1 Elisha answered, “Listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow 24 cups of the best flour will sell for half an ounce of silver in the gateway to Samaria. And 48 cups of barley will sell for half an ounce of silver.”
2 The servant on whose arm the king was leaning answered the man of God, “Could this happen even if the Lord poured rain through windows in the sky?”
Elisha replied, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you won’t eat any of it.”
The Aramean Army Flees
3 Four men with skin diseases were at the entrance of the city gate. One of them asked, “Why are we sitting here waiting to die? 4 If we go into the city, the famine is also there, and we’ll still die. But if we stay here, we’ll die. So let’s go to the Aramean camp. If they give us something to keep us alive, we’ll live. But if they kill us, we’ll die anyway.” 5 So they started out at dusk to go into the Aramean camp. When they came to the edge of the camp, no one was there.
6 (The Lord had made the Aramean army hear what sounded like chariots, horses, and a large army. The Aramean soldiers said to one another, “The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So at dusk they fled. They abandoned the camp as it was with its tents, horses, and donkeys and ran for their lives.)
8 When the men with skin diseases came to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent, ate and drank, and carried off the silver, gold, and clothes they found in that tent. They went away and hid them. Then they came back, went into another tent, carried off its contents, went away, and hid them.
9 Then they said to one another, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news, and we’re not telling anyone about it. If we wait until morning when it’s light out, we’ll be punished. Let’s bring the news to the royal palace.” 10 So they called the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp, and we didn’t see or hear anyone. The horses and donkeys were still tied up. Even the tents were left exactly as they were.”
11 The gatekeepers announced the news to the royal palace. 12 So the king got up at night and told his officers what the Arameans had planned for them. He said, “They know we’re starving, so they’ve left the camp to hide in the countryside. They’re thinking, ‘When they’ve left the city, we’ll capture them alive and get into the city.’ ”
13 One of his officers replied, “Please let some men take five of the horses that are left here. Those men will be no worse off than the rest of the Israelites who are dying. Let’s send them to take a look.” 14 So they took two chariots with horses, and the king sent them to follow the Aramean army and told them to find out what happened. 15 They followed them as far as the Jordan River and saw how the whole road was littered with clothes and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away in their hurry. The messengers returned and told the king about it.
16 So the people went out and looted the Aramean camp. Then 24 cups of the best flour sold for half an ounce of silver, and 48 cups of barley sold for half an ounce of silver, as the Lord had predicted.
17 The king appointed the servant on whose arm he used to lean to be in charge of the gate. But the people trampled him to death in the gateway, as the man of God had predicted when the king came to him. 18 (It happened exactly as the man of God told the king, “48 cups of barley will sell for half an ounce of silver. And 24 cups of the best flour will sell for half an ounce of silver. This will happen about this time tomorrow in the gateway to Samaria.” 19 Then the servant answered the man of God, “Could this happen even if the Lord poured rain through windows in the sky?” Elisha answered, “You will see it with your own eyes, but you won’t eat any of it.”) 20 So this is what happened to the king’s servant: The people trampled him to death in the gateway.