|* II Kings 4
II Kings 3 brought us Mesha the king of Moab—who had been paying tribute to Israel since the time of David, their present amount had been the wool from "an hundred thousand lambs and an hundred thousand rams"—rebelling against Jehoram the king of the House of Israel due to Mesha's feeling that Jehoram was a weak king.
Upon his announcement of no longer paying tribute to Israel, Jehoram went to Jehoshaphat the king of the House of Judah asking for his support in fighting against Moab, the two also commanded the deputy of Edom—who was under the control of the House of Judah at the time—to assist in their re-subjecting Moab to Israel's rule, sovereignty and taxation.
After combining their forces and gathering them all together in the wilderness of Edom, Jehoshaphat then asked if there was a prophet with them that they might seek the counsel of Father. One of Israel's servants answered and said that Elisha was with them, so Jehoshaphat and Jehoram went down to see him and ask his advice. After their arrival before him and his first chastising Jehoram and telling him to go and seek the counsel of his mother and father—Jezebel and Ahab—Jehoram then responded by telling Elisha that Father had called the three kings, i.e. himself, Jehoshaphat and the deputy of Edom together, in order to deliver them into the hand of Moab, in other words Jehoram was telling Elisha that Father put this whole burden upon them. Elisha then angrily replied and said that were it not for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, he wouldn't look at Jehoram, nor even give him the time of day, and then he asked for a harper to be brought. When he arrived, the Spirit of Father filled Elisha and he started prophesying saying, "II Kings 3:16 And he said, “Thus saith the LORD, ‘Make this valley full of ditches.’ [3:17] For thus saith the LORD, ‘Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.’ [3:18] And this is but a light thing in the sight of the LORD: He will deliver the Moabites also into your hand. [3:19 And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.”." So, after listening to Father telling them of their success against Moab through His Prophet Elisha, the next morning after the priests had offered up the Morning Meal Offering and Prayers, so much life giving water came by the way of Edom that it filled every one of the wells, cisterns and creek beds, there was so much water that neither man nor beast in their camp thirst any longer.
For their part, over in the camp of the Moabites who were also mustered together for this battle, on that same morning when they arose and looked toward the Israelite camp, the beautiful early morning bright orange-red sun was shining on all that water and Father was already at work for His People the Israelites, and when the Moabites looked and saw all that water, what they saw was blood filling the land. The Moabites—because of what Father put in their minds to think—thought that the blood they saw was the blood of the Israelites, that they had fought with each other during the night and killed each other, and now all they had to do was go over to the Israelite camp and collect their bounty, i.e. pick the dead bodies clean of their gold and jewels. So, every one of the Moabites removed his armor and dropped his sword in order that he be able to carry away more goods for himself and headed over to the Israelite camp.
Upon their arrival in the camp every one of the Moabites was surprised to find that they blood they thought they saw was actually water, and every Israelite rose up with sword in hand, and thus began the slaughter and victory of the Moabites as Father had prophesied. The Moabites, with no armor or weapon, really stood no chance in this massacre, and the Israelites beat the Moabites all the way back to Moab where they beat down every good piece of land, filled every well with stones, and cut down every good fruit tree, stopping only when they came to Kir-haraseth, when they had to await the stone-throwers or slingers, who then cast stones until they broke through the walls.
Upon seeing the thrashing his people were taking, mustered up 700 of his men who drew sword and tried to break through the Israelite battle-lines by choosing what he thought was the weakest point, the Edomites; however, he quickly found out that even that avenue was too strong for him and he likewise took a trouncing. With this sound humiliating defeat, Mesha the king of Moab then turned and offered up his own son as a burnt sacrifice. The Israelites having thoroughly conquered their opponent and seeing this ungodly and disgusting display by Mesha, every man to the last of them, turned and left Moab, leaving their mission unfinished as, Father had told them to completely and utterly destroy them to the last man, woman and child.
This then brings us to our current Chapter of II Kings 4, where in this Chapter we'll read, learn of, and discuss some more of the miracles of Elisha and also learn of the interaction between Elisha and two different women, one a widow woman whom a debtor is trying to take her sons away to make bond-servants of; and then, a Shunammite woman.
With that introduction being said, let's go to Father and ask Him for His Blessings on our Study of His Word: "Father, we come to you right now to thank you for inviting us to Your table in order that we might be able to partake of and receive Your Spiritual Meat, and Father, as we prepare to dine on the sustenance which sustains our inner man, we ask that You O LORD open our ears and eyes, that we might be able to hear and see your Truths, open our hearts and minds and prepare us in order that we may receive Your Truth. We Pray for Your understanding of Your Word, we seek Your knowledge in Your Word and most importantly Father, we Pray for and desire Your Wisdom from Your Word, in Jesus' Precious name we Pray, thank You Father, Amen."
I Kings 22:51-II Kings 8:15 ISRAEL. (Introversion.)
II Kings 3:1-8:18 Joram.
I Kings 4:1-7 Elisha. Creditor and widow.
II Kings 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha (YAH his Salvation), 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.” -> This woman's husband while alive, was a good man as, he revered Father, and was also a student in the school of the prophets, in other words, he studied under Elijah in one of the schools he founded.
Two other things we know about this man were that, one, he was a bond-servant of somebody, meaning that he had borrowed something from somebody and became their hired-servant until the debt was paid, here, this woman states that it was Elisha the man was indebted to; and two, in the not too distant past, the man died. Why do I say the not too distant past? Because, it is only now that the debt collector has come to collect payment for the man's debt, and collection will be as the law of the time—according to Leviticus 25:39-40—allowed, which stated that if a man owed a bill and died, then the creditor could take the son(s) of that man to work off his debt. The man's son(s) would then become hired-servants to his creditor until the seventh year, until the year of the Jubliee, i.e. the 50th year when all debts were forgiven and the land was also set free or right, in other words, everything was returned as Father had established it when He brought our forefathers into the Promised Land; or, until their father's debt was paid in full.
The woman is now asking Elisha for some relief, asking that her sons not be taken from her to pay off her husband's, their father's debt. What will Elisha do?
Elisha=“Son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah; the attendant and disciple of Elijan, and subsequently his successor as prophet of the kingdom of Israel. The earliest mention of his name is in the command to Elijah in the cave at Horeb I Kings 19:16-17. Elijah sets forth to obey the command, and comes upon his successor engaged in ploughing. He crosses to him and throws over his shoulders the rough mantle --a token at once of investiture with the prophet's office and of adoption as a son. Elisha delayed merely to give the farewell kiss to his father and mother and preside at a parting feast with his people, and then followed the great prophet on his northward road. We hear nothing more of Elisha for eight years, until the translation of his master, when he reappears, to become the most prominent figure in the history of his country during the rest of his long life. In almost every respect Elisha presents the most complete contrast to Elijah. Elijah was a true Bedouin child of the desert. If he enters a city it is only to deliver his message of fire and be gone. Elisha, on the other hand, is a civilized man, an inhabitant of cities. His dress was the ordinary garment of an Israelite, the begged , probably similar in form to the long abbeyeh of the modern Syrians II Kings 2:12. His hair was worn trimmed behind, in contrast to the disordered locks of Elijah, and he used a walking-staff II Kings 4:29, of the kind ordinarily carried by grave or aged citizens Zechariah 8:4. After the departure of his master, Elisha returned to dwell at Jericho II Kings 2:18, where he miraculously purified the springs. We next meet with Elisha at Bethel, in the heart of the country, on his way from Jericho to Mount Carmel II Kings 2:23. The mocking children, Elisha's curse and the catastrophe which followed are familiar to all. Later he extricates Jehoram king of Israel, and the kings of Judah and Edom, from their difficulty in the campaign against Moab arising from want of water II Kings 3:4-27. Then he multiplies the widow's oil II Kings 4:5. The next occurrence is at Shunem, where he is hospitably entertained by a woman of substance, whose son dies, and is brought to life again by Elisha II Kings 4:8-37. Then at Gilgal he purifies the deadly pottage II Kings 4:38-41, and multiplies the loaves II Kings 4:42-44. The simple records of these domestic incidents amongst the sons of the prophets are now interrupted by an occurrence of a more important character II Kings 5:1-27. The chief captain of the army of Syria, Naaman, is attacked with leprosy, and is sent by an Israelite maid to the prophet Elisha, who directs him to dip seven times in the Jordan, which he does and is healed II Kings 5:1-14, while Naaman's servant, Gehazi, he strikes with leprosy for his unfaithfulness II Kings 5:20-27. Again the scene changes. It is probably at Jericho that Elisha causes the iron axe to swim II Kings 6:1-7. A band of Syrian marauders are sent to seize him, but are struck blind, and he misleads them to Samaria, where they find themselves in the presence of the Israelite king and his troops II Kings 6:8-23. During the famine in Samaria II Kings 6:24-33, he prophesied incredible plenty II Kings 7:1-2, which was soon fulfilled II Kings 7:3-20. We next find the prophet at Damascus. Benhadad the king is sick, and sends to Elisha by Hazael to know the result. Elisha prophesies the king's death, and announces to Hazael that he is to succeed to the throne II Kings 7:8,15. Finally this prophet of God, after having filled the position for sixty years, is found on his death-bed in his own house II Kings 13:14-19. The power of the prophet, however, does not terminate with his death. Even in the tomb he restores the dead to life II Kings 13:21.”.
II Kings 4:2 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.” -> The only thing this poor widow has to her name in her house is a pot of oil. Let's check out this word pot in the Strong's Concordance as it is Hebrew word number: H610, - אסוּך, - 'âsûk, pronounced - aw-sook', and means: From H5480 (—my note here H5480 is סוּך, - sûk, pronounced – sook, and means: A primitive root; properly to smear over (with oil), that is, anoint: - anoint (self), X at all.—); anointed, that is, an oil flask: - pot., So, the word "pot" as used here, means a flask in which the olive oil used to anoint with, is kept in. Though this woman has nothing to her name, she does have this flask of anointing oil, and if you'll recall, at this time, olive oil was a valuable commodity.
II Kings 4:3 Then he said, “Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. -> Elisha tells the woman that she and her sons should go to every one of her neighbors and collect as many empty containers as they have and bring them back to him at her house. Elisha—that is, Father through His Prophet Elisha—is about to perform another miracle
Elisha is going to take this woman’s flask of oil, let’s see what happens when he does so, and what can be done with it when it is used in obedience. Remember, miracles are done for a purpose, and not to help just one individual. They show the power of Father to all those who witness the miracle which has taken place; therefore, this miracle is not to save only this widow woman's two sons from being taken away from her and into bond-service to the debtor.
II Kings 4:4 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.” -> Here, Elisha tells the woman that when she and her sons return with all the empty containers they could get from her neighbors, she is to then close her door with she and her two sons inside, then take that small flask of olive oil that she has and start pouring it into those empty containers they collected, when one container gets full, then set another container in its place. Just continue pouring that olive oil until all the containers are no longer empty.
Several things to pay attention to here brethren: one is that the miracle which is about to be performed is that that small flask of olive oil will be able to fill every one of these containers with the oil; and the second is that, Elisha tells the woman that she and her sons were to go behind closed doors to do this, in other words, while preforming this miracle, there was not to be a circus side-show type spectacle whereas other people could observe.
Remember, Olive oil is the oil of our people, and is the only oil to be used for anointing, whether you’re anointing your home, or a person for healing and protection; and when it is used in obedience as Father Commands us in James 5:14-15,—and as the woman is doing here—then He will then start the flowing of His Blessings, Knowledge, Truth, Understanding and Wisdom. In our case here with this woman, once He starts the flow of the anointing oil into her empty containers, He will continue the flow until all the containers are completely full, this was between Father and Elisha, and the woman and her sons. Father used this pouring in Zechariah 4 of the seven branched lampstand, and that pouring of the oil was the flowing of the Holy Spirit of Father YHVH. It is important to understand each thing which happens, and in order in which it takes place. Each thing symbolizes something of Father to each of us.
II Kings 4:5 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. -> The woman does as Elisha, Father's Prophet instruct her,—she is one of the few people in the ten tribes making up the House of Israel at this time, to follow the instructions from Father or one of His prophets—and takes her small flask of oil and starts to pour it out into the empty containers, and as she does so, Father works through Elisha in order to perform Elisha's 5th miracle.
II Kings 4:6 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. -> This woman continued her pouring out of the olive oil, and when the container she had been presently filling filled, she told her one son to bring her yet another to be able to continue the flow; however, her son told her that every container they had collected was now full, and at his statement, the oil stopped it's flow, leaving her flask still with oil in it.
II Kings 4:7 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.” -> Her continuance of being obedient to Father continues, and now Elisha tells her to take as much of that oil as she needs to sell, and sell it in order to pay off her debtor whom is trying to make her sons bond-servants, and all her other creditors, in order that, she and her sons can now live debt-free and in peace.
Remember also that, this widow woman was the wife of a prophet, thus making her sons most likely either Elijah's or Elisha’s students. Father was using this to show them and us that He always takes care of His own, that doesn’t mean we won’t face tribulation from His and our adversary as, he likes to stick his nose into our business any and every way he can and as often as possible in order to point out to Father that we erred. It’s up to us to combat and overcome him, and not give him the victory over us.
God=God as used here by this widow woman, is Father in His role as ELOHIM, Creator of Heaven and Earth and all things.
Thus ends the interaction with the widow woman, and beginning with the next verse v4:8 we change thoughts, and Elisha will now have his interaction with the second woman, the Shunammite woman.
I Kings 4:8-37 Shunammite.
I Kings4:8-38 THE SHUNAMMITE. (Introversion.)
I Kings 4:8-17 Son given.
I Kings 4:8-17 SON GIVEN. (Alternation.)
I Kings 4:8 Resort of Elisha (general.)
II Kings 4:8 And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem (quietly; or, double resting-place), 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. -> What this is saying is, that, between Mount Carmel and Jezreel, lay Shunem, and as Elisha was passing through Shunem one day, a wealthy woman who was very respected in her community, stopped him and insisted that he come to her house and eat some food, and as we're about to read, after doing so, every time he passed through Shunem, he stopped at her house to rest himself some and also to eat with she and her husband.
Shunem, which was originally given to the Tribe of Issachar as an inheritance, was in the plain of Esdraelon; and, if you'll recall from I Kings 3, is also where the young woman Abishag, who 120 years earlier lay in bed with king David when he was old and couldn't keep warm, was from.
Shunem=“One of the cities allotted to the tribe of Issachar Joshua 13:18. It is mentioned on two occasions – (I Samuel 23:4; II Samuel 4:8). It was besides the native place of Abishag I Kings 1:3. It is mentioned by Eusebius as five miles south of Mount Tabor, and then known us Sulem. This agrees with the position of the present Solam , a village three miles north of Jezreel and five from Gilboa”.
I Kings 4:9 Accommodation.
II Kings 4:9 And she said unto her husband, “Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. -> This woman who lives in the territories of the ten northern tribes of the House of Israel and was open to and receptive of Father's Holy Spirit could feel the Holy Spirit upon Elisha when he passed by her.
God=God as used by this woman here, is Father in His role of ELOHIM, Creator of all things.
I Kings 4:10 Accommodation.
II Kings 4:10 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.” -> She and her husband were one of the few people in the territories of the ten northern tribes who didn't worship at the altar of baal, the two golden calves which Jeroboam had set up or in the groves. Therefore, her discerning Father's Holy Spirit on Elisha, and also knowing her fellow citizens and how unsafe it was for Elisha in the territories, told her husband to make an addition onto their house—just a simple little room with only a bed, and a chair and table with a lampstand on it—in order that every time Elisha was travelling back and forth between the different cities, he would be able to stop at their house and get some rest and also eat with them.
And=Note the repetitious use of the word "and" here in this verse? Dr. Bullinger notes that this is a "polysyndeton;" meaning, that, much more is taking place than what is actually being said. A great example of this is in the Creation story of Genesis 1.
I Kings 4:11 Resort of Elisha (particular.
II Kings 4:11 And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. -> As Elisha was traversing between cities one day, he stopped at the woman's house in order to rest as had become his routine, on this particular day and as we'll read, with obvious others as well, he had with him his servant Gehazi.
I Kings 4:12-17 Compensation.
II Kings 4:12 And he said to Gehazi (valley of a visionary; or, valley of vision) his servant, “Call this Shunammite.” And when he had called her, she stood before him. -> After he and Gehazi arrived at the woman and her husband's house, Elisha tells Gehazi to call for the woman, and he did so, and it wasn't long before she came to his little room to see what he desired of her. We'll find out that Elisha wants to Bless her for her hospitality and obedience to Father in such obedience.
Gehazi=“The servant or boy of Elisha. He was sent as the prophet's messenger on two occasions to the good Shunammite II Kings 4:12; obtained fraudulently money and garments from Naaman, was miraculously smitten with incurable leprosy, and was dismissed from the prophet's service II Kings 5:1. ... Later in the history he is mentioned as being engaged in relating to King Joram all the great things which Elisha had done II Kings 8:4,5.”.
II Kings 4:13 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.” -> So, Elisha turns to his servant and tells him to ask the woman what it is that he might be able to do in order to repay her—like most of us want to do when somebody does something for us or is kind to us—for her being so kind and hospitable to him all these times. Elisha's turning to Gehazi and bringing him into this is meant as an indication that she not only provided for Elisha; but, for his servant as well.
Spoken for to the king=Here Elisha shows a little bit of confidence in himself in his influence with king Jehoshaphat for his miraculous aid and counsel given during the war against the Moabites in the last Chapter II Kings 3. So, he asks her if she has any petitions for the king; or, if he can have the king give her something; or maybe still, have the General of the Army provide a little more protection for she and her family?
The woman thanks Elisha for his gesture; but, declines, saying that, because of Father, she is already Blessed and well to do as, she was living in her own hometown, amongst her own people, in her own home with her husband, her family; therefore, she is very content and happy.
II Kings 4:14 And he said, “What then is to be done for her?” And Gehazi answered, “Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.” -> Elisha, not satisfied at his host's declining his gesture, says to Gehazi, surely there must be some way that we can repay her goodwill. Gehazi replies that everything she needs, save for, a child of her own, and it's plain as day that with her generosity, goodwill and wealth she would do well by a child. Remember also brethren that she and her husband are getting up there in years, and with no child they have no one to leave their estate to; therefore, Gehazi's thought process on this is very thoughtful as, a providing them with child, would then give them a peace-of-mind if you will, in that now they have someone to be the beneficiary of their belongings.
To this point Elisha has only been talking to his host through his servant Gehazi? Doesn't that make you question why brethren, I mean, after all, she has shown nothing but charity and compassion towards Elisha? The answer might be fairly simple as, it could be that she was a humble woman and found it difficult for herself to speak directly with him. We know that because of Father’s Spirit in him, Elisha knew the mind of this woman, and we also know that had the highest respect for her. Therefore, he was hoping that maybe, just maybe she would be more open to tell what her desires were with his servant Gehazi. He continues.
II Kings 4:15 And he said, “Call her.” And when he had called her, she stood in the door. -> Though the Nation has turned to its false gods and idols, this Shunammite woman is about to learn, though I do believe she already does know, that the YHVH of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob still rules over all Israel.
We are about to witness another miracle—Elisha's 6th—by Father through His Prophet happen here brethren, and there are all sorts of types which can come from this miracle. It relates in type to Abraham and Sarah and the birth of their son Isaac, and Zacharias and Elisabeth and the birth of their son John the Baptist. Both of these women were also well along in years and almost too old to conceive; yet, Father opened each of their wombs, and each did conceive. Here, a conception is also going to take place whereby yet again, both the man and the woman are far beyond child bearing years; however the two of them will produce a child and about a year from this time, this woman will have that child.
II Kings 4:16 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.” -> Lie=Though the woman uses the word "lie" here, it isn't what she actually means as; she knows she is too far along in years to bear a child in her womb, and for Elisha to now tell her that she will, is almost too much for her to comprehend;—much the way Sarah laughed when she overheard the Angel of the LORD tell Abraham he and she, being 99 and 90 years old respectively, would also bear a son in their old age—therefore, she tells Elisha, not to play or toy with her; as that would only add insult to injury to her psyche, knowing that she indeed never did bear a child.
II Kings 4:17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. -> The following Spring, during the time when new life springs forth, the woman bear her child, a son who would be able to bear their name and carry forth for future generations, and also their estate.
The pregnancy and birth of her child came to pass exactly as Elisha told her it would; of course, Father's Prophesies always come to pass exactly as He states them.
I Kings 4:18-20 Sons death.
II Kings 4:18 And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. -> Several years have passed between this verse and the last as, the woman's son is now somewhere in his pre-teens. We know he isn't older than this because a few verses from now, he'll be sitting on his mother's knees. Anyway, it's late summer to early fall, it's harvest time, and the man, his son and his workers are all out in the field reaping in the bounty from this year's planting.
II Kings 4:19 And he said unto his father, “My head, my head.” And he said to a lad, “Carry him to his mother.” -> Father's Word doesn't say what happened to the child; but, all of a sudden he cries out to his father that his head hurts. His father concerned for his safety and wellbeing, tells one of the workers to either pick him up and carry the boy; or, to assist him back to the house so the woman could administer aid to her son.
Some scholars tend to think, and I agree with them, that the boy suffered a heat stroke which can bring about severe headaches.
II Kings 4:20 And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. -> So, after being assisted back to the house the boy's mother probably put a cool compress on his head to try and minimize his headache. Again, this was most likely a heat-stroke as a heat-stroke not only causes headaches; but, also swelling and inflammation of the brain which can lead to death, as is the case here.
Father had given this gift of a son to this woman; but, now, for some reason unbeknownst and not yet revealed to us in Father’s Word, Father has allowed this child to return Home to Him for whatever His reason. For this child, who had been a miracle birth to begin with, and showed the love of Father for this woman and her husband, and to now have this gift taken from her is beyond reason to us; but, not to Father. Everything has a reason, and sometimes the human mind cannot comprehend that reason; but, Father has His reasons. So, what does this woman do about the death of her son?
I Kings 4:21 Elisha’s bed. Placed on.
II Kings 4:21 And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. -> She realizes and understands that her son has died. So, she takes the lifeless body of her son up to Elisha's room which she had had her husband make for him, lays it on Elisha's, and closes the door behind her as she turns and walks away.
I Kings 4:22-24 Her Mission to Elisha.
II Kings 4:22 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.” -> The woman knows that it was through a miracle which Father performed through His Prophet that she bare this son; so, she thinks that perhaps His Prophet can perform another miracle and restore life back into his body.
So, after leaving her son on Elisha's bed, she goes to her husband and asks him to get one of the workers to get one of the asses, and attach a buggy or chariot to it, in order that she be able to speedily ride to find Elisha and bring him back to their house.
Did you notice brethren that, though the woman told her husband to get one of the workers to get an ass and attach the chariot to it as; she was going to see Elisha; she never told her husband the reason for her going, i.e. because their son had died, and she wanted to bring Elisha back to their house in order to have him perform another miracle by bringing their son back to life, her husband still doesn't know his son is dead.
II Kings 4:23 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.” -> Remember, being a prophet of Father YHVH's didn't mean that you only could tell of some future event which was going to come to pass; it mean, that you were most likely a priest, and taught Father's Word. This is the reason her husband asks why she is going to see Elisha when it is neither new moon or sabbath.
His wife replies by saying, "It shall be well," check out this word "well" in your Strong's Concordance brethren as, it is Hebrew word number: H7965, - שׁלם שׁלום, - shâlôm,or shâlôm, pronounced - shaw-lome', shaw-lome', and means: From H7999; safe, that is, (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, that is, health, prosperity, peace: - X do, familiar, X fare, favour, + friend, X greet, (good) health, (X perfect, such as be at) peace (-able, -ably), prosper (-ity, -ous), rest, safe (-ly), salute, welfare, (X all is, be) well, X wholly., now let’s check out H7999: H7999, - שׁלם, - shâlam, pronounced - shaw-lam', and means: A primitive root; to be safe (in mind, body or estate); figuratively to be (causatively make) completed; by implication to be friendly; by extension to reciprocate (in various applications): - make amends, (make an) end, finish, full, give again, make good, (re-) pay (again), (make) (to) (be at) peace (-able), that is perfect, perform, (make) prosper (-ous), recompense, render, requite, make restitution, restore, reward, X surely.; basically, what she told her husband was, “be at peace my husband as, I have an errand to run and I’ll be back as quickly as possible; but, I don’t have the time right this moment to explain my reason for my departure.”
II Kings 4:24 Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee.” -> As the woman and the young man leading the animal got ready to depart in their search for Elisha, she told him to move along as quickly as he could, and not slow down for anything unless she asked him to.
I Kings 4:25-27 Her Arrival.
II Kings 4:25 So she went and came unto the man of God to Mount Carmel (fruitful [plentiful] field; or, fruitful place, or park). 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: -> As the woman and the young man made their way and reached Mount Carmel, Gehazi looked and behold, he saw an ass drawn buggy and recognized that it was his host from Shunem who had lodged and fed him on so many occasions.
Mount Carmel=A mountain which forms one of the most striking and characteristic features of the country of Palestine. It is a noble ridge, the only headland of lower and central Palestine, and forms its southern boundary, running out with a bold bluff promontory, nearly 600 feet high, almost into the very waves of the Mediterranean, then extending southeast for a little more than twelve miles, when it terminates suddenly in a bluff somewhat corresponding to its western end. In form Carmel is a tolerably continuous ridge, its highest point, about four miles from the eastern end, being 1740 feet above the sea. That which has made the name of Carmel most familiar to the modern world is its intimate connection with the history of the two great prophets of Israel, Elijah and Elisha II Kings 2:25; 4:25; I Kings 18:40-42. It is now commonly called Mar Elyas; Kurmel being occasionally, but only seldom, hear.".
II Kings 4:26 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.” -> Figuring something must be wrong for her to be coming to see him, and moving rather quickly, Elisha tells Gehazi to run to her and find out what it that's wrong.
When Gehazi arrives at the woman's buggy to ask what it is that's wrong, the woman responds that everything is fine. Unlike earlier when Elisha was speaking with her through Gehazi and she had no problem speaking with Elisha through him, this time however, she desires to speak directly to Elisha when she tells him that her son has died and he needs to come home with her in order to bring her son back to life.
II Kings 4:27 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. -> As the woman reached to location of Elisha, she approached him rather boldly, and Gehazi fearing for Elisha, went to push her back just a little in order to protect him; but, Elisha told Gehazi to leave her alone as surely something has her pretty upset and she had just rode hard in order to get to them.
Think about her position brethren, she has just about every right to be upset with Elisha as, when he first told her that she would become pregnant and bear a son, she had told him to not play games with her as, she was too old and her psyche couldn't take that, and now that she had indeed brought forth a son and he has been with them for quite a few years, for him to die, she is wondering why Father even gave him to her if He was just going to take him back Home to Him at such a young age. A child is not supposed to die before the parent, and for this woman who wasn't able to conceive until her old age, to now watch her young son die before her, is more than she can bear.
For his part, Elisha is somewhat confused himself as, he doesn't know or understand why Father has not revealed to him the nature and the reason why she is there before him; but, again, it has to be pretty important because, she is there in front of him with a vexed, or in the Hebrew tongue מרר, - mârar, pronounced - maw-rar', meaning bitter spirit.
I Kings 4:28-31 Her Converse with Elisha.
II Kings 4:28 Then she said, “Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, ‘Do not deceive me?’ ” -> The woman continues by pressing Elisha and telling him that when he had asked her what it was that he could do to repay her for her kindness to him, she never asked for anything, especially not a child; however, when you told me that I would become pregnant and bare a son, I told you not to tease me, toy with me, or lead me on about giving me a child. Though she is talking about him giving her a son, notice that she has not yet told him that that child has died and returned Home to Father; but, by the bitterness of her spirit, Elisha figures it out fairly quickly.
II Kings 4:29 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.” -> Elisha tells Gehazi to take his staff and quickly run back to the woman's house, if you meet anybody along the way, don't stop and talk with them, not even if they desire you to stop and answer a question. When you get to the woman's house, go to where the child's body is and lay my staff upon his body.
So, the question now is; will this be enough to revive the woman’s dead child? Does Elisha’s young protégé have the faith in Father to bring him back to life when he lays Elisha’s staff on the child? Father is going to teach us a lesson here brethren; and the lesson is this, that a staff which is just a stick of wood, just will not get the job done, it’s what’s in a man's heart that matters, in other words, it’s his faith and belief to know that our Father is real, which then brings the miracle to fruition. A stick of wood has no power, outside the hand of the man of God. It takes an act of obedience to the Father, and through the Son to accomplish the healing.
Salute him not=This is a Hebrew idiom meaning that, the salutation was almost a formal ceremonial greeting, and thus taking up quite a bit of time.
II Kings 4:30 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 liveth, and as thy soul liveth=Sound familiar brethren? It should as, these are the same words Elisha said to Elijah just prior to his returning Home to Father, and Elijah wanted to first visit each of the three schools for the prophets he had started. Prior to going to each one, Elijah had told Elisha to remain where he was, while Elijah moved on; however, Elisha replied that he would not stay where he was while his teacher went on without him. He made a solemn oath that he would not leave him, much as the woman is doing with Elisha here.
After Gehazi departed from before them, the woman knew that Elisha's staff alone would not bring her son back to life, she knew it would take a whole lot more faith than what this prophet's servant had in him to accomplish this. She wanted Elisha himself to return to her home in order to revive her son; therefore, and she took the same oath he gave to Elijah: that she would not leave his side, until he agreed to return home with her, which he did.
II Kings 4:31 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.” -> Gehazi who had gone on before Elisha and the woman, arrived at the woman's house and did as his master bid, he laid his staff on the body of the dead child; however, his doing only as his master told him, not taking any initiative on his own to seek Father and thus his faith was in Elisha and his stick, did not and could not, revive the boy.
Upon seeing no change in the condition of the boy; Gehazi, still having his faith in the stick of wood and his teacher and not in Father, was sorely disappointed in having to return to his teacher with the sad news that, even with having doing exactly as told, nothing changed.
I Kings 4:32 Elisha’s bed. Found on.
II Kings 4:32 And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. -> Upon arriving at the woman's house with the woman, Elisha finds the body of the boy lying in the room and on the very bed the woman had had her husband build for him.
This situation is very similar to the one Elisha's teacher Elijah, found himself in when we were first introduced to him back in I King 17, at that time, Father sent Elijah to visit a Zidonian woman and her son, and this woman when Elijah first met her was gathering two sticks of wood in order to build a fire and cook her and her son's last meal of a meal cake before they died. Father through His Prophet Elijah, kept the woman's oil flowing for many months; however, during the course of time, there also, the boy fell sick and died. Elijah carried the boy's dead body up to his room which the woman prepared for Elijah, laid him on his bed and then lay with him, crying out to and praying to Father, until his life returned to his body.
I Kings 4:33 Elisha’s bed. Found on.
II Kings 4:33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. -> Elisha went up to his room and closed the door behind him, then like his own teacher before him, he too cried out to and prayed to Father to restore the life to the child. Notice the difference between the two men Elisha and Gehazi? Gehazi never prayer to Father, his faith was strictly in his teacher; whereas, Elisha's faith was totally in Father.
For reasons not yet revealed to us, even after Elisha's praying to Father to restore the boy's life, Father did not yet allow his soul to re-enter into his body at this time.
I Kings 4:34 Son raised.
II 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. -> Faith and Works, this is what Father looks for in us, and that is exactly what Elisha had and did. He had the faith in Father that He would restore the boy; but, when just praying to Father hadn't produced the desired results, he didn't give up, he showed Father his Works by now laying with the boy and blowing breath into the boy's mouth and fastening his eyes upon the closed eyes of the boy until he felt warmth start to return to the boy's body.
I Kings 4:35 Son raised.
II Kings 4:35 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. -> Though he felt the warmth start to return, Elisha knew he had more Work to do; therefore, he got up from the bed and again prayed to Father to continue restoring the boy's life, and after praying some more, he again went up and stretched himself out on the boy until the boy sneezed seven times and then opened his eyes.
Defeating death is the most beautiful things about Christianity and our Father YHVH. He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. He Himself is a Living being. As Christians, we must realize that even though a physical body dies, the soul which was within that body has gone instantly to be with our Father.
This was the seventh miracle Father performed through His prophet Elisha. The boy sneezed seven times, we're seeing a pattern of sevens here brethren, and seven in Biblical numerics denotes "spiritual perfection." "It is the number or hall-mark of the Holy Spirit's work. He is the Author of God's Word, and seven is stamped on it as the water-mark is seen in the manufacture of paper. He is the Author and Giver of life; and seven is the number which regulates every period of Incubation and Gestation, in insects, birds, animals, and man.".
I Kings 4:36 Son restored.
II Kings 4:36 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.” -> Upon seeing the life restored in the boy, Elisha opened the door to his room and called for Gehazi to call for the woman, and as soon as she appeared before him, he gave her the good news and said to take her son back down stairs with her.
I Kings 4:37 Son restored.
II Kings 4:37 Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out. -> Before taking her son, the woman first stopped to thank Elisha for restoring his life to her.
Though she fell at the feet of Elisha, there can be no doubt that she knew exact where the blessing of her son's restored life came from. Then, she took her son and went out of the room. Think of the joy and excitement in her life that day. She knew also that only Elisha and not his young servant had the faith in Father to accomplish it.
If you are going to take the time to pray to, and ask Father for any favor, then have faith that He will answer your prayer, in the time and manner which is right to Him. You do the praying, and allow Him to answer in the time frame that fits His schedule. This is why even before the answered prayer has come to fruition; we thank Father for answering our prayer. To pray and then have doubt is only to be playing games with Father, and that my friend is a very dangerous thing. Though our Father does have a sense of humor, he does not play games with serious matters.
Remember what the woman said? "Don't deceive me; don't promise me something that you will not fulfill?" Then, after the child was born and died, she put it right back on the prophet of YHVH's hands, and let it be known that she had the faith in only him and his relationship with Father. If she did not believe that Elisha could not bring her child back to life, she never would have gone to Mount Carmel searching for him in the first place. Even in her sorrow, she knew that Elisha had the faith to bring this lad back to life. This entire miracle of the birth, death, and resurrection of this woman's son was to show the people of Israel—remember, they were serving those two golden calves, not Father YHVH—that Father YHVH is the God of Israel, He is on His throne and is there for them. When they need something, whether it be a healing or something else which they cannot do for themselves, then cry out to Him and not those golden calves which cannot hear nor do anything for them, and it is only He Who has the power and strength to fulfill their every need.
This now ends Elisha association with this Shunammite woman, and he will now move on to Gilgal.
I Kings 4:38-44 Famine. Miraculous supplies.
I Kings 4:38-44 FAMINE. (Alternation.)
I Kings 4:38 Dearth.
I Kings 4:38-41 Supply. Eighth miracle.
II Kings 4:38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal (rolling; or, wheel): 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.” -> After leaving the woman and Shunem, Elisha came to Gilgal—remember, this is one of the three places where Elijah had established a school for the prophets—and when he arrived, he found that there was a deep-seated hunger or famine—one of thirteen in all of Father's Word—taking place. So Elisha tells Gehazi to go into the schoolhouse and get the big pot, set it on the fire, and start heating some soup or stew for all 100 of the students to eat.
Father's Word is correct as, there is a famine in the land of Israel alright, though, like our present time, the famine isn't for food, it's as Father tells us in Amos 8:11, for hearing the Word of Father YHVH.
Gilgal=“The site of the first camp of the Israelites on the west of the Jordan, the place at which they passed the first night after crossing the river, and where the twelve stones were set up which had been taken from the bed of the stream Joshua 4:19-20, we can compare this with Joshua 4:3 where also they kept the first passover in the land of Canaan Joshua 5:10. It was "in the east border of Jericho," apparently on a hillock or rising ground Joshua 5:3, compare Joshua 5:9. In the Arboth-Jericho (Authorized Version "the plains"), that is, the hot depressed district of the Ghor which lay between the town and the Jordan Joshua 5:10. Here Samuel was judge, and Saul was made king. We again have a glimpse of it, some sixty years later, in the history of David's return to Jerusalem II Samuel 19:40. A Gilgal is spoken of in Joshua 15:7 in describing the north border of Judah. In Joshua 18:17 it is given as Geliloth. Gilgal near Jericho is doubtless intended.”.
II Kings 4:39 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. -> After Elisha told Gehazi to break out the big pot to make the stew, one of the young students went out to gather the ingredients to put in the stew, what he found was probably the Citrullus Colocynth, or אבטיח הפקועה in the Hebrew tongue, which is a plant which produces both bitter apples and bitter cucumbers, and is also related to the watermelon. Anyway, he gathered as many of these little gourds as he could carry in his skirt and brought them back to the schoolhouse, where he sliced them up, and dropped them into the pot of water which was already on the fire. None of the students recognized what they were and therefore nobody knew whether they were safe to eat or if they tasted delicious or not.
II Kings 4:40 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. -> Obviously it didn't take long to find out that they were extremely bitter and unpalatable, and they pretty much thought that these little gourds were poisonous and would kill them.
II Kings 4:41 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. -> So, they cried out to Elisha, who then called for Gehazi to bring corn meal or flour and pour some of it on top of the stew. Father is about to perform His eighth miracle through His Prophet Elisha, which happened as soon as the meal was poured on top of the stew for, once poured on top, it changed the entire taste of the stew and it became OK to eat.
There are some who feel that this was no miracle and that the meal absorbed all the bitterness of the gourds, thus making them palatable and fit to eat.
This bitterness reminds me of what Father's Word declares concerning the Spiritual food which we are to eat in these last days, it too will be very bitter to many, even to those who call themselves “prophets of God.” It will be so bitter, that it will not only affect their minds, but their bodies as well; however, when one presents them with the truth of Father's Word and it gets absorbed in their minds with understanding, it becomes a joy and pleasure to feed upon the sweetness of His Truths. That is what truth does; it brings Spiritual life back into Father's Children. Sure life is bitter; children do die even in our day and age, but with our faith in Father spiritual life is restored. The "meal" is the "substance of the Bread of life," and this is addressed also for the famine in the end times is for the lack of the True “Bread of life:” Jesus Christ. Anything that deals with Elijah and Elisha deals with what is going to happen in this final generation. The apostle Paul told us that those things written were "ensamples" or types that we are to be aware of, and probably even for the generation that they lived in. This Spiritual starvation also reminds me of Ezekiel 37 where, Father carried Ezekiel in the Spirit, out into a valley which was full of dry dead bones, what did Father tell Ezekiel to do? To prophesy to the bones saying, "O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the LORD." When Ezekiel did so, then there was a noise and a shaking, and bone came to his bone, and sinew onto his sinew, and flesh came upon the bones, and skin covered them up; but, there was on breath in them. So, Father then told Ezekiel to prophesy to the wind saying, "Come from the four winds, o breath, and breathe upon these slain that they may live," and once Ezekiel did, the Breath of Life came into the bones, and they lived and stood upon their feet.
I Kings 4:42 Firstfruits.
II Kings 4:42 And there came a man from Baal-shalisha (lord of the shalishah), 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. -> Bread of the first fruits=This is the bread for the priests, as stated in Numbers 18:13 and Deuteronomy 18:4, and the 20 loaves of barley and full ears of corn were all brought by this one man.
Now remember brethren, there was about a hundred prophets, some with their wives and children, living at this school, and they were all hungry for the lack of food, and when this man brought this food to them, Elisha did not withhold any of it; but, ordered that the men and their families immediately have it to eat.
Baal-shalishah=“A place from which a man came with provisions for Elisha, apparently not far from Gilgal II Kings 4:42. It has been identified with Sirisia, 13 miles north of Lydda.”.
I Kings 4:43 Supply. Ninth miracle.
II Kings 4:43 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 ”’. -> So, Elisha tells this man who brought this food, to give to the people that they can eat it; but, the man says words to the effect of, "there are over people here and I didn't bring enough to feed them all." So, Elisha repeated that he should set the food before all the people in order that they can eat it and be full.
There are three miraculous feedings of multitudes of people in Father's Word, the other two were done by our LORD Jesus Christ Himself, and you can read of those in Matthew 14 and 15.
I Kings 4:44 Supply. Ninth miracle.
II Kings 4:44 So he set it before them, and they did eat, and left thereof, according to the word of the LORD. -> The man finally does as told by Elisha, and Father performs His ninth miracle through His Prophet, and there was enough food for everybody to get their fill and have left-overs too.
Remember when Jesus told the disciples after feeding the multitudes to gather up the baskets? How many did they gather? Twelve baskets of left over bread fragments. Friend, we are never to think that there is not enough spiritual bread to go around. If Father gives you a little morsel of truth, then take that morsel and pass it around. The knowledge that you gain from your studies and research does not belong to you, it is Father's, for the purpose of feed many others beside yourself.
The more you receive and share with others, the more Father will put back into your mind. If you take and refuse to give, than it will be taken from you and given to someone else. It is a gift to receive any part of the Father's Word with understanding, and He expects you to be a good servant, and share that Spiritual Bread which He has put in your hand.
This Bible Study was written by Scott Reis and is provided in order to be used as a private Bible Study Tool. Therefore, it may be copied in whole or in part and shared for private Bible Study; however, it may not be reproduced and published as an original work.