1Elisha said, “Listen to the Lord’s word. This is what the Lord says: ‘About this time tomorrow seven quarts of fine flour will be sold for two-fifths of an ounce of silver, and thirteen quarts of barley will be sold for two-fifths of an ounce of silver. This will happen at the gate of Samaria.’ ”
2Then the officer who was close to the king answered Elisha, “Even if the Lord opened windows in the sky, that couldn’t happen.”
Elisha said, “You will see it with your eyes, but you will not eat any of it.”
3There were four men with a skin disease at the entrance to the city gate. They said to each other, “Why do we sit here until we die? 4There is no food in the city. So if we go into the city, we will die there. If we stay here, we will die. So let’s go to the Aramean camp. If they let us live, we will live. If they kill us, we die.”
5So they got up at twilight and went to the Aramean camp, but when they arrived, no one was there. 6The Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a large army. They had said to each other, “The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7So they got up and ran away in the twilight, leaving their tents, horses, and donkeys. They left the camp standing and ran for their lives.
8When the men with the skin disease came to the edge of the camp, they went into one of the tents and ate and drank. They carried silver, gold, and clothes out of the camp and hid them. Then they came back and entered another tent. They carried things from this tent and hid them, also. 9Then they said to each other, “We’re doing wrong. Today we have good news, but we are silent. If we wait until the sun comes up, we’ll be discovered. Let’s go right now and tell the people in the king’s palace.”
10So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city. They said, “We went to the Aramean camp, but no one is there; we didn’t hear anyone. The horses and donkeys were still tied up, and the tents were still standing.” 11Then the gatekeepers shouted out and told the people in the palace.
12The king got up in the night and said to his officers, “I’ll tell you what the Arameans are doing to us. They know we are starving. They have gone out of the camp to hide in the field. They’re saying, ‘When the Israelites come out of the city, we’ll capture them alive. Then we’ll enter the city.’ ”
13One of his officers answered, “Let some men take five of the horses that are still left in the city. These men are like all the Israelites who are left; they are also about to die. Let’s send them to see what has happened.”
14So the men took two chariots with horses. The king sent them after the Aramean army, saying, “Go and see what has happened.” 15The men followed the Aramean army as far as the Jordan River. The road was full of clothes and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away as they had hurriedly left. So the messengers returned and told the king. 16Then the people went out and took valuables from the Aramean camp. So seven quarts of fine flour were sold for two-fifths of an ounce of silver, and thirteen quarts of barley were sold for two-fifths of an ounce of silver, just as the Lord had said.
17The king chose the officer who was close to him to guard the gate, but the people trampled the officer to death. This happened just as Elisha had told the king when the king came to his house. 18He had said, “Thirteen quarts of barley and seven quarts of fine flour will each sell for two-fifths of an ounce of silver about this time tomorrow at the gate of Samaria.”
19But the officer had answered, “Even if the Lord opened windows in the sky, that couldn’t happen.” And Elisha had told him, “You will see it with your eyes, but you won’t eat any of it.” 20It happened to the officer just that way. The people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.