Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of
the prophets unto Elisha
This, according to the Targum, was the wife of Obadiah, who had hid the prophets by fifty in a cave in the times of Ahab; and so Josephus F17, and it is the commonly received notion of the Jewish writers; though it does not appear that he was a prophet, or the son of a prophet, but the governor or steward of Ahab's house; she was more likely to be the wife of a meaner person; and from hence it is clear that the prophets and their disciples married:
saying, thy servant my husband is dead;
which is the lot of prophets, as well as others, ( Zechariah 1:5 )
and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the Lord;
her husband was well known to the prophet, and known to be a good man, one of the 7000 who bowed not the knee to Baal, for the truth of which she appeals to Elisha; and this character she gives of her husband, lest it should be thought that his poverty, and leaving her in debt, were owing to any ill practices of his:
and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen;
which it seems were allowed of when men became poor and insolvent, and died so, to which the allusion is in ( Isaiah 1:1 ) ( Matthew 18:25 ) , (See Gill on Matthew 18:25). Josephus F18 suggests, that the insolvency of this man was owing to his borrowing money to feed the prophets hid in the cave; and it is a common notion of the Jews that this creditor was Jehoram the son of Ahab; and in later times it was a law with the Athenians F19, that if a father had not paid what he was fined in court, the son was obliged to pay it, and in the mean while to lie in bonds, as was the case of Cimon F20, and others.
F17 Antiqu. l. 9. c. 4. sect. 2.
F19 Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 6. c. 10.
F20 Cornel. Nep. in Vita Cimon. l. 5. c. 1.