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The Shunammite Woman Gives Birth

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For Our Admonition Part 6

“The Shunammite Woman Gives Birth”

Key Verses:  2Ki 4:8 – 17

In this study, we cover a story that is a good example of how we are to rightfully divide the Word. All the Scriptures are Christ centric, meaning they are about our Lord and His Christ.  Coming to see this opens our understanding of the Scriptures and applying them to ourselves.

Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets (Elijah and Elisha included), he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself

Luk 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 

Luk 24:45  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Here is the first part of this story we will quickly cover before getting to the death and resurrection by Elisha of the woman’s son.

2Ki 4:8  And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. 

2Ki 4:9  And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. 

2Ki 4:10  Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. 

2Ki 4:11  And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 

2Ki 4:12  And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him. 

2Ki 4:13  And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people. 

2Ki 4:14  And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. 

2Ki 4:15  And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. 

2Ki 4:16  And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. 

2Ki 4:17  And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.

Before we cover the story, let’s lay a little background.  Elisha means by most scholarly accounts “God is Salvation”. Elisha is said to be the son of Shaphat, which comes from a root word of the same name [H8199 – shaphat] meaning to judge. Plowing the earth and breaking up the hard parts and preparing it for new seed is what the Word of God spiritually is doing by our judgment. That is how Elijah found his successor prophet.

1Ki 19:19  So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.

As we think of Elisha it will help us to understand that he is a type of the grace and judgment that would come through Jesus Christ much later. Elisha represents the one coming after Elijah which is the same in type as the one coming after John the Baptist.  This fire represents chastening grace and follow our initial baptism into repentance.

Luk 3:16  John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Luk 3:17  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

Shunem comes from a root word [H7764 “shûnıy”, shoo-nee] that means a place of rest or quiet. As such Shunem, through this Shunammite woman, symbolizes the Body of Christ.  It is with this woman that Christ’s Christ, (the Body), finds the secret resting place for God’s people where food, drink and rest is provided.

Psa 132:13  For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

Psa 132:14  This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

It is only in Christ where the Lord’s people and prophets are fed and find rest.

Son 1:7  Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

Heb 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

This woman is said to be great, which is what she will end up being as the whole story in the Scriptures (the sum) regarding her is told.  Yet this first part is another witness of the Lord calling things that are not as if they already are. She is destined to be great and will be found a strong woman of faith but that is not the case when she is first touched by the Lord. When she is first touched by the Lord, she represents the great harlot.

Rom 4:17  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

By virtue of her already receiving those that Christ  is sending, she is becoming great as the Word of faith works in her heavens.

Luk 9:48  And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

This woman and her house represent those the Lord has prepared to hear the Word and come to faith and know the rest  being found only in Christ.  We are to stay and dwell in such places doing the greater works.

Luk 10:5  And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.

Luk 10:6  And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

Luk 10:7  And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

Luk 10:8  And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

Luk 10:9  And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

The woman and her old husband have been prepared to receive the Truth and embrace the messengers of the Lord sent to her household that bring it.

2Ki 4:10  Let us make a little chamber [H5944], I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. 

The woman prays for the man of God to come make his abode in her household. The Lord knows what His saints need, and He makes provision in His chosen ones to take care of those needs (Php 4:19, Psa 23:1). The woman prepares an abode for Elisha (Christ to take root in their home).

Son 3:4  It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. 

This word for chambers H5944 is the same one we saw in the last study that corresponds to the upper room of our heavens where the war is waged and salvation comes.  This is the place where the widow’s son was resurrected from his state of spiritual death.

1Ki 17:19  And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft [H5944], where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.

The woman’s work is all the Lord’s work because we of ourselves can do nothing (Joh 15:5) and we are His workmanship (Eph 2:10, Phi 2:13) being mere clay and the work of His hands (Isa 64:8). Christ is preparing a place for us in heaven to abide when we are being exalted with Him. This is the preparing and renewing of our minds to put on the mind of Christ by hearing and acting on the Word which is growing us in faith.

Joh 14:2  In my Father’s house are many abodes [mansions]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 

 Jesus Christ is represented in all of these symbols regarding the chamber prepared for Elisha in the woman’s home. Christ is the wall that is built by the plumbline which represents the Word that is judging us now (1Pe 4:17) and all men in the lake of fire.

Amo 7:7  Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.

Christ is also the bed, where we find rest and find peace from the trouble that is in this world.

Psa 23:2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Christ is the table where we sit being supported by the saints and partake of the spiritual blessings including food, drink and anointing with oil (Joh 12:2-3) that is remaking all things new.

Luk 22:30  That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Psa 23:5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

As this woman, the Body is also the Church, which is the Light unto this world that comes from the Lord’s witnesses (Rev 11:3,  Isa 43:11)

Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Rev 1:12  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 

Rev 1:13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

The oil and anointing of the Lord is poured out by the Church (Zec 4:11-14). It is through this woman and her fellowship with the people of God that the wisdom of the Lord is made known to those the Lord is preparing to hear.

Eph 3:9  NKJV and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;

Eph 3:10  to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

A day is written in our Book of Life when we come together in this mystery of fellowship with Christ and thus begins our judgment.

2Ki 4:11  And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 

2Ki 4:12  And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him. 

2Ki 4:13  And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.

The story of the Shunammite woman is our story as we also come into the Truth, but dwell in unbelief despite receiving the Truth with joy. Like her, we, initially are still bound by the law that is not of faith (Rom 7:2) and remain married to our old husband.  Being without child is being without faith after we hear the Truth. The woman, like us, is not interested at first in the spiritual blessings of maturing in Christ but was in it for the physical blessings in this age.

Joh 6:26  Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Joh 6:27  Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Wanting to dwell among her own people is wanting to hold onto life in this world being unable to pay the costs of being a disciple and to be separated as the true Church.  Contrast this unbelief with the faith of Ruth who was made willing to forsake all and follow Christ even to death.

Rth 1:16  And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 

Rth 1:17  Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

This story of the Shunammite is an Old Testament witness to Paul dealing with the yet carnal Corinthians, who had all the gifts but had to wait for the coming of the Lord with grace to turn them into true believers and mindful of the things of the Spirit.

 1Co 1:6  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

1Co 1:7  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1Co 1:8  Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Co 1:9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 

All we can do for carnal babes is speak the Truth and hope the Lord will quicken their spirits to trust in His precious promises if we believe. The man of God and his servant identify the problem as a lack of faith that can only come by hearing the Word.

2Ki 4:14  And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. 

2Ki 4:15  And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. 

2Ki 4:16  And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. 

The woman comes to the man of God standing in the very door that is Christ and His elect that are the pillars (Rev 3:12) and entryway (Gen 3:24) by which all men shall pass to enter into temple of God (Rev 15:8). Yet she is not ready to pass through, faith is needed to begin following Christ across the threshold of the door. The woman is told she will have a son and yet she does not believe in denying the words of Elisha.

When Christ tells us, we will bear a new son, symbolizing that we will be borne again, our unbelief is made manifest. This is a similar story to other famous promises of a son coming to an old woman and an old man.  At first Sarah did not believe, even laughing at the thought she could have a child in her old age. Yet the Lord is faithful to all of His promises (Psa 33:4) and all things are possible with God (Mat 19:26).

Gen 18:14  Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Being yet carnal we do not understand the things of the Spirit and only learn when Christ preaches to us the truth.

Joh 3:4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

It was through faith that come from hearing the Word from her husband that Sara’s faith was born and grew from which she got the strength to deliver the son of the promise.

Heb 11:11  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Walking by sight and not by faith, we judge in the flesh and our faith fails. In our immaturity we do not believe and need to be reminded time and time again of the need for patience, endurance and faith (Heb 10:36, Luk 21:19, Rev 14:12). Paul had to tell the carnal churches many times of the need for patience and trust for them to see the coming of the Lord within themselves. The new man being birthed and growing up comes via the process that is simultaneously decreasing and destroying the old man.

2Th 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 

2Th 2:2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition ….

2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 

We are not told the details here but can rely on the sum of the Word (Psa 119:160 ASV) to know how this woman was further prepared and cared for during her gestation period leading up to giving birth to a new son.  We know that all things are ours (1Co 3:21) as we live by every word God spoke in the appointed times (Mat 4:4).

2Ki 4:17  And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.

 Our marriage to Christ is a mystery that is likened to a physical marriage of a husband and a wife (Eph 5:32). Being fruitful and multiplying (bearing sons and daughters) is only done spiritually when one is intimate within The Christ. Conceiving seed of Christ requires us to be intimate with and to know our husband. This can only happen in The Christ by abiding and fellowshipping.

Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Faith comes by hearing the Word and eating the Truth of God’s Word is hearing the truth.

Job 34:3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.

There is only one place to eat the Truth, at the Lord’s altar and table in The Christ.

Heb 13:9  Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Heb 13:10  We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

This woman had been prepared all along to be chosen to hear the Word and come to faith and have this child. Looking back we are able to see how the Lord has put his messengers and fellow servants in our path to plant the seed and water the seed that brings life.

Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Breaking and eating bread as often as Elisha passed by this woman’s house was the ground work of hearing the Word that brings about faith and the conception of a new son or a daughter and the bringing of such a one onto maturity if God permits.

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

1Co 11:24  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

We will end the study here as the son is born to the woman. Thus, begins the journey of moving on to maturity and growing in Christ. Looking ahead to our next study we will continue Lord willing, with the story of Elisha and this Shunammite woman and cover the second instance in Scriptures of the resurrection from the dead.

2Ki 4:32  And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.

2Ki 4:33  He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.

2Ki 4:34  And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.

This will be our second example of how we bring life to others that the Lord has put into His Body when we lay down our life for the brethren. As our Lord is, so are we as His Christ in this world (Joh 20:21, 1Jo 4:17).

Joh 10:15  As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

For the second part of this story and the parable of the death of the woman’s son and resurrection CLICK HERE – For Our Admonition Part 7

Sincere comments and questions are always welcome. You can also email me at peterjwilson56@gmail.com