Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 9 years ago

How does 2 Chronicles 21:12 refute the idea that Elijah died in the windstorm & went to heaven?

2 Kings chapter 2 speaks of Elijah being caught away in a windstorm up to heaven. Many believe that is proof that faithful ones who died before Jesus went to heaven when they died.

Is that really the case? And if so, how could what was said at John 3:13 be true? What bearing does 2 Chronicles 21:12 have on the issue? Are there any other scriptures that apply?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Update:

LOL Rick G!

Many excellent answers here, thanks everyone! :)

Update 2:

Peacelily - I'm sorry, but your timeline is incorrect. It appears to be based on the assumption that there is an error in 2 Chronicles 16:1, 2. Such an assumption is not necessary. The Sedar Olam suggests that the 36th year there mentioned was reckoned from the time Judah and Israel divided into separate nations (997 BCE), so Baasha would, indeed, have been alive when the Bible said he was. (See a non-WT reference - Soncino Books of the Bible, London, 1952, ftn on 2 Chronicles 16:1. Ussher was also in agreement in this regard.) Your timeline is therefore off by several years - if we go by the Bible itself.

Update 3:

Also, while I understand your reference to Hebrews 11, the benefits of God's heavenly kingdom will extend to those given the hope of everlasting life on earth, will they not? Is it not God's "tent" that will be with mankind as mentioned in Rev. 21? It is the benefits God's heavenly kingdom will bestow to mankind to which faithful pre-Christian witnesses looked forward. Therefore, we pray for God's will to be done, "as in heaven, also upon earth." (Matt. 6:10)

This article explains more about that earthly hope:

"As in Heaven, Also Upon Earth"

http://www.watchtower.org/e/20060815/article_02.ht...

13 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Greetings,

    Your reasoning is correct!

    The scriptural account makes it clear that Elijah neither ascended to heaven nor did he even die. Rather, he was manifestly still living on earth after his so-called "ascension" (Cf. 2Ki.2:11 w/2Ki.3:1,11 and 2Chron.21:1-4,12,13).

    If you carefully read the cited verses you will see that Elijah was "caught up" in the reign of Jehoshaphat who was father to Jehoram. Seven years after Elijah's "ascension" Jehoshaphat dies and Jehoram kills his brothers. Jehoram then receives a letter from Elijah condemning him for killing his brothers.

    Now, the only way that I can see out of Elijah still being alive on earth is if we assume Jehoram killed his brothers before his fathers death. This seems unlikely to me. The obvious conclusion is that Elijah is still alive here on earth when he wrote the letter.

    Being caught up to heaven can be easily reconciled with all the explicit Scriptures above by understanding the "heavens" to refer to earth's immediate atmosphere, where birds fly and winds blow. This is a common usage in the Bible (Deut.4:19; Lk.4:25-26; Ps.78:26; Mat.6:26).

    Even more, there are also very explicit scriptures which prove that Elijah could not have gone to heaven even after his later death.

    For example, at John 3:13 we have a very explicit and clear statement by Christ himself which shows that no one had ever gone to heaven before him. If Elijah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob went to heaven then we have to assume that Jesus was mistaken.

    Christ's statement is in agreement with every other clear verse dealing with the resurrection to heaven:

    Scriptures plainly state that the resurrection of chosen humans to eternal life with Christ would only occur after Christ's future coming and presence in the "last days." God did not promise anyone that they would be rewarded at death. (Mat.16:27; 24:3; Lk.14:14; Jn.11:24; 14:3; 1Cor.15:22,23,51,52; 2Tim.4:8)

    The way to heavenly life was first opened up to imperfect humans after the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ (Jn.14:2, 3; Heb. 6:19, 20; 9:24; 10:19, 20).

    Long after Christ's resurrection the Bible writers wrote that the righteous dead were still "asleep" in death (1Cor.15:6; 1Thes.4:13) and the resurrection was still to occur at a future time (Ac 24:15; Rev. 20:12,13; cf. 2Tim.2:18).

    Jesus was also called "the first fruits" of all resurrected to eternal heavenly life, so no one could have preceded him to heaven (Ac.10:40; 1Cor.15:20,23; Col.1:18).

    All these explicit passages tell us that there must be something wrong with the interpretation that Elijah or any other human went directly to heaven before the Last Day presence of Christ.

    However, some will point to the account of Christ's transfiguration as evidence that Elijah was in heaven (Mt. 17:1-9; Mk. 9:2-9).

    Yet, did Elijah and Moses literally appear with Jesus here? Were they alive and conscious in heaven after their death? No, Christ did not indicate that this was a literal appearance of Elijah, rather he explicitly called the transfiguration a "vision" (HORAMA at Mt.17:9). A vision is not reality. HORAMA occurs 12 times in the Bible all of the occurrences give the idea that a HORAMA is not real. At Acts 12:9 HORAMA is contrasted with real. The other occurrences are Ac.7:31; 9:10, 12; 10:3, 17, 19; 11:5; 16:9, 10; 18:9.

    Those who believe that Elijah and Moses went immediately to heaven have some serious contradictions to account for. We have to reconcile all the Scriptures which clearly state that those who are dead do not know anything and do not praise God but are "dust" (Gen.3:19; Eccl.3:20; 9:5,10; Ps.146:4; Isa.38:18,19; Ezek.18:4). Isaiah 38:18,19 says that the dead "do not praise Jehovah." If the dead righteous ones are conscious why would they not be able to praise God?

    The basic problem is that because of their belief that all good people go to heaven most religions ignore the facts presented in the Bible that there are two destinies for righteous humans. They ignore the explicit statements by Jesus and the Scriptures that show most humans will enjoy everlasting life on earth. God's stated purpose is for righteous ones to live for "eternity on earth" (Mt.5:5; 6:10; Ps.37,9,10,29; Isa. 66:19-24; 24:1-6; Rev.21:3,4) .

    Yours,

    BAR-ANERGES

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    1

    Source(s): End Times Prediction http://givitry.info/EndTimesProphecy
  • 9 years ago

    Having Elijah expire during his fiery-chariot departure appears to contradict Bible chronology that evidently has him writing a true warning to King Jehoram of Judah at 2Ch 21:12-15 a number of years after this event.

    He departed from Elisha in Israel, then he is seen again a number of years later writing a letter to the king of Judah. So, perhaps the fiery chariot transported him to another prophetic assignment. In any case, 2 Chronicles presents him as still being alive on earth after his fiery departure. (It’s possible it was a different Elijah, but it seems that Ezra, the chronicler, would have mentioned this. Also, his letter was not a forgery, for it proved to be true.)

    Source(s): Related question: How can Mary exist in Heaven (outside of earth's atmosphere) with her physical body? http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=ApJJU...
  • 9 years ago

    A number of years after his ascension in the windstorm Elijah is still alive and active as a prophet, this time to the king of Judah. Because of the wicked course taken by King Jehoram of Judah, Elijah writes him a letter expressing Jehovah’s condemnation, which is fulfilled shortly thereafter.—2Ch 21:12-15;

    At 2 Kings 2:11, 12 the prophet Elijah is described as “ascending in the windstorm to the heavens.” The heavens here referred to are the atmospheric heavens in which windstorms occur, not the spiritual heavens of God’s presence. Elijah did not die at the time of such ascension, but he continued to live for a number of years after his heavenly transportation away from his successor Elisha. Nor did Elijah upon death ascend to the spiritual heavens, since Jesus, while on earth, clearly stated that “no man has ascended into heaven.” (John 3:13; (Elisha Succeeds Him).)

    At Pentecost, Peter likewise said of David that he “did not ascend to the heavens.” (Ac 2:34) In reality, there is nothing in the Scriptures to show that a heavenly hope was held out to God’s servants prior to the coming of Christ Jesus. Such hope first appears in Jesus’ expressions to his disciples (Mt 19:21, 23-28; Lu 12:32; John 14:2, 3) and was fully comprehended by them only after Pentecost of 33 C.E.—Ac 1:6-8; 2:1-4, 29-36; Rom 8:16, 17.

    The Scriptures show that Christ Jesus was the first one to ascend from earth to the heavens of God’s presence. (1Co 15:20; Heb 9:24) By such ascension and his presentation of his ransom sacrifice there, he ‘opened the way’ for those who would follow—the spirit-begotten members of his congregation. (John 14:2, 3; Heb 6:19, 20; 10:19, 20) In their resurrection these must bear “the image of the heavenly one,” Christ Jesus, in order to ascend to the heavens of the spirit plane, for “flesh and blood” cannot inherit that heavenly Kingdom.—1Co 15:42-50.

    2 Chronicles 21:12 speaks of a time after Elijah was taken up in a windstorm, truth be told Elisha wouldn't leave Elijah so the windstorm which Elisha couldn't follow.

    Source(s): www.watchtower.org
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  • 9 years ago

    The account at 2 Chronicles 21 offers striking proof that Elijah was merely given a job transfer, rather than being taken to heaven as some teach. In that account, Elijah is described as being prophet to Jehoram, king of Judah, whose reign did not even BEGIN until five years or so after the end of the reign of Ahab, the king of Israel. Ahab was king of Israel when Elijah went up in the windstorm. (This Jehoram is not to be confused with Jehoram the son of Ahab and Jezebel; rather, he is Jehoram the son-in-law of Ahab, that is to say, he is the Jehoram who was married to the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. He became king of Judah in about 913 B.C.E. Since Ahab's reign in Israel ended in about 918 B.C.E., Jehoram's reign began five years after Ahab's reign ended. So this letter Elijah wrote to Jehoram could not have been written before he went up in the windstorm as some might suggest.) Thus, the chronology alone disproves any theory that Elijah went to heaven.

    Moreover, and as you mentioned in your details, this is in perfect harmony with Jesus' own words at John 3:13 where he states that "no man has ascended to heaven."

    Finally, the apostle Paul serves as a second witness to the fact that Elijah did not go to heaven. In Hebrews chapter 11, Paul gives an encouraging list of those who, by faith, did wondrous things. Abel, Noah, Abraham and so on. In verse 13, Paul plainly says that "in faith all these DIED although they did not get the fulfillment of the promise." Why not? Because, according to verse 40, God 'foresaw something better for us.' No way did Abraham or Moses precede Paul in the fulfillment of God's promises. Certainly, then, Elijah did not precede Paul into heaven. And most assuredly, he did not precede Jesus into heaven.

    Hannah J Paul

  • 9 years ago

    At 2 Kings 2:11, 12 the prophet Elijah is described as “ascending in the windstorm to the heavens.” The heavens here referred to are the atmospheric heavens in which windstorms occur, not the spiritual heavens of God’s presence. Elijah did not die at the time of such ascension, but he continued to live for a number of years after his heavenly transportation away from his successor Elisha. Nor did Elijah upon death ascend to the spiritual heavens, since Jesus, while on earth, clearly stated that “no man has ascended into heaven.” (Joh 3:13). At Pentecost, Peter likewise said of David that he “did not ascend to the heavens.” (Ac 2:34) In reality, there is nothing in the Scriptures to show that a heavenly hope was held out to God’s servants prior to the coming of Christ Jesus. Such hope first appears in Jesus’ expressions to his disciples (Mt 19:21, 23-28; Lu 12:32; Joh 14:2, 3) and was fully comprehended by them only after Pentecost of 33 C.E.

    The Scriptures show that Christ Jesus was the first one to ascend from earth to the heavens of God’s presence. By such ascension and his presentation of his ransom sacrifice there, he ‘opened the way’ for those who would follow—the spirit-begotten members of his congregation. In their resurrection these must bear “the image of the heavenly one,” Christ Jesus, in order to ascend to the heavens of the spirit plane, for “flesh and blood” cannot inherit that heavenly Kingdom.

  • Rick G
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    There are good answers here, so this is just for the fun of it.

    Can you imagine the flight that Elijah had, as this would be the first account of air travel. Notice, there was no luggage taken on the trip...

    As he was getting older, this saved him miles of walking, through a region that was under the authority of those that hated him and his message.

    And he still worked for the same "Boss", so this was the first account of an "employer" providing transportation to the new job location.

    While Jonah did get free "sea" transportation, I imagine Elijah's trip was much more pleasant and God didn't have to kick up a storm to get him on the "transportation".

  • 9 years ago

    Simply put, Elijah was on earth when he uttered the words at 2nd Chronicles; and this was long after the windstorm incident.

    Therefore, Elijah did not die and go to heaven, as some believe happens at death, he was transferred to another location; possible to protect Elijah from death.

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    6 years ago

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  • 9 years ago

    [quote] Ahab was king of Israel when Elijah went up in the windstorm. [/quote]

    How can this assertion be made? It is not supported by the Scriptures.

    According to 2 Kings 1:1, "Moab rebelled against Israel AFTER the death of Ahab."

    2 Kings 1:2: "And Ahaziah [Ahab's successor] fell through the lattice in his upper chamber..."

    Verses 3 and 4: Elijah was sent to declare a prophecy from God to King Ahaziah's messengers. The following verses describe how God's prophecy was delivered, and what transpired as a result. Verses 15-16 have Elijah going with the third captain directly to King Ahaziah (King Ahab's successor) and speaking God's prophecy directly to the king.

    2 Kings 1:17: "So Ahaziah died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken. And because he had no son, Jehoram became king in his place in the SECOND YEAR of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah" (see 2 Chron. 21:1-12).

    So here the prophecy was fulfilled according to the prophecy spoken by Elijah, and Jehoram (not the same Jehoram Elijah wrote the letter to, because he is also mentioned in this verse) became king of Israel in Ahaziah's place.

    Interestingly, this verse specifically says that this Jehoram became king of Israel two years AFTER Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah. And Elijah, who was instrumental in delivering the prophecy concerning the death of his predecessor, had not yet been taken up by the whirlwind (the description of which is given in the following chapter, 2 Kings 2). There was plenty of time for Elijah to have sent this letter to King Jehoram of Judah before he was taken up to heaven.

    *** w05 8/1 p. 8 Highlights From the Book of Second Kings ***

    King Ahaziah of Israel suffers a fall in his home and is sick. He receives a notice of death from the prophet Elijah. Ahaziah dies, and his brother Jehoram ascends to the throne. Meanwhile, Jehoshaphat is king over Judah. [No, 2 Kings 1:17 specifically says that when Jehoram takes the throne in Israel, Jehoram the SON OF JEHOSHAPHAT is king over Judah.] Elijah is taken up in a windstorm, and his assistant, Elisha, succeeds him as a prophet.

    Comparison chart, Kings of Judah/Kings of Israel: http://www.agapebiblestudy.com/charts/Kings%20of%2...

    [quote] In reality, there is nothing in the Scriptures to show that a heavenly hope was held out to God’s servants prior to the coming of Christ Jesus. [/quote]

    Hebrews 11:13-16: "All these [Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, and the list continues after this extracted passage] died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were STRANGERS AND EXILES ON THE EARTH. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a HEAVENLY one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them."

    Contrary to what the Watchtower Society asserts, Christians do not believe that all righteous people who lived prior to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus went to heaven: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=Am5zv...

    And we certainly don't believe that all "good" people go to heaven (see the Book of Romans).

    I would be happy to discuss any of these issues by email with anyone who is interested.

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