The Shunammite Woman – 17 Key Points for Bible Study 10/25/2014

From our lesson of  The Shunammite Woman, 2 Kings 4:8-37; 2 Kings 8:1-6, here are some important points. The points do not directly answer the questions on pages 127-129 of the text, but may help you in our discussion of the Saturday Bible Study 10/25/2014

1.  No name was found for the Shunammite Woman during this research.  She was described as a well-to-do Woman.  (2 Kings 4:8).

2.  She was generous and hospitable, she was a wealthy and capable woman who showed great kindness to one of God’s prophets. (3, pg. 127)

3.  She said to her husband, ” I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God.  Let’s make a small room on the roof and put a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him.  Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.  (2Kings 4:9-10 and NIV footnote)

4.  Moved by her kindness, Elisha inquired, through his servant, Gehazi, whether he could use his influence with Israel’s King on her behalf.  But the woman wasn’t looking for favors at court, so Elisha pressed his servant, saying, “What, then, can be done for her?”  (2, pg. 227)

She replied, “I have a home among my own people.” (2 Kings 13 and NIV footnote)

5.  Gehazi merely pointed out the obvious: the woman and her aging husband were childless, without an heir to carry on the family name.  So Elisha summoned the woman and made an incredible promise: “About this time next year you will hold a son in your arms.” (2, pg. 228)

6.  The Shunammite Woman’s response: “No, my lord, she objected.  Don’t mislead your servant, O man of God!” (2, pg. 228)

7.  But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha told her.  (2 Kings 4:17)

Unlike so many of her female forebears—Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Tamar, Hannah— the Shunammite Woman seemed content without children.  Elisha’s promise, however, was an arrow homing straight to its target, fulfilling the unspoken desire of her heart.  (2, pg. 228)

8.  The child became ill and died, the Shunammite Woman and a servant travelled, with her husband’s knowledge,  to Mt. Carmel to find Elisha.  (2 Kings 4:22-23)

She rushed to him,  exclaiming, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?  Didn’t I tell you, “Don’t raise my hopes?” (2, pg. 228)

9.  Elisha instructed his servant to go ahead to Shunem,  and how to restore the boy to life in his absence.  The servant followed Elisha’s instructions, but was unable to restore the boy to life.  (2 Kings 4:31)

10.  Elisha arrived at the house of the Shunammite Woman, He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord.  He was able to restore the boy to life.  The Shunammite Woman was told, ” Take your son,” She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out. (2 Kings 4:32-37)

11.  She was warned by Elisha to “go away with your family and stay for awhile wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years”. (2 Kings 8:1)

12.  She followed Elisha’s instructions, by staying in the land of the Philistines for seven years. (2 Kings 8:2)

13.  She returned to Shunem, and went to the king to beg for her house and land. (2 Kings 8:3 and NIV footnote)

14.  At the same time the king was talking to Gehazi, Elisha’s servant. (2 Kings 8:4)

15.  Gehazi told the king how Elisha restored the dead to life. (2 Kings 8:5)

16.  Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son who Elisha restored to life.” (2 Kings 8:5)

17.  “Give her everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.” (2 Kings 8:6)

1. The NIV Study Bible, Zondervan, 1995. (All Scriptures)

2. Women of the Bible,  One Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture, Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda, Zondervan, 2007.

3. Women of the Bible, 52 Bible Studies for Individuals and Groups, Jean E Syswerda, Zondervan, 1999.

 

 

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