Elisha Recovers a Lost Axe Head
1Then the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “Please look; the place where we are living before you is too cramped for us. 2Let us please go to the Jordan and each bring from there one log that we might make a place there for us to live.” Then he said, “Do so.” 3Then a certain one said, “Please be prepared and go with your servants,” and he said, “I will go.” 4He went with them, and they went to the Jordan, and they cut down the trees. 5It happened as the one was felling the log, that the iron ax fell into the water. He called out and said, “Oh, no! My master, it was borrowed!” 6Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” So he showed him the place, and then he cut off a stick and threw it there and made the iron ax float. 7Then he said, “Pick it up for yourself,” so he stretched out his hand and took it.
Arameans Plot to Take Elisha
8The king of Aram was fighting with Israel, so he consulted with his officers, saying, “My camp is at such and such a place.”#Literally “to a place a certain someone” 9Then the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, “Take care while crossing over to this place, because the Arameans are descending there.” 10So the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God said to him and warned him, so he was on guard there continually.#Literally “not once or twice”
11Then the heart of the king of Aram was stormy because of this matter, so he called his servants and said to them, “Can you not tell me who among us sides with the king of Israel?”#Literally “who from of us to the king of Israel” 12Then one of his servants said, “No, my lord the king, but Elisha the prophet who is in Israel tells the king of Israel things which you speak in your own bedchamber.”#Literally “in the private room of your bed” 13Then he said, “Go and see where he is so that I can send and capture him.” Then he was told to him, “Look, he is in Dothan.” 14So he sent horses, chariots, and an oppressing army there. They arrived at night and surrounded the town. 15The attendant of the man of God arose early and went out, and look, the army was surrounding the city with horses and chariots. His servant said to him, “Oh no, my master! What shall we do?” 16And he said, “Don’t be afraid, for more are with us than are with them.” 17Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Yahweh, please open his eyes that he may see,” and Yahweh opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw, and look, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18They came down to him, and Elisha prayed to Yahweh and said, “Please strike this people with blindness,” so he struck them with blindness as Elisha had spoken.#Literally “according to the word of Elisha” 19Then Elisha said to them, “This is not the way and this is not the city. Come after me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” Then he brought them to Samaria.
20It happened at the moment they came to Samaria, Elisha said, “O Yahweh, open the eyes of these that they may see,” so Yahweh opened their eyes, and they saw, and look, the middle of Samaria! 21Then the king of Israel said to Elisha when he saw them, “Shall I kill them? Shall I kill, my father?” 22And he said, “You shall not kill. Would you kill those whom you took captive with the sword or with the bow? Put food and water before them that they may eat and drink and then go to their master.” 23So he made a great feast for them, and they ate and drank; then he sent them, and they went to their master. And the bands of the Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel.
Besieged Samaria Resorts to Cannibalism
24It happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Aram assembled all of his army and marched up and laid siege against Samaria. 25There was a great famine in Samaria, and behold, a siege was against it, until the head of a donkey went for eighty shekels of silver, and one fourth of the measure of the dung of doves went for five shekels of silver. 26It happened that the king of Israel was crossing over on the wall, and a woman called out to him, saying, “Help, my lord the king!” 27He said, “No, let Yahweh help you. How#Literally “From where” can I save you? From the threshing floor or from the wine press?” 28The king said to her, “What is the problem?”#Literally “What is for you” Then the woman said, “This woman said to me, ‘Give me your son, and let us eat him today, then tomorrow we will eat my son.’ 29So we cooked my son and ate him, and I said to her the next day, ‘Give your son that we may eat him.’ But she had hidden her son.” 30It happened that when the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes. Now he had been walking on the wall, and the people saw, and behold, sackcloth was over his flesh underneath. 31Then he said, “May God do to me and thus may he add, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!” 32Now Elisha was sitting in his house and the elders were sitting with him, and the king dispatched a man from before him, but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, “Did you see that this son of a murderer has sent to remove my head? Look, when the messenger comes, close the door; and you must hold the door closed against him.#Literally “hold him close against the door” Is not the sound of the feet of his master behind him?” 33While he was still speaking with them, suddenly the messenger was coming down to him, and he said, “Look this trouble is from Yahweh. Why should I wait for Yahweh any longer?”