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1 THEN ELISHA said, Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord: Tomorrow about this time a measure of fine flour will sell for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel in the gate of Samaria!
2 Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, If the Lord should make windows in heaven, could this thing be? But Elisha said, You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it.
3 Now four men who were lepers were at the entrance of the city's gate; and they said to one another, Why do we sit here until we die?
4 If we say, We will enter the city–then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there; and if we sit still here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the army of the Syrians. If they spare us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.
5 So they arose in the twilight and went to the Syrian camp. But when they came to the edge of the camp, no man was there.
6 For the Lord had made the Syrian army hear a noise of chariots and horses, the noise of a great army. They had said to one another, The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to come upon us.
7 So the Syrians arose and fled in the twilight and left their tents, horses, donkeys, even the camp as it was, and fled for their lives.
8 And when these lepers came to the edge of the camp, they went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold, and clothing, and went and hid them [in the darkness]. Then they entered another tent and carried from there also and went and hid it.
9 Then they said one to another, We are not doing right. This is a day of [glad] good news and we are silent and do not speak up! If we wait until daylight, some punishment will come upon us [for not reporting at once]. So now come, let us go and tell the king's household.
10 So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city. They told them, We came to the camp of the Syrians, and behold, there was neither sight nor sound of man there–only the horses and donkeys tied, and the tents as they were.
11 Then the gatekeepers called out, and it was told to the king's household within.
12 And the king rose in the night and said to his servants, I will tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the open country, thinking, When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive and get into the city.
13 One of his servants said, Let some men take five of the remaining horses; [if they are caught and killed] they will be no worse off than all the multitude of Israel left in the city to be consumed. Let us send and see.
14 So they took two chariot horses, and the king sent them after the Syrian army, saying, Go and see.
15 They went after them to the Jordan. All the way was strewn with clothing and equipment which the Syrians had cast away in their flight. And the messengers returned and told the king.
16 Then the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, as the Lord had spoken [through Elisha]. [II Kings 7:1.]
17 The king had appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate, and the [starving] people trampled him in the gate [as they struggled to get through for food], and he died, as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to him.
18 When the man of God had told the king, Two measures of barley shall sell for a shekel and a measure of fine flour for a shekel tomorrow about this time in the gate of Samaria,
19 The captain had told the man of God, If the Lord should make windows in heaven, could such a thing be? And he said, You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat of it. [II Kings 7:2.]
20 And so it was fulfilled to him, for the people trampled on him in the gate, and he died.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation