Elijah was raptured without his clothes

Elijah's mantle falls from heavenI am embarrassed that I missed the clearest evidence in my post The Rapture: will we be clothed or naked?, which is from the story of Elijah. In the Bible there are only three people who were taken up into heaven alive: Enoch, Elijah and Jesus. We don’t know anything about Enoch’s clothes. Jesus had already left his earthly grave-clothes lying in the tomb when he was resurrected, and presumably what preserved his modesty during his resurrection appearances was some kind of heavenly raiment which could ascend to heaven with him.

So we are left with the story of Elijah being taken up to heaven in a whirlwind, in 2 Kings 2. This is the clearest and most detailed biblical account of any kind of rapture. And what do we read?

Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him …

2 Kings 2:13 (NIV 2011)

So it should be more than clear that our clothes will fall off us if and when we are raptured, for others to pick up.

Presumably, since the metaphorical sense of “mantle” derives from the KJV rendering of this story, the metaphorical mantles of those who are raptured will also be available for the first to claim them. In that case, as Joel Watts is expecting to be raptured on Saturday, as I already commented on his blog I want to claim “his mantle and a double portion of his anointing”, not least so that I can overcome the attacks of enemies of Gentle Wisdom and win that #1 biblioblogger place.

The Elijah passage also gives an insight into the mechanism of the Rapture. He was taken into heaven in a whirlwind, otherwise known as a tornado. Will the earth be hit by a massive outbreak of tornadoes? Were the ones which devastated the US Bible Belt a few weeks ago God’s practice run? It seems odd to me that Harold Camping is predicting earthquakes but has not mentioned tornadoes. And in the darkness and confusion inside a tornado there won’t be much danger of anyone’s nakedness being noticed.

So be ready for tomorrow just in case, but don’t worry about clothes. To quote Jesus (out of context? who said that?),

So do not worry, saying, … ‘What shall we wear?’ … 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. …

Matthew 6:31,34 (NIV 2011)

7 thoughts on “Elijah was raptured without his clothes

  1. Peter
    I admit I have never imagined Elijah in his birthday suit when he left the earth. I had assumed his cloak was an overgarment – like an overcoat – leaving him with “indoor clothes” underneath. Like the picture you added to the post. Not that this is a major doctrinal issue – or iperhaps it is! Roll on the 21st (my younger daughter’s 30th birthday).

  2. Well, Colin, I had never thought about it before. Obviously the artist did. You are probably right that the cloak or mantle was an outer garment. But there are other reasons to think that Elijah wouldn’t have taken his dirty underwear to heaven. Indeed not a major doctrinal issue!

  3. Pingback: Rapture update 1: New Zealand untouched - Gentle Wisdom

  4. John 3:13? Well, Wwwww, I guess either the Bible contradicts itself or the heaven that Elijah was raptured into was not the same place as the heaven that Jesus came from.

  5. No, Wwwww, I am not a believer in the Rapture, at least as portrayed in popular “Christian” literature. That is why I wrote some posts which are really intended to mock the whole subject. For more explanation see my posts in the Gentle Wisdom category The Rapture.

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