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

Jason Hare jaihare at gmail.com
Mon Oct 1 22:23:35 EDT 2007

Greetings Bryan,

I agree with you that ואלישע רואה is vague. However, the other verse 
that I pointed out in my previous response is where the clues to our 
understanding should come from, in my opinion.

The people witnessed that the "spirit of Elijah" had rested upon Elisha, 
which was conditioned upon Elisha seeing his master as he was taken.

I think he would have torn his clothes, the regular sign of mourning, 
simply from the fact that his friend and master had been taken from him 
and he was left without a companion.

I think that the phrase ולא ראהו עוד also indicates that he was seeing 
him as he left, since as soon as it was all gone, he "saw him no more." 
Surely the text would have said that he went away without Elisha seeing 
him, if that were the case.

In asking איה ה׳ אלהי אליהו , I take him simply to be addressing himself 
to God. We might turn to God and say, "God, where are you? I'm depending 
on you now" before we ask for him to act on our behalf in some way. I do 
not think that he asked this in desperation at all.

Jason Hare
English Teacher
Rishon LeZion, Israel
jaihare at gmail.com

B. M. Rocine wrote:
> 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.
> Blessings,
> Bryan

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