[b-hebrew] 2Ki 2:11-12

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Mon Oct 1 07:30:11 EDT 2007

Hi Jason,

In English we tend to insert consequence in our interpretation of the 
scene, like so: when Elijah was taken up in a cyclone, Elisha saw it. 

But the Hebrew does not indicate sequence and does not specify what 
Elisha saw.  It says only ve'eliysha` ro'eh--that he "was looking."  At 
what?  His exclamation indicates, "The chariot of Israel and its 
horses!"  which can suggest he missed Elijah's departure when he was 
distracted by the incredible appearance of the chariot and horses.

Why did he tear his garments?  I wouldn't think he would grieve over the 
magnificent sight of his surly master's departure.


Jason Hare wrote:
> Bryan,
> The answer is found in verse 15. In the beginning of verse 12, it says 
> W)LY$( RW)H [ואלישע רואה], and this refers to the fact that he *did* 
> see Elijah go away into heaven. The confirmation in verse 15 says that 
> NXH RWX )LYHW (L )LY$( [נחה רוח אליהו על אלישע], "the spirit of Elijah 
> has rested upon Elisha."
> Jason Hare
> English Teacher
> Rishon LeZion, Israel
> B. M. Rocine wrote:
>> B-Haveray,
>> I see in this dramatic scene the writer's craft prefers many 
>> non-sequential verb forms such as infinitive, participle, and qatal.  I 
>> take this to be a good way of expressing in BH that a lot of things in 
>> the narrative happened at once.
>> So  I am not sure whether Elisha saw Elijah taken up or not.  Elisha's 
>> tearing of his clothes and his later "Where is YHWH, the God of Elijah?" 
>> suggest to me that Elisha may have thought he missed his chance to meet 
>> Elijah's condition for a double portion of his spirit.
>> What are your thoughts?  Does the language indicate Elisha saw Elijah 
>> taken from him or not?
>> Thank you.
>> Blessings,
>> Bryan

B.M. Rocine
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13206
W:  (315) 437-6744

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