2 Kings 4:34
And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.
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(34) He went up.—Upon the bed (2Kings 1:6).

And lay upon the child.—Comp. 1Kings 17:21. What is hinted at there is described here (Thenius).

Stretched himself upon the child.Bowed himself. So LXX., Syriac, and Vulg. (Comp. 1Kings 18:42.) This expression summarises the preceding details.

The flesh of the child waxed warm.—The life of the Divine Spirit which was in Elisha was miraculously imparted by contact to the lifeless body. (Comp. Genesis 2:7.)

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.Be stretched himself - Or, "prostrated himself." The word is a different one from that used of Elijah, and expresses closer contact with the body. Warmth may have been actually communicated from the living body to the dead one; and Elisha's persistence Hebrews 11:35, may have been a condition of the child's return to life. 34. lay upon the child, &c.—(see 1Ki 17:21; Ac 20:10). Although this contact with a dead body would communicate ceremonial uncleanness, yet, in performing the great moral duties of piety and benevolence, positive laws were sometimes dispensed with, particularly by the prophets. He went up, and lay upon the child; and although some ceremonial uncleanness might seem to be contracted by the touch of this dead body, yet that was justly to give place to a moral duty, and to an action of so great piety and charity as this was, especially when done by a prophet, and by the instinct of God’s Spirit, who can dispense with his own laws.

His mouth upon his mouth, & c; one part upon another successively; for the disproportion of the bodies would not permit it to be done together. Compare 1 Kings 17:21 Acts 20:10.

The flesh of the child waxed 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 by a natural heat, proceeding from a principle of life, which was already infused into the child, and by degrees enlivened all the parts of his body.

And he went up,.... To the bed, which was on an ascent in the chamber; see Gill on 2 Kings 1:4 and lay upon the child; as Elijah did on the widow's son of Zarephath, 1 Kings 17:21.

and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands, and stretched himself upon the child; that is, he did each of these one after another, since the disproportion of their bodies would not admit of their being done together:

and the flesh of the child waxed warm; not from any virtue imparted to it by these motions and actions of the prophet, but from life being infused into it by the Lord, which caused an heat in the several parts of the body.

And he went up, and {q} lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.

(q) Elijah did the same to the widow's son at Zarephath 1Ki 17:21 and Paul in Ac 20:10 signifying the care that should be in them, who bear the word of God and are distributors of spiritual life.

34. And he went up] The verb is used in 2 Kings 1:4, of getting upon a bed. For some old beds it is very appropriate, for formerly they were much higher from the ground than is now the fashion.

and lay upon the child] (Cf. 1 Kings 17:21.) Probably Elisha knew of the acts of Elijah at Zarephath, and followed that example. The answer to his prayer seems to have been less immediate than in Elijah’s case. Throughout the history there is a degree less of fervency in Elisha’s actions and hence the less quickly availing prayer.

Comparing the two prophets, Bp Hall says: ‘How true an heir is Elisha of his master, not in his graces only but in his actions. Both of them divided the waters of Jordan, the one as his last act, the other as his first. Elijah’s curse was the death of the captains and their troops; Elisha’s curse was the death of the children: Elijah rebuked Ahab to his face; Elisha, Jehoram: Elijah supplied the drought of Israel by rain from heaven; Elisha supplied the drought of the three kings by waters gushing out of the earth: Elijah increased the oil of the Sareptan; Elisha increased the oil of the prophet’s widow: Elijah raised from death the Sareptan’s son; Elisha, the Shunammite’s: both of them had one mantle, one spirit; both of them climbed up one Carmel, one heaven’.

stretched himself upon the child] R.V. upon him. So the Hebrew, and there can be no misunderstanding such as to require the noun to be repeated.

the flesh of the child waxed warm] The returning life is slowly given, but the first signs of restoration must have strengthened the zeal, and given fervour to the prayers which no doubt filled every moment of the time of waiting and watching.

Verse 34. - And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; following the example set him by his master and predecessor, Elijah (1 Kings 17:21). The idea may in both cases have been to fit the Body for reinhabitation by the soul (see ver. 22), through the restoration of warmth to it. And he stretched himself upon the child; i.e. brought his flesh as close as he could to the flesh of the child, covering the body and pressing on it, to force his own bodily warmth to pass into it. The word used, יִגְהַר, is different from that in 1 Kings 17:21, which is יִתְמֹדֵד, and implies a closer contact. And the flesh of the child waxed warm. Elisha's efforts had an effect; the child's Body was actually warmed by them. 2 Kings 4:34Elisha then entered the house, where the boy was lying dead upon his bed, and shut the door behind them both (i.e., himself and the dead child), and prayed to the Lord. He then lay down upon the boy, so that his mouth, his eyes, and his hands lay upon the mouth, eyes, and hands of the child, bowing down over him (גּהר; see at 1 Kings 18:42); and the flesh (the body) of the child became warm. He then turned round, i.e., turned away from the boy, went once up and down in the room, and bowed himself over him again; whereupon the boy sneezed seven times, and then opened his eyes. This raising of the dead boy to life does indeed resemble the raising of the dead by Elijah (1 Kings 17:20.); but it differs so obviously in the manner in which it was effected, that we may see at once from this that Elisha did not possess the double measure of the spirit of Elijah. It is true that Elijah stretched himself three times upon the dead child, but at his prayer the dead returned immediately to life, whereas in the case of Elisha the restoration to life was a gradual thing.

(Note: The raising of the dead by Elijah and Elisha, especially by the latter, has been explained by many persons as being merely a revivification by magnetic manipulations or by the force of animal magnetism (even Passavant and Ennemoser adopt this view). But no dead person was ever raised to life by animal magnetism; and the assumption that the two boys were only apparently dead is at variance with the distinct words of the text, in addition to which, both Elisha and Elijah accomplished the miracle through their prayer, as is stated as clearly as possible both here (2 Kings 4:33) and also at 1 Kings 17:21-22.)

And they both differ essentially from the raising of the dead by Christ, who recalled the dead to life by one word of His omnipotence (Mark 5:39-42; Luke 7:13-15; John 11:43-44), a sign that He was the only-begotten Son of God, to whom the Father gave to have life in Himself, even as the Father has life in Himself (John 5:25.), in whose name the Apostle Peter also was able through prayer to recall the dead Tabitha to life, whereas Elisha and Elijah had only to prophesy by word and deed of the future revelation of the glory of God.

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