THE FOURTH BOOK OF KINGS
4 Kings Chapter 1
Ochozias sendeth to consult Beelzebub: Elias foretelleth his death: and causeth fire to come down from heaven, upon two captains and their companies.
1:1. And Moab rebelled against Israel, after the death of Achab.
1:2. And Ochozias fell through the lattices of his upper chamber, which he had in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, saying to them: Go, consult Beelzebub, the god of Accaron, whether I shall recover of this my illness.
1:3. And an angel of the Lord spoke to Elias, the Thesbite, saying: Arise, and go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them: Is there not a God in Israel, that ye go to consult Beelzebub, the god of Accaron?
1:4. Wherefore, thus saith the Lord: From the bed, on which thou art gone up, thou shalt not come down, but thou shalt surely die. And Elias went away.
1:5. And the messengers turned back to Ochozias. And he said to them: Why are you come back?
1:6. But they answered him: A man met us, and said to us: Go, and return to the king, that sent you, and you shall say to him: Thus saith the Lord: Is it because there was no God in Israel, that thou sendest to Beelzebub, the god of Accaron? Therefore thou shalt not come down from the bed, on which thou art gone up, but thou shalt surely die.
1:7. And he said to them: What manner of man was he who met you, and spoke these words?
1:8. But they said: A hairy man, with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said: It is Elias, the Thesbite.
1:9. And he sent to him a captain of fifty, and the fifty men that were under him. And he went up to him, and as he was sitting on the top of a hill, he said to him: Man of God, the king hath commanded that thou come down.
1:10. And Elias answering, said to the captain of fifty: If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume thee, and thy fifty.
And there came down fire from heaven and consumed him, and the fifty that were with him.
Let fire, etc... Elias was inspired to call for fire from heaven upon these captains, who came to apprehend him; not out of a desire to gratify any private passion; but to punish the insult offered to religion, to confirm his mission, and to shew how vain are the efforts of men against God, and his servants, whom he willeth to protect.
1:11. And he again sent to him another captain of fifty men, and his fifty with him. And he said to him: Man of God: Thus saith the king: Make haste and come down.
1:12. Elias answering, said: If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee, and thy fifty. And fire came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
1:13. Again he sent a third captain of fifty men, and the fifty that were with him. And when he was come, he fell upon his knees before Elias, and besought him, and said: Man of God, despise not my life, and the lives of thy servants that are with me.
1:14. Behold fire came down from heaven, and consumed the two first captains of fifty men, and the fifties that were with them: but now I beseech thee to spare my life.
1:15. And the angel of the Lord spoke to Elias, saying: Go down with him, fear not. He arose therefore, and went down with him to the king,
1:16. And said to him: Thus saith the Lord: Because thou hast sent messengers to consult Beelzebub, the god of Accaron, as though there were not a God in Israel, of whom thou mightest inquire the word; therefore, from the bed on which thou art gone up, thou shalt not come down, but thou shalt surely die.
1:17. So he died, according to the word of the Lord, which Elias spoke; and Joram, his brother, reigned in his stead, in the second year of Joram, the son of Josaphat, king of Juda, because he had no son.
The second year of Joram, etc... Counted from the time that he was associated to the throne by his father Josaphat.
1:18. But the rest of the acts of Ochozias, which he did, are they not written in the book of the words of the days of the kings of Israel?
4 Kings Chapter 2
Eliseus will not part from Elias. The water of the Jordan is divided by Elias' cloak. Elias is taken up in a fiery chariot, and his double spirit is given to Eliseus. Eliseus healeth the waters by casting in salt. Boys are torn by bears for mocking Eliseus.
2:1. And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elias, into heaven, by a whirlwind, that Elias and Eliseus were going from Galgal.
Heaven... By heaven here is meant the air, the lowest of the heavenly regions.
2:2. And Elias said to Eliseus: Stay thou here, because the Lord hath sent me as far as Bethel. And Eliseus said to him: As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And when they were come down to Bethel,
2:3. The sons of the prophets, that were at Bethel, came forth to Eliseus, and said to him: Dost thou know that, this day, the Lord will take away thy master from thee? And he answered: I also know it: hold your peace.
The sons of the prophets... That is, the disciples of the prophets; who seem to have had their schools, like colleges or communities, in Bethel, Jericho, and other places in the days of Elias and Eliseus.
2:4. And Elias said to Eliseus: Stay here, because the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said: As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And when they were come to Jericho,
2:5. The sons of the prophets, that were at Jericho, came to Eliseus, and said to him: Dost thou know that, this day, the Lord will take away thy master from thee? And he said: I also know it: hold your peace.
2:6. And Elias said to him: Stay here, because the Lord hath sent me as far as the Jordan. And he said: as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on together.
2:7. And fifty men, of the sons of the prophets, followed them, and stood in sight, at a distance: but they two stood by the Jordan.
2:8. And Elias took his mantle, and folded it together, and struck the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, and they both passed over on dry ground.
2:9. And when they were gone over, Elias said to Eliseus: Ask what thou wilt have me to do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Eliseus said: I beseech thee, that in me may be thy double spirit.
Double spirit... A double portion of thy spirit, as the eldest son and heir: or thy spirit which is double in comparison of that which God usually imparteth to his prophets.
2:10. And he answered: Thou hast asked a hard thing; nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, thou shalt have what thou hast asked: but if thou see me not, thou shalt not have it.
2:11. And as they went on, walking and talking together, behold, a fiery chariot and fiery horses parted them both asunder: and Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
2:12. And Eliseus saw him, and cried: My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the driver thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own garments, and rent them in two pieces.
2:13. And he took up the mantle of Elias, that fell from him: and going back, he stood on the bank of the Jordan;
2:14. And he struck the waters with the mantle of Elias, that had fallen from him, and they were not divided. And he said: Where is now the God of Elias? And he struck the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, and Eliseus passed over.
2:15. And the sons of the prophets, at Jericho, who were over against him, seeing it, said: The spirit of Elias hath rested upon Eliseus. And coming to meet him, they worshipped him, falling to the ground.
They worshipped him... viz., with an inferior, yet religious veneration, not for any temporal, but spiritual excellency.
2:16. 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 monntain, or into some valley. And he said: Do not send.
2:17. But they pressed him, till he consented, and said: Send. And they sent fifty men: and they sought three days, but found him not.