Run now, I pray you, to meet her, and say to her, Is it well with you? is it well with your husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well:
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Run now, I pray thee, to meet her.
—This perhaps indicates the respect in which Elisha held the Shunammitess. But it may denote surprise and apprehension at an unusual
visit. Hence the inquiries about each member of the family.
It is well.—She said this merely to avoid further explanation. She would open her grief to the prophet’s own ear, and to none other.
4:18-37 Here is the sudden death of the child. All the mother's tenderness cannot keep alive a child of promise, a child of prayer, one given in love. But how admirably does the prudent, pious mother, guard her lips under this sudden affliction! Not one peevish word escapes from her. Such confidence had she of God's goodness, that she was ready to believe that he would restore what he had now taken away. O woman, great is thy faith! He that wrought it, would not disappoint it. The sorrowful mother begged leave of her husband to go to the prophet at once. She had not thought it enough to have Elisha's help sometimes in her own family, but, though a woman of rank, attended on public worship. It well becomes the men of God, to inquire about the welfare of their friends and their families. The answer was, It is well. All well, and yet the child dead in the house! Yes! All is well that God does; all is well with them that are gone, if they are gone to heaven; and all well with us that stay behind, if, by the affliction, we are furthered in our way thither. When any creature-comfort is taken from us, it is well if we can say, through grace, that we did not set our hearts too much upon it; for if we did, we have reason to fear it was given in anger, and taken away in wrath. Elisha cried unto God in faith; and the beloved son was restored alive to his mother. Those who would convey spiritual life to dead souls, must feel deeply for their case, and labour fervently in prayer for them. Though the minister cannot give Divine life to his fellow-sinners, he must use every means, with as much earnestness as if he could do so.
The distance was about sixteen or seventeen miles.
26-28. And she answered, It is well—Her answer was purposely brief and vague to Gehazi, for she reserved a full disclosure of her loss for the ear of the prophet himself. She had met Gehazi at the foot of the hill, and she stopped not in her ascent till she had disburdened her heavy-laden spirit at Elisha's feet. The violent paroxysm of grief into which she fell on approaching him, appeared to Gehazi an act of disrespect to his master; he was preparing to remove her when the prophet's observant eye perceived that she was overwhelmed with some unknown cause of distress. How great is a mother's love! how wondrous are the works of Providence! The Shunammite had not sought a son from the prophet—her child was, in every respect, the free gift of God. Was she then allowed to rejoice in the possession for a little, only to be pierced with sorrow by seeing the corpse of the cherished boy? Perish, doubt and unbelief! This event happened that "the works of God should be made manifest" in His prophet, "and for the glory of God."
So it was in some respects, because it was the will of a wise and good God, and therefore best for her. Or, it shall be well: though the child be dead, I doubt not by God’s blessing upon thy endeavours it shall live again, and do well. But she answers ambiguously, and briefly too, that, she might sooner come to the prophet, and more fully open her mind to him.
Run now, I pray thee, to meet her,.... In respect to her, and to know the occasion of her coming; something is the cause of it:
and say unto her, is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? has any disaster befallen thee, thy husband, or the child? are all in good health? or does any disorder attend any of them?
and she answered, it is well; as in general they were, the greatest part, she and her husband; and though the child was dead, yet, if gone to heaven, as she might hope, it was well too; and it is right to judge and say, that all that the Lord does is well: she gives a short answer to the servant, not being willing to be detained, and being desirous of telling her case to the prophet himself. Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)26
. run now, I pray thee
] The R.V. puts ‘now’ last of these words, ‘I pray thee’ is closely joined with ‘run’ in the Hebrew. There is a touch of deep feeling in the action of Elisha. He knows that there must be some special reason for a visit at this unusual time, and he would learn, even before the mother is near enough for him to hear her, whether there is trouble at home which has brought her to Carmel.
And she answered
, It is well
] The word means, as was noted on verse 23, Peace, and we can only think that she gives this answer to Gehazi’s question, that she may avoid more words. She has no thought of deception, but her heart is too full for speech, at all events till she come into the prophet’s presence.Verse 26.
- Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child?
Elisha feels that there must be something the matter, to account for the Shunammite's coming to him so unexpectedly. His anxiety is aroused, and, in his impatience to know what has happened, instead of waiting for the woman's arrival, he bids his servant run, and ask what is the matter. Some misfortune, he supposes, must have happened either to her, or to her husband, or to the child. And she answered, It is well.
She gave, as before to her husband (ver. 23), the ambiguous answer, "Peace," intending thereby merely to put off Gehazi, and not explain herself to any one but his master.
But even the faith of the pious woman was soon to be put to the test, and to be confirmed by a still more glorious revelation of the omnipotence of the Lord, who works through the medium of His prophets. When the child presented to her by God had grown up into a lad, he complained one day to the reapers of the field of a violent headache, saying to his father, "My head, my head!" He was then taken home to his mother, and died at noon upon her knees, no doubt from inflammation of the brain produced by a sunstroke.
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