Woman of Shunem

From Monarchists.Wiki

A prominent woman of Shunem provided food and a room for the prophet Elisha.

Biography[edit]

Hospitality rewarded[edit]

The woman invited the prophet Elisha to eat with her. Afterward, Elisha ate with her whenever he was in Shunem. The woman recognized Elisha as a prophet of the Lord and asked her husband to build a room, complete with a bed, a table, a chair, and a lampstand, for Elisha.

Behold, I sense that this is a holy man of God who frequently passes our way. Please, let us make a small, fully-walled upper room [on the housetop] and put a bed there for him, with a table, a chair, and a lampstand. Then whenever he comes to visit us, he can turn in there.

— 2 Kings 4:9–4:10 (AMP)

One day, Elisha stayed in this room and had his servant Gehazi ask the woman what he (Elisha) can do for her.

Say to her now, You have gone to all this trouble for us; what can I do for you? Would you like to be mentioned to the king or to the captain of the army?

— 2 Kings 4:12–4:14 (AMP)

And she responded by saying, I live among my own people [in peace and security and need no special favors].

However, Elisha still sought to do do something for her, and Gehazi reminded his master that the woman did not have any sons and that her husband is old. Elisha then had Gehazi call the woman to him, and Elisha prophesied that she would have a son: At this season next year, you will embrace a son (2 Kings 4:16 (AMP)) The woman, however, did not believe him at first: No, my lord. O man of God, do not lie to your maidservant (2 Kings 4:16 (AMP)).

Nevertheless, the miracle happened just as Elisha as prophesied; the woman conceived and gave birth to a son at the season and year prophesied.

Her son[edit]

The woman's son grew, and while with his father and going to the reapers, he complained of head pain. The father had his servants bring the child back to his mother. The son sat on her mother's lap but at noon, he died.

The mother then placed her son in Elisha's bed, shut the door to the room, and had her husband summon a servant and a donkey for her so that she can go to the prophet Elisha and had him save her son: Please send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so that I may run to the man of God and return (2 Kings 4:22 (AMP)). The husband asked her why she sought the prophet's aid, and she responded with faith: It will be all right. (2 Kings 4:23 (AMP)).

She then drove off with the servant and the donkey: Drive [the animal] fast; do not slow down the pace for me unless I tell you. (2 Kings 4:24 (AMP)).

The mother arrived at Mount Carmel, where Elisha was. Elisha had his servant Gehazi greet her. The mother then took hold of Elisha's feet. Gehazi sought to move the mother off his master, but Elisha recognized that the mother was troubled and told Gehazi to leave her alone.

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.

— 2 Kings 4:27 (AMP)

The mother then told Elisha of her plight: Did I ask for a son from my lord? Did I not say, Do not give me false hope? (2 Kings 4:28 (AMP)).

Elisha then told Gehazi to prepare immediately, to take his staff, and to hurry to the mother's house without letting anything distract him. Once there, Gehazi was to lay the staff on the son's face.

The mother then stated her intention to remain with the prophet: As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you (2 Kings 4:30 (AMP)).

Gehazi did as he was instructed, but the boy did not come back to life, so he returned to Elisha.

Elisha then went to the boy and closed the door behind him, leaving him alone with the boy. Elisha prayed to God and placed himself on the boy. Warmth returned to the boy. Elisha then went up and walked around the house, and then returned to the boy and again placed himself on the boy. The boy then sneezed seven times and awoken. The boy was alive.

Elisha then had Gehazi bring the mother to the room. Elisha told her to pick up her son, and the mother fell to his feet and bowed. She then took her son.

Surviving the famine[edit]

Some time later, Elisha told the woman and her family to move to a different land in order to survive a famine.

Prepare and go, you and your household, and stay temporarily wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and moreover, it will come on the land [and continue] for seven years.

— 1 Kings 8:1 (AMP)

The woman followed Elisha's instructions and lived in the land of the Philistines during the seven-year famine. After those seven years, she returned and sought to ask the King of Israel to return her house and land to her family.

Meanwhile, Elisha's servant Gehazi was telling the King about how the prophet Elisha brought the Shunammite women's son back to life. While Gehazi was doing this, the woman arrived. Gehazi told the King that this was the woman whose son Elisha brought back to life. The woman then told the King everything, and the King ordered the woman's house and land to be restored to her, along with everything produced on the fields since she had left.