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by Wayne Blank
"the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God"
The first mention of Gehazi in Bible History occurs when Elisha was invited to stay at the home of a woman in Shunem who recognized Elisha as a man of God. The common perception that she did so because Elisha was a hermit / loner is not correct when one considers that Elisha had a servant (i.e. Gehazi) and that Elisha associated with a "company of prophets" (e.g. 2 Kings 2:3). Elisha was simply offered those accommodations when he was in that town i.e. "I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually" (see below). It was because of that lady's faith in God that God enabled her to have a child as she wanted. Gehazi often spoke to the lady for Elisha.
"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. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither."
After the woman had her child, tragedy struck. The child died, and immediately the woman sought Elisha for help. It was Gehazi who met her on the way, but she didn't tell Gehazi what had happened; she sought to speak only with Elisha.
"So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite: Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child?" "And she answered, It is well." "And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and The Lord hath hid it from me, and hath not told me." (2 Kings 4:25-27 KJV)
Elisha sent Gehazi to the dead child, but even with Elisha's staff (it wasn't the staff that was important, it was the Holy Spirit - Elisha had it in far greater measure than Gehazi), the child remained dead.
"Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child."
Elisha arrived a little later, and by means of the Holy Spirit, the dead child was awakened. Elisha sent Gehazi with the good news to the mother.
"And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out." (2 Kings 4:36-37 KJV)
Gehazi did not have Elisha's great measure of honesty either. When Naaman was miraculously cured of leprosy (see The Rivers of Damascus), Gehazi sought to personally profit from the prophet, to which he paid a very high price - Gehazi became infected with the leprosy that Naaman had been cured of.
"So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?"
Nevertheless, Gehazi remained a servant of Elisha thereafter.
"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. 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. 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. (2 Kings 8:3-5 KJV)
Fact Finder: Both Elijah and Elisha (and others in the New Testament), by means of the Holy Spirit of God, raised dead people back to the same temporary physical life that they had before. Why?