We read the exciting and dramatic account of Elijah’s ascent to heaven in 2 Kings 2. At the very start of that narrative, we, as readers, are told that Yahweh was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind. However, as the narrative develops, we discover that the fact of the taking of Elijah was already known to the “sons of the prophets” and to Elisha (and presumably to Elijah himself too, though the narrative does not specifically say so – rather, I suggest, it can be inferred from his words and actions).
The purpose of this short article is to see whether this prophetic foreknowledge, or at least some aspects of it, could have been gained by an ability of the prophets to read “the signs of the times” in the light of earlier events in Israel’s history – rather than being entirely the result of a dramatic direct revelation from God regarding which they would have had no earlier intimation. Of course, the plausibility of the existence of such insight does not prove that their foreknowledge was actually acquired in this way! Rather this article attempts to present evidence for the possibility that the prophetic office could, at least on occasion, have included such a modus operandi.
The article is in Word document format and can be accessed by clicking on the link below:
Categories: Old Testament Exegesis