2 Kings 4
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The Miracle of the Oil Vessels

(1 Kings 17:14-16)

1Now there happened to be a certain woman who had been the wife of a member of the Guild of Prophets. She cried out to Elisha, “My husband who served you has died, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. But a creditor has come to take away my children into indentured servitude!”

2Elisha responded, “What shall I do for you? Tell me what you have in your house.”

She replied, “Your servant has nothing in the entire house except for a flask of oil.”

3He told her, “Go out to all of your neighbors in the surrounding streets and borrow lots of pots from them. Don’t get just a few empty vessels, either. 4Then go in and shut the door behind you, taking only your children, and pour oila into all of the pots. As each one is filled, set it aside.”

5So she left Elisha,b shut the door behind her and her children, and while they kept on bringing vessels to her, she kept on pouring oil.c 6When the last ofd the vessels had been filled, she told her son, “Bring me another pot!”

But he replied, “There isn’t even one pot left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7After this, she went and told the man of God what had happened.e So he said, “Go sell the oil, pay your debt, and you and your children will be able to live on the proceeds.”

The Hospitality of a Woman from Shunem

8Some time later, Elisha went to Shunem,f where he met a prominent and wealthyg woman who persuaded him to have a meal with her. As a result, whenever he was in the area, he stopped by to eat with her. 9So she had a talk with her husband. “Look here! I’ve learned that this is a holy and godly manh who comes by here on a regular basis. 10Now then, let’s build a small upper room and put a bed in it for him there, along with a table, a chair, and a lamp stand. That way, when he comes to visit, he can resti there.”

11One day, Elishaj came by to visit and stopped in to rest in the upper chamber. 12He told his attendantk Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite.” So when he had summoned her, she stood in front of him.

13Elishal told him, “Ask her, ‘Look how you’ve gone to all this trouble to care for us! What can I do for you? Do you wish to be mentioned to the king or to the head of the army?’”

She replied, “I’m at homem living among my own people.”

14He responded, “What, then, is to be done on her behalf?”

Gehazi answered, “Well, she has no son and her husband is growing old.”

15“Call her,” Elishan ordered. After he called her, she came and stood in the doorway, 16and he told her, “About this time next year you will be embracing a son.”

“No, sir! Please, as a godly man,o don’t mislead your servant!” 17But the woman did conceive and did bear a son at that very same time the next year, just as Elisha had told her.

Elisha Raises the Shunammite’s Son

(1 Kings 17:17-24)

18After the child had grown up a bit, one day he went out to visit his father, who was with the harvesters. 19He told his father, “My head! My head!”

So his father ordered his servant, “Carry him over to his mother!” 20So the servant carried him over to his mother, where he rested on her lap until mid-day,p and then he died. 21The woman went upstairs, laid him on the bed belonging to the man of God, and shut the door, leaving him behind as she left.

22Then she called to her husband and asked him, “Please send me one of the servants, along with one of the donkeys, so I can ride quickly to see that godly man.q I’ll be right back.”

23He asked her, “What’s the point of visiting him today? It’s not a New Moon, and it isn’t the Sabbath!”

But she kept saying, “Things will go well.”r

24So she saddled a donkey and told her servant, “Forward, driver! Don’t slow down on my account, unless I tell you!” 25So out she went and eventually she arrived at Mount Carmel to visit the man of God.

When the man of God noticed her from a distance, he told his attendant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the woman from Shunem! 26Please run out quickly and greet her. Ask her, ‘Are things going well with you? Are things going well with your husband? Are things going well with your child?’”

She answered Gehazi,s “Things are going well.”

27As she came near the man of God on the mountain, she grabbed his feet. When Gehazi intervened to push her away, the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is deeply troubled! The LORD has concealed the thing from me, and hasn’t informed me.”

28Then she asked, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Didn’t I beg you, ‘Don’t mislead me?’”

29At this he told Gehazi, “Get ready to run!t Take my staff in your hand, and get on the road. Don’t greet anyone you meet. If anyone greets you, don’t respond. Just go lay my staff on the youngster’s face.”

30At this, the youngster’s mother replied, “As long as you and the LORD live, I’m not leaving you!” So he got up and followed her.

31Meanwhile, Gehazi went on ahead of them and placed the staff on the youngster’s face, but when there was no sound or reaction, he returned, met Elisha,u and told him, “The youngster has shown no sign of awakening.”

32When Elisha entered the house, there was the youngster, dead and laid out on Elisha’sv bed! 33So he entered, shut the door behind them both, and prayed to the LORD. 34Then he approached the child and lay down with his mouth near the child’s, with his eyes near those of the child, and taking the child’s hands in his. As Elishaw stretched himself on the child, the child’s flesh began to grow warm. 35Then he went downstairs, walked around back and forth inside the house once, went back up to his upper chamber,x and stretched himself over the child again. The young man sneezed seven times and then opened his eyes.

36He called out to Gehazi, “Go get the Shunammite woman!” So he called her. When she came in to see Elisha,y he told her, “Take back your son!” 37Then she approached him, fell at his feet, bowing low to the ground, took back her son, and went out.

Poisoned Stew is Purified

38Elisha returned to Gilgal during a time of famine in the land. While the Guild of Prophets were having a mealz with him, he instructed his attendant, “Put a large pot on the fire and boil some stew for the Guild of Prophets.” 39Somebody went out into the fields to grab some herbs, found a wild vine, and gathered a lap full of wild gourds, which he came and sliced up into the stew pot, but nobody else knew.

40When they served the men, they began to eat the stew. But they cried out, “That pot of stew is deadly, you man of God!” So they couldn’t eat the stew.

41But he replied, “Bring me some flour.” He tossed it into the pot and said, “Serve the people so they can eat.” Then there was nothing harmful in the pot.

Feeding of the Crowd

(Matthew 14:13-31; 15:32-39)

42Later on, a man arrived from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God some bread as a first fruit offering. He had 20 loaves of barley and ripe ears of corn in his sack. So Elishaaa said, “Give them to the people so they can eat.”

43Elisha’s attendant asked, “What? Will this serve 100 men?”

But he replied, “Distribute it to the people so they can eat, because this is what the LORD says: ‘They will eat and have a surplus!’” 44So he served them, and they ate and had some left over, just as the LORD had indicated.

a 4:4 The Heb. lacks oil
b 4:5 Lit. him
c 4:5 The Heb. lacks oil
d 4:6 The Heb. lacks last of
e 4:7 The Heb. lacks what had happened
f 4:8 i.e. a town in the territory belonging to Issachar
g 4:8 Lit. strong
h 4:9 Or a holy man of God
i 4:10 Or can turn in
j 4:11 Lit. he
k 4:12 Lit. his young man; and so throughout the chapter
l 4:13 Lit. He
m 4:13 So LXX; the Heb. lacks at home
n 4:15 Lit. he
o 4:16 Or a man of God
p 4:20 Or noon
q 4:22 Or that man of God
r 4:23 Lit. Peace; i.e. a general statement of good will; and so through v. 26
s 4:26 The Heb. lacks Gehazi
t 4:29 Lit. Tie up your garments; i.e. to secure one’s robes with a belt in preparation for running
u 4:31 Lit. him
v 4:32 Lit. his
w 4:34 Lit. he
x 4:35 The Heb. lacks up to his upper chamber
y 4:36 Lit. him
z 4:38 Lit. were sitting
aa 4:42 Lit he

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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