Roughly speaking, how old was the Shunammite's son when he died (2 Kings 4:18-37)? Since the account of his death directly succeeds the story of his conception (v. 8-17), I was under the assumption that he was still fairly young. He is also described as sitting in his mother's lap, which, at least to my modern sensibilities, sounds more like something a small child would do.

However, I became doubtful after reading a secular literary interpretation of the passage in which it makes slightly more sense for the child to at least be a pubescent boy. Rereading the Biblical passage, I also noticed that the child has grown up and is at least old enough to go out to his father, who was among the reapers.

Which is the correct interpretation? I realize that this is rather speculative, so if the answer is, "We don't really know," so be it.

  • 2
    Whatever you answer for this, be mindful that it fits in with the child’s description in ch. 8, which takes place seven years after this incident. In my mind, the kid’s roughly 10 when he dies and is brought back, making him a lateish teen seven years later - just young enough, considering the time period, that he’d still be with his mother and not off on his own, perhaps married already.
    – DonielF
    May 20 '19 at 1:11

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