For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



 A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2001 James Melough


God has filled the Old Testament with pictures of Christ, but sometimes we are so occupied with the literal language that we forget to look for the spiritual message, and it is this very occupation with the literal that has caused many to miss the beautiful picture of Christ presented in 2 Ki 4.

Having a desire to recompense the kindness of a Shunammite woman who had graciously built him a special room in her house, Elisha learned that she lacked nothing, but that she had no child, and that by reason of the old age of her husband, there was no possibility of her ever becoming a mother.  Accordingly therefore he called her, and declared, “About this season ... thou shalt embrace a son,” an announcement that evoked her incredulous response, “Nay, my lord ... do not lie unto thine handmaid,” verse 16.  No one will fail to note the parallel with the experience of Mary in Luke 1, where the angel’s announcement to her concerning the birth of Christ, evoked the question, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” Lk 1:34.

Nor will anyone fail to note the same place of obscurity assigned by the Divine Penman to the husband of each woman.  His announcements were to the wives, not to the husbands, and in this we are being taught that the miracle of the birth in each case was apart from human generation.  There was no taint of human corruption in the Lord Jesus Christ for He was begotten by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by a human father.  Man had no part in His birth.

In 2 Ki 4:18 we read of the Shunammite’s child, born as foretold by the prophet, that, “when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers.”  There came a day also when the Son born to Mary, “went out to His Father,” as He Himself declared He would, “I go unto My Father,” Jn 14:12.

“... to the reapers,” tells us that when the son of the Shunammite went out to his father it was harvest time, and so was it also with the Son of Mary, for harvest is the scriptural symbol of the time of judgment, see e.g., Mt 13:37-43.  When the Lord Jesus Christ went out to His Father to Calvary it was the time of judgment, the time when He bore the judgment due to sinful men.

In the harvest field the child of the Shunammite cried unto his father, “My head, my head.”  In the “harvest field” (at Calvary) Mary’s Son cried unto His Father, “My God, My God....” Mt 27:46.

The Shunammite’s son was carried home to his mother, and, “he sat on her knees till noon, and then died,” verse 20.  Mary also watched her Son die, “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother....” Jn 19:25.

But the Shunammite’s son was resurrected.  “Then he (Elisha) returned ... and stretched himself upon him (the child): and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.  Then he (Elisha) called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite.  So he called her.  And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son.  Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son,” verses 35-37.  Surely no one will fail to see in the resurrection of the Shunammite’s son a clear typological picture of the resurrection of the One he typifies, the Lord Jesus Christ.



     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough