4:1 a Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did b fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be c bondmen.
(a) ( 2 Kings 2:3 ). 4:2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a d pot of oil.
(b) And therefore did not fall into debt by carelessness or excess but by the hand of the Lord.
(c) Because I am poor and not able to pay.
(d) Thus God permits his to be brought many times to extreme necessity, before he helps them, that afterward they may praise his mercy even more. 4:4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into e all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.
(e) The Prophet declares by this to her, that God never fails to provide for his servants, their wives and children, it they trust in him. 4:6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, [There is] not a vessel more. And the oil f stayed.
(f) Or ceased to increase. 4:7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the g rest.
(g) God here not only provided for his servant, that his debts should be paid and so kept his doctrine and profession without slander, but also for his wife and children. 4:10 Let us make a h little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.
(h) Which would be separate from the rest of the house, that he might more conveniently give himself to study and prayers. 4:13 And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; i what [is] to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I k dwell among mine own people.
(i) Thus the servants of God are not unthankful for the benefits they receive. 4:14 And he said, What then [is] to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath l no child, and her husband is old.
(k) I am content with what God has sent me, and can lack nothing that one can do for another.
(l) Which was shameful and therefore he would that his master should pray to God for her that she might be fruitful. 4:19 And he said unto his father, m My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother.
(m) His head was hurt badly and therefore he cried. 4:23 And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? [it is] neither n new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, [It shall be] well.
(n) For at such times the people were wont to resort to the prophets for doctrine and consolation. 4:27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she o caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul [is] vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid [it] from me, and hath not told me.
(o) In token of humility and joy that she had met with him. 4:29 Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: p if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.
(p) Make such speed that nothing may stop you in the way, ( Luke 10:4 ). 4:34 And he went up, and q lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.
(q) Elijah did the same to the widows son at Zarephath ( 1 Kings 17:21 ) and Paul in ( Acts 20:10 ) signifying the care that should be in them, who bear the word of God and are distributors of spiritual life. 4:35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed r seven times, and the child opened his eyes.
(r) Meaning, often. 4:38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and [there was] a dearth in the s land; and the sons of the prophets [were] sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.
(s) That is, in the land of Israel. 4:39 And one went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a t wild vine, and gathered thereof wild gourds his lap full, and came and shred [them] into the pot of pottage: for they knew [them] not.
(t) Which the apothecaries call colloquintida, and is most vehement and dangerous in purging. 4:40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O [thou] man of God, [there is] u death in the pot. And they could not eat [thereof].
(u) They feared that they were poisoned because of the bitterness. 4:43 And his servitor said, What, should I set this before an hundred men? He said again, Give the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the LORD, They shall eat, and x shall leave [thereof].
(x) It is not the quantity of bread that satisfies, but the blessing that God gives.