2 Kings 2:11-13
And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven
And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back and stood by the bank of Jordan. [Dake A.R.B.]
It would be interesting to have a record of such a conversation between two great prophets. One can conclude that it was nothing vain and light. Perhaps Elijah gave his successor his final instructions regarding what to do and how to carry on his place [v11; 1 Kings 19:16].
While they were having their last words together there suddenly appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire which came between them, separating them and taking Elijah up into heaven by a whirlwind. [v1, 11].
Elijah was the second man to be taken to heaven in a natural body, Enoch being the first [Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5].
Both now reside in heaven in their natural body, having never died. However, they will die their appointed death on earth as the TWO WITNESSES of the future tribulation period [Zech. 4:11; Mal. 4:5-6; Rev. 11:3-12]
Since their time at least two other men have been taken to heaven and brought back [2 Cor. 12:1-5; Rev. 4:1].
Christ also went to heaven and came back after His resurrection [Jn. 12:17-19]; then returned to heaven leading many resurrected men, and souls and spirits of just men whose bodies were not resurrected [Matt. 27:53-54; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 12:23].
Before this, all righteous souls and spirits went into sheol-hades where they were fully conscious while their bodies went to qeber, the grave. Now when a Christian dies he no longer goes into the underworld of departed spirits to be held by the devil against his will [Heb. 2:14-15]; instead he goes immediately to heaven to await the resurrection day [2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21-24; Heb. 12:23].
Elijah was taken up in both a chariot of fire [v11-12] and a whirlwind [v1, 11].
The plant heaven is higher than all other planets.
[If thou see me….. it shall be so] This was the condition of receiving the double portion of the Holy Spirit [v10]. Here he saw it, and cried, ‘the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof’ [v12].
His own mantle was now torn up, so He could put on the mantle of Elijah [v13], which the prophet had previously thrown around him [1Kings 19:19]. – Dake A.R. Bible