And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground.
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.
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 so.
And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot 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.
He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, 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 also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

COMMENTARY

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.
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.

In this passage we read how Elijah was willing to give what he could to his protégé, but Elisha’s specific request was one that Elijah did not have the ability to fulfill. It was a request that Elisha was going to have to take up with the Lord directly.

And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and they parted hither and thither
And so, after Elisha witnessed the departure of his master he took up the mantle, tested his authority, and found that God had indeed granted his request. Elisha had received what Elijah already had but which only God could give.
It is important for each of us to recognize that while our worldly mentors can give us much, they cannot give us all. We might go to school and gain a full education, but the pure love of learning is something that no teacher can impart. And we can learn manners from others, and how to speak kindly too, but no human can put genuine consideration for our fellow man in our hearts. And we can let others convince us of the importance of commandments and spiritual rituals, but no person will ever make God come alive in our hearts for us. These greater things can only come from above.

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