Jacob to Joseph

(Genesis 48)
Jacob to Joseph

I’ve seen myself
That you’re alive,
So now I am
Prepared to die.

~Day Williams

SECOND KINGS CHAPTER TWO

SECOND KINGS CHAPTER TWO

1 Elijah and Elisha were returning

From Gilgal when the LORD was ready to

Take up Elijah into heaven in

A whirlwind, 2 and Elijah told Elisha,

“Stay here; the LORD’s sent me to Bethel.” But

Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD

Lives and as you live, I will not leave you.”

They went to Bethel 3 and the company

Of prophets there at Bethel came out to

Elisha and inquired, “Do you know God

Will take your master from you on this day?”

Elisha answered, “Yes, I know, but do

Not speak of it.” 4 Elijah said to him,

“Stay here, Elisha, for the LORD has sent

Me off to Jericho,” and he replied,

“As surely as the LORD lives and as you

Do live, I will not leave you.” So they went

To Jericho. 5 The company of prophets

At Jericho went to Elisha and

They asked him, “Do you know the LORD will take

Your master from you on this day?” He said,

“Yes, I know, but don’t speak of it.” 6 Elijah

Then said to him, “Stay here; the LORD has sent

Me to the Jordan,” and he said, “As surely

As the LORD lives and as you live, I will

Not leave you,” so the two of them walked on,

7 Then fifty men out of the company

Of prophets went and stood afar and faced

The region where Elijah and Elisha

Had stopped beside the Jordan, 8 then Elijah

Took off his cloak and rolled it up and struck

The water with it, and the water split

To right and left, and they did cross upon

Dry ground; 9 when they had crossed, Elijah asked

Elisha, “Say, what can I do for you

Before I’m taken from you?”  “Let me get

A double portion of your spirit,” said

Elisha. 10 “You have asked a hard thing,” said

Elisha, “yet if you see me when I

Am taken from you, it will be yours,” but

Otherwise not,” 11 and as they walked along

And talked together, quickly there appeared

A chariot of fire and fiery horses

And came between the two of them, and then

Elijah went to heaven in a whirlwind.

Elijah Taken Up in Chariot of Fire by Giuseppe Angeli (1740–55)

12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father!

My father! Chariots and horsemen of

Israel!” And Elisha did not see

Him anymore, then he took hold of his

Own clothes and he tore them apart. 13 He picked

The cloak up that had fallen from Elijah

And went back and stood on the Jordan’s bank,

            14 Then took the cloak then that had fallen from

Him and he struck the water with it. “Where

Now is the LORD, Elijah’s God?” he asked.

And when he struck the water, it divided

To right and left, and he crossed over, 15 and

The group of prophets out of Jericho,

Who saw this, said, “The spirit of Elijah

Rests on Elisha.” And they went to meet

Him, bowing  to the ground before him. 16 They said,

“Look, we are your own servants and we have

Our fifty able men. Let them go look

For your own master. Maybe the LORD’s Spirit     

Has picked him up and set him down upon

Some mountain or within some valley.” “No,”

Elisha said, “do not send them,” 17 but they

Kept on ’til he was too ashamed to tell

Them no, so he said, “Send them,” and they sent

Out fifty men, who searched for three days but

Did not find him, 18 and when they came back to

Elisha, who had stayed in Jericho,

He said to them, “Did I not tell you not

To go?” 19 The city men said to Elisha,

“Look here, our lord, this town’s well-situated,

As you can see, but water’s bad and land

Is unproductive.” 20 “Bring me a new bowl,”

He said, “and sprinkle salt in it,” so they

Brought it to him, 21 then he went to the spring

And threw the salt in it and said, “The LORD

Says this: ‘I’ve healed this water. Never more

Will it cause death or make land unproductive,’”

22 And to this day the water has stayed wholesome,

According to the word Elisha spoke.

23 From there Elisha went to Bethel. As

He walked along the road, some youths came from

The town and jeered at him. “Go on up, you baldhead!”

They taunted. “Go on up, you baldhead!” 24 So

He turned around and looked at them and called

A curse down on them in the name of God.

Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled

Forty‑two of the youths, 25 he went from there

To Carmel Mount, then to Samaria.

The Children Destroyed by Bears by Gustave Doré