(NIV1984) 2 Kings 2:4 – “Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho.’
“And he replied, ‘As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So they went to Jericho.”
The wording in this dialogue is almost identical to what the two said in the first conversation, with the main exception being that they’re going to Jericho now instead of Bethel. Secondly, the narration is slightly different, more simplified.
But there is one other change – in this middle one, Elijah says Elisha’s name.
Now, names are an important thing Biblically. There are people such as Peter and Jacob who have their names changed. Names have direct meanings – like Samuel’s name – and God Himself is given many names throughout the course of the Bible. As we saw in 1 Kings when looking at Ahab – he was called different things determined by the situation and context – sometimes by name, sometimes “the king of Israel”, etc.
This time Elijah says Elisha’s name. He’s not just some impersonal person Elijah is trying to leave behind; he is thinking enough about him to use his name. And keeping in mind that Elisha was Elijah’s companion to keep him from being lonely – that adds a lot more to Elijah trying to leave him behind and Elisha refusing to leave.