2 Kings 4:18-19 (ANIV)
18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19 “My head! My head!” he said to his father.
His father told a servant, “Carry him to his mother.”
TIME OF DAY:
Not specified in Bible verses, I have made it mid day.
The sun is overhead, casting shadows below people & objects.
The Shunammite woman’s husband (in green) carrying his ill son, a servant, donkey, reapers in field.
The boy being carried is the son of the Shunammite woman & her husband, his birth had been miraculously predicted by Elisha (see verses 15-17). The Lord provided the previously barren Shunammite woman with the son she desired. But then this awful turn of events takes place: the boy grows ill whilst out in the fields, & verse 20 tells us that he dies in his mother’s arms.
This scene shows the boy becoming ill & being carried by his father to a servant on the margin of one of the fields. The servant has a donkey by him, to carry the ill boy to the village of Shunam, which you can see on the top of a hill in the background.
Notice the line of reapers in the middle distance, to the left of the foreground figures. These are a line of women, bending over, using hand held sickles to cut the wheat. In strong sunlight & bent over all day, these must have been hardy people indeed! The wheat was then stooked (bundled & stacked upright – see scene below) to be collected later & threshed, which separated the grain from the chaff.
The wheat in foreground started out as a photograph I took in a local farmers field. I have heavily modified it, flattening the colours, changing colour & tonal contrast, adding a black outline, etc. I am very pleased with the resulting image.
I decided to add a flock of Crows flying over head, with a large one cawing in the dead-looking tree! Apparently a collective noun for a flock of Crows is a horde, hover, muster, parcel or a murder of Crows – a most unfortunate name!
I researched the position of the village/town of Shunam & it was built on a hill, hence my scene. I imagine there were many fields all around the village, with olive groves, vineyards, etc as well. All of which I have added to the background of my scene. Shunam was situated in the southern part of the Jezreel valley (also called Esdraelon) which is a very fertile, agricultural valley in northern Israel. See map below.
Where was Shunam?
Shunam was a small village in the south eastern part of the Jezreel Valley (which is itself in northern Israel.) It nestles below the base of the Hill of Moreh (Judges 7:1 – The battle of Gideon.)
A resident of the village of Shunam was referred to as a Shunnamite.
Mount Tabor is North East of Shunam, about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) away.
Mount Gilboa is South East of Shunam, about 8 miles (13 km) away.
Mount Carmel (where the Shunnamite woman met Elisha, see 2 Kings 4:24-25) is 18.5 miles (30 km) to the North West.
Nazareth (childhood home of Jesus the Christ) is North North West of Shunam, about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) away.
The southern most shore of the Sea of Galilee is North East of Shunam, about 16 miles (25.7 km) away.
The site of ancient Shunam is within the modern city of Sulam.
Scene without the figures, to show the wheat fields, reapers (harvesting the wheat by hand) & the walled village/town of Shunam in the background.
I have always liked drawing crows in old, dead trees!