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.”

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.

New King James Version
So 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 but a jar of oil.”

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

NASB 1995
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.”

NASB 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.”

Amplified Bible
Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have [of value] in the house?” She said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a [small] jar of [olive] 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.”

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.”

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.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And Elisha said to her: “What shall I do for you? Show me what is with you in the house.” And she said, “Your Maidservant has nothing in the house except an oil flask 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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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."

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."

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.'

Literal Standard Version
And Elisha says to her, “What do I do for you? Declare to me, what do you have in the house?” And she says, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a pot 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."

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.'

Additional Translations ...
Context
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 jars, even empty ones, 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 take home and prepare a meal for myself and my son, so that we may eat it and die."

2 Kings 4:3
"Go," said Elisha, "borrow jars, even empty ones, 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?









(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.

Parallel Commentaries ...


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

can I
אֶֽעֱשֶׂה־ (’e·‘ĕ·śeh-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular
Strong's 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 559: To utter, say

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

of oil.”
שָֽׁמֶן׃ (šā·men)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's 8081: Grease, liquid, richness


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OT History: 2 Kings 4:2 Elisha said to her What shall (2Ki iiKi ii ki 2 kg 2kg)
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