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wrath of God was spared, and Elijah was ordered to ac-.ro company him ; by which means this officer was secured, from the punishment which the king would most likely have condemned him to, if he had returned without executing his royal commands.

Elijah did not endeavour to conceal himself from Ahaziah; for repeated deliverances had taught him to repose confidence in the LORD; neither did he seek to gain respect by his outward appearance ; for his best attire, as we may judge by the messenger's description, was a hairy garment, fastened with a leathern girdle ; yet, in this mean garb, how truly honourable was he ; enlightened by the Holy Spirit, sustained by miracles, and comniissioned to reprove kings!

Elijah did not enter the apartment of the monarch as a prisoner, but in the spirit and power of the LORD, boldly to perform the prophetic office, by declaring to Ahaziah's face, the sentence he had been commanded of God to pronounce upon him. The fear of the Lord fell on this wicked king and all present, which restrained them from offering violence to Elijah ; who soon saw the accomplishment of his prophecy in the death of Ahaziah, who reigned only two years.

SECTION LXIII.

THE TRANSLATION OP ELIJAH THE PROPHET.

From 2 Kings, Chap. ii.

And it came to pass when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee : for the LORD hath sent me to Beth-el. And Elisha said

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unto Miny, AP the Forbliveth, and as twy soul liveth, 1 will not leave thee. So they went down to Beth-et.

"And the sott's of the prophets that were at Bethel came 'fórtit to? Elisha, and said unto him, Knowėst thou that the Lord will take away thy måstët krom this head to-day! and he said, Yea, I know it ; hold yottyour peace.

And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarrý here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath bent 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.

And the sons" of the prophets "tl'at' wete at ' Jericho" came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head tödáy ? and he answered, Yea, I know it; hold you your

peace.

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And Elijah said unto him, Tatry, I pray thee, here: for the LORD hath šent me to

, the Lord liveth, and as thy 'sõul fiteth, 1 will not leave thee. And they two went on.

And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afár off: and they two stood by Jordan.

And Elijah took fris mantle, and wrapped it toge: ther, and snote the waters, and they were divided bither and thither, so that they two wert over on dry ground. And it came to pass when they were gone over,

that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shali 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.

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 80.

: And it came to pass as they still went on, and talked', that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses !

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of fire, and parted them bothrikasunderl: and Elijah wens up by a whirlwind into heaven.

rio gnized 3. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, Myifatlier, myl father's the chariots 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. 4. He took

up also the mantle of Elijah that felli froin trim, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan, 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 had also smitten the Waters, they parted hither and thither : and Elishawent over, so

And when the sobe of the prophets which were $0 view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him. 14 Apdi they said unto hims Behold gow, there be with thy servants diffy 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." And when they urged him

till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men ; and they sought three days, but found him not.

And when they came again to him for they tarried at Jerichol he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?

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ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS....

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It
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that the Lor1 had made known to Elijah, that he should soon be renioved from this world ; on which account he visited the sons of the prophets in their schools or colleges, in order to admonish, instiuct, O 5

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and bless them, before his departure : the thoughts of losing the advantage of his direction and example must have filled them all with great concern; but Elisha was particularly affected on this occasion, for he not only honoured Elijah on account of his high office, but also entertained great affection and esteem

for him, as a man of singular - virtue and piety, the loss of whose company he should most likely have daily cause to deplore; he therefore resolved to attend him to the last, being desirous of receiving as much advantage as possible from his conversation ; for this reason he was displeased with the interruption of those, who could only tell him what he already knew to his sorrow. Considering the

great massacre which Jezebel had a few years before made of the prophets, it is suprising to read of there being such numbers of them at this period. But it was an aet of God's particular providence « to preserve the schools,* where men were trained and ens. ployed in the exercises of religion and devotion, and to which good people resorted, to solemnize the appointed feasts with prayer and praises, when they had not conveniences for sacrifice or to incense, and were prevented from going to the Temple at Jerusalem : and thus religion was kept up in a time of general apostasy."

It is likely that those who stood to view afar off were desirous of attending Elijah ; but kept at a distance when they found that Elisha wished to be alone with his master : they were however sufficiently near to be eye witnesses of the event.

“ It + may be supposed, that the dividing of the river Jordan was ordered of the Lord, for an assurance to Elijah, that He would as certainly translate him to a place

* Henry's Aunotations,

+ Ibid.

of

of happiness, as he had conducted the Israelites to the land of Canaan.

Elijah being pleased with the constancy of Elisha's affection and attendance, permitted him to ask what he should do for him. Elisha, knowing that he was anointed to succeed his master as chief or Father of the Prophers, carnestly desired to be eminently qualified for the important services he might be required to perform. He well knew that the HOLY SPIRIT, which inspired Elijah, was the gift of God, but begged for this prophet's intercession with the LORD, that he might have a double portion of it; for as Elijah had, in those intervals wherein he was left to himself, committed errors, Elisha wished to be at all times under the guidance of DivinE DIRECTION, from an humble sense of the infirmities of bis nature, and the expec. tation he had of great opposition from the impious king who at that time reigned over. Israel. Elijah could not give his friend immediate satisfaction, but advised him to continue his attendance, that he might be prepared, and in a proper disposition of mind, to receive this distin. guishing honour. He had asked a hard thing, what was indeed beyond this great prophet's power to bestow as his - own right ; all he could do was to entreat the LORD to

transfer to his successor the inestimable gift he himself - had so long enjoyed, in such a degree as should seem good to infinite wisdom. We may suppose, that Elijah spake prophetically when he told Elisha, that if he should see him when he was taken from him, he might consider this circumstance as a sign that the LORD would grant liis desire. The event happened agreeably to his wishes. He saw his dear master taken up triumphantly to heaven : yet, “ notwithstanding * he received the appointed token, · that his request would be granted, he could not refrain

* Henry's Annotations.

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