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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Melachim II - II Kings - Chapter 2

Melachim II - II Kings - Chapter 2

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 2

1. And it was when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, that Elijah and Elisha went from Gilgal.   א. וַיְהִי בְּהַעֲלוֹת יְהֹוָה אֶת אֵלִיָּהוּ בַּסֳעָרָה הַשָּׁמָיִם וַיֵּלֶךְ אֵלִיָּהוּ וֶאֱלִישָׁע מִן הַגִּלְגָּל:
in a whirlwind: [lit. in a storm],] i.e., in a storm wind.  
2. And Elijah said to Elisha, "Stay here now for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel," but Elisha said, "As the Lord lives and by the life of your soul, I will not leave you." And they went down to Bethel.   ב. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ אֶל אֱלִישָׁע שֶׁב נָא פֹה כִּי יְהֹוָה שְׁלָחַנִי עַד בֵּית אֵל וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלִישָׁע חַי יְהֹוָה וְחֵי נַפְשְׁךָ אִם אֶעֶזְבֶךָּ וַיֵּרְדוּ בֵּית אֵל:
Stay here now: He wished to drive him away because of his [Elijah’s] humility, so that he would not see him being taken away.  
3. And the disciples of the prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that today the Lord will take your master from you?" And he said, "I know it too. Be quiet."   ג. וַיֵּצְאוּ בְנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים אֲשֶׁר בֵּית אֵל אֶל אֱלִישָׁע וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו הֲיָדַעְתָּ כִּי הַיּוֹם יְהֹוָה לֹקֵחַ אֶת אֲדֹנֶיךָ מֵעַל רֹאשֶׁךָ וַיֹּאמֶר גַּם אֲנִי יָדַעְתִּי הֶחֱשׁוּ:
your master: but not our master. This teaches us that they were equal to Elijah.  
4. And Elijah said to him, "Stay here now, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho." And he said, "As the Lord lives and by your life, I will not leave you." And they came to Jericho.   ד. וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אֵלִיָּהוּ אֱלִישָׁע | שֶׁב נָא פֹה כִּי יְהֹוָה שְׁלָחַנִי יְרִיחוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר חַי יְהֹוָה וְחֵי נַפְשְׁךָ אִם אֶעֶזְבֶךָּ וַיָּבֹאוּ יְרִיחוֹ:
5. And the disciples of the prophets who were in Jericho approached Elisha and said to him, "Do you know that today the Lord will take your master from you?" And he said, "I know it too. Be quiet."   ה. וַיִּגְּשׁוּ בְנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים אֲשֶׁר בִּירִיחוֹ אֶל אֱלִישָׁע וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו הֲיָדַעְתָּ כִּי הַיּוֹם יְהֹוָה לֹקֵחַ אֶת אֲדֹנֶיךָ מֵעַל רֹאשֶׁךָ וַיֹּאמֶר גַּם אֲנִי יָדַעְתִּי הֶחֱשׁוּ:
6. And Elijah said to him, "Stay here now, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan." And he said, "As the Lord lives and by your life, I will not leave you." And they both went.   ו. וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אֵלִיָּהוּ שֶׁב נָא פֹה כִּי יְהֹוָה שְׁלָחַנִי הַיַּרְדֵּנָה וַיֹּאמֶר חַי יְהֹוָה וְחֵי נַפְשְׁךָ אִם אֶעֶזְבֶךָּ וַיֵּלְכוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם:
7. And fifty men of the disciples of the prophets went and stood opposite them from a distance, as they both stood at the Jordan.   ז. וַחֲמִשִּׁים אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים הָלְכוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ מִנֶּגֶד מֵרָחוֹק וּשְׁנֵיהֶם עָמְדוּ עַל הַיַּרְדֵּן:
8. And Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water, and it divided to this side and to that side; and they both crossed on dry land.   ח. וַיִּקַּח אֵלִיָּהוּ אֶת אַדַּרְתּוֹ וַיִּגְלֹם וַיַּכֶּה אֶת הַמַּיִם וַיֵּחָצוּ הֵנָּה וָהֵנָּה וַיַּעַבְרוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם בֶּחָרָבָה:
and rolled it up: He rolled it up in order that it would be easy to strike with it.  
and he rolled it: not exactly rolling but gathering together, which is called koulir in O.F.  
9. And it was when they crossed, that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you, while I am not yet taken away from you." And Elisha said, "Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me."   ט. וַיְהִי כְעָבְרָם וְאֵלִיָּהוּ אָמַר אֶל אֱלִישָׁע שְׁאַל מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה לָּךְ בְּטֶרֶם אֶלָּקַח מֵעִמָּךְ וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלִישָׁע וִיהִי נָא פִּי שְׁנַיִם בְּרוּחֲךָ אֵלָי:
You have made a difficult request: It is impossible to give you more than I have in my possession.  
If you see me taken away from you: then I will be able to do for you more and more.  
it will be so to you, and if not, it will not be: for I have not the ability.  
10. And he said, "You have made a difficult request. If you see me taken from you, it will be so to you, and if not, it will not be."   י. וַיֹּאמֶר הִקְשִׁיתָ לִשְׁאוֹל אִם תִּרְאֶה אֹתִי לֻקָּח מֵאִתָּךְ יְהִי לְךָ כֵן וְאִם אַיִן לֹא יִהְיֶה:
11. And it was that they were going, walking and talking, and behold a fiery chariot and fiery horses, and they separated them both. And Elijah ascended to heaven in a whirlwind.   יא. וַיְהִי הֵמָּה הֹלְכִים הָלוֹךְ וְדַבֵּר וְהִנֵּה רֶכֶב אֵשׁ וְסוּסֵי אֵשׁ וַיַּפְרִדוּ בֵּין שְׁנֵיהֶם וַיַּעַל אֵלִיָּהוּ בַּסְעָרָה הַשָּׁמָיִם:
12. And Elisha saw, and he was crying, "My father! My father! The chariots of Israel and their riders!" And he saw him no longer. Now he took hold of his garments and rent them in two pieces.   יב. וֶאֱלִישָׁע רֹאֶה וְהוּא מְצַעֵק אָבִי | אָבִי רֶכֶב יִשְׂרָאֵל וּפָרָשָׁיו וְלֹא רָאָהוּ עוֹד וַיַּחֲזֵק בִּבְגָדָיו וַיִּקְרָעֵם לִשְׁנַיִם קְרָעִים:
My father! My father! The chariots of Israel: Jonathan [renders:] My master! My master! who benefited Israel with his prayer more than chariots and riders.  
13. And he picked up Elijah's mantle that had fallen off him, and he returned and stood on the bank of the Jordan.   יג. וַיָּרֶם אֶת אַדֶּרֶת אֵלִיָּהוּ אֲשֶׁר נָפְלָה מֵעָלָיו וַיָּשָׁב וַיַּעֲמֹד עַל שְׂפַת הַיַּרְדֵּן:
14. And he took Elijah's mantle that had fallen off him, and he struck the water and said, "Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?" He too struck the water and it divided on this side and on that side, and Elisha crossed.   יד. וַיִּקַּח אֶת אַדֶּרֶת אֵלִיָּהוּ אֲשֶׁר נָפְלָה מֵעָלָיו וַיַּכֶּה אֶת הַמַּיִם וַיֹּאמַר אַיֵּה יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֵלִיָּהוּ אַף הוּא | וַיַּכֶּה אֶת הַמַּיִם וַיֵּחָצוּ הֵנָּה וָהֵנָּה וַיַּעֲבֹר אֱלִישָׁע:
Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?: that I was promised [who promised me: Kara] that a double portion of his spirit would rest upon me.  
He too struck the water: He too. In the Chapters of Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Jose the Galilean, [should read: In the Thirty-two Methods of Rabbi Eliezer the son of Rabbi Jose the Galilean. Shem Ephraim], Elisha’s splitting [the Jordan] was doubly as great as Elijah’s, for in the beginning there was the merit of them both, while here was his merit alone.  
15. And the disciples of the prophets who were in Jericho saw him from a distance, and they said, "Elijah's spirit has rested on Elisha." And they came toward him and prostrated themselves before him to the ground.   טו. וַיִּרְאֻהוּ בְנֵי הַנְּבִיאִים אֲשֶׁר בִּירִיחוֹ מִנֶּגֶד וַיֹּאמְרוּ נָחָה רוּחַ אֵלִיָּהוּ עַל אֱלִישָׁע וַיָּבֹאוּ לִקְרָאתוֹ וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לוֹ אָרְצָה:
16. And they said to him, "Behold now, there are with your servants fifty able men. Let them go now and seek your master, perhaps a wind from the Lord has carried him off and thrown him on one of the mountains or in one of the valleys." And he said, "You shall not send."   טז. וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו הִנֵּה נָא יֵשׁ אֶת עֲבָדֶיךָ חֲמִשִּׁים אֲנָשִׁים בְּנֵי חַיִל יֵלְכוּ נָא וִיבַקְשׁוּ אֶת אֲדֹנֶיךָ פֶּן נְשָׂאוֹ רוּחַ יְהֹוָה וַיַּשְׁלִכֵהוּ בְּאַחַד הֶהָרִים אוֹ בְּאַחַת הַגֵּאָיוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא תִשְׁלָחוּ:
Perhaps a wind from the Lord has carried him off: Is it possible that on the day before, they said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master from you?” (v. 5) and now they did not know where he was? This teaches us that since the day when Elijah was hidden, the holy spirit departed from the prophets, and the holy spirit was no longer widespread throughout Israel.  
17. And they urged him until he was ashamed. And he said, "Send." And they sent fifty men, and they searched for three days but did not find him.   יז. וַיִּפְצְרוּ בוֹ עַד בֹּשׁ וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁלָחוּ וַיִּשְׁלְחוּ חֲמִשִּׁים אִישׁ וַיְבַקְשׁוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים וְלֹא מְצָאֻהוּ:
until he was ashamed: He was ashamed because of them, lest they say that he does not want to go to meet his teacher. Since he took over his high position, he does not want him to return. All this I saw in Tosefta Sotah (12:5).  
18. And they returned to him when he was staying in Jericho; and he said to them, "Did I not say to you, 'You shall not go'?"   יח. וַיָּשֻׁבוּ אֵלָיו וְהוּא יֹשֵׁב בִּירִיחוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם הֲלוֹא אָמַרְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם אַל תֵּלֵכוּ:
19. And the people of the city said to Elisha, "Behold the city is a good place to live in, as my lord sees, but the water is bad and the land causes people to die.   יט. וַיֹּאמְרוּ אַנְשֵׁי הָעִיר אֶל אֱלִישָׁע הִנֵּה נָא מוֹשַׁב הָעִיר טוֹב כַּאֲשֶׁר אֲדֹנִי רֹאֶה וְהַמַּיִם רָעִים וְהָאָרֶץ מְשַׁכָּלֶת:
but the water is bad: and because of the water, the land causes people to die, to send them to their graves. If so, what is the meaning of: “the city is a good place to live in?” From here we deduce that a place has charm for its inhabitants.  
20. And he said, "Take me to a new jug and put salt therein," and they took to him.   כ. וַיֹּאמֶר קְחוּ לִי צְלֹחִית חֲדָשָׁה וְשִֹימוּ שָׁם מֶלַח וַיִּקְחוּ אֵלָיו:
21. And he went out to the source of the water and threw salt there; and he said, "So has the Lord said, 'I have cured these waters; there will no longer be death and bereavement from there.' "   כא. וַיֵּצֵא אֶל מוֹצָא הַמַּיִם וַיַּשְׁלֶךְ שָׁם מֶלַח וַיֹּאמֶר כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה רִפִּאתִי לַמַּיִם הָאֵלֶּה לֹא יִהְיֶה מִשָּׁם עוֹד מָוֶת וּמְשַׁכָּלֶת:
to the source of the water: from where the water flowed.  
22. And the water became cured to this day, according to the word of Elisha that he spoke.   כב. וַיֵּרָפוּ הַמַּיִם עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה כִּדְבַר אֱלִישָׁע אֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּר:
23. And he went up from there to Bethel, and he was going up on the road and some little boys came out of the city and jeered him, and said to him, "Go away, baldy; go away, baldy!"   כג. וַיַּעַל מִשָּׁם בֵּית אֵל וְהוּא | עֹלֶה בַדֶּרֶךְ וּנְעָרִים קְטַנִּים יָצְאוּ מִן הָעִיר וַיִּתְקַלְּסוּ בוֹ וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ עֲלֵה קֵרֵחַ עֲלֵה קֵרֵחַ:
and some little boys: Heb. וּנְעָרִים, people empty [of any observance of commandments].  
Go away, baldy: Go away from here, for you have made the place bald for us, for until now we would hire ourselves out to bring sweet water from a distance, and we would earn our livelihood thereby. And when the water became sweet, they lost their livelihood. Thus it is explained in Sotah (46b).  
24. And he turned around and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of God. And two she-bears came out of the forest and tore apart forty-two boys of them.   כד. וַיִּפֶן אַחֲרָיו וַיִּרְאֵם וַיְקַלְלֵם בְּשֵׁם יְהֹוָה וַתֵּצֶאנָה שְׁתַּיִם דֻּבִּים מִן הַיַּעַר וַתְּבַקַּעְנָה מֵהֶם אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁנֵי יְלָדִים:
and saw them: He saw that neither in them nor in their descendants would there be any ‘sap’ of good deeds.  
25. And he went from there to Mt. Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.   כה. וַיֵּלֶךְ מִשָּׁם אֶל הַר הַכַּרְמֶל וּמִשָּׁם שָׁב שֹׁמְרוֹן:
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