A Widow Asks Elisha for Help
1The wife of a man from the groups of prophets said to Elisha, “Your servant, my husband, is dead. You know he honored the Lord. But now the man he owes money to is coming to take my two boys as his slaves!”
2Elisha answered, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”
The woman said, “I don’t have anything there except a pot of oil.”
3Then Elisha said, “Go and get empty jars from all your neighbors. Don’t ask for just a few. 4Then go into your house and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and set the full ones aside.”
5So she left Elisha and shut the door behind her and her sons. As they brought the jars to her, she poured out the oil. 6When the jars were all full, she said to her son, “Bring me another jar.”
But he said, “There are no more jars.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
7She went and told Elisha. And the prophet said to her, “Go, sell the oil and pay what you owe. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
The Shunammite Woman
8One day Elisha went to Shunem, where an important woman lived. She begged Elisha to stay and eat. So every time Elisha passed by, he stopped there to eat. 9The woman said to her husband, “I know that this is a holy man of God who passes by our house all the time. 10Let’s make a small room on the roof and put a bed in the room for him. We can put a table, a chair, and a lampstand there. Then when he comes by, he can stay there.”
11One day Elisha came to the woman’s house. After he went to his room and rested, 12he said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite woman.”
When the servant had called her, she stood in front of him. 13Elisha had told his servant, “Now say to her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. What can I do for you? Do you want me to speak to the king or the commander of the army for you?’ ”
She answered, “I live among my own people.”
14Elisha said to Gehazi, “But what can we do for her?”
He answered, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”
15Then Elisha said to Gehazi, “Call her.” When he called her, she stood in the doorway. 16Then Elisha said, “About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms.”
The woman said, “No, master, man of God, don’t lie to me, your servant!”
17But the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son at that time the next year, just as Elisha had told her.
18The boy grew up and one day went out to his father, who was with the grain harvesters. 19The boy said to his father, “My head! My head!”
The father said to his servant, “Take him to his mother!” 20The servant took him to his mother, and he lay on his mother’s lap until noon. Then he died. 21So she took him up and laid him on Elisha’s bed. Then she shut the door and left.
22She called to her husband, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys. Then I can go quickly to the man of God and return.”
23The husband said, “Why do you want to go to him today? It isn’t the New Moon or the Sabbath day.”
She said, “It will be all right.”
24Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, “Lead on. Don’t slow down for me unless I tell you.” 25So she went to Elisha, the man of God, at Mount Carmel.
When he saw her coming from far away, he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, there’s the Shunammite woman! 26Run to meet her and ask, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the boy all right?’ ”
She answered, “Everything is all right.”
27Then she came to Elisha at the hill and grabbed his feet. Gehazi came near to pull her away, but Elisha said to him, “Leave her alone. She’s very upset, and the Lord has not told me about it. He has hidden it from me.”
28She said, “Master, did I ask you for a son? Didn’t I tell you not to lie to me?”
29Then Elisha said to Gehazi, “Get ready. Take my walking stick in your hand and go quickly. If you meet anyone, don’t say hello. If anyone greets you, don’t respond. Lay my walking stick on the boy’s face.”
30The boy’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I won’t leave you!” So Elisha got up and followed her.
31Gehazi went on ahead and laid the walking stick on the boy’s face, but the boy did not talk or move. Then Gehazi went back to meet Elisha. “The boy has not awakened,” he said.
32When Elisha came into the house, the boy was lying dead on his bed. 33Elisha entered the room and shut the door, so only he and the boy were in the room. Then he prayed to the Lord. 34He went to the bed and lay on the boy, putting his mouth on the boy’s mouth, his eyes on the boy’s eyes, and his hands on the boy’s hands. He stretched himself out on top of the boy. Soon the boy’s skin became warm. 35Elisha turned away and walked around the room. Then he went back and put himself on the boy again. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
36Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite!” So he did. When she came, Elisha said, “Pick up your son.” 37She came in and fell at Elisha’s feet, bowing facedown to the floor. Then she picked up her son and went out.
Elisha and the Stew
38When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a shortage of food in the land. While the groups of prophets were sitting in front of him, he said to his servant, “Put the large pot on the fire, and boil some stew for these men.”
39One of them went out into the field to gather plants. Finding a wild vine, he picked fruit from the vine and filled his robe with it. Then he came and cut up the fruit into the pot. But they didn’t know what kind of fruit it was. 40They poured out the stew for the others to eat. When they began to eat it, they shouted, “Man of God, there’s death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.
41Elisha told them to bring some flour. He threw it into the pot and said, “Pour it out for the people to eat.” Then there was nothing harmful in the pot.
Elisha Feeds the People
42A man from Baal Shalishah came to Elisha, bringing him twenty loaves of barley bread from the first harvest. He also brought fresh grain in his sack. Elisha said, “Give it to the people to eat.”
43Elisha’s servant asked, “How can I feed a hundred people with so little?”
“Give the bread to the people to eat,” Elisha said. “This is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and will have food left over.’ ” 44After he gave it to them, the people ate and had food left over, as the Lord had said.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.