And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Therefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child has not awakened.
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George Leo Haydock
The child is not risen. By the staff of Eliseus is represented the rod of Moses, or the old law, which was incapable of restoring life to mankind, then dead by sin. It was necessary that Christ himself should come in our flesh, to restore us to life again. In this, Eliseus, as a figure of Christ, behoved to go in person to restore the dead child to life. (Challoner)
St. Augustine (contra Faust. xii. 35.) shows that many like things recorded in the Old Testament are figures of the New. (Worthington)
Many of the fathers observe, that this miracle was intended to show the necessity of the Incarnation to redeem lost man. The staff did not therefore restore life. Some lay the blame on Giezi; others on the woman, who required the prophet to come in person; and others suppose that Eliseus followed herein his own spirit. But all this is destitute of proof. (Calmet)
He might alter his mind (Tirinus) at the request of the woman, and to imitate Elias; (3 Kings xvii. 21.) all by God's direction...
The staff: St. Augustine considers a great mystery in this miracle wrought by the prophet Eliseus, thus: By the staff sent by his servant is figured the rod of Moses, or the Old Law, which was not sufficient to bring mankind to life then dead in sin. It was necessary that Christ himself should come, and by taking on human nature, become flesh of our flesh, and restore us to life. In this Eliseus was a figure of Christ, as it was necessary that he should come himself to bring the dead child to life and restore him to his mother, who is here, in a mystical sense, a figure of the Church.