2:1 Just before the Lord took Elijah up to heaven in a windstorm, Elijah and Elisha were traveling from Gilgal. 2 Elijah told Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 Some members of the prophetic guild in Bethel came out to Elisha and said, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?” He answered, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”
4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho. 5 Some members of the prophetic guild in Jericho approached Elisha and said, “Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?” He answered, “Yes, I know. Be quiet.”
6 Elijah said to him, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he replied, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they traveled on together. 7 The 50 members of the prophetic guild went and stood opposite them at a distance, while Elijah and Elisha stood by the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, folded it up, and hit the water with it. The water divided, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha answered, “May I receive a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energizes you?” 10 Elijah replied, “That’s a difficult request! If you see me taken from you, may it be so, but if you don’t, it will not happen.”
11 As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a fiery chariot pulled by fiery horses appeared. They went between Elijah and Elisha, and Elijah went up to heaven in a windstorm. 12 While Elisha was watching, he was crying out, “My father, my father! The chariot and horsemen of Israel!” Then he could no longer see him. He grabbed his clothes and tore them in two. 13 He picked up Elijah’s cloak, which had fallen off him, and went back and stood on the shore of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen off Elijah, hit the water with it, and said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he hit the water, it divided and Elisha crossed over.
15 When the members of the prophetic guild in Jericho, who were standing at a distance, saw him do this, they said, “The spirit that energized Elijah rests upon Elisha.” They went to meet him and bowed down to the ground before him. 16 They said to him, “Look, there are 50 capable men with your servants. Let them go and look for your master, for the wind sent from the Lord may have carried him away and dropped him on one of the hills or in one of the valleys.” But Elisha replied, “Don’t send them out.” 17 But they were so insistent that he became embarrassed. So he said, “Send them out.” They sent the 50 men out, and they looked for three days, but could not find Elijah. 18 When they came back, Elisha was staying in Jericho. He said to them, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t go’?”
19 The men of the city said to Elisha, “Look, the city has a good location, as our master can see. But the water is bad and the land doesn’t produce crops.” 20 Elisha said, “Get me a new jar and put some salt in it.” So they got it. 21 He went out to the spring and threw the salt in. Then he said, “This is what the Lord has said, ‘I have purified this water. It will no longer cause death or fail to produce crops.’” 22 The water has been pure to this very day, just as Elisha prophesied.
23 He went up from there to Bethel. As he was traveling up the road, some young boys came out of the city and made fun of him, saying, “Go on up, baldy! Go on up, baldy!” 24 When he turned around and saw them, he called God’s judgment down on them. Two female bears came out of the woods and ripped 42 of the boys to pieces. 25 From there he traveled to Mount Carmel and then back to Samaria.
3:1 In the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat’s reign over Judah, Ahab’s son Jehoram became king over Israel in Samaria; he ruled for 12 years. 2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not to the same degree as his father and mother. He did remove the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had made. 3 Yet he persisted in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who encouraged Israel to sin; he did not turn from them.
4 Now King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder. He would send as tribute to the king of Israel 100,000 male lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. 5 When Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6 At that time King Jehoram left Samaria and assembled all Israel for war. 7 He sent this message to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you fight with me against Moab?” Jehoshaphat replied, “I will join you in the campaign; my army and horses are at your disposal.” 8 He then asked, “Which invasion route are we going to take?” Jehoram answered, “By the road through the wilderness of Edom.” 9 So the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom set out together. They wandered around on the road for seven days and finally ran out of water for the men and animals they had with them. 10 The king of Israel said, “Oh no! Certainly the Lord has summoned these three kings so that he can hand them over to the king of Moab!” 11 Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here that we might seek the Lord’s direction?” One of the servants of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shapat is here; he used to be Elijah’s servant.” 12 Jehoshaphat said, “Yes, he receives the Lord’s messages.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to visit him.
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why are you here? Go to your father’s prophets or your mother’s prophets!” The king of Israel replied to him, “No, for the Lord is the one who summoned these three kings so that he can hand them over to Moab.” 14 Elisha said, “As certainly as the Lord of Heaven’s Armies lives (whom I serve), if I did not respect King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I would not pay attention to you or acknowledge you. 15 But now, get me a musician.” When the musician played, the Lord energized him, 16 and he said, “This is what the Lord has said, ‘Make many cisterns in this valley,’ 17 for this is what the Lord has said, ‘You will not feel any wind or see any rain, but this valley will be full of water, and you and your cattle and animals will drink.’ 18 This is an easy task for the Lord; he will also hand Moab over to you. 19 You will defeat every fortified city and every important city. You must chop down every productive tree, stop up all the springs, and cover all the cultivated land with stones.”
20 Sure enough, the next morning, at the time of the morning sacrifice, water came flowing down from Edom and filled the land. 21 Now all Moab had heard that the kings were attacking, so everyone old enough to fight was mustered and placed at the border. 22 When they got up early the next morning, the sun was shining on the water. To the Moabites, who were some distance away, the water looked red like blood. 23 The Moabites said, “It’s blood! The kings must have fought one another! The soldiers have struck one another down! Now, Moab, seize the plunder!” 24 When they approached the Israelite camp, the Israelites rose up and struck down the Moabites, who then ran from them. The Israelites thoroughly defeated Moab. 25 They tore down the cities, and each man threw a stone into every cultivated field until they were covered. They stopped up every spring and chopped down every productive tree.
Only Kir Hareseth was left intact, but the soldiers armed with slings surrounded it and attacked it. 26 When the king of Moab realized he was losing the battle, he and 700 swordsmen tried to break through and attack the king of Edom, but they failed. 27 So he took his firstborn son, who was to succeed him as king, and offered him up as a burnt sacrifice on the wall. There was an outburst of divine anger against Israel, so they broke off the attack and returned to their homeland.
The Scriptures quoted are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved