A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools. — Thucydides

Heroes of Israel - Lawton Evans

The Miracles of Elisha

Jehoram, the son of Ahab, was now king over Israel. While he was king the Moabites rebelled against Israel and came against Jehoram with a large host.

Jehoram sent to Jehosaphat, who was king of Judah, and said: "The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me against him to battle?" And Jehosaphat sent back the answer that he would go. So the king of Israel and the king of Judah journeyed into the wilderness to meet their enemies and they went a seven-day's journey. There was no water for the men or for the cattle that followed them and they were much distressed.

Jehosaphat said: "Is there not here a prophet of the Lord that we may inquire of him what to do?" One of Jehosaphat's servants answered and said: "Elisha is here, the servant of Elijah, upon whom his mantle has fallen." And the king went to Elisha and asked him what to do to keep the people and the cattle from dying of thirst.

Now Jehosaphat was a godly man and served the Lord. So Elisha said to Jehoram, the king of Israel: "I have no regard for you, for you are a wicked king, but since Jehosaphat, the king of Judah, is a godly man I will save this army from destruction."

The prophet then told the kings to bring him a minstrel, and as the minstrel played upon the harp he began to prophesy and said: "Make the valley full of ditches for there shall be no wind nor rain, yet that valley shall be filled with water that you may drink, you and your cattle, and the Lord will deliver the Moabites into your hand."

The kings went back to their tents and when they arose in the morning and looked in the valley, behold, the country was filled with water, even as though it had rained.

Now the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them and so they gathered and marched against the hosts of Judah and Israel. When they reached the valley early in the morning they saw the sun shining upon the water in the ditches and the Moabites saw the water as red as blood.

"This is blood; the kings are surely slain; they have smitten one another; now, therefore, Moab, hasten and gather in the spoil," cried all the men of Moab. But the Israelites had only withdrawn a short ways off and when the Moabites came near the camp the Israelites arose and fell upon the Moabites so that they fled before them.

They followed them into their own country and beat down their cities and despoiled the land and filled up the wells and cut down the trees. Thus was the kingdom of Israel saved from the Moabites.

There was a woman who was a widow of one of the sons of the prophets who came unto Elisha, and said: "My husband is dead and you know he did fear the Lord. The man to whom he owed money has come to take my two sons. What shall I do to save myself and my household?" Elisha then asked her what she had in her house and the widow told him that she had nothing but a pot of oil.

"Go, borrow vessels of thy neighbors, even empty vessels, and borrow not a few," said the prophet to her. "And when you have them, shut the door of your house and pour oil into the empty vessels out of the little pot which you have."

The widow went from the prophet and borrowed empty vessels of her neighbors and took them to her house and shut the door. She began to pour oil out of her pot into the empty vessels until the vessels were full. The oil did not fail to keep on coming so long as there was a vessel to be filled. Finally she said to one of her sons: "Bring me yet another vessel," and he told her there were no more vessels and all were full.

Then the widow went to Elisha and told him what had happened, and Elisha said to her: "Go, sell the oil and pay your debt and you and your children shall live on the rest."

One time, as Elisha journeyed through the land, he came to Shunem, a great city. There lived here a rich woman who begged him to stop at her house and eat of her food. She was very kind to Elisha so that whenever he passed that way he always stopped and ate of her food.

The woman said to her husband: "I see that this is a holy man of God who passes our way. Let us make a little room and set for him a bed and a table and a stool and a candlestick, so that it shall be his room that he may turn into it whenever he comes this way." And so they made a room for the prophet.

One day as he lay in the room, he said to Gehazi, his servant: "Call this Shunamite woman." When she came to the prophet he said to her: "You have taken good care of my servant and of me. What may I do for you? Would you have me speak to the king or to the captain of the host for you?"

The woman answered: "I dwell among my own people. There is nothing my lord can do for me," and the Shunamite departed.

After she had left, Gehazi said to Elisha: "She has no child, and if the Lord would send her a son, it would be well." And the prophet told Gehazi to call the woman back.

When she came to Elisha he said to her: "The Lord will send you a son," and the woman rejoiced, and after a while a son was born and grew up to be a lad.

One day when the lad was out in the field with the reapers he was overcome and said to his father: "My head, my head!" They took the lad to his mother and put him in her lap and there, after a few hours, he died. After he was dead she took him up into the room of the man of God and laid him on the bed and shut the door and went out.

The Shunamite woman hastened to find Elisha, who was on Mount Carmel. She told him her child was dead. Elisha arose and followed her and when they came into the house he saw that the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. Elisha went in and shut the door and prayed to the Lord. He then laid down by the side of the child and put his mouth and his eyes upon the child's mouth and eyes and his hands upon the child's hands. After a while the flesh of the child became warm and life returned to him. The child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. Elisha called his servant Gehazi and said to him: "Call the Shunamite woman." Gehazi called her and she came in. When she saw her son alive she fell at the feet of the prophet in thankfulness. She then took her son and went her way.


Front Matter

The Garden of Eden
The First Great Crime
The Flood
The Tower of Babel
Abraham Moves into Canaan
Sodom and Gomorrah
The Trial of Abraham's Faith
Searching for a Wife for Isaac
Isaac and Rebekah
Esau Sells his Birthright
Jacob Serves for Rachel
Jacob Returns to Canaan
Joseph is Sold into Egypt
Pharaoh's Dream
Joseph's Brethren Buy Corn
Jacob Moves into Egypt
The Early Life of Moses
Egyptians Smitten with Plagues
Egyptians Drowned in Red Sea
The Lord Provides for Israel
Plan to Build the Tabernacle
The Golden Calf
Wanderings of the Israelites
Spying Out the Land of Canaan
Punishing the Israelites
Balaam is Made to Prophesy
Border of the Promised Land
Last Days of Moses
Rahab Saves the Spies
The Destruction of Jericho
The Capture of Ai
Joshua Conquers Canaan
Gideon is Given a Sign
Gideon Overcomes Midianites
The Punishment of Abimelech
Jephthah's Daughter
The Young Samson
Samson and the Philistines
The Death of Samson
Naomi and Ruth
Ruth and Boaz
The Young Samuel
Philistines Capture the Ark
Philistines Return the Ark
Saul in Anointed King
Jonathan and the Philistines
The Disobedience of Saul
Samuel Anoints David
David and Goliath
Saul is Jealous of David
David and Jonathan
The Madness of Saul
David Spares the Life of Saul
The Last Days of King Saul
David Becomes King
The Rebellion of Absalom
The Death of Absalom
Solomon Becomes King
The Wisdom of Solomon
Solomon Builds the Temple
Queen of Sheba Visits Solomon
Revolt of the Ten Tribes
The Wickedness of Jeroboam
Elijah Begins His Ministry
Elijah Destroys the Prophets
Elisha is Made a Prophet
Death of Ahab
Sickness of Ahaziah
Last Days of Elijah
Miracles of Elisha
Naaman is Cured of Leprosy
Flight of the Syrians
Jehu is Appointed King
The Story of Joash
Last days of Elisha
Destruction of Sennacherib
Judah Led into Captivity
Destruction of Jerusalem
Daniel Interprets the Dream
The Fiery Furnace
Madness of Nebuchadnezzer
Handwriting on the Wall
Daniel in the Lion's Den
Jonah Swallowed by a Fish
Jonah Warns Nineveh
Esther Becomes Queen
The Vengeance of Haman
Esther Saves Her People
The Return from Captivity
Nehemiah Rebuilds Jerusalem