2 Kings 4:27
And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD has hid it from me, and has not told me.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) To the hill.—Probably to the summit.

She caught him by the feet.She laid hold of (clasped) his feet. Assuming the posture of an humble and urgent suppliant, and no doubt pouring out a flood of passionate entreaties for help.

But (and) Gehazi came near to thrust her away.—He thought her vehemence a trespass upon the dignity of his master. (Comp. Matthew 19:13; John 4:27.)

The Lord hath hid it from me.—Supernatural knowledge of every event was not a characteristic of the gift of prophecy. (Comp. 2Samuel 7:3 seq. for a somewhat similar case of ignorance on the part of a prophet.)

2 Kings 4:27. She caught him by the feet — After the manner of a most humble and earnest supplicant; intimating, what she did not dare to express in words, that she desired him to go along with her. Gehazi came near to thrust her away — Either thinking she was rude, and made too free with the prophet; or knowing his master did not expect such abasement, especially from her who had been so kind and friendly to them, and that he would not be pleased to see her lie at his feet, Gehazi would have raised her up. The man of God said, Let her alone — Disturb her not, for this gesture is a sign of some extraordinary grief. And the Lord hath hid it from me — God hath not shown me the cause of it. By this he signifies, that what he knew or did, was not by any virtue inherent in himself, but from God, who revealed to him only what he pleased, and when he pleased.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.She caught him by the feet - To lay hold of the knees or feet has always been thought in the East to add force to supplication, and is practiced even at the present day. Compare Matthew 18:29; John 11:32. 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." She caught him by the feet; she fell at his feet, and touched them, as a most humble and earnest suppliant. Compare 1 Samuel 25:24 Matthew 28:9. Withal, she intimated, what she durst not presume to express in words, that she desired him to go along with her. Gehazi came near to thrust her away; judging this posture indecent for her, and offensive to his master.

Let her alone, for her soul is vexed within her; disturb her not, for this uncouth gesture is a sign of some extraordinary grief.

The Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me; whereby he signifies that what he knew or did was not by any virtue inherent and abiding in himself, but only from God, who revealed to him only what and when he pleased. Compare 2 Samuel 7:3. And when she came to the man of God to the hill,.... To the top of it:

she caught him by the feet; in reverence to him, and as a supplicant, she prostrated herself at his feet, and, out of affection to him, caught hold on them, and held them fast, and determined not to leave him until he had promised to go with her, see Matthew 28:9. It was usual with the Jews to lay hold on and kiss the feet or knees of those to whom they did homage, or made supplication, see Matthew 28:9. See Gill on Luke 7:38, and so with the Greeks, as may be observed in various passages in Homer (y) and others:

but Gehazi came near to thrust her away; as being troublesome and disagreeable to his master, and not for her honour and credit:

and the man of God said, let her alone, for her soul is vexed within her; or "is bitter" (z), full of trouble and distress, and knows not what to do, nor very well what she does:

and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me: what is the cause of this her trouble; for prophets did not know things of themselves, nor had they the vision of prophecy at their will and pleasure, but according to the will of God.

(y) Vid. Barthium ad Claudian. de Raptu Proserpin. l. 1. ver. 50. (z) "amara", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.

And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she {o} caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.

(o) In token of humility and joy that she had met with him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
27. to the hill] Elisha had been standing on a height which enabled him to command a view of the road for some distance.

she caught him by the feet] She fell down, and clung to his feet in the attitude of humblest supplication. Cf. Matthew 18:29, where the servant adopts this suppliant posture when appealing to his fellow for mercy.

Gehazi came near to thrust her away] The word in other places indicates a considerable degree of force. The servant thought that the dignity of his master was not sufficiently regarded by the Shunammite, and would have taken her away.

The Lord hath hid it from me] We need not conclude from these words that the prophet expected to be warned supernaturally concerning those who were likely to come to seek his help. We know from other instances that the prophets were in many cases no more enlightened than others. In 2 Samuel 7:3, Nathan bids David do all that is in his heart for the Lord is with him. But presently he is sent to inform the king that God will not give him leave to build the temple, as he wished. The family at Shunem had been made by the prophet a subject of intercession with the Lord. It is therefore not unnatural that Elisha should consider that their misfortunes might be specially announced. We must suppose that, after her grief had spent somewhat of its force, she opens it to Elisha, and follows her narration with the words of the next verse.Verse 27. - And when she earns to the man of God to the hill - rather, the mountain; i.e. Carmel, where Elisha's residence was - she caught him by the feet (comp. Matthew 18:29; Mark 5:22; Mark 7:25; Luke 8:41; John 11:32). It has always been usual in the East to embrace the feet or the knees, in order to add force to supplication. But Gehazi came near to thrust her away. He regarded the act as one unduly familiar or unduly importunate, and interfered to protect and release his master. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her. Elisha would not have the woman disturbed. He saw that she was in deep distress, and, if there was anything unseemly in her action according to the etiquette of the time, excused it to her profound grief and distraction. The ordinary mind is a slave to conventionalities; the superior mind knows when to be above them. And the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. God had not informed Elisha, by inward miraculous illumination, of the illness of the child, or its death, or the wild hopes stirring in the afflicted mother's mind, which induced her to make her long and troublesome journey. We need not feel surprised at this. There is always a limit to the miraculous; and facts that may be learnt by a little inquiry are but rarely communicated supernaturally. The mother took the dead child at once up to the chamber built for Elisha, laid it upon the bed of the man of God, and shut the door behind her; she then asked her husband, without telling him of the death of the boy, to send a young man with a she-ass, that she might ride as quickly as possible to the man of God; and when her husband asked her, "Wherefore wilt thou go to him to-day, since it is neither new moon nor Sabbath?"

(Note: From these words, Theod., Kimchi, C. a Lap., Vatabl., and others have drawn the correct conclusion, that the pious in Israel were accustomed to meet together at the prophets' houses for worship and edification, on those days which were appointed in the law (Leviticus 23:3; Numbers 28:11.) for the worship of God; and from this Hertz and Hengstenberg have still further inferred, that in the kingdom of the ten tribes not only were the Sabbath and new moons kept, as is evident from Amos 8:5 also, but the prophets supplied the pious in that kingdom with a substitute for the missing Levitical priesthood.)

she replied, shalom; i.e., either "it is all well," or "never mind." For this word, which is used in reply to a question after one's health (see 2 Kings 4:26), is apparently also used, as Clericus has correctly observed, when the object is to avoid giving a definite answer to any one, and yet at the same time to satisfy him.

Links
2 Kings 4:27 Interlinear
2 Kings 4:27 Parallel Texts


2 Kings 4:27 NIV
2 Kings 4:27 NLT
2 Kings 4:27 ESV
2 Kings 4:27 NASB
2 Kings 4:27 KJV

2 Kings 4:27 Bible Apps
2 Kings 4:27 Parallel
2 Kings 4:27 Biblia Paralela
2 Kings 4:27 Chinese Bible
2 Kings 4:27 French Bible
2 Kings 4:27 German Bible

Bible Hub






2 Kings 4:26
Top of Page
Top of Page