2 Kings 2:11
ESV - 11 And as they still went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
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Elijah appears in 1 Kings 17:1. His name means, "the Lord is my God." Elijah was "on fire" for God. Moses had encountered God in the 'burning bush.' God is Holy, Holy, Holy! He is perfect in every way. He is full of love and mercy, righteousness and goodness. He is indescribable in human terms. He transcends time and space He is, and was and always will be. In the book of Ezekiel we read about Ezekiel's vision of God. The hand of God had touched him. The name Ezekiel comes from the verb that means to seize. Ezekiel, like Elijah was a man "on fire" for God. Notice in Ezekiel's vision the whirlwind, the cloud, the raging fire, the brightness. I think all these things are indicators of the presence of God. Compare that to Exodus 19:16-20. Look at Psalm 18:7-15 and read the description of God's appearance. There was thunder, fire clouds... These phenomena are regularly associated with an appearance of God to His people. In 1 Kings 19:11-13, we read about God's revelation to Elijah on the mountain. God is a God of the spectacular events and also God of gentleness and stillness. He is anything He wants or needs to be to whomever He chooses to reveal Himself. This Holy Bible of ours is filled with fire. Note how many passages have fire or fiery in them! In the wilderness in Exodus, there was the pillar of cloud, and the pillar of fire! I believe that is to remind us that God is near to us throughout our journey on the earth! He made a spectacle of Himself, so that we will remember that He is powerful and everywhere at the same time. Because He is omnipresent, we need not fear. In 2 Kings 2:11, I believe that the horses and the chariot being fiery, are an indication of God's presence... Isaiah saw fiery angels stationed around the throne of God in chapter 6 verse 2. (Seraphims, a Hebrew word for burners) The seraphims only appear one other time in the Bible. You will find them in Revelation 4:6-8. There they are standing around the throne of God. In Psalm 104:3,4 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of wind, Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire. This is God! Elijah was His minister.. his name means "the Lord is my God." Elijah was a man whose ministry was associated with fire. His ascension to heaven was in a chariot of fire with fiery horses, and a whirlwind. Elisha was a witness and he said, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" Elijah's departure was fixed in Elisha's mind. Note, when Elisha's call to go home came, from the illness that took his life, Joash (king of Israel wept) and said, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen!" So yes, I would say that the meaning of 1 Kings 2:11 is that a fiery chariot with fiery horses actually came and took Elijah up in a whirlwind to heaven where God is! Elisha saw it, never forgot it, and probably told others of the experience! Why else would the King of Israel repeat what Elisha had said? AMEN... the clouds opened, the horses brought the chariot to receive Elijah and take him home!
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