Biblical Concept: Heavenly Chariots
(Underlines are mine.)
2 Kings 2:9-14 9 Now it came about when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you." And Elisha said, "Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me." 10 And he said, "You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so." 11 Then it came about as they were going along and talking, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. 12 And Elisha saw it and cried out, "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!" And he saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. 13 He also took up the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and returned and stood by the bank of the Jordan. 14 And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and struck the waters and said, "Where is the LORD, the God of Elijah?" And when he also had struck the waters, they were divided here and there; and Elisha crossed over.
Observation: Elijah, Elisha, and heavenly chariots of fire. Spiritually unique!
Wonders: What meaning has “the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!”? Elisha asked and was granted a double portion of “your spirit be upon me.” According to 2 Kings 6:15-17 below, Elisha may see with an extra dimensional level. It may have been given to him right at the point of Elijah’s whirlwind ascension, and he exclaimed: “the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” at the sight of this heavenly throng chariot escort for Elijah? Recall that Elijah is coming back as one of the two tribulation witnesses (Malachi 4:5 and Revelation 11) and he was given a powerful escort to God’s heaven, awaiting his role in the Day of the Lord.
2 Kings 6:15-17 15 Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" 16 So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, "O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Context: War with the Arameans, vv. 8-10. Elisha provides valuable intel in the war, vv. 11-12. The king of Aram seeks to capture Elisha, vv. 13-15. Divine chariots of fire protect Elisha, vv. 16-17. Elisha’s prayer for enemy blindness is honored, vv. 18-23.
Wonderings: “Those who are with us are more” - How conscious of angelic companions was Elisha? How conscious of the numbers was he? “Open his eyes that he may see” - How open were the eyes of Elisha as regards angelic accompaniment? Did he pursue actions based on available support? Were Elisha’s spiritual eyes always open? Was Elisha double-portion-gifted to see in more dimensions than three? See the comments at 2 Kings 2:9-14 above. “Chariots of fire all around Elisha” - With the surrounding angelic powers, Elisha boldly moved with offensive prayer for the blinding and manipulation of his pursuers. Earlier in the chapter Elisha floated an axe head (vv. 1-7), small stuff compared to chariots of fire!
2 Kings 7:6-7 6 For the Lord had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, even the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, "Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us." 7 Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life.
Observation: Divine manipulation of chariot sounds.
Isaiah 66:15-16 15 For behold, the LORD will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For the LORD will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh, And those slain by the LORD will be many.
Wonder: A chariot is a weapon of war. There is a driver, an archer, two wheels, a protective platform, and a pair of horses. This is 7 separate parts to a chariot. Does a heavenly chariot of fire represent a band of seven angels and their massed power? Re angelic power, in 2 Kings 19:35, one angel, in one night, gave a permanent dirt nap to 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Angels have mastery over more dimensions than humanity, and it would be easy for an angel of the Lord to use over-pressure to rob human lungs of oxygen and provide a swift quiet death to these puny three-dimensional life forms. There are various ranks and types of angels, band 7 of them together as a heavenly chariot of fire and One has a powerful expeditionary force. Psalm 68:17 below, notes that there are myriads of these heavenly chariots of fire. I am reminded of Jesus’ statement in Matthew 26:53, "Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” The power / conflict of angels is a fascinating spiritual subject. A consequential reality for your life - Hebrews 2:5a, Human history is subject to angels. Hebrews 13:2 “some have entertained angels without knowing it.” See Biblical Concept: The World, Subject to Angels.)
Joel 2:1-12 1 Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming; Surely it is near, 2 A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations. 3 A fire consumes before them, And behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, But a desolate wilderness behind them, And nothing at all escapes them. 4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like war horses, so they run. 5 With a noise as of chariots They leap on the tops of the mountains, Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble, Like a mighty people arranged for battle. 6 Before them the people are in anguish; All faces turn pale. 7 They run like mighty men; They climb the wall like soldiers; And they each march in line, Nor do they deviate from their paths. 8 They do not crowd each other; They march everyone in his path. When they burst through the defenses, They do not break ranks. 9 They rush on the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter through the windows like a thief. 10 Before them the earth quakes, The heavens tremble, The sun and the moon grow dark, And the stars lose their brightness. 11 And the LORD utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the LORD is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?
Observation: Day of the Lord and chariot sounds.
Psalm 104:1-4 1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, Thou art very great; Thou art clothed with splendor and majesty, 2 Covering Thyself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. 3 He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind; 4 He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.
Observation: “He makes the clouds His chariot”
Isaiah 5:25-28 25 On this account the anger of the LORD has burned against His people, And He has stretched out His hand against them and struck them down, And the mountains quaked; and their corpses lay like refuse in the middle of the streets. For all this His anger is not spent, But His hand is still stretched out. 26 He will also lift up a standard to the distant nation, And will whistle for it from the ends of the earth; And behold, it will come with speed swiftly. 27 No one in it is weary or stumbles, None slumbers or sleeps; Nor is the belt at its waist undone, Nor its sandal strap broken. 28 Its arrows are sharp, and all its bows are bent; The hoofs of its horses seem like flint, and its chariot wheels like a whirlwind.
Observation: Chariot wheels of judgement on Israel.
Zechariah 6:1-8 1 Now I lifted up my eyes again and looked, and behold, four chariots were coming forth from between the two mountains; and the mountains were bronze mountains. 2 With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, 3 with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot strong dappled horses. 4 Then I spoke and said to the angel who was speaking with me, "What are these, my lord?" 5 And the angel answered and said to me, "These are the four spirits of heaven, going forth after standing before the Lord of all the earth, 6 with one of which the black horses are going forth to the north country; and the white ones go forth after them, while the dappled ones go forth to the south country. 7 "When the strong ones went out, they were eager to go to patrol the earth." And He said, "Go, patrol the earth." So they patrolled the earth. 8 Then He cried out to me and spoke to me saying, "See, those who are going to the land of the north have appeased My wrath in the land of the north."