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2 Kings 2:9 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I am taken from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And it came to pass, when they had gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I am taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass when they had gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I am taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And it came to pass, as they went over, that, Elijah, said unto Elisha—Ask, what I shall do for thee, ere yet I be taken from thee. And Elisha said, Let there be, I pray thee, a double portion of thy spirit upon me.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass, at their passing over, that Elijah hath said unto Elisha, 'Ask, what do I do for thee before I am taken from thee?' and Elisha saith, 'Then let there be, I pray thee, a double portion of thy spirit unto me;'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— 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.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And it came to passe when they were gone ouer, that Elijah said vnto Elisha, Aske what I shall doe for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be vpon me.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And it came to pass while they were crossing over, that Elijah{gr.Eliu} said to Elisha{gr.Elisaie}, Ask what I shall do for thee before I am taken up from thee. And Elisha{gr.Elisaie} said, Let there be, I pray thee, a double [portion] of thy spirit upon me.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Eliyyah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall 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.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And it came to pass, x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
when they were gone over, 5674
{5674} Prime
עָבַר
`abar
{aw-bar'}
A primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literally or figuratively; transitively, intransitively, intensively or causatively); specifically to cover (in copulation).
z8800
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
that liyy אֵלִיָּה 452
{0452} Prime
אֵלִיָּה
'Eliyah
{ay-lee-yaw'}
From H0410 and H3050; God of Jehovah; Elijah, the name of the famous prophet and of two other Israelites.
said 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
unto x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
l` אֱלִישָׁע, 477
{0477} Prime
אֱלִישָׁע
'Eliysha`
{el-ee-shaw'}
Contracted for H0474; Elisha, the famous prophet.
Ask 7592
{7592} Prime
שָׁאַל
sha'al
{shaw-al'}
A primitive root; to inquire; by implication to request; by extension to demand.
z8798
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
what x4100
(4100) Complement
מָּה
mah
{maw}
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
I shall do 6213
{6213} Prime
עָשָׂה
`asah
{aw-saw'}
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
for thee, before x2962
(2962) Complement
טֶרֶם
terem
{teh'-rem}
From an unused root apparently meaning to interrupt or suspend; properly non-occurrence; used adverbially not yet or before.
I be taken away 3947
{3947} Prime
לָקַח
laqach
{law-kakh'}
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
z8735
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
from x4480
(4480) Complement
מִן
min
{min}
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
x5973
(5973) Complement
עִם
`im
{eem}
From H6004; adverb or preposition, with (that is, in conjunction with), in varied applications; specifically equally with; often with prepositional prefix (and then usually unrepresented in English).
thee. And l` אֱלִישָׁע 477
{0477} Prime
אֱלִישָׁע
'Eliysha`
{el-ee-shaw'}
Contracted for H0474; Elisha, the famous prophet.
said, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
I pray thee, x4994
(4994) Complement
נָא
na'
{naw}
A primitive particle of incitement and entreaty, which may usually be rendered I pray, now or then; added mostly to verbs (in the imperative or future), or to interjections, occasionally to an adverb or conjugation.
let a double 8147
{8147} Prime
שְׁתַּיִם
sh@nayim
{shen-ah'-yim}
(The first form being dual of H8145; the second form being feminine); two; also (as ordinal) twofold.
portion 6310
{6310} Prime
פֶּה
peh
{peh}
From H6284; the mouth (as the means of blowing), whether literally or figuratively (particularly speech); specifically edge, portion or side; adverbially (with preposition) according to.
of thy spirit 7307
{7307} Prime
רוּחַ
ruwach
{roo'-akh}
From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions).
be x1961
(1961) Complement
הָיָה
hayah
{haw-yaw'}
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
upon x413
(0413) Complement
אֵל
'el
{ale}
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
me.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

2 Kings 2:9

_ _ Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee — trusting either that it would be in his power to bequeath it, or that God, at his entreaty, would grant it.

_ _ let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me — This request was not, as is commonly supposed, for the power of working miracles exceeding the magnitude and number of his master’s, nor does it mean a higher endowment of the prophetic spirit; for Elisha was neither superior to, nor perhaps equally great with, his predecessor. But the phrase, “a double portion,” was applied to the first-born [Deuteronomy 21:17], and therefore Elisha’s request was, simply, to be heir to the prophetic office and gifts of his master.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

2 Kings 2:9-12

_ _ Here, I. Elijah makes his will, and leaves Elisha his heir, now anointing him to be prophet in his room, more than when he cast his mantle upon him, 1 Kings 19:19.

_ _ 1. Elijah, being greatly pleased with the constancy of Elisha's affection and attendance, bade him ask what he should do for him, what blessing he should leave him at parting; he does not say (as bishop Hall observes), “Ask of me when I am gone, in heaven I shall be better able to befriend thee,” but, “Ask before I go.” Our friends on earth may be spoken to, and can give us an answer, but we know not that we can have access to any friend in heaven but Christ, and God in him. Abraham is ignorant of us.

_ _ 2. Elisha, having this fair opportunity to enrich himself with the best riches, prays for a double portion of his spirit. He asks not for wealth, nor honour, nor exemption from trouble, but to be qualified for the service of God and his generation, he asks, (1.) For the Spirit, not that the gifts and graces of the Spirit were in Elijah's power to give, therefore he says not, “Give me the Spirit” (he knew very well it was God's gift), but “Let it be upon me, intercede with God for this for me.” Christ bade his disciples ask what they would, not one, but all, and promised to send the Spirit, with much more authority and assurance than Elijah could. (2.) For his spirit, because he was to be a prophet in his room, to carry on his work, to father the sons of the prophets and face their enemies, because he had the same perverse generation to deal with that he had, so that, if he have not his spirit, he has not strength according to the day. (3.) For a double portion of his spirit; he does not mean double to what Elijah had, but double to what the rest of the prophets had, from whom so much would not be expected as from Elisha, who had been brought up under Elijah. It is a holy ambition to covet earnestly the best gifts, and those which will render us most serviceable to God and our brethren. Note, We all ought, both ministers and people, to set before us the example of our predecessors, to labour after their spirit, and to be earnest with God for that grace which carried them through their work and enabled them to finish well.

_ _ 3. Elijah promised him that which he asked, but under two provisos, 2 Kings 2:10. (1.) Provided he put a due value upon it and esteem it highly: this he teaches him to do by calling it a hard thing, not too hard for God to do, but too great for him to expect. Those are best prepared for spiritual blessings that are most sensible of their worth and their own unworthiness to receive them. (2.) Provided he kept close to his master, even to the last, and was observant of him: If thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so, otherwise not. A diligent attendance upon his master's instructions, and a careful observance of his example, particularly now in his last scene, were the condition and would be a proper means of obtaining much of his spirit. Taking strict notice of the manner of his ascension would likewise be of great use to him. The comforts of departing saints, and their experiences, will mightily help both to gild our comforts and to steel our resolutions. Or, perhaps, this was intended only as a sign: “If God favour thee so far as to give thee a sight of me when I ascend, take that for a token that he will do this for thee, and depend upon it.” Christ's disciples saw him ascend, and were thereupon assured that they should, in a little time, be filled with his Spirit, Acts 1:8. Elisha, we may suppose, hereupon prayed earnestly, Lord, show me this token for good.

_ _ II. Elijah is carried up to heaven in a fiery chariot, 2 Kings 2:11. Like Enoch, he was translated, that he should not see death; and was (as Mr. Cowley expresses it) the second man that leaped the ditch where all the rest of mankind fell, and went not downward to the sky. Many curious questions might be asked about this matter, which could not be answered. Let it suffice that we are here told,

_ _ 1. What his Lord, when he came, found him doing. He was talking with Elisha, instructing and encouraging him, directing him in his work, and quickening him to it, for the good of those whom he left behind. He was not meditating nor praying, as one wholly taken up with the world he was going to, but engaged in edifying discourse, as one concerned about the kingdom of God among men. We mistake if we think our preparation for heaven is carried on only by contemplation and the acts of devotion. Usefulness to others will pass as well in our account as any thing. Thinking of divine things is good, but talking of them (if it come from the heart) is better, because for edification, 1 Corinthians 14:4. Christ ascended as he was blessing his disciples.

_ _ 2. What convoy his Lord sent for him — a chariot of fire and horses of fire, which appeared either descending upon them from the clouds or (as bishop Patrick thinks) running towards them upon the ground: in this form the angels appeared. The souls of all the faithful are carried by an invisible guard of angels into the bosom of Abraham; but, Elijah being to carry his body with him, this heavenly guard was visible, not in a human shape, as usual, though they might so have borne him up in their arms, or carried him as on eagles' wings, but that would have been to carry him like a child, like a lamp (Isaiah 40:11, Isaiah 40:31); they appear in the form of a chariot and horses, that he may ride in state, may ride in triumph, like a prince, like a conqueror, yea, more than a conqueror. The angels are called in scripture cherubim and seraphim, and their appearance here, though it may seem below their dignity, answers to both those names; for (1.) Seraphim signifies fiery, and God is said to make them a flame of fire, Psalms 104:4. (2.) Cherubim (as many think) signifies chariots, and they are called the chariots of God (Psalms 68:17), and he is said to ride upon a cherub (Psalms 18:10), to which perhaps there is an allusion in Ezekiel's vision of four living creatures, and wheels, like horses and chariots; in Zechariah's vision, they are so represented, Zechariah 1:8; Zechariah 6:1. Compare Revelation 6:2, etc. See the readiness of the angels to do the will go God, even in the meanest services, for the good of those that shall be heirs of salvation. Elijah must remove to the world of angels, and therefore, to show how desirous they were of his company, some of them would come to fetch him. The chariot and horses appeared like fire, not for burning, but brightness, not to torture or consume him, but to render his ascension conspicuous and illustrious in the eyes of those that stood afar off to view it. Elijah had burned with holy zeal for God and his honour, and now with a heavenly fire he was refined and translated.

_ _ 3. How he was separated from Elisha. This chariot parted them both asunder. Note, The dearest friends must part. Elisha had protested he would not leave him, yet now is left behind by him.

_ _ 4. Whither he was carried. He went up by a whirlwind into heaven. The fire tends upward; the whirlwind helped to carry him through the atmosphere, out of the reach of the magnetic virtue of this earth, and then how swiftly he ascended through the pure ether to the world of holy and blessed spirits we cannot conceive.

“But where he stopped will ne'er be known,
'Till Phenix-nature, aged grown,
To a better being shall aspire,
Mounting herself, like him, to eternity in fire.”
— Cowley

_ _ Elijah had once, in a passion, wished he might die; yet God was so gracious to him as not only not to take him at his word then, but to honour him with this singular privilege, that he should never see death; and by this instance, and that of Enoch, (1.) God showed how men should have left the world if they had not sinned, not by death, but by a translation. (2.) He gave a glimpse of that life and immortality which are brought to light by the gospel, of the glory reserved for the bodies of the saints, and the opening of the kingdom of heaven to all believers, as then to Elijah. It was also a figure of Christ's ascension.

_ _ III. Elisha pathetically laments the loss of that great prophet, but attends him with an ecomium, 2 Kings 2:12. 1. He saw it; thus he received the sign by which he was assured of the grant of his request for a double portion of Elijah's spirit. He looked stedfastly towards heaven, whence he was to expect that gift, as the disciples did, Acts 1:10. he saw it awhile, but the vision was presently out of his sight; and he saw him no more. 2. He rent his own clothes, in token of the sense he had of his own and the public loss. Though Elijah had gone triumphantly to heaven, yet this world could ill spare him, and therefore his removal ought to be much regretted by the survivors. Surely their hearts are hard whose eyes are dry when God, by taking away faithful useful men, calls for weeping and mourning. Though Elijah's departure made way for Elisha's eminency, especially since he was now sure of a double portion of his spirit, yet he lamented the loss of him, for he loved him, and could have served him for ever. 3. He gave him a very honourable character, as the reason why he thus lamented the loss of him. (1.) He himself had lost the guide of his youth: My father, my father. He saw his own condition like that of a fatherless child thrown upon the world, and lamented it accordingly. Christ, when he left his disciples, did not leave them orphans (John 14:15), but Elijah must. (2.) The public had lost its best guard; he was the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. He would have brought them all to heaven, as in this chariot, if it had not been their own fault; they used not chariots and horses in their wars, but Elijah was to them, by his counsels, reproofs, and prayers, better than the strongest force of chariot and horse, and kept off the judgments of God. His departure was like the routing of an army, an irreparable loss. “Better have lost all our men of war than this man of God.”

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

2 Kings 2:9

A double portion — Or, rather double to what the rest of the sons of the prophets receive at thy request. He alludes to the double portion of the first — born, Deuteronomy 21:17. But though Elisha desired no more, yet God gave him more than he desired or expected; and he seems to have had a greater portion of the gifts of God's Spirit, than even Elijah had.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

2 Kings 2:9

And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, (g) let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

(g) Let your spirit have double force in me, because of these dangerous times: or let me have twice as much as the rest of the prophets: or if your spirit were to be divided into three parts, let me have two.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Ask what:

2 Kings 13:14-19 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. ... And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed [it]: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria [but] thrice.
Numbers 27:16-23 Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, ... And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.
Deuteronomy 34:9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.
1 Chronicles 29:18-19 O LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee: ... And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all [these things], and to build the palace, [for] the which I have made provision.
Psalms 72:1 [[[A Psalm] for Solomon.]] Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son.
Psalms 72:20 The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
Luke 24:45-51 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, ... And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
John 17:9-13 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. ... And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 8:17 Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Acts 20:25-36 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. ... And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.

Elisha said:

Numbers 11:17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which [is] upon thee, and will put [it] upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear [it] not thyself alone.
Numbers 11:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that [was] upon him, and gave [it] unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, [that], when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
1 Kings 3:9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
2 Chronicles 1:9-10 Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. ... Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, [that is so] great?
John 14:12-14 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. ... If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
1 Corinthians 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

a double portion:
This probably refers to the law respecting the first-born, who had a double portion of the property of his father. As Elisha may have considered himself as the first-born of Elijah, so he requested a double portion of his spiritual influence.
Numbers 27:20 And thou shalt put [some] of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
Deuteronomy 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated [for] the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he [is] the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn [is] his.
Zechariah 9:12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;
Zechariah 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David [shall be] as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Nu 11:17, 25; 27:16, 20. Dt 21:17; 34:9. 1K 3:9. 2K 13:14. 1Ch 29:18. 2Ch 1:9. Ps 72:1, 20. Zc 9:12; 12:8. Lk 24:45. Jn 14:12; 16:7; 17:9. Ac 1:8; 8:17; 20:25. 1Co 12:31. 1Ti 5:17.

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