2 Kings 4:37

Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
What is the point of the addition you thought you should make to this comparison drawn from the example of blessed Elisha, namely, that he raised a dead boy by breathing into his face? Do you really think that the breath of Elisha became the soul of the boy? I would not have thought that you had wandered so far from the truth. If the very same soul, then, that had been taken from the living boy so that he died, was restored to him so that he came back to life, what was the point of your saying that nothing was taken away from Elisha? You imply that we believed that something passed from him into the boy as a result of which the boy was once again alive. But if you said this because he exhaled and still remained whole, what need was there to say this with regard to Elisha raising the dead boy, since you could, in any case, say this of anyone who exhales without raising anyone from the dead? Heaven forbid that you should believe that the breath of Elisha became the soul of the boy when h...

Caesarius of Arles

AD 542
Thus, blessed Elisha came and went up to the chamber, because Christ was to come and ascend the gibbet of the cross. Elisha bent down to revive the child; Christ humbled himself to lift up the world that lay in sin. Elisha further put his eyes on [the child’s] eyes, his mouth on his mouth and his hands on his hands. Consider, brothers, how much that man of full age drew himself together, so that he might fit the little child who lay dead; for what Elisha prefigured in the case of the boy, Christ fulfilled in the entire human race. Listen to the apostle say, “He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death.” Because we were little children, he made himself small; since we lay dead, the kind physician bent down, for, truly, brothers, no one can lift up one who is lying down if he refuses to bend. In the fact that the boy gasped seven times is shown the sevenfold grace of the Holy Spirit that was bestowed on the human race at Christ’s advent in order to restore it to life. Concerning the S...

Ephrem The Syrian

AD 373
“Then the mother of the child said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave without you.’ ” Now, since Elisha had stayed at home and had sent his disciple, the mother of the [dead] child pressed him to aid her personally. Elisha had mercy on her grief, which was great, and set out to accompany her to the village of Shunem. Gehazi, his disciple, had laid the staff on the child at the time fixed by his master but had not raised him; that is, the resurrection of the dead child had not followed the application of the staff, because Gehazi was a covetous man and was not worthy of being mentioned. Elisha did not raise the child by the mere imposition of the staff either but raised him one hour later by adding certain ceremonies to the imposition of the staff. And in that manner he accomplished the type of the Providence of the Word of God, who came to raise Adam after he had been condemned to death. For he knew that the staff of the prophet represented the wood of the ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Ground. To honour the saint, who had done her such a kindness. (Menochius)

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Fear had no power to raise us from the death of sin, but the infused grace of meekness erected us to the seat of life. This is well denoted by Elisha when he raised the child of the Shunammite. He, when he sent his servant with a staff, never restored life to the dead child at all. But, on coming in his own person, spreading himself on the dead body and contracting himself to its limbs, and walking to and fro and breathing seven times into the mouth of the dead body, he forthwith quickened it to the light of new life through the ministering of compassion. For God, the Creator of humankind, as it were grieved for his dead Son, when he beheld us with compassion, killed by the sting of iniquity. And having put forth the terror of the Law by Moses, he, as it were, sent the rod by the servant. But the servant could not raise the dead body with the staff, because, as Paul bears witness, “The law made nothing perfect.” But when he came in his own person and spread himself in humility on the b...


AD 420
“Sing to the Lord.” Why? What has he done? Why is there a new song due him? “For he has done wondrous deeds.” He performed miracles among the Jews: he cured paralytics; he cleansed lepers; he raised the dead to life. But other prophets had done that too. He changed a few loaves into many and fed a countless multitude. But Elisha did that. What new thing, then, did he do to merit a new song? Would you know what he did that was new? God died as man that humankind might live; the Son of God was crucified that he might lift us up to heaven. “For he has done wondrous deeds.” Would you know what wondrous deeds he has done? The son of a widow was lying dead in an upper chamber; Elisha came and drew himself together over the child, and he put his mouth on the mouth of the boy, and his hands on his hands and his feet on his feet. If, instead of contracting and decreasing himself, Elisha had expanded and increased himself, the widow’s son would not have been restored to life; and so it was, in o...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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