2 Kings 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) And Elijah said.—The exact repetition of the language of 2Kings 2:2-3 in this and the next two verses, appears to indicate that the narrative had originally been handed on by oral tradition, probably in the prophetic guilds at the local sanctuaries.

2 Kings 2:4. Tarry here, I pray thee — Elijah seems to have said this only with a view to try Elisha, whether he would accompany him to the last, and be the witness of his translation. And Elisha certainly, by not leaving him, testified, both great fidelity to his master, and great faith in what God had revealed respecting the taking him up to heaven.

2:1-8 The Lord had let Elijah know that his time was at hand. He therefore went to the different schools of the prophets to give them his last exhortations and blessing. The removal of Elijah was a type and figure of the ascension of Christ, and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Elisha had long followed Elijah, and he would not leave him now when he hoped for the parting blessing. Let not those who follow Christ come short by tiring at last. The waters of Jordan, of old, yielded to the ark; now, to the prophet's mantle, as a token of God's presence. When God will take up his faithful ones to heaven, death is the Jordan which they must pass through, and they find a way through it. The death of Christ has divided those waters, that the ransomed of the Lord may pass over. O death, where is thy sting, thy hurt, thy terror!Came forth to Elisha - It does not appear that any interchange of speech took place between "the sons of the prophets" (see the marginal reference note) and Elijah; but independent revelations had been made to the two "schools" at Bethel and Jericho 2 Kings 2:5, and also to Elisha, with respect to Elijah's coming removal.

From thy head - i. e. from his position as teacher and master. The teacher sat on an elevated seat, so that his feet were level with the heads of his pupils (compare Acts 22:3).

Hold ye your peace - i. e. "Say nothing - disturb us not. The matter is too sacred for words."

3. take away thy master from they head—an allusion to the custom of scholars sitting at the feet of their master, the latter being over their heads (Ac 22:3). No text from Poole on this verse.

And Elijah said unto him, Elisha, tarry here, I pray thee,.... At Bethel:

for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho; to the school of the prophets there, to strengthen, encourage, and advise them:

and he said, as the lord liveth, &c; using the same form of oath as before:

so they came to Jericho; together, which, as the above writer says (i), was four miles from Bethel.

(i) Travels, &c. p. 205.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. hath sent me to Jericho] The famous city which played a part in the history of Israel from their first entry into Canaan. It had been rebuilt in Ahab’s reign (1 Kings 16:34) in spite of the divine curse pronounced in Joshua’s time on any who should restore it (Joshua 6:26). And now it had been chosen as the seat of one of the prophetic colleges.

Verse 4. - And Elijah said unto him, Tarry here, I pray thee. The first trial of Elisha's fidelity is followed by a second. The master suggests his tarrying at Bethel, the sacred center, where he will have the company of the "sons of the prophets," and will not be companionless, as perhaps he would have been at Gilgal. He himself is ordered to take a second journey, longer and rougher than the first. For the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. Will it not be better that Elisha shall spare himself the long and rugged descent from the high-land of Ephraim to the deep gully of Jordan, and remain with the friends who have sought him out, while his master accomplishes the remainder of his journey alone? And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. Absolute unchangeableness of resolution is best shown by absolute un-changingness of speech. Elisha, therefore, simply repeats his previous words. And the master once more yields. So they came to Jericho. 2 Kings 2:4In Bethel, and again in Jericho, to which they both proceeded from Bethel, Elijah repeated the appeal to Elisha to stay there, but always in vain. The taking away of Elijah had also been revealed to the disciples of the prophets at Jericho. Thus they both came to the Jordan, whilst fifty disciples of the prophets from Jericho followed them at a distance, to be eye-witnesses of the miraculous translation of their master. The course which Elijah took before his departure from this earth, viz., from Gilgal past Bethel and Jericho, was not merely occasioned by the fact that he was obliged to touch at these places on the way to the Jordan, but had evidently also the same higher purpose, for which his ascension to heaven had been revealed both to Elisha and to the disciples of the prophets at Bethel and Jericho. Elijah himself said that the Lord had sent him to Bethel, to Jericho, to the Jordan (2 Kings 2:2, 2 Kings 2:4, 2 Kings 2:6). He therefore took this way from an impulse received from the Spirit of God, that he might visit the schools of the prophets, which he had founded, once more before his departure, and strengthen and fortify the disciples of the prophets in the consecration of their lives to the service of the Lord, though without in the least surmising that they had been informed by the Spirit of the Lord of his approaching departure from this life. But as his ascension to heaven took place not so much for his own sake, as because of those associates in his office who were left behind, God had revealed it to so many, that they might be even more firmly established in their calling by the miraculous glorification of their master than by his words, his teaching, and his admonitions, so that they might carry it on without fear or trembling, even if their great master should no longer stand by their side with the might of his spiritual power to instruct, advise, or defend. Btu above all, Elisha, whom the Lord had appointed as his successor (1 Kings 19:16), was to be prepared for carrying on his work by the last journey of his master. He did not leave his side therefore, and resolved, certainly also from an inward impulse of the Spirit of God, to be an eye-witness of his glorification, that he might receive the spiritual inheritance of the first-born from his departing spiritual father.
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