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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

Chapter 4

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1Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets b Heb he cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared the LORD, but a creditor has come to take my two children as slaves.” 2Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She answered, “Your servant has nothing in the house, except a jar of oil.” 3He said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not just a few. 4Then go in, and shut the door behind you and your children, and start pouring into all these vessels; when each is full, set it aside.” 5So she left him and shut the door behind her and her children; they kept bringing vessels to her, and she kept pouring. 6When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” But he said to her, “There are no more.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your children can live on the rest.”

8One day Elisha was passing through Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to have a meal. So whenever he passed that way, he would stop there for a meal. 9She said to her husband, “Look, I am sure that this man who regularly passes our way is a holy man of God. 10Let us make a small roof chamber with walls, and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

11One day when he came there, he went up to the chamber and lay down there. 12He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite woman.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13He said to him, “Say to her, Since you have taken all this trouble for us, what may be done for you? Would you have a word spoken on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?” She answered, “I live among my own people.” 14He said, “What then may be done for her?” Gehazi answered, “Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.” 15He said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood at the door. 16He said, “At this season, in due time, you shall embrace a son.” She replied, “No, my lord, O man of God; do not deceive your servant.”

17The woman conceived and bore a son at that season, in due time, as Elisha had declared to her.

18When the child was older, he went out one day to his father among the reapers. 19He complained to his father, “Oh, my head, my head!” The father said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20He carried him and brought him to his mother; the child sat on her lap until noon, and he died. 21She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, closed the door on him, and left. 22Then she called to her husband, and said, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so that I may quickly go to the man of God and come back again.” 23He said, “Why go to him today? It is neither new moon nor sabbath.” She said, “It will be all right.” 24Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Urge the animal on; do not hold back for me unless I tell you.” 25So she set out, and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

When the man of God saw her coming, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, there is the Shunammite woman; 26run at once to meet her, and say to her, Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the child all right?” She answered, “It is all right.” 27When she came to the man of God at the mountain, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi approached to push her away. But the man of God said, “Let her alone, for she is in bitter distress; the LORD has hidden it from me and has not told me.” 28Then she said, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, Do not mislead me?” 29He said to Gehazi, “Gird up your loins, and take my staff in your hand, and go. If you meet anyone, give no greeting, and if anyone greets you, do not answer; and lay my staff on the face of the child.” 30Then the mother of the child said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave without you.” So he rose up and followed her. 31Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the face of the child, but there was no sound or sign of life. He came back to meet him and told him, “The child has not awakened.”

32When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. 33So he went in and closed the door on the two of them, and prayed to the LORD. 34Then he got up on the bed a Heb sons of the prophets were and lay upon the child, putting his mouth upon his mouth, his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and while he lay bent over him, the flesh of the child became warm. 35He got down, walked once to and fro in the room, then got up again and bent over him; the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36Elisha b Heb sons of the prophets summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite woman.” So he called her. When she came to him, he said, “Take your son.” 37She came and fell at his feet, bowing to the ground; then she took her son and left.

38When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the company of prophets was c A term for several skin diseases; precise meaning uncertain sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Put the large pot on, and make some stew for the company of prophets.” d A term for several skin diseases; precise meaning uncertain 39One of them went out into the field to gather herbs; he found a wild vine and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were. 40They served some for the men to eat. But while they were eating the stew, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!” They could not eat it. 41He said, “Then bring some flour.” He threw it into the pot, and said, “Serve the people and let them eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.

42A man came from Baal‐shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, “Give it to the people and let them eat.” 43But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” So he repeated, “Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the LORD, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’ ” 44He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the LORD.

Notes:

b Heb he

c Heb sons of the prophets were

d Heb sons of the prophets

e A term for several skin diseases; precise meaning uncertain

a A term for several skin diseases; precise meaning uncertain

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