Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.
A. M. 3110. B.C. 894. sons
thy servant did fear
And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.
What shall I
save a pot of oil
Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.
borrow not a few
Heb. scant not.
And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
thou shalt shut
and shalt pour
So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.
And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.
when the vessels
And the oil
Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
it fell on
Heb. there was.
This city was situated in the tribe of Issachar, five miles south from mount Tabor, according to Eusebius; and is probably the place which he calls Sanim, in Acrabatene, in the neighbourhood of Samaria or Sebaste.
a great woman
she constrained him
Heb. she laid hold on him.
And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.
man of God
Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.
a little chamber
An ‚leeyah, or ole‰h, as the Arabs call it; a small back house annexed to the principal dwelling, in which the prophet could live in a great privacy as in his own house, and to which he could retire at pleasure, without breaking in upon the private affairs of the family, or being in his turn interrupted by them in his devotions. See the notes on Jud 3:20.
And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.
And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.
to the king
to the captain
And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.
she hath no child
And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
Heb. set time. thou shalt.
do not lie
And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.
And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.
to the reapers
And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother.
From this peculiar exclamation, and the season of the year, it is probable he was affected by the coup de soleil, or stroke of the sun, which is by no means uncommon in hot climates, and often proves fatal.
And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
and then died
And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.
And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.
I may run
And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.
Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee.
These animals were not anciently, as now, used only by the lower classes, but were in general use among the noble and chief personages of the East, and it was not unusual for even the husband to walk by the side of his wife while thus riding; the driver, as was the custom, following. The Shunammite, when she went to the prophet, did not desire so much attendance; but only requested her husband to send her an ass and its driver.
slack not thy riding for me
Heb. restrain not for me to ride.
So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:
Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well.
Is it well with thee
It is well
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 hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.
him by the feet
Heb. by his feet.
Let her alone
hid it from me
Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me?
Did I desire
Then 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: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.
Gird up thy loins
salute him not
lay my staff
And the mother of the child said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her.
As the Lord
I will not
And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked.
And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.
He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.
shut the door
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.
Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
to and fro
Heb. once hither and once thither. and the child opened.
And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son.
Call this Shunammite
Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.
fell at his feet
And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and there was a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.
Set on the great pot
And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred them into the pot of pottage: for they knew them not.
a wild vine
The word pakk¸Ùth, from peka, in Chaldee, to burst, and in Syriac, to crack, thunder, is generally supposed to be the fruits of the coloquintida, or colocynth; whose leaves are large, placed alternately, very much like those of the vine, whence it might be called a wild vine: the flowers are white, and the fruit of the gourd kind, of the size of a large apple, and when ripe, of a yellow colour, and a pleasant and inviting appearance. It ranks among vegetable poisons, as all intense bitters do; but, judiciously employed, it is of considerable use in medicine. It is said that the fruit, when ripe, is so full of wind that it bursts, and throws its liquor and seeds to a great distance: and if touched, before it breaks of itself, it flies open with an explosion, and discharges its foetid contents in the face of him who touched it.
So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof.
But he said, Then bring meal. And he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.
Heb. evil thing.
And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.
the husk thereof
or, his scrip, or garment. Note: Parched corn, or corn to be parched; full ears before they are ripe, parched on the fire: a very frequent food in the East. The loaves were probably extremely small, as their loaves of bread still are in eastern countries. But small as this may appear, it would be a considerable present in the time of famine; though very inadequate to the number of persons. Baal-shalisha, of which the person who made this seasonable present was an inhabitant, was situated, according to Eusebius and Jerome, fifteen miles north of Diospolis, or Lydda.
And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof.
They shall eat
So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD.