2 Kings 4:33
He went in therefore, and shut the door on them two, and prayed to the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33) He went in therefore.—Comp. the narrative of Elijah’s raising the widow’s son (1Kings 17:17-24), which is imitated in the present account.

Them twain.—Himself and the body.

2 Kings 4:33-34. He shut the door upon them twain — Upon himself and the dead child, that he might pray to God without interruption, and might more freely use those means which he thought fit. And put his mouth, &c. —

One part upon another successively; for the disproportion of the bodies would not permit it to be done together. The flesh of the child grew warm — Not by any external heat, which could not be transmitted to the child’s body by such slight touches of the prophet’s body; but from a principle of life, which was already infused into the child, and by degrees enlivened all the parts of his body.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.Prayed - Prayer was the only remedy in such a case as this (compare the marginal reference and James 5:16), though it did not exclude the use of other means 2 Kings 4:34. 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. Upon them twain; upon himself and the dead child, that he might pray to God without distraction, and might more freely use all those gestures and means which he thought fit. He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain,.... Himself and the dead child; that nobody might come in and interrupt him in his prayers for the restoration of it to life, nor see the motions and gestures he used, and the postures he put himself in:

and prayed unto the Lord; that he would restore the child to life.

He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
33. shut the door upon them twain] There is to be no witness, no parade made of the child’s restoration. The act is in character like that enjoined above in verse 4.

and prayed unto the Lord] The whole narrative must be compared with the action of Elijah at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17-23). There the words of the prophet’s prayer are given. It is to be noted that the prayer precedes every other action. Without that all else will be of no avail.Verse 33. - He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain - that he might not be interrupted during his efforts to restore the child's life (comp. ver. 4) - and prayed unto the Lord. Probably his heart had been lifted up in inarticulate prayer from the time that he realized the calamity which had befallen the Shunammite; but now he went down on his knees, and lifted up his voice in outspoken words of prayer. When the prophet saw her מנּגד (from the opposite), that is to say, saw her coming in the distance, and recognised her as the Shunammite, he sent Gehazi to meet her, to ask her about her own health and that of her husband and child. She answered, shalom, i.e., well, that she might not be detained by any further discussion, and came to the prophet and embraced his feet, to pray for the help of the "holy man of God." Gehazi wanted to thrust her away, "because it seemed to him an immodest importunity to wish to urge the prophet in such a way as this, and as it were to compel him" (Seb. Schm.); but the prophet said, "Let her alone, for her soul is troubled, and Jehovah has hidden it from me and has not told me."

(Note: All that we can infer from these last words with regard to the nature of prophecy, is that the donum propheticum did not involve a supernatural revelation of every event.)

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