2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14

2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14
Ordinary C31


NowA when the LordB was about to take ElijahC upD to heavenE

Notes on verse 1a

A {untranslated} = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
B “Lord” = YHVH. Related to {untranslated} in v1. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note A above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
C “Elijah” = Eliyyah. Related to {untranslated} and “Lord” in v1. From el (God, god) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note B above)}. This is Elijah, meaning “The Lord is God.”
D “take…up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
E “heaven” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.

by a whirlwind,F Elijah and ElishaG were on their wayH from Gilgal.I 

Notes on verse 1b

F “whirlwind” = sa’ar. From sa’ar (to storm, scattered by a storm, blow away, rage, storm tossed; this is to toss in a literal or figurative sense). This is a storm or whirlwind. It can also be stormy.
G “Elisha” = Elisha. Related to “Elijah” in v1. From Elishua (Elishua, meaning “God is salvation”); {from el (see note C above) + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Elisha, meaning “God is salvation.”
H “were on…way” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
I “Gilgal” = Gilgal. From galgal (wheel, wagon, whirl, whirlwind; something that rolls); from galal (to roll, roll away, wallow, commit, remove; rolling in a literal or figurative sense). This is Gilgal – perhaps circle of stones.

Elijah said to Elisha, “StayJ, K here, for the Lord has sentL me as far as Bethel.”M

Notes on verse 2a

J “stay” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
K {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
L “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
M “Bethel” = Betheel. Related to “Elijah” and “Elisha” in v1. From bayit (house, household, palace, dungeon); {from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively)} + el (see note C above). This is Bethel, literally meaning “house of God.”

But Elisha said, “As the Lord livesN and as you yourselfO live, I will not leaveP you.” So they went downQ to Bethel.

Notes on verse 2b

N “lives” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
O “you yourself” = nephesh. Related to naphash (to refresh or be refreshed). This is soul, self, person, emotion. It is a breathing creature. Can also refer to appetites and desires.
P “leave” = azab. To loosen, relinquish, permit, forsake, fail, leave destitute.
Q “went down” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.

Then Elijah said to him, “StayR here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”S

But he said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the twoT of them went on.U FiftyV menW of the companyX

Notes on verses 6-7a

R {untranslated} = na. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note K above.
S “Jordan” = Yarden. Related to “went down” in v2. From yarad (see note Q above). This is the Jordan River, meaning “descending.”
T “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
U “went on” = halak. Same as “went on…way” in v1. See note H above.
V “fifty” = chamishshim. From chamesh (five, fifth). This is fifty.
W “men” = enosh. From anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is human, humankind, another. It is mortal.
X “company” = ben. Related to “Bethel” in v2. From banah (see note M above). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.

of prophetsY also went and stoodZ at some distance from them, as they bothAA were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah tookBB his mantleCC and rolled it upDD

Notes on verses 7b-8a

Y “prophets” = nabi. This is prophet, prophecy, speaker, or someone inspired.
Z “stood” = amad. This is to stand up in a literal or figurative sense. So it can be establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy.
AA “both” = shenayim. Same as “two” in v6. See note T above.
BB “took” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
CC “mantle” = addereth. 12x in OT– this is the word used for the mantle that passes from Elijah to Elisha. From addir (majestic, excellent, mighty, powerful, or noble); from adar (wide, glorious, honorable, great, magnificent). This is something ample – glory, splendid, goodly. It could also refer to a cloak, robe, or garment.
DD “rolled…up” = galam. 1x in OT. This is to fold or wrap together.

and struckEE the water;FF the water was partedGG to the one sideHH and to the other,II and the two of them crossedJJ on dry ground.KK

Notes on verse 8b

EE “struck” = nakah. This is to hit whether lightly or severely. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be beat, punish, give wounds, kill, or slaughter.
FF “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
GG “was parted” = chatsah. 15x in OT. This is to halve, divide, reach, participate.
HH “one side” = hennah. Perhaps from hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is here in a location or here in a time, i.e. now.
II “other” = hennah. Same as “one side” in v8. See note HH above.
JJ “crossed” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
KK “dry ground” = charabah. 8x in OT. From chareb (to be waste or desolate, destroyer). This is dry ground, dry, or desert.

LLWhen they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “TellMM me what I may doNN for you before I am taken from you.”

Elisha said, “PleaseOO let me inheritPP a doubleQQ shareRR of your spirit.”SS 

Notes on verse 9

LL {untranslated} = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note A above.
MM “tell” = shaal. This is to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request. It can also mean to demand.
NN “do” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
OO “please” = na. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note K above.
PP “let…inherit” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note A above.
QQ “double” = shenayim. Same as “two” in v6. See note T above.
RR “share” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. More literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
SS “spirit” = ruach. This is breath, wind, air, cool, spirit. This is wind, which resembles the breath and so this can be used figuratively for life itself or being frail/mortal/impermanent. It can refer to the air of the sky or the spirit.

10 He responded, “You have askedTT a hard thing,UU yet if you seeVV me as I am being taken from you, it will be grantedWW you; if not, it willXX not.” 

Notes on verse 10

TT “asked” = shaal. Same as “tell” in v9. See note MM above.
UU “hard thing” = qashah. This is to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe.
VV “see” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
WW “be granted” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note A above.
XX “will” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note A above.

11 YYAs they continued walkingZZ and talking,AAA, BBB

Notes on verse 11a

YY {untranslated} = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note A above.
ZZ “continued walking” = halak + halak. Same as “went on…way” in v1. See note H above. The word is repeated twice – the second time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
AAA “talking” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
BBB {untranslated} = hinneh. Related to “one side” in v8. From hen (see note HH above). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!

a chariotCCC of fireDDD and horsesEEE of fire separatedFFF the two of them, and Elijah ascendedGGG in a whirlwind into heaven. 

Notes on verse 11b

CCC “chariot” = rekeb. From rakab (to ride an animal or in some vehicle; also, bringing on a horse). This is a vehicle, wagon, or chariot. It can be cavalry or an individual rider.
DDD “fire” = esh. This is fire, burning, flaming, hot. It is fire in a literal or figurative sense.
EEE “horses” = sus. Root may mean to skip as in jump for joy. This is a crane or a swift bird. It is also a horse as leaping.
FFF “separated” = parad. This is to divide, break through, scatter, sever, stretch, to spread oneself, or to be out of joint.
GGG “ascended” = alah. Same as “take…up” in v1. See note D above.

12 Elisha kept watchingHHH and crying out,III “Father,JJJ father! The chariots of IsraelKKK and its horsemen!”LLL

Notes on verse 12a

HHH “kept watching” = raah. Same as “see” in v10. See note VV above.
III “crying out” = tsaaq. This is to cry out or call together, to shriek. It can mean, by implication, calling for an assembly.
JJJ “father” = ab. Literally, “my father.” This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
KKK “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “Elijah and Elisha” in v1 & “Bethel” in v2. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note C above). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
LLL “Horsemen” = parash. From parash (to make distinct, separate, scatter; can also imply to wound). This is a horse or a person who rides a horse. A chariot driver or cavalry as a collective.

But when he could no longer see him, he graspedMMM his own clothesNNN and toreOOO them in two pieces.PPP

Notes on verse 12b

MMM “grasped” = chazaq. This is to strengthen, seize, be courageous, repair, bind, heal, conquer, harden.
NNN “clothes” = beged. From bagad (to cover or conceal; figuratively, to act in a covert or treacherous way, to transgress or pillage). This is clothing, garment, robe, or some other kind of clothing. Figuratively, it can be treachery or pillaging.
OOO “tore” = qara. This is to tear or cut out in a literal or figurative sense. It an also be to revile or to apply eye make up – as though they are made to look larger.
PPP “pieces” = qera. Related to “tore” in v12. 4x in OT. From qara (see note OOO above). This is a rag or a torn piece of fabric.

13 He picked upQQQ the mantle of Elijah that had fallenRRR from him and went backSSS and stood on the bankTTT of the Jordan. 

14 He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water. He said, “Where is the Lord, the GodUUU of Elijah? Where is he?” He struck the water again, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha crossed over.

Notes on verses 13-14

QQQ “picked up” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it can also mean to exalt or extol.
RRR “fallen” = naphal. This is to fall, whether by accident, to fall prostrate, or to fall in violent death. Figuratively, it can refer to personal ruin or calamity, a city falling, an attack or a falling away. It can also be a deep sleep or wasting away.
SSS “went back” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
TTT “bank” = saphah. This is lip, edge, border, bank – used for a boundary. It can also be speech or language.
UUU “God” = Elohim. Related to “Elijah” and “Elisha” in v1 & “Bethel” in v2 & “Israel” in v12. From eloah (God, a god); from el (see note C above). This is most commonly used as a name for God. Technically, it’s in the plural, i.e. gods. It can also mean great, mighty, judge, or ruler.

Image credit: “Elijah” by John August Swanson, 2008.

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