A Prophet’s Widow Asks Elisha for Help
A man from the group of prophets*
had a wife. This man died, and his wife cried out to Elisha, “My husband was like a servant to you. Now he is dead! You know he honored the LORD. But he owed money to a man. Now that man is coming to take my two boys and make them his slaves!”
2 Elisha answered, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
The woman said, “I don’t have anything in the house except a jar of olive oil.”
3 Then Elisha said, “Go and borrow bowls from all your neighbors. They must be empty. Borrow plenty of bowls. 4 Then go to your house and close the doors. Only you and your sons will be in the house. Then pour the oil into all the bowls. Fill them, and put them in a separate place.”
5 So the woman left Elisha, went into her house, and shut the door. Only she and her sons were in the house. Her sons brought the bowls to her and she poured oil. 6 She filled many bowls. Finally, she said to her son, “Bring me another bowl.”
But all the bowls were full. One of the sons said to her, “There aren’t any more bowls.” Then the oil in the jar was finished!
7 When she told the man of God what had happened, Elisha said to her, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt. You and your sons can live on the money that is left.”
A Woman in Shunem
Gives Elisha a Room
8 One day Elisha went to Shunem, where an important woman lived. She asked Elisha to stop and eat at her house. So every time Elisha went through that place, he stopped there to eat.
The woman said to her husband, “Look, I can see that Elisha is a holy man of God. He passes by our house all the time. 10
Please, let’s make a little room on the roof†
for him. Let’s put a bed in this room and a table, a chair, and a lampstand. Then when he comes to our house, he can have this room for himself.”
11 One day Elisha came to the woman’s house. He went to this room and rested there. 12 Elisha said to his servant Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite woman.”
The servant called the Shunammite woman, and she stood in front of Elisha. 13 Elisha told his servant, “Now say to her, ‘Look, you have done your best to take care of us. What can we do for you? Do you want us to speak to the king for you, or to the captain of the army?’ ”
She answered, “I am fine living here among my own people.”
14 Elisha said to Gehazi, “What can we do for her?”
He answered, “I know! She does not have a son, and her husband is old.”
15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.”
So Gehazi called the woman. She came and stood at his door. 16 Elisha said, “About this time next spring, you will be holding your own baby boy in your arms.”
The woman said, “No, sir! Man of God, don’t lie to me!”
The Woman in Shunem Has a Son
17 But the woman did become pregnant and gave birth to a son that next spring, just as Elisha had said.
18 The boy grew. One day the boy went out into the fields to see his father and the men cutting the grain. 19 The boy said to his father, “Oh, my head! My head hurts!”
The father said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother!”
20 The servant took the boy to his mother. The boy sat on his mother’s lap until noon. Then he died.
The Woman Goes to See Elisha
21 The woman laid the boy on the bed of Elisha, the man of God. Then she shut the door to that room and went outside. 22 She called to her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey. Then I will go quickly to get the man of God and come back.”
23 The woman’s husband said, “Why would you want to go to the man of God today? It isn’t the New Moon or Sabbath day.”
24 Then she put a saddle on a donkey and said to her servant, “Let’s go, and hurry! Go slow only when I tell you.”
25 The woman went to Mount Carmel to get the man of God.
The man of God saw the Shunammite woman coming from far away and said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, there’s the Shunammite woman! 26 Please run now to meet her! Say to her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the child all right?’ ”
She answered, “Everything is all right.”§
27 But the Shunammite woman went up the hill to the man of God. She bowed down and touched Elisha’s feet. Gehazi came near to pull her away. But the man of God said to Gehazi, “Leave her alone! She’s very upset, and the LORD didn’t tell me about it. He hid this news from me.”
28 Then she said, “Sir, I never asked for a son. I told you, ‘Don’t trick me!’ ”
29 Then Elisha said to Gehazi, “Get ready to go. Take my walking stick and go! If you meet anyone along the way, don’t even stop to say hello to him. If anyone says hello to you, don’t answer. Put my walking stick on the child’s face.”
30 But the child’s mother said, “I promise, as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave without you!”
So Elisha got up and followed her.
31 Gehazi arrived at the house before Elisha and the Shunammite woman. Gehazi laid the walking stick on the child’s face, but the child did not talk or show any sign that he heard anything. Then Gehazi came back to meet Elisha and said, “The child will not wake up!”
The Woman’s Son Comes Back to Life
32 Elisha went into the house, and there was the child, lying dead on his bed. 33 Elisha went into the room and shut the door. He and the child were alone in the room now. Then he prayed to the LORD. 34 Elisha went to the bed and lay on the child. He put his eyes on the child’s eyes, his mouth on the child’s mouth, and his hands on the child’s hands. He lay there on top of the child until the child’s body became warm.
35 Then Elisha turned away and walked around the room. He went back and lay on the child until the child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
36 Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite woman!”
Gehazi called her, and she came to Elisha. Elisha said, “Pick up your son.”
37 Then the Shunammite woman went into the room and bowed down at Elisha’s feet. Then she picked up her son and went out.
Elisha and the Poisoned Soup
38 Elisha went to Gilgal again. There was a famine in the land. The group of prophets was sitting in front of Elisha. Elisha said to his servant, “Put the large pot on the fire, and make some soup for the group of prophets.”
39 One man went out into the field to gather herbs. He found a wild vine and picked the fruit from it. He put that fruit in his robe and brought it back. He cut up the wild fruit and put it into the pot. But the group of prophets did not know what kind of fruit it was.
40 Then they poured some of the soup for the men to eat. But when they began to eat the soup, they shouted out, “Man of God! There’s poison in the pot!” The food tasted like poison, so they could not eat that food.
41 But Elisha said, “Bring some flour.” He threw the flour into the pot. Then he said, “Pour the soup for the people so that they can eat.”
And there was nothing wrong with the soup.
Elisha Feeds the Group of Prophets
42 A man from Baal Shalishah came and brought bread from the first harvest to the man of God. This man brought 20 loaves of barley bread and fresh grain in his sack. Then Elisha said, “Give this food to the people, so that they can eat.”
43 Elisha’s servant said, “What? There are 100 men here. How can I give this food to all those men?”
But Elisha said, “Give the food to the people to eat. The LORD says, ‘They will eat and there will still be food left over.’ ”
44 Then Elisha’s servant put the food in front of the group of prophets. The group of prophets had enough to eat, and they even had food left over. This happened just as the LORD had said.