"Warning to the Shunammite
This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
II Kings 8:1 "Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, "Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the Lord hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years."
We are going back some years prior, for this is going back in time to when Elisha had just brought back the rich Shunammite woman's son from the dead. We studied this in II Kings 4:8-37. So this warning from Elisha to this rich woman came as part of that chapter, and was added in here, for Elisha warned her of the seven year famine that was coming over the land. He told her to take her entire household and leave the land, and go where ever you can, but get out of Israel. Remember how serious that famine was, for women were even boiling and eating their own children. That famine went on for seven years, and you can now see how things got to be as bad as it did. Now in this verse, it is after that famine period was over, and the woman was returning to her home.
II Kings 8:2 "And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years."
This woman listened to the Word of God through the prophet Elisha, and she obeyed. She took her household, and moved to the land of the Philistines for seven years. There in the land of the Philistines, she, her son, and her household were well taken care of. Remember that she was the one that set up the special room for the prophet, and fed Elisha and his servant every time they passed her house. She did it all to the glory of God, and for that act of kindness to God's prophet, God blessed her well. God loved this woman, and instructed the Prophet to single her out and give the warning far in advance of the famine.
This would be a type of what shall happen in the time of the end, for at that time there will also be a great famine in all the land. The famine in our end times is also prophesied to be seven years, however we know that Jesus warned us that this period would be shortened, and Revelation 9:5, 10 alerts us to the fact that the time of Antichrist and his fallen angels here on earth will be shortened to five month. To be more direct, it is the five months Joel talked about as the time and season of the locust, that time is from May to September. With this warning by God through his prophets, we also can make preparations for that famine.
However we know that the famine of the end times is not for bread to eat, nor for water for thirst, but for the hearing of the Word of God. Amos 8:11 warns us of this fact. That time of famine has already started in many church houses for the Word of God is being substituted for man's traditions.
Amos 8:11 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord."
This is the same famine that Jesus spoke of in Mark 13:8, and Matthew 24:7. It is not for bread to eat, nor water to drink, "but for the hearing of the Word of God". It is here now! The church traditions and social systems have replaced the Word of God, and a preacher is simply allowed to teach only those things that are under the banner of his or her denomination or church system, which in most cases are far from the truths of the Word of God. We are going into a spiritual battle with Satan himself right here on earth, and the army of God, sitting in those church pews, are nothing more but spiritual babies, still sucking on the milk of the Word that they should have been weaned off of, within a year after their salvation. Most churchmen today are as prepared to meet Satan, in his role of Antichrist, as a new born baby is in defending against a charging enemy army.
Amos 8:12 "And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and from to seek the word of the Lord and shall not find it."
Sure, today there are millions of people all over the world hungry and thirsty for the Word of God; but stop and look at what they are spiritually fed. The "bread" of truth today is watered down with all sorts of heathen tradition and customs. Religious things and ideas of the eastern religions are watered down and covered over, then presented as something of God, and God's that are people feeding off it are not filled.
Amos 8:13 "In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst."
The kids of today do have a thirst and a hunger, but what is that hunger for? That's right, the Word of God, Chapter by Chapter and verse by verse; line upon line and precept upon precept, building to an understanding of the entire plan of God; to where they know the exact time that they are living in, and that their purpose is not only here and now, but throughout eternity.
II Kings 8:3 "And it came to pass at the seven years' end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land."
This woman did not sell her land, but merely moved for that seven year period. Now that she is back, she wanted to reclaim her house, the land and possessions that were hers. This is why we know that what is said here is a review of history, because it brings us up to those events that had already taken place.
II Kings 8:4 "And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done."
It was many years after the woman's son was brought back to life, that Naaman was healed of the leprosy. Because of Gehazi's lies to Naaman and to God's prophet Elisha, God placed Naaman's leprosy on Gehazi, and cleaned the body of Naaman. So this famine and the return of the woman, as is recorded here, took place before the time of Naaman's cleansing of leprosy, for Gehazi would have had to leave for the leper colony immediately. Remember that Gehazi's sin was also that he took silver and other things in payment for the healing, and that took the glory and honor from God, and made it a payment for services rendered, as recorded in Chapter seven.
II Kings 8:5 "And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, "My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life."
Remember that even the woman distrusted Gehazi, and when her son died, she would have nothing to do with Gehazi, and stuck by only Elisha for the life of her son. This is also a type of what shall come to pass at the end of the last seven years just before the return of Christ. So keep these two in parallel, for God will move to have the woman's land and possessions restored to her by the King of Kings after that final seven year period. One thing that this points out is that God not only controls the events of our lives, but He controls our enemies.
So here Gehazi is telling the king of the miracles that God did through the hand of Elisha. This was after the famine had taken place, and as Gehazi was telling the king of that event, she walked in to present her case before the king. The king wanted to know the great things that Elisha had done, and in walks this woman into the presence of the king. Right by her side was her son, a young lad looking very well and just like any healthy boy.
II Kings 8:6 "And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, "Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now."
The king looked at the Shunammite woman, and asked her about the healing, and she confirmed everything that Gehazi had told him. There are many types that can come from this, for we know that at the return of Jesus Christ, every thing that is lost in this earth age will be restored and many times over. Though the higher critics like to overlook these lessons, and reduce them to nothing more than historical events, God gives us these examples ["ensamples"] as a lessons to teach us what we can expect, when we are in a like situation.
Remember from I Kings 1:1-4, that this Shunammite woman came from the same town that the young virgin girl Abishag came from, that tried to warm David's body when he was to old and sick. This woman had complete restoration of everything that was taken from her, just as Job was restored completely and two fold of all that he had lost. She not only had everything restored to her, but even the produce and fruit that the land yielded over that seven year period while she was gone. I'm sure that with the great famine in the land, that would have not been much. However this does bring to our minds, the inheritance that is involved here. This inheritance will be passed on to the son, the very son that was brought back to live by God, through the hand of Elisha.
That inheritance is promised and will be absolutely given to those that are true to the Father all the way to the coming of Jesus Christ. All that is taken from you by Satan's system will be well restored and many times over, and that is something that you can count on. For all the trouble that you have gone through and missed while living in these flesh body, and missed from the Mighty presence of Almighty God, will be restored to you. It is a beautiful though and it is going to happen to you. So we see that this Shunammite woman was a type of what we can expect.
Make sure that you continue to plant the seeds of truth in others mind, for even it others take in that harvest crop that grew out of your seeds, in the end of this earth age you will restore all the fruitful rewards that come from that crop. That end is not far away, for we are living in the final generation. Most of the signs of the end times are history to us today; for the Jews have returned to Jerusalem, the peace treaties have all been signed and delivered. The one world system is set up and their ten agencies are now controlling the affairs of the nations of the world nation. We are living in the generation of "the parable of the fig tree", and the restoration is not far away. God is always faithful to His Word.
II Kings 8:7 "And Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben-hadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, "The man of God is come hither."
God leads his prophets every step of their lives, so why in the world would God bring Elisha to Damascus to heal Ben-hadad. We know that Ben-hadad was the king that took the lives of many Israelites through those wars that he led. Why would God send a prophet to the enemy and then let the enemy know that the prophet was there in town.
II Kings 8:8 "And the king said unto Hazael, "Take a present in thine hand, and go meet the man of God, and enquire of the Lord by him, saying, `Shall I recover of this disease?' "
Long before this meeting between Hazael and Elisha, God ordained that Hazael would be king over Syria. Lets go back to I Kings 19:15, when Elijah was on the run from Jezebel, who wanted Elijah's head. Elijah had fled out of Israel, through the land of Judah and south to mount Sinai [Horeb]. Elijah thought that he was the only prophet of God left in the whole world, and there on the mount, at the mouth of a cave God came to Elijah and gave him special orders of things that he was to do.
I Kings 19:15 "And the Lord said unto him, "Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria:"
It was no accident that Ben-hadad and Elisha met during Elisha's visit to Damascus, for remember that even though Elijah did not anoint Hazael, Elisha is wearing the mantle of Elijah, and Elisha would fulfill the duties that were assigned to Elijah. Those things that Hazael will do in the future to Israel, are all part of the plan of God and will be allowed by God. Why then would God allow this to happen?
Stop and think of all the wickedness that the Israelites were doing. The two golden calves, the sex orgies in the groves, the offering of children to Molach, and all the other forms of idolatry that was going on at the time. King after king that assumed the throne of the house of Israel followed after the same wickedness that the king before him did, and in most cases was more wicked. It would not be long until the time when God would divorce Israel, and scatter them out of the land, and to the ends of the earth.
God knows all about Ben-hadad and Hazael, and these men had played vital roles in God's overall plan.
II Kings 8:9 "So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels burdened, and came and stood before him, and said, "Thy son Ben-hadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, `Shall I recover of this disease?' "
You never approached a prophet of God empty handed, so Ben-hadad told Hazael to take these gifts to Elisha, the man of God, and ask him if I am going to get well. The amount of gold and silver and other goods that Hazael brought to Elisha was forty camels loaded down with all these goods.
We know where Ben-hadad got all his goods, for it is recorded in I Kings 15:18. When king Baasha of Israel was at war with Judah over the building of Ramah, just north of Jerusalem, king Asa of Judah went to the temple and sacked it of all the wealth of Solomon, and gave it to Ben-hadad to win him over as an ally to fight against Baasha.
I Kings 15:18 "Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants: and king Asa sent them to Ben-hadad, the son of Tabrimon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, that dwelt at Damascus, saying,"
This is when the wealth flowed from Jerusalem to Damascus, from king Asa to king Ben-hadad. God's wealth from his house or temple was then held in Damascus.
I Kings 15:19 "There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I have sent unto thee a present of silver and gold; come and break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me."
So it is easy now to see just where the wealth of this camel train of forty camels came from. Fix in your mind how God controls things to happen. He allows one thing to take place, and after it, causes the next thing to happen right in order. He not only controls His people, but His people's enemy. The point here is that as long as you are in God's will, seeking his control for your life, he will bless you. It simply doesn't matter what is going on around you, for the whole world may be in chaos, and you may be right in the middle of the enemies camp, but God will take care of you there and bless you. If you know God is taking care of His business, what are you worrying about.
II Kings 8:10 "And Elisha said unto him, "Go, say unto him, `Thou mayest certainly recover:' howbeit the Lord hath shewed me that he shall surely die."
Elisha let Ben-hadad know that you will be made well from your sickness, but you will not escape from your murderer. Ben-hadad is about to be murdered and God allowed Elisha to witness the event before hand.
II Kings 8:11 "And he settled his countenance steadfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept."
After Elisha told Hazael that Ben-hadad would die, Elisha became very sorrowful, and wept. Was he weeping over Ben-hadad's death, hardly, but God revealed to him the wickedness that this death would bring on his people, for Hazael would be far worse than Ben-hadad, and we know the death and sorrow that Ben-hadad brought on Israel.
II Kings 8:12 "And Hazael said, "Why weepeth my lord?" And he answered, "Because I know the evil that thou [Hazael] wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child."
Hazael was the same man that God commanded to Elijah to anoint king over Syria, and we see that it will be through the hand of Elisha, under the mantle of Elijah that Hazael is now being anointed to be king over Syria. God has selected Hazael to bring judgment on Israel for the wickedness that they were doing, and it is revealed to Elisha that this will take place. That is what Elisha is weeping about.
God knew that Hazael would do this to Israel, so why didn't God destroy Hazael at this time? Why didn't Elisha stop Hazael when he knew that this would all take place? Why? Because Elisha knew that God was going to correct his people for their state of idolatry that they have allowed themselves to fall into. Both of the houses of Israel and Judah had slipped far from the ways of their forefather, from David's day, and the time of the Judges. They had slipped so deep into their traditions that they could not tell the difference between the things of God, and the heathen traditions. They allowed the heathen practices to take over the house of God, and that made God very angry. Elisha knew this, and God has allowed him to see into the future.
II Kings 8:13 "And Hazael said, "But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?" And Elisha answered, "The Lord hath shewed me that thou [Hazael] shalt be king over Syria."
Hazael is asking Elisha, do you think that I am a dog? I would think of doing such a thing, and more than likely at that time this was true. It probably never entered into his mind. However, remember that God is in control of the enemy as well, and God would allow it to happen. Friend, just as God can bring wrath down on those that turn against him, at the same time He also has the ability to protect His own. Those that do die by the wrath of Hazael will only be those that deserve death for their wickedness.
Hazael was just an servant and underling under king Ben-hadad at this time, yet Elisha is telling him that at Ben-hadad's death, you will be king over Syria.
II Kings 8:14 "So he [Hazael] departed from Elisha, and came to his master [Ben-hadad]; who said to him, "What said Elisha to thee?" And he answered, "He told me that thou shouldest surely recover."
Hazael gave Ben-hadad only half the story, for he left out the part where after his recovery, he would be murdered.
II Kings 8:15 "And it came to pass on the morrow, that he took a thick cloth, and dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died: and Hazael reigned in his stead."
Hazael took a thickly plaited cloth, dipped it in water and smothered king Ben-hadad. Ben-hadad would have survived the disease, but not the murdering plot of Hazael. Our Father even controls the actions of our enemy. This cloth was woven very close, and when wet sealed to an air tight fit. Though God knew exactly what would take place, He allowed it to come to pass. He did not place the evil in Hazael's mind, but did not prevent the evil that was there from happening. Satan brings the evil, and God knows when it comes before it happens. The negative part of God's plan is when God allows Satan to do those things that are common to the ways of the devil. God has given all mankind free choice to do good or evil, and he will allow you to do those things that you do, just as he allowed Hazael to commit the act that he did. It was to fulfill God's overall purpose, and that purpose will always be positive.
Just because somebody takes a beating along the way, they had it coming, and if you play around, than you pay for the playing you have done. Don't blame anyone else, for God will see that you get exactly what you have coming to you. No more, and no less; He always has, and He always will. God will protect those that love him and repent when they fall short of His ways.
II KIngs 8:16 "And in the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign."
"Jehoram" in the Hebrew text means "whom God has exalted". However, "Joram", also means the same thing. When you say Jehoram, you are also saying Joram, in the Hebrew tongue. So we are talking about the same person, as applied to Judah, he is the son of Jehoshaphat and is called "Jehoram", and as the son in law of Ahab and Jezebel, he is called "Joram". Joram married the daughter of Ahab, and when king Ahazia the kid that took over at Ahab's death, walked out the upper story window and got sick and died, there were no more sons to assume the throne, so Ahab's son in law Joram became king over the house of Israel.
So there will be a Jehoram [Joram] that are living at the same time, both are the sons of Jehoshaphat, both with the same name, and one will rule over Judah, while the other will reign over Israel. It can be confusing if you allow it to be. When the name relates to Israel, it will be termed Joram, and when relating to Judah, Jehoram. This is brought out in detail in Smith's bible dictionary, college edition, because Dr. Smith was an excellent scholar. The transltors of the King James helped us a lot, when they dropped the "eh" from the king of Israel, and left it in for the king of Judah.
II Kings 8:17 "Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem."
This would be Jehoram, the king of Judah, that would reign the eight years before assuming the role of king of Israel also.
II Kings 8:18 "And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab: for the daughter of Ahab was his wife: and he did evil in the sight of the Lord."
So we see that there was an intermarriage of the king line which began rather early between the house of Israel and the house of Judah. This follows all the way through to the last Czar of Russia.
II Kings 8:19 "Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah for David His servant's sake, as He promised him to give him alway a light, and to his children."
Even though the two nations are ruled by the same family at this time, Judah will continue to remain a separate nation from the rest of the tribes. This will happen because God promised that it would. That Messiah that would come, would be the light from the lineage of the kings of Judah. Jesus Christ would be that lamp and light to the world.
II Kings 8:20 "In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves."
Edom at this time was under the king of Judah, and they revolted and made their own king to reign over them. Though Edom was under Judah, it would be the house of Israel that would send the army to bring down the king Edom and smite the Edomites.
II Kings 8:21 "So Joram went over to Zair, and all the chariots with him: and he rose by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him about, and the captains of the chariots: and the people fled into their tents."
Keep focused on the matter that the same Jehoram is Joram, when he forces his hand over Israel. Joram is using the larger army of Israel to bring Edom back unto the rule of Judah. These are two separate nation, with the army of the larger nation, helping the smaller nation to preserve their land territories.
II Kings 8:22 "Yet Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time."
Libnah was a priest city, and from the time of Ahab and Jezebel, and later these priests were idol worshippers, not of God, but heathen gods. These so called priests were responsible for murdering the priests of God. However within the city of Libnah there were men of God, that saw the wickedness that was going on by the king lines of both houses and they were trying to take a stand against the wickedness that was increasing.
So God is letting us know that the prophecy concerning Ahab's offspring was about to take place.
II Kings 8:23 "And the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah?" [II Chronicles 21:]
II Kings 8:24 "And Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Ahaziah his son reigned in his stead.
Ahaziah would be Joram's youngest son, because all of Joram's other sons were killed.
II Kings 8:25 "In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah begin to reign."
Again, this is referring to the same man, who reigns over two kingdoms, and the reign over Israel was eight years longer, because he assumed the throne of Israel when his brother in law Ahaziah died after only just over a year ruling as king. The Ahaziah that would take over the throne in Israel was named after his uncle, the former king, and this young Ahaziah would rule after Jehoram [Joram] for only one year or less.
II Kings 8:26 "Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel."
Do you see the family tie here, for this would not only make Ahaziah's father, Joram, king, but his uncle was king prior to Joram, and his mother was the daughter to Omri, the king before him. This young man was of the pure lineage to the house of Israel. The king lines are marrying back and forth, all within the same family.
II Kings 8:27 "And he walked in the way of the house of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, as did the house of Ahab: for he was the son in law of the house of Ahab."
The "way of the house of Ahab" was the idolatry that Jezebel brought into Israel from her Zidonian lands. They were the ways of the land of the Kenites, when she brought her many prophets to both Baal, and to the grove worship. This new young king held fast to those ways of Jezebel his grandmother. Remember that Jezebel would also be living at this time, pushing her weight and dogma off on all those that would be under her.
II Kings 8:28 "And he went with Joram the son of Ahab to the war against Hazael king of Syria in Ramoth-gilead; and the Syrians wounded Joram."
This king went with his uncle Joram, the son in law of Ahab to war against Hazael, the murderer of Ben-hadad, the same person spoken of above, that brought the camel train of gold and silver to Elisha, as stated above in verse nine. In that war, Joram was hit on the field of battle.
II Kings 8:29 "And king Joram went back to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. And Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick."
It was from this battle that the hurt would come from Hazael, that cused Elisha to weep when he saw the damage that would take place. This damage is listed in verse twelve, where many young men of Israel would be killed, and even the women in the area would be ripped open and their children killed within their wombs. Even the king did not escape unharmed from that battle, there on the plains of Jezreel. Jezebel had an influence over both Ahaziahs, her son that ruled for two years, and her grandson that will take over after the death of Jehoram. At the close of this chapter there is a review of the periods of the kingdoms, as to the order of reign of each of the nations of Judah and Israel.
As we followed both the house of Israel and the house of Judah, they both sought after heathen ways, and departed from the ways of God. lt started way back in Solomon's day when he took foreign wives from Zidon, and contracted with king Hiram and the Kenites, and brought in their gods, idols and forms of worship. Each of the kings that came to the throne after Solomon became progressively worse and more evil in the eyes of the Lord, than their father's before them, in both Israel and Judah.
God gave Solomon much riches and wisdom, and there was no sin in being rich when it is part of God's blessings. However time after time, each king seemed to get worse that the king before him, and the reason this happened was that they could care less about the Almighty God and His ways. This has become very confusing because both of these king reigning at the same time, had the same name, and both were just as evil as each other. Yet God sent His prophet Elisha to each of them. Yet neither of them would listen to the word of the Lord. In this entire chapter, God is alerting us to be careful of what is in a name, for another will come bearing the name of the True Messiah, yet he will be a fake. We are to pay attention to names, and the details surrounding those name, so that we will not be deceived.
You will know exactly if they are of God or not of God, by whether they received blessings or cursing of God. The blessings are given to only those that follow our Heavenly Father, God, YHVH; while the cursings are given to those that have no respect for the Father. So it is up to you to make the choice as to whether you want to be blessed or cursed. This applies to us today as much as it did in Elisha's day, for God does not change at any time.
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