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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: H. Hastings Weld :: The Women of the Scriptures

H. Hastings Weld :: The Shunamite Woman

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Picture of The Shunamite Woman



"It shall be well; I go to him, the man of God, whose power
At heaven's high throne, placed in our path this little fragrant flower:-
Earth's only charm, its sweetest bud, so beautiful and fair;
Which we have watched so tenderly, and nourished with such care,
Now lying in our very sight, a little blighted thing,
Perished in all its loveliness, and in life's early spring.
I bear for it a mother's love-a mother's hoping heart,
And he who gave may still restore, then let me now depart."

Nerved by a mother's courage, on she went,
Nor stopped for aught, until within her sight
Appeared Mount Carmel, with its prophet's school;
And when Elisha saw her as she came,
He sent his servants to enquire of her
The purport of her errand.

"Is it well
With thee, and with thy husband, and the child?"
She answered, "It is well;" then turned away
To where the prophet stood, and at his feet
Bowed down in sorrow. Then Gehazi came,
And would have thrust her from him, but his hand
Was stayed. "Let her alone," Elisha said;
"Her soul is vexed within her; and the Lord
Hath hid it from me: and hath told me not."

"Did I desire; or ask, my lord, that precious gift of thee
In language thou could'st not resist, so softly, pleadingly?
And when the boon was offered, did'st thou not hear me say,
Longing to hope, yet fearing, 'Deceive me not, I pray?'
And now those fears are realized-the gift thou didst bestow
That I might see its loveliness-a mother's bliss might know:-
A mother's watchful tenderness, her pleasing care might feel,
Only to make a hidden fount of bitter grief unseal."

"Gird up thy loins, Gehazi; take my staff,
And go thou on thy way," the prophet said.
"If thou meet any man, salute him not;
Nor answer salutation, when 'tis given:
And lay my staff upon the dead child's face."
"As sure as God doth live, and as I live,
I will not leave thee;" thus the mother spake.
He rose, and followed her. Gehazi passed,
And went before them, and Elisha's staff
Was laid upon the child; and yet, nor voice
Nor hearing came, nor aught to tell of life.
His master came. Within the "prophet's room,""
And on the bed, where he had oft reposed,
The dead child lay. He entered, shut the door
Upon the twain, and prayed most earnestly
To God; then stretched himself upon the child.
The prayer prevailed. The rigid limbs relaxed,
And heat and moisture came, and breath once more
Went freely through his nostrils: and he lived,
Again to bless her heart with earthly love,
And fill her soul with heavenly gratitude
To Him, whose grace at first so freely gave,
And now restored the doubly precious gift.

Jewish Domestic Customs ← Prior Section
The Shunamite Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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