The Meaning of 2 Kings 2:11 Explained

2 Kings 2:11

KJV: 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.

YLT: And it cometh to pass, they are going, going on and speaking, and lo, a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and they separate between them both, and Elijah goeth up in a whirlwind, to the heavens.

Darby: And it came to pass as they went on, and talked, that behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire; and they parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into the heavens.

ASV: And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, which parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

What does 2 Kings 2:11 Mean?

Context Summary

2 Kings 2:1-12 - Fitted To Succeed His Master
We are at a loss whether to admire most the humility of Elijah or the pertinacity of Elisha. The humility of the former is very beautiful. An ordinary man would have blazoned abroad the honor to be conferred upon him. He would have taken care to secure witnesses, that it might not be unrecognized and unknown. Instead of this Elijah sought to be alone, that no eye might see the chariot sent specially from heaven for His conveyance.
But the determination of Elisha is equally beautiful, and only they who stand such tests can behold and inherit the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. At Gilgal, Bethel, and Jericho, Elisha might have stayed his steps at the call of indolence or love of ease; but the divine promptings would not allow him to remain. Do not allow yourself to be put back by apparent rebuffs. The Divine Spirit is only testing your mettle. Be ready with your request when He says: "Ask what I shall give thee." But you must have communion with the spirit-world, if you would have the double portion of the eldest son. They two went on; they two stood by Jordan; they two went over on dry ground; they two still went on and talked. Apply that to your intercourse with your Savior! [source]

Chapter Summary: 2 Kings 2

1  Elijah, taking his leave of Elisha, with his mantle divides Jordan
9  and, granting Elisha his request, is taken up by a fiery chariot into heaven
12  Elisha, dividing Jordan with Elijah's mantle, is acknowledged his successor
16  The young prophets, hardly obtaining leave to seek Elijah, cannot find him
19  Elisha with salt heals the unwholesome waters
23  Bears destroy the children that mocked Elisha

What do the individual words in 2 Kings 2:11 mean?

And it came to pass they as continued on went on and talked that suddenly [appeared] a chariot of fire and with horses of fire and separated between the two of them and went up Elijah by a whirlwind into heaven
וַיְהִ֗י הֵ֣מָּה הֹלְכִ֤ים הָלוֹךְ֙ וְדַבֵּ֔ר וְהִנֵּ֤ה רֶֽכֶב־ אֵשׁ֙ וְס֣וּסֵי אֵ֔שׁ וַיַּפְרִ֖דוּ בֵּ֣ין שְׁנֵיהֶ֑ם וַיַּ֙עַל֙ אֵ֣לִיָּ֔הוּ בַּֽסְעָרָ֖ה הַשָּׁמָֽיִם

וַיְהִ֗י  And  it  came  to  pass 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
הֹלְכִ֤ים  as  continued  on 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine plural
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
הָלוֹךְ֙  went  on 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Infinitive absolute
Root: הָלַךְ  
Sense: to go, walk, come.
וְדַבֵּ֔ר  and  talked 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Piel, Infinitive absolute
Root: דָּבַר 
Sense: to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, sing.
וְהִנֵּ֤ה  that  suddenly  [appeared] 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Interjection
Root: הִנֵּה  
Sense: behold, lo, see, if.
רֶֽכֶב־  a  chariot 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: רֶכֶב  
Sense: a team, chariot, chariotry, mill-stone, riders.
אֵשׁ֙  of  fire 
Parse: Noun, common singular
Root: אֵשׁ  
Sense: fire.
וְס֣וּסֵי  and  with  horses 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: סוּס 
Sense: swallow, swift.
אֵ֔שׁ  of  fire 
Parse: Noun, common singular
Root: אֵשׁ  
Sense: fire.
וַיַּפְרִ֖דוּ  and  separated 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: פָּרַד  
Sense: to separate, divide.
בֵּ֣ין  between 
Parse: Preposition
Root: בַּיִן 
Sense: between, among, in the midst of (with other preps), from between.
שְׁנֵיהֶ֑ם  the  two  of  them 
Parse: Number, mdc, third person masculine plural
Root: שְׁנַיִם  
Sense: two.
וַיַּ֙עַל֙  and  went  up 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: סָלַק 
Sense: to go up, ascend, climb.
אֵ֣לִיָּ֔הוּ  Elijah 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֵלִיָּה 
Sense: the great prophet of the reign of Ahab.
בַּֽסְעָרָ֖ה  by  a  whirlwind 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: סַעַר 
Sense: tempest, storm, whirlwind.
הַשָּׁמָֽיִם  into  heaven 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: שָׁמַיִם  
Sense: heaven, heavens, sky.