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2 Kings 8:1-6 – Restoring the Shunammite Woman’s Property

Summary

Elisha continues to help the Shunammite woman, this time from afar.

Analysis

Elisha had experienced hospitality at Shunem from this woman and favored her with two miracles, the birth of a son and his resuscitation following his mysterious death (4:8-37). Apparently, Elisha had given her further advice, counseling her to avoid an impending famine by living in Philistia for seven years. Upon her return the once wealthy woman learned she had lost everything. Her appeals to the king recall the Elijah story of Naboth's vineyard (1 Kings 21:1-16).

As Gehazi is regaling the king with the details of Elisha's miracles on her behalf, the Shunammite woman appears before the king. When the king learns of her distress he rectifies the situation. In her previous story, the Shunammite had refused Elisha's offer to use his influence with the king on her behalf (4:13). Now, even in his absence, the influence of the prophet with the king is the decisive factor in the Shunammite's situation.

2 Kings 8:1-6

The Shunammite Woman’s Land Restored

8Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, ‘Get up and go with your household, and settle wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come on the land for seven years.’ 2So the woman got up and did according to the word of the man of God; she went with her household and settled in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3At the end of the seven years, when the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, she set out to appeal to the king for her house and her land. 4Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, ‘Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.’ 5While he was telling the king how Elisha had restored a dead person to life, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. Gehazi said, ‘My lord king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.’ 6When the king questioned the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, ‘Restore all that was hers, together with all the revenue of the fields from the day that she left the land until now.’

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10 February 2011

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