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2 Kings 4:18-37


4:18 The boy grew and one day he went out to see his father who was with the harvest workers. 1  4:19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!” His father 2  told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 4:20 So he picked him up and took him to his mother. He sat on her lap 3  until noon and then died. 4:21 She went up and laid him down on the prophet’s 4  bed. She shut the door behind her and left. 4:22 She called to her husband, “Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so I can go see the prophet quickly and then return.” 4:23 He said, “Why do you want to go see him today? It is not the new moon 5  or the Sabbath.” She said, “Everything’s fine.” 6  4:24 She saddled the donkey and told her servant, “Lead on. 7  Do not stop unless I say so.” 8 

4:25 So she went to visit 9  the prophet at Mount Carmel. When he 10  saw her at a distance, he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, it’s the Shunammite woman. 4:26 Now, run to meet her and ask her, ‘Are you well? Are your husband and the boy well?’” She told Gehazi, 11  “Everything’s fine.” 4:27 But when she reached the prophet on the mountain, she grabbed hold of his feet. Gehazi came near to push her away, but the prophet said, “Leave her alone, for she is very upset. 12  The Lord has kept the matter hidden from me; he didn’t tell me about it.” 4:28 She said, “Did I ask my master for a son? Didn’t I say, ‘Don’t mislead me?’” 4:29 Elisha 13  told Gehazi, “Tuck your robes into your belt, take my staff, 14  and go! Don’t stop to exchange greetings with anyone! 15  Place my staff on the child’s face.” 4:30 The mother of the child said, “As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So Elisha 16  got up and followed her back.

4:31 Now Gehazi went on ahead of them. He placed the staff on the child’s face, but there was no sound or response. When he came back to Elisha 17  he told him, “The child did not wake up.” 4:32 When Elisha arrived at the house, there was 18  the child lying dead on his bed. 4:33 He went in by himself and closed the door. 19  Then he prayed to the Lord. 4:34 He got up on the bed and spread his body out over 20  the boy; he put his mouth on the boy’s 21  mouth, his eyes over the boy’s eyes, and the palms of his hands against the boy’s palms. He bent down over him, and the boy’s skin 22  grew warm. 4:35 Elisha 23  went back and walked around in the house. 24  Then he got up on the bed again 25  and bent down over him. The child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 4:36 Elisha 26  called to Gehazi and said, “Get the Shunammite woman.” So he did so 27  and she came to him. He said to her, “Take your son.” 4:37 She came in, fell at his feet, and bowed down. Then she picked up her son and left.

1 tn Heb “to his father, to the harvesters.”

2 tn Heb “He”; the referent (the boy’s father) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Heb “knees.”

4 tn Heb “man of God’s.”

5 sn The new moon was a time of sacrifice and special feasts (Num 28:14; 1 Sam 20:5). Apparently it was a convenient time to visit a prophet. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 57.

6 tn Heb “peace.”

7 tn Heb “lead [the donkey on] and go.”

8 tn Heb “do not restrain for me the riding unless I say to you.”

9 tn Heb “went and came.”

10 tn Heb “the man of God.” The phrase has been replaced by the relative pronoun “he” in the translation for stylistic reasons.

11 tn Heb “she said.” The narrator streamlines the story at this point, omitting any reference to Gehazi running to meet her and asking her the questions.

12 tn Heb “her soul [i.e., ‘disposition’] is bitter.”

13 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn Heb “take my staff in your hand.”

15 tn Heb “If you meet a man, do not greet him with a blessing; if a man greets you with a blessing, do not answer.”

16 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The referent must be Elisha here, since the following verse makes it clear that Gehazi had gone on ahead of them.

17 tn Heb “to meet him.”

18 tn Heb “look.”

19 tn Heb “and closed the door behind the two of them.”

20 tn Heb “he went up and lay down over.”

21 tn Heb “his” (also in the next two clauses).

22 tn Or perhaps, “body”; Heb “flesh.”

23 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

24 tn Heb “and he returned and went into the house, once here and once there.”

25 tn Heb “and he went up.”

26 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Elisha) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

27 tn Heb “and he called for her.”

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