The Meaning of 2 Kings 4:8 Explained

2 Kings 4:8

KJV: And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.

YLT: And the day cometh that Elisha passeth over unto Shunem, and there is a great woman, and she layeth hold on him to eat bread, and it cometh to pass, at the time of his passing over, he turneth aside thither to eat bread,

Darby: And it came to pass on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a wealthy woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.

ASV: And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.

What does 2 Kings 4:8 Mean?

Context Summary

2 Kings 4:8-24 - Entertaining A Prophet
The real man needs a very small supply of outward comfort, because his life is hid in God. It does not consist in the abundance of things that he possesses, but in faith, love, and hope. What a noble testimony it would be to our character, if people who saw us going to and fro became convinced that "this is an holy man of God," 2 Kings 4:9!
Sunstroke in the tropics is a frequent cause of death, Psalms 121:6. When a child is taken sick, it is the mother who is the best comforter; but there are limits to a mother's power to help. This woman of Shunem must be referred to in Hebrews 11:35. She was so sure of the life-restoring prayers of the great prophet that she did not feel it necessary to tell her husband what had befallen. Why should she grieve him, when the child would soon be given back to them! In noble confidence she dared to say that all would be well, and God did not disappoint nor fail. Shunem was fifteen miles from Carmel, and there was not an inch of the road which was not covered by the mother's splendid faith that God would make all-grace abound toward her. [source]

Chapter Summary: 2 Kings 4

1  Elisha multiplies the widow's oil
8  He obtains a son for the good Shunammite
18  He restores her son when dead
38  At Gilgal he heals the deadly pottage
42  He satisfies a hundred men with twenty loaves

What do the individual words in 2 Kings 4:8 mean?

And it came to pass one day that went Elisha to Shunem and where there [was] a woman notable and she persuaded him to eat some food So it was as often as he passed by he would turn in there some food
וַיְהִ֨י הַיּ֜וֹם וַיַּעֲבֹ֧ר אֱלִישָׁ֣ע אֶל־ שׁוּנֵ֗ם וְשָׁם֙ אִשָּׁ֣ה גְדוֹלָ֔ה וַתַּחֲזֶק־ בּ֖וֹ לֶאֱכָל־ לָ֑חֶם וַֽיְהִי֙ מִדֵּ֣י עָבְר֔וֹ יָסֻ֥ר שָׁ֖מָּה לָֽחֶם

וַיְהִ֨י  And  it  came  to  pass 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
הַיּ֜וֹם  one  day 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: יׄום 
Sense: day, time, year.
וַיַּעֲבֹ֧ר  that  went 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: עָבַר 
Sense: to pass over or by or through, alienate, bring, carry, do away, take, take away, transgress.
אֱלִישָׁ֣ע  Elisha 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: אֱלִישָׁע  
Sense: the great prophet who succeeded Elijah.
שׁוּנֵ֗ם  Shunem 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: שׁוּנֵם  
Sense: a city in Issachar, located 5 miles (8 km) south of Mount Tabor.
וְשָׁם֙  and  where  there 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb
Root: שָׁם  
Sense: there, thither.
אִשָּׁ֣ה  [was]  a  woman 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: אִשָּׁה  
Sense: woman, wife, female.
גְדוֹלָ֔ה  notable 
Parse: Adjective, feminine singular
Root: גָּבֹול 
Sense: great.
וַתַּחֲזֶק־  and  she  persuaded 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Consecutive imperfect, third person feminine singular
Root: חָזַק  
Sense: to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute, be sore.
לֶאֱכָל־  to  eat 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct
Root: אָכַל  
Sense: to eat, devour, burn up, feed.
לָ֑חֶם  some  food 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: לֶחֶם  
Sense: bread, food, grain.
וַֽיְהִי֙  So  it  was 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
מִדֵּ֣י  as  often  as 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: בְּדֵי 
Sense: sufficiency, enough.
עָבְר֔וֹ  he  passed  by 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Infinitive construct, third person masculine singular
Root: עָבַר 
Sense: to pass over or by or through, alienate, bring, carry, do away, take, take away, transgress.
יָסֻ֥ר  he  would  turn  in 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: סוּר 
Sense: to turn aside, depart.
לָֽחֶם  some  food 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: לֶחֶם  
Sense: bread, food, grain.