Bible: 2 Kings 4:1-36

Elisha Helps a Widow and Her Sons

4:1 Now a wife of one of the prophets 1  appealed 2  to Elisha for help, saying, “Your servant, my husband is dead. You know that your servant was a loyal follower of the Lord. 3  Now the creditor is coming to take away my two boys to be his servants.” 4:2 Elisha said to her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a small jar of olive oil.” 4:3 He said, “Go and ask all your neighbors for empty containers. 4  Get as many as you can. 5  4:4 Go and close the door behind you and your sons. Pour the olive oil into all the containers; 6  set aside each one when you have filled it.” 4:5 So she left him and closed the door behind her and her sons. As they were bringing the containers to her, she was pouring the olive oil. 4:6 When the containers were full, she said to one of her sons, 7 Bring me another container.” But he answered her, “There are no more.” Then the olive oil stopped flowing. 4:7 She went and told the prophet. 8  He said, “Go, sell the olive oil. Repay your creditor, and then you and your sons can live off the rest of the profit.”

Elisha Gives Life to a Boy

4:8 One day Elisha traveled to Shunem, where a prominent 9  woman lived. She insisted that he stop for a meal. 10  So whenever he was passing through, he would stop in there for a meal. 11  4:9 She said to her husband, “Look, I’m sure 12  that the man who regularly passes through here is a very special prophet. 13  4:10 Let’s make a small private upper room 14  and furnish it with 15  a bed, table, chair, and lamp. When he visits us, he can stay there.”

4:11 One day Elisha 16  came for a visit; he went 17  into the upper room and rested. 18  4:12 He told his servant Gehazi, “Ask the Shunammite woman to come here.” 19  So he did so and she came to him. 20  4:13 Elisha said to Gehazi, 21 Tell her, ‘Look, you have treated us with such great respect. 22  What can I do for you? Can I put in a good word for you with the king or the commander of the army?’” She replied, “I’m quite secure.” 23  4:14 So he asked Gehazi, 24  “What can I do for her?” Gehazi replied, “She has no son, and her husband is old.” 4:15 Elisha told him, “Ask her to come here.” 25  So he did so 26  and she came and stood in the doorway. 27  4:16 He said, “About this time next year 28  you will be holding a son.” She said, “No, my master! O prophet, do not lie to your servant! 4:17 The woman did conceive, and at the specified time the next year she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

4:18 The boy grew and one day he went out to see his father who was with the harvest workers. 29  4:19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!” His father 30  told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 4:20 So he picked him up and took him to his mother. He sat on her lap 31  until noon and then died. 4:21 She went up and laid him down on the prophet’s 32  bed. She shut the door behind her and left. 4:22 She called to her husband, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so I can go see the prophet quickly and then return.” 4:23 He said, “Why do you want to go see him today? It is not the new moon 33  or the Sabbath.” She said, “Everything’s fine.” 34  4:24 She saddled the donkey and told her servant, “Lead on. 35  Do not stop unless I say so.” 36 

4:25 So she went to visit 37  the prophet at Mount Carmel. When he 38  saw her at a distance, he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, it’s the Shunammite woman. 4:26 Now, run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you well? Are your husband and the boy well?’” She told Gehazi, 39 Everything’s fine.” 4:27 But when she reached the prophet on the mountain, she grabbed hold of his feet. Gehazi came near to push her away, but the prophet said, “Leave her alone, for she is very upset. 40  The Lord has kept the matter hidden from me; he didn’t tell me about it.” 4:28 She said, “Did I ask my master for a son? Didn’t I say, ‘Don’t mislead me?’ 4:29 Elisha 41  told Gehazi, “Tuck your robes into your belt, take my staff, 42  and go! Don’t stop to exchange greetings with anyone! 43  Place my staff on the child’s face.” 4:30 The mother of the child said, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So Elisha 44  got up and followed her back.

4:31 Now Gehazi went on ahead of them. He placed the staff on the child’s face, but there was no sound or response. When he came back to Elisha 45  he told him, “The child did not wake up.” 4:32 When Elisha arrived at the house, there was 46  the child lying dead on his bed. 4:33 He went in by himself and closed the door. 47  Then he prayed to the Lord. 4:34 He got up on the bed and spread his body out over 48  the boy; he put his mouth on the boy’s 49  mouth, his eyes over the boy’s eyes, and the palms of his hands against the boy’s palms. He bent down over him, and the boy’s skin 50  grew warm. 4:35 Elisha 51  went back and walked around in the house. 52  Then he got up on the bed again 53  and bent down over him. The child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 4:36 Elisha 54  called to Gehazi and said, “Get the Shunammite woman.” So he did so 55  and she came to him. He said to her, “Take your son.”

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