The Floating Ax Head
1And #2 Kin. 4:38the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us. 2Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.”
So he answered, “Go.”
3Then one said, #2 Kin. 5:23“Please consent to go with your servants.”
And he answered, “I will go.” 4So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron ax head fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was #(Ex. 22:14)borrowed.”
6So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So #Ex. 15:25; 2 Kin. 2:21; 4:41he cut off a stick, and threw it in there; and he made the iron float. 7Therefore he said, “Pick it up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
The Blinded Syrians Captured
8Now the #2 Kin. 8:28, 29king of Syria was making war against Israel; and he consulted with his servants, saying, “My camp will be in such and such a place.” 9And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there.” 10Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice.
11Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?”
12And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”
13So he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him.”
And it was told him, saying, “Surely he is in #Gen. 37:17Dothan.”
14Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?”
16So he answered, #Ex. 14:13; 1 Kin. 17:13“Do not fear, for #2 Chr. 32:7; Ps. 55:18; (Rom. 8:31)those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord #Num. 22:31; Luke 24:31opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of #2 Kin. 2:11; Ps. 34:7; 68:17; Zech. 1:8; 6:1–7horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And #Gen. 19:11; Acts 13:11He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
19Now Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” But he led them to Samaria.
20So it was, when they had come to Samaria, that Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” And the Lord opened their eyes, and they saw; and there they were, inside Samaria!
21Now when the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My #2 Kin. 2:12; 5:13; 8:9father, shall I kill them? Shall I kill them?”
22But he answered, “You shall not kill them. Would you kill those whom you have taken captive with your sword and your bow? #(Rom. 12:20)Set food and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23Then he prepared a great feast for them; and after they ate and drank, he sent them away and they went to their master. So #2 Kin. 5:2; 6:8, 9the bands of Syrian raiders came no more into the land of Israel.
Syria Besieges Samaria in Famine
24And it happened after this that #1 Kin. 20:1Ben-Hadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. 25And there was a great #2 Kin. 4:38; 8:1famine in Samaria; and indeed they besieged it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and one-fourth of a kab of dove droppings for five shekels of silver.
26Then, as the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried out to him, saying, “Help, my lord, O king!”
27And he said, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I find help for you? From the threshing floor or from the winepress?” 28Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you?”
And she answered, “This woman said to me, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow.’ 29So #Lev. 26:27–29; Deut. 28:52–57; Lam. 4:10we boiled my son, and ate him. And I said to her on the next day, ‘Give your son, that we may eat him’; but she has hidden her son.”
30Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he #1 Kin. 21:27tore his clothes; and as he passed by on the wall, the people looked, and there underneath he had sackcloth on his body. 31Then he said, #Ruth 1:17; 1 Kin. 19:2“God do so to me and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!”
32But Elisha was sitting in his house, and #Ezek. 8:1; 14:1; 20:1the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man ahead of him, but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, #Luke 13:32“Do you see how this son of #1 Kin. 18:4, 13, 14; 21:10, 13a murderer has sent someone to take away my head? Look, when the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door. Is not the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33And while he was still talking with them, there was the messenger, coming down to him; and then the king said, “Surely this calamity is from the Lord; #Job 2:9why should I wait for the Lord any longer?”