Elisha requesting double portion of Elijah’s spirit (9-13):
V. 9…let a double portion of your spirit be upon me…Elisha is using the opportunity given by Elijah asked a double portion of Elijah’s spirit on him. It was not about Elijah’s human spirit, but the Spirit that was upon Elijah. Elisha’s request is not a greedy one, but is one of a SON TO HIS FATHER. It is the privilege of the firstborn. He called Elijah as ‘FATHER’ and by sincerely serving Elijah and being with him till the end, Elisha considered himself as spiritually first born of Prophet Elijah. Also, we should note that God had already asked Elijah to anoint Elisha to be his successor. Knowing this Elisha realized that he did not have the capability to accomplish the awesome responsibility of carrying on Elijah’s work. So, he asked for the spiritual inheritance. So, this is described as the SPIRIT OF ELIJAH (Read verse 15).
As Elisha needed the Spirit of God that operated in Elijah, the disciple needed the Holy Spirit who was operating in their Master, Jesus Christ. Elijah was taken into heaven and Elisha received the mantle from Elijah. Likewise, Jesus ascended into heaven, and disciples received the fullness of The Holy Spirit.
Vs. 10 & 11…you have asked a hard thing…Probably Elijah is talking about the same thing Elisha is aware of. Given the hostile and life threatening circumstances, taking up Elijah’s ministry is not going to be an easy job for Elisha. Elisha might have realized that he needed the power that was operating Elijah on top of what he has seen and learnt from Elijah. And receiving the mantle from Elijah required greater concentration that Elisha did not have any clue about distraction he was going to face. The Glorious welcome that Elijah was going to receive could very well distract Elisha. He could have easily lost concentration on THE MANTLE by lusting the glorious and rewarding welcome Elijah has received. That would have put Elisha’s ministry centered on the reward he wanted to receive than faithfully fulfilling the ministry the LORD has given him.
V. 11…Chariot of fire and appeared with horses of fire…Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven…As we know from the Scripture, it was only Elijah and Enoch were did not see physical death and directly went up to the LORD. Elisha did not have this experience at death but he saw them again while he was still alive (2 Kings 6:17). Thunder, Storm, Clouds, Fire, Chariots and horses of fire are the sign of THEOPHANY which means the divine appearance. Likewise, the sword, and the lightning bolts represent divine weapons.
Elisha dividing Jordon and healing the water in Jericho(14-22):
Vs. 12 & 13…My father, my father… his own clothes and tore them… took up the mantle of Elijah…Elisha did tear his clothes into two pieces as an act of mourning the death of a national father-leader. His death also was mourned with the same lamentation 2 Kings 13:14. This may also suggests that the former (Elisha’s) is left behind and new (mantle/cloak of Elijah) was picked up. Also, Elijah’s mantle represents the Prophetical authority. Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,” “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Mtt 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8)
V. 14…Where is the God of Elijah?… Mantle of Elijah is good only when the God of Elijah is with us. Charles Spurgeon in his message titled ‘Where is the God of Elijah?,’ on JUNE 24, 1883 said, “If ever I could feel any great reverence for relics, I would like to have Elijah’s mantle. Elisha had it, but what was the use of having the mantle of Elijah unless he could also have his God? Though he is called to take the mantle and with it to strike the waters, yet he knows where his strength must lie, and his prayer, his cry, is, “Here is the Prophet’s mantle; but where is Jehovah, God of Elijah?” If he can get Elijah’s God, then the mantle will mean something!” – www.spurgeongems.org
V. 15… “The spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha”…they came to meet him and bowed… The same sons of Prophets who were discouraging Elisha indirectly, now acknowledge that Elisha was the bona fide successor for Elijah.
V. 16…Let them go and search for your master… Still they are in doubt and without understanding what has happened. They saw the fire, horses and chariots, and whirlwind but did not know what Elijah and Elisha spoke. They guessed the rest with what they have seen. So, it is very important that Vision and Word should go together.
Vs. 19-22… “thus says the LORD:’I have healed this water’…God healing the water is the second miracle through Elisha next to parting river Jordon.
Vs. 23-24… “GO up, you bald head!…”…On the surface, these verses seem to portray Elisha as cruel. But these youth are said to be the Baal worshippers mocking all that happened in the event.
Here is a curse on the youths of Bethel, enough to destroy them; it was not a curse causeless, for it was Elisha’s character, as God’s prophet, that they abused. They bade him “go up,” reflecting on the taking up of Elijah into heaven. The prophet acted by Divine impulse. If the Holy Spirit had not directed Elisha’s solemn curse, the providence of God would not have followed it with judgment. Let young persons be afraid of speaking wicked words, for God notices what they say. – Matthew Henry Concise Commentary.
V. 25…he went…to Mt. Carmel, and … to Samaria… From Jericho, and via Bethel, he visited Mt. Carmel, the place of Elijah’s great victory and return to Samaria to continue the remaining war against Baal Worshippers.