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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Elijah or Elisha? Which Prophet Was the Shunammite Woman Associated With?

By Karon Webster

Her story is found in II Kings, the fourth chapter, and the eighth through the 37th verses. During his ministry, Elisha apparently passed through Shunem (seven miles east of Megiddo) regularly. There, a wealthy couple lived in a big house that Elisha often stopped to eat in. The wife petitioned her husband to build a room adjoining their home, perhaps on the roof (Ryrie Study Bible, p. 565), so the prophet could rest when he passed through. The husband consented. When the prophet understood the trouble she'd gone through to bless him, he asked her what she'd like in return. She said she was content. After she had gone, Elisha's servant, Gehazi, suggested that she might like to have a child, since her husband was old, and they had no children. Elisha had Gehazi call her back, and Elisha promised her a son the following year.

The child was born and grew large enough to go to the fields with his dad. One day, the boy followed his father to the field and complained of head pains. A servant took him home to his mother, where he died on her knees. The Shunammite woman then demonstrated her great faith in God. She laid the child on Elisha's bed, and hurried to get the prophet ( some 25 miles). She insisted that he follow her back to the child, where he shut himself up in the little room with the dead child. Then he prayed to the Lord, and lay atop the child, touching hand to hand, eye to eye, lip to lip. The child's cold body grew warm, and after the second time Elisha lay upon him, the child resurrected. The happy Shunammite was very grateful and praised God.

Karon Webster is a work from home mother and caregiver:

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