Biblical Women the Shunammite Woman


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The Shunammite Woman : 

The Shunammite Woman Wealthy, capable, generous & hospitable 2 Kings 4:8-37 and 8:1-6 Copyrighted material that appears in this article is included under the provisions of the Fair Use Clause of the National Copyright Act, which allows limited reproduction of copyrighted materials for educational and religious use when no financial charge is made for viewing.

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The Shunammite woman’s story starts with a frequent visitor to her community, Elisha, the successor of Elijah. Elisha had dined with she and her husband and in the course of that meal she came to realized that Elisha was a holy man of God. Elisha was living on Mt. Carmel about 18 miles or a day’s journey away, so it was natural for him to look for shelter in her town before continuing his travels the next day. For no other reason than being generous and hospitable she suggested to her husband that they furnish and reserve a room in their house for Elisha.

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Her husband agreed and the room was prepared. As you might expect Elisha was grateful to receive her generous offer to stay in her home. Elisha asked his servant Gehazi what could be given to this woman as a thank you for her hospitality. Gehazi pointed out that the couple was childless and getting on in years so the best gift would be a son. About a year later a son born to the couple, but when he became old enough to work with her husband he died. The Shunammite woman sought Elisha’s help after all he was a holy man of God who interceded on her behalf to have the child born in the first place. She put her son’s lifeless body in the room prepared for Elisha and left to journey to Mt. Carmel and seek his help.

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Elisha sent Gehazi on ahead and told him to lay the prophet’s staff on the dead child’s head. But nothing happened. But when Elisha himself went to the child, the child was revived and returned to his parents. The Shunammite woman was intelligent and had recognized Elisha as a true prophet so she was able to distinguish true prophets from false prophets. She was wealthy and used her wealth for the benefit of others so she was generous. She was capable and correctly formed the opinion that only Elisha could help her in this time of extreme need. She was a loving mother, wife, friend, and companion with intelligence beyond equal in her time.

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