2 Kings 4:9
And she said to her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passes by us continually.
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(9) An holy man of God.—The term “holy” is not a merely ornamental or conventional epithet of the “man of God” (i.e., prophet) as such, but denotes the special moral elevation of Elisha.

Continually.At stated intervals, regularly.

2 Kings 4:9-10. She said to her husband — In frequent conversation with him. This is a holy man of God — A prophet, and that of eminent holiness; by our kindness to whom we shall procure a blessing to ourselves. Which passeth by us continually — For Shunem was in his way as he went from Carmel, which was not far from hence, to Beth-el and Jericho, and other places of the sons of the prophets. Let us make him a little chamber — on the wall — A private room, remote from the house, where he may retire, and be free from the noise of family business; and enjoy that privacy, which, I perceive, he desires for his prayers and meditations. Let us set for him there a bed and a table, &c. — He will not be troublesome or chargeable to us: he cares not for rich furniture or costly entertainment, but is content with bare necessaries. And — he shall turn in thither — Take up his lodging there, if he think good.4:8-17 Elisha was well thought of by the king of Israel for his late services; a good man can take as much pleasure in serving others, as in raising himself. But the Shunammite needed not any good offices of this kind. It is a happiness to dwell among our own people, that love and respect us, and to whom we are able to do good. It would be well with many, if they did but know when they are really well off. The Lord sees the secret wish which is suppressed in obedience to his will, and he will hear the prayers of his servants in behalf of their benefactors, by sending unasked-for and unexpected mercies; nor must the professions of men of God be supposed to be delusive like those of men of the world.And it fell on a day - The original of the expression here used, which occurs three times in the present narrative 2 Kings 4:11, 2 Kings 4:18, is also found in Job 1:6, Job 1:13; Job 2:1. The character of the expression perhaps supports the view that the author of Kings has collected from various sources his account of the miracles of Elisha, and has kept in each case the words of the original writer.

A great woman - That is, "a rich woman." Compare 1 Samuel 25:2; 2 Samuel 19:32.

2Ki 4:8-17. Promises a Son to the Shunammite.

8. Elisha passed to Shunem—now Sulam, in the plain of Esdraelon, at the southwestern base of Little Hermon. The prophet, in his journey, was often entertained here by one of its pious and opulent inhabitants.

An holy man of God; a prophet, as Judges 13:6, and that of eminent holiness, by our kindness to whom we shall procure a blessing to ourselves. And she said unto her husband,.... Not being willing to do any thing without his leave and consent:

behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God which passeth by us continually: and calls here frequently: this she perceived by his discourse and conversation; and by his carriage and behaviour he appeared to be a prophet, and one very eminent for holiness and religion.

And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.
9. she said unto her husband] The woman was not content with providing food, but out of reverence for the character of the visitor, desired to provide a lodging also.

I perceive that this is a holy man of God] Probably before the first invitation the woman had learnt something of Elisha’s work and the reason of his frequent journeys. Now when he became their guest she had full opportunity of enquiring from Gehazi, and observing for herself the way in which he laboured to keep alive the true worship of God in the land. The existence of a family like this of the Shunammite is evidence that amid much corruption God was not yet forgotten in the ten tribes. The name ‘man of God’ was applied to Elijah (1 Kings 17:24) by the widow of Zarephath after she had beheld what great things God did through his ministry. She added also ‘the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth’, which probably represents much of the feeling of the Shunammite when she spake of Elisha as ‘holy’.Verse 9. - And she said unto her husband, Beheld now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God. Not all the soi-disant men of God were truly religious and God-fearing. In Elisha's time, as in all others, there were among the teachers of religion some who were "wolves in sheep's clothing:' The Shunammite woman, after a certain length of acquaintance, came to the conclusion that Elisha deserved the title which he commonly bore, was truly a "man of God," a real devoted servant of Jehovah. She therefore wished to do more for him than she had hitherto done. Which passeth by us continually; i.e. who passes through our village, and has his meals with us so frequently. The Widow's Cruse of Oil. - A poor widow of the scholars of the prophets complained to Elisha of her distress, namely, that a creditor was about to take her two sons as servants (slaves). The Mosaic law gave a creditor the right to claim the person and children of a debtor who was unable to pay, and they were obliged to serve him as slaves till the year of jubilee, when they were once more set free (Leviticus 25:39-40). When the prophet learned, on inquiry that she had nothing in her house but a small flask of oil (אסוּך, from סוּך, means an anointing flask, a small vessel for the oil necessary for anointing the body), he told her to beg of all her neighbours empty vessels, not a few (אל־תּמעיטי, make not few, sc. to beg), and then to shut herself in with her sons, and to pour from her flask of oil into all these vessels till they were full, and then to sell this oil and pay her debt with the money, and use the rest for the maintenance of herself and her children. She was to close the house-door, that she might not be disturbed in her occupation by other people, and also generally to avoid all needless observation while the miracle was being performed. תּסּיאי המּלא, let that which is filled be put on one side, namely by the sons, who handed her the vessels, according to 2 Kings 4:5 and 2 Kings 4:6, so that she was able to pour without intermission. The form מיצקת is a participle Piel, and is quite appropriate as an emphatic form; the Keri השּׁקת (Hiphil) is an unnecessary alteration, especially as the Hiphil of יצק is הצּיּק. השׁמן ויּעמד, then the oil stood, i.e., it ceased to flow. The asyndeton בניך ואתּ is very harsh, and the Vav copul. has probably dropped out. With the alteration proposed by L. de Dieu, viz., of ואתּ into ואת, "live with thy sons," the verb תּחיי would necessarily stand first (Thenius).
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