2 Kings 1 and 2
These two chapters contain the last two stories about Elijah.
1. Contrast the end of Kings Ahaziah with Elijah’s end. What was the fundamental difference between these two men? Cf. 1 John 2:15-17; 5:4.
2. In what three ways was Elisha tested (see 2:1-15), and what qualities in him does his conduct reveal? Have we the same resolute spirit? See Note 1 below. Elisha’s miracles are parables of spiritual truths. What do you learn from this first miracle (2:19-22)?
- 2:9. Elisha wanted to be fully equipped for the high service to which he was called.
- 2:23-25. ‘Youths’ (or ‘young lads’, as in RV mg.). These were youths of Bethel, whose attitude reflected the spirit of the place. Coming out to meet Elisha in a large band, they mocked the prophet, who was bald in mourning for his master (cf. Job 1:20), and said ‘Go up’, i.e., ‘Ascend to heaven as you say your master did’. It was a grievous insult, and Elisha, righteously angry, invoked the judgment of God upon them. Shaken by the whole episode, he did not enter Bethel but made his way to Carmel.
2 Kings 3:1 – 4:7
1. What was the cause of the attack on Moab, and how was Elisha brought into the situation? A map should be used to identify the route taken by the attacking armies, and the place where the miracle took place. How does the story show what one man of faith can do to save a multitude?
2. How does the story of 4:1-7 illustrate the working of faith? Was it easy for the woman to do what Elisha bade her do? Has this any lesson for you in your own life?
- 3:1. Cf. 1:17. The apparent discrepancy may be explained by the fact that father and son frequent reigned together during the latter part of the father’s life.
- 3:11. ‘He used to pour water… ‘ i.e., he was Elijah’s attendant.
- 3:20. Travelers report that in that region there is water under the sand.
2 Kings 4:8 – 44
1. Verses 8-37. In what ways is the woman of Shunem an example to us? What do you learn about the reasons why God allows his servants to undergo acute suffering? What lessons are to be drawn from Gehazi’s failure?
2. What features in Elisha’s character are brought out by the incidents in this passage?
Note. Verse 42. The present was for Elisha; and if there was still scarcity of food (verse 38), the gift would be the more precious. But Elisha shared it with all who were with him.