chapter  6
25 Pages

Rebecca and Isaac

In Chapter 5 I argue that the story of the Shunammite and Elisha intentionally evokes Genesis 22 – the story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son Isaac – to elevate the Shunammite’s status relative to Elisha’s. Literary links between Genesis 22 and 2 Kings 4 highlight both similarities and differences in these narratives. Both stories are about endangered sons, though 2 Kings 4 tells the story of a mother who attempts to save her son, whereas Genesis 22 tells the story of a father who attempts to kill his son. Both stories, I contend, are fundamentally about submission. Despite significant differences in how they address the topic, read together, 2 Kings 4 and Genesis 22 illustrate that God controls life and death and that human beings do not. God determines who will be born, who will die, and who can live again. Humans, even men of God, must submit to God’s power.