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Daily Devotional

May 15

THE CHILD SNEEZED SEVEN TIMES AND THEN OPENED HIS EYES

by Henry T. Vriesen

2 Kings 2–4

Elisha became a great prophet in Elijah’s stead. One day the men of the city of Jericho said to him; “Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant … but the water is naught (it was salty), and the ground is barren.” Elisha replied, “Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein.” They did so. And he went to the spring of waters, cast the salt in there and said, “Thus saith the Lord, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land.” And the water became pure and good. It is said that a fountain which still flows near Jericho is the one healed by the prophet.

One day Elisha went to Bethel. A number of children came out of the city. They mocked the prophet and called after him, “Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.” Elisha looked behind him and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came two bears out of the woods and tore forty-two of the children.

A certain woman came to Elisha, saying, “My husband is dead … and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.” Elisha said to her, “Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors: even empty vessels borrow not a few. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon them and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels.” She did so. All vessels were filled with oil. And Elisha said to her, “Go, sell the oil and pay thy debt.”

On his journeys Elisha often came to Shunem in the plain of Jezreel. At Shunem there lived a wealthy woman, who said to her husband, “I perceive that this is a holy man of God … Let us make a little chamber … 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.” And Elisha said, “Behold, thou hast been careful for us … what is to be done for thee?” Gehazi, his servant, answered, “Verily she hath no child.” And Elisha said, “About this season, according to the time of life thou shalt embrace a son.” And the woman bare a son, according to Elisha’s promise. After the boy grew up, he went out one summer day to his father into the fields. While he was out there, he was affected by the heat, and said to his father, “My head, my head.” A servant carried him home to his mother; he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. Then his mother came unto Elisha to mount Carmel and told him. He arose and went with her. And when he came into the house, behold, the child was dead upon his bed. He went in, therefore, and shut the door, and prayed to the Lord. And the child sneezed seven times, and then opened his eyes. And he said unto the mother, “Take up thy son.”

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