Scattering an Aramean Army
1Then Elisha said, “Hear the word of Adonai. Thus says Adonai: Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will sell for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.”
2Then the officer on whose hand the king was leaning responded to the man of God and said, “Look, even if Adonai should make windows in heaven, could this thing happen?” He announced, “Behold, you will see it with your own eyes, but will not eat any of it!”
3Now there were four men with tza’arat at the entrance of the gate; and they said to one another, “Why should we sit here till we die?
4If we say: ‘Let’s go into the city,’ then the famine is in the city, so we will die there; but if we sit still here, we’ll die also. So come, let’s go into the camp of the Arameans. If they spare us, we’ll live; and if they kill us, we’ll just die.”
5So they got up at twilight to go to the camp of the Arameans. But when they arrived at the edge of the Aramean camp, behold, no one was there!
6For Adonai had caused the army of the Arameans to hear a noise of chariots and a noise of horses—indeed a noise of a huge army. So they said one to another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians to assault us.”
7So they got up and fled at twilight, abandoning their tents, their horses and their donkeys—the entire camp just as it was—and fled for their lives.
8When these men with tza’arat came to the edge of the camp, they entered into one tent, ate and drank, and took from there silver, gold, and clothes, then went and hid them. Then they returned and went into another tent, and took from there too, and went and hid them.
9Then they said to each other, “It’s not right, what we’re doing. This day is a day of good news, and we’re keeping silent! If we wait till the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go now and report to the king’s household.”
10So they came and called out to the city gatekeepers, and told them, “We went to the camp of the Arameans, and look, there was not a single soul there, no human voice—just the horses and the donkeys tied up, and the tents just as they were.”
11Then the gatekeepers called out, and it was reported to the royal palace inside.
12When the king got up in the night, he said to his courtiers, “Let me tell you now what the Arameans have contrived against us. They know that we are hungry, so they went out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, thinking, ‘When they come out of the city, we’ll capture them alive and get into the city.’”
13But one of his courtiers answered and said, “Please let some men take five of the remaining horses left in the city—look, they are just like the whole multitude left in it, and look, they will be just like the whole multitude of Israel that has already perished—so let’s send and see.”
14So they took two chariots with horses, and the king sent them after the army of the Arameans, saying, “Go and see.”
15They went after them to the Jordan, and behold, all the way was strewn with clothes and equipment, which the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. Then the messengers returned and reported to the king.
16So the people went out and ransacked the camp of the Arameans. Then a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel—just as was the word of Adonai.
17Now the king appointed the officer on whose hand he leaned, to have charge of the gate—but the people trampled on him at the gate, and he died—just as the man of God had said, who spoke when the king came down to him.
18For when the man of God had spoken to the king, “Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, will be tomorrow about this time at the gate of Samaria,”
19that officer had answered the man of God and said, “Look, even if Adonai should make windows in heaven, could such a thing happen?” and he replied, “Behold, you will see it with your own eyes, but will not eat any of it!”
20That’s what happened to him—for the people trampled on him at the gate, and he died.