0 Elisha and the dead boy (2 Kings 3-4)

Episode 147: Elisha and the dead boy

(2 Kings 3 - 4)

Israel, Judah, and Edom attack Moab

3 1 Ahab and Jezebel's son Jehoram became king of Israel after Ahab died.

2 He did evil in God's sight, but he removed the image of Baal that Ahab had made.

5 When Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against Israel. 4-8 Israel, Judah, and Edom agreed to fight against Moab. 9 But there wasn't enough water for the army. 12 So they asked Elisha to help. 13 Elisha said,

Why ask me? Go ask the prophets of your parents, Ahab and Jezebel.

14 But since Jehoshaphat the king of Judah is here, I'll help you. 15 Bring me a minstrel.

When the minstrel played, the hand of God came upon Elisha, and he said,

16 This is what God says:

Fill the valley with ditches because the valley will be filled with water.

18 God will deliver the Moabites into your hand. 19 And you will smite every city, chop down every good tree, destroy its wells and land.

20 The next morning the valley was filled with water.

24 The Israelites smote the Moabites, destroying their cities, land, and wells. And they chopped down all the good trees.

27 In an attempt to stop the Israelites from destroying Moab, the king offered his eldest son as a burnt offering on the wall. And the Israelites went back to their own land.

A miraculous pot of oil

4 1 A wife of a son of a prophet said to Elisha,

My husband died. He owed money to someone who wants to take my sons as payment.

3 Elisha said to her,

Go borrow as many pots as you can from your neighbors.

When you get home, fill all the pots with oil.

5 So she did that.

7 Elisha said, "Go sell the oil, pay your debt, and live happily ever after with your children."

Elisha makes a woman pregnant

8 Elisha met a rich woman in Shunem. She asked him to eat bread with her. So whenever he passed by, he stopped in for some bread. 9 One day, she said to her husband,

This man seems like a holy man to me.

10 Let's make him a little room to stay in.

11 So the next time Elisha stopped by, he stayed in the room.

12 Elisha said to her, "You've been kind to me. Is there something I can do for you?"

13 The woman said, “No thanks. I have what I need.”

14 Elisha asked his servant Gehazi what could be done for her. Gehazi said,

Well, her husband is old, and she has no child.

15 Elisha told Gehazi to call her. When she arrived, he said to her,

Soon you’ll get pregnant and have a son.

16 The woman answered, “No I won't. Don't lie to me.”

17 And the woman conceived and had a son.

Elisha brings a dead boy back to life

18 One day, after the boy was grown, his head began to hurt. 20 He died in his mother's lap.

21 She took her dead son and laid him on Elisha's bed, closed the door and left.

22 Then she got on a donkey and went to visit Elisha on mount Carmel.

27 When she found him, she grabbed him by his feet, and said,28 "Did I ask you for a son?"

29 Elisha said to his servant, Gehazi,

Gird up your loins and take my staff to the woman's house.

When you get there, lay it on the face of the dead boy.

31 Gehazi went back to Shunem and laid Elisha's staff on the dead boy's face. But nothing happened. So he traveled back to mount Carmel and said to Elisha, “The boy is still dead.”

32 Elisha went back to Shunem and confirmed that the boy was dead. 33 He shut the door and laid down on top of the dead boy's body. 34 Then he put his mouth on the boy's mouth, his eyes on his eyes, his hands on his hands, and stretched himself on the boy's body. And the boy’s body waxed warm. 35 He stretched himself upon him one more time. Then the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

36-37 Elisha called the boy's mom, and she took her son and went out.

There was nothing wrong with the stew

38 Elisha went to Gilgal. He said to the son of the prophets, "Make some stew in a big pot."

39 So one of them made some stew out of wild vines and gourds.

40 As they were eating, one of them cried out, "Oh man of God, there is death in this pot!"

41 But Elisha said, "Bring the meal and let's eat."

There was nothing wrong with the stew.

Elisha feeds the one hundred

42 A man from Baalshalisha came with twenty barley loaves and some grain. Elisha said, “Give it to the people so they can eat.”

43 His servant said, “There's not enough to feed 100 men.”

But Elisha said,

Go ahead and serve them because God says: "They will eat and there will be leftovers."

44 And the 100 men ate and there were plenty of leftovers, according to the word of the Lord.

A few more words about this episode

And the woman conceived and had a son. (4:17)
Another miracle birth! (And another boy)
She got on a donkey and went to visit Elisha on mount Carmel. (4:22)
There were several trips between Shunem and mount Carmel (a distance of about 20 miles) in this story.

The dead boy's mother got on a camel and rode to Mount Carmel to tell Elisha that her son died. (v.25)

Elisha sent his servant Gehazi to travel from Mount Carmel to Shunem to try to revive the dead boy. (v.29)

Gehazi traveled back to Mount Carmel to tell Elisha. (v.31)

Elisha traveled from Mount Carmel to Shunem to bring the dead boy back to life. (v.32)

Each of these trips must have taken at least a day, so the body must have been a bit stinky by the time Elisha revived it.

Elisha put his mouth on the boy's mouth, his eyes on his eyes, his hands on his hands, and stretched himself on the boy's body. (4:34)
Elisha restores the life of a dead child, but only after laying on him a couple of times, putting his mouth on the child's mouth, his eyes on the child's eyes, and his hands on the child's hands. Finally, the child responds by sneezing seven times.

Was this a miraculous healing or artificial respiration?

Strange Flesh: Elisha and the dead boy

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