2 Kings 4

Some great things that Elisha did with God's help

1 There was a group of prophets. The wife of one of these men spoke aloud to Elisha. She said, ‘My husband is dead. He was your servant and he loved the Lord. My husband should have given money to a certain man. But he did not, so that man will come to take my two children. They will become his slaves.’ 2 Elisha said to her, ‘How can I help you? Tell me, what have you got in your house?’ She said to Elisha, ‘I, your servant, have nothing in the house, only a pot of oil.’ 3 Then Elisha said, ‘Go to the people who live near you. Ask them all to lend you many pots. The pots must be empty. 4 Then go into your house. Shut the door behind you and behind your sons. Pour the oil that you have into all those pots. When each pot is full, put it by your side.’ 5 So she left Elisha and she shut the door behind her and behind her sons. They brought the pots to her and she poured the oil into them. 6 When all the pots were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another pot.’ But he said, ‘There are no more pots!’ Then there was no more oil to pour into pots. 7 Then she went and she told all this to the man of God. He said, ‘Go and sell the oil. Use some of the money to pay that man who wants your sons. Buy food for you and for your sons with what you do not need to pay the man.’

8 There was a time when Elisha went to Shunem. A rich woman was there. She asked him to have a meal with her family every time that he passed her house. So, each time that he passed her house, he stopped there to eat a meal. 9 Then she said to her husband, ‘Listen! I believe that this Elisha is a holy man of God. He often passes our house. 10 We should make a small room on the roof for him. We can put into it a bed, a table, a chair and a light. Then, when he comes to visit us, he can stay there.’

11 There was a certain day when Elisha came there. He went up to his room and he lay there. 12 Gehazi was Elisha's servant. Elisha said to Gehazi, ‘Ask the woman from Shunem to come here.’ So Gehazi asked her to come and she stood in front of him. 13 Elisha said to Gehazi, ‘Say to her, “You have done all this work for us. So, what can we do for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king? Or can we speak to the leader of the army on your behalf?” ’ But she replied, ‘I live safely among my own people.’ 14 But Elisha asked again, ‘What can we do to help her?’ Gehazi said, ‘I know that she has no son. But her husband is old.’ 15 Elisha said, ‘Ask her to come here.’ When Gehazi had asked her to come, she stood by the door. 16 Elisha said, ‘About this time next year, you will have a son in your arms.’ ‘No, my master,’ she said, ‘do not say what is not true to your servant. You are a man of God.’ 17 But the woman did become pregnant. At that time next year she had a son. Elisha had said that this would happen.

18 When the child had grown, he went to his father. His father was in a field with the workers. 19 ‘My head hurts me! My head hurts me!’ he said to his father. His father said to his servant, ‘Carry him to his mother.’ 20 So the servant lifted him up and carried him to his mother. The boy sat on his mother's knees until midday. Then he died. 21 Then she went upstairs and she put the boy on the bed of the man of God. Then she shut the door of his room and she went out. 22 She sent a message to her husband. She said, ‘Send to me one of the servants and one of the donkeys. Then I will go quickly to the man of God and return quickly.’ 23 Her husband asked, ‘Why are you going to him today? It is not a New Moon or a Sabbath.’ And she said, ‘Do not argue.’ 24 So she put a seat on the donkey. And she said to her servant, ‘Go! Lead the way! Do not go slowly for me, unless I say, “You must go slowly”.’ 25 So she went out on the road and she came to the man of God. He was on a hill called Carmel. Elisha saw her when she was a long way away. So the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, ‘Look! There is the woman from Shunem! 26 Run now to meet her. Ask her, “Are you well? Is your husband well? Is your child well?” ’ And she said, ‘Well.’ 27 But when she reached the man of God at the hill called Carmel, she held his feet. Gehazi came to push her away. But the man of God said, ‘Do not stop her. She is very, very sad. But the Lord has hidden it from me. The Lord has not told me about it.’ 28 ‘My master, I did not ask you for a son,’ she said. ‘I said to you, “Do not cause me to hope for a son.” ’ 29 Elisha said to Gehazi, ‘Tie your clothes up round your body. Take my stick in your hand and run to the boy. If you meet anyone, do not speak to him. If anybody speaks to you, do not answer them. Put my stick on the boy's face.’ 30 But the mother of the child said, ‘The Lord is alive. You are alive. I will not leave you as surely as both of these things are true.’ So Elisha got up and he went with her. 31 Gehazi went in front of them. He put the stick on the boy's face. But nothing happened and there was no sound from the boy. So Gehazi went back to meet Elisha. He said to him, ‘The boy has not woken.’

32 When Elisha arrived at the house, the boy really was dead. He was lying on Elisha's bed. 33 Elisha went in to the room. He shut the door. He and the boy were together. Elisha prayed to the Lord. 34 Then Elisha went on to the bed. He lay on the boy. He put his mouth to the boy's mouth. He put his eyes to the boy's eyes and he put his hands to the boy's hands. When Elisha lay on the boy's dead body, it became warm. 35 Elisha went away from the bed. He walked round the room. Then he went on to the bed and he lay down again on the boy. The boy made a noise in his nose 7 times and then he opened his eyes. 36 Then Elisha spoke to Gehazi. He said, ‘Ask the woman from Shunem to come here.’ Gehazi did that. When she came, Elisha said, ‘Take your son.’ 37 She came in to the room. She fell down by his feet. She put her face near the ground. Then she took her son and she went out from the room.

38 Elisha went back to Gilgal. And there was a famine round about Gilgal. While the group of prophets sat with Elisha, he spoke to his servant. ‘Put the large pot over the fire. Cook some soup for the group of prophets.’ 39 One of the prophets went out into the fields to get some vegetables. He found a wild plant and he picked some of its fruits. He filled the pockets of his coat with them. When he returned he cut the fruits into pieces. He put the pieces into the pot of soup. But nobody knew what they were. 40 They poured out the soup for the men to eat. But when they started to eat it, they shouted, ‘Man of God, there is poison that would kill us in the pot!’ And they could not eat it. 41 Then Elisha said, ‘Get some flour.’ And he put it into the pot. He said, ‘Give it to the people to eat.’ And there was nothing that was dangerous in the pot.

42 A man came from Baal Shalishah. He brought 20 loaves to the man of God. The baker had made the bread with flour. It was from the first corn that was ready for people to pick. He also brought some of the plant with corn still in it. Elisha said, ‘Give it to the people to eat.’ 43 But his servant said, ‘How can I give this to 100 men?’ Then Elisha answered, ‘Give it to the people to eat. Do it, because the Lord says, “They will eat. But after the meal there will still be some bread.” ’ 44 So the servant gave the bread to them. And they ate it, but they could not eat all of it. The Lord had said that this would happen.