And it fell on a day
Or so it was at a certain time:
that Elisha passed to Shunem;
a city in the tribe of Issachar; of which see ( Joshua 19:18 ) ,
where was a great woman;
of great wealth and riches, of great benevolence and hospitality, and of great grace and piety; that feared sin, as the Targum paraphrases it; a woman of great credit and reputation on all accounts. The Jews say F21 she was the sister of Abishag the Shunammite, and the mother of Iddo the prophet:
and she constrained him to eat bread;
she had observed him at all times pass that way, and guessed by his habit and deportment that he was a religious man, and therefore took an opportunity to invite him into her house, and take a dinner with her; but he being modest and shy, she was obliged to use some pressing language, and be importunate with him, that he would accept of her invitation, which he did:
and so it was, that, as oft as he passed by, he turned in
being made very welcome, and encouraged by the free and kind entertainment he met with, as often as he had occasion to come that way, he called and took a meal with her; and this it seems was pretty often, for Shunem was not far from Carmel, which he frequented, and lay in the way to Samaria, Bethel, and Jericho, places he often visited, the schools of the prophets being there.
F21 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 57. 2.