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2 Kings 4-7

Elisha and the Widow’s Oil

4Now the wife of a member of the company of prophets* cried to Elisha, ‘Your servant my husband is dead; and you know that your servant feared the Lord, but a creditor has come to take my two children as slaves.’ 2Elisha said to her, ‘What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?’ She answered, ‘Your servant has nothing in the house, except a jar of oil.’ 3He said, ‘Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbours, empty vessels and not just a few. 4Then go in, and shut the door behind you and your children, and start pouring into all these vessels; when each is full, set it aside.’ 5So she left him and shut the door behind her and her children; they kept bringing vessels to her, and she kept pouring. 6When the vessels were full, she said to her son, ‘Bring me another vessel.’ But he said to her, ‘There are no more.’ Then the oil stopped flowing. 7She came and told the man of God, and he said, ‘Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your children can live on the rest.’

Elisha Raises the Shunammite’s Son

One day Elisha was passing through Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to have a meal. So whenever he passed that way, he would stop there for a meal. 9She said to her husband, ‘Look, I am sure that this man who regularly passes our way is a holy man of God. 10Let us make a small roof chamber with walls, and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that he can stay there whenever he comes to us.’

11 One day when he came there, he went up to the chamber and lay down there. 12He said to his servant Gehazi, ‘Call the Shunammite woman.’ When he had called her, she stood before him. 13He said to him, ‘Say to her, Since you have taken all this trouble for us, what may be done for you? Would you have a word spoken on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ She answered, ‘I live among my own people.’ 14He said, ‘What then may be done for her?’ Gehazi answered, ‘Well, she has no son, and her husband is old.’ 15He said, ‘Call her.’ When he had called her, she stood at the door. 16He said, ‘At this season, in due time, you shall embrace a son.’ She replied, ‘No, my lord, O man of God; do not deceive your servant.’

17 The woman conceived and bore a son at that season, in due time, as Elisha had declared to her.

18 When the child was older, he went out one day to his father among the reapers. 19He complained to his father, ‘Oh, my head, my head!’ The father said to his servant, ‘Carry him to his mother.’ 20He carried him and brought him to his mother; the child sat on her lap until noon, and he died. 21She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, closed the door on him, and left. 22Then she called to her husband, and said, ‘Send me one of the servants and one of the donkeys, so that I may quickly go to the man of God and come back again.’ 23He said, ‘Why go to him today? It is neither new moon nor sabbath.’ She said, ‘It will be all right.’ 24Then she saddled the donkey and said to her servant, ‘Urge the animal on; do not hold back for me unless I tell you.’ 25So she set out, and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.

When the man of God saw her coming, he said to Gehazi his servant, ‘Look, there is the Shunammite woman; 26run at once to meet her, and say to her, Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the child all right?’ She answered, ‘It is all right.’ 27When she came to the man of God at the mountain, she caught hold of his feet. Gehazi approached to push her away. But the man of God said, ‘Let her alone, for she is in bitter distress; the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me.’ 28Then she said, ‘Did I ask my lord for a son? Did I not say, Do not mislead me?’ 29He said to Gehazi, ‘Gird up your loins, and take my staff in your hand, and go. If you meet anyone, give no greeting, and if anyone greets you, do not answer; and lay my staff on the face of the child.’ 30Then the mother of the child said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave without you.’ So he rose up and followed her. 31Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff on the face of the child, but there was no sound or sign of life. He came back to meet him and told him, ‘The child has not awakened.’

32 When Elisha came into the house, he saw the child lying dead on his bed. 33So he went in and closed the door on the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. 34Then he got up on the bed* and lay upon the child, putting his mouth upon his mouth, his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and while he lay bent over him, the flesh of the child became warm. 35He got down, walked once to and fro in the room, then got up again and bent over him; the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 36Elisha* summoned Gehazi and said, ‘Call the Shunammite woman.’ So he called her. When she came to him, he said, ‘Take your son.’ 37She came and fell at his feet, bowing to the ground; then she took her son and left.

Elisha Purifies the Pot of Stew

38 When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the company of prophets was* sitting before him, he said to his servant, ‘Put the large pot on, and make some stew for the company of prophets.’* 39One of them went out into the field to gather herbs; he found a wild vine and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were. 40They served some for the men to eat. But while they were eating the stew, they cried out, ‘O man of God, there is death in the pot!’ They could not eat it. 41He said, ‘Then bring some flour.’ He threw it into the pot, and said, ‘Serve the people and let them eat.’ And there was nothing harmful in the pot.

Elisha Feeds One Hundred Men

42 A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat.’ 43But his servant said, ‘How can I set this before a hundred people?’ So he repeated, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the Lord, “They shall eat and have some left.” 44He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.

The Healing of Naaman

5Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favour with his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy.* 2Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, ‘If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’* 4So Naaman* went in and told his lord just what the girl from the land of Israel had said. 5And the king of Aram said, ‘Go then, and I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.’

He went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments. 6He brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, ‘When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of his leprosy.’* 7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, ‘Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy?* Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.’

But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, ‘Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.’ 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. 10Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.’ 11But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, ‘I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy!* 12Are not Abana* and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?’ He turned and went away in a rage. 13But his servants approached and said to him, ‘Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, “Wash, and be clean”?’ 14So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.

15 Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; he came and stood before him and said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel; please accept a present from your servant.’ 16But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will accept nothing!’ He urged him to accept, but he refused. 17Then Naaman said, ‘If not, please let two mule-loads of earth be given to your servant; for your servant will no longer offer burnt-offering or sacrifice to any god except the Lord. 18But may the Lord pardon your servant on one count: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow down in the house of Rimmon, when I do bow down in the house of Rimmon, may the Lord pardon your servant on this one count.’ 19He said to him, ‘Go in peace.’

Gehazi’s Greed

But when Naaman had gone from him a short distance, 20Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, thought, ‘My master has let that Aramean Naaman off too lightly by not accepting from him what he offered. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something out of him.’ 21So Gehazi went after Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he jumped down from the chariot to meet him and said, ‘Is everything all right?’ 22He replied, ‘Yes, but my master has sent me to say, “Two members of a company of prophets* have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim; please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.” 23Naaman said, ‘Please accept two talents.’ He urged him, and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and gave them to two of his servants, who carried them in front of Gehazi.* 24When he came to the citadel, he took the bags* from them, and stored them inside; he dismissed the men, and they left.

25 He went in and stood before his master; and Elisha said to him, ‘Where have you been, Gehazi?’ He answered, ‘Your servant has not gone anywhere at all.’ 26But he said to him, ‘Did I not go with you in spirit when someone left his chariot to meet you? Is this a time to accept money and to accept clothing, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, and male and female slaves? 27Therefore the leprosy* of Naaman shall cling to you, and to your descendants for ever.’ So he left his presence leprous,* as white as snow.

The Miracle of the Axehead

6Now the company of prophets* said to Elisha, ‘As you see, the place where we live under your charge is too small for us. 2Let us go to the Jordan, and let us collect logs there, one for each of us, and build a place there for us to live.’ He answered, ‘Do so.’ 3Then one of them said, ‘Please come with your servants.’ And he answered, ‘I will.’ 4So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5But as one was felling a log, his axehead fell into the water; he cried out, ‘Alas, master! It was borrowed.’ 6Then the man of God said, ‘Where did it fall?’ When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick, and threw it in there, and made the iron float. 7He said, ‘Pick it up.’ So he reached out his hand and took it.

The Aramean Attack Is Thwarted

Once when the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he took counsel with his officers. He said, ‘At such and such a place shall be my camp.’ 9But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, ‘Take care not to pass this place, because the Arameans are going down there.’ 10The king of Israel sent word to the place of which the man of God spoke. More than once or twice he warned such a place* so that it was on the alert.

11 The mind of the king of Aram was greatly perturbed because of this; he called his officers and said to them, ‘Now tell me who among us sides with the king of Israel?’ 12Then one of his officers said, ‘No one, my lord king. It is Elisha, the prophet in Israel, who tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedchamber.’ 13He said, ‘Go and find where he is; I will send and seize him.’ He was told, ‘He is in Dothan.’ 14So he sent horses and chariots there and a great army; they came by night, and surrounded the city.

15 When an attendant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. His servant said, ‘Alas, master! What shall we do?’ 16He replied, ‘Do not be afraid, for there are more with us than there are with them.’ 17Then Elisha prayed: ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So the Lord opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw; the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18When the Arameans* came down against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘Strike this people, please, with blindness.’ So he struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. 19Elisha said to them, ‘This is not the way, and this is not the city; follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.’ And he led them to Samaria.

20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, ‘O Lord, open the eyes of these men so that they may see.’ The Lord opened their eyes, and they saw that they were inside Samaria. 21When the king of Israel saw them he said to Elisha, ‘Father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?’ 22He answered, ‘No! Did you capture with your sword and your bow those whom you want to kill? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink; and let them go to their master.’ 23So he prepared for them a great feast; after they ate and drank, he sent them on their way, and they went to their master. And the Arameans no longer came raiding into the land of Israel.

Ben-hadad’s Siege of Samaria

24 Some time later King Ben-hadad of Aram mustered his entire army; he marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. 25As the siege continued, famine in Samaria became so great that a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver. 26Now as the king of Israel was walking on the city wall, a woman cried out to him, ‘Help, my lord king!’ 27He said, ‘No! Let the Lord help you. How can I help you? From the threshing-floor or from the wine press?’ 28But then the king asked her, ‘What is your complaint?’ She answered, ‘This woman said to me, “Give up your son; we will eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.” 29So we cooked my son and ate him. The next day I said to her, “Give up your son and we will eat him.” But she has hidden her son.’ 30When the king heard the words of the woman he tore his clothes—now since he was walking on the city wall, the people could see that he had sackcloth on his body underneath— 31and he said, ‘So may God do to me, and more, if the head of Elisha son of Shaphat stays on his shoulders today.’ 32So he dispatched a man from his presence.

Now Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. Before the messenger arrived, Elisha said to the elders, ‘Are you aware that this murderer has sent someone to take off my head? When the messenger comes, see that you shut the door and hold it closed against him. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?’ 33While he was still speaking with them, the king* came down to him and said, ‘This trouble is from the Lord! Why should I hope in the Lord any longer?’ 71But Elisha said, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a measure of choice meal shall be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’ 2Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, ‘Even if the Lord were to make windows in the sky, could such a thing happen?’ But he said, ‘You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat from it.’

The Arameans Flee

Now there were four leprous* men outside the city gate, who said to one another, ‘Why should we sit here until we die? 4If we say, “Let us enter the city”, the famine is in the city, and we shall die there; but if we sit here, we shall also die. Therefore, let us desert to the Aramean camp; if they spare our lives, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.’ 5So they arose at twilight to go to the Aramean camp; but when they came to the edge of the Aramean camp, there was no one there at all. 6For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, ‘The king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to fight against us.’ 7So they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, leaving the camp just as it was, and fled for their lives. 8When these leprous* men had come to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent, ate and drank, carried off silver, gold, and clothing, and went and hid them. Then they came back, entered another tent, carried off things from it, and went and hid them.

Then they said to one another, ‘What we are doing is wrong. This is a day of good news; if we are silent and wait until the morning light, we will be found guilty; therefore let us go and tell the king’s household.’ 10So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, ‘We went to the Aramean camp, but there was no one to be seen or heard there, nothing but the horses tied, the donkeys tied, and the tents as they were.’ 11Then the gatekeepers called out and proclaimed it to the king’s household. 12The king got up in the night, and said to his servants, ‘I will tell you what the Arameans have prepared against us. They know that we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide themselves in the open country, thinking, “When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive and get into the city.” 13One of his servants said, ‘Let some men take five of the remaining horses, since those left here will suffer the fate of the whole multitude of Israel that have perished already;* let us send and find out.’ 14So they took two mounted men, and the king sent them after the Aramean army, saying, ‘Go and find out.’ 15So they went after them as far as the Jordan; the whole way was littered with garments and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned, and told the king.

16 Then the people went out, and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a measure of choice meal was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord. 17Now the king had appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate; the people trampled him to death in the gate, just as the man of God had said when the king came down to him. 18For when the man of God had said to the king, ‘Two measures of barley shall be sold for a shekel, and a measure of choice meal for a shekel, about this time tomorrow in the gate of Samaria’, 19the captain had answered the man of God, ‘Even if the Lord were to make windows in the sky, could such a thing happen?’ And he had answered, ‘You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat from it.’ 20It did indeed happen to him; the people trampled him to death in the gate.

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Psalm 102

Prayer to the Eternal King for Help

A prayer of one afflicted, when faint and pleading before the Lord.
1 Hear my prayer, O Lord;
   let my cry come to you.
2 Do not hide your face from me
   on the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
   answer me speedily on the day when I call.


3 For my days pass away like smoke,
   and my bones burn like a furnace.
4 My heart is stricken and withered like grass;
   I am too wasted to eat my bread.
5 Because of my loud groaning
   my bones cling to my skin.
6 I am like an owl of the wilderness,
   like a little owl of the waste places.
7 I lie awake;
   I am like a lonely bird on the housetop.
8 All day long my enemies taunt me;
   those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9 For I eat ashes like bread,
   and mingle tears with my drink,
10 because of your indignation and anger;
   for you have lifted me up and thrown me aside.
11 My days are like an evening shadow;
   I wither away like grass.


12 But you, O Lord, are enthroned for ever;
   your name endures to all generations.
13 You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
   for it is time to favour it;
   the appointed time has come.
14 For your servants hold its stones dear,
   and have pity on its dust.
15 The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
   and all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For the Lord will build up Zion;
   he will appear in his glory.
17 He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
   and will not despise their prayer.


18 Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
   so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
19 that he looked down from his holy height,
   from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
20 to hear the groans of the prisoners,
   to set free those who were doomed to die;
21 so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,
   and his praise in Jerusalem,
22 when peoples gather together,
   and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.


23 He has broken my strength in mid-course;
   he has shortened my days.
24 ‘O my God,’ I say, ‘do not take me away
   at the mid-point of my life,
you whose years endure
   throughout all generations.’


25 Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
   and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you endure;
   they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
27   but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28 The children of your servants shall live secure;
   their offspring shall be established in your presence.

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From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.5.1 29 April 2019.