Summary: Take up your mantle (calling) and follow Jesus.
1 Taking Up the Mantle
2Ki 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.
2Ki 2:2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
2Ki 2:3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
2Ki 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.
2Ki 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 to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
2Ki 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.
2Ki 2:7 And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan.
2Ki 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.
2Ki 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.
2Ki 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.
2Ki 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
2 Taking Up the Mantle
both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
2Ki 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.
2Ki 2:13 He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan;
2Ki 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 had developed biblical values, priorities and eternal perspectives that had captured his heart which then controlled what he did with his life. As a result, he acted on his faith by following God’s call. He was willing to be uprooted from his quiet, peaceful, and rural life with its financial security to follow the Lord. Obviously he knew what his nation needed was the Word of the Lord.
it is also important to note where Elisha was when Elijah found him. Though he belonged to a prominent family, he was at work in the field with the rest of the field hands. Though wealthy, he was not irresponsible or lazy.
Elisha requested that he might go back to “kiss my father and my mother, then I will follow you” (19:20). This was not an attempt to put off the call nor an act of hesitation. Some have wrongly related this to Luke 9:57-62. The Lord knew the heart of the men in Luke 9 and saw that for what it was, a lack of commitment and an attempt to avoid His call. It was a failure to deny themselves, etc.
But with Elisha, the case was entirely different. Elisha’s request was prompted by two things: (a) It was an act of genuine respect and honor for his parents, and (b) it was prompted by a desire to celebrate his entrance into this ministry and to declare and confirm his commitment to follow the
3 Taking Up the Mantle
Lord before friends and family.
Elijah allowed Elisha’s request. He said, “Go back again . . .” Then he added a word of caution and said, “for what have I done to you?” This statement seems to be an idiom that sounds rather abrupt or even meaningless to us. According to the idiom, we might translate it something like, “go back and bid farewell, for I have done something very important to you, but think carefully on what I have done to you, for your call is not from me, but from God!” The idea is that Elisha was accountable to God for what he did, not to Elijah. What Elijah had done was to express God’s call. Elijah would become Elisha’s spiritual leader and mentor,