2 Kings 4:2
New International Version
Elisha replied to her, "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?" "Your servant has nothing there at all," she said, "except a small jar of olive oil."

New Living Translation
"What can I do to help you?" Elisha asked. "Tell me, what do you have in the house?" "Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil," she replied.

English Standard Version
And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”

Berean Study Bible
“How can I help you?” asked Elisha. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”

New American Standard Bible
Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" And she said, "Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil."

King James Bible
And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

Christian Standard Bible
Elisha asked her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house? ” She said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”

Contemporary English Version
"Maybe there's something I can do to help," Elisha said. "What do you have in your house?" "Sir, I have nothing but a small bottle of olive oil."

Good News Translation
"What shall I do for you?" he asked. "Tell me, what do you have at home?" "Nothing at all, except a small jar of olive oil," she answered.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Elisha asked her, "What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" She said, "Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil."

International Standard Version
Elisha responded, "What shall I do for you? Tell me what you have in your house." She replied, "Your servant has nothing in the entire house except for a flask of oil."

NET Bible
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."

New Heart English Bible
Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me: what do you have in the house?" She said, "Your handmaid has nothing in the house, except a pot of oil."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Elisha asked her, "What should I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?" She answered, "I have nothing in the house except a jar of olive oil."

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Elisha said unto her: 'What shall I do for thee? tell me; what hast thou in the house?' And she said: 'Thy handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.'

New American Standard 1977
And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? Tell me what thou hast in the house? And she said, Thy handmaid has nothing in the house except a flask of oil.

King James 2000 Bible
And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for you? tell me, what have you in the house? And she said, Your handmaid has not anything in the house, except a pot of oil.

American King James Version
And Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? tell me, what have you in the house? And she said, Your handmaid has not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

American Standard Version
And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me; what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thy handmaid hath not anything in the house, save a pot of oil.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And Elisaie said, What shall I do for thee? tell me what thou hast in the house. And she said, Thy servant has nothing in the house, except oil wherewith I anoint myself.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Eliseus said to her: What wilt thou have me to do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in thy house? And she answered: I thy handmaid have nothing in my house but a little oil, to anoint me.

Darby Bible Translation
And Elisha said to her, What shall I do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thy handmaid has not anything at all in the house but a pot of oil.

English Revised Version
And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me; what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Elisha said to her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thy handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

World English Bible
Elisha said to her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me: what do you have in the house?" She said, "Your handmaid has nothing in the house, except a pot of oil."

Young's Literal Translation
And Elisha saith unto her, 'What do I do for thee? declare to me, what hast thou in the house?' and she saith, 'Thy maid-servant hath nothing in the house except a pot of oil.'
Study Bible
The Widow's Oil
1Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant, my husband, is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And now his creditor is coming to take my two children as his slaves!” 2“How can I help you?” asked Elisha. “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” 3“Go,” said Elisha, “borrow empty jars from all your neighbors. Do not gather just a few.…
Cross References
1 Kings 17:12
But she replied, "As surely as the LORD your God lives, I have no bread--only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. Look, I am gathering a couple of sticks to go in and prepare for myself and my son, so that we may eat it and die."

2 Kings 4:3
"Go," said Elisha, "borrow empty jars from all your neighbors. Do not gather just a few.

Treasury of Scripture

And Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? tell me, what have you in the house? And she said, Your handmaid has not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

What shall I

2 Kings 2:9
And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

2 Kings 6:26,27
And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king…

Matthew 15:34
And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.

save a pot of oil

1 Kings 17:12
And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

James 2:5
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?







Lexicon
“How
מָ֣ה (māh)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

can I
אֶֽעֱשֶׂה־ (’e·‘ĕ·śeh-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 6213: To do, make

help you?”
לָּ֔ךְ (lāḵ)
Preposition | second person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew

asked
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר (way·yō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

Elisha.
אֱלִישָׁע֙ (’ĕ·lî·šā‘)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 477: Elisha -- 'God is salvation', a well-known Israelite prophet

“Tell me,
הַגִּ֣ידִי (hag·gî·ḏî)
Verb - Hifil - Imperative - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5046: To be conspicuous

what
מַה־ (mah-)
Interrogative
Strong's Hebrew 4100: What?, what!, indefinitely what

do you have
יֶּשׁ־ (yeš-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 3426: Being, substance, existence, is

in the house?”
בַּבָּ֑יִת (bab·bā·yiṯ)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1004: A house

She answered,
וַתֹּ֗אמֶר (wat·tō·mer)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Qal - Consecutive imperfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 559: To utter, say

“Your servant
לְשִׁפְחָתְךָ֥ (lə·šip̄·ḥā·ṯə·ḵā)
Preposition-l | Noun - feminine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8198: Maid, maidservant

has nothing
אֵ֣ין (’ên)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

in the house
בַּבַּ֔יִת (bab·ba·yiṯ)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1004: A house

but
אִם־ (’im-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 518: Lo!, whether?, if, although, Oh that!, when, not

a jar
אָס֥וּךְ (’ā·sūḵ)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 610: Anointed, an oil-flask

of oil.”
שָֽׁמֶן׃ (šā·men)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8081: Grease, liquid, richness
(2) What hast thou?--The form of the pronoun here, and in 2Kings 4:3; 2Kings 4:7; 2Kings 4:16; 2Kings 4:23 infra, is peculiar, and points, as the present writer believes, to the northern origin of the narrative, rather than to later composition.

A pot of oil.--Usually explained, vas unguentarium, an "oil-flask." Keil says that '?s�k rather denotes "anointing," unctio, and '?s�k shemen, "an anointing in (or with) oil," i.e., oil enough for an anointing. But it seems better to take the word as a verb: "save (whereby) I may anoint myself with oil" (Micah 6:15). Vulgate, "parum olei, quo ungar." The Jews, like the Greeks and Romans, anointed themselves after the bath (2Samuel 12:20).

Verse 2. - And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? Elisha acknowledges at once the call upon him to do something for the woman. This is, no doubt, in part, because she is a widow. Widows were, in the Law, especially commended to the attention and care of the faithful. As Bahr says, "It is a well-known feature of the Mosaic Law, one which is distinctly prominent, that it often and urgently commands to succor the widows and the fatherless, and to care for them (Exodus 22:22-24; Deuteronomy 14:29; Deuteronomy 24:17, 19; Deuteronomy 26:12; Deuteronomy 27:19). They are mentioned as representatives of the forsaken, the oppressed, and the necessitous as a class (Isaiah 10:2; Jeremiah 6:6; Jeremiah 22:3; Zechariah 7:10; Matthew 3:5; Baruch 6:37). It is especially emphasized and praised in Jehovah, that he is the Father and Judge (i.e. Protector of the rights) of the widows and the fatherless (Deuteronomy 10:18; Psalm 68:5; Psalm 146:9; Isaiah 9:17, etc.). Neglect and contempt of them are counted among the heaviest offences (Psalm 94:6; Job 22:9; Ezekiel 22:7); just as, on the other hand, compassion and care for them is a sign of the true fear of God, and of true piety. (Job 29:12; Job 31:16; Tobit 1:7; James 1:27). Elisha could also gather from the tone of the woman's address that she, like her late husband, was God-fearing. Tell me, what hast thou in the house? Hast thou anything, that is, which thou canst soil, and so pay the debt? And she said, Thins handmaid hath not anything in the house, save a pot of oil; literally, save an anointing of oil; i.e. so much oil as will suffice for one anointing of my person. 4:1-7 Elisha's miracles were acts of real charity: Christ's were so; not only great wonders, but great favours to those for whom they were wrought. God magnifies his goodness with his power. Elisha readily received a poor widow's complaint. Those that leave their families under a load of debt, know not what trouble they cause. It is the duty of all who profess to follow the Lord, while they trust to God for daily bread, not to tempt him by carelessness or extravagance, nor to contract debts; for nothing tends more to bring reproach upon the gospel, or distresses their families more when they are gone. Elisha put the widow in a way to pay her debt, and to maintain herself and her family. This was done by miracle, but so as to show what is the best method to assist those who are in distress, which is, to help them to improve by their own industry what little they have. The oil, sent by miracle, continued flowing as long as she had empty vessels to receive it. We are never straitened in God, or in the riches of his grace; all our straitness is in ourselves. It is our faith that fails, not his promise. He gives more than we ask: were there more vessels, there is enough in God to fill them; enough for all, enough for each; and the Redeemer's all-sufficiency will only be stayed from the supplying the wants of sinners and saving their souls, when no more apply to him for salvation. The widow must pay her debt with the money she received for her oil. Though her creditors were too hard with her, yet they must be paid, even before she made any provision for her children. It is one of the main laws of the Christian religion, that we pay every just debt, and give every one his own, though we leave ever so little for ourselves; and this, not of constraint, but for conscience' sake. Those who bear an honest mind, cannot with pleasure eat their daily bread, unless it be their own bread. She and her children must live upon the rest; that is, upon the money received for the oil, with which they must put themselves into a way to get an honest livelihood. We cannot now expect miracles, yet we may expect mercies, if we wait on God, and seek to him. Let widows in particular depend upon him. He that has all hearts in his hand, can, without a miracle, send as effectual a supply.
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