English Standard Version
And they said to him, “Behold now, there are with your servants fifty strong men. Please let them go and seek your master. It may be that the Spirit of the LORD has caught him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley.” And he said, “You shall not send.”
King James Bible
And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
American Standard Version
And they said unto him, Behold now, there are with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master, lest the Spirit of Jehovah hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
And they said to him: Behold, there are with thy servants fifty strong men, that can go, and seek thy master, lest perhaps the spirit of the Lord hath taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley. And he said: Do not send.
English Revised Version
And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
Webster's Bible Translation
And they said to him, Behold now, there are with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest perhaps the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send.
2 Kings 2:16 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
After crossing the Jordan, Elijah allowed his servant and companion to make one more request before he was taken away, in the full confidence that the Lord would fulfil it in answer to his prayer; and Elisha asked, "Let בּרוּחך פּי־שׁנים, διπλᾶ ἐν πνεύματί σου, i.e., a double portion in (of) thy spirit be granted to me." This request has been misunderstood by many translators, from Ephraem Syrus down to Kster and F. W. Krummacher, who have supposed that Elisha wished to have a double measure of Elijah's spirit ("that thy spirit may be twofold in me:" Luther after the Vulgate, "ut fiat in me duplex spiritus tuus"); and some have taken it as referring to the fact that Elisha performed many more miracles and much greater ones than Elijah (Cler., Pfeiffer, dub. vex. p. 442), others to the gift of prophecy and miracles (Kster, die Proph. p. 82), whilst others, like Krummacher, have understood by it that the spirit of Elisha, as an evangelical spirit, was twice as great as the legal spirit of Elijah. But there is no such meaning implied in the words, nor can it be inferred from the answer of Elijah; whilst it is impossible to show that there was any such measure of the Spirit in the life and works of Elisha in comparison with the spirit of Elisha, although his request was fulfilled. The request of Elisha is evidently based upon Deuteronomy 21:17, where בּ פּי־שׁנים denotes the double portion which the first-born received in (of) the father's inheritance, as R. Levi b. Gers., Seb. Mnst., Vatabl., Grot., and others have perceived, and as Hengstenberg (Beitrr. ii. p. 133f.) in our days has once more proved. Elisha, resting his foot upon this law, requested of Elijah as a first-born son the double portion of his spirit for his inheritance. Elisha looked upon himself as the first-born son of Elijah in relation to the other "sons of the prophets," inasmuch as Elijah by the command of God had called him to be his successor and to carry on his work. The answer of Elijah agrees with this: "Thou hast asked a hard thing," he said, because the granting of this request was not in his power, but in the power of God. He therefore made its fulfilment dependent upon a condition, which did not rest with himself, but was under the control of God: "if thou shalt see me taken from thee (לקּח, partic. Pual with the מ dropped, see Ges. 52, Anm. b; Ewald, 169, d.), let it be so to thee; but if not, it will not be so." From his own personal inclination Elijah did not wish to have Elisha, who was so closely related to him, as an eye-witness of his translation from the earth; but from his persistent refusal to leave him he could already see that he would not be able to send him away. He therefore left the matter to the Lord, and made the guidance of God the sign for Elisha whether the Lord would fulfil his request or not. Moreover, the request itself even on the part of the petitioner presupposes a certain dependence, and for this reason Elisha could not possibly desire that the double measure of Elijah's spirit should be bestowed upon him. A dying man cannot leave to his heir more than he has himself. And, lastly, even the ministry of Elisha, when compared with that of Elijah, has all the appearance of being subordinate to it. He lives and labours merely as the continuer of the work already begun by Elijah, both outwardly in relation to the worshippers of idols, and inwardly in relation to the disciples of the prophets. Elisha performs the anointing of Jehu and Hazael, with which Elijah was charged, and thereby prepares the way for the realization of that destruction of Ahab's house which Elijah predicted to the king; and he merely receives and fosters those schools of the prophets which Elijah had already founded. And again, it is not Elisha but Elijah who appears as the Coryphaeus of prophecy along with Moses, the representative of the law, upon the mount of transfiguration (Matthew 17:3). - It is only a thoroughly external mode of observation that can discover in the fact that Elisha performed a greater number of miracles than Elijah, a proof that the spirit of Elijah rested doubly upon him.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
strong men [heb] sons of strength
some mountain [heb] one of the mountains
And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
1 Kings 18:12
And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the LORD will carry you I know not where. And so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the LORD from my youth.
2 Kings 2:7
Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.