One day Elisha went over to Shunem where a rich woman lived, and she asked him to be her guest. Afterward, whenever he passed by, he stopped there to eat. So she said to her husband, |Now I see that this is a holy man of God who is constantly passing by our door. Let us make a little chamber on the roof, and put there for him a bed, a table, a seat, and a candlestick, so that whenever he comes to us, he can stay there.|
One day when he came, he went into the upper room and lay down there. Then he said to Gehazi his servant, |Call this Shunamite.| So he called her, and she stood before him. Elisha said to Gehazi, |Say now to her, 'See, you have been so anxious to care for us; what can be done for you? May I ask the ruler or the commander of the army to do a favor for you?'| She answered, |I am living among my own people.| Elisha said, |What then can be done for her?| Gehazi answered, |Verily, she has no son, and her husband is old.| Then Elisha said, |Call her.| So he called her, and she stood at the door. Then Elisha said, |At this time a year from now you shall hold a son in your arms!| But she said, |No, my lord, O man of God, do not deceive your servant!| But the next year the woman had a son at the very time Elisha had promised her.
When the child had grown up he went out one day to his father to the reapers. And he called to his father, |My head, my head!| So his father said to his servant, |Carry him to his mother.| When he had been taken to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon and then died. His mother went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door as she went out.
[Illustration: (C) Curtis Publishing Company
The Parting of Elijah and Elisha
Painted by W. T. Taylor]
Then she called her husband and said, |Send me one of the servants and one of the asses, that I may go quickly to the man of God and return.| He said, |Why do you go to him to-day, for it is neither the feast of the new moon nor the sabbath?| She said, |I have good reason.|
Then she saddled an ass and said to her servant, |Drive on fast, do not stop until I tell you.| So she went to the man of God on Mount Carmel. But when Elisha saw her at a distance, he said to Gehazi, his servant, |See, there is the Shunamite! Run down to meet her and say to her, 'Is all well with you? Is your husband well? Is the child well?'| And she answered, |All is well.| But when she came to the man of God on the mountain, she caught hold of his feet. When Gehazi tried to push her away, Elisha said, |Let her alone, for she is deeply troubled and Jehovah has not told me the reason.| Then she said, |Did I ask a son of my lord? Did I not say, 'Do not deceive me?'|
Elisha said to Gehazi, |Tighten your belt, take my staff in your hand and go! If you meet any one, do not speak to him, and if any one speaks to you do not answer him, and lay my staff on the face of the child.| But the mother of the child said, |As surely as Jehovah lives and as you live, I will not leave you.| So he rose and went with her. And Gehazi had gone on before them and had laid the staff upon the face of the child, but there was neither sound nor sign of life in the boy. So he went back to meet him and told him, |The child has not awakened.|
When Elisha came into the house, there was the child lying dead on his bed. So he went in and shut the door after them and prayed to Jehovah. He also went up and lay upon the child and put his mouth upon his mouth, his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands. As he lay upon him, the flesh of the child became warm. Then he turned and walked backward and forward in the house, and again went up and lay upon him, and the child sneezed seven times, and then opened his eyes. Calling Gehazi, he said, |Call this Shunamite woman.| So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, |Take up your son.| Then she went nearer, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; after that she took up her son and went out.