2 Kings 4:1-7 – Elisha and the Widow’s Oil


2 Kings 4:1-7


Elisha ministers to the desperate need of a widow.


Just as Elijah had ministered to the desperate need of a widow at the point of death in Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-16), so now Elisha helps the widow of one of the company of the prophets struggling to pay off her husband’s debts. With no husband to provide for her, she was in danger of debt slavery, as permitted in Exodus 21:7. In Elisha’s ingenious solution, the single oil jar that symbolized the widow’s poverty miraculously became the instrument of her deliverance. The story testifies to Elisha’s concern for the poor and the empowerment of the widow without abrogating the legal strictures of the culture.