Did Elijah Die a Human Death?
We are told Elijah was taken directly to heaven and never died a human death. This is really going to surprise you.
The fifty men that searched for Elijah for three days in vain were sure he had been dropped by the whirlwind somewhere in the direction they had seen him taken. (2 Kings 2:17)
Another important point we cannot overlook is Joram (king of Israel) begins to reign. (2 Kings 1:17, 3:1) This appears to be just before or just after Elijah had already been taken, because Joram and Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) join forces and are consulting the prophet Elisha. (2 Kings 3:8-11)
After Joram had been king of Israel for a couple years, Jehoshaphat died and his son Jehoram began his eight year reign in Judah. After five to six years, Elijah sent a writing by messenger scolding Jehoram for the wrong things he had been doing while king. (2 Chronicles 21:12-15) The message also pronounced a judgment from the Lord upon him, his people and his family. The letter came true when Jehoram was stricken with a bowel disease the last two years of his life. (2 Chron. 21:16-20) His family was taken except for his youngest son Ahaziah, who reigned after Jehoram for one year.
After Joram had reigned for twelve years and Ahaziah had reigned one year after Jehoram died; Jehu slew them both. (2 Kings 9:24-28) The letter from Elijah could have been seven years after Elijah was taken by the whirlwind. Bible commentaries also agree that it was after Elijah had been taken away by the whirlwind.
Besides elaborating on the content of the letter Elijah sent to Jehoram, Josephus states: For he was yet upon the earth. (Antiquities of the Jews 9, 5:2)
In Harper's Bible Dictionary (page 760) numerous fasts and feasts of the Jewish calendar are listed. It states the tenth day of the second month Ziv was a fast to commemorate the death of Elijah.
Did the Lord have other work for Elijah at another location here on earth? Elijah was close enough he could get word about what had taken place where he had previously been. He was also close enough to send a messenger with the writing of reprimand.
In this case, the event of Elijah's death is not documented. There is nothing in the Bible that tells of him going straight to the throne room of God.
In the famous chapter of those who died in faith, Elijah must certainly be included in the prophets who died in faith waiting for the promise. Even though there is not an exact list of all the prophet's names from beginning to end, Elijah surely ranks among the major prophets. (Heb. 11:32)
Do not forget, No man has ascended up to heaven except He that came down from heaven, Yeshua Himself. (John 3:13) It is appointed unto man to die ONCE and after that comes judgment. (Heb. 9:27)