It was near the time for the Lord to take Elijah. He was going to take him by a whirlwind up into heaven. Elijah and Elisha were at Gilgal.
Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here. The Lord has told me to go to Bethel.”But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you live, I won’t leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
A group of the prophets at Bethel came to Elisha. They said to him, “Do you know the Lord will take your master away from you today?”Elisha said, “Yes, I know. But don’t talk about it.”
Elijah said to him, “Stay here, because the Lord has sent me to Jericho.”But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you live, I won’t leave you.”So they went to Jericho.
A group of the prophets at Jericho came to Elisha. They said, “Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today?”Elisha answered, “Yes, I know. But don’t talk about it.”
Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here. The Lord has sent me to the Jordan River.”Elisha answered, “As the Lord lives, and as you live, I won’t leave you.”So the two of them went on.
Fifty men from a group of the prophets came. They stood far from where Elijah and Elisha were by the Jordan.
Elijah took off his coat. Then he rolled it up and hit the water. The water divided to the right and to the left. Then Elijah and Elisha crossed over on dry ground.
After they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “What can I do for you before I am taken from you?”Elisha said, “Leave me a double share of your spirit.”
Elijah said, “You have asked a hard thing. But if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours. If you don’t, it won’t happen.”
Elijah and Elisha were still walking and talking. Then a chariot and horses of fire appeared. The chariot and horses of fire separated Elijah from Elisha. Then Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.
Elisha saw it and shouted, “My father! My father! The chariots of Israel and their horsemen!” Elisha did not see him anymore. Elisha grabbed his own clothes and tore them to show how sad he was.
He picked up Elijah’s coat that had fallen from him. Then Elisha returned and stood on the bank of the Jordan.
Elisha hit the water with Elijah’s coat. He said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he hit the water, it divided to the right and to the left. Then Elisha crossed over.
A group of the prophets at Jericho were watching. They said, “Elisha now has the spirit Elijah had.” They came to meet him. And they bowed down to the ground before him.
They said to him, “There are 50 strong men with us! Please let them go and look for your master. Maybe the Spirit of the Lord has taken Elijah up and set him down. He may be on some mountain or in some valley.”But Elisha answered, “No. Don’t send them.”
The group of prophets begged Elisha until he hated to refuse them anymore. Then he said, “Send them.” So they sent 50 men who looked for three days. But they could not find Elijah.
Then they came back to Elisha at Jericho where he was staying. He said to them, “I told you not to go, didn’t I?”
Jacob lived in the land of Canaan, where his father had lived.
This is the family history of Jacob.Joseph was a young man, 17 years old. He and his brothers cared for the flocks. His brothers were the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. Joseph gave his father bad reports about his brothers.
Joseph was born when his father Israel, also called Jacob, was old. So Israel loved Joseph more than his other sons. He made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves.
Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them. So they hated their brother and could not speak to him politely.
One time Joseph had a dream. When he told his brothers about it, they hated him even more.
Joseph said, “Listen to the dream I had.
We were in the field tying bundles of wheat together. My bundle stood up, and your bundles of wheat gathered around mine. Your bundles bowed down to mine.”
His brothers said, “Do you really think you will be king over us? Do you truly think you will rule over us?” His brothers hated him even more now. They hated him because of his dreams and what he had said.
Then Joseph had another dream. He told his brothers about it also. He said, “Listen, I had another dream. I saw the sun, moon and 11 stars bowing down to me.”
Joseph also told his father about this dream. But his father scolded him, saying, “What kind of dream is this? Do you really believe that your mother, your brothers and I will bow down to you?”
Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. But his father thought about what all these things could mean.
There was a man from the family of Levi. He married a woman who was also from the family of Levi.
She became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw how wonderful the baby was, and she hid him for three months.
But after three months, she was not able to hide the baby any longer. So she got a basket made of reeds and covered it with tar so that it would float. She put the baby in the basket. Then she put the basket among the tall grass at the edge of the Nile River.
The baby’s sister stood a short distance away. She wanted to see what would happen to him.
Then the daughter of the king of Egypt came to the river. She was going to take a bath. Her servant girls were walking beside the river. She saw the basket in the tall grass. So she sent her slave girl to get it.
The king’s daughter opened the basket and saw the baby boy. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. She said, “This is one of the Hebrew babies.”
Then the baby’s sister asked the king’s daughter, “Would you like me to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for you?”
The king’s daughter said, “Yes, please.” So the girl went and got the baby’s own mother.
The king’s daughter said to the woman, “Take this baby and nurse him for me. I will pay you.” So the woman took her baby and nursed him.
After the child had grown older, the woman took him to the king’s daughter. She adopted the baby as her own son. The king’s daughter named him Moses, because she had pulled him out of the water.
In Lystra there sat a man who had been born crippled; he had never walked.
This man was listening to Paul speak. Paul looked straight at him and saw that the man believed God could heal him.
So he cried out, “Stand up on your feet!” The man jumped up and began walking around.
When the crowds saw what Paul did, they shouted in their own Lycaonian language. They said, “The gods have become like men! They have come down to us!”
And the people began to call Barnabas “Zeus.” They called Paul “Hermes,” because he was the main speaker.
The temple of Zeus was near the city. The priest of this temple brought some bulls and flowers to the city gates. The priest and the people wanted to offer a sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas.
But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, understood what they were about to do, they tore their clothes in anger. Then they ran in among the people and shouted,
“Men, why are you doing these things? We are only men, human beings like you! We are bringing you the Good News. We are telling you to turn away from these worthless things and turn to the true living God. He is the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them.
In the past, God let all the nations do what they wanted.
Yet he did things to prove he is real: He shows kindness to you. He gives you rain from heaven and crops at the right times. He gives you food and fills your hearts with joy.”
Even with these words, they were barely able to keep the crowd from offering sacrifices to them.