2 Kings Chapter 4 to 5 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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A Prophet’s Widow Asks Elisha for Help

4 A man from the group of prophets* had a wife. {This man died.} His wife cried out to Elisha, “My husband was like a servant to you. Now my husband is dead! You know he honored the Lord. But he owed money to a man. And now that man is coming to take my two boys and make them his slaves!” 2Elisha answered, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” The woman said, “I don’t have anything in the house. I have only a jar of olive oil.” 3Then Elisha said, “Go and borrow bowls from all your neighbors. They must be empty. Borrow plenty of bowls. 4Then go to your house and close the doors. Only you and your sons will be in the house. Then pour the oil into all those bowls. Fill those bowls, and put them in a separate place.” 5So the woman left Elisha, {went into her house,} and shut the door. Only she and her sons were in the house. Her sons brought the bowls to her and she poured oil. 6She filled many bowls. Finally, she said to her son, “Bring me another bowl.” But all of the bowls were full. One of the sons said to the woman, “There aren’t any more bowls.” At that time, the oil in the jar was finished! 7Then the woman told the man of God* (Elisha) what happened. Elisha told her, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt. After you sell the oil {and pay your debt}, you and your sons can live on the money that is left.”

A Woman in Shunem Gives Elisha a Room

8One day Elisha went to Shunem. An important woman lived in Shunem. This woman asked Elisha {to stop and} eat at her house. So every time Elisha went through that place, he stopped there to eat. 9The woman said to her husband, “Look, I can see that Elisha is a holy man of God. He passes by our house all the time. 10Please, let’s make a little room on the roof* for Elisha. Let’s put a bed in this room. Let’s put a table, a chair, and a lampstand in there. Then when he comes to our house, he can have this room for himself.” 11One day Elisha came to the woman’s house. He went to this room and rested there. 12Elisha said to his servant Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite woman.” The servant called the Shunammite woman, and she stood in front of Elisha. 13Elisha told his servant, “Now say to this woman, ‘Look, you have done your best to take care of us. What can we do for you? Do you want us to speak to the king for you, or to the captain of the army?’” The woman answered, “I am fine living here among my own people.” 14Elisha said {to Gehazi}, “What can we do for her?” Gehazi answered, “I know! She doesn’t have a son, and her husband is old.” 15Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So Gehazi called the woman. She came and stood at his door. 16Elisha said {to the woman}, “About this time next spring, you will be hugging your own baby boy.” The woman said, “No sir! Man of God,* don’t lie to me!”

The Woman in Shunem Has a Son

17But the woman did become pregnant. She gave birth to a son that next spring, just like Elisha said. 18The boy grew. One day, the boy went out into the fields to see his father and the men cutting the grain. 19The boy said to his father, “Oh, my head! My head hurts!” The father said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother!” 20The servant took the boy to his mother. The boy sat on his mother’s lap until noon. Then he died.

The Woman Goes to See Elisha

21The woman laid the boy on the bed of the man of God* (Elisha). She shut the door to that room and went outside. 22She called to her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey. Then I will go quickly to get the man of God (Elisha) and come back.” 23The woman’s husband said, “Why do you want to go to the man of God (Elisha) today? It isn’t the New Moon* or Sabbath day*” She said, “{Don’t worry.} Everything will be all right.” 24Then she put a saddle on a donkey and said to her servant, “Let’s go, and hurry! Go slow only when I tell you!” 25The woman went to Mount Carmel to get the man of God* (Elisha). The man of God* (Elisha) saw the Shunammite woman coming from far away. Elisha said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, there’s the Shunammite woman! 26Please run now to meet her! Say to her, ‘{What’s wrong?} Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the child all right?’” {Gehazi asked the Shunammite woman these things.} She answered, “Everything is fine.” 27But the Shunammite woman went up the hill to the man of God* (Elisha). She {bowed down and} touched Elisha’s feet. Gehazi came near to pull the Shunammite woman away. But the man of God (Elisha) said to Gehazi, “Let her alone! She’s very upset, and the Lord didn’t tell me about it. The Lord hid this news from me.” 28Then the Shunammite woman said, “Sir, I never asked for a son. I told you, ‘Don’t trick me’!” 29Then Elisha said to Gehazi, “Get ready to go. Take my walking stick and go! {Don’t stop to talk to anyone!} If you meet any person, don’t even say hello to him. If any person says hello to you, don’t answer him. Put my walking stick on the child’s face.” 30But the child’s mother said, “I promise, as the Lord lives and as you live, I won’t leave without you!” So Elisha got up and followed the Shunammite woman. 31Gehazi arrived {at the Shunammite woman’s house} before Elisha and the Shunammite woman. Gehazi laid the walking stick on the child’s face. But the child did not talk or show any sign that he heard anything. Then Gehazi came back to meet Elisha. Gehazi told Elisha, “The child won’t wake up!”

The Shunammite Woman’s Son Lives Again

32Elisha went into the house. And there was the child, lying dead on his bed. 33Elisha went into the room and shut the door. Elisha and the child were alone in the room now. Then Elisha prayed to the Lord. 34Elisha went {to the bed} and lay on the child. Elisha put his mouth on the child’s mouth. Elisha put his eyes on the child’s eyes. Elisha put his hands on the child’s hands. Elisha lay there on top of the child until the child’s body became warm. 35Then Elisha turned away and walked around the room. He went back and lay on the child until the child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 36Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite woman!” Gehazi called the Shunammite woman, and she came to Elisha. Elisha said, “Pick up your son.” 37Then the Shunammite woman went into {the room} and bowed down at Elisha’s feet. Then she picked up her son and went out.

Elisha and the Poisoned Soup

38Elisha went to Gilgal again. There was a time of hunger in the land. The group of prophets* was sitting in front of Elisha. Elisha said to his servant, “Put the large pot on the fire, and make some soup for the group of prophets.” 39One man went out into the field to gather herbs. He found a wild vine and picked the fruit from it. He put that fruit in his robe and brought it back. He cut up the wild fruit and put it into the pot. But the group of prophets* did not know what kind of fruit it was. 40Then they poured some of the soup for the men to eat. But when they began to eat the soup, they shouted out {to Elisha}, “Man of God*! There’s poison in the pot!” {The food tasted like poison} so they could not eat that food. 41But Elisha said, “Bring some flour.” {They brought flour to Elisha}, and he threw it into the pot. Then Elisha said, “Pour the soup for the people so they can eat.” And there was nothing wrong with the soup!

Elisha Feeds the Group of Prophets

42A man from Baal Shalishah came and brought bread from the first harvest to the man of God* (Elisha). This man brought 20 loaves of barley bread and fresh grain in his sack. Then Elisha said, “Give this food to the people, so that they can eat.” 43Elisha’s servant said, “What? There are 100 men here. How can I give this food to all those men?” But Elisha said, “Give the food to the people to eat. The Lord says, ‘They will eat and there will still be food left over.’” 44Then Elisha’s servant put the food in front of the group of prophets.* The group of prophets had enough to eat, and they even had food left over! This happened just like the Lord said.

group of prophets Literally, “sons of the prophets.” These people were prophets and people studying to become prophets. man of God Another name for a prophet. room on the roof In ancient Israel, houses had flat roofs that were used like an extra room. New Moon The first day of the Hebrew month. There were special meetings on these days to worship God. Sabbath day Saturday. A special day of rest and worship for the Jews. man of God Another name for a prophet. group of prophets Literally, “sons of the prophets.” These people were prophets and people studying to become prophets.

Naaman’s Problem

5 Naaman was the captain of the army of the king of Aram. Naaman was very important to his king.* Naaman was very important because the Lord used him to lead Aram to victory. Naaman was a great and powerful man, but he was also sick with leprosy.* 2The Aramean army sent many groups of soldiers to fight in Israel. {The soldiers took people to be their slaves.} One time they took a little girl from the land of Israel. This little girl became a servant of Naaman’s wife. 3This girl said to Naaman’s wife, “I wish that my master (Naaman) would meet the prophet (Elisha) who lives in Samaria. That prophet could heal Naaman of his leprosy.*” 4Naaman went to his master (the king of Aram). Naaman told {the king of Aram} the things that the Israelite girl said. 5Then the king of Aram said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman went to Israel. {Naaman took some gifts with him.} Naaman took 750 pounds* of silver, 6,000 pieces of gold and ten changes of clothes. 6Naaman took the letter from the king of Aram to the king of Israel. The letter said: “... Now, this letter is to show that I am sending my servant Naaman to you. Cure his leprosy.*” 7When the king of Israel had read the letter, he tore his clothes {to show he was sad and upset}. The king of Israel said, “Am I God? No! I don’t have the power over life and death. So why did the king of Aram send a man sick with leprosy* for me to heal? Think about it, and you will see {that it is a trick}. The king of Aram is trying to start a fight!” 8Elisha, the man of God,* heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes {to show that he was upset}. So Elisha sent this message to the king: “Why did you tear your clothes? Let Naaman come to me. Then he will know there is a prophet in Israel!” 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots* to Elisha’s house and stood outside the door. 10Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman. {The messenger} said, “Go, and wash in the Jordan River seven times. Then your skin will be healed, and you will be pure and clean.” 11Naaman became angry and left. He said, “I thought Elisha would at least come out and stand in front of me and call on the name of the Lord his God. I thought he would wave his hand over my body and heal the leprosy*! 12Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, are better than all the water in Israel! Why can’t I wash in those rivers in Damascus and become clean?” Naaman was very angry and turned to leave. 13But Naaman’s servants went to him and talked to him. They said, “Father,* if the prophet told you to do some great thing, you would do it! Right? {So you should obey him even if he tells you something easy.} And he said, ‘Wash, and you will be pure and clean.’” 14So Naaman did what the man of God* (Elisha) said. Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan River seven times. And Naaman became pure and clean! Naaman’s skin became soft like the skin of a baby. 15Naaman and all his group came back to the man of God* (Elisha). He stood before Elisha and said, “Look, I now know there is no God in all the earth except in Israel! Now please accept a gift from me!” 16But Elisha said, “I serve the Lord. And I promise, as the Lord lives, I will not accept any gift.” Naaman tried hard to make Elisha take the gift, but Elisha refused. 17Then Naaman said, “If you won’t accept this gift, then at least do this for me. Let me have enough dirt from Israel to fill the baskets on two of my mules.* Why? Because I will never again offer any burnt offering or sacrifice to any other gods. I will offer sacrifices only to the Lord! 18And I now pray the Lord will forgive me for this thing: In the future, my master (the king of Aram) will go into the temple of Rimmon to worship {that false god}. The king will want to lean on me for support, so I must bow down in the temple of Rimmon. I now ask the Lord to forgive me when that happens.” 19Then Elisha said to Naaman, “Go in peace.” So Naaman left Elisha and went a short way. 20But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God,* said, “Look, my master (Elisha) has let Naaman the Aramean go without accepting the gift that he brought! As the Lord lives, I will run after Naaman and get something from him!” 21So Gehazi ran to Naaman. Naaman saw someone running after him. He stepped down from the chariot* to meet Gehazi. Naaman said, “Is everything all right?” 22Gehazi said, “Yes, everything is all right. My master (Elisha) has sent me. He said, “Look, two young men came to me. They were from the group of prophets* in the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them 75 pounds* of silver and two changes of clothes!” 23Naaman said, “Please, take 150 pounds!*” Naaman persuaded Gehazi {to take the silver}. Naaman put 150 pounds of silver in two bags and took two changes of clothes. Then Naaman gave these things to two of his servants. The servants carried these things for Gehazi. 24When Gehazi came to the hill, he took these things from the servants. Gehazi sent the servants away, and they left. Then Gehazi hid those things in the house. 25Gehazi came in and stood before his master {Elisha}. Elisha said to Gehazi, “Where have you been Gehazi?” Gehazi said, “I didn’t go anywhere.” 26Elisha said to Gehazi, “That is not true! My heart was with you when the man {Naaman} turned from his chariot* to meet you. This is not the time to take money, clothes, olives, grapes, sheep, cows, or men and women servants. 27Now, you and your children will catch Naaman’s disease. You will have leprosy* forever!” When Gehazi left Elisha, Gehazi’s skin was as white as snow! Gehazi was sick with leprosy.*

man of God Another name for a prophet. king Literally, “master.” leprosy A very bad skin disease. 750 pounds Or, 340kg. Literally, “10 talents (kikars).” chariot(s) A small wagon used in war. Father Slaves often called their masters “father,” and the masters often called their slaves “children.” man of God Another name for a prophet. Let me have … my mules Naaman probably thought that the ground in Israel was holy, so he wanted take some with him to help him to worship the Lord in his own country. group of prophets Literally, “sons of the prophets.” These people were prophets and people studying to become prophets. 75 pounds Or, 34kg. Literally, “1 talent (kikar).” 150 pounds Or, 68kg. Literally, “2 talents (kikars).” 

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