2 Kings 4:29
Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up your loins, and take my staff in your hand, and go your way: if you meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute you, answer him not again: and lay my staff on the face of the child.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) If thou meet any man, salute him not.—An injunction of utmost haste. (Comp. the similar words of our Saviour, Luke 10:4.) A short greeting might end in a long halt. “Orientals lose much time in tedious salutations” (Keil).

Lay my staff upon the face of the child.—It seems to be implied that if the mother had had faith this would have sufficed for raising the child. (Comp. 2Kings 2:8; Acts 19:12.) Keil supposes that the prophet foresaw the failure of this expedient, and intended by it to teach the Shunammitess and his followers generally that the power of working miracles was not magically inherent in himself or in his staff, as they might imagine, but only in Jehovah, who granted the temporary use of that power to faith and prayer. In other words, Elisha was seeking to lift the minds of his disciples to higher and more spiritual conceptions of the prophetic office. But this seems doubtful.

2 Kings 4:29. He said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins — Tie up thy long garments about thy loins for expedition. If thou meet any man, &c. — Make no delays or stops by the way, either through words or actions, but go with all possible speed. See Luke 10:4. He requires this haste that the miracle might be done secretly and speedily, before the child’s death was divulged, which might cause many inconveniences. And lay my staff upon the face of the child — For God can work a miracle by the most unlikely and contemptible means, as he did by a rod, Exodus 14:16; and a mantle, 2 Kings 2:8.4:18-37 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.Salute him not - Compare the marginal reference. Salutation is the forerunner of conversation and one bent on speed would avoid every temptation to loiter.

Lay my staff upon the face of the child - Perhaps to assuage the grief of the mother, by letting her feel that something was being done for her child.

29-31. take my staff … and lay … upon the face of the child—The staff was probably an official rod of a certain form and size. Necromancers used to send their staff with orders to the messengers to let it come in contact with nothing by the way that might dissipate or destroy the virtue imparted to it. Some have thought that Elisha himself entertained similar ideas, and was under an impression that the actual application of his staff would serve as well as the touch of his hand. But this is an imputation dishonorable to the character of the prophet. He wished to teach the Shunammite, who obviously placed too great dependence upon him, a memorable lesson to look to God. By sending his servant forward to lay his staff on the child, he raised [the Shunammite's] expectations, but, at the same time, taught her that his own help was unavailing—"there was neither voice, nor hearing." The command, to salute no man by the way, showed the urgency of the mission, not simply as requiring the avoidance of the tedious and unnecessary greetings so common in the East (Lu 10:1), but the exercise of faith and prayer. The act of Gehazi was allowed to fail, in order to free the Shunammite, and the people of Israel at large, of the superstitious notion of supposing a miraculous virtue resided in any person, or in any rod, and to prove that it was only through earnest prayer and faith in the power of God and for His glory that this and every miracle was to be performed. Gird up thy loins; tie up thy long garments about thy loins for expedition. See 1 Kings 18:46. Make no delays nor stops by the way, neither by words nor actions, but go with all possible speed. Compare Luke 10:4. He requires this haste, that the miracle might be done secretly and speedily, before the child’s death was divulged, which might cause many inconveniences. See Poole "2 Kings 4:21". Lay my staff upon the face of the child; for God can work a miracle by the most unlikely and contemptible means, as he did by a rod, Exodus 14:16, and a mantle, 2 Kings 2:8. Then he said to Gehazi, gird up thy loins,.... His loose and long garments about him, that he might make quicker dispatch in travelling:

and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way; not for the sake of travelling with it, but for an end after mentioned:

if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again; that so no time may be lost:

and lay my staff upon the face of the child; he not intending when he said this to go himself, but at the time, as near as he could, when this action was performed, would pray to God to restore life to the child; for he could not imagine that by this bare action it could be done.

Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: {p} if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.

(p) Make such speed that nothing may stop you in the way, Lu 10:4.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. Gird up thy loins] With the loose flowing garments of Orientals it is needful when haste is desired, to gather them up and bind them together so that they do not impede the traveller. This is done by a band round the waist.

take my staff in thine hand] It is not easy to see the purpose of this order. The staff was to be laid on the face of the child, but it produced no effect. It may be that Elisha thought God would allow the restoration of the child on the imposition of the staff. Some have supposed that the action was meant to teach those who knew of it, that the miracle was not to be ascribed to any external agency, but only to God’s intervention in answer to prayer. Others have thought that the lack of faith in the mother, who would not go back without Elisha, caused the first measures adopted to be ineffective. Perhaps the prophet only sent on Gehazi that the mother might feel that something was being done, and be soothed in her distress.

if thou meet any man, salute him not] An injunction necessary in the East where the salutations are full of form, and consume much time. Cf. our Lord’s language to the seventy (Luke 10:4).Verse 29. - Than he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again. The object of all these injunctions is haste. Lose not a moment. Go as quickly as thou canst to the house where the child lies. Spend no time in greetings on the way. Slack not. Tarry not. And lay my staff upon the face of the child. What effect the prophet expected from this act, we are not told. Gehazi appears to have expected that it would at once cause a resuscitation (ver. 31); but there is no evidence that the prophet participated in the expectation. He may have done so, for prophets are not infallible beyond the sphere of the revelations made to them; but he may only have intended to comfort and cheer the mother, and to raise in her an expectation of the resuscitation which he trusted it would be allowed him to effect. 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 4:29 Interlinear
2 Kings 4:29 Parallel Texts


2 Kings 4:29 NIV
2 Kings 4:29 NLT
2 Kings 4:29 ESV
2 Kings 4:29 NASB
2 Kings 4:29 KJV

2 Kings 4:29 Bible Apps
2 Kings 4:29 Parallel
2 Kings 4:29 Biblia Paralela
2 Kings 4:29 Chinese Bible
2 Kings 4:29 French Bible
2 Kings 4:29 German Bible

Bible Hub






2 Kings 4:28
Top of Page
Top of Page