April 27

2 Kings 4:1 — 5:27

4 Now there was a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets that cried out to Elisha, saying: “Your servant, my husband, is dead; and you yourself well know that your own servant had continually feared Jehovah, and the creditor himself has come to take both my children for his slaves.” 2 At this Elisha said to her: “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what do you have in the house?” To this she said: “Your maidservant has nothing at all in the house but a spouted jar of oil.” 3 Then he said: “Go, ask for vessels for yourself from outside, from all your neighbors, empty vessels. Do not hold yourself to a few. 4 And you must go and close the door behind yourself and your sons, and you must pour out into all these vessels, and the full ones you should set aside.” 5 Upon that she went away from him.

When she closed the door behind herself and her sons, they were bringing [the vessels] near to her, and she was doing the pouring out. 6 And it came about that as soon as the vessels were full she went on to say to her son: “Do bring still another vessel near to me.” But he said to her: “There is no other vessel.” At that the oil stopped. 7 So she came in and told the man of the [true] God, and he now said: “Go, sell the oil and pay off your debts, and you [and] your sons should live from what is left.”

8 And it came about one day that Elisha went passing along to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman, and she began to constrain him to eat bread. And it came about that as often as he would pass by, he would turn aside there to eat bread. 9 At length she said to her husband: “Here, now, I well know that it is a holy man of God that is passing by us constantly. 10 Please, let us make a little roof chamber on the wall and put there for him a couch and a table and a chair and a lampstand; and it must occur that whenever he comes in to us he can turn aside there.”

11 And it came about one day that as usual he came in there and turned aside to the roof chamber and lay down there. 12 So he said to Gehazi his attendant: “Call this Shunammite woman.” At that he called her that she might stand before him. 13 Then he said to him: “Please, say to her, ‘Here you have restricted yourself for us with all this restriction. What is there to be done for you? Is there anything to speak to the king or to the chief of the army for you?’” To this she said: “In among my own people I am dwelling.” 14 And he went on to say: “What, then, is there to be done for her?” Gehazi now said: “For a fact, a son she does not have, and her husband is old.” 15 Immediately he said: “Call her.” So he called her, and she kept standing at the entrance. 16 Then he said: “At this appointed time next year you will be embracing a son.” But she said: “No, my master, O man of the [true] God! Do not tell lies in connection with your maidservant.”

17 However, the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son at this appointed time the next year, just as Elisha had spoken to her. 18 And the child kept on growing up, and it came about one day that he went out as usual to his father with the reapers. 19 And he kept saying to his father: “My head, O my head!” At last he said to the attendant: “Carry him to his mother.” 20 Accordingly he carried him and brought him to his mother. And he kept sitting upon her knees until noon, and gradually he died. 21 Then she went up and laid him upon the couch of the man of the [true] God and closed the door upon him and went out. 22 She now called her husband and said: “Do send me, please, one of the attendants and one of the she-asses, and let me run as far as the man of the [true] God and return.” 23 But he said: “Why are you going to him today? It is not a new moon nor a sabbath.” However, she said: “It is all right.” 24 So she saddled up the she-ass and said to her attendant: “Drive and go ahead. Do not hold back for my sake from riding unless I shall have said so to you.”

25 And she proceeded to go and come to the man of the [true] God at Mount Carmel. And it came about that, as soon as the man of the [true] God saw her out ahead, he immediately said to Gehazi his attendant: “Look! The Shunammite woman over there. 26 Now run, please, to meet her and say to her, ‘Is it all right with you? Is it all right with your husband? Is it all right with the child?’” To this she said: “It is all right.” 27 When she came to the man of the [true] God at the mountain, she at once took hold of him by his feet. At this Gehazi came near to push her away, but the man of the [true] God said: “Let her alone, for her soul is bitter within her; and Jehovah himself has hidden it from me and not told me.” 28 She now said: “Did I ask for a son through my lord? Did I not say, ‘You must not lead me to a false hope’?”

29 Immediately he said to Gehazi: “Gird up your loins and take my staff in your hand and go. In case you encounter anyone, you must not greet him; and in case anyone should greet you, you must not answer him. And you must place my staff upon the face of the boy.” 30 At this the mother of the boy said: “As Jehovah is living and as your soul is living, I will not leave you.” Therefore he got up and went with her. 31 And Gehazi himself passed along before them and then put the staff upon the boy’s face, but there was no voice nor paying of attention. So he went back to meet him and told him, saying: “The boy did not wake up.”

32 At last Elisha came into the house, and there the boy was dead, being laid upon his couch. 33 Then he came in and closed the door behind them both and began to pray to Jehovah. 34 Finally he went up and lay down upon the child and put his own mouth upon his mouth and his own eyes upon his eyes and his own palms upon his palms and kept bent over him, and gradually the child’s flesh grew warm. 35 Then he began walking again in the house, once this way and once that way, after which he went up and bent over him. And the boy began to sneeze as many as seven times, after which the boy opened his eyes. 36 He now called Gehazi and said: “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her and she came in to him. Then he said: “Lift up your son.” 37 And she proceeded to come in and fall at his feet and bow down to him to the earth, after which she lifted up her son and went out.

38 And Elisha himself returned to Gilgal, and there was famine in the land. As the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he in time said to his attendant: “Put the large cooking pot on and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.” 39 Accordingly a certain one went out to the field to pick mallows, and he got to find a wild vine and went picking wild gourds from it, his garment full, and then came and sliced them into the stewpot, for they were not acquainted with them. 40 Later they poured it out for the men to eat. And it came about that, as soon as they ate from the stew, they themselves cried out and began saying: “There is death in the pot, O man of the [true] God.” And they were not able to eat. 41 So he said: “FETCH, then, flour.” After he threw it into the pot, he went on to say: “Pour out for the people that they may eat.” And nothing injurious proved to be in the pot.

42 And there was a man that came from Baal-shalishah, and he came bringing to the man of the [true] God bread of the first ripe fruits, twenty barley loaves, and new grain in his bread bag. Then he said: “Give it to the people that they may eat.” 43 However, his waiter said: “How shall I put this before a hundred men?” To this he said: “Give it to the people that they may eat, for this is what Jehovah has said, ‘There will be an eating and a having of leftovers.’” 44 At that he put it before them, and they began to eat, and they had leftovers according to the word of Jehovah.

5  Now a certain Naaman, the chief of the army of the king of Syria, had become a great man before his lord and held in esteem, because it was by him that Jehovah had given salvation to Syria; and the man himself had proved to be a valiant, mighty man, though a leper. 2 And the Syrians, for their part, had gone out as marauder bands, and they got to take captive from the land of Israel a little girl, and she came to be before Naaman’s wife. 3 In time she said to her mistress: “If only my lord were before the prophet that is in Samaria! In that case he would recover him from his leprosy.” 4 Subsequently someone came and reported to his lord, saying: “It was like this and that that the girl spoke who is from the land of Israel.”

5 Then the king of Syria said: “Get going! Come, and let me send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he proceeded to go and take in his hand ten talents of silver and six thousand pieces of gold and ten changes of garments. 6 And he came bringing the letter to the king of Israel, saying: “And now at the same time that this letter comes to you, here I do send to you Naaman my servant, that you may recover him from his leprosy.” 7 And it came about that as soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he immediately ripped his garments apart and said: “Am I God, to put to death and to preserve alive? For this person is sending to me to recover a man from his leprosy; for just take note, please, YOU men, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.”

8 And it came about that, as soon as Elisha the man of the [true] God heard that the king of Israel had ripped his garments apart, he at once sent to the king, saying: “Why did you rip your garments apart? Let him come, please, to me that he may know that there exists a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman came with his horses and his war chariots and stood at the entrance of the house of Elisha. 10 However, Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying: “Going there, you must bathe seven times in the Jordan that your flesh may come back to you; and be clean.” 11 At this Naaman grew indignant and began to go away and say: “Here I had said [to myself], ‘To me he will come out all the way and will certainly stand and call upon the name of Jehovah his God and move his hand to and fro over the place and actually give the leper recovery.’ 12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Can I not bathe in them and certainly be clean?” With that he turned and went away in a rage.

13 His servants now approached and spoke to him and said: “My father, had it been a great thing that the prophet himself had spoken to you, would you not do it? How much more, then, since he said to you, ‘Bathe and be clean’?” 14 At that he went down and began to plunge into the Jordan seven times according to the word of the man of the [true] God; after which his flesh came back like the flesh of a little boy and he became clean.

15 Then he went back to the man of the [true] God, he with all his camp, and came and stood before him and said: “Here, now, I certainly know that there is no God anywhere in the earth but in Israel. And now accept, please, a blessing gift from your servant.” 16 However, he said: “As Jehovah before whom I do stand is living, I will not accept it.” And he began to urge him to accept it, but he kept refusing. 17 Finally Naaman said: “If not, please, let there be given to your servant some ground, the load of a pair of mules; because your servant will no more render up a burnt offering or a sacrifice to any other gods but to Jehovah. 18 In this thing may Jehovah forgive your servant: When my lord comes into the house of Rimmon to bow down there, and he is supporting himself upon my hand, and I have to bow down at the house of Rimmon, when I bow down at the house of Rimmon may Jehovah, please, forgive your servant in this respect.” 19 At this he said to him: “Go in peace.” Accordingly he went away from him for a good stretch of the land.

20 Then Gehazi the attendant of Elisha the man of the [true] God said: “Here my master has spared Naaman this Syrian by not accepting from his hand what he brought. As Jehovah is living, I will run after him and take something from him.” 21 And Gehazi went chasing after Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he at once got down from his chariot to meet him and then said: “Is all well?” 22 To this he said: “All is well. My master himself has sent me, saying, ‘Look! Just now there have come to me two young men from the mountainous region of Ephraim from the sons of the prophets. Do give them, please, a talent of silver and two changes of garments.’” 23 At that Naaman said: “Go on, take two talents.” And he kept urging him and finally bound up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and gave them to two of his attendants, that they might carry them before him.

24 When he came to Ophel, he immediately took them from their hand and deposited them in the house and sent the men away. So off they went. 25 And he himself came in and then stood by his master. Elisha now said to him: “Where [did you come] from, Gehazi?” But he said: “Your servant did not go anywhere at all.” 26 At that he said to him: “Did not my heart itself go along just as the man turned [to get down] off his chariot to meet you? Is it a time to accept silver or to accept garments or olive groves or vineyards or sheep or cattle or menservants or maidservants? 27 So the leprosy of Naaman will stick to you and your offspring to time indefinite.” Immediately he went out from before him, a leper white as snow.