2K 4:8

One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.”

Obviously, the bed is to sleep on.
What do a table, a chair and a lamp indicate as Elisha's routines in his small room?

  • He could have been using the table to write on, as suggested in some answers. He surely used it to put his food bowl on, while sitting on the chair eating. The lamp would come in handy when visiting the toilet after dark. Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 13:49

3 Answers 3


Elisha was a prophet whose ministry lasted from the time of Elijah to just before the time of Jeroboam - a period of almost 50 years. He was a close observer of life in Israel and ministered to many people - it is highly probable that write many things things such as:

  • letters to various people (compare Elijah's letters such as in 2 Chron 21:12)
  • parts of the 2 Kings

Elisha would have received many letters from various people as well. As a prophet of God he would have a been a keen student of the writings of other prophets.

Thus, it is entirely appropriate that the prophet Elisha have a place to pray, write, read and study. Barnes reaches the same conclusion -

A stool - Rather, "a chair." The "chair" and "table," unusual in the sleeping-rooms of the East, indicate that the prophet was expected to use his apartment for study and retirement, not only as a sleeping-chamber.

This is very similar to the Pulpit commentary as well.


What do a table, a chair and a lamp indicate?

The Pulpit Commentary suggests the following (paraphrasing):

[The] necessary furniture of an apartment [as supplied] was to be used, not only; as a sleeping-chamber, but also for retirement, for study, and perhaps for literary composition... In the intervals between his active ministrations, a prophet would naturally desire quiet retirement, security from interruption. He would need to reflect, to meditate, to pray, perhaps to write. The Shunammite's proposal shows, not only kindness, but thoughtfulness and appreciation.

Hope this helps!


Just like Elisha we can also have a room in our life; a place of intimacy with God.

Let their room be built close to the walls, to be protected by the blood of Jesus and set apart in holiness to God. In the higher place of our life.

That our room has a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp.

That is, rest in God, fellowship with God, authority from God, and light from God in our ways.

  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I also recommend going through the Help Center's sections on both asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Commented Jun 25, 2023 at 3:41
  • @AlexCosmo-Your answer is a good piece of personal edification (a homily application)...but it doesn't address the intent of this question. It asks about Elisha's routine. Keep studying the Bible; it's great for the soul!
    – ray grant
    Commented Jun 27, 2023 at 21:48

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