Elisha Helps a Widow – 2 Kings 4
In a previous story of the day that the LORD took the prophet Elijah to heaven while Elisha watched, it is mentioned that 50 sons of prophets who watched from a distance, also saw Elijah being taken to heaven. This story is about a woman who was a wife to one of the sons of the prophets. Her husband had died, and she was now a widow.
It happened that the woman who was now a widow cried out to Elisha saying “my husband, who was your servant, is dead, and you know that he feared the LORD. Now the creditor has come to take my two sons to be slaves.” (The widow owed money to the creditor and was unable to pay and so she came to Elisha for help).
Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? tell me, what do you have in the house?” The woman answered, “I have nothing in the house except a pot of oil”. Then Elisha said to her “Go, borrow pots from all your neighbours, many empty pots. And when you come back, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons. Then you shall pour out from the pot of oil that you have, into all those borrowed pots, and you shall set aside each pot when it becomes full.”
So the widow woman went from Elisha, and when the empty pots were brought to her by her sons, she shut the door behind them and poured out the oil from the one pot she had into the empty pots. And it came to pass, that when all the pots were full, she said to her sons “Bring me another pot”. and she was told “There are no more empty pots.”
Then the woman came and told Elisha, the man of God. And Elisha said to her, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your children live on the rest of money.
1 Who were the sons of the prophets? what happened to the husband of one of the wives? Answer: They also watched from a distance when Elijah was taken to heaven. the husband died, leaving his wife a widow with children.
2 What was an important thing about the husband that died? Answer: He feared the LORD
3 Why did the widow need Elisha’s help? Why do you think he asked her what she had? Answer: The creditor was going to take her sons because she could not pay her debt. Because he wanted her to know that only a miracle would meet her needs.
4 What did Elisha tell the widow to do? Answer: go and borrow empty pots from her neighbours, then come and shut the door behind her and her sons and pour oil from the only pot she had into the empty pots.
5 What was the widow to do when the pots were full of oil? Answer: go and sell the oil and pay her debt and use the rest for her and her children to live on.
6 What special miracle was the widow shown? Answer: From her one pot of oil, she was provided with enough oil to fill all the empty pots which when sold provided enough money to pay her debts and provide money for her and her children to live on.