2 Kings 4 International Standard Version (ISV)
The Miracle of the Oil Vessels
4 Now there happened to be a certain woman who had been the wife of a member of the Guild of Prophets. She cried out to Elisha, “My husband who served you has died, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. But a creditor has come to take away my children into indentured servitude!”
2 Elisha responded, “What shall I do for you? Tell me what you have in your house.”
She replied, “Your servant has nothing in the entire house except for a flask of oil.”
3 He told her, “Go out to all of your neighbors in the surrounding streets and borrow lots of pots from them. Don’t get just a few empty vessels, either. 4 Then go in and shut the door behind you, taking only your children, and pour oil[a] into all of the pots. As each one is filled, set it aside.”
5 So she left Elisha,[b] shut the door behind her and her children, and while they kept on bringing vessels to her, she kept on pouring oil.[c] 6 When the last of[d] the vessels had been filled, she told her son, “Bring me another pot!”
But he replied, “There isn’t even one pot left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 After this, she went and told the man of God what had happened.[e] So he said, “Go sell the oil, pay your debt, and you and your children will be able to live on the proceeds.”
The Hospitality of a Woman from Shunem
8 Some time later, Elisha went to Shunem,[f] where he met a prominent and wealthy[g] woman who persuaded him to have a meal with her. As a result, whenever he was in the area, he stopped by to eat with her. 9 So she had a talk with her husband. “Look here! I’ve learned that this is a holy and godly man[h] who comes by here on a regular basis. 10 Now then, let’s build a small upper room and put a bed in it for him there, along with a table, a chair, and a lamp stand. That way, when he comes to visit, he can rest[i] there.”
13 Elisha[l] told him, “Ask her, ‘Look how you’ve gone to all this trouble to care for us! What can I do for you? Do you wish to be mentioned to the king or to the head of the army?’”
She replied, “I’m at home[m] living among my own people.”
14 He responded, “What, then, is to be done on her behalf?”
Gehazi answered, “Well, she has no son and her husband is growing old.”
15 “Call her,” Elisha[n] ordered. After he called her, she came and stood in the doorway, 16 and he told her, “About this time next year you will be embracing a son.”
“No, sir! Please, as a godly man,[o] don’t mislead your servant!” 17 But the woman did conceive and did bear a son at that very same time the next year, just as Elisha had told her.
Elisha Raises the Shunammite’s Son
18 After the child had grown up a bit, one day he went out to visit his father, who was with the harvesters. 19 He told his father, “My head! My head!”
So his father ordered his servant, “Carry him over to his mother!” 20 So the servant carried him over to his mother, where he rested on her lap until mid-day,[p] and then he died. 21 The woman went upstairs, laid him on the bed belonging to the man of God, and shut the door, leaving him behind as she left.
22 Then she called to her husband and asked him, “Please send me one of the servants, along with one of the donkeys, so I can ride quickly to see that godly man.[q] I’ll be right back.”
23 He asked her, “What’s the point of visiting him today? It’s not a New Moon, and it isn’t the Sabbath!”
But she kept saying, “Things will go well.”[r]
24 So she saddled a donkey and told her servant, “Forward, driver! Don’t slow down on my account, unless I tell you!” 25 So out she went and eventually she arrived at Mount Carmel to visit the man of God.
When the man of God noticed her from a distance, he told his attendant Gehazi, “Look! There’s the woman from Shunem! 26 Please run out quickly and greet her. Ask her, ‘Are things going well with you? Are things going well with your husband? Are things going well with your child?’”
She answered Gehazi,[s] “Things are going well.”
27 As she came near the man of God on the mountain, she grabbed his feet. When Gehazi intervened to push her away, the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is deeply troubled! The Lord has concealed the thing from me, and hasn’t informed me.”
28 Then she asked, “Did I ask my lord for a son? Didn’t I beg you, ‘Don’t mislead me?’”
29 At this he told Gehazi, “Get ready to run![t] Take my staff in your hand, and get on the road. Don’t greet anyone you meet. If anyone greets you, don’t respond. Just go lay my staff on the youngster’s face.”
30 At this, the youngster’s mother replied, “As long as you and the Lord live, I’m not leaving you!” So he got up and followed her.
31 Meanwhile, Gehazi went on ahead of them and placed the staff on the youngster’s face, but when there was no sound or reaction, he returned, met Elisha,[u] and told him, “The youngster has shown no sign of awakening.”
32 When Elisha entered the house, there was the youngster, dead and laid out on Elisha’s[v] bed! 33 So he entered, shut the door behind them both, and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he approached the child and lay down with his mouth near the child’s, with his eyes near those of the child, and taking the child’s hands in his. As Elisha[w] stretched himself on the child, the child’s flesh began to grow warm. 35 Then he went downstairs, walked around back and forth inside the house once, went back up to his upper chamber,[x] and stretched himself over the child again. The young man sneezed seven times and then opened his eyes.
36 He called out to Gehazi, “Go get the Shunammite woman!” So he called her. When she came in to see Elisha,[y] he told her, “Take back your son!” 37 Then she approached him, fell at his feet, bowing low to the ground, took back her son, and went out.
Poisoned Stew is Purified
38 Elisha returned to Gilgal during a time of famine in the land. While the Guild of Prophets were having a meal[z] with him, he instructed his attendant, “Put a large pot on the fire and boil some stew for the Guild of Prophets.” 39 Somebody went out into the fields to grab some herbs, found a wild vine, and gathered a lap full of wild gourds, which he came and sliced up into the stew pot, but nobody else knew.
40 When they served the men, they began to eat the stew. But they cried out, “That pot of stew is deadly, you man of God!” So they couldn’t eat the stew.
41 But he replied, “Bring me some flour.” He tossed it into the pot and said, “Serve the people so they can eat.” Then there was nothing harmful in the pot.
Feeding of the Crowd
42 Later on, a man arrived from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God some bread as a first fruit offering. He had 20 loaves of barley and ripe ears of corn in his sack. So Elisha[aa] said, “Give them to the people so they can eat.”
43 Elisha’s attendant asked, “What? Will this serve 100 men?”
But he replied, “Distribute it to the people so they can eat, because this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have a surplus!’” 44 So he served them, and they ate and had some left over, just as the Lord had indicated.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the Believer's Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.