Horses and chariots come up four times during the ministry of the great prophet Elisha. What are they?
The horses and chariots of fire are not natural phenomenon of the time-space continuum.
Rather, they reside in the invisible realm. The “spirit” realm.
People do not normally see them.
What are they? Here are the top four theories:
- They are angels
- They are manifestations of the power of the LORD God
- They are like the Shekinah, the glory-cloud of the LORD God
- They are a heart on fire for the LORD God
The Orthodox mystic Olivier Clément wrote:
The chariot by which a person speeds into glory is a heart on fire.
2 Kings 2:11. As they continued on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
2 Kings 6:17. Elisha prayed, and said, “LORD, please open his eyes, that he may see.” the LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha.
2 Kings 7:6. For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians to hear the sound of chariots and the sound of horses, even the noise of a great army; and 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 attack us.”
2 Kings 13:14. Now Elisha became sick with the illness of which he died; and Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over him, and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!”
1. Olivier Clément, The Roots of Christian Mysticism. Hyde Park, New York: New City Press, 1993, p. 247.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.