Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

Elisha and the Shunemmite Woman

Immediately following the story of the prophet’s widow in 2 Kings 4 is the story of the Shunammite woman.

The prophet Elisha traveled from city to city, serving and teaching wherever he went. As part of his journeys he would pass through the city of Shenum. A wealthy Shunammite woman saw him passing through town and invited him in for a meal. From there, it became his custom to stop and eat with the woman and her husband. 

The woman could tell that Elisha was growing older, and the traveling was hard on him. She asked her husband if they could add on an upstairs bedroom so that when Elisha passed through, he would have a place to lodge.

Thankful for the woman’s thoughtfulness, Elisha wanted to return the favor. He offered to put in a good word to either the king or the commander of the army, but she had no interest.

So Elisha asked his servant Gehazi if he had any ideas of how Elisha could bless the Shunammite woman. Gehazi pointed out that the couple had no children and the husband was old. 

Elisha called the woman up to his room. As she came to see what he needed, Elisha made a prophecy, telling her she would have a son in the coming year.

She resisted. She’d long ago accepted her barrenness and was afraid to get her hopes up only to be disappointed.

But Elisha’s prophecy came true. The woman conceived, and bore a son.

The Shunammite woman didn’t go seeking Elisha’s blessing. She was more concerned with blessing him. But God saw her actions and rewarded her kindness

Read about the Prophet’s Widow in Scripture: 2 Kings 4

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