By Mission Bible Class, Mary Nelson, Free resources for sharing God's Word with children 
A prophet died and left debts that his widow and two sons could not pay. The creditor decided to take the two sons as slaves in payment of the debt. When the widow begged for Elisha’s help, the Lord miraculously provided them with enough oil to sell and pay off the debt.
Art by Otto Elliger - Elisha Multiplies the Widow’s Oil
This engraving by Otto Elliger shows the widow filling every jar in the city from a single jug, at Elisha’s instructions, and so pays all her creditors.
Posted by Martin, David, 1639-1721
After the prophet Elijah was taken to heaven (2 Kings 2:11), his disciple and successor, Elisha, became the chief prophet in the northern kingdom of Israel. He faithfully continued the work of the Lord as Elijah had done. He travelled on his own throughout the countryside, probably on a donkey led by a servant. He became known for his miracles (2 Kings 2:19-22).
Posted by Maria Angela Grow on 28 July 2015
Picture posted by biblehistory.com
In one town a poor widow approached Elisha. It has been thought by some that she was the widow of Obadiah, one of the sons of the prophets (1 Kings 18). This is not the same Obadiah for which the Old Testament bible book is named. That Obadiah lived many years after this one.
This poor widow was unable to pay the debts that her husband had left her with. She had only a small amount of olive oil in her home – nothing else of value. As was the common practice of the time, her two sons were going to have to work for the lender until the money was paid back. In this case, he was going to exact a more harsh payment. They were to become his slaves.
Picture posted by fromhometowork.com - Elisha and the Widow's Oil
God’s servant, Elisha, told the woman to borrow all the empty jars from her neighbours that she could possibly get, close her doors, and begin pouring the oil from her jar into the borrowed jars. As she obeyed, the widow saw that God provided enough oil to fill all the jars.
Picture posted by bibleencyclopedia.com - Jars of Elisha and Widow with Oil
Almost every time the bible mentions oil, it is referring to olive oil. Oil that was pressed from the fruit of olive trees had many uses in biblical times. It was a dietary staple. It was spread on bread, used in cooking, and mixed with flour to make bread.
Oil was used as a religious offering (Leviticus 2:4), as a remedy for stomach distress and as a balm to heal wounds. It was also used as a fuel for lamps in homes. Soldiers often worked oil into the leather shields they used in battle. This kept the shields from becoming brittle.
Pitts Theology Library Digital Image Archive - Elisha Multiplies the Widow's Oil
At Elisha’s instructions, the widow fills every jar in the city from a single jug, and so pays all her creditors.
Author: Luiken, Caspar, 1672-1708.
Oil was also the base for making perfumes and fragrant ointments. When perfumers boiled oil and then added secret blends of root and bark powders, tree resins and spices they could make very expensive ointment. One jar of oil-based myrrh, frankincense, cinnamon and aloe ointment could sell for as much as one labourer’s yearly salary.
Oil was a precious item in international trade. Solomon had used it years before to pay for some of the supplies he used to build the temple (2 Chronicles 2:10).
Painting by Simon Dewey - Behold, He cometh - "The wise virgin with her lamp "
When the widow told Elisha what had happened, he instructed her to sell the oil and pay off her husband’s debts.
The woman and her sons were then able to live on the money that was left over. Truly God provided Elisha to be a friend to this family in their time of need.
"Dear Lord, We pray that we show compassion, especially to those whose loved ones are ill or have died. Amen!"
Painting by Simon Dewey - All That She Had
Picture posted by Latter Day Products
NIV, New International Version, Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
1 Kings 18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+18&version=NIV
2 Chronicles 2:10 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Chronicles+2%3A10&version=NIV
2 Kings 2:5-13 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+2%3A5-13&version=NIV
2 Kings 2:11 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+2%3A11&version=NIV
2 Kings 2:19-22 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+2%3A19-22&version=NIV
2 Kings 4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+4&version=NIV
Leviticus 2:4 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+2%3A4&version=NIV