The “Shunamit woman” was a perceptive, intuitive woman who merited the ultimate miracle: the revival of her dead son. Here is her story:

The second Book of Kings tells of Elisha, the prophet and wonderworker who succeeded Elijah. For sixty years (892–832 B.C.E.), he traveled the northern kingdom of Israel, offering guidance and help. When Elisha arrived in the town of Shunam, this great Shunamit woman recognized the inherent qualities that ElishaElisha wanted to repay her for her hospitality possessed and asked her husband to seek him out and host him. She prepared a special room for Elisha and his attendant to stay in.

Concluding his stay, Elisha wanted to repay her for her hospitality and blessed her that she would give birth to her first child. “Do not lie to your servant,” the Shunamit woman told him disbelievingly. Yet his blessing materialized, and she gave birth to a son the following year.

One day, the child went out into the field and complained to his father, “My head, my head.” His father sent him inside to his mother, who held him on her knees until noon, when he suddenly died. His mother laid him on the bed that she had reserved for Elisha, and then she hurried to the prophet to plead for help. “Didn’t I say, ‘Do not deceive me?’” she cried.

Elisha came to the Shunamit’s house and, seeing the boy on his bed, stretched his body over the boy, hand to hand, head to head—and the boy opened his eyes! You can imagine the mother’s complete joy and gratitude. The child grew up to be theShe hurried to the prophet to plead for help prophet Chabakuk, called so for the reviving hug (“chibuk”) he received from Elisha.

R’ Yosi said, “From the Shunamit, we see that a woman recognizes the qualities inherent in her guest more readily than a man does, for it was the women who informed her husband of Elisha’s holiness” (Tractate Brachot 10b).

The Shunamit’s awareness of the qualities of this prophet led to the birth of her son. Her intuitive perception of his greatness and holiness as a man of G‑d led to her son’s miraculous resurrection.