This woman is the great woman, the Shunamite.
1 Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. The warning was that hardship will be experienced and you need to go away from Israel to survive. The seven years reminds me of the famine in Egypt.
2 And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. The land of the Philistines was toward the west and south of the land. So it was on the coastal strip.
3 And it came to pass at the seven years’ end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land. Her house and land was secured to her under the law. It could not be taken away even though they were absent. The king was the one to solve this problem for her.
4 And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done. The king was interested to learn of Elisha’s miracles. He heard reports and wanted them confirmed.
5 And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this [is] the woman, and this [is] her son, whom Elisha restored to life. Gehazi was delighted to be able to point out to the king who it was that had her son restored to her, after he died in the field.
6 And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that [was] hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now. Because of this connection with Elisha she was treated in a special way by the king.
There was a famine in Palestine about this time. Because of the distress, Paul arranged for the Gentiles to contribute to the poor fund administered from Jerusalem. It suggests that many Jewish believers departed from Palestine finding places throughout the Gentile world to reside for a time. The period is specifically given as seven years, which connects with the covenant to Abraham as distinct to the covenant of the law.
The drought ended and things got back to normal in Palestine, however things had changed not ever to be the same. The success of the truth had been reported through Israel and the leaders were keen to know all that had been done. Gehazi, whose position is known from another parable to be in league with the law-keepers, appears happy to report all the news as if he and the king are brethren.
The concern of the woman was that she not lose the inheritance because she consorted for a time with Gentiles. None of the things she was entitled to were lost. In fact it clearly implies she was better-off for having done as she had done.
We come to another story and another issue.
7 And Elisha came to Damascus; and Ben-hadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither. Why Elisha would come to Damascus is unknown.
8 And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease? Ben-hadad wanted to know the future of his illness. Is it an illness that will kill him or not?
9 So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ burden, and came and stood before him, and said, Thy son Ben-hadad king of Syria hath sent me to thee, saying, Shall I recover of this disease? Forty camels is a lot of booty. This is the man who sent Naaman to Elisha to have him cured of his leprosy.
10 And Elisha said unto him, Go, say unto him, Thou mayest certainly recover: howbeit the LORD hath shewed me that he shall surely die. You will recover from the disease but a different event will end your life.
11 And he settled his countenance steadfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept. He looked on Hazael and it was Hazael who was ashamed, and it was Elisha who wept.
12 And Hazael said, Why weepeth my lord? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child. Hazael was respectful of the man of God. He wanted to know what Elisha was concerned about concerning him. The catalog of mayhem credited to Hazael would make anyone blush. It was to be against the people of God and would result in the death of children and destroying families.
13 And Hazael said, But what, [is] thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath shewed me that thou [shalt be] king over Syria. God told him Hazael would be the king of the Gentiles. This was the question Ben-hadad wanted answered. Would he live and continue to reign.