2 Kings 1:1-2:25 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Elijah Went Up to Heaven in a Whirlwind
Comments for Study 1

2 Kings 1:1-2:25
Memory Verse: 43

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I. God Protects Elijah (1:1-18)

>1. What were the failures of King Ahaziah? (1-2)

* 2 Kings 1:1-2 "After Ahab's death, Moab rebelled against Israel. Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, "Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury."

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>How and why did the Lord intervene? (3-4)

* 2 Kings 1:3-4 "But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, "Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, 'Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?' Therefore this is what the LORD says: 'You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!'" So Elijah went."

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>Why did he send his servants to Elijah? (5-9)

* 2 Kings 1:5-9 "When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, "Why have you come back?" "A man came to meet us," they replied. "And he said to us, 'Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, "This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending men to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!"'" The king asked them, "What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?" They replied, "He was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist." The king said, "That was Elijah the Tishbite." Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, "Man of God, the king says, 'Come down!'"

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>Did they believe in the man of God or Lord God?

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>2. How and why did God protect Elijah and establish his ministry? (9-10)

* 2 Kings 1:10 "Elijah answered the captain, "If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men."

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>What kind of king would send a second group of his men with the same request? (11-12)

* 2 Kings 1:11-12 "At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, "Man of God, this is what the king says, 'Come down at once!'" "If I am a man of God," Elijah replied, "may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men."

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>How is the heart of the third captain different than the other two? (13-15)

* 2 Kings 1:13-15 "So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. "Man of God," he begged, "please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!" The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, "Go down with him; do not be afraid of him." So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king."

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>Even though the Lord revealed his power so practically did the king repent? (16-18)

* 2 Kings 1:16-18 "He told the king, "This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!" So he died, according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. Because Ahaziah had no son, Joram succeeded him as king in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. As for all the other events of Ahaziah's reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?"

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>What can be learned from Elijah through this event?

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* Israel did not calculated a king's ascension and reign as other nations. After Israel and Judah split Judah kept calculating to "old way" and Israel switched and started calculating the way other nations did around them. Read The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings by Edwin Richard Thiele for more understanding on how Israel and Judah calculated the dates of their king's ascension and reign.

II. Elijah's Glorious Departure (2:1-14)

>3. What was God's plan for Elijah? (1)

* 2 Kings 2:1 "When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal."

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>What were all the places Elijah went? (2-6)

* 2 Kings 2:2-6 "Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel." But Elisha said, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went down to Bethel. 3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?" "Yes, I know," Elisha replied, "but do not speak of it." 4 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho." And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went to Jericho. 5 The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?" "Yes, I know," he replied, "but do not speak of it." 6 Then Elijah said to him, "Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan." And he replied, "As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So the two of them walked on."

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>Why?

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>Why did Elisha stay with him?

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>4. What was the last thing he did just before his departure? (7-10)

* 2 Kings 2:7-10 "Fifty men of the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. 9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?" "Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit," Elisha replied. 10 "You have asked a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours--otherwise not."

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>What was Elisha's spiritual desire and why was it a difficult thing?

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>5. Describe Elijah's glorious departure. (11-12)

* 2 Kings 2:11-12 "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them apart."

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>What do you learn about the relationship between Elijah and Elisha?

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>Why do you think God glorified Elijah in that fashion? (Mal. 4:5; Mark 9:4; Heb. 11:6)

* Malachi 4:5-6 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."/p>

* Mark 9:4 "And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus."

* Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

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>6. What did Elisha do after Elijah was taken? (13-14)

* 2 Kings 2:13-14 "He picked up the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the water with it. "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over."

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>Why did the Lord answer Elisha's prayer?

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III. Elisha the Prophet of the Lord (2:15-25)

>7. Who is Elisha? (1 Kings 19:15-17)

* 1 Kings 19:15-17 "The LORD said to him, "Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu."

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>Who were the company of prophets? (Num. 11:29, 12:6; and 1 Sam. 10:10, 19:20; and 1 Kings 18:4)

* Numbers 11:29 "But Moses replied, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!"

* Numbers 12:6 "he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams."

* 1 Samuel 10:10 "When they arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he joined in their prophesying."

* 1 Samuel 19:20 "so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came upon Saul's men and they also prophesied."

* 1 Kings 18:4 "While Jezebel was killing off the LORD's prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water.)"

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>What does it mean when they said, "The spirit of Elijah is on Elisha?"

* 2 Kings 2:15 "The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, "The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha." And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him."

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>8. What did the prophets want to do?

* 2 Kings 2:16 "Look," they said, "we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley." "No," Elisha replied, "do not send them."

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> What did they and did they not understand?

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>Why did Elisha allow them to look for Elijah?

* 2 Kings 2:17-18 "But they persisted until he was too ashamed to refuse. So he said, "Send them." And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him. When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, "Didn't I tell you not to go?"

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>9. What did the town want Elisha to do?

* 2 Kings 2:19 "The men of the city said to Elisha, "Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive."

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>Why would he want a new bowl of water?

* 2 Kings 2:20 "Bring me a new bowl," he said, "and put salt in it." So they brought it to him."

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>What did the Lord do through Elisha and the townsmen's faith?

* 2 Kings 2:21-22 "Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, "This is what the LORD says: 'I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.'" And the water has remained wholesome to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken."

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>10. What did Elisha experience as a prophet? (23)

* 2 Kings 2:23 "From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!"

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>What does this say about the times?

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>What judgement fell of the disrespectful youths?

* 2 Kings 2:24 "He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths."

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>Where did Elisha go from there?

* 2 Kings 2:25 "And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria."

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