2 Kings 4:18-37
The Shunammite’s Son
18 When the child was grown, the day came that he went out to his father, to the reapers. 19 But he said to his father, “My head, my head.” The man said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20 When he had carried and brought him to his mother, he sat on her lap until noon, and then he [a]died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door [of the small upper room] behind him and left. 22 Then she called to her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so that I may run to the man of God and return.” 23 He said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It will be all right.” 24 Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Drive [the animal] fast; do not slow down the pace for me unless I tell you.” 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
When the man of God saw her at a distance, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, there is the Shunammite woman. 26 Please run now to meet her and ask her, ‘Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?’” And she answered, “It is well.” 27 When she came to the mountain to the man of God, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi approached to push her away; but the man of God said, “Let her alone, for her soul is desperate and troubled within her; and the Lord has hidden the reason from me and has not told me.” 28 Then she said, “Did I ask for a son from my lord? Did I not say, ‘Do not give me false hope’?”
29 Then he said to Gehazi, “[b]Gird up your loins (prepare now!) and take my staff in your hand, and go [to the woman’s house]; if you meet any man [along the way], do not greet him and if a man greets you, do not [stop to] answer him; and lay my staff on the face of the boy [as soon as you reach the house].” 30 The mother of the child said, “As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” So Elisha arose and followed her. 31 Gehazi went on ahead of them and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or response [from the boy]. So he turned back to meet Elisha and told him, “The boy has not awakened (revived).”
32 When Elisha came into the house, the child was dead and lying on his bed. 33 So he went in, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34 Then he went up and lay on the child and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands. And as he stretched himself out on him and held him, the boy’s skin became warm.(A) 35 Then he returned and walked in the house once back and forth, and went up [again] and stretched himself out on him; and the boy sneezed seven times and he opened his eyes. 36 Then Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite.” So he called her. And when she came to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” 37 She came and fell at his feet, bowing herself to the ground [in respect and gratitude]. Then she picked up her son and left.Read full chapter
- 2 Kings 4:20 Because her faith in God led her to expect a miracle from Elisha, the woman apparently kept the death secret from her husband and the entire household.
- 2 Kings 4:29 “Gird up your loins,” a phrase often found in the Bible, is an urgent call to get ready for immediate action, or it may be a call to prepare for a coming action or event. The phrase is related to the type of clothing worn in ancient times. To keep from impeding the wearer during any vigorous activity, e.g. battle, exercise, strenuous work, etc., the loose ends of garments (tunics, cloaks, mantles, etc.) had to be gathered up and tucked into the girdle. The girdle was a band about six inches wide that had fasteners in front. It was worn around the loins (the midsection of the body between the lower ribs and the hips) and was normally made of leather. Expensive or embroidered girdles were also worn and were made of cotton, flax or silk. The girdle also served as a kind of pocket or pouch and was used to carry personal items such as a dagger, money or other necessary things.