| Hurlbut's Story of the Bible|
|by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut|
|A book which stands in such honor as the Bible should be known by all. And the time when one can most readily obtain a familiarity with the Bible is in early life. Those who in childhood learn the Story of the Bible are fortunate, for they will never forget it. In this unabridged and unedited edition you will find all the principal stories of the Bible, each one complete in itself, while together combining to form a continuous narrative. With 168 stories from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, there is ample material for a full year of reading. Ages 6-12 |
THE POT OF OIL AND THE POT OF POISON
II Kings iv: 1 to 7; iv: 38 to 44; vi: 1 to 7.
N many places in the land of Israel there were living
families of people who listened to the teaching of the
prophets, and worshipped the Lord. They were among the
seven thousand in Israel who never bowed their knees to
the images of Baal, as we read in Story 78. Elisha went through the land meeting these
people, and teaching them, and leading them in their
worship. They were called the "sons of the prophets,"
and among them were some to whom God spoke, men who
themselves became prophets of the Lord.
The wife of one of these men, the sons of the prophets,
came one day to Elisha, and said, "O man of God, my
husband is dead; and you know that he served the Lord
while he lived. He was owing some money when he died;
and now the man to whom he owed it has come, and he
says that he will take my two sons to be his slaves,
unless I pay the debt."
For in those lands, when a man owed a debt, he could be
sold, or his children, that the debt might be paid.
Elisha said to the woman, "What shall I do to help you?
What have you in the house?"
"I have nothing in the house," answered the woman,
"except a pot of oil."
Then Elisha said to her, "Go to your neighbors and
borrow of them empty jars, and vessels, and bowls;
borrow a great many. Then go into the room, and shut
the door upon yourself and your sons; and pour out the
oil into the vessels, and as each vessel is filled set
The woman went out, and borrowed of all her neighbors
 vessels that would hold oil, until she had a great
many. Then she went into the house, and shut the door,
and told her sons to bring the vessels to her one by
one; and she poured out oil, filling vessel after
vessel until all were full. At last they said to her,
"There is not another vessel that can hold oil."
And then the oil stopped running. If she had borrowed
more vessels there would have been more oil. She came
and told Elisha, the man of God; and he said, "Go and
sell the oil; pay the debt, and keep the rest of the
money for yourself and your sons to live upon."
At another time Elisha came to Gilgal among the
mountains, near Bethel, and with him were some of these
men, the sons of the prophets. It was a time when food
was scarce, and they sought in the field for vegetables
and green things to be eaten. One man by mistake
brought a number of wild gourds, which were poisonous,
and threw them into the pot to be cooked with the rest
of the food.
While they were eating they felt suddenly that they had
been poisoned, and they cried out, "O man of God, there
is death in the pot! The food is poisoned!"
Then Elisha took some meal, and threw it into the pot
with the poisoned food. And he said,
"Now take the food out of the pot,
and let the people eat of it."
They did so; and there was no longer any poison in the
At one time a man came bringing to the prophet a
present of loaves of barley-bread, and some ears of new
corn in the husks. There were with Elisha that day a
hundred men of the sons of the prophets, and Elisha
said to his
servant, "Give this to the people for their dinner."
The servant said, "What, should I give this for a meal
to a hundred men?"
And Elisha said, "Yes, set it before them, and let them
eat. For thus saith the Lord, ‘They shall eat, and
shall have enough, and shall leave some of it.' "
So he gave them the food; and every man took as much as
he wished, and some was left over, according to the
word of the Lord.
Once a company of these sons of the prophets went down
from the mountains to a place near the river Jordan,
and began to build a house; and Elisha was with them.
As one of the men was cutting down a tree the head fell
off from his axe, and dropped into
 the water. In those
times iron and steel were very scarce and costly. The
man said, "O my master, what shall I do? For this was a
Then Elisha asked to be shown just where the axe-head
had fallen into the water. He cut off a stick of wood,
and threw it into the water at the place. At once the
iron axe-head rose to the surface of the water, and
floated, as if it were wood. The prophet said, "Reach
out and take it," and the man took the iron, fitted it
to the handle, and went on with his work.
By these works of power all the people came to know
that Elisha was a true prophet of the Lord, and spoke
as with the voice of the Lord to Israel.
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