Elisha met a Shunammite and gave her a son in 2 Kings 4.

18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19He said to his father, “My head! My head!” His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.” 20After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died.

The son died. Elisha brought him back to life.

32 When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the Lord. 34Then he got on the bed and lay on the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out on him, the boy’s body grew warm. 35Elisha turned away and walked back and forth in the room and then got on the bed and stretched out on him once more. The boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.

How much time had elapsed between these two events?

1 Answer 1


The sequence of events are these (In 2 Kings 4:18-37:

  • The boy dies in the lap of his mother at noon V20
  • The mother carries him to the upper room and places him on the bed V21
  • She saddles a donkey, summons a servant and they head off to Elisha at Mt Carmel V24. Let us assume that this took at least 1 hour. V24
  • They arrive at Mt Carmel in the evening because Mt Carmel is at least 40 km, 25 miles, about the distance of a marathon, from Shunem by road - a trip by donkey that would take at least six hours. V27
  • Gehazi runs ahead with the prophet's staff to return to Shunem. At a steady running pace for Olympic runners takes more than 2 hours. Let us assume that Gehazi took at least 3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, the old prophet, the woman and her servant return, taking about 6 hours. V30

Thus, when Elisha raised the boy (V32) it would have been at least 12 hours later or even the next day. For reference see a scan of a local map showing Shunem and Mt Carmel.

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  • You are good! You must have done this for a living :)
    – user35953
    Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 20:46
  • @TonyChan - many thanks for your kindness - no I have never been paid for this kind of work - I just love God's Word.
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 20:48
  • That's even better :)
    – user35953
    Commented Oct 18, 2020 at 20:49

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