4 Kings Chapter 4
Miracles of Eliseus. He raiseth a dead child to life.
4:1. Now a certain woman of the wives of the prophets, cried to Eliseus, saying: Thy servant, my husband, is dead, and thou knowest that thy servant was one that feared God, and behold the creditor is come to take away my two sons to serve him.
4:2. And Eliseus said to her: What wilt thou have me do for thee? Tell me, what hast thou in thy house? And she answered: I, thy handmaid, have nothing in my house but a little oil, to anoint me.
4:3. And he said to her: Go, borrow of all thy neighbours empty vessels, not a few.
4:4. And go in, and shut thy door, when thou art within, and thy sons: and pour out thereof into all those vessels: and when they are full, take them away.
4:5. So the woman went, and shut the door upon her, and upon her sons: they brought her the vessels, and she poured in.
4:6. And when the vessels were full, she said to her son: Bring me yet a vessel. And he answered: I have no more. And the oil stood.
4:7. And she came, and told the man of God. And he said: Go, sell the oil, and pay thy creditor: and thou and thy sons live of the rest.
4:8. And there was a day when Eliseus passed by Sunam: now there was a great woman there, who detained him to eat bread: and as he passed often that way, he turned into her house to eat bread.
4:9. And she said to her husband: I perceive that this is a holy man of God, who often passeth by us.
4:10. Let us, therefore, make him a little chamber, and put a little bed in it for him, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick, that when he cometh to us he may abide there.
4:11. Now, there was a certain day, when he came, and turned into the chamber, and rested there.
4:12. And he said to Giezi, his servant: Call this Sunamitess. And when he had called her, and she stood before him,
4:13. He said to his servant: Say to her: Behold, thou hast diligently served us in all things; what wilt thou have me to do for thee? Hast thou any business, and wilt thou, that I speak to the king, or to the general of the army? And she answered: I dwell in the midst of my own people.
4:14. And he said: What will she then that I do for her? And Giezi said: Do not ask, for she hath no son, and her husband is old.
4:15. Then he bid him call her. And when she was called, and stood before the door,
4:16. He said to her: At this time, and this same hour, if life be in company, thou shalt have a son in thy womb. But she answered: Do not, I beseech thee, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie to thy handmaid.
4:17. And the woman conceived, and brought forth a son in the time, and at the same hour that Eliseus had said.
4:18. And the child grew. And on a certain day, when he went out to his father to the reapers,
4:19. He said to his father: My head acheth, my head acheth. But he said to his servant. Take him, and carry him to his mother.
4:20. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, she sat him on her knees, until noon, and then he died.
4:21. And she went up, and laid him upon the bed of the man of God, and shut the door: and going out,
4:22. She called her husband, and said: Send with me, I beseech thee, one of thy servants, and an ass, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.
4:23. And he said to her: Why dost thou go to him? to day is neither new moon nor sabbath. She answered: I will go.
4:24. And she saddled an ass, and commanded her servant: Drive, and make haste, make no stay in going: And do that which I bid thee.
4:25. So she went forward, and came to the man of God, to mount Carmel: and when the man of God saw her coming towards, he said to Giezi, his servant: Behold that Sunamitess.
4:26. Go, therefore, to meet her, and say to her: Is all well with thee, and with thy husband, and with thy son? And she answered: Well.
4:27. And when she came to the man of God, to the mount, she caught hold on his feet: and Giezi came to remove her. And the man of God said: Let her alone for her soul is in anguish, and the Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.
4:28. And she said to him: Did I ask a son of my lord? did I not say to thee: Do not deceive me?
4:29. Then he said to Giezi: Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thy hand, and go. If any man meet thee, salute him not: and if any man salute thee, answer him not: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.
Salute him not. . .He that is sent to raise to life the sinner spiritually dead, must not suffer himself to be called off, or diverted from his enterprise, by the salutations or ceremonies of the world.
4:30. But the mother of the child said: As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. He arose, therefore, and followed her.
4:31. But Giezi was gone before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child, and there was no voice nor sense: and he returned to meet him, and told him, saying: The child is not risen.
St. Augustine considers a great mystery in this miracle wrought by the prophet Eliseus, thus: By the staff sent by his servant is figured the rod of Moses, or the Old Law, which was not sufficient to bring mankind to life then dead in sin. It was necessary that Christ himself should come, and by taking on human nature, become flesh of our flesh, and restore us to life. In this Eliseus was a figure of Christ, as it was necessary that he should come himself to bring the dead child to life and restore him to his mother, who is here, in a mystical sense, a figure of the Church.
4:32. Eliseus, therefore, went into the house, and behold the child lay dead on his bed:
4:33. And going in, he shut the door upon him, and upon the child, and prayed to the Lord.
4:34. And he went up, and lay upon the child: and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he bowed himself upon him, and the child's flesh grew warm.
4:35. Then he returned and walked in the house, once to and fro: and he went up, and lay upon him: and the child gaped seven times, and opened his eyes.
4:36. And he called Giezi, and said to him: Call this Sunamitess. And she being called, went in to him: and he said: Take up thy son.
4:37. She came and fell at his feet, and worshipped upon the ground: and took up her son, and went out.
4:38. And Eliseus returned to Galgal, and there was a famine in the land, and the sons of the prophets dwelt before him: And he said to one of his servants: Set on the great pot, and boil pottage for the sons of the prophets.
4:39. And one went out into the field to gather wild herbs: and he found something like a wild vine, and gathered of it wild gourds of the field, and filled his mantle, and coming back, he shred them into the pot of pottage; for he knew not what it was.
Wild gourds of the field. . .Colocynthidas. They are extremely bitter, and therefore are called the gall of the earth; and are poisonous if taken in a great quantity.
4:40. And they poured it out for their companions to eat: and when they had tasted of the pottage, they cried out, saying: Death is in the pot, O man of God. And they could not eat thereof.
4:41. But he said: Bring some meal. And when they had brought it, he cast it into the pot, and said: Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was now no bitterness in the pot.
4:42. And a certain man came from Baalsalisa, bringing to the man of God, bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and new corn in his scrip. And he said: Give to the people, that they may eat.
4:43. And his servant answered him: How much is this, that I should set it before a hundred men? He said again: Give to the people, that they may eat: for thus saith the Lord: They shall eat, and there shall be left.
4:44. So he set it before them: and they ate, and there was left, according to the word of the Lord.