repetition was a form of emphasis. When Elijah was taken up by the whirlwind, Elisha felt a loss similar to the emotion experienced at the death of a loved one who has the hope, or expectation, of a marvelous spiritual change. We know the death is for his benefit, but we miss him, nevertheless. Thus the immediate emotion of the one left behind is not one of joy. Later comes the realization of gladness that the Lord took the individual home.
“And he [Elisha] saw him [Elijah] no more: and he [Elisha] took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.” Of course Elisha’s act showed sorrow and remorse, but what do the “two pieces” signify?
Comment: The Temple veil was rent into two pieces at the time of Jesus’ death on the Cross.
There the rending meant the opening of the high calling, the new and living way, and here it means the closing of the high calling.
Q: Would Elisha’s tearing his garment indicate that the one hope of the high calling ends with the completion of the Elijah class and that henceforth God will deal with the Great Company as a class?
A: Or we could say that one piece represents Elijah’s being taken away, and the other piece pictures what is left.
Still another signification of the two pieces is that Elisha represents two classes: the Great Company and the Ancient Worthies. From now on, we have to watch Elisha closely, for, as a double picture, his representation will change. As time goes on—that is, sometime after he crosses the Jordan River the second time—Elisha will take on the characteristics of the Ancient Worthies.
2 Kings 2:13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;
2 Kings 2:14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
Elisha took Elijah’s mantle and went back and stood by the Jordan River. Then he used the mantle to smite the waters, and the waters “parted hither and thither” as before. Elisha crossed back over to the west side of the river.
Comment: Elisha could not use his own mantle, for he had just torn it in two.
Comment: The fact Elijah first had the mantle shows that the feet members will have the insight, or the interpretation, of prophecy. Elisha’s picking up the mantle indicates that after the Church is complete, the Great Company will carry on.
Reply: In other words, the mantle represents the authority of the Word of God. The power of the Holy Spirit now rested on Elisha, for he became the prophet in Elijah’s stead.
Q: Does the foolish virgins’ going out to get more oil for their lamps tie in here?
A: There is a relationship, but we have to go back earlier. When Elijah asked Elisha, “What can I do for you?” Elisha’s reply was, “I want a double portion of the spirit.” The tie-in comes when the foolish virgins asked for the oil. Here Elisha already has the mantle (comparable to the foolish virgins’ having the oil when they came back from the marketplace). Both pictures are very informative, but they give slightly different perspectives of the same subject matter.
Putting the two pictures together gives a fullness of understanding. When the foolish virgins got the oil, they came back.
The Elijah-Elisha picture started after Mount Horeb, when Elijah picked up Elisha. At that point, after the faithful and wise servant and the evil servant at the end of Matthew 24, the next chapter, which is a continuation, begins with the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins. If that parable is linked with the Elijah picture, it starts when Elisha was plowing with oxen and then joined Elijah, and they went to the four places, or stops (1 Kings 19:19-21).
When Elisha smote the Jordan, he asked, “Where is the LORD God of Elijah?” Elisha had the mantle, so he had the authority, but striking the water was the manifestation of that authority.
Thus Elisha was importuning the God of Elijah to help him smite the Jordan as Elijah had done earlier.
The fact Elisha did not fold the mantle or go over Jordan dry-shod shows his message will be a little more general than Elijah’s. It will not be as concise and sharp, but it will have an effect.
Q: Will the Elisha class smite the Jordan after Babylon falls? Will the smiting take place during that little period of time before the world goes into anarchy, while the governments are still intact? The reason for the question is that whatever Elisha’s message is might add to the fear that the kings of the earth feel when they stand afar off and tremble, seeing the smoke of Babylon’s burning and knowing the trouble is coming next upon them (Rev. 18:9,10).
A: It would take a little time to show, but there is an integration of another picture that we have not come to yet. However, Revelation 18 is related. We have to get a feel for the subject first, rather than to prematurely go into that picture in detail. But we would like to point out that the Elisha message will follow Elijah’s message relatively soon, as shown by other pictures.
Q: Does Elisha’s crossing the Jordan mean the death of the Great Company?
A: No—and neither did Elijah’s crossing the Jordan mean his death. After the waters were divided and Elijah crossed over, he went a little distance before the chariot of fire appeared.
However, the chariot and horses of fire were a reaction to his smiting message. The parting of the waters means that some will be for and some will be against the message. The two went across without being molested—momentarily. When anger is vented in the antitype, only handpicked members—the Elijah class—will be translated. Both classes will be together when Elijah smites the Jordan, but when the leaders react, their anger will be directed against the Elijah class. Elijah did the smiting, but Elisha was right there as his companion. Similarly, when Jesus was apprehended in Gethsemane, he said, “Let the others alone. I am the one you are looking for.” Only Jesus was arrested and crucified.
Comment: This separation is shown in Luke 17:34-36, where two are working in the field, lying in the same bed, or grinding at the mill, but only one is taken.
Reply: The principle is given in Isaiah 28:10, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” We would add, “Here a picture, there a picture,” and this premise has been observed relatively recently. The Pastor gave us a vocabulary of understanding, but the details of understanding come subsequently, in due season, as needed.
Elisha gave a smiting message along different lines than Elijah’s. One proof is that no fiery chariot of fire came on the scene. An anti-Semitic feeling exists in large parts of Europe, and there is an undercurrent in this country that has not been fanned yet. The future message will favor Israel, and it will be explicit and scriptural enough that none will be able to deny it. If the message is done with clarity, then anyone who finds fault with it would have to find fault with the Bible. However, that does not mean anti-Semitic feelings will change, for such individuals never had the spirit of conversion. Therefore, Elisha’s message will divide opinion and have an effect on the sons of the prophets. This reasoning fits in with Song 5:7-16. The subject gets more complicated as we proceed, but it dovetails with a number of other pictures and Scriptures.
2 Kings 2:15 And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.
2 Kings 2:16 And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
2 Kings 2:17 And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not.
Previously sons of the prophets had seen Elijah and Elisha cross the Jordan River together. They saw the waters part and the two continuing on out of sight. Thus they did not see either the chariot and horses of fire or the translation of Elijah. Now some of the sons of the prophets observed Elisha smiting the Jordan and crossing the river—and coming back alone. When they saw the waters part as before, they concluded that Elijah’s ability or power was now in the hands of Elisha, so he could do what Elijah had done previously. The sons of the prophets knew that Elisha was subservient to Elijah originally, for they had gone to Elisha privately and asked, “Don’t you know that your master will be taken off your head today?” They knew that there was a disparity between Elijah and Elisha originally and that Elijah was superior. Now, when Elisha came back alone, the sons of the prophets were puzzled, so they inquired as to where Elijah was. Elijah’s absence develops a significant picture in the antitype. Elisha was convinced that Elijah had been taken, for he had seen the whirlwind, but the sons of the prophets asked, “Where is Elijah?” Knowing that Elijah was more important than Elisha, they wanted to see him. If something had happened to Elijah, they wanted to honor him or in some way show their appreciation by giving him a decent burial or whatever.
The antitype is very significant, for it reveals a time period. For three days (years), the sons of the prophets will search for Elijah before being convinced that Elisha was right in saying they would not find him. They embarrassed Elisha by persisting in their request to search for Elijah.
The type shows that from the death of the feet members, at least three years will elapse before the sons of the prophets are convinced that “Elijah” has been taken. And Elisha will still be here, for they came back to him (verse 18).
Q: It will take a little time (perhaps six months, the second half of the hour of power?) for the Elisha class to get a sufficiency of the Holy Spirit to do the smiting work, which the sons of the prophets observe. Therefore, could the three days, when the sons of the prophets are aware of the situation but are not fully convinced, be parts of three years?
Comment: In verse 16, the sons of the prophets said, “Perhaps God took Elijah up and cast him down on [that is, translated him to] some mountain or valley.” Here is another proof that Elijah had been translated at various times previously.
Q: Were the sons of the prophets the children of the consecrated?
A: In the antitype, they are an unconsecrated class, and there are two interpretations: (1) children, neighbors, relatives, friends, etc., of the consecrated and (2) the Holy Remnant of Israel. The Holy Remnant will have an awakening, for “blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25). In other words, blindness will basically prevail until the Church is complete, for the Little Flock is the chief thrust of the Kingdom class in this age. Then the Great Company will have the privilege of a more intimate association in giving a message to Israel. An important point is shown in the type; namely, the Holy Remnant will recognize that the thrust, seed, or kernel of Elisha’s knowledge came from Elijah, and they would prefer to meet with and know about him. But as time goes on after Elijah’s translation, Elisha will assume great importance. Nevertheless, in the final analysis, Elisha and the sons of the prophets will recognize the relative superiority of the Elijah class.
Q: Does this reasoning help to explain why Elisha was “ashamed” (verse 17)? If the sons of the prophets keep insisting they want to find Elijah, Elisha will be ashamed that he had not been more zealous to begin with.
A: Yes. It would also show the origin of the message. The “pioneer” is one who opens doors. It is not as much to the credit of the ones who just step in and take advantage of the already opened door. Credit goes to the one the Lord uses to break the barrier of understanding.
This principle of recognition going to Elijah is also seen in the Jehu picture (2 Kings 9:36). After Elijah was off the scene, Jehu recognized his importance above that of Elisha, yet Elisha was more closely identified with the anointing of Jehu. (A son of the prophets was sent to Jehu by Elisha—2 Kings 9:1.) Jehu was a captain of the guard at Ramoth-gilead, and the message was that the God of Israel had anointed him to be king in Jehoram’s stead. Moreover, Jehu had companions who also knew about Elijah. This suggests that in the not-too-distant future, a message will be given by Elijah. Although the effect will not be realized right away, the seed thoughts will be in the minds of the sons of the prophets, Jehu, and his companions.
The sons of the prophets at Jericho said to Elisha, “Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley.” And Elisha said, “Ye shall not send.” With regard to the 50 “strong” sons of the prophets who kept urging Elisha to let them search for Elijah until he finally relented, there is parallel information in Song of Solomon 5:7-16. When the antitypical “watchmen” class, the “daughters of Jerusalem”—that is, the Holy Remnant—become interested in a message of the little sister, they will seek Jesus.
Incidentally, a confirmation of the identification of the “daughters of Jerusalem” is that the ten-tribe kingdom was called the “elder sister” and the two-tribe kingdom was the younger sister, both being “daughters” of their father Jacob and their mother Rachel (Ezek. 16:45,46, etc.).
There are two bedroom scenes in the Song of Solomon (3:1-4 and 5:2-6). The more developed big sister got up of her own volition and looked for the Lord and found him, whereas the little sister, who lacked the zeal of her older sister, was sleepy and made excuses. She heard the knock of Jesus but opened the door too late and found him gone. Then she searched for him in the city, and in that search, the watchmen of the city, who at first were hostile and abusive, became interested and wanted to join.
With regard to the coming persecution, not only will there be a triumvirate from the standpoint of the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet, but also Jews, Catholics, and Protestants will try to reconcile their differences in this arrangement. In comparison, the Jews are so small in number that they are not mentioned in the prophecies of the Book of Revelation. However, some Jews would like to cooperate and break down the barriers of religious prejudice with Catholics and Protestants. During the persecution of the feet members, Jews will join the beast and the false prophet, for they will not want anarchy anymore than anyone else. But evidently, as time goes on, the Jews, who are thinkers, will begin to wonder if they are in the right camp. Thus their viewpoint will change.
The term “daughters of Jerusalem” sometimes refers to nominal spiritual Israel and sometimes to natural Israel depending on context, and there are times when the term applies to, or is a mixture of, both. In the Song of Solomon verses that were cited, the “watchmen” were watchers, and here in 2 Kings 2:3,5,7,15-18, the sons of the prophets both watched and viewed.
Q: Is it significant that 50 sons of the prophets are described as “fifty strong men”? Wouldn’t this description indicate a developing interest in the Holy Remnant? There were many sons of the prophets, but 50 were singled out.
A: Yes. Other Jews may “hear,” but the Holy Remnant will manifest interest. The Lord purposes to warn Israel what the situation is, and one class, the Holy Remnant, will respond. They will have a hearing ear in the sense of heeding the warning.
Comment: The King James marginal reference for “fifty strong men” is “fifty sons of strength,” which is a nice way of describing the Holy Remnant. They will be strong in faith.
Q: Will any of the sons of the prophets be spiritually minded?
A: Possibly some will become interested in the high calling, but in the corporate sense, their salvation will be on an earthly plane. The Scripture “blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” allows the possibility that when the fullness of the Gentiles is accomplished, a few Israelites may be included; that is, a remnant of the natural Holy Remnant may become spiritual before the door is closed (Rom. 11:25).
Q: If the sons of the prophets search for Elijah for three years, how could they be well informed?
A: In the three-year period, the sons of the prophets will merge into the Holy Remnant class, and it will take time for them to hear and be convinced. Hence the three years are reasonable.
Q: Are the 50 sons of the prophets friends, family, etc., of the consecrated until Elisha smites the Jordan, and then they become the Holy Remnant?
A: That could well be.
Comment: That makes sense, for just as 50 of the sons of the prophet were “strong,” so some family members and friends are quite supportive of the consecrated, while others are opposed.
Q: How could children and friends of the consecrated doubt for so long where Elijah has gone?
A: Consider the natural standpoint. Suppose the last members are taken off to prison and no one knows where they are. Will the interest of friends and family stop just because their location is unknown? No. We cannot assume it will be publicly known who has been apprehended, where they have been taken, and when they are executed. Thus the interest can continue—just as it has with Vietnam War POWs. People still think they are alive and will not be convinced until they see a body or some other physical evidence or hear a testimony of their death.
Comment: In this case, Elisha will be there to convince them.
Reply: That is true, but the sons of the prophets did not believe him.
We must be careful not to over-read a type and some of the words that are spoken. The Lord is alerting us to focus on a particular subject. For instance, when the foolish virgins said to the wise virgins, “Give us of your oil, for our lamps are going out,” it does not mean that all of the Great Company will make this request. All will feel their lack, but not all will address the Elijah class. Just as with the three days (years), details are recorded and woven into the account to give us information. God’s providence allows the recording so that the consecrated have the opportunity to be enlightened as to final events.
Comment: In verse 16, the sons of the prophets assumed that Elijah was nearby—that he had been translated to another physical location in the area.
Reply: If the Elijah class are apprehended and taken away, how will their coworkers, friends, family members, etc., know where they are? But the consecrated who are left behind will know the feet members have been taken because they will no longer be able to contact them. Four pictures cast light on this situation from different facets: Song of Solomon 5, the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, 2 Kings 2, and the Book of Revelation. All of these pictures are needed for a fullness of understanding.
Common sense would say that some family members and friends are interested in the consecrated, but the depth of that interest is another matter. Those who have a deeper interest will want to be informed. Eventually Israel will be informed. The sons of the prophets will then be Jews in our day who are descendants of Israel’s prophets of old.
Comment: Israel will be calm while the rest of the world is going into anarchy, so the Holy Remnant in Israel will become contrite later on and pray for deliverance out of Jacob’s Trouble.
This perspective helps to explain the three-year period, for the eyes of the Holy Remnant will not be opened immediately. A series of events will open their eyes.
Reply: In different words, the Time of Trouble will make the three years quite troublesome because the Church will be gone and Babylon will fall. When Babylon falls, there will be many problems in the world. The account does not tell what happened during the three days with regard to Elisha, but it does say that the sons of the prophets came back to him after their fruitless search. Thus Elisha was on the scene for the three years.
We think that the Elisha message to Israel will be given fairly early after the Elijah message.
However, the reaction, the response, to that message will come three years later when the Holy Remnant sees events transpire as both Elisha and Elijah had predicted.
2 Kings 2:18 And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?
When the sons of the prophets returned to Elisha, he said, “Didn’t I tell you it was a waste of time to search for Elijah?” They did not fully believe Elisha until three days (years) later.
2 Kings 2:19 And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren.
The men of Jericho said to Elisha, “The location of the city is pleasant, but the water is naught and the ground barren.” Today Jericho is fertile, and being the lowest city on earth, it has a tropical climate. The water, which flowed from the brook Cherith, came down from a height and was quite plentiful and fresh. Elijah had been providentially supported there during his sojourn of the 3 1/2-year famine. The problem now was that the water was bitter and poisoned, so the men asked Elisha to help.
2 Kings 2:20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him.
Elisha did not hem and haw but gave forthright, direct instructions to bring him a new cruse with salt in it. The men did so.
2 Kings 2:21 And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.
2 Kings 2:22 So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.
Elisha cast the salt from the new cruse into the spring of waters, and the salt purified the waters so that they “were healed unto this day,” that is, unto the time Ezra inserted verse 22, as well as up to the present time. “Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.”
Comment: Elisha represents the Ancient Worthies, and the “new cruse” would be the New Covenant. The salt, which purified the water at its source, the spring, represents the pure doctrine that will flow forth in the Kingdom.
Reply: The doctrine in the next age will not necessarily be sweet, but it will be pertinent to the land, the circumstance, and the people in their undone condition. The Apostle Paul said, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt” (Col. 4:6). In other words, “Let your words be constructive.” Sometimes words that might be considered by some to be hurtful are really, from the true perspective, very helpful and constructive.
In a Reprint article, Pastor Russell came to the conclusion that Elisha represents the Great Company class earlier, but after crossing the Jordan, he pictures the Ancient Worthies because of the nature of the miracles he performed. The miracles represent work that will be done in the Kingdom Age. As direct representatives of The Christ, the Ancient Worthies will be more involved in the miracles than the Great Company. “Princes” of the regal line, they will carry out the instructions of the invisible Messiah and the Church in glory. This conclusion is further supported by Elisha’s tearing his garment into two pieces after Elijah’s departure, showing that he represents two classes.
Q: The city of verse 19 was literal Jericho, but in the antitype, would it picture Jerusalem, the capital of the Kingdom on earth?
A: Yes. Jerusalem will be “pleasant,” and the literal pure water that will issue forth from underneath the Third Temple will have healing qualities. Also, literal trees with fruitage will be along the banks of the river. Incidentally, Jericho is described in Scripture as “the city of palm trees,” and the name itself means “[new] moon,” indicating an association with the New Covenant (Judg. 1:16).
Comment: When the salt was put in the water, it was said, “There shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.” There will be death in the Kingdom Age but not from impure doctrine.
Reply: Yes, God will turn to the people “a pure language” so that they may all call upon His name and “serve him with one consent” (Zeph. 3:9). The implication is that the “language” of today is not pure; the doctrine is mixed.
Comment: A scriptural precedent for Elisha’s torn garment picturing two classes is when a prophet cut Jeroboam’s garment into 12 pieces. The ten pieces given to Jeroboam represented the ten tribes, the northern kingdom, and the other two pieces represented the two tribes, the southern kingdom.
Reply: Yes. Elijah’s mantle symbolizes the authority of God’s Word. When Elisha antitypically picks up the mantle, that authority will be vested in the Great Company, and later it will go to the Ancient Worthies.
Q: Is there a tie-in with the Temple veil being rent in two by the earthquake when Jesus died?
A: With the rending of the Temple veil, the antitype shows that what was hidden for ages and generations, Jesus first revealed, or made known, only to the Israelites. He came and ministered to them, explaining the meaning of the gospel and bringing life and immortality to light. Subsequently his apostles clarified the details, and in due time, the gospel was opened to the Gentiles. The veil, the partition, that was between the Jews, who already had God, and the Gentiles who were searching after and loved God if haply they could find Him was removed, bringing the two classes together, that is, such as were in the right heart condition.
When Jesus began his earthly ministry, his first miracle was changing water into wine at the marriage in Cana (John 2:1-11). Not only did this miracle help to reveal Jesus as the Messiah at the First Advent, but also it represented that Jesus brought joyous doctrine at the beginning of His Second Advent with the six Volumes of truth (the antitypical six “waterpots”). The first miracle of the Kingdom will be the introduction of the truth, the purification of doctrine, as shown by salt being cast from the new cruse into the bitter water. Salt has a purifying effect, and a rod-of-iron rule will be required in the beginning of the Kingdom—a rule that is to the point and is exercised with firmness and power. When the Kingdom is fully in operation, the rod of iron will continue, but it will be used more cautiously. The first doctrine made known to the world will be that the Lord is present, that he is Immanuel, that Jesus Christ is the Messiah (Isa. 7:14). In all three cases—at the beginning of the First Advent, at the beginning of the Harvest at the end of the Gospel Age, and at the beginning of the Kingdom—the emphasis is on TRUTH.
2 Kings 2:23 And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
Elisha had left Jericho and was following the uphill route to Bethel. Earlier Bethel was the first stop after Gilgal. Now Elisha was reversing direction in his somewhat circuitous route: Jordan, Jericho, Bethel.
As Elisha “was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city [of Bethel], and mocked him,” saying, “Go up, you bald head; go up, you bald head.” The “little children” were probably in their late teens. This Hebrew expression is used in various ways in other contexts, from the thought of a relatively young child up to an old teenager. To emphasize “little children” in verse 23 would rob the picture of the reality and their responsibility. Thus a number of lads came forth from Bethel and mocked Elisha’s bald head. When they saw Elisha approaching Bethel, they went down the hill to taunt him with the words “Go up the hill, you bald head!” The repetition of the taunt suggests that these teenagers had definitely reached the age of responsibility.
2 Kings 2:24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.
Elisha cursed the lads in the name of Jehovah. Then two female bears came out of the woods and “tare” 42 of them. The Pastor gave an ameliorated, or very moderate, explanation in saying that the “she bears” merely wounded, or mauled, the 42, but we feel that the bears killed them, picturing Second Death. This incident represents those who will not listen to the voice of “that prophet.” “And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people” (Acts 3:23). In other words, such individuals will question the authority, or the office, of the Ancient Worthies, whose word will be law. The Lord is not bound to give everyone every opportunity of repentance, for a lot depends on an individual’s heart condition. If a person refuses to listen, that is his problem.
2 Kings 2:25 And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.
From Bethel, Elisha went to Mount Carmel—that is, he went from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea—and then returned to Samaria. He traversed the whole breadth of the nation before returning to Samaria, where many of his later activities took place. His purpose in going to Mount Carmel is not stated, but that is where Elijah had held the contest with the prophets of Baal several months earlier. Apparently, Elisha was not with Elijah at that time, but he would have heard about the contest. Perhaps Elisha went to Mount Carmel as a memorial.
Q: Elisha was at Mount Carmel when the Shunammite woman asked him to come heal her sick son (2 Kings 4:25). Could Mount Carmel have been a retreat, a place he visited from time to time, a little headquarters, for she knew where to find him?
A: News of Elisha’s travels and whereabouts would have been known, for he was the prophet in Elijah’s stead.
Q: This same woman suggested that a room be built for Elisha to stay in because she perceived that he was a “holy man of God” (2 Kings 4:8-10). Elisha often passed that way and stayed in the room. Does this indicate that he followed a circuit?
A: He did later, after a time interval of perhaps two or three years, but not at the time of the second chapter. Since Elisha was making his first trip to Mount Carmel, this would be the start of his circuit. Before that, he was Elijah’s servant and companion.